Criminal Justice Degree at RRCC

Criminal Justice Professionals 

When contemplating criminal justice programs, many think only of law enforcement, but the field is much broader than that. It can run the gamut from investigation to crisis intervention, pretrial release and probation, to victim assistance—all with the goal of helping to protect lives, property and to maintain peace in society. With a basic understanding of the law and the criminal justice system, criminal justice professionals may work in the prevention, enforcement and investigation field as police officers; in the corrections field in a variety of positions; or in the area of providing assistance to victims of violence and trauma. Those in the profession tend to be physically fit, have strong critical thinking skills, and are able to deal with all kinds of people in crisis. All criminal justice professionals need to be computer literate and have strong writing skills.

Why Study Criminal Justice at Red Rocks Community College?

RRCC is the only two-year Colorado Criminal Justice program to offer:

  • an AA in Victim Assistance (which transfers to social work, human services or counseling psychology degrees.)
  • unique criminal justice courses such as sex assault, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, criminal profiling, crime scene investigation, victimology, criminal investigation I, II, & III, crisis intervention, policing systems, violence against children, intro to forensic science, and criminalistics, etc. (All Criminal Justice 110 and higher courses count toward the approved non-designated AA degree elective).

You can earn an Associate of Arts degrees (AA) in Criminal Justice or Victim Assistance. Seven of the four-year state colleges have criminal justice programs.

In addition, the emergency public service department operates a Basic Law Enforcement Academy. This is an intensive, 17 to 18 week program that satisfies the training requirement for prospective or newly-hired law enforcement or parole officers or for any position in Colorado requiring state certification as a peace officer. Requirements for the academy certificate exceed the Colorado Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) for entry level training with a local agency. Students include beginners as well as experienced officers who are seeking certification to work in Colorado. The requirements needed to complete this certificate represent a good start on the two-year associate of applied science degree needed for entry-level positions with an increasing number of law enforcement agencies. Admission into the Academy is by separate application.

Criminal Justice Degree


Associate of Arts 

In collaboration with Colorado 4-year schools, Colorado has developed a statewide guaranteed transfer program called "gtPathways" to create seamless transfer.


Area of Study

Interested in Law Enforcement?

Law Enforcement is offered through the Emergency & Public Safety Dept. The Law Enforcement Program at RRCC offers the following certificates:

  • Basic Law Enforcement Training
  • Academy (P.O.S.T. Certification)

Career Paths

What can I do with a criminal justice degree?

Turnover among Colorado's 4,000 corrections officers tends to be high. Entry level jobs pay roughly $19,000 per year with advances up to $30,000. Senior officers in this field can make up to $75,000. Check out criminal justice careers here.

The police departments in Arvada, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge and Edgewater, and the sheriff's department in Jefferson County, anticipate more than 80 new openings per year. Some 20 more are anticipated annually in Gilpin, Clear Creek, and Park Counties.

Employment in victim assistance can be affiliated with a district attorney's office; police or sheriff's department; or with a private/non-profit agency. Positions range from volunteers to PhD's. Many entry-level positions require a two-year or four-year degree in victim assistance, psychology, human services, or social work. Speak to your criminal justice advisor for more information.

Course Sequencing Guide

This is a suggested scheduling guideline to complete your certificate or degree in a timely manner. Some courses have required prerequisites or there can be a specific program scheduling path that helps to complete the program in the most effective way. These are suggestions only and may depend on course availability. Please make an appointment with a college advisor or the program faculty advisor listed on the program website for more information.

Guaranteed Transfer

In collaboration with Colorado 4-year schools, Colorado has developed a statewide guaranteed transfer program called "gtPathways" to create seamless transfer. Click here for a list of courses that are guaranteed transfer to any Colorado public college or university. Click here to see the degrees that transfer seamlessly to Colorado public colleges or universities.  Also take a look at our transfer guide.

Tuition Savings

Starting at RRCC makes cents! At about half the cost of a four year university  you will complete all of your general education requirements for the bachelor’s and can take electives geared toward a specific major. By the time you finish your four-year degree you will save a significant amount of money versus attending the first at RRCC and transferring. See current tuition rates and savings here.

Quality Faculty and Small Class Size

At RRCC, we have qualified and accessible faculty with real-world experience, whose primary responsibility is teaching. Our faculty care about our students' success, and with an average class sizes of less than 20 students, you will never be lost in a crowd at RRCC!

Scheduling Options

We offer many scheduling options to fit your busy life so you can complete courses on a more flexible time frame.

Why Choose RRCC?

Deciding where to start your college education is a big decision. Whether you are earning a degree, brushing up on career skills, or seeking life-long learning, you will enjoy an environment of inspiration and support. It is our goal to create an experience that will enrich your life educationally, professionally, and personally to help you succeed!