Few careers are so critical to society as those in the criminal justice field. Whether it's the police that keep our streets and families safe, the advocates protecting the rights of victims or the corrections officers that monitor our jails and prisons.

Criminal Justice Program Description

The Criminal Justice program at Pierce College prepares adults for the rigors and responsibilities of these important careers. Traditional classroom instruction is combined with "in the field" internship opportunities, jail and prison tours, and police ride-alongs, giving students the balanced training, experiences, and connections they need to begin a rewarding career in criminal justice.

Special Notes

Students wishing to pursue a career in criminal justice should know that any past criminal history may be detrimental to finding a job in that field. Students with these concerns are encouraged to speak with a Criminal Justice program advisor.

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Enrollment is open throughout the year. Start in the fall, winter, spring, or summer quarters. Special funding assistance may be available for unemployed workers or low-wage working parents.


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There are no prerequisite courses needed for Pierce College's Criminal Justice program, but students are advised to take a skills assessment test through the Pierce College testing center to ensure successful class placement.


Most associate's degrees can be earned by a full-time student in about two years, while certificates take roughly a year to complete. The Criminal Justice program certificates and degrees require from 35 credits to 104 credits.


Any associate's degree earned through the Pierce College Criminal Justice program is also a Direct Transfer Associate, which is transferable to any public or private four-year college or university.


Central Washington University offers its Law and Justice bachelor's degree program on the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom campus, providing Pierce students an easy, convenient way to earn their four-year degree.

Program Contacts

Cindy Bassage
Program Coordinator
Bobi Foster-Grahler
Criminal Justice Instructor