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Prepare for a career in the criminal legal system, including law enforcement, corrections, law, forensics and more. Choose from certificate programs or an associate degree that enables you to transfer to a four-year university.


The Criminal Justice and Crime Analysis and Investigation programs prepare 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 you the balanced training, experiences and connections you need to begin a rewarding career in the criminal legal system.


Any associate degree earned through the Criminal Justice program includes 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 bachelors degree program on the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom campus, providing Pierce students an easy, convenient way to earn a four-year degree. Additionally, many other colleges are excited to help you continue your Criminal Justice degree or start a new degree.  Please check these out and talk with your Criminal Justice Faculty for more information.

Transfer Institution Information

Course Maps

These course maps are just the start for you to get acquainted with our program.  The most important thing to do is to work with a criminal justice advisor to be sure you have the most up to date information. These programs can be taken completely online, online with virtual classes, in-person or a mixture of all.  They can be taken through the Fort Steilacoom campus, Puyallup campus, and through JBLM.

Students who have prior credits should work with an advisor to be sure you are getting as much credit as possible for the work you have already completed.

Are you a Running Start student? Talk with a criminal justice advisor about the options available to you.

No prerequisite courses are required for the Criminal Justice program, but students are advised to explore their self-assessment options through the testing center to ensure successful class placement.

Most associate 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 35–104 credits.

Career Pathway Course Maps

About the Program

Pierce College Criminal Justice/Crime Analysis and Investigations Department is committed to mentoring the current and future criminal legal system public servants of our own community. We believe this is an awesome responsibility that we take very seriously as we develop courses and activities that bridge an historic view with a contemporary, intersectional lens of the criminal legal system that exists today. We invite all who are interested regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, race, or religious affiliation to join us in bringing change and best practice to this system and the community. Truly, all are welcomed! 

The program looks historically and theoretically at the criminal legal system and addresses its impacts on our current communities. This holistic lens of our history helps to understand current policies and the negative impacts of those policies, and well as emerging best practices, and the social-cultural implications surrounding the criminal justice field.  

We are excited to work with students and agencies in the creation of our 21st Century workforce in this field.

Our program allows for stackable degrees, internships, transfer to four-year universities, and employment.  We do much of this through our courses, our networking partners in the field, and our community forums. Our former students hold employment in all aspects of the criminal legal system and related fields. These individuals are putting into practice the learning and standards achieved in our program, making a positive difference in the system and community.

Please Note:  Any past criminal history may be detrimental to finding employment in the criminal justice field. If you have any concerns please speak with a Criminal Justice Faculty/Advisor.

Student and Community Forums

Domestic Violence Impact Panel

This annual event shines a spotlight on what had been called the number one epidemic against women and female-identified people, domestic violence.  This educational panel provides resources and creates the space for people to see what is often not seen in their own communities or even in their own lives. If you need help with a domestic violence situation or you want more information about services for yourself or someone you care about, please contact the YWCA Pierce County at 253-383-2593 (24-hour line) or

Women of Justice Forum

The Women of Justice Forum was designed to shine a spotlight on women in a variety of careers within or related to the criminal legal system. Attendees have the unique opportunity to learn more about the inspiration, challenges, and triumphs of nontraditional voices of the criminal justice system.  The event features a panel of women who share their experiences working in what many have considered a male-dominated field.

Related Pages


Program Specialist 2
Chair, Criminal Justice Department
253-912-2399 ext 8563
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice