Criminal Justice | BCTC

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Criminal Justice

Program Details

The criminal justice system has evolved greatly in recent years. No longer can applicants with minimal job skills expect to be hired. Today's successful candidates must understand and demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the profession and pass measurable performance standards. Students in the Bluegrass Community and Technical College program receive this advanced instruction as part of their required coursework.

The Criminal Justice (CRJ) degree curriculum offers students a strong academic program which includes courses relating to human behavior, government, communications, theories in policing, corrections, and issues and ethical considerations pertaining to practitioners within the criminal justice system.

Graduates of the program will be qualified to seek job opportunities at municipal, county, state, and the federal level. Those completing the degree requirements are not restricted to government work. Many industries and other private companies now employ qualified professionals who are skilled in security and loss prevention.

Sample Schedule for Completion (For A.A.S. Degree):

First Semester (Fall Term):

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Writing I
  • Computer Literacy or General Education Elective
  • Quantitative Course
  • American Government or State Government

Second Semester (Spring Term):

  • Criminal Investigations
  • Writing II
  • Introduction to Interpersonal Communications or Basic Public Speaking
  • Natural Science Course
  • Issues & Ethics in Criminal Justice

Third Semester (Fall Term):

  • Criminal Procedures
  • Criminal Law
  • General Psychology
  • Introductory Sociology
  • Heritage/Humanities

Fourth Semester (Spring Term):

  • CRJ Track Electives (from list for applicable track)
  • CRJ Track Electives
  • CRJ Track Electives
  • Technical Elective
  • Elective

The Criminal Justice Degree has four tracks: Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, Corrections, and Security and Loss Prevention. These tracks require additional CRJ courses as follows: Law Enforcement Track (Introduction to Law Enforcement), Corrections Track (Introduction to Corrections) and Security and Loss Prevention (Principles of Asset Protection).

Certificate Programs:

We also offer Certificates in the areas of Criminal Justice Core, Corrections, Law Enforcement, and Security and Loss Prevention. Each certificate requires 15 hours of course work. These certificates are great for those students who may already be employed in the field and are looking to enhance their knowledge for promotion etc, but don't want to commit to an entire degree program.

Career Opportunities:

BCTC's Criminal Justice program prepares its graduates for entry level positions in policing, corrections, and related occupations within the criminal justice system. With experience, Criminal Justice graduates may also advance into administrative or supervisory positions in policing, corrections, security and loss prevention, or other components of the criminal justice system.

The field of criminal justice offers a wide range of specialties and areas of emphasis that all share with one common objective -- to assure the safety of people and property. Many professionals within the criminal justice field are servants to the public, providing safety, information, and rehabilitation services to others. The world continues to unite though global connections and the use of technology within government and law enforcement systems. As this communication increases, so will the opportunities for graduates of the Criminal Justice Program at Bluegrass Community and Technical College.


Currently, background checks are not required for students in the Criminal Justice program. However, students should understand that certain factors, such as felony convictions, substance abuse, and excessive traffic related offenses, may disqualify applicants from employment in the criminal justice field. Students seeking employment in criminal justice should research the requirements and disqualifies of their desired areas or agencies of employment.