Created by Pierce faculty, this map outlines the initial coursework for this career field. It provides you a clear path to complete your degree by listing a specific set of courses relevant to your program and career. The map is designed with the appropriate number of credits and meets degree requirements. Courses are organized in a recommended sequence; please schedule accordingly. If a course is unavailable, select the next appropriate course within the sequence. For each course, a purpose statement explains how the content relates to your career field. On this map, there may be instances when you will be required to select a course from several options. Use these purpose statements and notes to choose the course that best aligns with your interests and needs. You will also find action items to complete to assure you progress and graduate on time.
While this map is a great guide to courses required to complete the Associate in Applied Science Criminal Justice, you are responsible for fulfilling all degree requirements.
Questions? Your Success Network is ready to help you!
Employment Eligibility Requirements
Any past criminal history may be detrimental to finding employment in the criminal justice field. If you have any concerns please speak with an advisor.
The following Criminal Justice courses have changed to Common Course numbering:
|Old Course Number
||New Course Number
|CJ 112 – Criminal Justice in America
||CJ& 101 – Introduction to Criminal Justice
|CJ 115 – Juvenile Justice System
||CJ& 106 – Juvenile Justice
|CJ 202 – Concepts of Criminal Law
||CJ& 110 – Criminal Law
|CJ 205 – Investigative Technology
||CJ& 240 – Introduction to Forensic Science
Action Item: You should meet with your criminal justice advisor prior to embarking on this program. The program can be taken on-line, in-person, during the day at Fort Steilacoom, at night at Puyallup, or a combination of all. This map is designed for a student pursuing an in-person learning experience at Fort Steilacoom campus. Please meet with your advisor to create a customized education plan that meets your modality (online, in person, and hybrid), and timeline (part time, full time, hybrid) preferences.
1. College Success
- COLLG 110 College Success (3 credits)
Course purpose: A foundational course to explore and affirm a career choice and build upon the skills, knowledge, and resources that will support you at Pierce College and beyond.
Note: The College Success course you select will depend on the Career Pathway Map you are following. Your advisor will assist you in selecting either the 3- or 5- credit version of the course. Should you choose to repeat a College Success course you must enroll in a College Success course with the same credit amount as the original course; a COLLG 110 course grade can only be replaced with a grade from another COLLG 110 course and a COLLG 115 course grade can only be replaced with a grade from another COLLG 115 course.
2. Criminal Justice: Success Seminar
- CJ 103 Criminal Justice: Success Seminar (1 credit)
Course purpose: This course is an introduction to success in the CJ program. It will cover education plans, navigating through Pierce College, and how to be successful in the culminating project. You will learn about professional standards and employment requirements. It should be taken within the first two quarters.
3. Introduction to Criminal Justice
- CJ& 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice (5 credits)
Course purpose: This course gives an overview of theories and the major elements of the criminal justice system. You will be able to speak across the justice system and understand how the different elements (law enforcement, courts, corrections and support agencies) work together, or don’t at times.
Action Item: Meet with Advisor
Use your Success Network! In your first quarter, meet with your advisor to revisit your career and transfer path, make adjustments to your goals as needed, and plan for your next steps.
4. Public Speaking
- CMST& 220 Fundamentals of Public Speaking (5 credits)
Course purpose: As a professional in criminal justice you will have to talk to people one on one, in groups and you will need to give presentations to classes, groups, and oral boards. This class will set you up for success.
5. Math Options
- MATH& 146 Introduction to Stats (5 credits)
Course purpose: You will need these skills in the field to understand the statistics behind the best practices that format the regulations of the justice system.
- MATH& 107 Math in Society (5 credits)
Course Purpose: This course will help you continue to build a strong foundation in problem solving and how to communicate solutions to problems.
Transfer note: This course is recommended for students transferring to the University of Washington-Tacoma. Please consult with your advisor on math course selection.
6. English Composition I
- ENGL& 101 English Composition I (5 credits)
Course purpose: Writing is an important aspect of criminal justice. You will be writing infractions, court documents, depositions, etc. Your ability to write will influence the systems view of your skills and ability, as well as the public’s perception of you as a professional. In addition it will strengthen your work in your academic career.
Note: Your advisor will assist you in reviewing your Guided Self Placement and selecting either the 5-credit or the 7-credit co-requisite ENGL& 101 + ENGLC 101 course.
7. Social Science Options
- SOC& 101 Introduction to Sociology (5 credits)
Course purpose: Assists you with understanding how our values, formal and informal practices, and our norms are shaped by the dominant society in which we live. This class pairs well with the social justice and multicultural perspective that any criminal justice coursework and professional must be well versed in as one serves the community they work in and for.
- POLS& 202 American Government (5 credits)
Course purpose: Every criminal justice professional is going to work for a governmental agency or for an agency that contracted with a governmental agency. It is important to understand how the government works.
8. Corrections in America
9. English Composition II
- ENGL& 102 Composition II: Argumentation and Research (5 credits)
Course purpose: Most Criminal Justice students will move to a four year college or university and in doing so, we hope to best prepare you for success. This class will also help you with your future academic classes at Pierce. In addition, as you progress in your career field you may be asked to write up Best Practices or research certain methods. This class will give you the format and skills needed to represent your agencies.
10. Natural Science Course Recommendation
- CHEM& 110 Chemical Concepts w/ Lab (5 credits)
Course purpose: CHEM& 110 is offered spring quarter at Fort Steilacoom as “FORENSIC CHEMISTRY”. It is for those especially interested in Forensic Technology, but it is available for all to better understand Crime Scenes.
- ANTH& 236 Forensic Anthropology (5 credits)
Course purpose: In this course you will learn about the criminal justice/forensic crime scene. You will get familiarized with forensic analysis of human remains. Also included is a theoretical and hands-on approach to the analyses of human remains within a medicolegal context.
Advising note: Students can take any other lab class if these are not available in the appropriate format that a student needs.
11. General Psychology
- PSYC& 100 General Psychology (5 credits)
Course purpose: This course helps you to understand how individuals work/behave and why. It is understanding how an individual’s thoughts and emotions are tied to their behavior? It could also be how our beliefs are tied to our emotions and how this impacts our perceptions of others (i.e. prejudice, bias…).
13. Human Biology: Anatomy & Physiology
- BIOL& 170 Human Biology: Anatomy & Physiology (5 credits)
Course purpose: This class helps you understand the scientific method and how the components and functions of our body systems and their interactions with one another. This general course will assist you if you have a scene or a situation when bodily harm has been done. This will assist you in court, crime scenes and in case you have to write reports where there was an injury.
14. Problem Based Research
- INFO 102 Problem Based Research in Professional/Technical Programs (2 credits)
Course purpose: This class will assist you with your academic research and citation. This is not only imperative for your success in academic writing, but it also will help you research best practices and validate your evidence in order to best serve the community by making changes in the system. Information that is not credible can create more hurt in our system and to our citizens.
15. Humanities Course Recommendation
- SPAN& 121 Spanish I (5 credits)
Course purpose: Spanish is one of the fastest growing languages in the US and therefore, it’s important to familiarize yourself with languages other than English, as you will serve populations where English is not the primary language. Additionally, with learning the language you will also be able to more deeply learn about the culture.
- DRMA 260 Acting for Stage and Digital Film I (5 credits)
Course purpose: This class will allow you to experiment with many different types of acting and free play usually around different issues. The uncomfortableness that often happens when people are asked to do things outside of their norm is addressed through this class and students find the ability to try new things and succeed. This class is important, because sometimes you will find yourself in a situation that you do not know what to do and you can revert back to the skills taught in this class to move you outside of the situation.
- JOURN 125 The Documentary: A Social Force (5 credits)
Course purpose: This class will help you with understanding the power of journalism and the impact on society, with writing clear and concise and with argument and perspective.
- HUM 105 Black American Thought and Cultures (5 credits)
Course purpose: This class helps you to see the world from the non-dominant view. This helps to provide empathy for populations served and prosecuted by criminal justice system. This is an opportunity to move deeper in your understanding of a culture.
- CMST 105 Intercultural Communication (5 credits)
Course purpose: This class provides skills to work and communicate in a diverse world. This will be helpful for any person who works in the justice field.
16. Crime and Justice in America: The Issues
- CJ 200 Crime and Justice in America: The Issues (5 credits)
Course purpose: This class deals with how to respond to culture conflict and is steeped heavily in social justice and multiculturalism. You will learn hands-on skills to communicate with others who may not believe as you do. It is important as a criminal justice professional to address your biases prior to getting into the field. Your job is to serve all citizens, no matter your personal beliefs. This class will help you do just that.
17. Philosophy Course Recommendation
- PHIL 150 Introduction to Ethics (5 credits)
Course purpose: Ethics are the backbone of criminal justice. This class helps you better understand personal ethics and the systems view of ethics. This course will help you to look deeper into contemporary issues. It is an important skill to see experiences through multiple lenses.
- PHIL& 115 Critical Thinking (5 credits)
Course purpose: Critical thinking is important for criminal justice employees who work autonomously and hold great power over others. This class helps you better understand the components of critical thinking and to put them into practice. This course will help you to look deeper into contemporary issues. It is an important skill to see experiences through multiple lenses.
- PHIL 230 Contemporary Moral Problems (5 credits)
Course purpose: This class helps to better understand the dynamics of the contemporary moral issues that people are addressing. This course will help you to look deeper into contemporary issues. It is an important skill to see experiences through multiple lenses.
19. Natural Science Course Recommendation
20. Work Based Learning or CJ Elective