Administration of Justice - Law Enforcement Specialization

Award: Associate of Applied Science

Administration of Justice (ADJ) programs are designed to prepare individuals for careers in public safety. The A.A.S. degree does not substitute for attendance at a basic police academy required by Virginia’s local and state law enforcement agencies. Students who plan to transfer DCC courses into a four-year program in criminal justice/administration of justice are strongly urged to consult with their faculty advisor and the counseling office for course selection. Transferability of ADJ coursework to four-year colleges or universities is contingent on the academic credit transfer policies of those institutions.

Program Information

Minimum credits: 68 

Length: 2 years (4 semesters), if suggested full-time course sequence is followed. 

Career Opportunities:

  • Corrections Officer/Jailer: $34,610 – Job growth: 4% from 2014-2024 
  • Police/Sheriff's Patrol Officer: $40,600 – Job growth: 4% 
  • Detective/Criminal Investigator: $51,670 – Job growth: 4% 
  • *Median salaries nationwide as of 2015. Source: BLS.gov 

Division: Arts, Sciences, & Business

Contact: 434.797.8402 or 434.797.8462

Admission Requirements

In addition to general college admission requirements, requirements for employment at criminal justice agencies may include: Excellent physical and mental health; Normal hearing and color vision. Eye functions must be normal (visual acuity must not be less than 20/40 in either eye without correction); Weight should be in proportion to height; Excellent moral character; No conviction of any crime involving moral turpitude or conviction of any felony; An excessive number of traffic citations would be cause to exclude an applicant from consideration by most agencies; U.S. citizenship. NOTE: An extensive background investigation will be conducted by criminal justice agencies before hiring. Anyone who has been convicted of a felony or any offense involving moral turpitude or violence should consult with the faculty advisor.

Program Outcomes

Graduates will demonstrate knowledge of the following: 

  1. Various sources of crime data (e.g. FBI-based Uniform Crime Reporting system) and analytical skills necessary to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of crime data reporting; 
  2. Assessment skills applied to community-police programs and evaluative measures to be applied to the merits of police-sponsored community crime prevention efforts; 
  3. Functions of the different components of the criminal justice system—police, judiciary, corrections and protective services; 
  4. The role diversity plays in decision-making at all levels of the criminal justice system; 
  5. The global nature of crime, to include the impact of crime and the prosecution of criminal offenders operating in the U.S. and internationally to further a terrorist goal, commit cybercrime, or reap profits associated with criminal enterprises; 
  6. Stress reduction techniques, including a consistent physical fitness conditioning program; 
  7. The importance of volunteering one’s talents for the overall improvement of one’s community;
  8. The need for uncompromising ethical and moral standards; 
  9. Exemplary written and oral communication skills; 
  10. Excellent information literacy skills. 

Instructional delivery: Most courses may be taken online, e.g. ADJ 100 Survey of Criminal Justice, ADJ 130 Criminal Law, ADJ 145 Corrections & the Community, ADJ 215 Report Writing, ADJ 227 Constitutional Law, and ADJ 234 Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism, as well as other general education courses. 

College Credit for Academy Training: After an ADJ student completes 35 or more required credits, 21 and 15 credits respectively will be awarded as follows: 

Virginia State Police Academy  3 credits - ADJ 100, Survey of Criminal Justice  3 credits - ADJ 130, Criminal Law  3 credits - ADJ 236, Criminal Investigation  9 credits - ADJ coursework*  3 credits - Wellness Elective     Total: 21 credits 

Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services Regional Academies  3 credits - ADJ 100, Survey of Criminal Justice  3 credits - ADJ 130, Criminal Law  3 credits - ADJ 236, Criminal Investigation  3 credits - ADJ coursework*    3 credits - Wellness Elective     

Total: 15 credits *e.g. ADJ 227 - Constitutional Law,  or ADJ 215 - Report Writing.

Course Sequence

  Lecture Hours Lab Hours Hours in Class Credits
First Semester
SDV 100 College Success Skills 1 0 1 1
ENG 111 English Composition I 3 0 3 3
SOC 200 Principles of Sociology 3 0 3 3
ADJ 100 Survey of Criminal Justice 3 0 3 3
ADJ 130 Introduction to Criminal Law 3 0 3 3
ADJ 145 Corrections and Community 3 0 3 3
Total 16 0 16 16
Second Semester
NAS 105 Natural Science Topics for Modern Society OR Other Approved Lab OR Math Course 3 0-3 3-6 3-4
ENG 112 College Composition II 3 0 3 3
Approved Sophomore Sociology 3 0 3 3
ADJ 131 Legal Evidence 3 0 3 3
ADJ 227 Constitutional Law for Justice Personnel 3 0 3 3
ADJ 236 Principles of Criminal Investigation 3 0 3 3
Total 18 0-3 18-21 18-19
Third Semester
PSY 200 Principles of Psychology 3 0 3 3
Non-ADJ Elective 3 0 3 3
SPA 101 Beginning Spanish I 4 0 4 4
SOC 235 Juvenile Delinquency 3 0 3 3
ADJ 234 Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 3 0 3 3
Total 16 0 16 16
Fourth Semester
HUM 165/ CST 100 Controversial Issues OR Principles of Public Speaking 1 3 0 3 3
Approved Computer Elective 2 3 0 3 3
PSY 215 Abnormal Psychology 3 0 3 3
SOC 236 Criminology 3 0 3 3
ADJ 215 Report Writing 3 0 3 3
PED/HLT Approved Wellness Elective 3 0 3 3
Total 18 0 18 18

1Students may substitute CST 100 if required by the transfer school.

2BUS 147 (Intro to Business Information Systems) is recommended for students intending to transfer.

Total Minimum Credits for the AAS degree in Administration of Justice Law Enforcement Specialization 67-68

Student Worksheet