Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Program Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to the Criminal Justice Program's most commonly asked questions.

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Can I be granted college credit for criminal justice or military training?

TMCC students may submit criminal justice training certificates for case-by-case review. Certificates need to be for actual instruction and not just attendance at a law enforcement conference. A minimum of 15 hours of instruction is required for one credit hour.

TMCC will review DANTES and ACE recommendations and apply appropriate courses and credits toward the student's transcript.

Can I earn a second associate degree at TMCC?

Some students elect to earn a second associate degree at TMCC, because they want an AAS in law enforcement and an AA in criminal justice or an AAS in investigations and an AA in business. Dual degrees may be earned subsequently or simultaneously and require 15 credits beyond the first degree for a total of at least 75 credits with 30 credits earned in residence at TMCC.

Can I perform an internship in criminal justice?

Students in the last semester of their criminal justice degree may participate in CRJ 290B, Internship, with a cooperating criminal justice agency subject to available space. Students cannot be guaranteed an internship with a specific agency. Students are the guests of the agencies and must meet all rules-dress code, confidentiality, and schedule and pass an agency's background investigation. Permission to perform an internship is revocable by the cooperating agency at anytime. See class schedule.

Can I transfer with my associate's degree and continue with my bachelor's degree?

TMCC is an accredited college, and courses may be transferred to other institutions of higher education. The associate of arts degrees are specifically designed to transfer seamlessly to the University of Nevada-Reno's bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice. TMCC classes also transfer to other two- and four-year institutions including, but not limited to, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Nevada State College, the California State University and University of California systems, University of Phoenix, and other state and private colleges.

Care should be taken when selecting courses and degree programs as different institutions may limit the total number of courses transferred from a two-year institution. Also, some classes may not apply to another college's degree program and will only serve as an elective rather than a required course.

Can I use a Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship, Pell grants, scholarships, or get financial aid at TMCC?

Yes, TMCC has a Financial Aid office with advisors who will assist you in obtaining and maximizing financial aid.

do I need to take a foreign language as a degree requirement for criminal justice?

There is a foreign language requirement for the associate of arts degrees, but not for the associate of applied science degrees. The bachelor's degree in criminal justice at UNR also requires a foreign language.

Does TMCC offer day, night, cablecast, and online Criminal Justice courses?

TMCC provides both day and evening classes and with distance educations methods like online and cablecast classes. See class schedule.

How long will it take me to complete a criminal justice degree?

Associate's degrees are traditionally referred to as two-year degrees. If you are a full-time student who takes 15 credits each semester, you can graduate in two years. However, courses may also be taken on a part-time basis over a longer period of time.

Is TMCC an accredited college?

Truckee Meadows Community College is fully accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges and is an institution in the Nevada System of Higher Education.

May I take criminal justice courses without being a CRJ major?

Students enrolled in many different major programs take criminal justice classes. Students in counseling, journalism, sciences, art, and other majors take criminal justice classes as social science electives or because of personal interest in areas like criminal law, crime scene photography, policing techniques, or forensic investigation.

What careers require attendance at a police academy?

Almost all law enforcement, criminal investigator, probation, corrections officers are sworn peace officer who are required to successfully complete an academy. The general rule of thumb is "If it is a government employee who has the legal authority and responsibility to make arrests, carry a firearm, obtain and serve search and arrest warrants is a peace officer," the position requires peace officer status, academy training, and being able to meet all physical and background investigation standards.

What criminal justice courses should I start with first?

All of the degrees require CRJ 101, Introduction to Criminal Justice I, and CRJ 102, Introduction to Criminal Justice II. These courses would be a great place to start because they offer an overview to the entire criminal justice system. English 101 is also a good first semester course because it helps you polish your writing skills for these and future courses.

What do I do if I don't want an entire degree?

Yes, there is a one-year certificate of achievement that may be completed en route to an associate's degree or as a stand-alone college certificate. See catalog worksheets.

What if I am interested in a career as an attorney?

There are several possible pre-law majors, as law schools accept any bachelor's degree preceding law school. If a student planned to specialize in corporate law, a degree in business or accounting may be preferred. A degree in English or philosophy is often cited as a good general foundation for law school. Another pre-law option is a criminal justice degree. TMCC offers an AA in criminal justice with a pre-law option that will transfer to UNR's bachelor of art in criminal justice pre-law option. If you are just curious about a career in law, CRJ 125 Legal Careers and Law Schools would be a great introductory course.

What if I am interested in a career in juvenile probation or juvenile justice?

Juvenile probation is most often performed at the county level, and youth parole is usually conducted by the state. Most juvenile probation officers and parole agents are required to have at least a bachelor's degree. Juvenile parole agents and probation officers are usually peace officers and are required to successfully pass an intensive background investigation and complete a law enforcement academy.

Juvenile work supervisors, youth advisors, and juvenile correctional staff provide services to juveniles detained in detention facilities or while performing community service as a sanction to adjudicated delinquent acts. These positions usually do not require a bachelor's degree and may or may not be peace officers, which requires the successful completion of a law enforcement or correctional academy.

Listed below are the link to few local, state, and private juvenile probation, youth parole, and correctional agencies.

Which degree is best for me?

Explore the degree worksheets to discover which degree most closely aligns with your individual goals. As a general rule consider that nearly all federal investigator positions (special agents for the FBI, DEA, U.S. Customs, IRS Criminal Investigations, U.S. Secret Service, etc.), adult and juvenile probation officers, and police administrator positions requires at least a bachelor degree. If you are interested in these kinds of positions, completing the Associate of Arts degree with the goal of transferring to a four year college is the best choice. See catalog worksheets.

Who are TMCC's criminal justice instructors?

TMCC has both full-time and part-time faculty. The criminal justice faculty consists of active duty and former chiefs of police, an undersheriff, law enforcement executive officers, federal agents, trial attorneys, adult and juvenile parole and probation officers, parole and probation administrators, a judge pro tem, a parole board member, detectives, forensic investigators, police officers, deputy sheriffs, and a highway patrol trooper from Nevada, California, and other states.

Why are there general education requirements in the criminal justice degrees?

One goal of an associate's degree in criminal justice is to produce well-rounded and broadly educated graduates for careers in criminal justice. This broad educational experience is one reason many criminal justice agencies require college degrees. Please exercise care in selecting your courses because the general education requirements for the associate of arts are different from those for the associate of applied science.