Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice

NAU offers this specialization leading to a bachelor of applied science (B.A.S.) degree in Criminal Justice - for non-traditional students who have earned the appropriate associate of arts (AA) or associate of applied science (AAS) degrees.

Admission requirements

To be admitted into a B.A.S. plan, you must have an associate degree either completed or in progress at a regionally accredited institution.  Also, you must complete the associate's degree prior to the awarding of the B.A.S. degree.  Acceptable degrees include Administration of Justice, Administration of Justice Studies, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice.

Associate Degree requirements

NAU accepts a block transfer of 64 units from your A.A. program or up to 75 units from your A.A.S. program, if you have been awarded an A.A.S. degree from an Arizona Community College.  You then take the remaining units at Northern Arizona University to complete 120 units.

To qualify for a specialization in criminal justice, your transferred block must include 9 units of courses deemed equivalent to:

  • CCJ 101 and 250 (6 units)
  • One course from CCJ 210, 220, 270, 275; SOC 240 (3 units)
Please note that only those courses deemed equivalent by either an established articulation agreement approved by Northern Arizona University's Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice or by a memorandum of understanding with the Criminal Justice Department qualify.

Northern Arizona University requires that you complete 35 units of liberal studies course work.  For this B.A.S. plan, we assume that you have already completed, as part of your associate's degree, the compostion, mathematics, and lab science requirements as well as 3-6 additional units within the liberal studies requirements, totaling 16-20 units.

AAS prerequisites 

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The following is a list of those courses which must be completed either as part of the AAS degree or in addition to the AAS degree, depending on when the student completed the AAS degree.

The following are the liberal studies requirements (which must receive a grade of C or better):

  • Writing 101 and Writing 102
  • any four-hour lab science which transfers to NAU as a liberal studies course in the sciences
  • Math 142 or Math 167
  • 6 to 7 hours of additional liberal studies courses which transfer to NAU

All students must complete the following Administration of Justice Studies/Law Enforcement courses. These must be taken as regular class coursework. CLEP and/or experiential credits will not meet the requirement to complete the following courses:

  • AJS 101 Introduction to Administration of Justice
  • One of the following:
    • AJS 107 (LEN 130) Patrol Procedures
    • AJS 109 (LEN 125 & 126) Criminal Law
    • AJS 115 Criminal Procedure
    • AJS 123 Corrections as a System
    • AND AJS 225 Crime and Delinquency 

Experiential credits

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Students who have professional experience in the justice system can earn up to a total of 36 hours in a block for experience, training, and certifications programs. This is accomplished by completing EED 110 at Pima Community College. This course is required to assess the credit hours assigned by Pima CC toward the 36-hour total allowed in this block. (Note: These courses must be individually identified on the transcript and carry a P or letter grade of C or better.)

Degree requirements: completing the Bachelor of Applied Science in Justice System Policy and Planning

It is assumed that students will transfer 62-64 hours to NAU in this option. The remaining 54-58 hours must be upper-division courses and at least 30 hours must be taken as resident credit at NAU. The program is divided into three segments:

  • liberal studies completion curriculum (15 to 19 hours)
  • BAS core areas & junior-level writing requirements (21 hours)
  • specialization in criminal justice (18 hours)

Total: 54-58 hours 

Liberal studies completion curriculum (15 to 19 hours) 

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The BAS curriculum is based on the assumption that students with the appropriate AAS degree will have completed 16 to 20 hours of lower-level liberal studies to include composition, math, lab science, and three to six additional hours. Students will select upper division liberal studies courses in consultation with and approval of a criminal justice adviser. The selection of the liberal studies courses must contribute to a coherent overall curriculum.

BAS core areas and junior-level writing requirement (21 hours)

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The BAS core areas are designed to give students the opportunity to acquire a general knowledge of management/organization/policy issues while advancing their professional communication, computer, and quantitative skills. They include four general areas plus a required junior-level writing experience as follows:

  • communication block
  • public administration/management block
  • values/ethics/policy block
  • technical/quantitative block
  • AND junior-level writing course

Students must take at least one three-credit-hour course from each of the four general categories. An additional six hours must be selected from among the courses offered in the four general categories. Students must also complete at least one three-hour course that meets the NAU liberal studies junior-level writing requirement. The course required by the criminal justice department is CCJ 345: Human and Cultural Relations in Criminal Justice. All twenty-one hours of BAS core area courses must be upper division.

Specialization in Criminal Justice

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All coursework taken in criminal justice for the BAS degree must be taken at the upper-division and approved by your criminal justice advisor. These courses must include a senior-level capstone course, such as CCJ 450C Dilemmas in Justice; CCJ 475C Global Justice; CCJ 480 Wrongful Conviction; or CCJ 480C School Violence. At least 12 hours must be taken as resident credit in the Criminal Justice Program. Students using the AAS to BAS in Justice Systems Policy and Planning transfer may not take credit hours in independent research or internship.


Dennis Catlin, PhD

Department of Criminal Justice
NAU -Tucson
401 North Bonita Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85709-5090

Juanita Sizemore

Advisement Specialist
Public Safety Institute
Pima Community College
6680 S. Country Club Road
Tucson, AZ 85709-1700