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Criminal Justice

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Program Description

The mission of the SUNY Orange Department of Criminal Justice is to provide qualitative educational programs in the areas of Law, Justice, Corrections and Law Enforcement. Through this programming, our students develop skills and knowledge that prepares them to continue their education and/or to pursue entry level careers in the field of criminal justice.

The Associate in Science (A.S.) degree in Criminal Justice prepares students to continue their education in four-year degree programs in criminal justice or related liberal arts areas of study. These may include forensic psychology, public administration, sociology, cyber security, criminology and pre-law. The A.S. degree in Criminal Justice is designed to facilitate the acquisition of the technological and critical thinking skills that are essential for success in the criminal justice field. Graduates of this program will have both a general educational background as well as the criminal justice insight needed to pursue careers within the justice system.

This degree program is reviewed regularly to ensure that the course content reflects contemporary issues facing the criminal justice system (e.g. homeland security, terrorism, cyber security, technological advancements, diversity and ethics) and explores criminal justice topics such as the nature and extent of crime, public policy implications related to justice, racial and ethnic profiling, crime scene processing, law enforcement technology and terrorism. Moreover, there are courses devoted to the treatment of adult and juvenile offenders as well as an internship program where students are afforded the opportunity to utilize their newly acquired skills and knowledge in an actual criminal justice environment. The A.S. in Criminal Justice provides students with a solid foundation from which to continue their education as well as pursue a rewarding career. 

This degree has been approved by SUNY and NYS Education Department for online distance learning delivery. This does not mean that SUNY Orange offers every course in the program online; however, many are offered in this format. Please check the current credit course schedule for online DL virtual course listings offered each semester.

Career and Transfer Focus

The Associate in Science (A.S.) degree in Criminal Justice prepares students to continue their education at four-year degree programs in criminal justice or related liberal arts areas of study. These may include forensic psychology, public administration, sociology, cyber security, criminology, and pre-law. Some of the career opportunities in the justice system include: police officer, corrections officer, sheriff, dispatcher, court officer, parole officer and probation officer. The A.S. in criminal justice program will provide students with the opportunity to earn the college credits that many law enforcement agencies require for entry level positions and it is the optimal choice for students intending to ultimately pursue a bachelor's degree.

Three Reasons to Consider Criminal Justice

  1. The SUNY Orange teaching faculty are well credentialed and possess practical experience in all areas of the justice system.
  2. Many of our alumni are currently enjoying careers in the New York State Police, the New York City Police Department, New York State Corrections, the Orange County Sheriff's Department, and numerous other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Several of our graduates are also practicing attorneys and hold positions in corporate and industrial security firms.
  3. We have many online courses available as well as flexible scheduling that enable our students to pursue work and career opportunities while pursuing their degrees. We also have articulation agreements with several private and public 4-year colleges that enable our students to seamlessly transfer to these programs upon completion of their AS degree.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of these programs, students will demonstrate:

  • an understanding of the components and functions of the criminal justice system (police, courts, corrections)
  • an understanding of the common concepts relevant to the criminal justice system and be able to assess and discuss these concepts
  • an understanding of our legal system, constitutional law, procedural law and substantive law
  • an understanding of the importance of diversity and ethics and their impact and relevancy within the criminal justice system
  • effective oral and written communication skills

Keep This in Mind

Prior to registering, students should contact or make an appointment to meet with counselors and/or advisors to discuss options and have their scheduling questions answered.

Students should register for courses as early as is practical. This will give them more flexible scheduling options. Students should also make note of the Transfer Fair that takes place every November where students can speak directly to four-year criminal justice program representatives.

Students should visit the Department of Criminal Justice offices and pay particular attention to the bulletin boards which often contain career information and civil service exam announcements.

Students should consider joining the SUNY Orange Criminal Justice Club, which meets on the Newburgh and Middletown campuses.

Students have access to a variety of experiential learning components such as a Mock Criminal Court and Resistance to the Use of Force Simulator, as well as an internship program.

The Department of Criminal Justice’s Middletown office is located Hudson Hall Room 103 and our Newburgh office is located in Room 317 of the Tower Building. Please feel free to stop by and say hello. You will find the Criminal Justice faculty and staff eager to assist you as you move toward completing your degree.

Admission Criteria

Admission to these programs requires that students be high school graduates or have high school equivalency diplomas (HSEs). If students are not high school graduates they may be eligible for admission to the college’s 24 credit hour program. If students are home schooled, they may be eligible for admission.

Transfer Options

SUNY Orange has special relationships with upper-level colleges and universities for transfer. In addition to all schools within the SUNY system, these institutions include:

  • Alfred University
  • Berkley College
  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Marist College
  • Mount St. Mary College
  • Pace University
  • St. Thomas Aquinas
  • St  John’s University

Your Career Coach

Career opportunities exist in the following fields:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
  • park police
  • postal inspector
  • secret service agent
  • secret service uniformed
  • deputy sheriff
  • state police/trooper
  • police officer
  • district attorney
  • defense counsel
  • corrections officer
  • forensics specialist
  • court clerk
  • judge

Program Availability Status

Criminal Justice degree programs are offered at both the Middletown and Newburgh campuses. We have day and evening classes and many of our courses are also available online. The program can be completed in its entirety on either the Middletown or Newburgh campus. Students will be assigned a faculty advisor who can help answer any questions they might have regarding classes, scheduling, etc.  All teaching faculty have weekly office hours during the Fall and Spring semesters and are usually available at other times by appointment. If you need to contact a faculty member we encourage you to email them. Email addresses can be found on the Criminal Justice Department website.