Get Started in the Criminal Justice Program

How to Get Started

To get started in credit programs in Criminal Justice, complete the admissions process and meet with an academic advisor.

Find out how to get started in Basic Peace Officer training at:


Dallas County residents pay $177 per three-hour class — that is $59 per credit hour, or just $708 for a full-semester load of 12 credit hours. Compare that to what you’d pay elsewhere! See tuition rates for tuition according to your place of residency.

Compare that to what you’d pay elsewhere! See tuition rates for tuition according to your place of residency.

See separate academy costs at Cedar Valley College’s Law Enforcement Academy and Eastfield College’s Criminal Justice Training Center.


The state-certified Basic Peace Officer training programs offered at Cedar Valley and Eastfield colleges are licensed through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE).

Accreditation and Affiliations

Find out more about accreditation and affiliations.

Rising Star Program

If you are a Dallas County high school graduating senior, you may qualify for Rising Star funds to help pay for credit classes in Criminal Justice. The Rising Star program offers academic support services and up to $4,000 for tuition and books, if you have established financial need.

Courses Offered (Curriculum)

See Credit Courses, Degrees and Certificates for more details.

Important note: Before applying to any law enforcement agency, please check with its recruiters to see how many hours of study are required for admission. Requirements vary from agency to agency, and it is your responsibility to know the credit hours needed for the position you are seeking. Also note that not all agencies require that you earn an associate degree; please check requirements of the agency you plan to join.

Related Programs

Check out other programs in law and public safety.

Other Degree and Certificate Options

See a chart of degree plans by college or visit the credit programs home page.

Faculty Profiles

Criminal Justice faculty members and academy administrators have field experience as well as relevant academic degrees, so they can relate to the challenges you’ll face at work. Instructors work with you one-on-one, encouraging you and helping you to succeed in school and on the job.

Transfer Information

Most Criminal Justice awards are designed for direct entry into the workforce. However, the Associate in Arts degree with a field of study in Criminal Justice is designed for transfer to a four-year institution of higher education.

If you are interested in earning a degree at a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Services website for guidance on the transfer process.

Continuing Your Education in Criminal Justice

Continuing your education in criminal justice or criminology can widen your opportunities in the job market and increase your earning potential.

Many four-year Texas public colleges and universities offer higher education degrees in criminal justice, including:

Links to Additional Information

Get more information about the criminal justice field via these links to professional associations, related federal agencies and more.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the Criminal Justice program that aren’t answered on our website, please feel free to contact us.