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Associate of Arts

Program Description

The program examines the scientific study of crime, including the measurement, etiology, consequences, prevention, control and treatment of crime and delinquency. The degree is designed to give students an introduction to the field. Courses focus on the characteristics and causes of crime and deviance and on the origins, nature and consequences of societal reactions to crime and deviance, giving particular attention to the criminal justice system. Basic instruction is also given in sociological theory and research methods.

Career and educational advancement opportunities

The program will prepare students for completing a bachelor's degree. Students must earn a grade of "C" or better in all pre-admission course work and cumulative grade point average of 2.25 for regular admission to the criminology major. The program is particularly appropriate for students wishing to pursue one of the following career options: A) Graduate work in the social sciences with a special emphasis on criminology or criminal justice; B) A career in criminal justice (e.g. law enforcement, corrections or crime prevention), especially in agencies or departments involved in planning and evaluation; and C) A career in law, social work or counseling.


Information about the associate of arts in criminology program is available from Advisement Center at 505.925.8560 or, or the Academic Affairs Office at 505.925.8600.

Course prerequisites

Students must meet prerequisites in English and mathematics by achievement of minimum placement scores on the Accuplacer or ACT or through completion of course work.

Course: ENGL 100 and UNIV 101 or equivalent – or place into ENGL 110 or ENGL 113;

Credit Hours: 4 and 3; ACCUPLACER/ACT Minimum Scores: 166+/19

Course: MATH 101/102 or MATH 120 – or place into MATH 121;

Credit Hours: 3 and 1; ACCUPLACER/ACT Minimum Scores: 104-120 (Elementary Algebra)/22

Degree Requirements

Writing and Speaking (9-10 credits)
ENGL 110 (Accelerated Composition) or 112 (Composition II) or 113 (Enhanced Composition)3 or 3 or 4
ENGL 120 (Composition III)3
Select an additional course from ENGL 219, ENGL 220, CJ 130 or PHIL 156.
Mathematics (3 credits)
STAT 145 (Introduction to Statistics)3
Physical and Natural Sciences (7-8 credits)
Select two courses from the UNM Core Curriculum in Physical and Natural Sciences, one of which must include a lab.
Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits)
Select two courses from the UNM Core Curriculum in Social and Behavioral Sciences (except those required in the Criminology major requirements), such as ANTH, ECON, POL, PSY or SOC.
Humanities (6 credits)
Select two courses from the UNM Core Curriculum in Humanities.
Fine Arts (3 credits)
Select one course from the UNM Core Curriculum in Fine Arts.
Foreign Language (3 credits)
Select one course from the UNM Core Curriculum in Foreign Language. Suggested SPAN 101 or 102.
Core Requirements (12 credits)
SOC 101 (Introduction to Sociology)3
SOC 205 (Crime, Public Policy, and the Criminal Justice System)3
SOC 213 (Deviance)3
SOC 211 (Social Problems) or 216 (The Dynamics of Difference, Power and Discrimination)3
Elective requirements (12 credits)
To articulate with The University of New Mexico, students should choose a minor. Therefore, 8 of the 12 elective hours should be within the same academic field. Students should consult an advisor about choosing a minor that best fits their needs.
Total required (61 credits) Students transferring to UNM-Main and other 4-year institutions should be aware that core curriculum requirements are not necessarily met upon completion.