Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice

Justice Careers Start Here

Examine issues relating to crime, law, and justice. You’ll learn to analyze situations and events in a logical way, organize the parts of a problem effectively, appreciate diversity, work with a wide cross-section of the community, and believe in your abilities and judgment – all while recognizing your personal limitations and developmental needs.

Go straight into the workforce to begin your career in this exciting field after graduation, or if you're interested in transferring to a four-year college or university to continue your studies, take a look at our Liberal Arts degree in Criminal Justice.

How to ApplyProgram Details

Kirkwood offers more than $3 million in scholarships for students each year, and there are many specifically for students enrolled in the Criminal Justice program.

Graduates of the Criminal Justice program will be able to:

  • Develop a working vocabulary of criminal justice terminology.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of the methods used in criminal justice research, including sources and data.
  • Identify career opportunities in the field of criminal justice.
  • Describe the components of the American criminal justice system, their functions, and their organization.
  • Relate the structure and function of the American criminal justice system to contemporary society (e.g. Democratic values).
  • Construct and evaluate strategies to address ethical/moral challenges faced by criminal justice practitioners.

It is highly recommended that students earn an Associate of Arts degree and transfer to a four-year institution.

Students typically transfer to Mt. Mercy University, the University of Northern Iowa, Central Missouri State, Upper Iowa University, St. Ambrose University, Simpson College, Iowa State University and Iowa Wesleyan, and pursue bachelors degrees in Criminal Justice, Criminology or Crime Analysis.

Explore future career opportunities:

Career Coach

Program Costs

Criminal Justice 

School Year: 2023–24

Program Entry Semester: Fall, Spring

Fall Spring Fall Spring Total
Credit Hours per Semester 16 16 18 15 65
In-State Tuition $3,360 $3,360 $3,780 $3,150 $13,650
Technology Fee per Semester $50 $50 $50 $50 $200
Clinical Expenses (mileage, lodging, screenings, etc.) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Conferences/Seminars $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Course Resources (textbooks, software, etc.) $245 $350 $425 $340 $1,360
Course/Section Fees $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Laptop (required devices) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Testing Fees $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Third Party Credentials $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Tool Sets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Uniforms $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Other $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total Estimated Cost $3,655 $3,760 $4,255 $3,540 $15,210


Costs provided are estimated and based on the following current tuition rates: $210 (In-State), $281 (Out-of-State), $400 (International).

What career could this lead to?

Graduates with a Criminal Justice degree can obtain jobs in a variety of different career opportunities.
Explore Careers

Meet Our Faculty


Andrea Wilson
Title: Faculty
Phone: 319-398-5534
Office: 1033 Cedar Hall

Adjunct Faculty

Mike Penrod
George O'Donnell

Mission Statement

The Criminal Justice discipline of Kirkwood Community College is committed to providing students with a quality liberal arts education. Students will gain an appreciation of their role as criminal justice professionals and as contributing members of society.

As a public institution, Kirkwood Community College is committed to public service and to meeting the needs of our educational service area, as well as to the needs of the State of Iowa.

The Associate of Arts core curriculum provides the foundation for competencies necessary to succeed in the criminal justice profession and in society.

Photo of Sydney Adamson

“I came here from Illinois with two friends from my hometown — one lives with me and the other isn’t far away either. We take a lot of the same classes, so it’s nice to study together. All the classrooms and study spaces on campus seem so nice and new compared to some of the other schools we looked at.”

Sydney Adamson,
Milan, Illinois


Social Sciences Department
2092 Cedar Hall