Criminal Justice Technology

You’re likely suited for a criminal justice degree if you are interested in the court system, laws, police work, criminology, criminal rehabilitation, and investigations. You are detail-oriented, great at decision-making, and understand the importance of approaching work with patience and integrity. Enroll in the Criminal Justice program at Central Piedmont for the opportunity to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice, along with a choice among several specialized certificates. With online options, you will get to personalize your criminal justice training.

What You Will Learn

The criminal justice technology program integrates studies on local, state, and federal court systems and operations. You will become well-versed in North Carolina laws, including legalities, duties, and proper communication methods for law enforcement. You will examine criminal behavior, juvenile justice approaches, corrections, community relations, ethics, loss prevention, security management, and homeland security. The program also includes the philosophy and history of the criminal justice system. Upon completion of the program, you will be able to:

  • explain the criminal justice system and how it functions. Included in this is the setting of system goals and how political and socioeconomic influences affect the system. You will also be able to explain the capabilities and limitations of each element and how those various elements interact to accomplish the mission of the criminal justice system
  • discuss the sources of law, and the philosophy, theories, and principles of the laws that regulate and guide the criminal justice system and its primary actors in situations those actors could reasonably expect to encounter, such as investigations, detentions, custodial arrests, search and seizure, ethical dilemmas, and use of force (both deadly and non-deadly)
  • list, describe, and evaluate the nature, extent, causation, and prevention of crime, including the ability to apply and critique the major theories relevant to those causes
  • explain the role of criminal law in the regulation of crime, human conduct, and the maintenance of modern society
  • conduct a basic investigation. This includes assessing and determining the crime and conducting the preliminary investigation in accordance with applicable laws and professional best practices. You will be able to apply knowledge of legal concepts (including state statutes and constitutional precedents), evidence requirements and procedures and investigative techniques in practical ways to successfully and legally investigate a crime

Upon program completion, you will be knowledgeable and confident and qualified for careers as a local or state police officer, detective and investigative fieldworker, correctional officer, bailiff, and special agent — among many other options

Apply now

Why Choose Central Piedmont

Central Piedmont’s Claudia Watkins Belk Center for Justice holds a mock crime scene facility, which allows you to practice crime response in real-time. The center is named after one of Charlotte’s most prestigious and prominent citizens. Through cooperative education (co-op) at Central Piedmont, you will earn credits as you apply classroom theories and best practices directly into related workplaces; these experiences — especially in the greater Charlotte region — prepare you for career opportunities. 

Students who have already completed their Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) may be eligible to receive up to 24 credits towards their associate degree in criminal justice. If you plan to seek a four-year degree, our UNC Charlotte criminal justice transfer certificate ensures a seamless transition from Central Piedmont to UNC Charlotte.

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

Central Piedmont single focus is student success. It’s not only provided me with a number of opportunities to grow, but it’s also equipped me with the tools I’ll need to pursue my future career in criminal justice. Jonathan Garcia '19 Read Jonathan's story

Criminal Justice Careers and Average Salaries

The criminal justice technology program will prepare you for careers as a local or state police officer, detective and investigative fieldworker, correctional officer, bailiff, and special agent — among many other options. Visit Central Piedmont’s Career Coach for detailed criminal justice technology career opportunities, salary information, and job openings.

Career Coach

The Details

  • Program Options

    Choose from an Associate in Applied Science in criminal justice as well as several criminal justice technology certificates. Completed criminal justice technology certificates may be applied towards the associate degree. The college catalog lists the criminal justice technology program options, courses, eligibility, and requirements currently available at Central Piedmont.

    If you would like information on opportunities to transfer associate degree credit to a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Resource Center.

    Transfer Credit

    Students wishing to continue with their education beyond Central Piedmont have a variety of educational options. In the Charlotte, NC area, several universities offer bachelor's and master's degrees in criminal justice and related fields. Students who have earned an associate degree from Central Piedmont can receive credit for courses taken here. Students should be aware that not all course work may transfer. While not set up as a transfer degree, the Associate in Applied Science in criminal justice technology may be used as a foundation to transfer to a four-year institution. However, many four-year institutions require a broader liberal arts/general education background than Central Piedmont’s associate degree requires. For students who enter the program after 2010, some humanities, behavioral and physical sciences, and language courses can be used to fulfill program electives. In general, if you wish to attempt to transfer a Central Piedmont Associate in Applied Science in criminal justice to a four-year institution you should ensure your coursework includes the following:

    • six credit hours (two courses) of mathematics

      • one course should be in introductory mathematics (college algebra, trigonometry, calculus, etc.)
      • one course should satisfy a statistics requirement (MAT 155: Statistical Analysis is recommended)
    • at least one laboratory science course (BIO 111: General Biology is recommended)
    • at least four credit hours of a foreign language (SPA 111: Elementary Spanish is recommended)
      • take an additional four hours (SPA 112) if possible
    • at least nine credit hours of social/behavioral sciences electives (POL 120: American Government, PSY 150: General Psychology, and SOC 210: Introduction to Sociology are recommended)
    • additional courses from art, drama, dance, interdisciplinary humanities, literature, music, philosophy, and religion

    Always contact the institution to which you intend to transfer to determine which credits, if any, from the Central Piedmont Associate in Applied Science in criminal justice may transfer.

    Visiting Students

    If you wish to transfer criminal justice technology course credit back to your home institution, explore how to enroll at Central Piedmont as a visiting student.

    Continuing Education

    Central Piedmont's continuing education provides non-degree courses and programs, including job skills, industry-focused career training, certificates, certifications, professional licensure, and personal enrichment. Day, evening, weekend, and online opportunities are available.

    College and Career Readiness

    If you are looking for programs to gain the knowledge or skills necessary to finish a high school degree or to get a job, visit Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness.

    College Credit for High School Students

    Visit Career and College Promise to learn about opportunities for high school students to earn college credit at Central Piedmont.

  • Criminal Justice Technology Program Requirements and Suggested Course Sequence

    For detailed information on criminal justice technology program options, courses, eligibility, and requirements, please visit the Central Piedmont Community College catalog.

    Basic Law Enforcement Training Coursework Credit

    Students who have successfully completed a Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) course accredited by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission may be eligible to receive up to 24 hours of credit toward the criminal justice associate degree. If you have completed a BLET course and are currently enrolled in the criminal justice technology program, you should submit a copy of your BLET certificate to the criminal justice technology department to determine if you may receive credit for the following courses:

    • CJC 120 Interview & Interrogations
    • CJC 121 Law Enforcement Operations
    • CJC 122 Community Policing
    • CJC 131 Criminal Law
    • CJC 132 Court Procedure & Evidence
    • CJC 221 Investigative Principles
    • CJC 231 Constitutional Law
    • CJC 232 Civil Liability

    Criminal Justice Technology Work-Based Learning

    As part of the criminal justice technology associate degree, you will be required to complete a work-based learning course (formerly co-op). In the work-based learning course, you will gain class credit and practical work experience in the criminal justice field. You will be supported by a faculty coordinator (one of the program’s full time faculty) and mentored by an on-the-job supervisor at the employer.

    Criminal justice work-based learning positions may be paid or unpaid positions with local police, loss prevention organizations, and security organizations. Available positions vary from semester to semester. You may also be able to arrange work-based learning positions on your own, but you should work with their faculty advisor to ensure the position will fulfill the work-based learning course requirements.

    Work-Based Learning Eligibility Requirements

    You will normally take the work-based learning course when you are nearing completion of the program, typically in the final semester before graduation. In order to take the criminal justice work-based learning course, you must meet the work-based learning course requirements outlined in the course catalog. You must also receive written approval to register for the Work-Based Learning (WBL) course from both the criminal justice and the work-based learning departments. Please note that approval to take the work-based learning is not guaranteed even if you meet the eligibility requirements. The final approval to take the work-based learning course is at the discretion of the criminal justice faculty and the work-based learning department.

    You may be able to use current employment to fulfill work-based learning requirements, but you would be required to complete additional training and responsibilities. You cannot receive work-based learning credit for duties that are already part of the your job description.

    Work-Based Learning Registration Procedure

    1. Confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements to take the work-based learning course by contacting the criminal justice technology work-based learning coordinator, Jeri Guido (, or your faculty advisor.
    2. Complete the work-based learning course application. The application must be approved by the criminal justice technology work-based learning coordinator or your faculty advisor.
    3. Update your résumé.
    4. Once your work-based learning course application is approved, contact Eric Price ( of the Workplace Learning Department to apply for a position.

    You can learn more about work-based learning at Central Piedmont by visiting the Work-Based Learning website, by contacting your advisor, or by contacting Eric Price at

  • Locations and Course Delivery Methods

    Classes for the criminal justice technology program are delivered in several ways:

    • In-person classes and labs are held on the Merancas campus.
    • combined (classroom/lab and online)
    • Online

    Courses available and their schedules can change each semester. Check the criminal justice technology program options, courses, eligibility, and requirements each semester.

  • Career Coach

  • Costs and Aid

    Central Piedmont provides real-world, affordable, hands-on education and career training. Learn how much it costs to attend Central Piedmont. Financial aid and scholarships are available.

  • Related Programs

  • Admitted Students: Find Your Advisor

    If you are currently enrolled and taking classes, log in to Watermark or download the Watermark Student App to find your assigned academic advisor.

    If you do not have an advisor, you can: