Criminal Justice Transfer Major

Criminal justice is a diverse and in-demand field. Leaning into law,
sociology, behavioral science and civics, a Criminal Justice Transfer Major provides a solid understand of the study of crime and its effect on our communities. A criminal justice degree offers many professional job opportunities, including correctional officer, police officer, detective, forensic scientist, private investigator, and many more.

Earn your Associate of Arts degree in Criminal Justice before transferring on to a regent university (Iowa State or University of Northern Iowa) to complete your Bachelor of Science degree. Completion of the AA degree at Iowa Lakes will satisfy the required general education prerequisites at the regent of your choosing. Gain knowledge in introductory criminal justice classes such as Juvenile Delinquency and Criminal Law, as well as Sociology and Statistics courses.

By earning this degree, you’ll have met the general course requirements for a specific major of a four-year institution and a transfer major recorded on your transcripts from Iowa Lakes. Requirements may vary among institutions so students should work with an advisor to become familiar with specific requirements of the institution which they plan to transfer.

To earn a Transfer Major Degree, a student must complete all required coursework of that specific major and maintain a 2.0 GPA.

A Criminal Justice Transfer Major provides you with the opportunity to complete two years of your bachelor’s degree at Iowa Lakes. You have a goal … we have the plan. APPLY TODAY

Students who plan to complete their general AA or AS and have a TRANSFER OPTION should contact the college or university to which they plan to transfer to assure that that core courses they take will transfer into their planned major.

Faculty Contact

Christopher Gerstbrein
Professor | Criminal Justice Program Co-Coordinator
712-362-7981 |
Sonja Fagre
Assistant Professor | Criminal Justice Program Co-Coordinator
712-362-7986 |

Program Details


DEGREE: Associate of Arts (64 credits)

CAMPUS: Estherville

Did You Know?

First Year University GPA: 2.63

Average Retention One Year After Transferring to a Regent University: 78%

Average University Graduation Rates Three Years After Entry to a Regent University: 56%


Term 1

Credits: 3

Survey of the American criminal justice system, the early, middle and late stages of the criminal justice system are analyzed within the framework of law and research.

Credits: 3

Juvenile justice system is examined from historical constitutional and operational perspectives. Theories concerning juvenile delin­quency are explored.

Credits: 3

CSC-110 is an introductory course that surveys a variety of topics to include history, hardware, software, terminology, com­munications, computer ethics, and societal impact of computers. In addition to computer literacy, students will complete hands-on modules using operating systems, word processing, database, presentation, and spreadsheet software; such as Microsoft Office programs.

Credits: 3

Emphasis on expository and argumentative writings including a review of usage and mechanics.

Prerequisites: Satisfactory score on the ACT, Accuplacer, ASSET,COMPASS as determined by Iowa Lakes policy

Credits: 3

Review of basic fundamentals of government including federalism, the political process, the presidency, the congress and the judicial system.

Credits: 1

Students master the academic and personal skills needed to suc­ceed in higher education and in life. Content will cover academic, communication and life management skills. Goal setting, time management, note taking, test taking and how to be a lifelong learner will also be covered.

Term 2

Credits: 3

Scientific study of the nature and causes of criminal behavior and social deviance.

Credits: 3

Continuation of ENG 105 with emphasis on research and docu­mentation as well as literary analysis.

Prerequisites: ENG 105 – Composition I

Credits: 3

The fundamentals course develops the basic skills involved in a variety of communication situations, including oral presentations and interpersonal speaking.  Emphasis is placed on organization, audience analysis, vocal and physical delivery, listening, nonverbal communication, critical thinking, and methods of dealing with communication apprehension through class discussion and activities.

Credits: 3

This course examines both the theoretical and practical basis of speech communication, particularly public speaking. Emphasis is placed on speech preparation, organization, support, delivery, and audience analysis.

Credits: 3

Examines how humans communicate in one-on-one situations through personal and professional relationships.

Choose SPC 101, SPC 112 or SPC 122
Humanities: 3 credits
Math: 3 credits

Term 3

Credits: 3

This course examines the elements of criminal law. Including the categories of crime by type, defenses, and individuals involved. The course also includes the historical development of criminal law.

Prerequisites: CRJ 100 – Intro to Criminal Justice

Credits: 4

This course provides a foundation of statistical concepts and pro­cedures that can aid the student as both a consumer and produc­er of statistical information. The course emphasizes descriptive and inferential statistical methods, probability, estimation, hypoth­esis testing and linear regression. Students are also introduced to software as it applies to introductory statistical methods.

Prerequisites: Appropriate placement score or MAT 110, MAT 140, MAT 120, MAT 121, MAT 127 or MAT 210

Credits: 3

A survey course applying basic sociological concepts, theories, and methods to examine society, culture, cultural institutions, cultural diversity, and cultural stability and change.

Term 4

Credits: 3

This course examines the protections afforded to individuals by the US Constitution. Specific areas addressed include initial con­tact with law enforcement and continues through post-conviction relief. Students should gain an understanding of criminal proce­dures through statutory and precedent case review.

Prerequisites: CRJ 100 – Intro to Criminal Justice and CRJ 130 – Criminal Law