About This Program

The Criminal Justice program prepares students for a career in such areas as law enforcement, corrections, probation/parole, homeland security, loss prevention, and electronic crime investigation. The program allows students to choose either an AA or AS degree. All students must complete the basic Criminal Justice requirements, then select other Criminal Justice classes in areas of primary interest. Classes are held on the Ankeny Campus. Selected courses in this program are offered at other campuses. Students may start this program any term.

To earn a Criminal Justice AA or AS degree, a student must complete the standard core requirements for the degree plus the Criminal Justice required courses and options and maintain a 2.0 grade point average.

Skills and Abilities Needed

  • Ability to get along with people
  • Possess maturity and emotional stability
  • Be in good physical health including sight and hearing
  • Self discipline to work with situations which may contradict your personal values
  • Ability to deal with emergencies
  • Function well under stress
  • Ability to function effectively in a political environment
  • Possess strong writing skills


The Criminal Justice Program's mission is to meet the needs of the citizens of the State of Iowa and their criminal justice agencies. This is accomplished by:

  1. Providing students with a broad-based liberal arts education to help prepare them for the rigors of the criminal justice profession.
  2. Preparing students for entry level positions in various criminal justice professions including law enforcement, corrections (including probation and parole), homeland security, electronic crime investigation and private security/loss prevention.
  3. Helping to establish partnerships between DMACC and area federal, state, county and municipal criminal justice agencies.
  4. Providing a foundation for AA or AAS degree students to continue their education at 4-year academic institutions.
  5. Enhancing knowledge about the criminal justice field.

Program Entry Requirements

  • Complete an application for admission
  • Satisfy the assessment requirement
  • Attend any required information/registration session

Students may start fall semester, spring semester or summer term.

Campus Locations

While the program is based on the DMACC Ankeny Campus, selected courses are offered at the five other DMACC campuses, as well as the DMACC Ames Center the DMACC Southridge Center in Des Moines and online.


Watch current videos about the Criminal Justice Program including classes, alumni, and professors.


Virtual Tour

Digital Forensics Lab



Criminal Justice Classroom


​Employment in the criminal justice field is highly dependent upon one's character and background. Students who have a criminal history may complete the program of study, but it is NOT likely that they will find employment in the criminal justice field, and students with a criminal history may NOT be eligible for an internship, which is required for the AAS degree.