Skip to main content

Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences

Public officer, next to a police vehicle.

Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Criminal Justice

The Program

US News: Best Online Program in Criminal Justice

The Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) degree in Criminal Justice is designed for persons who enter the institution with a completed Associate of AppliedSciences (AAS) degree in a field of study that is closely related to criminal justice, and students who enter UHD having completed the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement’s (TCOLE) Basic Peace Officer Certification (BPOC). Additional technical hours (Military Credits, for instance) may be accepted as technical credit only if a student has completed the AAS in a discipline of study related to criminal justice and/or the BPOC.

Graduates who earn a BAAS in Criminal Justice will be able to:


  • Critically analyze crime and justice issues.
  • Apply criminological and justice system theories to the study of crime and justice.
  • Communicate effectively about criminal justice topics.
  • Analyze criminal justice ethical dilemmas and develop sound courses of action.

Application Process:


Application is a three-step process:

  1.    Applications are completed through ApplyTexas;
  2.    Required documentation is submitted to the Office of Admissions.
  3.    Once UHD makes an admissions decision, UHD will contact students via email concerning advising, orientation, etc

Admission Requirements:

Only students who have completed an AAS degree in a discipline related to criminal justice at a community or junior college or have completed BPOC certification may declare this degree. Declaration as a BAAS CJ major requires the following:

  • Continuing students at UHD must have a UHD GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  • Students transferring to UHD must have a transfer GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Freshmen who meet the Freshman Admissions criteria will be declared upon admission to the university.

Degree Requirements:



The BAAS CJ degree requires a minimum of 120 hours. At least 25% of the semester credit hours must be earned through instruction offered by UHD. At least 18 hours must reflect approved upper-level courses. 30 semester credit hours must be taken at UHD. The degree requires a minimum of 24 upper-level criminal justice hours earned at UHD. An overall minimum grade point average of 2.0 at UHD is required for graduation, and a minimum average of 2.0 must be maintained in the upper-level hours in the major.

For a complete and updated overview of the BAAS CJ degree requirements, please refer to the current Catalog Degree Description.

For students who seek to complete the degree requirements in four years, this Four Year Degree Plan maps a path forward.

BAAS Technical Course Requirements (36 hours)

Students who have earned a CJ-related AAS degree will be awarded 36 hours of transfer credit for this area. If the AAS does not apply and credit is awarded from other technical areas, then the 36-hour block is fulfilled by both the technical credit and any college level credit. Students who have earned a BPOC from a TCOLE approved peace officer academy will be awarded 24 hours of transfer credit for this area. Texas Peace Officers who have achieved additional levels of certification beyond the BPOC will also be awarded academic credit for the certifications: 4 additional credit hours for Intermediate Certification, 4 additional credit hours for Advanced Certification, and 4 additional credit hours for Masters Certification. The maximum allowable credit for Texas law enforcement certifications is 36 hours.

Advantage of the BAAS-CJ Compared to the BSCJ

Law enforcement officers and students entering UHD with a completed AAS degree in a criminal justice-related area can enroll in either the BSCJ or BASS-CJ degree plans. All other students interested in Criminal Justice must choose the BSCJ degree. 

The BAAS-CJ degree option is a more time-efficient degree plan for students with a completed CJ-related AAS degree or those who have completed their BPOC because of the technical hours a student may count toward the degree. Prospective students who have not completed a CJ-related AAS or the BPOC and those who want to pursue a law degree or graduate school should pursue the BSCJ degree.


Today's criminal justice challenges are diverse, complicated issues that require educated and unique resolutions. Potential employers are as varied as the issues and include governmental agencies on a local, state and national level, law enforcement, law, corrections, victim services, academia, nonprofit and for-profit organizations. For more information about careers in criminal justice, please contact Dr. Gilmore, Director of Criminal Justice Career Services. 

Field Experience/Internships

At UHD, the Criminal Justice Program designed its field experiences (also known as internships) to help students gain experience within a criminal justice agency while incorporating that experience with academic training. By enrolling in the Field Experience courses, students can gain course credit while working with an approved criminal justice agency. Students and field placements must be approved prior to students enrolling in the Field Experience course.

For more information about enrolling in the CJ Field Experience course, please contact Dr. Gilmore, Director of Criminal Justice Field Experience and Career Services. 

Criminal Justice Advising

A Criminal Justice student gets advised in the Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work Suite C-440 when the student meets one of the following criteria:
  • a transfer student with 45 hours or more of credit toward the degree plan who seeks advising for the second semester (including summer) and onward; or 
  • a student who started his/her academic career at UHD and who has earned 45 credit hours or more toward the degree.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the College of Public Service Advising Center at 713-221-8906.