Protect Your Community, Lead with Confidence

Law enforcement needs strong leaders. Are you ready to respond to the call? Earn your Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice while continuing to prevent crime, protect others and promote peace. Designed for working professionals, our competency-based program lets you study at your own pace. Our fully-online curriculum is divided into 7-week terms so you can focus on what matters. The courses are self-paced, enabling you to set your own schedule and study when you are able. Whether you’re a police officer or a member of the military, we're putting you first. Discover how you can lead others toward success through our criminal justice program.

See Yourself Succeed With a Degree in Criminal Justice

Learn the Foundation

Develop strategies to promote police trust within your community. You’ll study the historical, philosophical and ethical development of policing and how that affects law enforcement today.

Flexible, personalized pace

Take credit for what you already know. Our competency-based program lets you receive credit for skills developed through work and military experience. You deserve credit. We’re ready to give it to you.

Faculty member instructing class with two class mates wearing sheriff uniform jackets.

Policing the Future

Study cutting-edge developments in law enforcement, like cryptocurrency and the problems it poses for policing. You’ll learn innovative strategies for monitoring an increasingly digitized world.

Excel in your career

Managing a policing organization takes work. We want to make this easier for you. Learn how to improve your team’s effectiveness, resolve conflict and promote wellness within the workplace.

Three professionals walking, smiling, and talking to each other.

Faculty Spotlight

student support

You’re closer to a degree than you think.

Earn credit for what you already know through our competency-based program. Designed specifically for first responders with professional experience, this program allows you to receive course credit based on your work experience and military training. Our fully online curriculum is divided into seven-week terms so you can focus on what matters.

TCOLE or Law Enforcement Training

Earn up to 30 hours of course credit based on your TCOLE or other law enforcement training.

Military Training

Find out how you can receive a Joint Service Transcript for your military experience.


A degree in Criminal Justice–Law Enforcement Leadership emphasis offers you the opportunity to:

  • Advance to management positions within law enforcement
  • Study the federal, state and local judicial system to promote law within your community
  • Identify the needs within the workplace to ensure the overall wellness of your team
  • Learn how to design, establish and fund a crime analysis unit


Advance your career with a degree in criminal justice. Our program prepares you for a wide range of professions at the city, county, state or federal government levels.

Career Possibilities and Current Median Salaries

Police Officers
Detectives and Criminal Investigators
First-line Supervisors of Law Enforcement
First-line Supervisors of Police and Detectives

US DOL Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2018

Alumni Profiles

What You Will Learn

You’ll take a closer look at the legal aspects of law enforcement, criminal analysis and police practices. Investigate the ethical dilemmas surrounding first responders today and how that affects law enforcement decisions. You’ll also learn practical organizational and leadership skills to promote a healthy and productive work environment.

Courses to Prepare You for Your Career

  • Core courses include Criminal Investigation, Police and Law Enforcement, and Correctional Systems.
  • Support courses include Evidence-Based Policing, Homeland Security and Critical Thinking.

Featured Courses

cropped view of policeman typing on laptop keyboard

Course Delivery and Resources

All competency-based courses are self-paced and offered online. Our program includes a “subscription system” with a minimum of two courses required per 7-week term (There are six terms throughout the year). You may add additional courses at any point and complete the courses by the end of the term.

Institute for Competency-Based Education

The College of Innovation and Design at A&M-Commerce is associated with the Institute for Competency-Based Education. Come learn how they can help you!


All competency-based programs in the College of Innovation and Design are offered in two seven-week terms per traditional semester with a break between each term.


SemesterTerm 1BreakTerm 2
SpringJan. 16 – March 1March 4 – 15March 18 – May 3
SummerMay 13 – June 28July 1 – 5July 8 – Aug. 23
FallSept. 3 – Oct. 18Oct. 21 – 25Oct. 28 – Dec. 13

Program Cost

Earning a degree is more affordable than ever. Our competency-based programs offer quality education at an affordable price. These rates include online versions of required course materials.

Residency StatusTuition Per Semester

In-State (TX resident)


Bordering County.
This includes: Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico Arkansas


Neighboring state (aka interior county: Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico and Arkansas

in-state + $30/hour

Out of state (e.g., Florida)


Active Duty Law Enforcement + Scholarship


Employee Scholarship

  • Active Duty Law Enforcement Scholarship is only available to certified Peace Officers in Texas.
  • Tuition exemption limited to state residents
  • Students can only receive ONE exemption (example: you cannot stack senior citizen and active-duty law enforcement exemptions.)

Program Admission

To demonstrate your knowledge, you will submit evidence of a level of competence in reading, writing and mathematics.

You are required to take or be exempt from the Texas Success Initiative assessment prior to enrolling in college; students without assessment scores because of exemptions that are not test or grade based must take a placement test to determine entry level in math and English courses.

TSI Exemptions

  • ACT scores: Composite 23; English 19 or Math 19; no older than five years
  • SAT scores: Composite 1070; Verbal 500 or Math 500; no older than five years
  • TAKS scores: 2200 Math or 2200 English/Language Arts with a three writing subscore
  • Received an associate degree or baccalaureate degree from a Texas public institution.
  • Out-of-State/private institution transfer who has satisfactorily completed college level work with a “C” or better in areas of reading, math and writing.
  • Has met readiness standards at another Texas public higher education institution; “C” or better in developmental course work.
  • Military Service
    • Serving in the active military.
    • Serving as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces for at least three years preceding enrollment.
    • Honorably discharged, retired or released from active duty in the military on or after August 1, 1990. Please provide us with your official DD214 with discharge status in order to apply this exemption.
  • Additionally, you may submit scores from the THEA (Texas Higher Education Assessment), COMPASS or ASSET to satisfy the assessment requirement.

For more information about the assessment requirements, please contact the Testing Center.

Submit or request submission of official transcripts from high school, GED score report including percentile scores and/or each institution you attended.

  • A transcript is considered official only if received directly from the sending institution or, if hand delivered, the transcript must be in a sealed registrar's envelope.
  • Send Transcripts to:
    • Office of Undergraduate Admissions
      Texas A&M University-Commerce
      P.O. Box 3011
      Commerce, Texas 75429-3011
    • For faster delivery, check to see if your previous/current academic institution(s) can submit an electronic version of your transcript to the Admissions Office. We accept SPEEDE and Escrip-Safe electronic transcripts.

We can give you financial aid guidance to help you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • Designate TAMUC as the college to receive your FAFSA information.
  • A&M-Commerce's school code is 003565.

For more information, please contact financial aid advisor, Daniel Sanders at [email protected] or call 903.468.6059.

Program Requirements

To be accepted into this program, you must fulfill these requirements

  • Complete your prior Criminal Justice coursework (30 hours)
    • If you have not yet completed the required criminal justice courses, you can fulfill them through
      • a community college (suggested)
      • A&M-Commerce’s traditional 16-week format
  • Complete CJCB 100: Orientation before you begin coursework.

To earn this degree, you must fulfill these requirements

  • Complete the Criminal Justice Applied Major courses at A&M-Commerce (27 hours)
    • You can only complete these courses at A&M-Commerce.
    • Transfer credits will not be accepted.
    • PLA Portfolio review is not available for these courses.
  • Complete Support Courses (21 hours)
    • You must complete 9 hours at the 300 or 400 level from A&M-Commerce.

What is Competency-Based Education?

What is Competency-Based Education

Competency-Based Education (CBE) posits that learning is best measured by students demonstrating what they know and can do rather than by the number of hours spent in a classroom. CBE is student-driven and self-paced, guided by individualized feedback from an instructor and advisor. CBE is also flexible, and offered fully online, so it works around the busy personal and professional lives of adult learners and working professionals.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How many hours should I take?

Students initially register for six hours (two courses per-term). You have the opportunity to accelerate into another course with the expectation that you will complete the coursework by the end of the term. You may continue to add courses, one at a time, through the 5th Friday of the term.

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What is competency-based education?

Competency-Based Education (CBE) is based on the idea that learning is best measured by students demonstrating what they know and what they can do rather than by the number of hours spent in a classroom.  CBE is student-driven and self-paced, guided by individualized feedback from an instructor and advisor.  CBE is also flexible, offered 100% online, so it works around the busy personal and professional lives of adult learners and working professionals.

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How long are the terms for competency-based programs?

Each term is seven (7) weeks.

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Can I use my employer’s tuition reimbursement program?

The answer is determined on a case-by-case basis. Contact [email protected] to see if you can use your employer’s tuition reimbursement program.

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How much is the tuition for the Criminal Justice (BS) Law Enforcement Leadership Emphasis, Competency-Based Program

Texas-Residents pay a flat rate tuition fee of $750 per seven-week term and $1,500 for non-Texas residents, regardless of how many courses the student enrolls in during the term. Tuition for general education/core curriculum courses and all professional development competencies will also include e-textbooks.

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Can my employees receive credit for prior work experience and/or professional training?

There are several opportunities for students to demonstrate prior learning and earn college credit. Students can receive credit for military service (ACE), professional training, licenses, certifications, and by exam through the College Level Exam Program ® (CLEP).

Please contact [email protected] on questions related to TCOLE, CLEET, POST, and USCBP credits.

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What is the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate in Criminal Justice?

The Texas Affordable Baccalaureate in Criminal Justice–or Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice–is a competency-based online program that is offered year-round in six seven-week terms. It is tailored to certified first responders, military personnel and adult learners with criminal justice or related public service employment experience. The program is designed to provide working adults a more flexible and affordable option for degree completion.

The mission of the undergraduate degree in criminal justice at A&M-Commerce is to teach three components of the criminal justice system: law enforcement, courts and corrections. The program teaches students to think critically about issues related to the criminal justice system while advancing their written and verbal communication skills. The program also promotes the application of theoretical knowledge for addressing social justice issues in the context of the criminal justice system.

This degree program is personalized by faculty and academic coaches who advise and mentor students every step of the way. When students graduate from the program, they are better prepared for employment in a variety of public service agencies.

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Contact Us

  • P.O. Box 3011
  • Commerce, TX 75429-3011

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