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Police Science Certificate and Degree

Are you a certified law enforcement officer who wants to climb the ranks? Set yourself apart from your colleagues when applying for promotions with a certificate in Police Science or an Associate of Arts in Police Science from San Juan College. 

Why Earn a Police Science Certificate or AA in Police Science?

Specialty positions in law enforcement are competitive. A police science degree can open doors for advancement from patrol officer to detective, school resource officer, and more. A degree will also set you apart when assessing for supervisor positions. Some departments require a degree to promote, and many departments offer additional pay for post-secondary education for associate degrees and above.

Why Earn a Police Science Certificate or AA in Police Science from San Juan College?

Earn Your Degree in Less Time Through Our Partnership with the Local Police Academy

San Juan College has a partnership with the local police academy hosted by the San Juan County Criminal Justice Training Authority (SJCCJTA). Graduates of the SJCCJTA will earn a Police Science Certificate from SJC and credits can be applied toward an Associate of Arts in Police Science at SJC.

Contact an academic advisor for more information.

SJC has Flexible Learning Options

We know law enforcement officers have busy work schedules. San Juan College offers various flexible learning options, including online and hybrid classes, so you can complete your coursework at a time and place that works with your schedule.

SJC is an Affordable Option

SJC offers low tuition rates. Whether you’re working towards your Police Science Certificate or AA in Police Science, you’ll receive a high-quality education at a low cost. You may even qualify for free tuition through the NM Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships.


What You’ll Learn in the Police Science Program

The Police Science Program provides students with basic policing concepts, theories, and practices. Some of the courses encompass a portion of the police officer training standards mandated by the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy. Because this program is designed for those already working as law enforcement officers, some of the courses will be a refresher from the police academy. 


In the Police Sciences Certificate courses you’ll study:

  • Criminal justice
  • Report writing
  • Personal fitness
  • Patrol communications and investigations
  • Self-defense for law enforcement
  • Law
  • Arrests
  • Traffic
  • Basic firearms
  • Standard first aid, CPR, emergency childbirth, and handling injured persons
  • Emergency vehicle operation

Police Science Certificate Curriculum

In the Associate of Applied Arts in Police Science courses you’ll study:

  • The above core police science courses
  • General Education
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Lab Science
    • Social/Behavioral Science
    • Humanities
    • Fine Arts

Associate of Applied Arts in Police Science curriculum

Transfer Options for Graduates of the Police Science Program

Credits earned in the Police Science Certificate can be applied toward the Associate of Arts in Police Science at San Juan College.

Graduates of the AA in Police Science may transfer to a four-year college to pursue their Bachelor of Applied Science Degree. Some of our students have continued their education with our partnering universities:

  • New Mexico Highlands University
  • University of New Mexico

Steps to Transfer

Careers and Outcomes

Law enforcement is an exciting and rewarding career where you get to make a difference every day in your community. Many departments have specialty divisions such as detectives, K9s, school resource officers, community policing, SWAT, bombs, and more.

Opportunities for advancement open as officers rise through the ranks and senior officers retire. If you aspire to be a leader in policing, earning a degree can improve your chances of promoting and increase your salary.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for police officers in 2021 was $66,020 per year, which is about $31.74 per hour (nationally).

Salary.com reports median annual salaries for police sergeants in 2023 as $81,617 and police lieutenants as $103,235 (nationally).

Many police departments offer additional pay for line-level officers with post-secondary degrees. Benefits can also include uniform allowances, medical and health insurance, tuition reimbursement, and a pension. Most law enforcement officers have the option of retiring younger than the typical retirement age.

Next Steps

To enroll in the Police Science Certificate Program or AA in Police Science, you must first apply to San Juan College. To be accepted into the Police Science Program, you must already be a sworn law enforcement officer by a local agency.

Apply Now

If you’re looking to enter the exciting world of policing, please reach out to the law enforcement agency you’re interested in joining. Every department has their own recruiting division. For more information about law enforcement agencies here in San Juan County, click on the links below. 

Aztec Police Department

Bloomfield Police Department

Farmington Police Department

San Juan County Sheriff’s Office

If you’re a sworn law enforcement officer and already a student at San Juan College, talk to your advisor about our Police Science Program. You can also discuss your transfer options. 

Find Your Advisor


Phone: (505) 566-3320
West Classroom Complex, Room 1911
M-F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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