Be on the good side of the law, and get on the path to a great career in criminal justice.

Criminal justice is a rewarding career choice, both personally and financially. In fact, the S.C. annual mean wage for police and sheriff patrol officers is $49,490 according to 2022 reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Turn to TCL, and make a living out of being on the right side of the law.

The Program

The Criminal Justice (CRJ) Associate Degree program provides a comprehensive review of the entire criminal justice system including the court system, law enforcement and corrections. TCL’s well-rounded curriculum includes electives in specialty areas such as forensics, juvenile law, and criminalistics.

Technical College of the Lowcountry’s 68-credit-hour associate degree program can be completed in as little as four full-time semesters. Courses include general education, criminology, police administration, ethics, research, report writing, and more.

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  • Quick Facts


    The S.C. annual mean wage for police and sheriff patrol officers is $49,490.


    Learn from faculty experts who have a variety of law enforcement backgrounds.


    Choose to complete this degree 100% online or through in-person classes.


    Technical College of the Lowcountry is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Technical College of the Lowcountry may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org). 


    Tuition: 68 credits x $214 per credit = $14,552.*

    Remember, this is before S.C. Lottery Tuition Assistance and other financial aid, which could drop your costs by more than half. In fact, after financial aid, many TCL students attend for free. See more about paying for TCL.

    *Based on Fall 2022 in-state, in-service-area tuition. Your actual cost may differ. Does not include fees, books and other costs. Qualifications vary; all subject to change.


    The Career & Educational Opportunities

    South Carolina law requires that police officers be at least 21 years of age at the beginning of their career. Security officers may enter the field at 18 years old. The officer must also pass written, psychological and physical examinations; meet height and weight standards; and undergo character and background investigations. Typically, law enforcement agencies in major metropolitan areas require at least an Associate degree.

    Is this program right for you?

    The program is a great fit for those who:

    • Have a desire to give back to the community through public service
    • Have a clean driving record and can pass a background check

    Program Dean

    Karen Smith

    Dean, Business & Industrial Technologies


    Beaufort Mather Campus, Bldg. 14, Rm. 118


    Samuel Akers

    Criminal Justice Instructor/Program Coordinator


    Beaufort Mather Campus, Bldg. 16, Rm. 105