Save by starting your criminal justice degree here at TCL, then transfer for your bachelor’s.

It makes sense to start your education in criminal justice here at the Technical College of the Lowcountry. You’ll save tons of money with TCL’s affordable tuition while still receiving an excellent educational experience.

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 get started on the path to a rewarding career in criminal justice.

The Program

The Criminal Justice (CRJ) University Transfer Degree Pathway 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.

The 66-credit-hour 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.


    The 66-credit-hour associate degree program can be completed in as little as four full-time semesters.


    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 ( 


    Tuition: 66 credits x $214 per credit = $14,124.*

    Remember, this is before S.C. Lottery Tuition Assistance and other financial aid, which could drop your costs by nearly 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.

    Tuition Comparison


    Important Additional Requirements

    Students, with advice and consent of advisor, must complete 5 transfer courses. Selected courses must be in compliance with courses identified in the South Carolina Transfer or Articulation Center (SCTRAC) and individual schools articulation agreements. Students planning to transfer to the Citadel may also select from BIO-112 and BTN-103 in addition to the sciences listed on the transfer list.

    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