Diploma in Criminal and Social Justice

Campus Vernon (Jan, Sep), Penticton (Jan, Sep)
Delivery Part-Time, Full-Time
Credential Diploma

This program is student loan eligible.

Please note, this diploma can only be completed in full at the Penticton campus. Criminology courses are offered at the Penticton and Vernon campuses and second year courses are only offered at the Penticton campus.

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Female student sitting in the Aboriginal gathering place in Penticton

Program Highlights

Gain a practical understanding of criminal and social justice issues in Canada and the world. Improve your analytical reasoning, critical thinking, communication skills, and information retrieval to prepare you for your future profession.

Tuition and Fees

2021-22: $4,664.26

  • Fees listed are for first year (two semesters) for a typical, full-time student taking 5 courses per semester. Depending on the courses selected fees may vary. 
  • Fees include all mandatory fees: Activity fee, Health & Dental, Student Association fee, Education Technology fee, Development fee.
  • All amounts are approximate and are subject to change.
  • International students will pay International tuition fees

Program Details

The Criminal and Social Justice program, based at Okanagan College's Penticton campus, will provide students with an Arts-based criminal and social justice education. It is a two-year, four-semester program in which students will take a variety of criminal and social justice related courses in Sociology, Psychology, Political Science and Criminology, as well as elective Arts courses of personal interest. Some fields of inquiry may include Indigenous studies, gender studies, race and ethnicity, globalization and poverty.

Students will graduate from this two-year program with a Diploma in Criminal and Social Justice and transfer into degree opportunities at other institutions in British Columbia and elsewhere, or they can move directly into the workforce, as there is growing labour demand in the field of criminal and social justice.

Students exit the program with a solid, practical understanding of criminal and social justice issues in Canada and the world, as well as the academic skills of analytical reasoning, critical thinking, communication, and information retrieval that will be applied to their future profession and academic pursuits.

The Diploma in Criminal and Social Justice is an excellent starting point for further study in Criminology, Sociology, and Psychology. Key points of transfer for graduates are:

  • Simon Fraser University, Bachelor of Arts, Criminology

  • Justice Institute of B.C., Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies

  • Royal Roads University, Bachelor of Arts, Justice Studies

This program is intended primarily to provide students with the education necessary for further study. After transfer and additional study, career options include:

  • Corrections Officer

  • Community and Probation Control Officer

  • Forensic Psychologist

  • Victim’s Assistance Worker

  • Youth Advocate

  • Police Officer


Admission Requirements

Regular Applicants: A regular applicant will be a secondary graduate or a secondary school student, or its equivalent, who has or who will complete the requirements for senior secondary graduation, or its equivalent, not less than one month prior to commencement of classes for the semester to which admission is sought - either fall or winter. The following minimum entrance requirements will apply to regular applicants:

  • B.C. secondary school graduation, or equivalent.

  • English 12 with minimum 60% or alternatives.

Students with a passing grade of less than 60% in English 12, English 12 First Peoples or TPC 12 will be admissible to the first year of the program, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Registration is restricted to courses for which the student satisfies the prerequisites. Registration in first-year English courses is, therefore, prohibited.

  2. Successful completion of the English entrance requirements within the first year of studies. This may be done in one of the following ways:

    • Successful completion of English 12, English 12 First Peoples or TPC 12 or an equivalent course with a minimum grade of 60%. This may be done concurrently through the College's Adult Basic Education Program or by completing an equivalent course through a distance education program.

    • Writing the LPI and obtaining a score of at least 24/40 (level 4).

      The LPI Test is no longer being offered after July 31, 2020. Okanagan College will continue to accept LPI Test results for two years from the date an applicant tested. Approved alternatives are available. Please consult academic entrance requirements.

Mature Applicants: A mature applicant will be at least 19 years of age and will not have attended secondary school on a full-time basis for a minimum period of one year.

Secondary graduation is waived for mature applicants. The English entrance requirements, as stated above, must be satisfied prior to admission. Admission may be granted on the condition that the entrance requirements will be completed prior to the commencement of classes for the semester to which admission is sought - either fall or winter.


Program Outline

Year One
Semester I
PSYC 111 Introduction to Psychology: Basic Processes
SOCI 111 Introduction to Sociology I
ENGL 100 University Writing
CRIM 111 Introduction to Criminology
POLI 101 Introduction to Politics
Semester II
PSYC 121 Introduction to Psychology: Personal Functioning
SOCI 121 Introduction to Sociology II
CRIM 121 Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
GSWS 100 Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Electives (3 credits)
Year Two
Semester III
CRIM 235 Canadian Law and Legal Institutions
CRIM 260 Social Science Research Methods
SOCI 270 Deviance and Social Control
One of:
CRIM 240 Applied Ethics for Criminal and Social Justice Professions
PHIL 250 Applied Ethics for Criminal and Social Justice Professions
And one of:
PSYC 250 Interpersonal Relations
PSYC 231 Drugs and Behaviour
PSYC 242 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 255 Introduction to Psychology and Law
PSYC 230 The Biopsychology of Behaviour
SOCI 250 Crime and Society
Semester IV
CRIM 210 Law, Youth and Young Offenders
CRIM 230 Criminal Law
CRIM 203 Psychological Perspectives on Crime and Deviance
And one of:
SOCI 271 Statistical Analysis in Sociology I
PSYC 270 Statistics and Data Analysis
Electives (3 credits)

The Diploma in Criminal and Social Justice may be granted upon the successful completion of 60 credit hours of Okanagan College courses as outlined in the program outline below.



Additional Information

View the official Calendar details and policies
Learn more about the Department
View the Tuition and Fees page




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