Criminal Justice Colleges

Criminal Justice Schools prepare students for careers in Law Enforcement. For instance, a degree in this subject can help you work as a Police Officer, a Forensic Science Technician, a Postsecondary Criminal Justice Teacher and so on.

What Can I Do with a Criminal Justice Degree?

As mentioned above, the scope of this degree is vast and thus the job requirements vary based on the career you choose. For details on a specific job, you may consult the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Top Criminal Justice Schools in the US

According the US News, following Schools are listed among the top institutions for this degree.

University of Maryland-Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice

According to the US News, the University of Maryland is considered to be the best in the US. It offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice. It has a master’s program that prepares students to work in a law enforcement agency or at a research institute. This department also offers a PhD program which prepares students for employment at a university or a research center.

University of Albany-School of Criminal Justice

The University of Albany is ranked as the second best for Criminal Justice degrees in the US according to the US News. It also offers 3 levels of degrees in this subject such as,

  • Criminal Justice BA & Criminal Justice BA+MA (option)
  • Criminal Justice MA, Criminal Justice MA+JD (option) & Criminal Justice/Social Work MA
  • Criminal Justice PhD

What Can I Do after Completing a Degree in Criminal Justice?

After graduating from a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, you may get employed in various entry-level positions. For instance, you may work as a law enforcement officer or as a Forensic Scientist etc. However, most careers require at least a master’s degree, especially if you are interested in a teaching career. Apart from a master’s degree, law enforcement careers have additional requirements such as attending a police academy. Check the detailed requirements for your desired job with respective official authorities.

Police and Detectives-Detectives and Criminal Investigators

Police and detectives are trained criminal investigators who carry out investigations against people who violate federal, local or state laws to commit crimes.

Annual Median Salary, 2019

$83,170

Job Outlook, 2018-2028

5%

Annual Mean Salary, 2019

$86,030

State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019

Texas

16,810

State with the Highest Salary, 2019

Alaska

$113,420

Forensic Science Technicians

Forensic Scientists are tasked with collection, identification, classification and analysis of all evidence gathered from a crime scene. They help police and detectives in carrying out investigations. Their areas of specializations may vary. For instance, they may specialize in fingerprints, handwriting analysis and ballistics and so on.

Annual Median Salary, 2019

$59,150

Job Outlook, 2018-2028

14%

Annual Mean Salary, 2019

$63,170

State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019

California

2,150

State with the Highest Salary, 2019

California

$87,200

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

How to Choose a Criminal Justice School?

While choosing a school for Criminal Justice, consider its reputation, fee structure, mode of delivery (on-campus/online/both), accreditations, diversity of faculty, campus life and so on. The curriculum, admission and graduation requirements along with the duration of a degree also matter. For instance, the students of a 4-year bachelor’s degree in Criminology, Law & Society offered at the University of California, Irvine must complete 180 credit hours to graduate.

Criminal Justice Degree Coursework

Just like all other specifications, the course curriculum of each degree also varies according to degree level and school. For instance, the curriculum of 4-year bachelor’s degree in Criminology, Law & Society offered at the University of California, Irvine includes courses like:

  • Introduction to Criminology, Law & Society
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Criminological Theory
  • American Law and so on.

Criminal Justice School Admission Requirements

As mentioned before, each university is unique and has its own system. Generally, universities in the US require online applications. However, other application requirements vary. For example, if you want to apply for the online Master of Criminology, Law and Society offered at the University of California, Irvine you must complete the following:

  • Online application
  • Pay application fee
  • Submit all previous transcripts
  • Submit a writing sample
  • Letters of recommendation

For complete details, visit the official website of your desired university.

How Long Does It Take to Graduate from a Criminal Justice College?

A number of colleges like the Northwestern Michigan College, Jackson College and Portland Community College, are offering Criminal Justice degrees. Students can opt for an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) in Criminal Justice which will take 2 years to complete. They can also go for a Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Criminal Justice which will be completed in 4 years. These degrees help students understand the structure and history of the criminal justice system and the theories of crime causation.

What Are the Requirements to Graduate from a Criminal Justice College?

In order to obtain an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Criminal Justice, students have to complete a minimum of 60 to 90 credits and have to obtain a minimum grade of 2.0 in every course. They also have to maintain a minimum CGPA of 2.0. The coursework is composed of a variety of modules such as Sociology, Social Institutions, Constitutional Law, Criminal Justice, Deviance and Violence and Introduction to Psychological Profiling. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Criminal Justice have to complete around 120 credits.

How Much Can I Earn after Graduating from a Criminal Justice College?

After graduating from a Criminal Justice College, students can find employment as Detectives at private security firms and law enforcement agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The annual median income of Police and Detectives was $63,380 in 2018. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated a positive employment growth of 5 percent in this field from 2018 to 2028.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What undergraduate degree is best for getting into criminal justice schools?

A:There are no specific undergraduate major requirements to get accepted by criminal justice schools. If you are planning to enroll in a graduate-level criminal justice program, you will have to meet the admission criteria of the school which can vary from place to place. These requirements may include: letters of recommendation, minimum GPA, and a bachelor degree transcript.

Q:What gpa do you need to get into criminal justices school?

A:The CGPA requirements may vary from school to school. Having a GPA of 3.0 or above can help improve your chances of being accepted by many schools. Some schools also accept applicants who have a GPA of 2.5 or lower. You can check with prospective schools to learn more about the admission criteria and requirements.

Q:What prerequisites do i need for criminal justice school?

A:There are no specific prerequisite courses you need for criminal justice schools. You will have to meet the admission requirements set by the school. Typically, these requirements include: college or high school degree transcripts, minimum GPA score, and letters of recommendation. You can get more information about the admission requirements by contacting the selected criminal justice school.

Q:What to do after criminal justice school?

A:With a degree in criminal justice, you can explore a variety of career options. You can consider joining the police department, court systems, homeland security department, border patrol, corrections and probations department, and more. Your degree-level, skill set, and area of specialization will influence your job opportunities and income potential.

Q:What are the prerequisites for criminal justice school?

A:The prerequisites for criminal justice school would vary from university to university. Depending on the university's particular criteria, you might be required to complete courses in a few subjects before you apply for admission. These would be courses in psychology, political science, sociology, public administration, economics, philosophy and history.

Q:How to enroll in a criminal justics school online?

A:The first thing you need to do is to look for a criminal justice program that suits your requirements. This would include finding a program in the location you want it, according to the fee structure you are looking for, and in accordance with whatever your prior educational level is. Once you have located the college you want to go to, it is simply a process of logging on to their website, checking for entry requirements and enrolling accordingly.

Q:How many credits do I need to graduate from a criminal justice school?

A:The credit hour requirements may vary slightly from college to college, and will also depend on the degree-level you are pursuing. For example, to earn an associate degree in criminal justice, students will have to earn 60-70 credit hours whereas the credit hour for a bachelor degree is 20-30 credit hours. The credit hour requirement of a masters degree in criminal justice typically ranges between 30 and 40.

Q:How long does it take to graduate from criminal justice school?

A:The answer to that depends on the level of education you are going for. An associate degree in criminal justice would take around 1 to 2 years. A bachelor's degree would take 3 to four years, a master's degree would take 1 to 2 years, while a PhD/doctorate degree in criminal justice could take up to 5 to 6 years.

Q:How much does it cost to go to criminal justice school?

A:The cost of a criminal justice degree would depend on the level of education you are going for. For instance, if you are going for an associate degree, it would cost less than a doctorate in criminal justice. Besides that, the cost of this degree would also vary from college to college. Depending on the quality of the program and the repute of the college itself, the overall tuition cost might experience variations.

Q:What programs do criminal justice schools offer?

A:Different colleges and universities offer different sort of programs in this field. You could go for a bachelor of science in criminal justice, an associate of applied science in criminal justice, or a master of science in homeland security and emergency management. You will also have a few certificates options such as corrections certificate and private security certificate.

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