Criminal Justice Colleges

Have you been researching criminal justice colleges lately?  In this post, I’ll give some general background about the criminal justice profession, give you a listing of criminal justice colleges (online and traditional), and provide you with a list criminal justice professions.  Let’s dive right in!

Students who attend criminal justice colleges study all aspects of crime, law, and the justice system.  They learn state laws, how the judicial system works, and the nuts and bolts of how a police department and other law enforcement agencies function.  From a legal perspective, students should expect to learn about apprehension, arrest, prosecution, defense, punishment, incarceration, and rehabilitation of criminals.

Degrees earned at Criminal Justice Colleges

Students who study criminal justice can graduate from criminal justice colleges with an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or even a Ph.D. degree.  Students planning to enter the field of law enforcement and corrections typically only need an associate’s degree to practice in this field.  With a 2-year degree, students can go on to work as a probation/parole office, law enforcement officer, or corrections officer.

Traditional 4-Year Criminal Justice Colleges

Below is a list of the top 23 criminal justice colleges in the United States:

1.  American University

2.  Arizona State University

3.  CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

4.  Florida State University

5.  George Mason University

6.  Indiana University

7.  Michigan State University

8.  Northeastern University

9.  Pennsylvania State University (University Park)

10.  Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (Newark campus)

11.  Temple University

12.  Sam Houston State University

13.  Washington State University

14.  University of Albany – SUNY

15.  University of California (Irvine campus)

16.  University of Cincinnati

17.  University of Delaware

18.  University of Florida

19.  University of Illinois (Chicago campus)

20.  University of Maryland (College Park campus)

21.  University of Missouri (St. Louis campus)

22.  University of Nebraska (Omaha campus)

23.  University of Pennsylvania (Ivy League School)

Online Criminal Justice Colleges

For those desiring to attend college online, below is a list of online criminal justice colleges:

1. American Intercontinental University

2. Saint Leo University

3. Arizona State University

4. Columbia College

5. Ashford University

6. Saint Joseph’s University

7. Boston University

8. Everest University Online

9. Colorado Technical University

10. Virginia College

11. Florida Tech University

12. Bryan & Stratton College

Students Considering Criminal Justice Colleges Should:

  • Be interested in learning about court cases
  • Be interested in learning all aspects of the law (inside & out)
  • Be interested in analyzing and interpreting statistics
  • Be prepared to do an internship with the police, FBI, or human rights organization
  • Be interested in learning the psychology behind criminal behavior
  • Want to serve society
  • Have good interpersonal skills

Career Options after Graduation from Criminal Justice Colleges

The interest in public and private safety has peaked over the last few years.  This has caused a spike in the criminal justice field lately.  Criminal justice has consistently been one of the more popular career paths for college students lately and the field is expected to grow even more over the next 10 years.

Degrees from criminal justice colleges prepare students to work in the fields of law enforcement or corrections.  Student study the following subject areas: security practices, criminal justice law, public safety, and other related subjects.

Some of the more common careers that students who graduate from criminal justice colleges enter are as follows:

1. Correctional Officers

2. Parole Officers

3. Probation Officers

4. Crime Scene Investigators and Technicians

5. Forensic Nurses and Technicians

6. Bailiffs

7. Court Clerks

8. Court Reporters

9. Legal Assistants

10. Legal Transcribers

11. Paralegals

12. Armored Car Guards

13. Bounty Hunters

14. Federal Agents (i.e. CIA, DEA, FBI)

15. Detectives

16. Private Investigators

17. Security Guards

18. Police Officers

19. Immigration Officials

20. Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team Members

I hope that the information provided about criminal justice colleges was helpful.  Remember to take your time and do a lot of research to ensure that you are selecting the best college for you.

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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