Criminal Justice Schools and Degrees

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The schools listed in our directory provide diverse majors and degree programs in criminal justice. These criminal justice degrees include corrections, homeland security, forensic science, forensic psychology, paralegal studies, justice administration, law enforcement, policing, court reporting and much more.

The criminal justice schools listed in this section are regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Southern Association for Colleges and Schools (SACS), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), Northern Association for Colleges and Schools (NACS), New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and/or Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

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What Is a Job In Criminal Justice Like?

The field of criminal justice is made up of a very diverse group of qualified professionals that come from just about every cultural, ethnic, professional and educational background imaginable. In fact, the criminal justice industry thrives on diversity.

Criminals are a very diverse group of individuals that are hard to catch, and the crimes they the commit are sometimes hard to prove. The officers that find and arrest these criminals and bring them to justice must also be diverse, talented, and highly trained. In the past, the best degree you could get to qualify for a job in law enforcement was a degree in criminal justice or criminology, but not anymore.

Criminal justice and law enforcement agencies today hire individuals with degrees in accounting, psychology, forensic science, computer science, engineering, political science. They also hire people with a variety of other liberal arts, science, and engineering degrees. And for those few who speak a second language, or are multicultural, a career in criminal justice is calling your name.

What Will I Study in a Criminal Justice Program?

If you choose to follow a traditional educational path in criminal justice, you’ll address a number of current issues and examine questions like these during the course of your studies: How do terrorist threats affect citizen’s lives? Are drug addicts and alcoholics best rehabilitated at abuse recovery facilities or in prisons? What is a cruel and unusual punishment?

Criminal justice students study the judicial and legal system and learn how law enforcement agencies operate. In addition, students will complete classes in various disciplines, including law, sociology, psychology, public administration, and other related subject matter.

Criminal Justice Education Requirements by Career

Before you can figure out which school or college to attend, it’s best if you have an idea of what the education requirements are for the criminal justice career you wish to pursue.

Below we’ve put together a comprehensive list of criminal justice and law enforcement careers and specialties. Directly to the right of each career we’ve listed the minimum education requirement for entry-level positions. However, we recommend that you get as much relevant education as you possibly can.

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The practice of law enforcement and criminal justice is becoming ever more dependant on advanced equipment, technologies and investigative and forensic methodologies. Consequently, more knowledgeable and better educated criminal justice professionals are needed. (Disclaimer: The education requirements for specific criminal justice careers may vary by federal, state and local agency as well as location.)

ATF Agent Four-year college degree or equivalent experience
ATF Investigator Four-year college degree or equivalent experience
ATF Technician/Professional Bachelor’s and/or master’s degree depending on specialty
Bailiff High School Diploma/GED or possibly college degree
Border Patrol Agent 4-year college degree and/or relevant experience
CIA Agent Bachelor’s, masters and/or relevant experience
Coast Guard High School Diploma/GED
Compliance Officer Bachelor’s degree (sometimes master’s)
Computer Forensics Bachelor’s/master’s degree or equivalent experience
Corrections Officer High School Diploma/GED/associate’s
Counter Terrorism Officer GED/Bachelor’s Degree and/or relevant experience
Court Reporter Certificate/associate’s degree
Court Clerk 2- or 4-year college degree
Criminal Detective Associate/bachelor’s degree or specialized training
Crime Lab Analyst Bachelor’s degree
Crime Scene Investigator Certificate or associate/bachelor’s degree
Criminalist Bachelor’s degree
Criminologist Bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred)
Customs Agent 4-year degree or equivalent experience
Deportation Officer 4-year degree or equivalent experience
Diplomatic Security Agent 4-year degree or equivalent experience
Drug Abuse Counselor Bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred)
Drug Enforcement Agent 4-year degree or equivalent experience
Evidence Technician 2- or 4-year degree or equivalent experience
FBI Agent 4-year degree or equivalent experience
Federal Air Marshal 4-year degree or equivalent experience
Federal Protective Service 4-year degree or equivalent experience
Fish & Game Warden High School Diploma/2-year associate’s degree
Forensic Accountant Bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred)
Forensic Scientist Bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred)
Forensic Psychologist Master’s and/or doctorate (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) degree
Fraud Investigator 4-year college degree
Homeland Security Agent 4-year college degree
ICE Agent 4-year college degree or equivalent experience
Immigration Agent 4-year college degree or equivalent experience
Information Security Specialist Bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred)
INS Agent 4-year college degree or equivalent experience
IRS Special Agent 4-year college degree
Juvenile Probation Counselor Associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree
K9 Officer High School Diploma/academy training/associate degree
LaW Clerk Bachelor’s degree
NSA Police Officer College degree or equivalent experience
Paralegal Certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree
Park Ranger Relevant bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
Penologist Bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred)
Prison Warden High School Diploma and/or associate’s Degree
Private Security 4-year college degree
Police Officer Police academy training/associate degree
Probation Officer High School Diploma/relevant college degree
Private Investigator High School Diploma/4-year college degree
Psychological Profiler Master’s degree in psychology (doctorate preferred)
Secret Service Agent 4-year college degree or equivalent experience
Sheriff Academy training, college degree, or equivalent experience
Surveillance Officer 4-year college degree or equivalent experience
TSA Screener High School Diploma or GED
US Marshal 4-year college degree or equivalent experience
Victim Services Specialist Bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred)
Youth Correctional Officer Bachelor’s degree

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