Criminal Justice Programs

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Careers in criminal justice are exciting, rewarding and offer substantial career advancement opportunity–and with an evolving legal landscape, a heightened U.S. security level, and new breakthroughs in forensic technology occurring regularly, you’re pretty much guaranteed that your career will anything but boring. If you’re interests lie in working in forensic analysis in a lab, apprehending and prosecuting white collar criminals, securing our nation’s borders, or working as an international law enforcement agent, criminal justice provides a never ending list of career opportunities and possibilities.

When people think about a career in criminal justice, it’s not uncommon for them to envision an officer in a blue uniform or an FBI agent dressed in a suite and tie. However, today the criminal justice industry is composed of a very diverse group of professionals from just about educational, professional, cultural, and ethnic background you can imagine. In fact, in criminal justice, diversity is the name of the game. It takes a diverse and talented group of criminal justice professionals to investigate, pursue, apprehend and prosecute an ever evolving and savvy criminal element. Local, state and federal law enforcment agencies are actively recruiting individuals with professional and educational backgrounds not only in criminal justice and criminology, but also in psychology, finance, accounting, social work, political science, international relations, engineering, computer science, as well as a large variety of science, engineering and liberal arts disciplines. And if you’re biligual or willing to learn a second language, you’ll find it that much easier to land the perfect job.

Whatever direction you choose, getting a good education is critical. In fact, earning a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, from an accredited college or university, is a prerequisite for applying to many state and federal law enforcement jobs–and some positions now require a graduate degree.
There are a large variety of good criminal justice programs offered at the certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree level at both campus-based and online colleges and universities across the United States. An associate’s degree in criminal justice or a related field will prepare you for entry-level positions in a number of fields including corrections, court reporting and legal transcription, private security, and paralegal. A bachelor’s degree will qualify you for even more job positions, and earning a master’s degree or Ph.D. will greatly improve your ability to find advanced positions in law enforcement, including CIA agent, FBI agent, forensic technician, police chief, and instructor.

Most regionally accredited criminal justice schools and programs will allow you to transfer credits from one degree program to a higher degree program. For example, if you were to earn an associate’s degree in criminal justice from a regionally accredited community college, upon graduation you could enter the work force or you could transfer your credits to a four-year college or university and apply them toward a bachelor’s degree–whereby reducing the amount of time required to earn your bachelor’s degree.

With the advent of the Internet and development of advanced communication and education technologies, many aspiring criminal justice professionals are now turning to online and distance learning education to earn a degree. Online degree programs are available at all levels of study and are a great option for aspiring professionals who need to earn an advanced degree while maintaining a full-time career.

Below you’ll find a current list of the top online, distance education and campus-based criminal justice programs in the United States. To learn more about any of the programs listed below simply click on the “Request Info” button to the right of the program listing.

Criminal Justice Certificate and Degree Programs


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