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How Many Years Of College For Criminal Justice

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Are Criminal Justice And Law Degrees Necessary

Criminal Justice (A.S.) Degree Program at HVCC

If youre interested in a criminal justice and/or legal career, you may be wondering if a degree program is really worth your time . After all, are there not careers in this field that dont require a formal education? While the short answer is yes, there are still many reasons to consider an undergraduate degree in criminal justice or a related field, or even a graduate program.

Having said that, several of the careers in law and criminal justice as well as their respective mean annual wages that do not require formal postsecondary education for entry are listed below:

  • Police and Detectives: $61,600
  • Private Detectives and Investigators: $50,700
  • Court Reporters: $51,320
  • Correctional Officers and Bailiffs: $42,820

Even though its possible to gain entry into a limited number of criminal justice and legal careers without a degree, that doesnt mean its advisable. In many of these fields, employers prefer a minimum of associates or even bachelors degree prior to employment. Moreover, these credentials will give you a leg up on any advancement opportunities that may become available once you are hired.

Bachelors Degree In Criminal Justice Courses


    In this course, learners study the American criminal justice systems functions. Topics include citizens rights and responsibilities and how communities and professionals play a role in preventing crime. Students also survey problems that arise in the criminal justice system and examples of possible solutions.


    This course examines the social and behavioral sciences in relation to the criminal justice system. Coursework covers topics like criminal history and how social structures shape crime. Students also look at various theories and case studies on reducing crime within communities.


    This immersive learning experience addresses how citizenship and participation in public affairs help shape communities. This course often requires students to complete a set number of hours with a community service organization or public service provider.


    This course examines criminal justice ethics and philosophies. Students learn about dilemmas facing law enforcement and correctional practitioners, emphasizing their ethical implications.


    This course examines the evaluation of crime scene evidence. Learners study the technologies and protocols used to examine evidence and the value of various pieces of evidence within a criminal investigation.

  • What To Expect From A Career In Law Justice Or Security

    Law, justice and security professionals are in constant demand. The diverse jobs in this highly rewarding industry are all in some way related to protecting and serving our communities not as police officers, but as law clerks, private security, community justice enforcers and much more. You can work toward an exciting career in the field by starting with one of the many law, justice and security programs at Ontario colleges.

    If youre interested in law or security, or you want to work with courts and justice services, heres what you need to know.

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    Cuny Fiscal Crisis Of 1976

    In 1976, City University Board of Trustees threatened to shut down the college during a time of fiscal crisis for CUNY and New York City as a whole. Throughout the campaign to “save John Jay,” the faculty and administration united to advocate the sentiment voiced by President Lynch in a memo: “John Jay can contribute to the city as a unique resource to help solve the problems of crime, public productivity, manpower needs, and budget management.” After weeks of turmoil, the college decided to trim its budget to remain independent rather than merge with Baruch College. On April 5, the Board of Higher Education voted to preserve John Jay. Though the budget cuts were still painful, the college community’s efforts were successful.

    Masters Degrees In Criminal Justice

    Online Criminal Justice Degree, Criminal Justice Programs

    Masters degrees in criminal justice are commonly pursued in order to advance ones career. These programs focus on high-level, upper-division education in research methods, statistical and policy analysis, and program management.

    Type of courses and clinical experience offered

    Courses you can expect to take in these programs include cybersecurity, forensic psychology, law enforcement management, and public administration.

    Skills students can learn

    Not only can you learn the theory behind advanced criminal justice strategies, but you also tend to learn how to manage various departments within criminal justice, including their legal requirements. Youll also learn how to analyze policy and approach criminal justice from a public relations perspective.

    Jobs related to this degree level

    Fields you may find work in after this certificate program include homeland security, police administration or social services. Potential occupations are intelligence analyst, operations officer, police chief, or profiler.

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    Criminal Justice Degree Program Goals

    At MacCormac College, we believe it is important to earn your academic degree. However, we also know, to be most effective, your education should not be limited to classroom lectures. Thats why we combine our Criminal Justice major classes with internship opportunities. Through the hands-on learning gained as interns, our students are exposed to real-life situations and experiences, and have opportunities to apply what theyve learned.

    Our two-year Criminal Justice degree program goals are to:

    • Admit, retain and educate students who are ready and committed to take a rigorous but rewarding journey to become criminal justice professionals.
    • Continuously monitor, recruit, select and retain faculty members who embrace a student-centered approach to teaching and who are committed to providing the hands-on, skills-based education we believe every Criminal Justice associate degree program candidate deserves.
    • Encourage our student body to participate in internships, externships, networking events and volunteer opportunities both on campus and in the greater Chicago area.
    • Regularly review our Criminal Justice program curriculum and adjust as needed to ensure it reflects the latest changes in the criminal justice system. This helps ensure our students are as prepared as they can be to successfully enter the job market and participate fully in their post-graduation careers.

    Know And Understand The Roles Within The Judicial System

    Unfortunately, its not enough to just know the law. You also have to understand the roles within the judicial system and why its so important for professionals in this industry to know the law, and most importantly, how it applies to their field of work. Having a better understanding of how things work within the judicial system, like when cases are transferred to another department or entity is a vital part of the system. Its also important to understand how your role fits into the judicial system, what your role will be, and how youll be enforcing the law in your position. Obtaining a bigger picture of the judicial system as a whole will give you a better perspective of how you can contribute to the criminal justice profession.

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    How Much Will A Bachelors In Criminal Justice Cost

    In the 2018-2019 academic year, the average cost for undergraduate tuition and required fees at a public, four-year institution was $9,212 for in-state students and $26,382 for out-of-state students.

    Online versus in-person learning, school prestige and reputation, public versus private institutions, and in-state versus out-of-state residency can all influence the total cost of earning a degree. Prospective criminal justice students should also consider additional costs to earning a degree such as books and materials, room and board, and technology costs.

    Fortunately, students can take advantage of a variety of funding and financing options for their criminal justice degree. All students fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to help their school determine their financial need and aid eligibility. Scholarships, fellowships, and grants provide funding that doesnt require repayment. Student loans, both private and federal, require repayment upon graduation.

    Phd In Criminal Justice

    How Much Can I Earn in the Criminal Justice Field?

    Doctorate programs in criminal justice mostly focus on training students for a career in postsecondary education or advanced public policy. These programs help students understand crime and justice, then put these concepts together to discover new solutions for better crime control. You may be introduced to advanced research methods and criminal justice theory, although you may be able to pick a specialty in your Ph.D. program.

    Factors prospective students should consider

    Doctoral students typically have to complete a dissertation based on their original research after passing a set of qualifying examinations. They then have to defend their dissertation to a panel of subject experts.

    Types of courses and clinical experiences offered

    Types of courses you should expect to take in a Ph.D. program include homeland security policy and administration, public management, justice administration, and more. Also note that your curriculum may vary depending on whether you have already earned a masters degree.

    Jobs related to this degree

    Potential occupations after earning a Ph.D. in criminal justice are bureau chief, government contractor, intelligence analyst, research consultant, university professor.

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    It’s Not Just An Adventure It Could Be Your Career

    Are you looking for a demanding job that is also rewarding? Do you dislike doing the same thing day-in and day-out? Studying criminal justice at Butler Community College gives you a solid, affordable foundation in law enforcement, courts and corrections. You can go straight to work in entry-level positions in detention or law enforcement with your two-year degree or transfer to a four-year program.

    Acceptable Substitutes For Transfer Courses

    • None
    • Program Academic Learning Compacts for undergraduate programs are located at:

    Plan of Study

    Freshman Year – Fall

    • ENC 1101 – Composition I 3
    • GEP Math
    • GEP Social
    • GEP Historical

    Freshman Year – Spring

    • ENC 1102 – Composition II 3
    • GEP Math
    • GEP Science
    • GEP Cultural
    • GEP Social

    Sophomore Year – Fall

    • GEP Communication
    • GEP Historical
    • GEP Science
    • Free Elective
    • CJE 3001 – Careers in Criminal Justice 4

    Sophomore Year – Spring

    Free Elective Credit Hours: 3

    • CCJ 3014 – Crime in America 3
    • CCJ 3024 – Criminal Justice System 3
    • Supporting Elective

    Sophomore Year – Summer

    • Core Course
    • Free Elective
    • Core Course
    • Supporting Elective
    • CCJ 4701 – Research Methods in Criminal Justice 4
    • CCJ 4678 – Race, Ethnicity, Equity, and justice 3
    • CJ Restricted Elective

    Supporting Elective Credit Hours: 3

    • Core Course
    • CCJ 4746 – Data Analysis for Criminal Justice 4
    • Restricted Elective
    • CCJ 4054 – Capstone: Criminal Justice Ethics 3
    • Free Elective

    Senior Year – Fall

    • Restricted Elective
    • Restricted Elective
    • Free Elective
    • Free Elective

    Senior Year – Spring

    1 If necessary

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    Criminal Justice Distance Learning Opportunities

    The large number of colleges offering online criminal justice programs is a real bonus because it allows individuals who might not have the opportunity to earn a degree the chance to earn the degree without giving up their current job or spend several years attending classes daily at a brick-and-mortar college. Online criminal justice programs are offered at almost every degree level, but bachelors and masters degree programs are the levels most often completed through distance learning.

    U.S. News & World Report states many criminal justice students choose online bachelors or masters degree programs because it allows them to continue working while earning the degree. One of the biggest advantages of the online program is that students can choose to only complete a couple of credits per semester and still continue to work or meet other obligations. A student may earn an associates degree in criminal justice, which is enough education for criminal justice jobs. The individual can gain additional work experience while earning a higher degree.

    Favorable Employment Outlook And Attractive Salaries

    2015 Could Be a Big Year for Criminal Justice

    At MacCormac College, we believe it is important to earn your academic degree. However, we also know, to be most effective, your education should not be limited to classroom lectures. Thats why we include internship opportunities in our Criminal Justice major program. Through the hands-on learning gained as interns, our students are exposed to real-life situations and experiences, and have opportunities to apply what theyve learned.

    Of course, potential future compensation is an important consideration when choosing a criminal justice college degree program. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary for police officers and detectives in Illinois was $90,890, above the national median pay in 2017 of $62,960/year.

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    Types Of Criminal Justice And Law Degrees

    In this section, well examine the types of criminal justice and law degrees available and explore examples of each.

    Criminal Justice and Legal Degrees: Associates Level

    Associates degrees in the criminal justice and legal fields are two-year postsecondary programs that prepare students for entry-level work in a limited number of positions. Paralegals and legal assistants, for example, need only an associates degree to begin work in the field. These jobs are ones to consider if you have limited time and/or financial resources to invest in academics as they are associated with a fairly high salary considering the amount of education youll need to become employed:

    Paralegals and Legal Assistants: $49,500

    Types of Associates in Criminal Justice and Law Degrees

    Topics Covered in Associates Degree Paralegal Studies Programs

    The curricula for associates degrees in paralegal studies programs may vary slightly from school to school, but most programs cover the same essential topics in an effort to prepare graduates for work in the legal field. Coursework is typically vocational in nature with a focus on helping students apply their newfound skills to the workplace. Topics covered include criminal law, business law, family law, real estate law, law office management, and more.

    Sample Course Titles for Associates in Paralegal Studies Programs

    Courses comprising curricula for associates in paralegal studies programs may include titles such as the ones listed below:

    Detectives And Criminal Investigators Overview

    Detective and criminal investigators can have varied levels of education, from a high school diploma to a college degree or higher. Competition for jobs in State and Federal agencies is extremely competitive. Detective and criminal investigators who are most qualified will have the best job opportunities at police departments. The best opportunities for detective and criminal investigators will be for those who are bilingual as well as college trained in police science or with military police experience.

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    Types Of Criminal Justice Degrees

    Learners can study criminal justice at many levels, from undergraduate certificate to doctorate. Graduates of undergraduate certificate and associate degree programs usually qualify for entry-level criminal justice positions. According to PayScale, CJ certificate-holders earn an average of $48,000 per year, while associate degree graduates earn an average $49,000 annually. Students seeking higher pay rates often use these programs as a foundation for bachelors degree programs.

    Depending on degree specialization, CJ bachelors degrees meet or exceed educational requirements for most CJ careers. Bachelors graduates make about $54,000 annually, according to PayScale. Students who earn graduate degrees stand the best chance of qualifying for leadership positions and earning higher salaries. See below for descriptions of CJ program levels, timetables, curricula, and career paths.

    Bachelors Degree In Criminal Justice Career Outlook

    Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement Associate Degree Program | Gateway Technical College

    Bachelors in criminal justice graduates can join a workforce of passionate individuals ready to protect others. Those who prefer behind-the-scenes work should consider becoming forensic science technicians. Graduates who love coordinating and function well under pressure might work as emergency management directors. Finally, aspiring professionals who want to work on the frontlines may pursue careers as police officers with this degree.

    Regardless of their professional aspirations, criminal justice professionals benefit from job security. For example, the BLS projects the need for forensic science technicians to grow by 14% from 2018-2028, much faster than the national average for all occupations.

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    Why Get A Criminal Justice Bachelors

    Many jobs in criminal justice require a bachelors degree. Holding a bachelors in criminal justice provides the foundation many employers look for in job candidates and helps applicants stand out. Emphasizing skills and knowledge in sociology and psychology, this degree also prepares graduates for careers outside of law enforcement and the justice system, providing skills applicable in a variety of industries.

    • Career Possibilities: Graduates from criminal justice bachelors programs may pursue careers in a variety of fields this degree prepares students for jobs within and outside of the criminal justice system.
    • Salary Potential: Many jobs criminal justice students pursue offer comfortable and competitive salaries. Those with a bachelors in criminal justice earn more on average than those with only an associate degree, and many government jobs in criminal justice offer competitive retirement programs.
    • Job Security: The demand for qualified professionals in the criminal justice field grows each year. Jobs for police, detectives, private investigators, and probation officers continue to grow.

    Program Vision And Mission

    MacCormac College seeks to provide every Criminal Justice major student with the information, tools and resources necessary to help them obtain employment in the criminal justice field, which may include jobs in law enforcement, corrections, private security, juvenile justice, probation and parole.

    We know that our programs, including our Criminal Justice program in Chicago, are only as good as our students. We aim to be recognized for our outstanding graduates graduates who feel they learned the skills needed to be successful in their chosen careers.

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    Criminal Justice Masters Degrees

    While some special programs make it possible to earn both a bachelors degree and a masters degree in five years, most masters degree programs require that students already hold a bachelors degree. This graduate degree generally requires about 30 credits of advanced coursework in topics like federal law enforcement, criminal justice administration and police administration. With both full-time and part-time options available, this degree typically takes one to two years to complete and prepares participants for leadership roles within the criminal justice system.

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