Criminal Justice School

Get your criminology degree

Criminal justice careers are an exciting choice for those with a passion for the law. Loosely defined, criminal justice encompasses the governmental processes that help prevent and control crime and criminal behavior.

Types of Criminal Justice Programs

There are a number of career paths in criminal justice, and an equally wide range of criminal justice school programs offered, including:

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  • Corrections and probation programs. Corrections officers supervise prisons to ensure the safety and welfare of both the prisoners and the staff, while probation officers work with offenders who have been released from prison to adhere to the stipulations on their behavior.
  • Forensic degree programs. Forensics professionals work hand in hand with CSI school graduates to process, through scientific testing, the evidence collected from crime scenes.
  • Criminology degree programs. Criminologists study the science of crime and criminal behavior from a social and cultural perspective.
  • Security and policing programs. Law enforcement professionals, such as police officers, detectives and security guards, work on the front lines to apprehend criminals and ensure the safety of civilians.

What to Expect in a Criminal Justice Program

Criminal justice programs will vary depending on the area of specialization. Many may be one- or two-year programs that focus on the administrative side of the law, similar to a program at a court reporting school. Criminal justice degree programs, on the other hand, are much more intensive and can take up to four years to complete.

Traditional degree programs are not always for everyone – for those looking for more flexibility in their program options, taking a criminal justice degree online might be a good choice. Online programs offer greater flexibility in time management and coursework completion, so you can work at your own pace. They also offer you the freedom to study from your own home, which can be beneficial if you don't want to move or commute, or wish to continue your studies while working.

Whether you choose a traditional or online criminal justice program, field work will likely be part of the program. Most curriculums include a co-op or field placement to help students gain on-the-job experience before they graduate.