How Long Does It Take To Complete A Degree In Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Career Guides Criminal Justice Degree

How Long Does It Take To Complete A Degree In Criminal Justice

Career in criminal justice system is a day dream for many of us. Some of us want to join different criminal justice organizations for serving the country while others might be looking for their career in the criminal justice system because of the perks it offers. Whatever the reason is, you will have to complete an educational degree before you can land into any of the criminal justice organizations.

How To Get A Criminal Justice Degree

In this article, we are going to discuss the duration of different criminal justice educational degree programs that will help you land into your desired criminal justice Job.

The demand for criminal justice degree is very high and enrolling in criminal justice degree programs empowers students to begin a meaningful and thrilling profession. Today, various colleges and universities are conducting campus oriented and web-based programs in criminal justice. After the completion of criminal justice degree course successfully, you can work as criminologist, law enforcement officer, forensic specialist, corrections officer, FBI agent, DEA agent, crime scene investigator, homeland security, US marshal, private investigator, police officer, parole and probation officers, law office manager, etc.

Various universities and colleges offer different criminal justice programs. They are:

  • Certificate Programs in Criminal Justice,
  • Associate Degree in Criminal Justice,
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice,
  • Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice,
  • PhD in Criminology or Criminal Justice.

Interested in a criminal justice degree, the chances are that you are looking at the different programs and trying to figure out which one you should choose. But you cannot make a good decision without having all of the facts straight, and one of those important facts is the requirements each of the programs has to be accepted.

Criminal Justice Certificate Programs

The criminal justice certificate programs are best for the candidates who are willing to complete their degrees in less time. The certificates are best choice for the students who lack financial resources and want to complete their education with lesser amount spent on their degree. The Criminal Justice certificates can help you get entry level jobs such as Jailer, correctional officer and bailiff in the criminal justice organization.

Generally, certificate programs take one year to complete. After completing this course, students can seek jobs in crime scene analysis, national security management, criminal justice, terrorism, etc. Through this program, students learn some common perception and fundamental issues such as adult and juvenile criminal justice system, forensic counselling, juvenile delinquency, etc. This course is enough for getting entry-level jobs in various criminal justice fields.

Usually, the certificates comprise of 14-15 credits and 4-5 courses. The duration of the courses are flexible and the student has the choice of completing it within his desired time.

The flexible nature of the certificates allows the students to work part time while continuing their education. So, if you are one of those who is willing to earn some cash while continuing your education, the certificate program is the ideal choice for you.

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The Criminal Justice Certificates:

· Requires less amount of money and time

· Are best Suitable for people who want to work Part time

· Have flexible completion time

· Can help you get the entry level jobs in criminal Justice system.

Criminal Justice Associates Degree

A criminal justice associate degree can help you land into different criminal justice organizations. During the associate degree the students are taught about the different operating procedures of criminal justice system in the United States. After the completing of an associate degree, you can join the criminal justice system as Police officer, private detectives, investigator or game warden.

The first thing you will need to get into a two-year criminal justice program is a diploma from high school, or you will need a GED. Once you have been accepted, you will have to choose a major. Even though this may seem like the way to go, you should know that the programs can fill up quickly if you do not have a lot of time. Another downside to pursuing a 2- year program is that even after you graduate, you may find it difficult to get a job since employers may have preferences for those with a higher degree than an associate’s degree.

Students can complete their associate degree in criminal justice course in 2 years. During the course, they need to study law enforcement, courts and legal system, and correctional system and these are the major elements of the criminal justice system. Most of the associate degree programs concentrate on criminal justice and the fundamentals of law enforcement. The curriculum also includes:

  • Foundations of the justice system,
  • The court system,
  • Technical aspects of law enforcement,
  • Societal cause of crime,
  • Criminal procedures,
  • Juvenile justice,
  • Introduction to corrections,
  • Introduction to security, etc.

You can earn an associate degree via campus based training or online training. Kaplan University, University of Phoenix, Keiser University, Argosy University, Everest University, Salem University, Chancellor University, Ivy Bridge, etc. are some of the popular accredited online schools that conduct courses criminal justice degree.

Associate degree in criminal justice system requires the students to complete 60- 65 credits. The duration of associate degree may vary depending upon the student but a full time student can complete the degree within three years of time.

If you want to further grow your career in criminal justice system, you can go for a bachelor’s degree in any of the fields related to criminal justice system.

How Many Credits Do You Need For Associate Degree In Criminal Justice:

· Requires 60-65 credits

· Has Flexible completion time for the students

· Educates the students about basic operating procedures of criminal Justice system

Criminal Justice Bachelor’s degree

The bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is ideal for you if you are one of those who are planning to advance their career in the field of criminal justice system. The bachelor’s degree will help you advance to the higher ranks within a criminal justice organization. The bachelor’s degree will act as a ladder which you will use to climb to the higher ranks within an organization.

With a bachelor’s in any field related to criminal justice system, you can join the police department as an officer, become an investigation officer, become a detective or emergence respond managers. According to the bureau of labor statistics the job prospects of police officer are expected to grow five percent in the upcoming year.

Bachelor of Criminal Justice programs is designed to train students who already have an associate’s degree in corrections technology, law enforcement, human services technology, or police administration. This degree program helps students broaden their education and increase their career in law enforcement administration, police administration, juvenile and adult corrections, forensic science, parole and probation, etc.

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, you can seek employment opportunities in law enforcement, investigation, parole, private protective services, corrections, public safety, juvenile justice, probation, loss prevention, etc. The curriculum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice includes:

  • Introduction of criminal justice,
  • Natural Science,
  • English,
  • Social psychology,
  • Law enforcement,
  • Methods of research in sociology,
  • Principles of correction,
  • Victimology,
  • Sociology of law,
  • Criminal justice administration,
  • Juvenile delinquency,
  • Sociology of family,
  • Technology and society, etc.



Bachelor’s Degree In Criminal Justice How Many Years

The duration of a bachelor’s  in criminal justice system is four years during which you will have to complete total 120-128 credits. The major portion of the course work will be focused on the working procedures of different organizations of criminal justice system.

The requirements for getting into a college typically vary from school to school. Still, each school considers factors when they are looking at you as a possible candidate.

The college will look at the candidate’s GPA, whether it’s a high school GPA or a community college GPA. However, this isn’t going to be the only thing they review. They will also review your SAT or ACT scores, your admissions essay, and your letters of recommendation.

The last element admissions may take into consideration for a four year program is your extracurricular activities. You want to show that you were involved in student government, the debate team, and other things showing you have good leadership and research skills. This is something to help the admissions people to take another look.

How Many Credits Do You Need For A Bachelor’s Degree In Criminal justice:

· Requires 120-128 credits which can be completed within four year of time

· Can help you reach to the top ranks within a criminal justice organization

· Is ideal for the students who have plenty of time and are willing to gain in depth knowledge of the criminal justice system.

Criminal Justice Master’s degree

Maters in any of the field related to criminal justice can be a good choice for many but they need to be clear of the future aspirations. The master’s  in criminal justice has two aspects; the first one is to further enhance the skills that were already acquired in the criminal justice bachelor’s  such as in policing, crime investigation and cyber security while the second is mostly focused on research work and statistical analysis of the data.

So, before you opt for a master’s , you must have this clarity in your mind whether you are going to join a professional organization or go for research work in the field of criminal justice.

This clarity will help you choose the right degree and institution for yourself. The course work is mostly completed in two years of time frame; however, there are certain factors which might extend the time duration of the . During the coursework, a student will have to complete 30-40 credits which will be focused on his area of interest.

This is a postgraduate professional course in the field of criminal justice. After the completion of the course, students can either prepare for doctoral programs or seek jobs in areas such as probation and court service, security management, justice administration, forensic psychology, administration, crime and delinquency, homeland security, corrections and correctional counselling, public safety, executive management, leadership, law, global issues, criminal justice planning and research, human services, prevention and control, crime analysis, etc. To undergo training in Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, students must hold a three-year undergraduate degree. Depending on the taste and preferences of students, they can enrol in different types of Master’s degree courses, such as:

  • Managing criminal justice organizations,
  • Research methods in criminal justice,
  • Criminological theory,
  • Administration of criminal justice,
  • Law and public policy,
  • Crisis and emergency management,
  • Victimology,
  • Terrorism/counterterrorism,
  • Mental health and criminal justice
  • Criminal mind and behaviour
  • Forensic psychology,
  • Criminal profiling,
  • Issues in policing,
  • Domestic terrorism and hate crimes,
  • Overview of homeland security,
  • Threat assessment and risk management,
  • Substance abuse,
  • Gender, race and crime,
  • Crime analysis and mapping
  •  Intimate partner violence,
  • Sex offences and offenders,
  • Responding to child maltreatment, etc.

How Many Credits Do You Need For A Master’s Degree In Criminal Justice :

· Requires 30-40 credits which can be completed in two years of time frame.

· The degree has two aspects, professional aspect and research work. So you must decide your future aspiration and choose accordingly

· The Master will give you in depth knowledge of the concepts used in the criminal justice system.

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Criminal Justice Doctoral – PHD Degrees

A doctorate in criminal justice will help you understand the policy making of the criminal justice system in the United States. The degree will not only help you understand the procedures of policy making but will also open a whole new arena of employment for you.

Some universities and colleges offer specialized training in criminal justice by conducting a PhD in criminology or criminal justice. These programs are designed to prepare students to initiate positive changes in the field of criminal justice. This intensive program and the coursework include complex issues surrounding criminal behaviour, the penal system, prevention and intervention, development of public policy strategies, etc.

With a PHD in any field related to the criminal justice system you have an employment opportunity as an instructor in an educational institution, become a research director in any of the research institutions associated with the criminal justice system and work as an administrator within an organization.

The PHD program usually takes four years during which the student will have to develop understanding of criminal justice and criminal law.

Doctoral Degree in criminal Justice system:

· Broadens the employment opportunities.

· Takes four years to complete. The first two years are usually devoted for the course work while the next two are for thesis and research work

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These are just the suggestions you should follow regarding the two and four year programs in criminal justice. The point to remember is the more involved you seem to be in your community, the more you are concerned about what is going on in the world around you, the better your scope will be of getting into the criminal justice school.

Who wishes to pursue a career in criminal justice should show they want to make a difference and help those in need, and there are many ways this can be accomplished even if you are not in school anymore. See what you can do to help the people around you and put these efforts into your admissions application. You may find this is something that will make people sit up and take notice.


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