*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
Your path to graduate is personal and individual. While someone else may graduate later even though they started school when you did, they may have had other academic commitments to satisfy. Others may be able to finish their programs sooner than you because they don’t have to deal with Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) or work during their college years.
Look at how many credits are required for a Bachelor of Criminal Justice. This is usually 120. If you take 30 credits per year, you’ll graduate in about four years. If you can take more classes, this will shorten the time you’re in school. Don’t forget to seek information from your assigned advisor. Doing so means you’re less likely to miss a required class, which could delay your graduation.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
We consider the choice of major to be an important decision for students when selecting Criminal Justice schools or programs. Criminal Justice is a broad field, and it has a wide potential for developing specializations and expertise. The student should pause and study the situation carefully. It is important to connect the choice of school with the career goals and employment objectives. Students should be sure that the school is well-equipped to provide high-quality Criminal Justice education in the subject areas of greatest interest.
Students must look at the curriculum to determine if the subject will be covered thoroughly and in the areas of study that will be most beneficial.
The two most prominent types of bachelor levels in Criminal Justice are: Bachelor of Arts degree (BA degree) and a Bachelor of Science degree (BS degree). A BA degree normally requires pupils to take fewer concentration courses as well as to focus more on discovering about Criminal Justice. These students have a little bit more flexibility when it pertains to customizing their education to meet their occupation objectives as well as goals.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, on the other hand, is much less concentrated on exploration and even more targeted to a specific focus. Bachelor of Science students, usually, focus specifically on the area of their major and have a tendency to be more career focused. Bachelor’s degrees in the clinical field, for example, are most likely to be a Bachelor of Science degree. You can find some sample classes for a B.S. in Criminal Justice below:
Currently, students enrolled in four-year universities have less than a 50% chance of graduating within four years. Statistics vary from university to university, but many students are graduating closer to the 6-year range.
If you want to be one of the lucky 40% who do graduate in your fourth year, you’ll need to make a few sacrifices. First, you’ll have to take more than the minimum 12 credit hours per semester. Take 15 credits per semester, because you’ll finish earning the required credits in around four years.
Go to school each summer session. Take at least one class per summer semester. Not only will you be sure to graduate on time, but you may also benefit with lower per-credit tuition charges, as well.
Declare a major as soon as you can. You won’t be moving from major to major this way. If you have to work for gas or rent, work for the fewest number of hours per week that you can. Your studies are vital.
Your school's accreditation is an important aspect of getting your Criminal Justice Bachelor’s degree. The two most common forms of accreditation are regional and national.
Regional accreditation is the most recognized and most prestigious available. Because of this label, these colleges often have higher tuition and have more competitive admission standards. Regional accreditation accounts for over 85% of colleges across the United States. There are 6 different regions, including:
MSA (Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools)
NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges)
NCA (North Central Association of Colleges and Schools)
NAC (Northwest Accreditation Commission)
SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools)
WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges)
National accreditation is less common. National accreditation agencies oversee the accreditation process for career, vocational, and trade schools across the United States. As a result, these schools tend to be less expensive, require less general coursework, and feature a more practical, career-oriented curriculum. Because it is less structured, schools are only reviewed every 3-5 years to ensure that they still meet accreditation requirements.
Accreditation is an important part of the selection process. It adds value to a Criminal Justice degree by offering wider acceptance than degrees from non-accredited schools receive. Accreditation ensures employers and other reviewers of your educational background that you have a quality education in Criminal Justice. It informs potential employers that the graduate has the expected level of education and knowledge to perform work in today’s high-paced, technology-driven environments.
The Department of Education designates regional and national accreditation agencies. It is also through this department that educational loans and grants are provided to college students. The federal policy is to limit student loans to schools and colleges with acceptable accreditation. Which means that, if your school isn’t accredited, you will likely not be eligible to receive any financial aid. For many students, accreditation is key to getting funds to pay for the substantial costs of a degree in Criminal Justice.
A four-year degree in Criminal Justice is an investment into your future. The cost of tuition can vary widely depending on the academic excellence of the university and the specific field of study chosen. You can expect tuition for a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice to cost anywhere from $8,000-$72,000 per year. The cost of tuition for online degrees is typically the same cost as on-campus. When talking about costs, it is important to factor in textbooks, technology, as well as room and board, as those costs are separate from tuition. These are average college tuition costs and does not include financial aid. It is important for each and every student to seek out financial aid options to help pay for their college tuition.
The cost of your education is worth every penny, because it is an investment in your future. You may feel that you are investing too much money in a degree but remember that it will all come back to you. Once you get the career that you've been aiming for, you will be to pay off your student loans and live a better life.
If you are going to spend a lot of time and energy to attain a Criminal Justice degree, you will certainly want some job placement assistance as you near graduation. Discuss this with your admissions counselor when you are considering the right program. In fact, you might want to broaden that discussion by asking about how your school handles internships and if co-op programs are available. Experiential learning can help you not only gain the skills needed to land a job, but you can also cultivate a professional network that will help you build the career you deserve.