*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Police and Detectives, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.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 Science in Criminology. 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 Criminology schools or programs. Criminology 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 Criminology 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.
Before you declare a major in Criminology, you should have an idea of what kind of timeframe you’re looking at. If you are trying to achieve an associate degree, you will only need to finish about 60 credit hours over 2 years. However, if you are going for you bachelor's (B.S. or B.A.) degree in Criminology, you will need to complete 120 credit hours over four years. And, if you want to attain a master’s degree as well, you will have to finish your bachelors first and then spend around 2 years completing 60 more credit hours. Some of the coursework you will find in typical Criminology degrees are:
These days fewer and fewer students graduate in four years. In fact, the government now sets the bar at a six-year term from starting a degree to graduation. Accredited programs in Criminology, on the other hand, are more likely to graduate in 4-5 years. That is because those programs are more competitive, and studies have shown that students in highly competitive programs have more success with graduating in four years (or less.) Keep it mind there are also other determining factors that play a role in how long it takes to graduate like full time vs part time, funding for college, working at the same time (can potentially decrease how many credit hours you can take) etc. A good goal to shoot for is to graduate within 4 to 6 years.
Your school's accreditation is an important aspect of getting your B.S. in Criminology 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 Bachelor of Science in Criminology 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 Criminology. 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 Criminology.
A four-year degree in Criminology 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 Criminology 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.
Many colleges offer career services and job placement programs to help you get on the fast track to employment. Although you may assume that all Criminal Justice colleges offer this service, some don't provide as much assistance as you are led to believe. The best programs for post-graduate assistance include help with job placement both before graduation and continued support as you advance in your career. These programs can also assist you in preparing your resume so it maintains a competitive edge on the job market, work with you as you prepare for job interviews, and advise you on your job performance.