Criminal justice covers a number of specialties including forensics, information security, law enforcement, and social work, to name just a few. Programs in criminal justice range from certificates to masters level degrees in all areas. Many schools also offer criminal justice programs online.
A certificate in criminal justice usually shows that you have received training in a criminal justice specialty, such as crime scene technician. Often, students with criminal justice certificates will move on to obtain an associate or bachelor degree. And many who already possess a criminal justice degree might pursue a certification in a related field to make a career change -- such as a certificate in information systems to become an information security officer.
An associate degree in criminal justice often highlights specialized skills and lays the groundwork for the student to move on to a 4-year program. Local and state law enforcement agencies often want recruits to have at least some college under their belt.
A bachelor's degree is required for those wishing to find positions with federal law enforcement agencies, and is helpful for career advancement for state and local officers.
Higher level degrees, such as master's degrees and PhDs, often feature a concentration in the sciences and are geared towards public safety and philosophy.
Browse our comprehensive directory of criminal justice schools to find the criminal justice degree program that best suits you.