How do I Choose the Best Criminal Justice Programs?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2019
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Choosing the best criminal justice programs depends largely upon the individual, and his or her particular interests, skills, and situation. In some cases, choosing criminal justice schools may depend primarily on where one lives. Local criminal justice colleges often provide the student with a convenient education, but yet of sufficient enough quality that it would not inhibit career choices. In other cases, the costs and practical experience may be determining factors, that could sway a student to look farther from home.

Criminal justice programs can be broken down into several different categories, especially for those who are seeking a four-year degree. These categories will include, criminal justice theory, forensic science, criminology and perhaps even psychology. Some may choose more than one specialty by getting a double major, thereby increasing their choices in the future.

Some criminal justice programs are offered online, while others require attending a physical classroom. Many colleges now offer a limited number of classes online, but will also require certain classes to be taught in a traditional setting. Non-traditional students, who may have unusual schedules, will find online classes to be a big attraction when looking to make a choice between two or more criminal justice programs. An online option may offer the flexibility the student is looking for.


Another one of the considerations some may look at when deciding between various criminal justice programs is the cost. Some programs, especially those at private institutions, will be more expensive than others. Like any other degree path, choosing between a public and private college is often a matter of money. It is up to the individual to determine whether the private college offers something of greater value that a public institution, which would justify the extra expense.

The technical knowledge that must be learned for some criminal justice careers is another factor. The equipment used, especially in forensic science, can be quite complex. Criminal justice programs that offer training on state-of-the-art technology will likely be more attractive to students who need that specific training. Asking about the type of equipment, and seeking a tour of the facilities before choosing a school, is often a good idea for students concerned about this. Internships are also very important for gaining this type of experience.

No matter what type of criminal justice career path is chosen, the individual should make sure to find a program that is a good fit for his or her needs. This includes taking the time to determine what is most important in a program, and then finding a school that can fit those needs. A substantial amount of money and time will be spent pursuing the study. Each student should make sure they will get what they need.



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