How do I Choose a Criminal Justice College?

Ken Black

Choosing the right criminal justice college depends on many factors, most of which depend upon personal preference, and what that student is most interested in. For example, those who are interested in forensic science may find their best choice of college is one with a reputation for good science classes. No matter what criminal justice college is chosen, it is important for the student to choose one he or she will be comfortable and which offers an appropriate degree path.

Choosing a criminal justice college can depend on the focus of the classes, such as adjudication.
Choosing a criminal justice college can depend on the focus of the classes, such as adjudication.

One thing that many may want to consider when choosing a criminal justice college is the average class size. Though class size will vary from class to class, the core classes, usually those taken in the student's junior and senior years, will be more stable in size. Some students may thrive in larger classes, where other students are better able to learn from small groups.

In addition to the class size, another key to choosing a criminal justice college is to learn about the faculty. Some colleges will stress the experience of their faculty, and the number of years they have in the teaching profession. Others may prefer to showcase how many of their instructors have recently been in hands-on jobs in criminal justice, but have only recently started teaching. Again, the choice as to which quality is more important is one each student must make for him or herself.

Another possible factor in choosing a criminal justice college is the availability of remote classes. In the past, this would include correspondence classes or classes by video. Now, this also includes Internet classes, which are becoming increasingly popular, especially for non-traditional students. In fact, some criminal justice schools may offer entire degree programs online. Others may offer at least some courses through the Internet.

The cost of tuition is a major consideration for many students, and this also applies to choosing a good criminal justice college. Those who are going into the field of criminal justice often do not do so for the money, and may find the entry-level salaries do not justify the expense of a high end school. With this in mind, finding a college that is affordable may be a higher priority.

Colleges will often invite prospective students to the campus for a visit and discussion with faculty. These visits may help sway a student one way or the other. Those students who do not feel entirely comfortable in a certain setting may discover that during a visit. Of course, the student may also find he or she is totally happy with the school.

Discussion Comments


One of the most important considerations not mentioned in the list is, if the school is regionally accredited. If the school is not regionally accredited you are wasting your time and money.

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