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Arkansas Criminal Justice Schools

  • 22 schools offering criminal justice degrees in Arkansas are in our database (see below).
  • Of the criminal justice programs in Arkansas, 21 offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 9 offer bachelor’s degrees and above, and 2 offer master’s or doctoral degrees.
  • 3 schools offering online criminal justice degrees in Arkansas ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs: University of Arkansas (#49), Arkansas Tech University (#193), Southern Arkansas University (#199).
  • 1 school in Arkansas is on Kiplinger’s Best College Values: University of Arkansas (#55 in-state, #52 out-of-state).

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Arkansas

University of Arkansas at Little Rock
The Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers avenues for individuals to receive an education in criminal justice at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels. Within the department are four centers geared towards specific research focuses: the Arkansas Victim Assistance Academy (AVAA), Environmental Criminology, Juvenile Justice, and Senior Justice. The teaching and mentoring faculty publish a wide array of scholarly pieces and are actively involved with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the American Society of Criminology, and the Environmental Crime and Crime Analysis Association. Undergraduates are introduced to a curriculum of both theory and practice. Master’s and doctoral candidates are supervised throughout the course of their individual research projects.

University of Arkansas (Main Campus)
The University of Arkansas offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice as well as a Criminal Justice Honors program through the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. Unique to this university is the Terrorism Research Center (TRC) which has hosted the oldest research project on terrorism in the United States since 2003, called the American Terrorism Study (ATS). The Department also has the Community and Family Institute (CFI), which holds a special focus on community and family issues affecting Northwestern Arkansas. Through classroom instruction, internships, and researching centers, both undergraduate and graduate students can pursue their unique individual interests and career goals.

Arkansas Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs

Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Correctional Officers and Jailers 5,160 $33,100
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 1,280 $52,530
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 470 $56,590
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 5,710 $37,330

Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.4,5,6,7

Arkansas Criminal Justice Degree

There are numerous career paths that you can take with a general criminal justice degree, or you can take a specialized program that will prepare you for a specific job like forensic science technician or paralegal. In Arkansas you can find traditional degree programs at a college campus as well as online programs that you can complete from home.

For the applicant interested in becoming an Arkansas police officer, a criminal justice degree can improve your chances of getting hired. Both Little Rock and North Little Rock’s police departments offer positions for new officers. The City of Fayetteville’s police department is another employer. Correctional opportunities, such as a correctional sergeant, typically have an experience requirement, although academic work in the field of criminal justice can sometimes be substituted. The average yearly wage for Arkansas police and patrol officers is $37,330.7 Other employers include the Transportation Security Administration as well as private security firms.

As the population of Arkansas grows, qualified individuals will be needed to ensure the safety of citizens. New advancements in technology require a highly educated police force to more effectively reduce crime in local neighborhoods. Whether you are interested in becoming a police officer or a crime scene investigator or a paralegal, there is a program that will provide the specific training that you need. While not every position in the criminal justice industry requires a 2- or 4-year college degree, many hiring managers will give preference to a candidate who holds a degree.

Arkansas Criminal Justice Employment Outlook

As of May 2015, Arkansas’s unemployment rate was 3.8%, below the national average of 4.7%.8 This is also well below the state peak unemployment rate of 8.1% in November 2010.8 Government-related employment is a good proxy for Arkansas criminal justice jobs. According to Projections Central, there will be high demand for jobs in the criminal justice field in the state. The annual hiring outlooks for criminal justice jobs in Arkansas include:

  • Police and Sheriff Patrol: 270 annual openings; 46% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 24% holding an associate’s degree.9,10
  • Correctional Officers: 210 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 15% holding a post-secondary certificate.9,11
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: 20 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 21% holding an associate’s degree.9,12
  • Security Guards: 140 annual openings; 4% in these positions report completing at least some college.9,13
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants: 50 annual openings; 86% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 30% holding an associate’s degree and 44% holding a bachelor’s degree.9,14

These openings are projected based on both replacements and jobs growth.

The Mercatus Center is a conservative think tank that analyzed and rated the long-term solvency of state governments. After reviewing Arkansas’s budgeting process, cash/tax collections, and funding of pensions, it ranked Arkansas 28th in the nation.15 This indicates that Arkansas will likely be able to fulfill its obligations to state employees, but new hires will still want to pay attention to Arkansas’s ability to fund its ongoing pension obligations.

Online and Arkansas Criminal Justice Schools

If you live in Arkansas, we recommend the following accredited campus-based and online criminal justice programs for students interested in pursuing associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the growing field of criminal justice.

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Tip: If you don’t live near a campus-based school that offers a program of interest, consider an online degree or a university in an adjacent state (Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, or Texas).


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Directory of Arkansas Universities Offering Criminal Justice Degree

Arkansas State University (Jonesboro)
Associate of Science | Crime Scene Investigations
Associate of Applied Science | Disaster Preparedness/Emergency Management
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement Administration
Bachelor of Science | Disaster Preparedness/Emergency Management
Bachelor of Arts | Criminology
Master of Arts | Criminal Justice
Master of Science | Disaster Preparedness/ Emergency Management
Minor | Criminology
Minor | Homeland Security and Disaster Preparedness

Arkansas State University-Beebe (Beebe)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Corrections
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Forensics
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Wildlife Enforcement Officer
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Law Enforcement Administration
Certificate | Corrections
Certificate | Forensics
Certificate | Wildlife Enforcement Officer
Certificate of Proficiency | K9 Assisted Drug and Explosive Detection

Arkansas Tech University (Russellville)
Bachelor of Science | Emergency Management
Bachelor of Professional Studies | Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice

Black River Technical College (Pocahontas)
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement Administration
Associate of Applied Science | Crime Scene Investigation
Certificate of Proficiency | Crime Scene Investigation
Certificate | Basic Police Training
Technical Certificate | Crime Scene Investigation

Harding University (Searcy)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice

National Park Community College (Hot Springs)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Certificate of Proficiency | Criminal Justice

NorthWest Arkansas Community College (Bentonville)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Prevention and Corrections
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Forensic Sciences
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Child Advocacy
Associate of Applied Science | Safety Health & Hazardous Materials (online program)
Technical Certificate | Criminal Justice
Technical Certificate | Child Advocacy Studies
Certificate of Proficiency | Criminal Justice
Certificate of Proficiency | Forensic Science
Certificate of Proficiency | Prevention and Corrections
Certificate of Proficiency | Law Enforcement
Certificate of Proficiency | Child Advocacy Studies

Ozarka College (Melbourne)
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice and Corrections
Certificate of Proficiency | Corrections and Criminal Justice

Pulaski Technical College (North Little Rock)
Associate of Applied Science | Crime Scene Investigation
Associate of Applied Science | Military Technologies
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement Administration
Certificate of Proficiency | Law Enforcement Administration
Certificate of Proficiency | Crime Scene Investigation
Technical Certificate | Crime Scene Investigation
Technical Certificate | Law Enforcement Administration

Remington College (Little Rock)
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor Degree | Criminal Justice (online program)

SouthArk Community College (El Dorado)
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice (transfer degree)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice Administration
Certificate of Proficiency | Criminal Justice
Certificate of Proficiency | Law Enforcement

Southeast Arkansas College (Pine Bluff)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice Technology
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Crime Scene Investigation
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement Administration
Technical Certificate | Crime Scene Investigation
Technical Certificate | Law Enforcement Administration
Certificate of Proficiency | Crime Scene Investigation
Certificate of Proficiency | Law Enforcement Administration

Southern Arkansas University (Magnolia)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Chemistry: Forensic Science option
Minor | Criminal Justice
Certificate of Proficiency | Law Enforcement Administration
Certificate of Proficiency | Crime Scene Investigation

Southern Arkansas University Tech (Camden)
Associate of Professional Studies | Law Enforcement
Technical Certificate | Law Enforcement

University of Arkansas (Fayetteville)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice (online program)

Student Review: “The University of Arkansas is a wonderful university. With over 23,199 students, the U of A offers all of the opportunities of a large state institution yet it also a place where a student can receive the attention they would at a smaller school. Nearly 40% of students study abroad and the honors college received one of the largest endowments for a public institution. Fayetteville is one of the top ten college towns in the country according to Forbes magazine and they are correct. Dickson street offers a lot of nightlight and live music. Students are passionate about razorback athletics and compete in the SEC, America’s toughest conference. The higher education program is wonderful and the business, engineering and architecture schools are highly rated as well. As any student would say, parking could improve.” – Jesse T.
stars-5

University of Arkansas at Little Rock (Little Rock)
Associate of Science | Law Enforcement
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Crime Scene Investigation
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement Administration
Bachelor of Professional Studies | Information Assurance
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Master of Arts | Criminal Justice
Master of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Master of Science | Information Quality
PhD | Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Crime Scene Investigation
Certificate | Law Enforcement Administration
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Conflict Mediation

University of Arkansas at Monticello (Monticello)
Associate of Applied Science | Crime Scene Investigation
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement Administration
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice
Technical Certificate | Crime Scene Investigation
Technical Certificate | Law Enforcement Administration
Certificate of Proficiency | Correctional Law Enforcement
Certificate of Proficiency | Crime Scene Investigation
Certificate of Proficiency | Law Enforcement Administration

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (Pine Bluff)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice Studies

University of Arkansas Community College-Batesville (Batesville)
Associate of Applied Science | Crime Scene Investigation
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement Administration
Technical Certificate | Crime Scene Investigation
Technical Certificate | Law Enforcement Administration
Certificate of Proficiency | Crime Scene Investigation
Certificate of Proficiency | Law Enforcement Administration

University of Arkansas Community College-Hope (Hope)
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice

University of Arkansas Community College-Morrilton (Morrilton)
Associate of Applied Science | Crime Scene Investigation
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement Administration
Certificate of Proficiency | Crime Scene Investigation
Certificate of Proficiency | Law Enforcement Administration
Technical Certificate | Crime Scene Investigation
Technical Certificate | Law Enforcement Administration

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics: http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. US News & World Report, Best Online Programs: http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education
3. Kiplinger’s Best College Values: http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-public-colleges/index.php
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Correctional Officers and Jailers http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333012.htm
5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes331012.htm
6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Detectives and Criminal Investigators: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333021.htm
7. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333051.htm
8. Y Charts 10 Year Unemployment Chart: https://ycharts.com/indicators/arkansas_unemployment_rate
9. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
10. O*Net OnLine, Police Patrol Officers: http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/33-3051.01
11. O*Net OnLine, Correctional Officers and Jailers: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3012.00
12. O*Net OnLine, Police Detectives: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3021.01
13. O*Net OnLine, Security Guards: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-9032.00
14. O*Net OnLine, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/23-2011.00
15. Mercatus Center, George Mason University, Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition 2016 Edition: http://mercatus.org/statefiscalrankings