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Arkansas Criminal Justice Schools

  • 24 schools offering criminal justice degrees in Arkansas are in our database. (see below)
  • 15 offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 8 of them offer bachelor’s degrees and above, and 1 offers a mix of associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and PHDs.
  • We found one school in Arkansas ranked in US News and World Reports that have a criminal justice program: #65 University of Arkansas–Fayetteville, AR
  • According to Kiplinger’s, Arkansas has one university ranked in the top 100 for “Values in Public Colleges”, The University Arkansas, Fayettville.  For value, it ranks 56th nationwide.
  • 10 campus-based and online schools in Arkansas are available for requesting information.

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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, graduate 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 while graduate students and doctoral candidates are supervised throughout the course of their individuals 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) in which there is a special focus on the community and family issues affecting Northwestern Arkansas. Through classroom instruction, internships and researching centers, both undergraduate and graduate students can pursue their unique individual interest and career goals.

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Arkansas Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs

Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Correctional Officers and Jailers 5,250 $31,610
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 880 $53,610
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 570 $49,530
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 5,400 $36,790

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.

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 or 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 like a correctional sergeant carries an experience requirement, although academic work in the field of criminal justice can be substituted. The average yearly wage for Arkansas police and patrol officers is $36,620.1 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 our 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.

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Arkansas Criminal Justice Employment Outlook 2, 3, 4, 5

As of September 2014, Arkansas’s unemployment rate is 6.2%, which is slightly above the national average of 5.8%. This is well below the peak unemployment rate of 8.1% in November 2010. Arkansas had an unemployment low of 6% in November of 2008. Government related employment is a good proxy for Arkansas criminal justice jobs. According to Projection Central, there is a moderate demand for jobs in the criminal justice field. The annual hiring outlooks for criminal justice jobs in Arkansas include:

  • Police and Sheriff Patrol: 240 annual openings/88% in positions report some college, or
    bachelor’s degree
  • Correctional Officers: 200 annual openings/60% in positions report some college, or bachelor’s degree
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: 20 annual openings
  • Security Guards: 50 annual openings
  • Paralegals: 50 annual openings/88% in positions report some college, or bachelor’s degree

These openings are primarily a result of replacement and growth.

The Mercatus Center is a conservative think tank that analyzed and rated the long-term solvency of state governments. After reviewing the Arkansas’s budgeting process, cash/tax collections, and funding of pensions, it ranked Arkansas 21st in the nation. This indicates that Arkansas will likely be able to fulfill its obligation 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,and Texas).

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Directory of Arkansas Universities Offering Criminal Justice Degree

Arkansas State University (Jonesboro, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Crime Scene Investigations
Associate of Science | Law Enforcement
Associate of Science | Law Enforcement
Bachelor of Arts | Criminology
Bachelor of Science | Forensic Science
Master of Science | Criminal Justice

Arkansas State University-Beebe (Beebe, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Crime Scene Investigation
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement Administration
Bachelor of Arts | Criminology
Certificate of Proficiency | Crime Scene Investigation
Certificate of Proficiency | K-9 Assisted Drug/Explosive Detection
Certificate of Proficiency | Law Enforcement Administration
Technical Certificate | Corrections
Technical Certificate | Crime Scene Investigation
Technical Certificate | Forensics
Technical Certificate | Law Enforcement Administration
Technical Certificate | Wildlife Enforcement

Arkansas Tech University (Russellville, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice

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

Harding University (Searcy, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

ITT Technical Institute (Little Rock, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

National Park Community College (Hot Springs, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice

NorthWest Arkansas Community College (Bentonville, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice | Forensic Sciences
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice | Law Enforcement
Associate of Applied Science | Homeland Security/Emergency Management

Ouachita Technical College (Malvern, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Certificate of Proficiency | Criminal Justice

Ozarka College (Melbourne, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice Leadership

Pulaski Technical College (North Little Rock, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Crime Scene Investigation
Certificate | Legal Secretarial

Remington College (Little Rock, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)

SouthArk Community College (El Dorado, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Certificate | Criminal Justice

Southeast Arkansas College (Pine Bluff, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Crime Scene Investigation
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice Technology

Southern Arkansas University (Magnolia, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Behavior and Social Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Executive Master of Public Administration | Criminal Justice track

Southern Arkansas University Tech (Camden, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Fire and Emergency Response

University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

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, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Associate of Arts | Law Enforcement (online program)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Forensics
Master of Arts | Criminal Justice (online program)
Master of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Master of Science | Forensics
PhD | Criminal Justice

University of Arkansas at Monticello (Monticello, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (Pine Bluff, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice

University of Arkansas Community College-Batesville (Batesville, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice

University of Arkansas Community College-Hope (Hope, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice

University of Arkansas Community College-Morrilton (Morrilton, AR)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Certificate | Crime Scene Investigation
Certificate | Law Enforcement

References:
(1) Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_AR.htm
(2) Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/lau/ see state on page for current unemployment rate
(3) Bureau of Labor Statistics’ State Occupational Projections: http://https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm.htm
(4) Y Charts 10 Year Unemployment Chart: http://http://ycharts.com/indicators/arkansas_unemployment_rate
(5) Mercatus Center State Fiscal Condition: http://mercatus.org/publication/state-fiscal-condition-ranking-50-states

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.