Iowa Criminal Justice Schools

  • 28 schools offering criminal justice degrees in Iowa are in our database. (see below)
  • 13 offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 13 of them offer bachelor’s degrees and above, and 2 offer a mix of bachelor’s and master’s
  • We found 1 school in Iowa ranked in US News and World Reports that have a criminal justice program; #44 Iowa State University Ames, IA
  • According to Kiplinger’s, Iowa has 1 university ranked in the top 100 for “Values in Public Colleges”, #66 The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  • 10 campus-based and online schools in Iowa are available for requesting information.

Spotlight School

For over 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, quality career education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions.

Programs:

  • Criminal Justice, BA
  • Criminal Justice, AA
  • Legal Studies, BA (Online)

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Profiles of Well Known Schools in Iowa

Iowa State University: Within Iowa State University’s Department of Sociology is the Interdisciplinary Studies Major in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The degree plan is a multifaceted course of study with courses from various social science fields that contribute to developing an understanding of criminal justice systems. Majors are required to do an internship, the opportunities of which can be found with the help of the advising office or the Sociology Help Center. Students can keep up with field job posts, new publications and research projects through Soconnection, the online bulletin board for the Department of Sociology.

University of Iowa: The Department of Sociology at the University of Iowa offers students the option to pursue a Criminology Track with a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Art in Sociology. Students complete a minimum of 15 hours of track courses that include Criminology, Global Criminology, Gender and Violence, and Juvenile Delinquency among many others. The department has the affiliate Center for Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies, where students and faculty collaborate to research subjects surrounding the issues of crime. Other affiliate centers include the Center for the Study of Group Processes and the Institute for Inequality Studies.

Upper Iowa University (Online): Upper Iowa University has available over a dozen and a half full online programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. UIU offers its students six eight-week terms each year, thus they do not have to wait until the fall to begin classes. Graduate of the online BS Criminal Justice program are equipped to pursue the Master of Public Administration, offered only through virtual instruction. With the available course schedules, enrolled individuals can finish their degrees within half the time.

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Iowa Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs

Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Correctional Officers and Jailers 3,210 $44,320
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 810 $68,480
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 430 $66,950
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 5,090 $50,480

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

Respected leaders who have graduated from universities in Iowa

  • Des Moines Police Chief Judy Bradshaw- Drake University, Des Moines, IA
  • Polk County Sheriff Bill McCarthy – Drake University, Des Moines, IA
  • Scott County Sheriff Dennis Conard – St Ambrose University, Davenport, IA
Police Quote: “The best advice I have ever received in law enforcement which makes me better at my job, was from Assistant United States Attorney Richard (Rocky) Rothrock. The advice was to keep a running/current resume of all my training and to aspire for any new training or techniques within my current certifications which will make me better as a witness when testifying in court. I have also learned that teaching in front of peers and other professionals in medical and fire science makes me a better spokesperson when addressing law enforcement issues and testifying in court. I have found that specializing in certifications outside of my comfort zone makes me a better and more credible police officer.” -Daniel L. Stepleton Regional Director of the Iowa Narcotics Officers Association

Iowa Criminal Justice Degrees

If you are looking to enter the law enforcement field for a state or local agency, a general criminal justice degree will often meet the requirements and give you a strong advantage over candidates without a degree. For jobs that require technical training like a forensic science technician, there are specific programs that will prepare you for these careers. A criminal justice degree can help you enter a field with competitive compensation, a high level of excitement, strong job security, and work that contributes to the greater good by protecting citizens from harm and injustice.

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Iowa often has vacancies for state troopers and provides comprehensive benefits and a competitive salary. In addition to hiring for the police force, the state also has a number of vacancies in their correctional system. The Iowa Department of Corrections hires entry level corrections officers on a continual basis. Correctional officers are paid a minimum of $34,278 1 per year and also receive a comprehensive benefit package. Both positions have a path for promotion and in both a Criminal Justice degree would be helpful for career growth. Des Moines, the state capitol and home of the Iowa State Fair often has openings for police officers. You will need some college credit to get in the door and a criminal justice degree will help you to be selected. Cedar Rapids is another agency that hires new law enforcement professionals. They offer comprehensive benefits and a desirable 4/10 work week which gives the officer three days off. There are also a large number insurance companies in Iowa, which creates opportunities to investigate and combat insurance fraud. The average yearly salary for patrol and police officers is $47,740 in the state of Iowa.2

A criminal justice degree does more than open doors for those who have completed one. It also conveys a great deal of knowledge which will be useful in any of these positions. Knowledge of how criminal justice is administered, how investigations are run, and how criminals think will not just be useful for an interview—it will be useful throughout a criminal justice career. Furthermore, thanks to the Internet, students can earn their degree either online or in a classroom setting.

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Iowa’s Criminal Justice Employment Outlook 3, 4, 5, 6

At the start of 2012, Iowa’s unemployment has fallen to 5.6% after staying near 6% from 2009-late 2011. It is nearly 2 points below national average, and according to the USA Today / Moody’s Analytic employment projections, it will regain prior peak employment levels by early 2014. While this seems distant, the reality is that Iowa has had a shallower drop than most states. Government related employment, which is a good proxy for Iowa criminal justice jobs, has very good prospects with prior peak employment levels reached by late 2013 – again losses have been lighter than most states due to a strong state budget. On the Iowa’s Workforce site high demand criminal justice occupations in Iowa include Police and Sheriff patrol (150 openings / 88% of individuals in these positions report having some college or a bachelor’s degree), Correctional Officers (85 annual openings / 60% of individuals in these positions report having some college or a bachelor’s degree), Detectives / Investigators / Forensic Techs (15 annual openings), Security Guards (250 annual openings) and Paralegals (70 annual openings / 88% of individuals in these positions report having some college or a bachelor’s degree). According to Sunshine Review, Iowa’s state budget is in relatively good shape. Iowa is a strong state, and e suggest requesting free information from several Iowa criminal schools to best understand your education options.

Online and Iowa Criminal Justice Schools

For residents of Iowa, 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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University of Phoenix
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • A.A. in Criminal Justice
  • B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration/Human Services for Criminal Justice
  • B.S in Criminal Justice Administration/Cybercrimes

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National American University
Campuses: 1Sioux Falls
Popular Degrees:

  • Criminal Justice A.A.S.
  • Criminal Justice B.S.
  • Business Administration Emphasis in Pre-Law B.S.

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Keiser University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Criminal Justice, BA
  • Criminal Justice, AA
  • Legal Studies, BA (Online)

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Capella University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • MS - Criminal Justice
  • PhD - Criminal Justice
  • BS - Criminal Justice

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Keiser University Graduate School
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Criminal Justice, MA (Online)

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Kaplan University - KHE
Campuses: 1Cedar Rapids
Popular Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science: Advanced Start in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science: Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Applied Science: Criminal Justice

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Liberty University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • AA in Criminal Justice
  • Masters in Criminal Justice: Command College

request information

California University of Pennsylvania
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Master of Science in Legal Studies: Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Legal Studies: Law and Public Policy
  • Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence: Legal Studies

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Grand Canyon University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • B.S. in Justice Studies
  • M.S. in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
  • M.S. in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement

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Walden University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • B.S. in Human Services - Criminal Justice 
  • Ph.D. in Social Work - Criminal Justice
  • B.S. in Criminal Justice - Crime and Criminals


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 (Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Missouri).

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Directory of Iowa Universities Offering Criminal Justice Degrees

AIB College of Business (Des Moines, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Court Reporting

Ashford University (Clinton, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor Degree | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor Degree | Homeland Security (online program)
Bachelor of Arts | Social and Criminal Justice (online program)

Briar Cliff University (Sioux City, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice

Buena Vista University (Storm Lake, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminology & Criminal Justice

Des Moines Area Community College (Ankeny, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Science | Legal Assistant
Certificate | Legal Assistant

Dordt College (Sioux Center, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice

Eastern Iowa Community College District (Davenport, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Certificate | Health, Safety and Environmental
Certificate | Law Enforcement

Ellsworth Community College (Iowa Falls, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate in Science | Criminal Justice

Graceland University (Lamoni, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Sociology | coursework in criminology, justice, etc.
Bachelor of Science | Pre-Forensic Science (Biology and/or Chemistry major)

Grand View University (Des Moines, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice

Hawkeye Community College (Waterloo, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Law Enforcement

Indian Hills Community College (Ottumwa, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Paramedic Specialist
Diploma | Emergency Medical Intermediate

Iowa Central Community College (Fort Dodge, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Criminal Justice (online program)
Associate of Arts/Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Diploma | Criminal Justice

Iowa Lakes Community College (Estherville, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Criminal Justice

Iowa Wesleyan College (Mount Pleasant, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

ITT Technical Institute (Clive, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

Kaplan University (Cedar Falls, IA; Cedar Rapids, IA; Council Bluffs, IA; Mason City, IA; Urbandale, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science/Advanced Start Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

Kirkwood Community College (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Arts | Corrections
Associate of Arts | Law Enforcement
Associate of Science | Corrections
Associate of Science | Law Enforcement

Loras College (Dubuque, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

Marshalltown Community College (Marshalltown, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice

Mount Mercy College (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice

North Iowa Area Community College (Mason City, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate in Arts | Criminal Justice
Associate in Science | Information Systems Technology | Cyber Security
Certificate | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Foundations of Security

Saint Ambrose University (Davenport, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Arts | Criminalistics
Master of Criminal Justice | Criminal Justice
Master of Criminal Justice | Juvenile Justice Education

Simpson College (Indianola, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice | Administration
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice | Corrections
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice | Justice
Bachelor of Science | Forensic Science; Biochemistry

Southeastern Community College (West Burlington, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate in Applied Science | Criminal Justice Technology
Associate in Arts | Criminal Justice
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Basic Law Enforcement Training
Certificate | Criminal Justice Technology
Diploma | Criminal Justice Technology

University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Applied Studies | Criminal Justice (online program)

Student Review: “My time at Iowa has really helped me develop as a scientist and as a person. I have been able to work in a lab that has some of the leading researchers in the field and the University really opens the doors for great collaboration opportunities. It is easy to collaborate within the school as well as with researchers from other areas. The school is in the heart of downtown and all of the buildings are easy to access. My program itself is a highly ranked program, along with many other programs that are helping set the standard for what a program should provide for its students. I know that when I graduate, many doors will be open to me thanks to my time at this university.” -Katie W., student at University of Iowa

Upper Iowa University (Fayette, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor Degree | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Criminology
Bachelor of Science | Emergency and Disaster Management (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Forensic Science
Bachelor of Science | Public Administration | Law Enforcement
Masters Degree | Criminal Justice (online program)
Masters Degree | Homeland Security (online program)

Western Iowa Tech Community College (Sioux City, IA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Cyber Crime Investigations
Associate of Applied Science | Emergency & Disaster Management
Associate of Applied Science | Police Science | Corrections
Associate of Applied Science | Police Science | Forensic Investigations
Associate of Applied Science | Police Science Technology
Certificate | Emergency Disaster
Certificate | Emergency Manager Basic Skills
Certificate | Emergency Planning
Diploma | Computer Forensics Specialist
Diploma | Emergency & Disaster Management

References:
(1) Iowa.gov: http://www.das.hre.iowa.gov/state_jobs_open_co.html
(2) Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_IA.htm
(3) Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/lau/ see state on page for current unemployment rate
(4) USA TODAY/Moody’s Analytics/BLS: http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2009-02-06-new-jobs-growth-graphic_N.htm
(5) Occupational Supply & Demand System / OCDS Georgia State University for the U.S. Department of Labor: http://www.occsupplydemand.org/OSD_SelectOcc.aspx?chk=2&ST=ZZ
(6) The Sunshine Review: http://sunshinereview.org/core/home (select state budget button)

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.