253-235-9172 for questions

Menu

logo

Iowa Criminal Justice Schools

  • 24 schools offering criminal justice degrees in Iowa are in our database (see below).
  • Of the criminal justice programs in Iowa, 12 offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 13 offer bachelor’s degrees and above, and 2 offer master’s or doctoral degrees.
  • 2 schools offering online criminal justice degrees in Iowa ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs: Graceland University (#49), Upper Iowa University (#128).
  • 1 school in Iowa is on Kiplinger’s Best College Values: University of Iowa (#57 in-state, #95 out-of-state).
  • 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 with the help and guidance of the advising office and 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.

    Upper Iowa University (Online): Upper Iowa University has available over a dozen fully online programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. UIU offers its students six eight-week terms each year, allowing scheduling flexibility for new students as well as students working through their major requirements. Graduates of the online BS in Criminal Justice program are equipped to begin entry-level careers or pursue the school’s Master of Public Administration, offered only through virtual instruction. With rolling course schedules, enrolled individuals taking full course loads each term can finish their degrees within half the usual time it takes to earn a four-year degree.

    Iowa Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs

    Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
    Correctional Officers and Jailers 3,180 $47,050
    First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 880 $71,720
    Detectives and Criminal Investigators 400 $77,040
    Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 5,280 $54,300

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

    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 working 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, such as forensic science technicians, there are specific programs to prepare you for these careers. A criminal justice degree can help you enter a field with competitive compensation, strong job security, and work that contributes to the greater good by protecting citizens from harm and injustice.

    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 its correctional system. The Iowa Department of Corrections hires entry-level corrections officers on a continual basis. Correctional officers are paid a minimum annual salary of $38,417 and also receive a comprehensive benefits package.8 These positions have a path for promotion in which a criminal justice degree is 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, meaning that a criminal justice degree can help you to be among those selected for open positions. The Cedar Rapids Police Department (CRPD) is another agency that hires new law enforcement professionals. The CRPD offers 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 protective service occupations in Iowa, which includes patrol and police officers, was $42,480 as of May 2015.9

    A criminal justice degree does more than open doors. It also conveys a great deal of knowledge which is useful in the field and in the office. Knowledge of criminal justice theory, how to run investigations, 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.

    Iowa’s Criminal Justice Employment Outlook

    As of May 2016, Iowa had an unemployment rate of 3.9%, below the national average of 4.7%.10 The 10-year state unemployment high was recorded at 6.3% in November of 2010.10 Government-related employment is a good indicator of the availability of criminal justice jobs in Iowa. Projections Central estimates the following openings for criminal justice jobs through 2024:

    • Police and Sheriff Patrol: 190 annual openings; 46% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 24% holding an associate’s degree.11,12
    • Correctional Officers: 100 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 15% holding a post-secondary certificate.11,13
    • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: 10 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 21% holding an associate’s degree.11,14
    • Security Guards: 150 annual openings; 4% in these positions report completing at least some college.11,15
    • 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.11,16

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

    The Mercatus Center, a conservative think tank, rated and analyzed the long-term solvency of each state government. After analyzing the state’s cash/tax collection, budgeting, and pensions, Iowa was ranked 25th in the nation.17 This indicates that the state should be able to fulfill pension obligations to its employees.

    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.

    Searching for Schools...
    Matching School Ads


    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, or Missouri).

    Copy and Paste the following HTML code to add this infographic to your site:

    Directory of Iowa Universities Offering Criminal Justice Degrees

    Briar Cliff University (Sioux City)
    Bachelor of Arts | Criminology
    Minor | Criminal Justice

    Buena Vista University (Storm Lake)
    Bachelor of Applied Science | Criminology & Criminal Justice
    Bachelor of Applied Science | Criminology & Criminal Justice (online program)
    Minor | Criminology and Criminal Justice
    Program | Army ROTC

    Des Moines Area Community College (Ankeny)
    Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement
    Associate of Applied Science | Corrections
    Associate of Applied Science | Electronic Crime
    Associate of Applied Science | Homeland Security
    Associate of Arts | Law Enforcement (transfer degree)
    Associate of Arts | Homeland Security (transfer degree)
    Associate of Arts | Corrections (transfer degree)
    Associate of Arts | Electronic Crime (transfer degree)
    Certificate | Homeland Security
    Certificate | Digital Forensic Investigation

    Dordt College (Sioux Center)
    Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
    Minor | Criminal Justice

    Eastern Iowa Community College District (Davenport)
    Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice (transfer degree)
    Associate of Applied Science | Information Technology: Security & Forensics
    Diploma | Use of Force/ Cell Extraction Training

    Ellsworth Community College (Iowa Falls)
    Associate of Applied Science | Corrections
    Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement
    Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice

    Graceland University (Lamoni)
    Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice Administration
    Minor | Peace Studies

    Grand View University (Des Moines)
    Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
    Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
    Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice

    Hawkeye Community College (Waterloo)
    Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice (transfer degree)
    Certificate | Police Academy
    Certification | Reserve Officer Firearms

    Indian Hills Community College (Ottumwa)
    Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
    Associate of Applied Science | Digital Forensics
    Associate of Applied Science to Bachelor of Arts | Criminology and Criminal Justice (cooperative program with Buena Vista University)

    Iowa Central Community College (Fort Dodge)
    Associate of Professional Studies | Criminal Justice

    Iowa Lakes Community College (Estherville)
    Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
    Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
    Associate of Applied Science | Substance Abuse Counseling

    Iowa Wesleyan College (Mount Pleasant)
    Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
    Minor | Criminal Justice

    Kirkwood Community College (Cedar Rapids)
    Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice (transfer degree)
    Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice

    Loras College (Dubuque)
    Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
    Minor | Criminal Justice
    Minor | Peace and Justice

    Marshalltown Community College (Marshalltown)
    Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
    Associate of Applied Science | Corrections
    Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement

    Mount Mercy College (Cedar Rapids)
    Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
    Master of Arts | Criminal Justice
    Minor | Criminal Justice

    North Iowa Area Community College (Mason City)
    Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice (transfer degree)
    Certificate | Criminal Justice

    Saint Ambrose University (Davenport)
    Bachelor of Arts/ Master of Criminal Justice | Accelerated program
    Bachelor of Arts/ Master of Criminal Justice | Accelerated program (online program)
    Bachelor of Science | Forensic Chemistry
    Bachelor of Arts | Forensic Psychology
    Minor | Criminal Justice
    Minor | Peace and Justice

    Simpson College (Indianola)
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
    Bachelor of Science | Biochemistry/ Forensic Science
    Master of Arts | Criminal Justice
    Minor | Criminal Justice
    Minor | Forensic Science

    Southeastern Community College (West Burlington)
    Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
    Associate of Applied Science | Information Technology: Network Administration & Cyber Security
    Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice (transfer degree)
    Associate of Science | Forensic Chemistry (transfer degree)
    Certificate | Certified Protection Officer (online program)
    Diploma | Information Technology: Network Administration & Cyber Security

    University of Iowa (Iowa City)
    Bachelor of Applied Studies | Criminal Justice (online program)
    Program | Military Science: Army ROTC

    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
    stars-4

    Upper Iowa University (Fayette)
    Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice (online program)
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
    Bachelor of Science | Emergency and Disaster Management
    Bachelor of Science | Emergency and Disaster Management (online program)
    Bachelor of Science | Forensic Science
    Bachelor of Science | Public Administration: Emergency Management (online program)
    Bachelor of Science | Public Administration: Law Enforcement (online program)
    Master of Public Administration | Emergency Management and Homeland Security (online program)
    Minor | Criminal Justice
    Minor | Criminal Justice (online program)
    Minor | Emergency and Disaster Management (online program)
    Minor | Forensic Science
    Certificate | Criminalistics
    Certificate | Criminalistics (online program)
    Certificate | Emergency and Disaster Management
    Certificate | Emergency and Disaster Management (online program)

    Western Iowa Tech Community College (Sioux City)
    Associate of Arts | Addictions Counseling Emphasis
    Associate of Applied Science | Cyber Security & Digital Crime
    Associate of Applied Science | Police Science: Corrections
    Associate of Applied Science | Police Science: Forensic Investigations
    Associate of Applied Science/ Bachelor of Science | Police Science: Forensic Investigations (2+2 program with Briar Cliff University)
    Associate of Applied Science | Police Science Technology

    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. Iowa Department of Corrections: http://www.doc.state.ia.us/UploadedDocument/511
    9. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Protective Service Occupations (Major Group): http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes330000.htm
    10. Y Charts 10 Year Unemployment Chart: http://http://ycharts.com/indicators/iowa_unemployment_rate
    11. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
    12. O*Net OnLine, Police Patrol Officers: http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/33-3051.01
    13. O*Net OnLine, Correctional Officers and Jailers: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3012.00
    14. O*Net OnLine, Police Detectives: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3021.01
    15. O*Net OnLine, Security Guards: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-9032.00
    16. O*Net OnLine, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/23-2011.00
    17. Mercatus Center, George Mason University, Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition 2016 Edition: http://mercatus.org/statefiscalrankings