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Montana Criminal Justice Schools

  • 6 schools offering criminal justice degrees in Montana are in our database (see below).
  • Of the criminal justice programs in Montana, 5 offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 3 offer bachelor’s degrees and above, and 1 offers master’s or doctoral degrees.
  • 0 schools offering online criminal justice degrees in Montana ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
  • 0 schools in Montana are on Kiplinger’s Best College Values.


Profiles of Well-Known Schools

The University of Montana: Through the Department of Sociology at the University of Montana, students can pursue a BA or MA in Sociology with a Criminology Emphasis. The department has established networks to pair majors with juvenile justice internships, better preparing them for graduation. Bachelor’s students are required to complete criminology option courses that include Sociology of Corrections, Juvenile Justice System, and Addiction Studies, while master’s students dedicate the majority of their time to theory and methodology courses. To better network and take part in field seminars and activities, criminology students can join the department’s Criminology Club.

Montana State University: Students at Montana State University can pursue a BS in Sociology with the Criminology Option through the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Common courses that students with this concentration take include Criminology, Principles of Criminal Law and Procedure, Occupational or Corporate Crime, and Family Violence. The department has 10 full-time faculty and those teaching criminology courses specialize in family issues and juvenile delinquency. Being a land-grant campus, Montana State University is a hub for innovative research and currently holds 81 patents and 200 license agreements.

Montana Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs

Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Correctional Officers and Jailers 1,210 $35,840
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 230 $69,750
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 450 $75,130
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 1,520 $49,630

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

Respected leaders who have graduated from universities in Montana

  • Missoula, MT Police Chief Mark Muir- University of Montana, MT
  • Helena, MT Police Chief Troy Mcgee- Carroll College, MT
  • Lewis and Clark County, MT Sheriff Leo C. Dutton- University of Montana College of Technology, MT
  • Great Falls, MT Police Chief David Bowen- University of Great Falls, MT
Police Quote: “Of course, you can have a successful career in patrol or corrections without a degree, but it definitely helps. Even if these people don’t aspire to management, a bachelor’s degree should still be the goal because it helps in so many ways – even with simple life skills.” –Sheriff Gary Raney

Montana Criminal Justice Degrees

Montana has major college communities in Missoula and Bozeman, as well as a Law Enforcement Academy for officer training. Local, state, and federal government agencies represent one of the largest employer groups in the criminal justice field. In Montana, law enforcement offices within the state’s Department of Justice include the Montana Highway Patrol, State Crime Lab Forensic Science Division, and Division of Criminal Investigation. Federal agencies that employ criminal justice majors include the Department of Justice, US Marshals Service, DEA, FBI, and Secret Service.

Montana is home to several schools offering criminal justice programs, and accredited online institutions help fill the gap, particularly in remote areas. Criminal justice education options available for students attending Montana campuses range from certification programs all the way to Master of Science and Master of Arts degrees, in concentrations as diverse as forensic anthropology, private security, and cybersecurity.

Montana’s Criminal Justice Employment Outlook

As of May 2016 Montana’s unemployment rate was 4.2%, quite close to the 10-year low unemployment rate of 4% seen in March 2015.8 The 10-year peak unemployment rate was 6.9% in August 2010.8 Government-related employment is a good indicator of criminal justice jobs in Montana. Projections Central includes the following criminal justice job estimates for the state:

  • Police and Sheriff Patrol: 70 annual openings; 46% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 24% holding an associate’s degree.9,10
  • Correctional Officers: 50 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: 10 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 21% holding an associate’s degree.9,12
  • Security Guards: 60 annual openings; 4% in these positions report completing at least some college.9,13
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants: 40 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 positions are based on projections for both jobs growth and replacements.

The Mercatus Center, a conservative think tank, ranked and analyzed the long-term solvency of each state government. The center analyzed the budgeting process, tax/cash collections, and pensions for each state and ranked Montana 10th in the nation.15 This shows sound employment and budgeting practices, and new hires can be confident that the state will likely be able to fulfill its pension obligations.

Online and Montana Criminal Justice Schools

If you live in Montana, 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...

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 (North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, or Idaho).


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Montana Criminal Justice Salary

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides wage details that can help prospective students make career decisions, although a passion for your work can be just as essential as financial compensation. The BLS categorizes most criminal justice jobs under protective services and community and social services, reflecting the various roles that are fundamental to these occupations. Mean annual salaries within this field depend to a great extent on the level of training required. The average salary for all protective service occupations in Montana was $39,770 as of May 2015.16 During the same time period, police officers in Montana earned an average of $49,630 per year and first-line supervisors of police earned an average of $69,750.5,7 Corrections officers were paid an average of $35,840 while detectives earned an average salary of $75,130.4,6 Paralegals working Montana earned an average of $44,320.17

Directory of Montana Universities Offering Criminal Justice Degrees

Blackfeet Community College (Browning)
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice

Dawson Community College (Glendive)
Associate of Arts | Chemical Dependency Counseling
Associate of Arts/ Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement: Peace Officer
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement: Peace Officer (online program)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement: Private Security
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement: Private Security (online program)
Certificate | Correctional Officer

Flathead Valley Community College (Kalispell)
Associate of Arts | Forensic Science
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Associate of Arts | Human Services
Associate of Arts | Substance Abuse Counseling
Associate of Science | Forensic Science
Associate of Science | Human Services (transfer degree)
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice (transfer degree)
Associate of Science | Substance Abuse Counseling
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Emergency Management
Associate of Applied Science | Human Services
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice (2+2 program with the University of Great Falls)
Certificate | Emergency Dispatch
Certificate | Firearms Technologies

Montana State University (Bozeman)
Bachelor of Science | Sociology / Criminology

The University of Montana (Montana)
Bachelor of Arts | Anthropology: Forensic Anthropology
Bachelor of Arts | Sociology: Criminology
Bachelor of Arts | Sociology: Inequality and Social Justice
Bachelor of Science | Chemistry: Forensic Chemistry
Master of Arts | Forensic Anthropology
Master of Arts | Sociology: Criminology
Master of Arts | Sociology: Inequality and Social Justice
Minor | Military Studies
Certificate | Cybersecurity (online program)
Certificate | Forensic Studies
Certificate | Forensic Studies (online program)
Certificate | Geographic Information Systems Sciences & Technologies
Certificate | Network & Info Security

University of Great Falls (Great Falls)
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Arts | Addictions Counseling
Bachelor of Arts | Addictions Counseling (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Corrections
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Resource Enforcement
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Forensic Investigation
Bachelor of Science | Forensic Biology
Bachelor of Science | Forensic Chemistry
Bachelor of Science | Forensic Science
Master of Science | Organizational Management: Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice (online program)
Minor | Forensic Science
Certificate | Addictions Counseling

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: http://http://ycharts.com/indicators/montana_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
16. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Protective Service Occupations (Major Group): http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes330000.htm
17. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm