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Oregon Criminal Justice Schools

  • 18 schools offering criminal justice degrees in Oregon are in our database (see below).
  • Of the criminal justice programs in Oregon, 15 offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 4 offer bachelor’s degrees and above, and 1 offers master’s or doctoral degrees.
  • 2 schools offering online criminal justice degrees in Oregon ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs: Oregon State University (#7), Eastern Oregon University (#63).
  • 1 school in Oregon is on Kiplinger’s Best College Values: University of Oregon (#93 in-state, #100 out-of-state).


Profiles of Well-Known Schools

Portland State University: The College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University houses the Hatfield School of Government, where a BS, BA, MS, and post-baccalaureate certificate in Criminology and Criminal Justice are offered. The bachelor’s program is also available fully online, catering to working students since 2006. The Hatfield School of Government has five different and highly specialized institutes and centers: the National Policy Center; the Center for Public Service; the Center for Turkish Studies; the Center for Women, Politics and Policy; and the Criminal Justice Policy Research Institute. The Division of Criminology and Criminal Justice also collaborates with the Public Administration and Policy PhD Program to provide multidisciplinary doctoral specializations.

Oregon State University: The Department of Sociology at Oregon State University has an undergraduate Crime and Justice Option as well as a general Sociology degree with one of six possible interest areas: International Development; Social Interaction and Group Relations; Deviance and Social Control; Social Systems and Social Change; Social Policy; and Environmental and Natural Resources. The department oversees the Rural Studies Program, a seminar series held each fall and winter, and the faculty participate in research endeavors such as Changes in Coastal Communities and Drugs and Drug Policy. Common courses that crime and justice students take include Deviant Behavior and Social Control, Juvenile Delinquency, and Race and Ethnic Relations. Students can earn from one to four credit hours through an internship with a government or social services agency.

Western Oregon University: Western Oregon University offers three degree programs in criminal justice that can be completed on campus or online: A Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice (BA), a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BS), and a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. Students must complete a minor with the 180-credit hour BA/BS program and may choose from minors such as Homeland Security & Community Preparedness; Social Science; Psychology; Forensic Anthropology; or Computer Science. All students pursuing the BA/BS complete a 12 credit, 400-hour practicum with an agency related to the criminal justice field. At the graduate level, the two-year, 45 credit Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program can be completed through a professional project or comprehensive exam option. Elective courses in this program include Theory of Criminal Law, Strategic Planning in Criminal Justice, and Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice. The school also offers a certificate program in Homeland Security and Community Preparedness.

Oregon Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs

Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Correctional Officers and Jailers 4,040 $55,030
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 1,200 $92,790
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 660 $84,500
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 4,800 $65,890

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

Respected leaders who have graduated from universities in Oregon

  • Multnomah County, Oregon Sheriff Daniel W. Staton – Salem State College
  • Washington County, Oregon Sheriff Pat Garrett – Oregon State University, Portland State University
  • Portland, OR, Police Chief Michael Reese- Portland State University
  • Marion, Oregon Sheriff Jason Myers – Oregon State University, Chemeketa Community College
Police Quote: “It is important to get a college education for a couple reasons. First, people watching TV often get the wrong idea of law enforcement. People don’t always last in this career and so a fallback is good to have just in case. For those staying, the education can help them be more effective in the job. I need someone who can do a good job of writing logically laid out reports – you have to be articulate in doing police work. Note these benefits from education benefit both the patrol and corrections side. I need dependable people who can do a good, reliable job. In getting an advanced degree, I know the requisite skills are covered well.” -Glenn Palmer, Sheriff of Grant County in Oregon

Oregon Criminal Justice Degrees

Oregon criminal justice degreesThe public sector of Oregon’s criminal justice industry is strongly represented by the many city and county police departments that hire graduates of criminal justice programs. The Portland Police requires a minimum of an associate’s degree or two years of active duty with the military. New recruits attend the Oregon Police Academy in Salem Oregon for 16 weeks.

In the private sector, there are opportunities working as a paralegal or legal assistant at the many law firms in Oregon as well as within government agencies. Many law firms are looking to hire paralegals in order to cut costs.

Oregon Criminal Justice Salary

There are many criminal justice jobs that offer attractive salary and benefits packages in addition to an exciting work environment. The average salary for a police officer in Oregon is $65,890 per year and those who advance to a leadership position earn a higher salary; first-line supervisors of police officers earn an average of $92,790 in Oregon.5,7 Criminal investigators and detectives earn an average of $84,500 per year.6 Paralegals working in Oregon are paid an average annual salary of $54,180.8

Oregon’s Criminal Justice Employment Outlook

As of May 2016 Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.5%, just below the national average of 4.7% and significantly lower than the state’s 10-year peak rate of 11.6% from July 2009.9 Government-related employment is a good proxy for criminal justice jobs in Oregon. Projections Central includes the following criminal justice job estimates for Oregon:

  • Police and Sheriff Patrol: 190 annual openings; 46% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 24% holding an associate’s degree.10,11
  • Correctional Officers: 120 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 15% holding a post-secondary certificate.10,12
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: 20 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 21% holding an associate’s degree.10,13
  • Security Guards: 120 annual openings; 4% in these positions report completing at least some college.10,14
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants: 110 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.10,15

These estimated annual openings are based on jobs growth as well as replacements.

According to the Mercatus Center, a conservative think tank that rated and analyzed the long-term solvency of each state’s government, Oregon ranks 30th in the nation.16 The state’s budgeting process, cash/tax handling, and pensions were analyzed. This means the state should continue to be able to fulfill employee pension obligations, but that new hires should keep a close eye on the state’s financial standing.

Online and Oregon Criminal Justice Schools

To learn more about earning an Oregon criminal justice degree, see 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 (Washington, Idaho, Nevada, or California).



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Directory of Oregon Universities Offering Criminal Justice Degrees

Central Oregon Community College (Bend)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer | Criminal Justice
Certificate of Completion | Juvenile Corrections
Proficiency Area | Law Enforcement
Proficiency Area | Corrections
Proficiency Area | Juvenile Justice
Proficiency Area | Parole and Probation
Proficiency Area | Criminal Investigations

Chemeketa Community College (Salem)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Corrections
Associate of Applied Science | Juvenile Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement
Certificate | Basic Corrections
Certificate | Basic Law Enforcement
Certificate | Juvenile Corrections

Student Review: “Being enrolled in the criminal justice program at Chemeketa Community College has been quite the experience. With more pros than cons, I would recommend this program to any individuals interested in a criminal justice career. Not only am I educated on laws and statutes, but I have also been educated with “hands on training.” There are plenty of field exercises ranging from building searches, to basic traffic stops, all of which are very important, as well as very informative. The criminal justice program is a two year program which goes in depth in educating the student about a career in criminal justice. Instructors do their best to ensure that every student completely understands every aspect of what it takes to do a job. The main focuses of the criminal justice program are to: A) prepare the student for the police academy, and B) prepare the student for the day to day challenges he/she may face in the line of duty. The cons include: a long wait time during the application process (due to a thorough background investigation) and you may have to work out in the rain during field exercises.” -Jacob C., student at Chemeketa Community College
stars-5
Student Review: “Chemeketa was a really good school for me to go to. Walking around the campus you’ll run into friendly staff and some friendly students as well. All of the instructors there are pretty easy to approach when in need of help, and are generally really helpful. Around campus you could find a good number of groups or organizations that you could join. Overall I enjoyed my two years at Chemeketa.” -Randall G., student at Chemeketa Community College
stars-4
Student Review: “The Criminal Justice department at Chemeketa CC is really very good. They work with local Law Enforcement for some of the training in even the most basic of the classes. I also loved the fact that we rarely had to buy textbooks for the classes. Most of the material was provided for in handouts, videos and general note taking. Last but not least, the teachers are wonderful too! They’re there to help you learn and answer any law enforcement question that pops into your head. The only thing really negative I have to say about the program is the fact that most of the classes take place on the very back of the campus in weird little mobile houses. It’s kind of a pain when juggling classes on other parts of the campus.” – student at Chemeketa Community College
stars-5

Clackamas Community College (Oregon City)
Associate of Applied Science | Corrections
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Alcohol & Drug Counselor
Certificate | Corrections
Certificate | Crime Analysis
Certificate | Juvenile Corrections

Eastern Oregon University (La Grande)
Bachelor of Science | Fire Services Administration (online)

Klamath Community College (Klamath Falls)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Addictions Studies
One-Year Certificate | Criminal Justice

Lane Community College (Eugene)
Associate of Applied Science | Human Services: Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science to Bachelor of Science | Human Services: Criminal Justice to Criminal Justice
One-Year Certificate | Human Services: Juvenile Corrections

Linn-Benton Community College (Albany)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice (online)
Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) | Criminal Justice
One-Year Certificate | Juvenile Corrections

Mt. Hood Community College (Gresham)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice Administration

Oregon State University (Corvallis)
Bachelor of Arts | Sociology: Crime and Justice

Portland Community College (Portland)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Corrections Technician

Portland State University (Portland)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminology & Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Arts | Criminology & Criminal Justice (online)
Bachelor of Science | Criminology & Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminology & Criminal Justice (online)
Master of Science | Criminology & Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminology & Criminal Justice
Certificate | Advanced Crime Analysis (online)
Certificate | Criminal Behavior (online)
Certificate | Leadership in Criminology and Criminal Justice (online)
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Criminology & Criminal Justice
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Criminology & Criminal Justice (online)

Student Review: “Portland State can be a pretty mixed bag. On the one hand, there are a few really great professors here, it’s very centrally located, and the school often helps connect you with Portland-area professionals. On the other hand, there are nearly 30,000 students enrolled in this not-very-selective university. This means that things can get impersonal, there’s not a lot of feeling of community, and the labs and teaching are sometimes not of the best quality. I have to say, though, I started out at a very selective small liberal arts school, then enrolled in PSU after deciding to change career fields, and even my small college felt impersonal at times. And I definitely had bad teachers there, too. Overall, I’d say this is a great school for a returning student who knows their way around a university system. You have to be persistent with navigating the main registration/admissions/financial aid system, which is in large part staffed by overworked students. What really helps is to decide on a major as soon as you can, and get to know the folks in your department.” -Emily M., student at Portland State University
stars-3

Rogue Community College (Grants Pass)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Science | Criminology
Certificate of Completion | Juvenile Corrections

Southern Oregon University (Ashland)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice

Southwestern Oregon Community College (Coos Bay)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice Emphasis

Tillamook Bay Community College (Tillamook)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Pathway Certificate | Corrections Technician

Treasure Valley Community College (Ontario)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Office Administration
Certificate | Corrections

Umpqua Community College (Roseburg)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Juvenile Corrections
Certificate of Completion | Police Reserve Academy

Western Oregon University (Monmouth)
Bachelor of Arts/ Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Master of Arts | Criminal Justice
Minor | Forensic Anthropology
Minor | Homeland Security
Certificate | Homeland Security & Community Preparedness

Student Review: “It is hard to imagine that there is a better college for obtaining a degree in Criminal Justice then Western Oregon University. The professors are extremely helpful, all coming from various fields in the criminal justice fields, and are more than eager to share their various experiences with the students. The campus is a clean, friendly and safe environment to learn at, with an excellent library and multiple labs and work stations. The criminal justice department also schedules many meetings and forums throughout the year with various law enforcement agencies over a variety of topics. The curriculum is very through and challenging, yet very rewarding. Western Oregon University used to be the home of the police academy in Oregon, which acts as a form of recognition and prestige that any law enforcement on the west coast will recognize.” -Dolan K., student at Western Oregon University
stars-5

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. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm
9. Y Charts 10 Year Unemployment Chart: http://http://ycharts.com/indicators/oregon_unemployment_rate
10. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
11. O*Net OnLine, Police Patrol Officers: http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/33-3051.01
12. O*Net OnLine, Correctional Officers and Jailers: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3012.00
13. O*Net OnLine, Police Detectives: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3021.01
14. O*Net OnLine, Security Guards: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-9032.00
15. O*Net OnLine, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/23-2011.00
16. Mercatus Center, George Mason University, Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition 2016 Edition: http://mercatus.org/statefiscalrankings