Tennessee Criminal Justice Schools

  • 27 schools offering criminal justice degrees in Tennessee are in our database. (see below)
  • 8 offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 13 of them offer bachelor’s degrees and above, and 6 offer a mix of bachelor’s and master’s
  • We found no schools in Tennessee ranked in US News and World Reports that have a criminal justice program
  • According to Kiplinger’s, Tennessee has 1 university ranked in the top 100 for “Values in Public Colleges”; #87 The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
  • 10 campus-based and online schools in Tennessee are available for requesting information.


Profiles of Well Known Schools

Middle Tennessee State University: Students at Middle Tennessee State University can pursue a Criminal Justice Administration major or a Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) through the Department of Criminal Justice Administration. Alpha Phi Sigma and Delta Omicron Alpha are criminal justice organizations that students can join for resourcing and networking purposes. Also, senior students can earn credit hours through one of more than 30 different internship opportunities available within local government agencies and correctional facilities. Eight full time faculty work within the MTSU Department of Criminal Justice Administration, many of whom are former or current federal investigators, law clerks or law enforcement professionals.

Tennessee State University: The Department of Criminal Justice at Tennessee State University has both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Criminal Justice in which about 650 students are enrolled, making it one of the largest criminal justice programs in the United States. Undergraduate students take a variety of social science courses with a strong emphasis in psychology outside of the criminal justice subject matters. A dozen full time and part time faculty teach this enormous study body, most being experts in courtroom and prison operations. The department has two scholarships available specifically for criminal justice students.

Tennessee Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs

Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Correctional Officers and Jailers 9,750 $31,620
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 2,390 $58,510
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 1,520 $62,670
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 12,350 $41,940

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

Respected leaders who have graduated from universities in Tennessee

  • Shelby County, TN Sheriff William Oldham- Memphis State University
  • Hamilton County, TN Sheriff James W. Hammond- University of Tennessee
  • Nashville, TN Police Chief Steve Anderson- Nashville School of Law
Police Quote: “Integrity, honesty and fairness is the key to good law enforcement and career growth. Within the department or dealing with the public.” -Chief Fabian Blache, Jr.

Tennessee Criminal Justice Degrees

Tennessee is home to the internationally recognized Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville police departments. With higher volumes of applicants for law enforcement and public safety positions, some departments have adopted a progressive hiring stance to ensure that the best candidates are accepted. Additional education in criminal justice or related fields can provide applicants with a competitive edge in pursuing these positions and can translate to higher starting pay. For example, in Nashville, police officers with either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree receive additional educational incentive pay.

In addition to local law and public safety jobs, the Tennessee Department of Human Resources and the US government are among the largest employers in the state and many graduates of criminal justice programs in Tennessee find employment with state and federal government agencies, including the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Public Safety, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and many other organizations. Salaries and benefits for these positions are competitive and most positions require at least a bachelor’s degree.

Tennessee Criminal Justice Salary

In addition to interesting work environments, criminal justice jobs offer competitive pay and attractive benefits. Police officers earn an average annual salary of $41,050 1 in Tennessee and first-line supervisors earn an average of $58,390.1 Working in corrections as a correctional officer will earn you an average of $31,770.1 Detectives and criminal investigators earn $58,730 1 per year in the state. The law firms in the state employ thousands of paralegals who earn an average salary of $39,350 per year.1

Tennessee’s Criminal Justice Employment Outlook 2, 3, 4, 5

At the start of 2012, Tennessee’s unemployment has stabilized at 8.7%, just above the national average, and it will regain pre-Downturn employment levels by early 2014. Government related employment, which is a good proxy for Tennessee criminal justice jobs, has the best prospects with prior peak employment levels already reached by mid 2010 with strong growth since and ahead. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ State Occupational Projections shows annual Tennessee Criminal Justice job openings with Police and Sheriff Patrol (470 openings / 88% of individuals in these positions report having some college or a bachelor’s degree), Correctional Officers (315 annual openings / 60% of individuals in these positions report having some college or a bachelor’s degree), Detectives / Investigators / Forensic Techs (70 annual openings), Security Guards (685 annual openings) and Paralegals (135 annual openings / 88% of individuals in these positions report having some college or a bachelor’s degree). According to 24/7 Wall St, Tennessee’s state budget is in a moderate deficit but seems under control despite relatively high overall unemployment; it appears they have a reserve fund and good budgetary controls that have allowed them to avoid government cuts. We suggest requesting free information from several Tennessee criminal justice schools to weigh options.

Online and Tennessee Criminal Justice Schools

To learn more about Tennessee criminal justice degrees, we recommend the following accredited campus-based and online criminal justice programs for those interested in pursuing associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the growing field of 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

Chattanooga College
Campuses: 1Chattanooga
Popular Degrees:

  • Criminal Justice

request information

Ohio Christian University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

request information

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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Daymar Institute
Campuses: 1Clarksville
Popular Degrees:

  • Criminal Justice, Diploma
  • Criminal Justice, Associates Degree
  • Criminal Justice Administration, Bachelor Degree

request information

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 - Human Services

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South College
Campuses: 1Knoxville
Popular Degrees:

  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science - Legal Studies

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

request information

Kent State University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Master's - Criminology & Criminal Justice - Victimology
  • Master's - Criminology & Criminal Justice - Corrections
  • Master's - Criminology & Criminal Justice - Police

request information

Walden University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Public Management and Leadership-Advanced
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Online Teaching in Higher Education-Advanced
  • 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 (Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama,and Mississippi).



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Directory of Tennessee Universities Offering Criminal Justice Degrees

Bethel University (McKenzie, TN; Satellite Locations)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Emergency Services Management (online program)
Master of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)

Chattanooga State Community College (Chattanooga, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice

Columbia State Community College (Columbia, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Corrections
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement

Cumberland University (Lebanon, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice

Daymar Institute (Clarksville, TN; Murfreesboro, TN; Nashville, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Criminal Justice
Associate Degree | Police Studies
Certificate | Criminal Justice
Diploma | Criminal Justice

Dyersburg State Community College (Dyersburg, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Law Enforcement

East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Arts | Criminology
Master of Science | Criminal Justice
Master of Science | Criminology

Freed-Hardeman University (Henderson, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

ITT Technical Institute (Chattanooga, TN; Cordova, TN; Knoxville, TN; Nashville, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Arts and Sciences | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

King College (Bristol, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Forensic Science

Lane College (Jackson, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice

LeMoyne-Owen College (Memphis, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

Lincoln Memorial University (Harrogate, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice

Martin Methodist College (Pulaski, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice Administration
Master of Arts | Criminal Justice Administration

Student Review: “Middle Tennessee State University is the biggest university in the state of Tennessee. It is made up of over 25,000 students. Even though it is a rather large school, there are so many organizations and clubs that a student can get involved with to make them feel more at home. Not one of my classes in my major has more than 30 students in the class, with an average of about 15 students a class. There are two concerns I have about the campus and that is the dining options on campus and the school spirit, because there is none.” -Chassidy J., student at Middle Tennessee State University

Miller-Motte Technical College (Chattanooga, TN; Clarksville, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice

Nashville State Community College (Nashville, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Police Science | Crime Scene Investigation
Associate of Applied Science | Police Science | Police Administration
Certificate | Police Science Academy

Remington College (Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Criminal Justice
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)

Roane State Community College (Harriman, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Technical Certificate | Homeland Security

South College (Knoxville, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

Southwest Tennessee Community College (Memphis, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Corrections
Associate of Applied Science | Police Science
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice

Tennessee State University (Nashville, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Master of Criminal Justice | Criminal Justice

The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

The University of Tennessee-Martin (Martin, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Master of Science | Criminal Justice

Thompson Institute-Philadelphia (Nashville, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Diploma | Criminal Justice

University of Memphis (Memphis, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminology and Criminal Justice
Master of Arts | Criminology and Criminal Justice

University of Phoenix (Cordova, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Criminal Justice (online program)
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor Degree | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice Administration (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Organizational Security and Management (online program)
Master of Science | Administration of Justice and Security (online program)
Masters Degree | Criminal Justice (online program)

Volunteer State Community College (Gallatin, TN)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science; Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Homeland Security
Technical Certificate | Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice

Student Review: “I loved Vol State because they gave great options for people with little money (i.e. me). They offered several reasonable options for financial aid that could be paid back through a payment plan, or they offered grants, and helped you apply for scholarships. They had a great library where you could even check out textbooks for your current course, and they even let you check out laptops to do homework on. They had a workout room so students could stay in shape, and even get credit for doing so. The professors were cool because they actually cared if you passed or failed; some even gave extra credit when needed. Vol state was an amazing school and i would recommend to even the biggest college skeptic.” -Shelbi S., student at Volunteer State Community College

References:
(1) Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_TN.htm
(2) Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/lau/ see state on page for current unemployment rate
(3) USA TODAY/Moody’s Analytics/BLS: http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2009-02-06-new-jobs-growth-graphic_N.htm
(4) Bureau of Labor Statistics’ State Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
(5) 24/7 Wall St: http://247wallst.com/special-report/2013/11/21/the-best-and-worst-run-states-in-america-a-survey-of-all-50-2/

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.