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Washington DC Criminal Justice Schools

  • 7 schools offering criminal justice degrees in DC are in our database. (see below)
  • 1 offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 4 of them offer bachelor’s degrees and above, and 2 offer a mix of bachelor’s and master’s
  • We found no schools in DC ranked in US News and World Reports that have a criminal justice program
  • We found 1 doctorate program ranked by The Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice: #26 American University.
  • According to Kiplinger’s, DC has no universities ranked in the top 100 for “Values in Public Colleges”
  • 10 campus-based and online schools in DC are available for requesting information.

Profiles of Well Known Schools in DC

George Washington University: The Department of Sociology at George Washington University offers its students a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, a Master of Arts in Criminology and a dual degree with a BA/MA in Criminal Justice/Criminology. Undergraduate students take courses focused on qualitative methods, urban sociology, and deviant behavior while graduate students can customize their degree plans to cater to a specialization in Criminology, Social Inequality or Urban Sociology. To provide a multidisciplinary curriculum, the department is affiliated with the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, the Women’s Studies Program, the Africana Studies Program, and the Department of Forensic Sciences. 23 full-time faculty teach within one or more of the programs and many are current/former employees of local federal agencies in Washington DC.

Howard University: Howard University offers both a Minor and Major in Administration of Justice within the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Students are required to complete 21 hours of foundation courses including Introduction to Sociology, Elementary Statistics, Criminology, and Principles of Criminal Justice. The elective courses available to undergraduates are highly focused on juveniles, deviance, and victimology. The department has 22 full time faculty with those that teach Administration of Justice courses having research interests in deviance and criminology. Students have access to numerous federal agency internship opportunities since the offices are located in Washington DC.

Washington DC Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs

Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Correctional Officers and Jailers 1,270 $44,680
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives N/A $123,300
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 2,430 $115,230
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 4,150 $68,040

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

Washington DC Criminal Justice Degrees

Efforts to increase the safety of the nation’s capital have opened up job opportunities for entry-level police officers, new recruits and armed security positions in and around Washington DC. While the metropolitan area police department employs thousands of officers, the district is surrounded by county and city jurisdictions as well as federal law enforcement agencies and airport security that make Washington DC one of the best places to pursue a law enforcement career. Many of these police departments are the fastest growing, most highly supported and largest in the United States.

A criminal justice degree can help you find work with the large federal and local agencies in Washington DC, which prefer candidates who have completed a college program.

Qualifications of employment for a law enforcement agency depend largely on which sort of police work you are interested in pursuing. For Washington DC, new recruits must pass an extensive physical fitness screening, have 60 college credits or 5 years of law enforcement experience at a similar jurisdiction or 3 years of active duty military experience, be a US citizen at the time of application, be at least 21 years of age, have no criminal record, pass a psychological and physical exam as well as have a valid drivers license and pass a thorough background check. Once recruited, new hires are sent to mandating academies where they must be able to successfully pass and graduate from their class in order to be placed on the force. Special force training is also provided and must specialized officers are hired and trained from within the department.

From homeland security, airport personnel to protective services and policing jobs there are plenty of job opportunities in law enforcement and protecting the nation’s capital will always be a primary focus of the federal government.

If you are interested in learning more about earning a criminal justice degree, 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.

Police Quote: “Remember it’s a job, an important job, but it should not be your whole life. Especially if you have a family. You’ve got decades before you retire. So pace yourself so you don’t go from too eager to completely disillusioned. You want to leave the department with some of the same idealism you went in with.” -Peter Moskos, former Baltimore police officer and author of Cop in the Hood

Washington DC’s Criminal Justice Employment Outlook 2,3,4

The unemployment rate for The District of Columbia as of September 2014 is 7.7%. This is above the national average of 5.8%, yet still well below the peak unemployment rate of 10.5 in January 2010. DC experienced an unemployment low in December 2008, with an unemployment rate of 5.6%. Government-related employment is a good proxy for criminal justice employment in The District of Columbia. Projections Central projected employment opportunities in the criminal justice field, which include the following:

  • Correctional Officers: 50 annual openings/60% in positions report some college, or bachelor’s degree
  • Security Guards: 700 annual openings
  • Paralegals: 150 annual openings/88% in positions report some college, or bachelor’s degree

Open Positions for Washington DC are a result of growth and replacement.

Online and Washington DC Criminal Justice Schools

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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 (Virginia, and Maryland).

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Washington DC Criminal Justice Salary

Working in the criminal justice field in the District of Columbia can provide competitive salaries that are among the highest in the country. The average salary for Washington DC police officers is $67,5601 and first-line supervisors of police officers earn an average of $117,370.1 Correctional officers earn an average of $39,280 1 in Washington DC, while detectives and criminal investigators make an average annual salary of $107,150.1 Washington DC paralegals earn an average of $65,7401 per year.

Directory of Washington DC Universities Offering Criminal Justice Degrees

American University (Washington, DC)

George Washington University (Washington, DC)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts | Criminal Justice/Criminology (combined degree program)
Bachelor of Arts/Master of Public Administration | Criminal Justice (combined degree program)
Master of Arts | Criminal Justice
Master of Arts | Criminology
Minor | Law and Society

Student Review:“The George Washington University is a great school, located in the middle of all of the hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital. They offer a broad variety of programs, but are best known for foreign policy, law, and medicine. They offer many night classes, which is great for working professionals. I took all night classes, except one class from 3:30-5. The campus is very urban – not much grass but it has a Whole Foods, many bars and restaurants, and a Metro station. It is located in the heart of the city and is a short walk to all of the monuments – the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Smithsonian museums, and the memorials.” -Dan A., student at George Washington University

Georgetown University (Washington, DC)
Bachelor of Arts | Justice and Peace Studies
Bachelor of Science | Justice and Peace Studies
Executive Master of Professional Studies | Emergency & Disaster Management
Executive Master of Professional Studies | Emergency & Disaster Management (online program)
Master of Professional Studies | Emergency & Disaster Management
Master of Professional Studies | Emergency & Disaster Management (online program)
Minor | Justice and Peace Studies
Certificate | School-Justice Partnerships
Certificate | Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice
Certificate | Youth in Custody
Certificate | Juvenile Diversion
Certificate | Forensic Accounting
Certificate | Cybersecurity Strategy

Howard University (Washington, DC)
Bachelor of Arts | Administration of Justice
Minor | Administration of Justice

Southeastern University (Washington, DC)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)

Trinity Washington University (Washington, DC)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Forensic Science

University of the District of Columbia (Washington, DC)
Associate in Applied Science | Corrections Administration
Associate in Applied Science | Law Enforcement
Bachelor of Arts | Administration of Justice
Master of Science | Homeland Security
Master of Science | Homeland Security: Emergency Management
Master of Science | Homeland Security: Cybersecurity
Master of Science | Homeland Security: Terrorism and counter-terrorism
Master of Science | Homeland Security: Peacekeeping and security
Master of Science | Homeland Security: Epidemiology
Master of Science | Homeland Security: Intelligence

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_DC.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/lau/ *See state on page for current unemployment rate
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, State Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm.htm
4. Y Charts 10 Year Unemployment Chart: http://ycharts.com/indicators/district_of_columbia_unemployment_rate