Washington Criminal Justice Schools

  • 29 schools offering criminal justice degrees in Washington are in our database. (see below)
  • 19 offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 7 of them offer bachelor’s degrees, 2 offer a mix of bachelor’s and master’s and 1 offer a PHD
  • We found no schools in Washington ranked in US News and World Reports that have a criminal justice program
  • According to Kiplinger’s, Washington has 2 universities ranked in the top 100 for “Values in Public Colleges”; #18 University of Washington, Seattle, WA, and #75 Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA
  • 10 campus-based and online schools in Washington are available for requesting information.

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  • A.A. in Criminal Justice
  • B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration
  • M.S. in Administration of Justice and Security
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Profiles of Well Known Schools in Washington

Washington State University: The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University offers a Minor, a Bachelor of Arts, a Masters, and a PhD in Criminal Justice. This department has what are considered star faculty with them being ranked fourth in the nation among criminal justice programs by the Journal of Criminal Justice Education. There are five affiliate research institutes and centers: the Division of Governmental Studies and Services, the Institute for the Study of Intercommunal Conflict, the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, the Washington State Institute for Community Oriented Policy (WSICOP), and the Western Institute for Community Oriented Public Safety (WRICOPS). Students have been placed in internships with over 50 different agencies and organizations like the Anti- Defamation League and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Eastern Washington University: Eastern Washington University has the Department of Sociology and Justice Studies where they offer a Minor and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. Nine full time faculty teach for the department and have strong focuses on juvenile delinquency and criminal justices ethics. All criminal justice students are required to take thee foundation courses: Foundations of Social and Behavioral Sciences Theory, Introductory Statistics for the Social Sciences, and Integrated Social Science Methods. Students can pursue one out of three different concentrations: Law Enforcement, Pre-Graduate Criminology and Corrections.

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Washington Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs

Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Correctional Officers and Jailers 5,730 $47,270
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 2,080 $90,930
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 1,700 $90,630
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 8,490 $68,920

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

Respected leaders who have graduated from universities in Washington

  • Seattle, WA Chief of Police John Diaz- University of Washington, Skyline College(CA), Boston University (MA)
  • Snohomish County, WA Sheriff John Lovick- Shoreline Community College (WA), Northwestern State College(LA)
  • Everett, WA Chief of Police Kathy Atwood- Seattle University
  • Kitsap County, WA Sheriff Steve Boyer- Central Washington University
Police Quote: “If you want to get into law enforcement do it because of the right reasons. Don’t look at law enforcement as a job…it’s a career, a way of life and especially in smaller agencies you are always on the job. You also have to remember that law enforcement is a civil service job. We are here to serve the public because that is whom we work for. You will never get rich in this job but it is a great way to make a living.” -Frank Rogers, Sheriff of Okanogan County in Washington

Washington Criminal Justice Degrees

With strong population growth since 2000, Washington provides many career and employment opportunities for criminal justice graduates. According to the Washington State Employment Security agency criminal justice jobs in demand include correctional officers and jailers, police and sheriff patrol officers, paralegals, first line supervisors of police and detectives, and probation officers.

State agencies that hire criminal justice graduates include the Department of Corrections, State Patrol, and others. Many state agencies, such as the Department of Corrections, provide employees with generous benefits packages that include tuition reimbursement, educational incentives, flexible working schedules, wide array of retirement options, etc.

In addition to local and state jobs, the US government also provides career opportunities for graduates of criminal justice programs. Federal agencies that employ Washington criminal justice professionals include the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and the Department of Justice. Salaries for these positions are competitive and most require at least a bachelor’s degree.

In Spokane, police officer candidates must be at least 20 years of age to apply and have at least 30 semester credit course hours from an accredited college or university, including at least three semester credit course hours of English. In addition, police officers receive regular salary increases based on their years of service.

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Washington Criminal Justice Salary

The average annual salary for Washington police officers is $65,730 2 and promotion to a first-line supervisor will result in an average salary of $88,960.2 Correctional officers in the state make an average salary of $46,260 2 per year while detectives and criminal investigators make an average of $83,840 2 per year. Paralegals working primarily in law firms earn an average of $49,710 2 per year.

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Washington State’s Criminal Justice Employment Outlook 3, 4, 5, 6

At the start of 2012, Washington’s unemployment rate is 8.5%, at parity with the national average, and it should regain prior peak employment levels by early 2014. Government related employment, which is a good proxy for Washington criminal justice jobs, has average prospects with pre-Downturn employment levels reached already and good growth starting in 2013. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ State Occupational Projections show annual Virginia Criminal Justice job openings with Police and Sheriff Patrol (290 annual openings / 88% of individuals in these positions report having some college or a bachelor’s degree), Correctional Officers (220 annual openings / 60% of individuals in these positions report having some college or a bachelor’s degree), Detectives / Investigators / Forensic Techs (45 openings per year) and Paralegals (200 annual openings / 88% of individuals in these positions report having some college or a bachelor’s degree). According to 24/7 Wall St, Washington’s budget is still in a challenged state in 2012. We suggest requesting free information from several Washington criminal justice schools to weigh options.

Online and Washington Criminal Justice Schools

To learn more about earning a Washington 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.

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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/Cybercrimes

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Capella University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • MS - Criminal Justice
  • PhD - Criminal Justice
  • BS - Criminal Justice

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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

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Northwest University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (CJ)

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Brandman University
Campuses: 1Olympia
Popular Degrees:

  • BA in Criminal Justice
  • BA in Criminal Justice (Victim Advocacy)
  • BA in Criminal Justice (Security Services)

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Liberty University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • AA in Criminal Justice
  • Masters in Criminal Justice: Command College

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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

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Keiser University Graduate School
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Criminal Justice, MA (Online)

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Post University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • B.S. in Human Services / Criminal Justice
  • B.S. in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
  • B.S. in Criminal Justice

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Grand Canyon University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • M.S. in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
  • B.S. in Justice Studies
  • M.S. in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement


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 (Idaho, and Oregon).

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Student Review: “It’s definitely a private and for-profit college, I took the online classes because I can literally attend lectures and take notes at my own pace (pause button). Also for someone working full or part time while attending, it can be very convenient by working around your schedule. The classes went by very fast but I still retained a lot of what I learned. I would recommend it to anyone who is a self-starter (procrastination would kill you here), and especially ‘visual learners’ like myself. You also have to be good at writing, which is a must for business school in general – but particularly online because most of your communication will be written. As for campus life? Well, there’s obviously not much of that. There is basically a very modest office in Seattle with amenities for a handful of students, if you’re taking the few in person classes they offer. I wouldn’t do it myself, but perhaps for international students, etc, it could be useful.” -Roy W., student at University of Phoenix
Student Review: “Arizona State University Online was a surprisingly great choice for me. I was initially hesitant about taking online courses, but with both the online and offline resources available on campus, my hesitations were gone and I knew that this was the perfect and most convenient route for me. What I personally liked about ASU Online was the fact that I could review all of the lecture materials online and not having to worry about not taking adequate notes in a live classroom. The only possible downside with this program is that human interaction is not required, and I believe that a bit of interaction is needed to get the most out of a classroom.” -Brittany J., student at Arizona State University Online

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Directory of Washington Universities Offering Criminal Justice Degrees

Bellevue College (Bellevue, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Associate of Arts | Fire Investigations

Central Washington University (Ellensburg, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Law and Justice

Centralia College (Centralia, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Associate of Technical Arts | Criminal Justice
Associate of Technical Arts | Forensic & Private Investigation
Certificate of Completion | Corrections Officer
Certificate of Proficiency | Forensic & Private Investigation

Clark College (Vancouver, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Assistant
Bachelor of Science | Forensic Studies
Certificate | Legal Office

Columbia Basin College (Pasco, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice and Forensics

Edmonds Community College (Lynnwood, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Certificate | Emergency Management

Everest College (Vancouver, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Legal Administrative Assistant

Everett Community College (Everett, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Technical Arts | Law Enforcement

Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice

Grays Harbor College (Aberdeen, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Correctional Services
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Juvenile Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement
Certificate | Correctional Services
Certificate | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Juvenile Justice
Certificate | Law Enforcement

Green River Community College (Auburn, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences | Legal Administrative Assistant
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Corrections
Certificate | Law Enforcement

Highline Community College (Des Moines, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Transfer Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice

ITT Technical Institute (Everett, WA; Seattle, WA; Spokane Valley, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice (online program)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice (online program)

Lower Columbia College (Longview, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice

Olympic College (Bremerton, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Technical Arts | Law Enforcement

Pierce College (Lakewood, WA; Puyallup, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Arts | Correctional Mental Health
Certificate | Correctional Mental Health
Certificate | Corrections/Protection Officer
Certificate | Forensic Technician
Certificate | Law Enforcement
Certificate | Protection Officer

Saint Martin’s University (Lacey, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

Seattle University (Seattle, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor Degree | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Master of Criminal Justice | Criminal Justice
(Evening program offered for Masters)

Shoreline Community College (Shoreline, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Criminal Justice

Skagit Valley College (Mount Vernon, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Certificate | Basic Law Enforcement Training
Certificate | Parks Law Enforcement Academy

South Puget Sound Community College (Olympia, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Science | Legal Administrative Assistant
Certificate | Legal Administrative Assistant

Spokane Community College (Spokane, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Corrections
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Administrative Assistant
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Office Administration
Certificate | Legal Administrative Assistant
Certificate | Legal Information Processing
Certificate | Legal Receptionist

University of Phoenix (Spokane Valley, WA; Tukwila, WA)
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
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice Administration
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)

University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Law, Society and Justice

Student Review: “Overall the criminal justice program at my school was very interesting! I learned a lot of information regarding the disparities in our legal system as well as the socioeconomic issues in the criminal justice system. For example my best class was learning about the war on drugs and the bias against minorities. However, I would suggest UW makes their criminal justice program a bit more interactive. Since the campus is so big it was difficult getting the best learning experience at times. It was especially nice having a professor who was previously a police officer who could speak in depth on the criminal justice system in Washington State.” -Krislyn H., student at University of Washington

Walla Walla Community College (Walla Walla, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate in Arts | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Corrections and Law Enforcement

Washington State University (Pullman, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Master of Arts | Criminal Justice
PhD | Criminal Justice

Wenatchee Valley College (Wenatchee, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Technology and Science | Criminal Justice

Whatcom Community College (Bellingham, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Administration of Justice
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Administration of Justice
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Yakima Valley Community College (Yakima, WA)
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Criminal Justice

References:
(1) Spokane Police Department: https://beta.spokanecity.org/police/
(2) Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_WA.htm
(3) Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/lau/ see state on page for current unemployment rate
(4) USA TODAY/Moody’s Analytics/BLS: http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2009-02-06-new-jobs-growth-graphic_N.htm
(5) Bureau of Labor Statistics’ State Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
(6) 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.