Idaho Criminal Justice Schools

There are many colleges and universities in Idaho offering criminal justice programs that can help you start or advance a career in criminal justice. In addition to programs that offer a classroom setting with a traditional lecture format for learning about criminal justice, there are also online criminal justice degrees that can provide the same education without having to attend classes in-person. This can be a more convenient option, especially if you do not live near a college with a criminal justice program. Idaho schools with online criminal justice degrees include Boise State University and the University of Idaho.

Quick Facts

  • There are 9 schools offering criminal justice degrees in Idaho (see below).1
  • 6 colleges and universities offer associate’s degrees in criminal justice.*1
  • 6 colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice.*1
  • 2 colleges and universities offer master’s or doctoral degrees in criminal justice.*1
  • 2 colleges and universities offer criminal justice degree programs online.*1
  • No schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018.2
  • No schools ranked in College Factual’s Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Colleges in 2018.3
  • No schools ranked in Criminal Justice Degree Schools Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2018.4
  • No schools ranked in US News Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs in 2018.5

*For not-for-profit colleges and universities with criminal justice degree programs.

Criminal Justice Degree Programs in Idaho

Earning an Idaho criminal justice degree can help determined individuals make a difference and fulfill their goals while following their interests. If you are interested in making a positive impact on communities either local or national, a criminal justice degree can help you attain a job that is rewarding and exciting. There is a wide range of possibilities within the criminal justice field, and Idaho offers many criminal justice programs that can be tailored to help you meet your goals. Earning your degree in criminal justice can also make you more competitive in the job market and qualify you for expanded opportunities compared to those without a degree.

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Idaho

Boise State University: The Department of Criminal Justice at Boise State University has over 800 students enrolled in its Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Arts in Criminal Justice programs. Majors are able to pursue multiple scholarships through the department such as the FBI Scholarship or the Michael Blankenship Social Justice Scholarship. The faculty are involved in engaging and socially relevant research projects such as “Survey of the Prosecution of Child Sex Abuse in Idaho,” and “Crime in the Lives of Idahoans.” Fieldwork and internship courses are available for both undergraduate and graduate students, providing valuable experience working within government agencies and correctional facilities.

University of Idaho: Through the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Idaho students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with an emphasis in criminology. This academic route enables students to study criminal activity through a multidisciplinary perspective, taking a combination of different social science courses. The sociology faculty who teach criminology-related courses are world-renowned experts in comparative criminology, deviance, and crime and social control. The University of Idaho is one of the premier institutions of higher education in the Northwest with the Princeton Review consistently naming it a top school for academics as well as one of the top environmentally responsible colleges.

Lewis-Clark State College: Lewis-Clark State College, located in Lewiston, provides a bachelor’s degree in Justice Studies to prepare students to start a career with local and federal criminal justice agencies. There are three concentrations available including criminal justice, corrections/human services, and language or computer science. The curriculum focuses on social and behavioral sciences including courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, juvenile delinquency, deviant behavior, and corrections in America.

Notable Alumni from Idaho Universities

  • Nampa Police Chief LeRoy Forsman- Northwest Nazarene University
  • Caldwell Chief of Police Chris Allgood – Boise State University
  • Twin Falls Police Chief Brian Pike- College of Southern Idaho
  • Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney- Boise State University
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.” -Gary Raney, Sheriff Ada County in Idaho

Idaho Criminal Justice Careers

Idaho is projected to have population growth almost twice that of the average in the rest of the country over the next 20 years, and has a violent crime rate that is just a little more than half the country’s average. As Idaho continues to grow, it will need professionals trained in the criminal justice field to keep its citizens safe and protected from injustice.

The City of Pocatello offers preferential employment to holders of an associate’s degree or higher, and they offer a generous benefits package. The City of Boise requires coursework such as criminal justice classes for its police force. Located in the scenic Idaho Panhandle, the Coeur d’Alene Police Department is another employer of criminal justice professionals and prefers applicants with a minimum of an associate’s degree. The Idaho State Police offers a comprehensive benefits package, which starts while a recruit is undergoing training at the academy. The Idaho Department of Correction offers officers competitive salaries with comprehensive benefits. Both the Idaho State Police and Department of Correction require two years of experience, although that requirement can be waived with two years of post-high school education. The average annual salary for protective service occupations in the state, which includes Idaho police and patrol officers, was $39,800 as of May 2015.10

Idaho Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Correctional Officers and Jailers1,850N/A
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives630$72,090
Detectives and Criminal Investigators420$65,570
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol OfficersN/AN/A

Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.5,6,7,8

Idaho’s Criminal Justice Employment Outlook

The May 2016 unemployment rate for Idaho was 3.7%, well below national average of 4.7% and the 10-year state unemployment high of 8.8% in December of 2009.11 Government-related employment is a good proxy for criminal justice employment in Idaho. Projections Central indicates that the following types of criminal justice jobs include:

  • Police and Sheriff Patrol: 1,050 annual openings; 46% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 24% holding an associate’s degree.12,13
  • Correctional Officers: Projections not available; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 15% holding a post-secondary certificate.12,14
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: 180 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 21% holding an associate’s degree.12,15
  • Security Guards: 730 annual openings; 4% in these positions report completing at least some college.12,16
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants: Projections not available; 86% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 30% holding an associate’s degree and 44% holding a bachelor’s degree.12,17

These estimates are based on both replacements and jobs growth.

The Mercatus Center is a conservative think tank that rated the long-term solvency of each state government. After looking at Idaho’s budgeting, tax and cash collection, and employee pensions, the state was ranked 12th in the nation.18 This is an indicator of sound financial management, and new hires can feel relatively confident that the state will be able to fulfill pension obligations to its employees.

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Idaho Criminal Justice Career Interviews

Directory of Not-for-Profit Idaho Universities Offering Campus-based and Online Criminal Justice Degrees

For residents living in Idaho, we recommend an accredited campus-based or online program if you are interested in pursuing an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in the growing field of criminal justice.

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 (Oregon, Washinton, Montana,Wyoming, Utah, or Nevada).

Schools with Online and On-Campus Criminal Justice Programs

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Boise State University (Boise)
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice (online or on-campus)
Bachelor of Science | Computer Science: Cybersecurity
Bachelor of Science | Chemistry: Forensics
Master of Arts | Criminal Justice
Minor | Addiction Studies
Minor | Cybersecurity
Minor | Military Science
Certificate | Dispute Resolution: Mediation Focus
Certificate | Dispute Resolution: Life Skills Focus
Certificate | Leadership and Human Relations
Certificate | Refugee Services
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Addiction Studies
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Victim Services
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Conflict Management
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Refugee Services

Student Review: “BSU is a public school located in the capital city of Idaho, Boise. The layout of the core campus buildings are relatively centralized, so walking between facilities is quick. BSU is also very cyclist friendly, with designated biking zones and secure lock-up areas for bikes. The school’s football team, The Broncos, have had an incredible history in recent years with a cumulative single-digit loss record. Being located in the capital city of the state, BSU is poised to provide great internship opportunities for many major fields of study. Engineering majors, for example, have the opportunity to intern at great tech companies such as Micron and Hewlett-Packard, who have their headquarters located in Boise. However, BSU does have some shortcomings, such as its lack of a Law program, which other universities in the state offer.” -Benjamin A., student at Boise State University
Student Review: “The Criminal Justice program at Boise State started out fun (the lower level classes) and I truly learned valuable information in them. Once I got into the upper-class classes, the professors became more generic and did not want to teach. We had to teach ourselves the information outside of class by only reading the book. There were little to no discussions in the small 20-30 person classes when you would expect them. I did not enjoy that I paid x amount to teach myself something without any aid from the individuals that were receiving my money. I did enjoy the atmosphere on campus and the curriculum in the classes tended to be challenging at times. The one thing that I absolutely hated was that office hours were scheduled but every time I tried to go in during those hours the professor was not there.” -student at Boise State University

University of Idaho (Moscow)
Bachelor of Arts | Sociology: Criminology (online or on-campus)

Student Review: “I wasn’t sure what to expect coming in to Idaho because it’s a rather small school with a relatively unknown program. However, after my experience, I wouldn’t choose to study in a different environment. The faculty is great, they are all very knowledgeable and love their field, which is awesome. The passion involved really makes classes a lot more engaging. Also, because of the small classes, you really get to know your instructors, and this helps immensely if you plan on going to law school. My only real complaint is how small and unknown the school is; it might make it hard to get a job right out the gate. All in all my experience was great and I would recommend the University of Idaho to anyone interested in pursuing a criminal justice degree.” -Justin A., student at University of Idaho

Schools with On-Campus Criminal Justice Programs Only

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

College of Southern Idaho (Twin Falls)
Associate of Applied Science | Addiction Studies
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Basic Technical Certificate | Law Enforcement
Intermediate Technical Certificate | Law Enforcement
Technical Certificate | Addiction Studies

Idaho State University (Pocatello)
Associate of Applied Science | Cyber-Physical Security
Associate of Arts | Criminology
Bachelor of Arts | Sociology: Criminology
Master of Arts | Sociology: Criminal Justice
Master of Public Administration: Criminal Justice

Student Review: “Idaho State University has been very accommodating for me. I am what’s known as a ‘non-traditional’ student in that I’m married with kids and a bit older than most students. (29) The school is very welcoming of older individuals, even going so far as to have a Military Veterans’ Sanctuary on campus that specializes in making student veterans, like myself, more easily acclimated to student life. Many classes that I have taken have been in the Liberal Arts and Physical Science buildings, in which I’ve found the classrooms outdated and very uncomfortable. The desks seem better suited for middle-schoolers, honestly. But with that complaint aside, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at ISU and would recommend it, doubly so for older individuals looking to find an accepting atmosphere in college.” -Michael V., student at Idaho State University

Lewis-Clark State College (Lewiston)
Bachelor of Arts/ Bachelor of Science | Justice Studies: Corrections/ Human Services
Bachelor of Arts/ Bachelor of Science | Justice Studies: Criminal Justice
Minor | Addiction Studies
Minor | Forensic Science
Minor | Justice Studies

North Idaho College (Coeur d’Alene)
Associate of Applied Science | Administration of Justice
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Basic Technical Certificate | Law Enforcement
Intermediate Technical Certificate | Law Enforcement

Northwest Nazarene University (Nampa)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice

1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-public-colleges/index.php
3. College Factual Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Colleges: https://www.collegefactual.com/majors/protective-security-safety-services/criminal-justice-and-corrections/rankings/top-ranked/
4. US News Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/criminal-justice/rankings
5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Correctional Officers and Jailers https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333012.htm
6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes331012.htm
7. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Detectives and Criminal Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333021.htm
8. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333051.htm
9. Idaho Department of Correction: https://www.idoc.idaho.gov/content/careers/job_descriptions/correctional_officer_duties
10. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Protective Service Occupations (Major Group): https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes330000.htm
11. Y Charts 10 Year Unemployment Chart: http://https://ycharts.com/indicators/idaho_unemployment_rate
12. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
13. O*Net OnLine, Police Patrol Officers: https://www.onetonline.org/link/details/33-3051.01
14. O*Net OnLine, Correctional Officers and Jailers: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3012.00
15. O*Net OnLine, Police Detectives: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3021.01
16. O*Net OnLine, Security Guards: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-9032.00
17. O*Net OnLine, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/23-2011.00
18. Mercatus Center, George Mason University, Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition 2016 Edition: https://www.mercatus.org/statefiscalrankings