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Nevada Criminal Justice Schools

There are several schools in Nevada offering criminal justice degree programs that can help you launch your criminal justice career. Associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in such areas as law enforcement, public administration, and social justice can provide you with opportunities to specialize your career, or you can seek a more generalized education. Select schools also offer online criminal justice degree programs, including the College of Southern Nevada and Truckee Meadows Community College.

Quick Facts

  • There are 8 schools offering criminal justice degrees in Nevada (see below).1
  • 5 colleges and universities offer associate’s degrees in criminal justice.*1
  • 3 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
  • 3 colleges and universities offer criminal justice degree programs online.*1
  • No schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018.2
  • 1 school 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.
  • No schools ranked in US News Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs in 2018.4

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

Criminal Justice Degree Programs in Nevada

As you plan your criminal justice career, it’s good to be aware that there is a growing trend towards requiring an associate’s or bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions. Nevada has criminal justice degree programs located in cities like Las Vegas, Reno, Henderson, and Carson City as well as convenient online programs. Here you’ll have the option of specialized training for careers in hotel industry security, emergency management administration, law enforcement, and more. Having your degree in criminal justice can help you become a more competitive applicant for open positions and may lead to higher starting salaries. Degree holders may also find additional opportunities for advancement, such as to supervisory positions. Earning your degree in Nevada may be the perfect starting point for your career.

Top-Ranked Schools with Criminal Justice Programs in Nevada

College Factual’s Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Colleges 2018

  • University of Nevada – Las Vegas (#168)

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Nevada

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University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV): The University of Nevada, Las Vegas Department of Criminal Justice offers a program for a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice as well as a Traditional Master’s and a Professional Master’s. An undergraduate internship allows students to earn three to six credit hours through field experience while earning their bachelor’s degree. The Traditional Master’s is designed to prepare students for doctoral study while the Professional Master’s helps students advance to supervisory and management positions. The 10 full-time faculty members are experts in criminal psychology, survey research, terrorism, political violence, and comparative criminology.

College of Southern Nevada: The Department of Public Safety and Human Services at the College of Southern Nevada offers an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice as well as a Police Academy. Criminal Justice students take 27 credit hours of major courses such as Introduction to Corrections, Survey of Criminal Law, and Juvenile Justice System. The Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice is one of CSN’s 30 degree and certificate programs that are offered entirely online. Individuals who graduate from the Police Academy leave with 33 criminal justice credits and a Category 1 Diploma that is approved by the Nevada Post Committee.

Notable Alumni from Nevada Universities

  • Douglas County Nevada Sheriff Ronald Pierini – University of Nevada
  • Henderson, Nevada Police Chief James White – Nevada State College and Southern Nevada University
Police Quote: “Don’t be afraid of a variety of assignments. Try them all, to see what really appeals to you. What you think you may like, you may not. And vice-versa. A well-rounded officer has a better chance of advancement.” -Dave Markss, President of the California District Attorney Investigators’ Association

Nevada Criminal Justice Careers

Careers in the criminal justice field in Nevada are broad, with many jobs offering competitive pay and attractive benefits. Nevada presents unique career opportunities for gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators, who are responsible for overseeing operations at gambling venues, detecting illicit behavior by staff or gamblers using high-tech surveillance methods. In addition to the gaming and hotel industry, state and local government agencies also employ workers in this specialized field.

Aspiring criminal justice professionals can also find opportunities with major law enforcement entities in Nevada including the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Reno Police Department, and the Nevada Highway Patrol. Within the criminal justice field, the private sector offers an alternative to government employment, while the explosion in technology has given rise to new job descriptions like computer forensics and IT crime specialist.

Nevada Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Correctional Officers and Jailers2,730$56,870
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives810$102,660
Detectives and Criminal Investigators610$80,950
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers4,420$71,330

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

Nevada’s Criminal Justice Employment Outlook

As of May 2016 the unemployment rate for Nevada was 6.1%, which was above the national average of 4.7%.10 Nevada experienced a 10-year peak unemployment rate in December of 2009, when the unemployment rate reached 14.5%.10 The most recent state unemployment low was recorded at 5% in January of 2008.10 Government-related employment is a good proxy for criminal justice jobs in Nevada. Projections Central estimates the following annual criminal justice job openings in Nevada through 2024:

  • Police and Sheriff Patrol: 200 annual openings; 46% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 24% holding an associate’s degree.11,12
  • Correctional Officers: 100 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 15% holding a post-secondary certificate.11,13
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: 20 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 21% holding an associate’s degree.11,14
  • Security Guards: 900 annual openings; 4% in these positions report completing at least some college.11,15
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants: 150 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.11,16

These openings are projected based on employment growth and replacements.

The Mercatus Center, a conservative think tank, rated and analyzed each state’s long-term solvency. After an analysis of the state’s budgeting process, its cash/tax collection, and pensions, Nevada was ranked 13th in the nation.17 This indicates that the state should have the ability to fulfill its long-term obligations to employees.

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Directory of Nevada Universities Offering Campus-based and Online Criminal Justice Degrees

If you live in Nevada, we recommend finding an accredited campus-based or online program for pursuing your 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 (California, Oregon, Utah, or Arizona).

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.

College of Southern Nevada (Las Vegas)
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice (online or on-campus)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice (online or on-campus)
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement Training Academy (online or on-campus)
Associate of Applied Science | Computing and Information Technology: Electronic Crime Investigation
Certificate of Achievement | Criminal Justice (online or on-campus)
Certificate of Achievement | Law Enforcement Training Academy

Truckee Meadows Community College (Reno)
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice (online or on-campus)
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement (online or on-campus)
Certificate | Northern Nevada Law Enforcement Academy

Student Review: “Truckee Meadows Community College is a wonderful school. The campus sits on a hill overlooking the Reno/Sparks area. The view is beautiful, especially at night. The student body and school faculty are very diverse. This gave me a great opportunity to meet people from all different walks of life and learn things that books can’t teach. All of the teachers I have had really were interested in seeing their students succeed and were always available when I needed help. One thing I don’t like about TMCC is that some courses are not offered every semester, and sometimes courses are not offered for a year or more at a time. There are always other courses available that will fulfill degree requirements, but there have been a couple of classes that I wanted to take that have not been available for quite some time. Parking can also be a hassle, especially during the afternoon. Overall, my experiences at Truckee Meadows Community College have been very positive and I highly recommend this college.” -Cynthia H., student at Truckee Meadows Community College
stars-4

Western Nevada College (Carson City)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice (online or on-campus)
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Certificate of Achievement | Criminal Justice (online or on-campus)

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.

Great Basin College (Elko)
Associate of Applied Science | Corrections
Associate of Applied Science | Human Services
Associate of Applied Science | Law Enforcement
Certificate of Achievement | Substance Abuse Counselor

Nevada State College (Henderson)
Bachelor of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Public Administration | Law Enforcement
Minor | Law Enforcement
Minor | Criminal Justice
Minor | Social Justice

Student Review: “Nevada State College is a really great college that focuses on diversity; no matter what major we choose, we have to fulfill a diversity requirement and take courses learning about other cultures. The curriculum is tough, but great! I am going for criminal justice as my major and a minor in psychology with a concentration in criminology. I have a good bond with my Criminal Justice department head, he has been the best professor there and has been mentoring me for career and after-graduate options. My department head even has given me extra books from his personal library to give me a better view on criminal justice and it’s many sub topics. The only issues I have with this school, is that some of the professors are too inexperienced and will make us do workloads that are pretty harsh, one class made us read textbooks, 100 pages of supplemental reading and tests/essays. This was too much for one class! Another issue is location. NSC is located way into the mountains and it takes me an hour to drive there, a student poll showed that over 50% of students and staff take over half an hour to get to campus! That is very far so I wish we had better opportunities for public transportation, or even a second campus closer to Henderson/Las Vegas. I really do love this school though, they provide support for students and really care about our future. After the mass shooting last October they got us access to mental health and gave us outlets for our fear and grief as well. #VegasStrong” -Student at Nevada State College
stars-4

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Las Vegas)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Arts | Philosophy: Law and Justice
Bachelor of Science | Human Services
Master of Arts | Traditional Criminal Justice
Master of Arts | Professional Criminal Justice
Master of Science | Executive Crisis and Emergency Management
PhD | Criminology and Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice
Minor | Philosophy: Law and Justice
Minor | Addictions Prevention
Minor | Addictions Treatment
Minor | Human Services
Minor | Military Science
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Public Management

Student Review: “The University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Criminal Justice program is an amazing program which provides a great academic knowledge of the Criminal Justice world. The professors are highly experienced in their fields ranging from Corrections, Forensic Science, Civil and Criminal Law, and Policing. I was able to assist with a safety survey on the Las Vegas Strip as an Individual Study class which showed how the public viewed the safety of the Las Vegas Strip and if the public believed increasing police presence would affect the level of safety. The program could improve on the number and availability of online classes since it is very difficult to enroll in online classes at the Freshman and Sophomore levels after the Junior and Seniors have already enrolled.” -Student at University of Nevada-Las Vegas
stars-4

University of Nevada, Reno (Reno)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice: Law and Justice
Master of Arts | Criminal Justice
Master of Arts | Ethics, Law, and Politics
Master of Arts | Psychology: Behavior Analysis
Master of Justice Management | Juvenile Justice Management
Master of Justice Management | Adult Justice Management
Master of Justice Management | Executive Court and Agency Administration
Master Degree | Judicial Studies
PhD | Judicial Studies
Minor | Addiction Treatment Services
Minor | Cyber Security
Minor | Military Science
Certificate | Addiction Treatment and Prevention Services
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Ethics, Law, and Politics
Advanced Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Addiction Treatment and Prevention Services
Advanced Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Cyber Security

Student Review: “I have overall had a very good experience at the Criminal Justice program at the University of Nevada, Reno. My main goal is to move on into a PhD program, and I feel like this Masters program has been very helpful in achieving this goal. I’ve had plenty of opportunity in and outside of class to improve my academic writing skills, and will hopefully publish my first academic paper soon. My adviser and professors have all been very helpful and seem generally interested and concerned about my success in the program and afterward. The only problem I have is that the offerings for statistics courses are disappointing. The one statistics class offered wasn’t the best, and I have to look outside of the department for more.” -Student at University of Nevada, Reno
stars-4
Student Review: “It took me over five years to complete my bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Nevada Reno. One of the things I liked about the program was its overview of criminal law, procedure, and the history of criminal justice in the United States. The program started with an intro to criminal justice that gave you knowledge into the terminology and a useful oversight into what you would be studying. The most difficult class to take was on serial killers. This class was difficult because it was so emotional to learn about these tragic killings. The most useful class was on criminal law and procedure. This was an intensive class on the judicial processes. I enjoyed my police in America class. It took us through the history as well as modern day practices. The professors were all entertaining, engaged, and genuinely cared about your learning. I finished my degree with an internship with the Reno Police department facilitated by the Criminal Justice program at the university.” -Student at University of Nevada, Reno
stars-5
Student Review: “I believe that UNR’s criminal justice program is one of the best. In an era of people fighting over politics many of the teachers tried their best to let the students have an opinion rather than trying to enforce their beliefs. We also discussed many issues throughout my classes that were hot topics such as the militarization of the police and police use of deadly force. Ethics in criminal justice was also mandatory for all criminal justice majors to take. Foreign language was also a requirement for CRJ majors which I think can be very useful for the future.” -Student at University of Nevada, Reno
stars-5

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