Connecticut Criminal Justice Schools

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Connecticut is home to a number of schools offering criminal justice degrees. The colleges and universities in the state offer a variety of in-demand majors and specializations, including cybersecurity, administration of justice, and public safety. Criminal justice schools in Connecticut offer these programs as associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some universities, such as the University of New Haven, also offer criminal justice programs online.

  • There are 26 schools offering criminal justice degrees in Connecticut (see below).1
  • 14 colleges and universities offer associate’s degrees in criminal justice.*1
  • 12 colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice.*1
  • 8 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
  • 5 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
  • 1 school ranked in US News Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs in 2018.5
  • Quick Facts

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

    Criminal Justice Degree Programs in Connecticut

    The first step to getting started in Connecticut’s criminal justice industry is earning an accredited degree from one of Connecticut’s on-campus programs or nationally-recognized online programs. While a traditional classroom education can be attained at several local Connecticut colleges and universities, many students choose to take advantage of distance learning programs so that a degree can be earned from the convenience of home. Institutions like Sacred Heart University not only offer online degrees in criminal justice but also offer specific concentrations to allow you to better tailor your skill set. Earning a degree in general criminal justice or in a specific specialty that interests you can help you be competitive in the hiring process, negotiate for higher salaries, and potentially qualify for promotions on a faster timeline.

    Top-Ranked Schools with Criminal Justice Programs in Connecticut

    College Factual’s Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Colleges 2018

    • University of New Haven (#19)
    • Quinnipiac University (#23)
    • Sacred Heart University (#24)
    • University of Hartford (#127)
    • Western Connecticut State University (#173)

    US News Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs 2018

    • University of New Haven (#31 tie)

    Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Connecticut

    Quinnipiac University: Quinnipiac University offers both a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a minor. The faculty consist of current and former professionals in law, corrections, law enforcement, and criminal justice policy, many of whom integrate field experiences into their curricula. Guest speakers are often invited to give lectures and come from a variety of agencies and offices, including Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance, and the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty. Criminal justice majors must complete 37 major credit hours with courses that cover everything from forensics issues in law enforcement to youth crime. Quinnipiac University also requires students to complete a 120-hour internship during the fall or spring semester under the supervision of an internship coordinator, better preparing them to enter the professional criminal justice world upon graduation.

    University of New Haven: The Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven is home to the Department of Criminal Justice, through which students can pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees. The Bachelor of Science and Associate of Science in Criminal Justice open the doors for career paths in law, corrections, and law enforcement while the Master of Science in Criminal Justice and the Master of Science in National Security allow students to build advanced expertise. The college has its own customized study abroad programs in Russia, Italy, China, Australia, and Poland where students develop an understanding of the roles of crime prevention and control in other countries. Students can also participate in the Co-op Program, giving them the opportunity to supplement their education with paid fieldwork.

    University of Hartford: The Department of Sociology at the University of Hartford offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice as well as a minor. Majors are required to complete seven core criminal justice courses along with electives that fall under two groups, Group A: Perspectives on Human Behavior and Group B: Law and the Response of Social Conflict. The faculty are top specialists in the areas of urban crime, victimization, drugs and society, and human rights. Rather than sticking to one strict discipline, criminal justice students at the University of Hartford complete a combination of sociology, political science, philosophy, and psychology courses for a well-rounded social science education.

    Central Connecticut State University: The Criminology and Criminal Justice Department at Central Connecticut State University has both undergraduate- and graduate-level opportunities for those interested in advanced criminal justice practice. The Bachelor of Arts in Criminology prepares students for entry-level professions and graduate study while the Master of Science in Criminal Justice provides its students with the skills they need for leadership and management positions. Within the department is the Institute for the Study of Crime and Justice (ISCJ), where faculty and graduate students conduct groundbreaking research in anger assessment, criminal investigating, cultural competency, victimization, and several other focuses. The institute also publishes the newsletter The Informer, reporting on the latest of student and faculty research.

    Notable Alumni from Connecticut Universities

    • Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett – University of Bridgeport
    • Hartford Police Chief James C. Rovella – University of Hartford
    • Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara – University of New Haven

    Police Quote: “Have a passion for your job and the people you serve. Use every call and contact to make a positive difference. Treat everyone the way you would like to have your family or friends treated. Building trust internally and externally is the key to policing. Trust takes a long time to build but only seconds to destroy. Your integrity is the only thing YOU can lose. No one can take it from you. You have to give it up.” 

    Chief Frank Kaminski

    Connecticut Criminal Justice Careers

    Although Connecticut is a largely urbanized state, its crime rates are well below average for the country as a whole. This is a testament to the strength and professionalism of the individuals working in the state’s criminal justice industry. Furthermore, Connecticut has a growing economy, indicating stable and increasing demand for individuals with criminal justice degrees moving forward.

    With a degree in hand, opportunities in criminal justice are more widely available in Connecticut. The Connecticut State Police attend job fairs to attract candidates to their positions, for which advanced education is encouraged. The Bridgeport Police Department is another employer that seeks qualified law enforcement professionals. Of course, opportunities are also available in the private sector as well as with the federal government, which runs a large prison in Danbury, among other operations. The average annual salary for police and patrol officers in Connecticut was $65,950 as of May 2015.9

    Connecticut Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs

    OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
    Correctional Officers and Jailers3,800$52,690
    First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives1,880$89,920
    Detectives and Criminal Investigators950$86,040
    Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers6,820$65,950

    Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.6,7,8,9

    Connecticut’s Criminal Justice Employment Outlook

    As of May 2016, Connecticut’s unemployment rate was 5.7%.10 This is above the national average of 4.7%, but far below the state’s 10-year high unemployment rate from December 2010, when unemployment peaked at 9.4%.10 Government-related employment is a good indicator for Connecticut’s criminal justice jobs, and the prospects are fair. According to Projections Central, the outlook for criminal justice hiring includes:

    • Police and Sheriff Patrol: 210 annual openings; 46% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 24% holding an associate’s degree.11,12
    • Correctional Officers: 80 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: 200 annual openings; 4% in these positions report completing at least some college.11,15
    • Paralegals and Legal Assistants: 160 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 from both growth and replacements.

    The Mercatus Center is a conservative think tank that analyzed the long-term solvency of each state government. After looking at the state’s budgeting process, cash/tax handling, and funding of pensions, Connecticut was ranked 50th in the nation.17 This means new hires should remain watchful of the state’s ability to fund its pensions.

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

    Getting a criminal justice degree has never been more accessible to students in Connecticut. If you live in Connecticut, we recommend an accredited campus-based or online program for pursuing an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees 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 (New YorkMassachusetts, or Rhode Island).

    Schools with Online and On-Campus Criminal Justice Programs

    Albertus Magnus College (New Haven)
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice (online or on-campus)
    Bachelor of Science | Sociology: Criminal Justice
    Master of Science | Criminal Justice (online or on-campus)
    Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Addiction Studies

    Charter Oak State College (New Britain)
    Bachelor of Science | Cyber Security (online)
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: General (online)
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Victim Advocacy (online)

    University of New Haven (West Haven)
    Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Corrections
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Crime Analysis
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Forensic Psychology
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: International Justice and Security
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Investigative Services
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Juvenile & Family Services
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement Administration
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Victim Services Administration
    Bachelor of Science | Dispute Resolution
    Bachelor of Science | Forensic Science
    Bachelor of Science | National Security Studies
    Master of Science | Criminal Justice (online or on-campus)
    Master of Science | Emergency Management (online or on-campus)
    Master of Science | Forensic Science
    Master of Science | Forensic Technology
    Master of Science | Investigations
    Master of Science | National Security
    PhD | Criminal Justice
    Minor | Criminal Justice
    Certificate | Crime Analysis
    Certificate | Forensic Computer Investigation
    Certificate | Law Enforcement Science
    Certificate | Victim Services Administration
    Certificate | Information Protection and Security
    Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Criminal Justice Management
    Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Emergency Management
    Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Forensic Computer Investigation
    Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Forensic Psychology
    Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Information Protection and Security
    Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | National Security Administration
    Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | National Security
    Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Public Safety Management
    Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Victim Advocacy and Service Management
    Program | Army ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps)

    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.

    Asnuntuck Community College (Enfield)
    Associate of Science | Criminal Justice

    Capital Community College (Hartford)
    Associate of Science | Computer Networking: Cybersecurity
    Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
    Certificate | Cybersecurity

    Central Connecticut State University (New Britain)
    Bachelor of Arts | Criminology
    Bachelor of Arts | Geography: Geographic Information Science
    Master of Science | Criminal Justice
    Minor | Criminal Justice
    Minor | Geographic Information Sciences
    Minor | Peace Studies
    Minor | Social Justice

    Goodwin College (East Hartford)
    Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
    Associate of Science | Homeland Security
    Bachelor of Science | Public Safety and Security

    Housatonic Community College (Bridgeport)
    Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
    Associate of Science | General Studies: Criminal Justice
    Certificate | Corrections
    Certificate | Criminal Investigation
    Certificate | Police Management and Administration

    Manchester Community College (Manchester)
    Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
    Certificate | Corrections
    Certificate | Criminal Justice
    Certificate | Forensic Science
    Certificate | Homeland Security

    Middlesex Community College (Bedford, Lowell)
    Associate in Science | Criminal Justice – Administration of Justice
    Associate in Science | Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement

    Mitchell College (New London)
    Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
    Bachelor of Arts | Homeland Security

    Naugatuck Valley Community College (Waterbury)
    Associate of Science/ Public Safety | Criminal Justice
    Associate of Science/ Public Safety | Corrections
    Associate of Science/ Public Safety | Computer Crime Deterrence
    Associate of Science/ Public Safety | Forensics
    Associate of Science/ Public Safety | Law Enforcement
    Associate of Science/ Public Safety | Security
    Associate of Science | Drug and Alcohol Recovery Counseling
    Certificate | Computer Crime Deterrence
    Certificate | Drug and Alcohol Recovery Counseling

    Northwestern Connecticut Community College (Winsted)
    Associate of Science | Criminal Justice

    Norwalk Community College (Norwalk)
    Associate of Science | Criminal Justice

    Quinnipiac University (Hamden)
    Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
    Minor | Criminal Justice

    Sacred Heart University (Fairfield)
    Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
    Bachelor of Arts/ Master of Arts | Criminal Justice (dual degree program)
    Master of Arts | Criminal Justice
    Master of Arts | Criminal Justice: Criminal Justice Management
    Master of Arts | Criminal Justice: National Security
    Minor | Criminal Justice

    Student Review: “I enjoyed my experience at Sacred Heart University during my college years there. One thing that I liked was that class sizes were generally small about the size of the average high school class. I liked this because I felt like all students could get individualized attention from their professors and receive any help on any assignments. I also liked that professors were willing to get to know their students and see them as people rather than a number. One other thing I liked was the community events. Sacred Heart, being a Catholic school, had events related to the faith in addition to the standard events one may see at another university, such as bingo or club meetings. The biggest thing I liked was that the school was diverse in its student body. There were students from several different cultural backgrounds which made me feel like I was in my hometown’s schools. The only thing I disliked was the parking. There would be times I was a couple minutes late to a class because of the limited number of parking spaces available in the school’s parking lot.”
    stars-4

    Christopher F., student at Sacred Heart University

    Three Rivers Community College (Norwich)
    Associate of Science | Criminal Justice Treatment
    Associate of Science | Enforcement

    Tunxis Community College (Farmington)
    Associate of Science | Corrections
    Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
    Associate of Science | Drug and Alcohol Treatment
    Certificate | Family Violence Intervention
    Certificate | Homeland Security

    University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport)
    Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice and Human Security

    University of Hartford (West Hartford)
    Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
    Minor | Criminal Justice

    University of Saint Joseph (West Hartford)
    Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice/Restorative Justice

    Western Connecticut State University (Danbury)
    Bachelor of Science | Corrections
    Bachelor of Science | Criminology
    Bachelor of Science | Justice & Law Administration
    Bachelor of Science | Law Enforcement
    Bachelor of Science | Parole and Offender Rehabilitation
    Bachelor of Science | Probation
    Master of Science | Justice Administration
    Minor | Justice Law Administration


    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 Bachelor’s Programs: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/bachelors/search?program=bachelors&school-name=
    5. US News Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/criminal-justice/rankings
    6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Correctional Officers and Jailers https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333012.htm
    7. 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
    8. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Detectives and Criminal Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333021.htm
    9. 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
    10. Y Charts 10 Year Unemployment Chart: https://ycharts.com/indicators/connecticut_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

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