With a variety of options to choose from, chances are good that Delaware’s criminal justice schools offer programs that fit your career and personal goals. Major and specialization options within Delaware’s criminal justice programs include administration of justice, homeland security, law enforcement, and information security. Select universities, including Wilmington University, are now offering undergraduate and graduate criminal justice programs online – an option that can provide increased flexibility.
*For not-for-profit colleges and universities with criminal justice degree programs.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs in Delaware
A Delaware criminal justice degree is recommended for those interested in getting started in the field of criminal justice. Although not always a strict requirement, having a degree can differentiate you from other candidates who are competing for an open position. It will also prepare you for the challenges you will face and provide you with a strong foundation of knowledge that will give you the best chance at a long and successful career in your chosen profession. The criminal justice schools in Delaware offer a variety of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, with options for traditional on-campus study as well as online study.
Top-Ranked Schools with Criminal Justice Programs in Delaware
Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges*
- University of Delaware (#38 in-state, #43 out-of-state)
Criminal Justice Degree Schools Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
- Wilmington University
Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Delaware
University of Delaware: The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware provides the opportunity for individuals to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice or a Master of Arts or Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology. There exist two research centers within the department: the Center for Drugs and Alcohol Studies and the Disaster Research Center. Both facilitate collaborative research between students, faculty, and outside experts. Part of the undergraduate curriculum is an optional field experience course in which students spend time within actual local, state, or federal agency offices. Students interested in pursuing their JD also have the opportunity to seek pre-law advising to prepare for law school.
Wilmington University: The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Wilmington University has both a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master of Science in Administration of Justice. Through becoming a member of the Criminal Justice Association, students have many opportunities to pursue real-world professional experiences. Past activities have included tours of the Philadelphia Police Department, various agencies in Washington DC, and the Delaware State Police Museum. The college also has its own unique study abroad program in Ireland during which students travel the country to visit numerous Irish government offices and correctional facilities.
Notable Alumni from Delaware Universities
- Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States – University of Delaware
- U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper – University of Delaware
- Governor of New Jersey Christopher Christie – University of Delaware
- Former Governor of Delaware, Ruth Ann Minner – Delaware Technical Community College
Police Quote: “There are only two things that we control in our careers: our integrity and our work ethic. Integrity is key in policing. It’s too big a topic to discuss in detail here but the bottom line is that you need to be vigilant in living your Oath and Values. There is nothing worth sacrificing your integrity for and the ends never justify the means. You need to develop a strong ethical decision-making process and apply it consistently.”Glenn Hoff, Retired Deputy Police Chief Chief and founder of Guardian Leadership
Delaware Criminal Justice Careers
One of the smallest states in the US, Delaware is nevertheless home to one of the highest violent crime rates in the country – almost 50% above the national average. In addition, it has a population which is projected to continue growing over the coming decades. These factors have led to increased demand for qualified criminal justice professionals.
Although Delaware is located relatively close to the nation’s capital, it has relatively few federal institutions, other than Dover Air Force Base. However, both state and local agencies make up for the relative lack of federal opportunities in the criminal justice area. The average annual salary for protective service occupations, including police and patrol officers, in Delaware is $40,410.6 The Delaware State Police offer a post-training salary of over $57,000 and require completion of college work for employment consideration.7 Another potential employer is the Delaware Department of Corrections, which is often looking to bring new correctional officers on board.
Delaware Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs
|Occupation||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Correctional Officers and Jailers||N/A||N/A|
|First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives||310||$98,210|
|Detectives and Criminal Investigators||90||$92,710|
|Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers||1,780||$65,740|
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.8,9,10,11
Delaware’s Criminal Justice Employment Outlook
As of May 2016, the unemployment rate for Delaware was 4.1%.12 This is below the national average of 4.7%, and well below the state peak unemployment rate of 8.7% from December of 2009.12 Delaware’s most recent unemployment low occurred in December of 2007, with a rate of 3.9%.12 According to Projections Central, the state’s outlook for criminal justice employment opportunities is as follows:
- Police and Sheriff Patrol: 70 annual openings; 46% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 24% holding an associate’s degree.13,14
- Correctional Officers: 40 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 15% holding a post-secondary certificate.13,15
- Detectives and Criminal Investigators: 1 annual opening; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 21% holding an associate’s degree.13,16
- Security Guards: 80 annual openings; 4% in these positions report completing at least some college.13,17
- Paralegals and Legal Assistants: 40 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.13,18
Available positions are projected based on jobs growth and replacements.
The Mercatus Center, a conservative think tank, analyzed and rated each state for long-term solvency. After examining Delaware’s budgeting process, cash/tax collection, and pensions, it ranked Delaware 38th in the nation.19 This is an indicator that new hires should keep a close watch on the state’s ability to fulfill obligations to pay employee pensions.
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Directory of Not-for-Profit Delaware Universities Offering Campus-based and Online Criminal Justice Degrees
If you live in Delaware, we recommend 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 (Pennsylvania , Delaware, District of Columbia, Virginia, or West Virginia).
Schools with Online and On-Campus Criminal Justice Programs
Delaware State University (Dover)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice (online or on-campus)
Minor | Forensic Science
Wilmington University (New Castle)
Bachelor of Science | Administration of Justice (online or on-campus)
Master of Science | Administration of Justice (online or on-campus)
Master of Science | Administration of Justice: Leadership and Administration (online or on-campus)
Master of Science | Administration of Justice: Criminal Behavior (online or on-campus)
Master of Science | Administration of Justice: Homeland Security (online or on-campus)
Master of Science | Homeland Security (online or on-campus)
Master of Science | Homeland Security: Safety & Security Specialization
Master of Science | Homeland Security: Organizational Leadership
Master of Science | Homeland Security: Information Assurance
Certificate | Conflict Resolution
Certificate | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Digital Evidence Discovery
Certificate | Digital Evidence Investigation
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Homeland Security
Schools with On-Campus Criminal Justice Programs Only
Delaware Technical and Community College (Dover, Georgetown, Newark)
Associate of Science | Drug/ Alcohol Counseling
Associate of Science | Homeland Security And Emergency Management
Associate of Science | Information Security
Associate of Science | Law Enforcement
Certificate | Drug/ Alcohol Counseling
Student Review: “I feel the Criminal Justice program at Delaware Tech is overall a good experience. Being a Community College I feel they definitely do the best they can. Of coarse it may not be as good as a larger, and more expensive school. Overall I feel I have received a strong foundation of Criminal Justice that will definitely help me continue my education. I am planning on continuing on for a degree in Law, so this program is a stepping stone for me to continue. I really liked the specific professors I have had, most of my professors are extremely helpful and go above and beyond to make sure I really understand what is being taught. There is not much I disliked about the program besides maybe not being able to get deeper into some topics due to time management/ time constraints.”Student at Delaware Technical and Community College
Goldey-Beacom College (Wilmington)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
University of Delaware (Newark)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Student Review: “The criminal justice department at my university is outstanding! I have been studying here for three years and have had several internship opportunities and even an opportunity to take a course with inmates inside of one of our prisons here in Delaware. The program for this course is called the ‘Inside Out’ program held by Dr. Lana Harrison. Every professor that I have met in our program has been helpful in and out of the classroom. I have not had an issue with any of the professors’ office hours or classroom procedures so far. The only thing I would improve about the program is to add more diverse courses.”Student at University of Delaware
Student Review: “My experience in my Criminal Justice program was a pleasant one. My school offered a wide range of electives in the program and let students chose classes that interested them the most. Almost all staff were down to earth and many were adjunct professors who had current careers in the criminal justice field. I wish the program let you choose ‘paths’ of criminal justice to venture down such as law enforcement or law. This would assist students in discovering what specifically interested them in the field considering it is so large. The criminal justice program was also not competitive to get into which I believe all majors should mirror. If students want to try to pursue a certain future you should allow them no matter their GPA.”Student at University of Delaware
Wesley College (Dover)
Bachelor of Science | Law and Justice Studies
Bachelor of Science | Law and Justice Studies: Legal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Law and Justice Studies: Criminal Justice
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Law and Justice Studies
Minor | Criminal Justice
Widener University (Wilmington)
Dual Degree | Criminal Justice/ Political Science
Dual Degree | Socia Work/ Criminal Justice
Joint PsyD/ Master of Arts | Criminal Justice
Master of Arts | Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice
Minor | Forensic Accounting
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, Protective Service Occupations (Major Group): https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes330000.htm
7. Delaware State Police: https://dsp.delaware.gov/about-the-job/
8. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Correctional Officers and Jailers https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333012.htm
9. 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
10. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Detectives and Criminal Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333021.htm
11. 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
12. Y Charts 10 Year Unemployment Chart: https://ycharts.com/indicators/delaware_unemployment_rate
13. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
14. O*Net OnLine, Police Patrol Officers: https://www.onetonline.org/link/details/33-3051.01
15. O*Net OnLine, Correctional Officers and Jailers: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3012.00
16. O*Net OnLine, Police Detectives: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3021.01
17. O*Net OnLine, Security Guards: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-9032.00
18. O*Net OnLine, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/23-2011.00
19. Mercatus Center, George Mason University, Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition 2016 Edition: https://www.mercatus.org/statefiscalrankings
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