The state of Hawaii is home to several competitive criminal justice programs, including programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels. Specialties and majors offered include criminology, homeland security, and diplomacy and military studies. In addition to traditional on-campus programs, Chaminade University of Honolulu also offers online criminal justice degrees that can provide additional flexibility for students who are in the workforce or who have other commitments that may make it difficult to complete a traditional program.
*For not-for-profit colleges and universities with criminal justice degree programs.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs in Hawaii
Hawaii’s colleges and universities offer many opportunities to earn a degree in criminal justice. Holding an associate’s or bachelor’s degree can make you more competitive in a crowded job market like Hawaii’s. With a criminal justice degree, you may qualify for higher starting salaries as well as expand your future opportunities for promotion. On-campus, online, and hybrid programs are available to help you prepare for your desired career, with options for both general criminal justice study as well as specialized majors focusing on in-demand fields.
Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Hawaii
Hawaii Pacific University: The Social Sciences Department at Hawaii Pacific University has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice for those who want a career in corrections, law, or law enforcement. Students complete a combination of justice administration, psychology, and sociology courses to earn a well-rounded education concerning contributors and responses to criminal activity. Individuals enrolled in this program have access to the top research facilities in the state, with the US News and World Report placing this institution in the Tier 1 category. The faculty within the Department of Social Sciences are top-rated specialists in law enforcement, human services, and criminal psychology.
University of Hawaii, Hilo: The University of Hawaii, Hilo has an interdisciplinary criminal justice program in its College of Arts and Sciences, the Bachelor of Arts in Administration of Justice. Courses cover a variety of focuses that cater to students’ specific interests, ranging from Drug Awareness to Juvenile Delinquency. Students can earn course credit through experience with the college’s internship program, connecting them to dozens of different local, county, state, and federal agencies. The University of Hawaii, Hilo has one of the lowest faculty-to-student ratios among major universities in the state; the average undergraduate classroom has only 18 students.
Notable Alumni from Hawaii Universities
- Honolulu Police Chief Louis M. Kealoha- Chaminade University
- Hawai’i State Sheriff Keith Kamita – Chaminade University
- Hawaii Police Chief Harry S. Kubojiri – University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Police Quote: “The best advice I ever received was, ‘if you start to approach a location during a call, and the hair on your neck stands up, something isn’t right.’ Listen to that sixth sense.”Officer Tony Masten
Hawaii Criminal Justice Careers
The federal government has a long history of involvement in Hawaii through the military. However, there is more to the government’s presence in Hawaii than just Pearl Harbor and Schofield Barracks. Hawaii also serves as a base for the FBI and its programs throughout the American protectorates and territories in the Pacific. Honolulu also has a major international airport with needs for specialists in homeland security. Finally, there is a Federal Detention Center also located at Honolulu Airport. All of these federal operations require the service of skilled criminal justice graduates.
The Hawaii Department of Public Safety (DPS) performs both law enforcement and corrections functions, which differs from most other states that separate these into distinct departments. Positions with the DPS carry generous benefits and a competitive salary. The DPS provides significant preference to individuals with criminal justice degrees, waiving or reducing education and experience requirements in many cases.
The Honolulu Police Department, which serves all of Oahu, expects to see a college degree for officers who wish to be promoted through the ranks. Although the Big Island and Oahu represent the majority of Hawaii’s population, there are also positions for criminal justice graduates on other islands’ police force as well.
Hawaii Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs
|Occupation||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Correctional Officers and Jailers||1,510||$50,060|
|First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives||750||$93,710|
|Detectives and Criminal Investigators||480||$96,450|
|Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers||2,720||$64,940|
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.5,6,7,8
Hawaii’s Criminal Justice Employment Outlook
As of May 2016, Hawaii’s unemployment rate was 3.2%, which is lower than the national average of 4.7%.10 This is below the January 2010 peak unemployment rate of 7%, though still slightly above the state’s 10-year low unemployment rate of 3% in January 2008. Government employment is a good indicator of Hawaii’s prospective criminal justice jobs.10 Projections Central includes the following outlooks for Hawaii criminal justice jobs:
- Police and Sheriff Patrol: 110 annual openings; 46% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 24% holding an associate’s degree.11,12
- Correctional Officers: 50 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: 10 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 21% holding an associate’s degree.11,14
- Security Guards: 190 annual openings; 4% in these positions report completing at least some college.11,15
- Paralegals and Legal Assistants: 30 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
It should be understood that these projections are based on both employment growth and replacements.
The Mercatus Center, a conservative think tank, rated and analyzed the long-term solvency of each state government. After an analysis of Hawaii’s budgeting process, cash/tax collection, and pensions, the center ranked the state 45th in the nation.17 This is an indicator that new employees should watch for the state’s ability to fulfill employee pension obligations.
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Directory of Not-for-Profit Hawaii Universities Offering Campus-based and Online Criminal Justice Degrees
If you are interested learning more about a Hawaii criminal justice degree, 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.
Schools with Online and On-Campus Criminal Justice Programs
Chaminade University of Honolulu (Honolulu)
Associate of Science | Criminology and Criminal Justice (online or on-campus)
Bachelor of Science | Criminology and Criminal Justice (online or on-campus)
Master of Science | Criminal Justice Administration (online)
Master of Science | Criminal Justice Administration: Correctional Track (online)
Master of Science | Criminal Justice Administration: Law Enforcement Track (online)
Master of Science | Criminal Justice Administration: Hybrid Track (online)
Master of Science | Forensic Sciences
Minor | Criminology and Criminal Justice
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Forensic Sciences
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Homeland Security Leadership Development
Student Review: “Going through Chaminade’s Criminology & Criminal Justice program was really an awesome experience for me. The class sizes were small, which allowed me to receive more individualized attention than I would have had I attended a larger university. Professors were passionate and knowledgeable about their areas of expertise and were very easy to talk to and ask questions of. While at times I felt that I did not gain much from some of the classes (especially the introductory ones), the program did offer a pretty good variety of more specialized higher-level classes through which I was able to build an excellent foundation of criminological knowledge. The support from faculty and the work I was able to do in Chaminade’s C&CJ program enabled me to enter a doctoral program right out of college; I am very glad I chose to go there.”Student at Chaminade University
Schools with On-Campus Criminal Justice Programs Only
Hawaii Community College (Hilo)
Associate of Science | Administration of Justice
Certificate of Competence | Homeland Security
Certificate of Competence | Criminal Justice Addictions Professional
Hawaii Pacific University (Honolulu)
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Associate of Science | Homeland Security
Associate of Science | Military Studies
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Diplomacy and Military Studies
Master of Arts | Diplomacy and Military Studies
Minor | Diplomacy and Military Studies
Minor | Justice Administration
Minor | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Forensic Health Science
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | National Security and Strategic Studies
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | International Disaster and Emergency Management
Honolulu Community College (Honolulu)
Associate of Applied Science | Administration of Justice
Diploma | Basic Recruit Training: Corrections
Diploma | Basic Recruit Training: Law Enforcement
Army ROTC Course | Military Science and Leadership
Air Force ROTC Course | Aerospace Sciences
Maui Community College (Kahului)
Associate of Applied Science | Administration of Justice
Certificate of Achievement | Administration of Justice
Certificate of Competence | Administration of Justice
Academic Subject Certificate | Marine Program
University of Hawaii at Hilo (Hilo)
Bachelor of Arts | Administration of Justice
Student Review: “The University of Hawaii at Hilo was a great university to attend not only because it is in my hometown but because it is a great value. The Marine Science program is definitely one of the better programs in the country because of the university’s proximity to tropical reefs! The school is small enough so that the professors get to know you personally but large enough that you still feel like you’re part of something bigger. I obtained a great job working for the local state government and it is in great part to the professors at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. All in all a great university in a great community all at a great price.”Greg T., student at University of Hawaii, Hilo
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. Hawai’i Police Department: http://www.hawaiipolice.com/recruitment/police-officers
10. Y Charts 10 Year Unemployment Chart: https://ycharts.com/indicators/hawaii_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/statefiscalrankingsSELECT A PROGRAM Select a Degree Associate’s Bachelor’s Master’s Doctorate Non-Degree Courses Certificate / Diploma Graduate Certificates
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