This guide to criminal justice schools in Maine is designed to provide you with in-depth information on programs that will help you reach your career goals. Maine is home to several colleges and universities with criminal justice degree programs, with numerous options at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Select schools also offer online criminal justice programs, including Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and the University of Maine at Augusta.
*For not-for-profit colleges and universities with criminal justice degree programs.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs in Maine
Given Maine’s non-centralized population, some students may find it difficult to take advantage of the myriad of classroom-based criminal justice programs in the state. Fortunately, a number of internet-based degree programs serve Maine’s students. These online schools offer criminal justice programs at all levels which can be completed entirely through the internet, making it possible for rural students to earn their degrees. Many of Maine’s criminal justice agencies require or prefer applicants to have college credit. For example, applicants with the Bangor Police are required to have earned either a two-year criminal justice degree or a four-year degree in any field. The city of Portland, Maine offers police officers a competitive base salary coupled with generous benefits and will waive their typical experience requirement for individuals who have college coursework completed.
Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Maine
University of Southern Maine: The Criminology Department at the University of Southern Maine offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Minor in Criminology. The faculty all have extensive professional experience in the areas of gender, comparative analysis, and criminological theory and have conducted field research in the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Yugoslavia. The school has a long-standing internship program through which students are guided by the internship coordinator. Required courses include Introduction to Criminology, White-Collar Crime, and Criminological Theory, while elective courses cover everything from comparative criminology to the death penalty. Students who are interested in a law focus can take advantage of the Volunteer Lawyers Project Internship, in which they can assist with courthouse operations and reviewing case files.
University of Maine at Augusta: The University of Maine at Augusta is home to a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies program that can be completed on-campus, online, or as a hybrid program. The program is designed to suit the needs of first-time undergraduates as well as those who have previously begun a college degree and are returning to school to earn their bachelor’s. The curriculum teaches students the distinct roles of the legal, judicial, corrections, and law enforcement structures in the US as well as how these roles interact as part of a holistic criminal justice system. All students will additionally complete a comparative paper for their senior capstone that examines the criminal processes of an international body compared to those of the US. Students with qualifying military or police training may be eligible for academic credit that reduces the overall course load required to earn the degree. The University of Maine at Augusta additionally accepts CLEP and Dantes exam scores for degree credit. Students pursuing criminal justice careers may also be interested in the school’s Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity that is available on-campus as well as online.
Notable Alumni from Maine Universities
- Senator Olympia Snowe – University of Maine
- Maine Supreme Court Chief Justice, Leigh Saufley – University of Maine
- Former Governor of Maine, John Baldacci – University of Maine
- Maine House of Representatives Minority Leader, Emily Cain – University of Maine
Police Quote: “Continue your education and the development of your police skills. Be open and flexible, think and grow. Develop a life and friends outside of police – it will keep you sane. I would also add what my first training officer told me: ‘Remember, Couper, everything that was illegal and wrong before you put on a badge will still be illegal and wrong.”Chief David Couper
Maine Criminal Justice Careers
Although Maine has no federal correctional institutions, it does have a border with Canada as well as a long coastline and a number of airports. Because of this, positions are frequently available with federal agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration, Border Patrol, and Customs and Immigration. In addition to federal positions, private industry has a need for professionals in fields such as insurance fraud investigation and legal assisting.
The state of Maine is also seeking qualified individuals for criminal justice positions. The Maine State Police offers an additional $0.31 per hour stipend for bachelor’s degree holders, which is in addition to generous benefits and a base salary of $38,625 per year.5 Maine’s award-winning Department of Corrections is also currently recruiting for a number of positions, including correctional officers. The average annual salary for protective service occupations, which includes patrol and police officers, working in Maine is $39,250.6
Maine Criminal Justice Salary and Jobs
|Occupation||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Correctional Officers and Jailers||1,550||$36,820|
|First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives||370||$64,180|
|Detectives and Criminal Investigators||590||$65,830|
|Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers||2,200||$43,580|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.7,8,9,10
Maine’s Criminal Justice Employment Outlook
As of May 2016, the unemployment rate for Maine was 3.5%, below the national average of 4.7%.11 The state’s 10-year unemployment high was in March 2010, at 8.4%.11 In Maine, government-related employment is a good indicator of jobs in the criminal justice field. Projections Central includes the following criminal justice jobs:
- Police and Sheriff Patrol: 80 annual openings; 46% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 24% holding an associate’s degree.12,13
- Correctional Officers: 50 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 15% holding a post-secondary certificate.12,14
- Detectives and Criminal Investigators: 20 annual openings; 37% in these positions report completing at least some college, with 21% holding an associate’s degree.12,15
- Security Guards: 40 annual openings; 4% in these positions report completing at least some college.12,16
- 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.12,17
Note that these estimates are based on jobs growth as well as replacements.
The Mercatus Center is a conservative think tank that analyzed and rated each state government’s long-term solvency. After an analysis of the state budgeting, cash/tax collection process, and pensions, Maine was ranked 43rd in the nation.18 This means that prospective state hires should pay attention to the government’s ability to fulfill the obligation of paying employee pensions.
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Directory of Maine Universities Offering Campus-based and Online Criminal Justice Degrees
To earn a criminal justice degree in Maine, we recommend pursuing an accredited campus-based or online associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree.
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 Hampshire).
Schools with Online and On-Campus Criminal Justice Programs
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine (Standish)
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice (online)
Bachelor of Science | Interdisciplinary Studies: Criminal Justice Minor (online)
Minor | Criminal Justice
Minor | Social Justice
Minor | Leadership and Community Engagement
University of Maine at Augusta (Augusta)
Associate of Science | Justice Studies
Bachelor of Science | Justice Studies (online or on-campus)
Bachelor of Science | Cybersecurity (online or on-campus)
Minor | Fraud Examination
Certificate | Fraud Examination
Student Review: “The University of Maine at Augusta has a great program for non-traditional students. They have a variety of degrees that can be taken online or through Interactive Television Services (ITV). These classes are offered throughout the state of Maine at local higher education centers and ITV locations. They also have classes available at their Augusta campus. For students close by they have the Jewett concert series and the Danforth Gallery. There is also a campus in Bangor that has theatrical performances. The instructors are used to working with non-traditional students and tend to be very flexible. I am enjoying getting my degree with the flexibility to take care of my family and watch classes when it is convenient for me. Overall a wonderful place to get your degree!”Melony L., student at University of Maine at Augusta
University of Maine at Fort Kent (Fort Kent)
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice (online or on-campus)
Associate of Arts | Conservation Law Enforcement (online or on-campus)
Associate of Arts | Emergency Management and Homeland Security (online or on-campus)
Bachelor of Science | Cyber Security
Bachelor of Science | Conservation Law Enforcement
Bachelor of Science | Rural Public Safety Administration (online or on-campus)
Schools with On-Campus Criminal Justice Programs Only
Central Maine Community College (Auburn)
Associate in Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Associate in Applied Science | Criminal Justice/Computer Forensics
Certificate | Forensic Investigation
Husson University (Bangor)
Associate of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Forensic Science
Dual Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice and Psychology
Dual Bachelor of Science/ Master of Science | Criminal Justice Administration
Master of Science | Criminal Justice Administration
Program | Army ROTC
Student Review: “I’ve had the most incredible time at HU earning my degree in CJ. I’ve had so many professors that have a wealth of experiential knowledge. Between County Sheriffs, former federal agents, and more have been able to share academic information with real-life context. I’ve found it easy to engage myself in all my courses and have been invigorated by tales of police duty. This has made it a breeze to be successful in my courses. I strongly feel that HU criminal justice program truly prepares students for life on the beat. I’ve had courses that dive into the penal code, trains students courtroom proceeds (including a complete mock trial at the state courthouse), explore theories of criminology, recognizing signs of child, spousal and elder abuse, and much more. I’ve been given opportunities for internships and job shadowing through my program as well, and its clear that Husson does all they can to produce highly trained and marketable individuals that are ready to be hired by any police agency.”Student at Husson University
Southern Maine Community College (South Portland)
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice
Student Review: “My experience at SMCC in the Criminal Justice program was fantastic. I took several CJ courses as mix of both online and on campus. I found the online courses to be my favorites, as I was able to take them in the comfort of my own home on my schedule. It was great to be able to ask questions on topics I didn’t understand as well as being able to learn about so many different areas of the criminal justice system. In addition, I enjoyed state specific information that I was able to learn, especially because I didn’t really know about the Maine Judicial system beforehand. I did switch majors eventually, however, the criminal justice program was definitely my favorite interest in terms of education.”Student at Southern Maine Community College
Thomas College (Waterville)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice Administration
Bachelor of Science | Forensic Accounting
Master of Business Administration | Forensic Accounting
Minor | Cyber Security
Minor | Criminal Justice
Minor | Forensic Psychology
University of Maine at Presque Isle (Presque Isle)
Associate of Arts | Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Arts | Criminal Justice
Minor | Criminal Justice
Certificate | Geographic Information Systems
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. Maine State Police: https://www.maine.gov/dps/msp/jobs/trooper_recruitment.html
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. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Correctional Officers and Jailers https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333012.htm
8. 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
9. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Detectives and Criminal Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333021.htm
10. 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
11. Y Charts 10 Year Unemployment Chart: https://ycharts.com/indicators/maine_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
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