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Iowa Criminal Justice Degree Programs
(found 29 schools)




Listed below are all of the accredited schools in Iowa that offer Criminal Justice programs.

Overview

Iowa, a land of mostly small towns and rural communities, was once the site of a deadly shootout with one of the most notorious gangs of the Great Depression. In 1934, Iowa police cornered Bonnie and Clyde and other members of the Barrow gang in a park in Dexter. Bonnie and Clyde escaped the shootout, but three other gang members were taken into custody.

These days, Iowa is working toward a more restorative justice system. West Des Moines Police Department’s Youth Justice Initiative has taken a different direction than simply handing out punishments. They've created programs that bring offenders in contact with victims. Research shows this type of mediation can reduce the likelihood of kids re-offfending according to DesMoinesRegister.com.

“Restorative justice is a different paradigm, a different way of looking at how we respond to wrongdoing,” said Fred Van Liew, a former Polk County prosecutor and director of the Center for Restorative Justice Practices in Des Moines.

If you'd like to help change the way criminal justice is carried out, find a program near you from the school listings below.

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Criminal Justice Education in Iowa

If you decide to pursuit a criminal justice degree at a four-year institution, it will typically involve the completion of a variety of core curriculum courses in areas like Math and English. An increasing number of criminal justice courses are then typically taken as you progress through the program. Therefore, relatively more criminal justice coursework occurs during the Junior and Senior years. Here are some of the types of courses that are commonly included in such a program:

  • The History of Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Criminal Law
  • The American System of Jurisprudence
  • Research Methodologies in Criminal Justice
  • Legal Writing and Research
  • Ethics in Criminal Justice
  • An Introduction to the U.S. Criminal Justice System

As you know, far more job opportunities are open to graduates with four-year bachelor’s degrees than to those with two-year associate’s degrees. However, if you’d like to get a degree and then get out in the workforce quickly, you may find the associate’s degree to be the perfect choice. Many local law enforcement agencies, especially in rural areas, will hire a graduate in possession of a two-year associate’s degree. Also, the credits you acquire from a two-year degree usually transfer, especially if you want to continue in the criminal justice area. You may even want to complete the rest of your bachelor’s degree online.

Fieldwork and/or internships are fairly common in criminal justice programs. For example, a semester of fieldwork may be required during the junior year, although this is not always the case. Internships in criminal justice are commonly pursued during the senior year, and these internships gives students "hands-on" experience. Finally, those that want to qualify for high-level law-enforcement occupations like an FBI agent will want to pursue a master’s degree in criminal justice. In addition, a master’s degree plus field experience may make you a good candidate for high-level administration positions such as police chief.

If you need financial assistance, your school can help you apply for scholarships offered through the American Criminal Justice Association or those offered through private foundations like the David E. Whitmire Scholarship Fund.

Outlook for Criminal Justice in Iowa

Law-enforcement officers in Iowa will find relatively better working conditions than in some states in the country. For example, the violent crime rate, according to the FBI, ranks 35th in the nation. The overall crime rate, according to the National Institute of Corrections, is more than 25 percent less than the national average. Even though Iowa is statistically a pretty safe state, Careerinfonet.org projects protective services occupations in Iowa will increase 23 percent between 2010 and 2020.

For those looking to work in law enforcement in Iowa, salary depends on the chosen profession. Corrections officers earn just over $44,000, while police officers and detectives earn around $50,000 and nearly $67,000, respectively, according to the BLS Occupational Handbook (2012 data). It is important to note that correctional officers only work at the local or state level because there are no federal correctional institutions in Iowa.

The job outlook for probation officers, on the other hand, is relatively stronger for the remainder of the decade, according to the BLS. Job growth from 2010 to 2020 is projected to be about 18 percent. The BLS shows the annual median pay for Iowa probation officers was $62,070, which is much higher than the nation’s average pay of $52,380. More offenders are reporting to probation and parole officers as incarceration is sometimes less favored due, in part, to the overpopulated prisons.

Be sure to review our list of criminal justice colleges below to help with your search to find the best criminal justice program. Best of luck!

Iowa Criminal Justice Schools

AIB College of Business (Des Moines, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Court Reporting
Briar Cliff University (Sioux City, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice
Buena Vista University (Storm Lake, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology & Criminal Justice
Des Moines Area Community College (Ankeny, IA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Arts - Criminal Justice, Associate of Science - Criminal Justice, Associate of Science - Legal Assistant, Certificate - Legal Assistant
Dordt College (Sioux Center, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice
Eastern Iowa Community College District (Davenport, IA)
Programs Offered:
Certificate - Health, Safety and Environmental, Certificate - Law Enforcement
Ellsworth Community College (Iowa Falls, IA)
Programs Offered:
Associate in Science - Criminal Justice
Graceland University (Lamoni, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Sociology - coursework in criminology, justice, etc., Bachelor of Science - Pre-Forensic Science (Biology and/or Chemistry major)
Grand View University (Des Moines, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice, Certificate - Paralegal Studies: Business and Human Resource Management, Certificate - Paralegal Studies: Criminology, Certificate - Paralegal Studies: Public Administrationt
Hawkeye Community College (Waterloo, IA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science - Criminal Justice, Associate of Science - Criminal Justice, Certificate - Law Enforcement
Indian Hills Community College (Ottumwa, IA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science - Criminal Justice, Associate of Applied Science - Paramedic Specialist, Diploma - Emergency Medical Intermediate
Iowa Central Community College (Fort Dodge, IA)
Programs Offered:
Associate Degree - Criminal Justice (online), Associate of Arts/Associate of Science - Criminal Justice, Diploma - Criminal Justice
Iowa Lakes Community College (Estherville, IA)
Programs Offered:
Associate in Arts - Paralegal/Legal Studies, Associate in Science - Paralegal/Legal Studies, Associate of Science - Criminal Justice, Certificate - Criminal Justice
Iowa State University (Ames, IA)
Programs Offered:
Major in Criminology & Criminal Justice
Iowa Wesleyan College (Mount Pleasant, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice
ITT Technical Institute (Clive, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice
Kaplan University (Cedar Falls, IA / Cedar Rapids, IA / Council Bluffs, IA / Davenport, IA / Mason City, IA / Urbandale, IA)
Programs Offered:
AAS - Criminal Justice (online), AAS - Fire Science (online), AAS - Paralegal Studies (online), Advanced Start Bachelor of Science - Corrections (online), BS - Criminal Justice (online), BS - Fire and Emergency Management (online), BS in Fire Science, BS in Legal Studies, BSBA - Criminal Justice (online), BSCJ - Computer Crime (online), BSCJ - Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) (online), BSCJ - Criminal Justice Admin & Management (online), BSCJ - Juvenile Justice (online), BSCJ - Law Enforcement (online), Computer Forensics Postbaccalaureate Certificate (Rockville), Corrections Certificate, M.P.A. in Criminal Justice (online), M.S. in Criminal Justice - Corrections (online), M.S. in Criminal Justice - Leadership and Executive Management (online), MS - Criminal Justice, MS - Legal Studies (online), MS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management (online), Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate
Kirkwood Community College (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Arts - Corrections, Associate of Arts - Law Enforcement, Associate of Arts - Paralegal, Associate of Science - Corrections, Associate of Science - Law Enforcement, Associate of Science - Paralegal
Loras College (Dubuque, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice
Marshalltown Community College (Marshalltown, IA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science - Criminal Justice
Mount Mercy College (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice
North Iowa Area Community College (Mason City, IA)
Programs Offered:
Associate in Arts - Criminal Justice, Associate in Science - Information Systems Technology - Cyber Security, Certificate - Criminal Justice, Certificate - Foundations of Security
Saint Ambrose University (Davenport, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Arts - Criminalistics, Master of Criminal Justice - Criminal Justice, Master of Criminal Justice - Juvenile Justice Education
Simpson College (Indianola, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice - Administration, Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice - Corrections, Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice - Justice, Bachelor of Science - Forensic Science / Biochemistry
Southeastern Community College (West Burlington, IA)
Programs Offered:
Associate in Applied Science - Criminal Justice Technology, Associate in Arts - Criminal Justice, Associate of Science - Criminal Justice, Certificate - Basic Law Enforcement Training, Certificate - Criminal Justice Technology, Diploma - Criminal Justice Technology
University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Applied Studies - Criminal Justice (online)
University of Phoenix (Cedar Rapids, IA / Des Moines, IA / West Des Moines, IA)
Programs Offered:
AA - Criminal Justice (online), BS - Criminal Justice Administration - Human Services (online), BS - Criminal Justice Administration - Management (online), BS - Criminal Justice Administration (online), BS - Organizational Security Management (online), MS - Administration of Justice and Security (online)
Upper Iowa University (Fayette, IA)
Programs Offered:
BS - Criminal Justice (online), BS - Emergency & Disaster Mgmt (online), Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice (online), Bachelor of Science - Criminology, Bachelor of Science - Emergency and Disaster Management (online), Bachelor of Science - Forensic Science, Bachelor of Science - Public Administration - Law Enforcement, MPA - Government Administration (online), MPA - Justice and Homeland Security (online)
Western Iowa Tech Community College (Sioux City, IA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science - Cyber Crime Investigations, Associate of Applied Science - Emergency & Disaster Management, Associate of Applied Science - Police Science - Corrections, Associate of Applied Science - Police Science - Forensic Investigations, Associate of Applied Science - Police Science Technology, Certificate - Emergency Disaster, Certificate - Emergency Manager Basic Skills, Certificate - Emergency Planning, Diploma - Computer Forensics Specialist, Diploma - Emergency & Disaster Management