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Criminal Justice Schools in Philadelphia


Public safety and order is important everywhere, but you may have noticed that it plays an even bigger role in Philadelphia. Philadelphia's booming tourist industry requires criminal justice professionals to keep the streets safe for tourists and residents alike. Have you ever wanted to serve your city and its residents? If so, criminal justice may be the field for you.

One of the biggest criminal justice employers in Philadelphia is the Philadelphia Police Department, which serves 21 districts. They have more than 6,600 police officers, a proud legion that you may join after earning a criminal justice degree.

No matter the career you want to pursue in the field of criminal justice, it all starts with your education. Philadelphia and its surrounding areas have several different educational institutions open to you. Explore our list of programs and contact any schools that catch your eye to get more information on the benefits of their criminal justice programs.

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As you begin your search for the right school, don’t worry about limiting yourself to those I the immediate area. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) makes it easy for you to get to class, work, and anywhere else you need to go in Philadelphia. This makes school really convenient—instead of having to choose the school closest to you, you can pick the school that best fits your needs and get there affordably. College students can get discounted passes and tickets when traveling to and from school.

Criminal Justice Education in Philadelphia

As the cultural center of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia has many educational opportunities for you as a prospective criminal justice student. You may be able to consider private and public schools within the city limits, as well as schools in the suburban areas around Pennsylvania.

The field of criminal justice offers several different degree options for you to consider, but the most commonly available degree is an Associate's degree, which can be earned in four full-time semesters. Early in your degree, you may take general education courses in different subjects. However, the majority of your educational career may be spent in criminal justice courses such as victim assistance, policing procedures, and ethics in criminal justice. Many programs also include an internship portion.

A Bachelor's degree may be less commonly available, but it can offer you a more in-depth education. In addition to the course subjects listed above, you may take courses in advanced fields like identity theft, cyber crime, and criminal investigation. Many Bachelor's degree programs require or allow you to choose a specialty. Your specialty area may qualify you for higher-ranking, specialized jobs.

Tuition rates vary significantly, depending on whether you attend a public or private school. For example, Temple University charges $13,406 for in-state residents and $23,432 for out-of-state residents. If you attend an accredited criminal justice program, you may be eligible for several different types of financial aid. Many schools recommend filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year, which shows you what federal aid you may qualify for.

Consider becoming part of local groups and organizations to build a strong network of criminal justice contacts. Philadelphia-based organizations include the Pennsylvania Prison Society, the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5, and the Philadelphia Association of Paralegals.

Pennsylvania Criminal Justice Schools

Chestnut Hill College (Philadelphia, PA)
Programs Offered:

Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science - Forensic Science
Community College of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)
Programs Offered:

Associate of Applied Science - Justice, Associate of Applied Science - Paralegal, Certificate - Justice
Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
Programs Offered:

Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice, Grad Certificate - Homeland Security (online)
Holy Family University (Philadelphia, PA)
Programs Offered:

Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice, Master of Arts - Criminal Justice
Kaplan Career Institute (Philadelphia, PA / Pittsburgh, PA)
Programs Offered:

Associate in Specialized Business - Criminal Justice, Associate of Specialized Business - Criminal Justice
La Salle University (Philadelphia, PA)
Programs Offered:

Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice, Certificate - Criminal Justice Profession Training
Orleans Technical Institute (Philadelphia, PA)
Programs Offered:

Associate of Applied Science - Court Reporting, Certificate - Court Reporting
Peirce College (Philadelphia, PA)
Programs Offered:

Associate of Science - Information Technology- Networking, Administration and Security, Associate of Science - Paralegal Studies, Associate of Science - Paralegal Studies (online), Bachelor of Science in Information Technology - Information Security (online), Certificate - Paralegal Studies, Certificate - Paralegal Studies (online), Certificate of Proficiency - Certified Information Systems Security Professional (online)
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Philadelphia, PA)
Programs Offered:

Certificate of Graduate Study - Forensic Medicine, Master of Science - Forensic Medicine, Pathway Program - Forensic Medicine
Saint Joseph's University (Philadelphia, PA)
Programs Offered:

Homeland Security Certificate (online), MS - Behavior Analysis (online), MS - Criminal Justice (online), MS - Homeland Security (online)
Temple University (Philadelphia, PA)
Programs Offered:

Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice, Master of Arts - Criminal Justice, PhD - Criminal Justice

Job Outlook for Criminal Justice Graduates in Philadelphia

Starting your criminal justice career may be one of the most exciting parts of the entire process! Look at different careers and decide which career path you want to follow.

If you want to work for the Philadelphia Police Department, you may want to know that the starting salary is $43,748 per year and that they offer regular raises up to $60,759 per year.

With an Associate's degree, there are numerous careers you can pursue, including the following, listed with their average salaries according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Security guards—$25,490
  • Bailiff—$25,160
  • Correctional officer—$45,070 per year

If you earn a Bachelor's degree, you may be able to pursue higher-ranking jobs. The following are just a selection, listed with their average salaries:

  • Correctional officer supervisor: $66,990 annually
  • Private detective: $48,640 per year
  • Criminal investigator: $82,070 per year