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Learn about Houston Criminal Justice Programs


If you've ever wanted to be a modern day hero, perhaps you've considered being a police officer with the Houston Police Department. Criminal justice career is an exciting and dynamic field that can allow you to serve your community.

As one of the largest cities in Texas, Houston has a great need for skilled, educated criminal justice graduates. In addition to the Houston Police Department, there are private employers to consider.

Everything starts with a criminal justice degree from one of the high-ranking schools in the area. We've compiled a list of Houston criminal justice schools below. You can request information from any school or schools you may be interested in attending. The information you get can help you find a program that is right for you.

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The Houston Metro can help you get to and from class without breaking the bank. You can get a monthly pass, and they also have reduced student fare that you can take advantage of. This option means that you don't have to pick a school just because it is close to you, since a Metro pass can get you to anywhere in the city.


Criminal Justice Schools in Other Major Texas Cities


Criminal Justice Education in Houston

There are a variety of schools in the Houston area, so it's important to look into each school and make an educated decision. As you look into different schools, think about what kind of degree you want to earn. Many Associate's degree programs only require two years of full-time study, while a Bachelor's degree takes about four years.

Both degree options require many of the same courses. To help you establish a good education base, you need to complete a variety of general education courses. You may take courses in mathematics, science, and English. However, the bulk of your program will likely be spent in criminal justice courses. You may take courses in ethics, criminal justice procedures, victimology, and criminology.

If you decide to earn a Bachelor's degree, you may be able to choose a concentration. Some schools offer concentrations in fields like cyber crime, identity theft, and crimes against children. Completing a concentration can give you the education you need to get higher-level, specialized jobs.

Tuition and financial aid are two factors that should play into your education no matter where you go to school. Tuition at the University of Houston Downtown is $5,238 for residents and $13,734 for non-residents. Of course, federal financial aid is an option. When you fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you can find out what federal loans and grants you qualify for. There may also be local and national scholarships.

Make the most of your student status by joining local criminal justice groups. There are many career-specific groups, which allows you to build connections early on. You may consider the Houston Metropolitan Paralegal Association, the Texas Police Trust, or the Texas Jail Association.

Texas Criminal Justice Schools

Center for Advanced Legal Studies (Houston, TX)
Programs Offered:

Associate Degree - Paralegal, Certificate - Paralegal
Houston Community College (Houston, TX)
Programs Offered:

Certificate - Legal Assisting
Lone Star College System - North Harris (Houston, TX)
Programs Offered:

Associate of Arts - Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice, Master of Science - Criminal Justice
Texas Southern University (Houston, TX)
Programs Offered:

Bachelor of Science - Administration of Justice, Master of Science - Administration of Justice, PhD - Administration of Justice
University of Houston-Clear Lake (Houston, TX)
Programs Offered:

Bachelor of Science - Criminology, Master of Arts - Criminology
University of Houston-Downtown (Houston, TX)
Programs Offered:

Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences - Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences - Safety Management, Bachelor of Science - Chemistry - Forensic Sciences, Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice, Certificate - Basic Peace Officer Training Academy, Master of Science - Criminal Justice

Job Outlook for Criminal Justice Graduates in Houston

Since your Houston criminal justice program may explore many different avenues, you can explore several different career options. An Associate's degree may prepare you for entry-level careers, while a Bachelor's degree may prepare you for a more advanced career.

Entry-level careers in criminal justice are not necessarily lower paying according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, bailiffs in Houston earn an average salary of $43,060 per year. As a security guard, you may be able to earn an average salary of $23,000 annually Correctional officers in this area earn an average salary of $35,180 per year.

With a Bachelor's degree, you may be able to find work as a detective or supervisor. Detectives and criminal investigators in Texas earn an average salary of $81,840 per year while correctional officer supervisors earn an average salary of $55,180 per year.

There are career paths you can pursue at the Houston Police Department. Salaries for police officers start at $35,164 annually. If you have a Bachelor's degree, you may qualify for Outstanding Educational Incentive Pay, which adds $3,640 to your annual salary. As you move through the ranks of Senior Police Officer and Sergeant, you can earn up to $87,421 per year.