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Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs in California

A state as large as California is bound to have a diverse array of citizens, communities, and issues. This presents challenges to the criminal justice community, since measures taken in California must be cost-efficient and build citizen confidence in justice agencies. With a master’s degree in criminal justice in California, you can combine experience and advanced education to find practical, actionable solutions to these problems.

What Can I Do With My Master’s in Criminal Justice in California?

No matter what your goals are in the field of criminal justice, a master’s degree can deepen your understanding of this industry. Contact criminal justice programs in California to learn more about your options.

One of the largest goals in California relates to Prop 47, a law that hopes to reduce the prison population and redirect funds to rehabilitation programs for offenders who can safely return to society (Drug Policy, 2015). The implementation of programs like this one requires the input, expertise, and experience of highly educated professionals.

Criminal justice professionals in California have contributed heavily to a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for sexual crimes, a law that is largely possible because of advances in DNA technology (LA Times, 2015).

The knowledge gained in a graduate program can be applied to many different work settings and career paths. In California, the demand for probation officers is expected to increase 2% by the year 2022 (O*Net, 2015). The average statewide salary for this career is $77,500 per year (O*Net, 2015). You may also find that there are opportunities in security management, a specialty with an average salary of $121,500 per year (O*Net, 2015). You may see a 14% increase in job openings during this timeframe (O*Net, 2015).

What Will It Take to Earn My Criminal Justice Graduate Degree in California?

Due to the large variety of colleges and universities in California, there are many criminal justice graduate programs in California. You may choose to study the field as a whole or you may choose to focus on one of the topics below:

  • Administration
  • Forensic mental health
  • Criminalistics
  • Forensic psychology
  • Law enforcement
  • Homeland security
  • Personal protection
  • Terrorism studies
  • Global emergency preparedness
  • Criminology

Tuition expenses vary quite a bit from school to school. The amount you are charged may depend on whether you choose a public or private school, if you are a resident or nonresident of California, and the amount of financial need you have. Average tuition rates range from $575 per credit to $785 per credit. Many schools have extensive financial aid programs, and local groups also fund scholarships. The California Correctional Supervisors Organization awards scholarships to those who attend criminal justice graduate programs in California.

By looking at the learning outcomes and goals of different programs, you can figure out exactly what each school’s focus is and what skills you can expect to learn throughout the course of your education. In general, California schools focus on the well-being of offenders, victims, and communities when it comes to justice administration, rehabilitation, and sentencing. Many programs hope to prepare you for whatever career path interests you in the fields of law enforcement, administration, criminal justice planning, and corrections. To achieve these goals, schools focus on advanced criminal justice theory, legal and ethical considerations of this field, procedural expectations, and leadership techniques and skills.

If you are ready to invest in your career and your community with higher education, explore our list of schools below and contact schools that can help you earn a criminal justice master’s degree in California.