Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs in South Dakota
South Dakota’s need for justice, equality, and fairness comes with challenges many other states don’t have to consider. Although South Dakota does have densely populated metropolitan areas like Sioux Falls, most live in communities throughout the state. The state is also home to one of the largest and most crime-ridden reservations in the US, presenting a whole new set of needs and factors.
What Can I Do With My Master’s in Criminal Justice in South Dakota?
With the right training, you can address the issues in South Dakota criminal justice. Contact criminal justice master’s programs in South Dakota to get started.
There are quite a few ways that educated professionals can contribute to justice improvement in South Dakota.
State officials recently recommended the creation of a mental health task force in South Dakota (DRG News, 2015). The aim of this program is to look at risk factors for mental health issues and ensure that mentally ill offenders have access to treatment rather than incarceration.
It is important to remember that criminal justice also focuses on victims of crime. Marcy’s Law in South Dakota has led to improved advocacy and a greater focus on victims’ rights (Black Hills FOX, 2015).
Looking at career options is another good way to look at the opportunities with this type of study. By the year 2022, police supervisors may enjoy a 3% increase in job openings (O*Net, 2015). Their average salary currently sits at $61,200 per year (O*Net, 2015). In this timeframe, job openings for criminal justice professors may increase 10%; the average income for this career is $59,300 per year (O*Net, 2015).
What Will It Take to Earn My Criminal Justice Graduate Degree in South Dakota?
There are plenty of benefits that come with earning a master’s in criminal justice in South Dakota. To start, tuition rates in South Dakota are significantly lower than they are in many other states. Graduate tuition rates range from $200 per credit to $650 per credit.
However, you may still have a chance to apply for financial aid opportunities, including scholarships funded by the South Dakota Peace Officers Association. Schools have a limited amount of graduate assistantships each year, and you may be considered if you have excellent references and a strong academic history.
Through the four to five semesters you spend earning your master’s degree, you take an array of graduate-level criminal justice courses.
The courses listed here are commonly found in South Dakota criminal justice curriculum:
- Police Administration: Management of police stations; expectations in police leadership and oversight
- Courts and Judicial Politics: Procedures and laws that dictate courtroom behavior; politics that help you navigate the court system more easily
- Criminal Law: Laws regarding criminal behavior, criminal treatment, and criminal rights
- Criminal Procedure: An ethical and legal look at procedures used with criminals and suspects
- Advanced Legal Issues: Complicated legal issues and challenges that may limit your work in the justice industry
As you near the end of your education, you may be encouraged to start applying for internships. Internships may be found at local justice agencies, correctional facilities, research institutions, and law enforcement agencies. In addition, you must choose if you want to pursue a thesis or non-thesis degree. If you opt for a non-thesis degree, you may need to take an oral exam at the end of your degree program.
Higher education can be very personally and professionally rewarding. Reach out to local schools to find out how you can get your Master of Science criminal justice in South Dakota.
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