Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs in Virginia
Covering corrections, law enforcement, law interpretation and analysis, research, and advocacy, the field of criminal justice is one of the most multifaceted in the state of Virginia. With advanced training and critical thinking skills, you can explore several career options in this industry.
What Can I Do With My Master’s in Criminal Justice in Virginia?
Find out what career paths are open to you with a master’s degree—contact criminal justice master programs in Virginia for more information.
Criminal justice may be the field for you if you are ready to ask hard questions and make changes that can truly improve life in Virginia. An area of growing importance in Virginia is the juvenile justice system.
Many experts believe that the current system sets kids up for failure and sets them up to become adult inmates one day (Richmond Times Dispatch, 2015). Current reform focuses on appropriate punishments for juvenile crimes and breaking the cycle of crime in use.
Another topic gaining steam in Virginia is victim’s rights. Part of ongoing criminal justice reform in the state focuses on the rights of victims and expanding the testing of rape kits (NBC 29, 2015).
Experts do anticipate a strong job outlook in Virginia. Demand for criminal justice professors is expected to increase 19% by the year 2022 and job openings for probation officers may increase 1% during this time (O*Net, 2015). The current average income for a probation officer is $43,100 per year, while criminal justice professors report a median salary of $56,500 per year (O*Net, 2015).
What Will It Take to Earn My Criminal Justice Graduate Degree in Virginia?
It is important to compare as many different graduate criminal justice programs as possible before making a decision. This is because each program has unique goals and areas of focus, and you want to choose a school that meshes with your career goals.
You can start to understand a school’s philosophy and priorities by looking at its learning outcomes. Learning outcomes may touch on the following goals:
- Develop a rigorous understanding of justice theories and procedures
- Explore, understand, and utilize research in the criminal justice industry
- Know and comprehend various justice policies and their role in Virginia law
- Apply criminal justice knowledge to public policy and vice versa
There are several different areas of specialty study in a master’s degree in criminal justice in Virginia, and your learning outcomes may be specific to the specialty you choose. Some of the criminal justice specialties you may encounter include:
- Emergency preparedness and response
- Applied sociology
- Homeland security
- Forensic psychology
- Forensic science
The specialty you choose also determines which courses you are required to take during education. In a general master’s in criminal justice in Virginia, you may take courses like Criminal Justice Politics and Planning, Forensic Evidence and Criminal Procedure, Comparative Criminal Justice Systems, Professional Ethics and Liability, and Forensic Psychiatry.
Tuition expenses in Virginia are comparable to those in many other states. Most Virginia programs fall somewhere between $590 per credit and $1300 per credit. Once financial aid is taken into account, your actual costs may be much lower. Look into grants offered by groups like the Virginia State Police Association.
This field is growing rapidly in a variety of ways, and you can use your skills to become part of it. Reach out to criminal justice master’s programs in Virginia to get started.
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