Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs in West Virginia
Justice professionals, front-line workers, researchers, analysts, and policymakers in West Virginia all fill different roles in the criminal justice system. The industry always needs people with a high level of training and education, as these graduates are the ones who make evidence-based policy decisions.
What Can I Do With My Master’s in Criminal Justice in West Virginia?
If you work in criminal justice or another industry, you may be ready to apply your skills to a high-level position in this field. Explore your options with our list of criminal justice graduate programs in West Virginia below.
Across the United States and especially in Virginia, criminal justice reform is focused on drug policy and drug abuse. A growing body of research supports the idea that drug addiction must be treated through rehabilitation, not incarceration. Local advocates aim to reform drug policy and in turn save lives, make treatment available, and keep nonviolent offenders out of jail (West Virginia Gazette, 2015).
This problem has led to the development of a pilot program in West Virginia (WCHS TV, 2015). The pilot program will take drug addicts and put them in evidence-based treatment programs rather than incarcerating them. The results of this program may be used to determine a course of action across the state.
The job outlook for criminal justice professionals is expected to remain stable in West Virginia for years to come. Between 2012 and 2022, job openings for correctional supervisors may increase 4% and job openings for police supervisors may swell 5% (O*Net, 2015). Those who go into correctional supervision positions claim an average salary of $61,900 per year (O*Net, 2015). For police supervisors, the statewide average salary is $49,500 annually (O*Net, 2015).
What Will It Take to Earn My Criminal Justice Graduate Degree in West Virginia?
Like most returning students, you may be concerned about the costs associated with completing a criminal justice master’s degree in West Virginia. However, educational expenses in West Virginia tend to be significantly lower than they are in most other parts of the country. Average tuition rates go from $350 per credit to $950 per credit.
There are quite a few scholarship opportunities in West Virginia. Look at school-specific scholarships, federal and state government options, and organizational scholarships through groups like the West Virginia Sheriffs Association.
Earning a master’s degree involves completing 30 credits. If you attend school full-time, this takes between 18 and 24 months. After completing a set curriculum of classroom courses, you flesh out your education with a thesis or a capstone project.
West Virginia schools offer different areas of concentration in criminal justice.
You may choose to specialize in legal research, corrections, global intelligence, or forensics. If you decide on a general master’s in criminal justice, you may take these courses:
- White Collar Crime
- Advanced Criminal Justice Studies
- Advanced Theoretical Criminology
- Constitutional Law
- Advanced Penology
A common requirement in West Virginia is a semester-long internship. Though this course is worth three credits, just like other courses, it typically requires several hours of work per week. The internship opportunities you have depend on your academic performance, your career goals, and your location.
West Virginia is strengthening its criminal justice system every year. You can contribute using your unique skills and knowledge. Get more information now by contacting criminal justice master’s programs in West Virginia.
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