Alabama has more than 52,400 square miles of territory, which houses a population of nearly five million people. Many of the law enforcement officers who are charged with keeping this state and her people safe began their careers by earning a degree in criminal justice from one of the many accredited colleges located here.
Criminal Justice Education in Alabama
There are a host of criminal justice schools in the Yellowhammer State that offer everything from an associate's degree to a doctorate in criminal justice; both online and traditional campus study options are also available. Many of them will also allow you to specialize in certain areas of criminal justice, including corrections and forensic science.
If you are ready to find a school, you can request information from multiple schools at the bottom of the page. Be sure to scope out numerous programs to make sure it fits with your goals and lifestyle. Also, keep in mind most online programs can be attended from any location. The beauty of online schooling means you do not need to reside in that state to attend the program of your choice!
Some of the courses you could be expected to take while earning your degree include:
- An Introduction to Courts and Corrections
- Federal Rules of Evidence
- Criminal Law
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Procedures
- Police Ethics
- Race, Class and Gender
- An Introduction to Gangs
Many of the classes will include a great deal of research. You may be asked to write essays on various topics ranging from recidivism to gang violence. You will also be tested heavily on certain legal principles, especially those found in the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitutions.
Students who pursue a criminal justice education may spend at least one semester in the field doing actual casework. This is often accompanied by a comprehensive final exam that must be passed in order to receive your diploma.
Be sure to check with your future university for scholarships because criminal justice students have a number of financial awards available to them. For example, the National Black Police Association and the American Criminal Justice Association are among the organizations that offer financial awards.
Outlook for Criminal Justice in Alabama
Earning a degree in criminal justice can open up a number of employment opportunities ranging from Alabama state trooper to an officer with the Alabama Department of Corrections. This bodes well for those seeking employment as a police officer, detective, or corrections officer. Pay ranges for some of the most common criminal justice career paths are listed below. Data was found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2015.
There are 67 counties in Alabama, and each one has its own sheriff's department that is responsible for the safety of its citizens. These sheriff's departments are in addition to 51 different city police agencies. Job opportunities at the state level can be found with agencies such as the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Police, Alabama Marine Resources Division, Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division and the Alabama Highway Patrol among others. Several agencies hire investigators, including the Department of Human Resources, the Alabama Securities Commission and the Alabama State Department of Insurance.
Federal jobs can be found with the Federal Bureau of Investigation field offices in either Birmingham or Mobile, or the U.S. Border Patrol, which also operates out of the Mobile Bay area. Several universities in Alabama have their own police departments, including the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Samford University, Wallace State Community College and Southern Union State Community College.
Start your criminal justice career by searching the many Alabama schools offering a criminal justice program.
Learn more about each institution by requesting information so you can weigh your options and make the best decision possible. Once you've contacted schools that interest you, click here to learn about available scholarships in criminal justice.