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Locate San Diego Criminal Justice Schools

Living in San Diego, have you ever admired the badge-wearing members of the San Diego Police Department? This institution, plus other criminal justice employers, are on the lookout for people that want to keep San Diego safe. With the right education, you could become part of this prestigious organization.

San Diego is home to the San Diego Police Department, one of the most prominent criminal justice employers in the area. They serve all nine San Diego districts with well-educated police officers and criminal investigators.


With so many criminal justice careers just waiting for you in San Diego, you may be wondering how you can get involved. First, find a great school in the area that can help you meet your goals. Look at our featured school list below, and contact any schools you’re interested in. They can send you information packets that help you make a more educated decision.

Between internships, school, and work, you may need to get all over the city daily. You can do so affordably with the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, which features a bus and trolley system. They cater to you as a college student by offering semester/quarterly passes in addition to college monthly passes.

Criminal Justice Schools in Other Major California Cities

Criminal Justice Education in San Diego

Home to thousands of students, it’s no surprise that San Diego offers a solid variety of schools you can attend. You can choose between public and private schools, in addition to two-year or four-year institutions.

Criminal justice degrees come in three levels: associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. An associate degree, made up of 60 to 70 credits, requires two years of study. A 120-credit bachelor’s degree requires four years of study. After you have a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to complete a two-year master’s degree.

Throughout the course of your criminal justice program, you can plan on learning about the newest technologies in the field. Professionals in different justice settings rely on new technology to solve and prevent crime. This is an important part of your education since you may be expected to use technology in many different ways throughout the course of your career.

While technology is essential, how you use it is more important; you’ll tackle this in the variety of criminal justice courses you take. Course names and requirements vary from school to school, but you can generally expect to take classes in fields like criminology, ethics, and criminal law.

It’s important to thoroughly evaluate the tuition and financial aid at each school before you decide which one to attend. Tuition rates tend to be lower at public universities, but many private schools have more extensive financial aid. Tuition at San Diego State University is $7,460 per semester.

Be sure to take advantage of the wealth of resources available to you as a San Diego student. There are many local criminal justice associations, and joining one that relates to your career path can give you a boost in the job market. Consider joining a group like the San Diego Police Officers Association, the California Jail Programs Association, or the San Diego Paralegal Association.


Job Outlook for Criminal Justice Graduates in San Diego

After earning your criminal justice degree, it’s time to get the career that you have worked so hard for. There are many different career options to explore, so take your time to find a job where you will thrive.

You may find it rewarding to work for the San Diego Police Department as a police officer. This job comes with many responsibilities, but it also has many benefits. Police offers enjoy a four-day work week, and you can start out with 13 days of vacation time per year. While the starting salary is $2,453 per month, you may be able to earn educational incentive pay if you have an associate degree or bachelor’s degree. Many police officers find it helpful to join the San Diego Police Officers Association, a local organization that has special events and membership benefits.

There are many other jobs you can explore with an Associate’s degree. Consider some of the following popular career choices, listed with their median salaries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Security guards: $38,220 per year
  • Parking Enforcement: $50,880

If you possess a bachelor’s degree, you can take advantage of other career opportunities. Check out some of the most popular choices below, listed with their median salaries:

  • Detectives and Investigators: $109,760 per year
  • Police officer supervisors: $144,410 per year

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for city-specific positions contained here reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed November 2023.