Home Colorado Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Colorado Criminal Justice Degree Programs

State Agency: Colorado DPS – Division of Criminal Justice


If you’re interested in working in law enforcement in Colorado, you might like to know that the state has a fine tradition of lawmen and gunfighters. Bat Masterson, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Wesley Hardin all spent some time in the state. Butch Cassidy robbed a bank in Telluride, and Doc Holliday is buried in Glenwood Springs.

The most recent chatter in Colorado concerns the legalization of marijuana in 2014 and the state’s decision to tax it. Colorado has raked in over half a billion dollars in fees and taxes since pot became legal, and a portion of these tax proceeds is earmarked for police activities related to the regulation of the market.

“I don’t accept that marijuana legalization is inevitable,” said David Evans of the Drug Free America Foundation, which opposes legalization. “The states that have legalized it are going to serve as an example of what not to do.”

Start your search for a criminal justice school near you! Make sure to contact multiple schools to compare each program and find the best one for your lifestyle and goals.

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Criminal Justice Education in Colorado

Completing a criminal justice degree in Colorado can lead to a variety of rewarding entry-level opportunities in law enforcement, court services, corrections, private security and other lucrative fields. The widest selection of criminal justice careers and courses is available for students who are interested in pursuing a four-year degree in criminal justice education. Associate and doctorate degree programs are available but are more limited than bachelor’s degree programs. If you need flexibility because you plan to work while you attend school or want to save costs on commuting, Colorado’s schools offer many different online programs you can choose from to complete your degree at your convenience.

Although your curriculum can vary based on the school and the major you choose, most undergraduate criminal justice curriculum start with criminal justice basics and core courses. The typical first and second-year bachelor’s degree curriculum in criminal justice includes classes such as:

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Principles of Penology
  • Correctional Systems
  • Introduction to the U.S. Court System
  • History of Theories of Crime
  • Introduction to Victim Studies

By the end of your junior or senior year in college, you will also need to complete a specific amount of hours working out in the field. Because criminal justice is a competitive career field, most Colorado schools require undergraduate students to complete one or two internships before they can be allowed to graduate. If you are interested in high-up positions in research or public policy, you should consider completing a doctorate program after you are done with your undergraduate studies.

You can also find criminal justice scholarship opportunities by clicking here.

Outlook for Criminal Justice in Colorado

How much you make in Colorado depends on what branch of law enforcement you choose to work in. According to labor market information from Colorado’s Department of Labor & Employment, correctional officers and jailers have one of the best outlooks in the statewide job market.

We’ve put together the salaries for some top criminal justice career paths in Colorado below. Additional data, along with the specific roles and requirements of each occupation can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics .

Average Annual Colorado Salary

Your area of study and the depth of your degree will determine your earning potential in Colorado’s criminal justice industry. One of the reasons why security guards have lower salaries than other occupations in protective services is because new employees are generally not required to have a four-year degree. Whether you plan to work in law enforcement, the court system or another field, pursuing a criminal justice education and completing at least a bachelor’s degree can help you access the state’s highest-paying entry-level jobs with the most opportunities for advancement in the future.

If you’re ready to step up and make a bigger impact in the field of criminal justice, contact our featured schools to learn more about their programs.

Colorado Criminal Justice Schools

Online programs may not be available in all areas

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