Home District of Columbia Criminal Justice Degree Programs

District of Columbia Criminal Justice Degree Programs

State Agency: Criminal Justice Coordinating Council


Although D.C. is synonymous with a high crime rate, it is no longer listed as one of the most dangerous cities in America. According to an article on Forbes, gentrification, tax breaks and urban reforms are a few of the reasons that helped lower the crime rate.

Even with a lowered crime rate working in the nation’s capital can be especially challenging for law enforcement, but it also presents a lot of opportunities. For example, you may have the chance to work for the Capitol Police. Established in 1820 by Congress, the Capitol Police are charged with the protection of members of Congress along with congressional buildings.

Criminal Justice Education in District of Columbia

There is a wealth of criminal justice educational opportunity in the District of Columbia. Nine schools offer associates or bachelor’s degrees. A number of masters and PhD programs are offered as well. Many specialized degrees in criminal justice education are available including those in Homeland Security. Advanced degrees can lead to higher positions with the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies.

In fact, four-year bachelor’s degrees are often required for a variety of federal positions, as well as state jobs in the neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia. Such a degree is often important in the fields of probation and parole, forensics, and criminal investigations as well.

A core curriculum lies at the heart of most bachelor’s programs. Required courses in science, math and English should be expected. A student usually has the freedom to select a number of elective courses during their four years of study. Courses relevant to a criminal justice degree are often similar to these:

  • The United States Criminal Justice System
  • A History of American Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Criminal Law
  • The Courts and the Legal Process
  • Criminal Justice Ethics in America
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Criminal Justice Research Methods
  • A History of U.S. Race Relations

During the Junior year, a semester of field work is often required. Then, during the senior year, a full-school-year internship is often a part of the educational experience. This is often an exciting opportunity to get relevant “hands-on” experience in one’s chosen criminal justice specialty.

The American Criminal Justice Association awards scholarships. Other scholarships with a variety of eligibility requirements are also available. For example, students of national security or counterintelligence may want to look into the Virginia Misselhorn Memorial Scholarship of the Lint Center for National Security Studies.

Outlook for Criminal Justice in District of Columbia

Working in criminal justice in Washington D.C. offers several different salary ranges, employment settings and opportunities for advancement. Below, we have compiled a graph of some of the most common careers and earnings in D.C. for you to review. You cancontact the schools listed on our site to get information about which types of criminal justice degrees are best suited to your personal goals. Also, learn more about scholarships in criminal justice by exploring our fFinancial aid resources page.

Average Annual District of Columbia Salary

Data retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015.

District of Columbia Criminal Justice Schools

Online programs may not be available in all areas