Locate Chicago Criminal Justice Schools
In Chicago, one of the largest cities in the Midwest, criminal justice is a very important field. From police officers to federal agents, a criminal justice degree from a Chicago school can prepare you for a variety of jobs in this field.
Chicago can have many career possibilities for you when you put the work in to earn a degree. The Chicago Police Department has 25 branches, one for each district in Chicago. These branches are staffed by patrol officers, investigators, and detectives.
There are many educational opportunities for you as a prospective criminal justice student. Take a look at our list of featured schools and contact them to learn more about what degrees they offer and program start dates.
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One of the benefits of studying in a large city like Chicago is the great public transit system. The Chicago Transit Authority offers bus and train transit. They even have an unlimited ride pass if you plan on traveling to and from class a lot.
Criminal Justice Education in Chicago
Chicago offers many unique educational opportunities to students, both in public schools and private schools. There are three degree levels you can follow if you do not yet have a college degree; to earn a Master's degree, you need a Bachelor's degree.
A certificate is the shortest program; it generally takes one year or less. An Associate's degree requires two years of full-time study, and a Bachelor's degree requires four years of full-time study. While Associate's degree and Bachelor's degree programs typically require many different general education courses, certificate courses typically just include criminal justice courses.
As a Chicago student, you can expect to take courses in many different criminal justice fields. Your courses will tackle subjects like police procedures, corrections, criminology, and identity theft. In an Associate's degree or Bachelor's degree program, you may have space to take electives. If you want to work in a certain criminal justice field, you can take electives that can help you get into that field.
Earning a Master's degree in criminal justice is very different from earning any other type of degree. Since graduate schools expect you to already have a strong knowledge in general education subjects, you focus on one specific field that you really delve into.
Tuition and financial aid vary from school to school. Tuition at Loyola University, one of the most well-known schools in Chicago, is $18,635 per semester. Financial aid is available at each criminal justice school. When you attend an accredited school, you may be able to get federal financial aid. There are also private scholarship opportunities to consider.
Joining local professional organizations is a great way to get involved in the community before you even start your career. Consider the Chicago Police Lieutenants Association, the Illinois Correctional Association, or the Illinois Paralegal Association.
Illinois Criminal Justice Schools
Adler University (Chicago, IL)
M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice (online), Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (online), Masters in Emergency Management Leadership (online)
Argosy University (Chicago, IL / Schaumburg, IL)
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology - Criminal Justice Concentration, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (online), MA - Forensic Psychology - Assessment (online), MA - Forensic Psychology - Homeland Security (online), MA - Forensic Psychology - Law Enforcement (online), MA - Forensic Psychology - Treatment (online), MA - Forensic Psychology (online), MPA - Emergency Preparedness and Response (online), MPA - Homeland Security (online), Psychology - Criminal Justice concentration (BA) (online)
John Hancock University (Chicago, IL)
Associate of Applied Science - Paralegal Studies (online), Bachelor of Arts - Paralegal Studies (online), Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice (online)
Loyola University Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice, Master of Arts - Criminal Justice
MacCormac College (Chicago, IL)
Associate in Applied Science - Court Reporting, Associate of Applied Science - Court Reporting, Associate of Science - Paralegal Studies, Certificate - Legal Office Technology
Richard J. Daley College (Chicago, IL)
Associate of Applied Science - Criminal Justice, Associate of Applied Science - Public Police Requirements, Certificate - Criminal Justice
Robert Morris University (Chicago, IL)
Associate in Applied Science - Paralegal Studies, Bachelor of Professional Studies - Law Office Administration
Roosevelt University (Chicago, IL)
Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Arts - Paralegal, Bachelor of Professional Studies - Criminal Justice Leadership, Certificate - Paralegal, Diploma - Paralegal
University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology, Law, and Justice, Doctor of Philosophy - Criminology, Law, and Justice, Master of Arts - Criminology, Law, and Justice
Career Outlook for Criminal Justice Graduates in Chicago
After earning your criminal justice degree, it's time to put your knowledge to work and start your career. There are many different directions you can take your career.
If you have an Associate's degree, you may be able to start a career as a police officer, correctional officer, or security guard. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Correctional officers in Chicago earn an average salary of $54,430 per year while security guards earn an average of $25,230 per year. The pay scale for police officers is slightly different.
When you start as a probationary police officer with the Chicago Police Department, the starting salary is roughly $43,104 per year. As you move through each step, you can make up to $89,142 per year.
One of the benefits of working in a metropolitan area is the high demand for criminal justice professionals. The BLS reports that the Chicago area has the third-highest police officer employment level in the country, with 5.8 positions per thousand jobs. In addition to a strong job outlook, public employees can typically look forward to regular raises and a good benefits package.