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Kansas Criminal Justice Degree Programs

State Agency: Public Safety


There’s no place like home, and there’s no place quite like Kansas if you’re interested in prison history. Since 1875, the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth remains the longest continually running and the only maximum-security prison in the Department of Defense. Inmates serve time for military crimes related to matters of national security. Just a few miles south is the prison for civilians, the U.S. Penitentiary, Leavenworth, which has been home to inmates over the year including James Earl Ray and Machine Gun Kelly.

Criminal Justice Education in Kansas

Kansas has around 30 schools with criminal justice programs. Graduate study is limited to a handful of master’s programs, but the state has a fair selection of specializations. Students who need help paying for a criminal justice education can check out the scholarships offered by the American Criminal Justice Association.

Below, we speak with Jon Candea, Correctional Advisor at Johnson County Department of Corrections, about his career at the Adult Residential Center.

A typical four-year criminal justice degree program is usually built around a core curriculum. There will be required courses in science, math and English. Some electives will be possible, especially after freshman year. Some of the courses frequently offered in four-year programs include:

  • An Introduction to the American System of Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Law Basics
  • The American Legal System and the Courts
  • A History of Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice Research Design
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice Ethics
  • American Race Relations History

Bachelor’s degree candidates often engage in one semester of field work in one’s chosen specialty during the Junior year. Senior year will often include an internship off-campus, where hands-on experience will be acquired. Coursework that is more theoretical in nature may be offered online by some institutions.

Outlook for Criminal Justice in Kansas

According to the graph below, there is a wide range of salaries for different careers in criminal justice in Kansas. In Wichita, the largest city in state, the average salaries of many protective services occupations are $2,000 to $8,000 higher than the state averages. Pay also increases with experience. Although the pay is higher in metro areas like Wichita and Kansas City, the overall pay in Kansas may sometimes be below national averages. This is largely related to the lower cost of living in the state.

We’ve put together a graph of the salaries for some KS criminal justice career paths below from Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2017.

Average Annual Kansas Salary

Private sector positions are also good possibilities for employment in criminal justice in Kansas. Private investigators contribute to the state’s economy and offer services that complement state and regional law enforcement efforts. Campus police and private security guard are other entry-level positions offered across the state.

Another career path is offered by the Kansas Highway Patrol. A trooper trainee, may start at a fixed rate, and troopers can be promoted to Technical Trooper after five years of service. After seven years of service, troopers can be promoted to Master Trooper. Each promotion usually comes with higher pay.

Contact the Kansas schools with criminal justice programs to learn more about your school and career options in the state.

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

Kansas Criminal Justice Schools

Online programs may not be available in all areas

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