Maine, whose landmass is larger than the five other New England states combined, is famous for its natural resources like beautiful coastlines and native blueberries and lobster. It was home to poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and is home to contemporary horror novelist Steven King. Known as the Pine Tree State, Maine is generally a peaceful place with a high quality of living. It ranks among the safest in the nation, with the lowest violent crime rate of any state.
Criminal Justice Education in Maine
Maine has fewer than 10 schools with criminal justice programs. Two-year associates, four-year bachelor's and master degrees are offered. An associate's degree in criminal justice is often a specific requirement for numerous jobs, including police officer. Bachelor's degrees are typically required to be considered for most parole officer and probation officer positions. Master degrees are often pursued by experienced law enforcement personnel that want to advance into advanced management and supervisory positions. Specializations are limited, but there are opportunities for graduate study at the master's level.
By using CriminalJusticePrograms.com, you can find programs and schools near you that can help you start a criminal justice career. If you'd like to get started learning about the different Maine colleges now.
Many bachelors' programs in criminal justice are built around a core curriculum. Required courses in math, English and science are a part of most programs. Some elective courses can be selected, especially after many required courses are completed during the first year of your criminal justice education. Those enrolled in criminal justice bachelor's programs will often take courses at least similar in content to these:
- Intro to the United States Criminal Justice System
- Criminal Law: An Introduction
- The History of U.S. Criminal Justice
- Research Methods in Criminal Justice
- The Court System in America
- Studies in Criminal Justice Ethics
- Race Relations in America
- Legal Research and Legal Writing
Students enrolled in bachelor's programs will often enjoy experiences outside the classroom during their third and/or fourth years. A semester of field work is often included in the curriculum during the junior year. An internship is often a part of the senior year experience. This internship, in the student's specific specialty, will provide real-world, hands-on experience. Online criminal justice education is becoming more commonplace, especially when it comes to completing basic prerequisites and more theoretical courses.
Even though the number of programs might be small, many scholarships are available. Nationally available scholarships include those offered through the American Criminal Justice Association as well as those from private organizations like the WIFLE Scholarship awarded to women entering the field of law enforcement.
Outlook for Criminal Justice in Maine
The fact that Maine shares a border with Canada means that the U.S. Border Patrol has responsibilities in the state. A variety of state and federal positions are available to those with criminal justice degrees, including state investigator jobs. Troopers with the Maine State Police begin at an annual salary of $45,427. This pay increases with seniority, up to $61,048.
Other occupations in Maine include correctional officers, which are paid on average $39,180 annually according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2017). This compares to a national average of $47,600. In Maine, detectives and criminal investigators average $69,270 in annual compensation. This compares to a national average of $83,320. Fish and game wardens earn an average of $57,230 in the state, compared to $58,570 nationally. Although pay levels are often below national levels, many find the quality of life here to be a worthy tradeoff.
Although not all police departments require a post-secondary degree to gain employment, the reality is that many police recruits have competed college coursework of some kind. The Maine Center for Workforce Research and Information projects a 7.2 percent increase in criminal justice jobs during the decade ending 2026.
Below you will find Maine colleges offering Criminal Justice Programs near you. Also earn more about scholarships in criminal justice by exploring our financial aid resources page. Take the first step and request information to help you find a university that fits your personal and professional goals.