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Criminal Justice Programs in Raleigh


The Criminal Justice field is highly valued in Raleigh. Safety is always one of the most important foundations of society, and the people of Raleigh count on justice professionals to maintain law in every part of society. If you’ve ever wanted to serve your community, consider a career in this necessary field.


One of the most prominent justice institutions in Raleigh is the Raleigh Police Department. There are five different divisions in the Raleigh Police Department, allowing police officers to fully canvas the city. The five divisions are as follows:

  • Administrative Services Division: This division handles the dispatching of officers, personnel recruitment, maintaining evidence, and coordinating with the Wake County District Attorney’s Office.
  • Detective Division: The Detective Division investigations criminal activity in vice, drugs, ganges, cyber, organized crime, and other criminal activities and threats. There are also individual units within the Detective Division that handle certain types of cases like Aggrevated Assault, Burglary, Fraud, Financial Crimes, and many more.
  • Field Operations Division: This division consists of the uniformed officers that respond to 911 emergency calls. They are typically the officers that you see patrolling the streets.
  • Special Operations Division: This division is more dependent on certain criminal trends, so the department has to be more flexible to be able to change in response to these special needs. They tend to monitor statistics and analyze data to see where their expertise is most needed. Within this division are a number of other smaller units such as Gang Suppression, K-9, Mounted and more.
  • Chief’s Office: The last division is the Chief’s Office. This department consists of the Public Affairs Office, th Research and Planning Sergeant, Community Policing Coordinator, Finance Unit and Transcriptions, and Office of Professional Standards

If you want to get started in this field, education is one most important factors to entering this industry. Raleigh is home to a number of colleges and universities that can help you meet your educational goals. You can take a look at our comprehensive list of schools below and learn more about schools in the Raleigh area. Contact any schools you may want to attend.

As a student and new Criminal Justice employee, you can take advantage of the Capital Area Transit. They offer bus and R-LINE service that can take you all over the Raleigh area. This can save you lots of money, particularly if you have to get to work, school, and internship sites.

Criminal Justice Schools in Other Major North Carolina Cities

Criminal Justice Education in Raleigh

If you’re ready to make the commitment to getting an education, there are several schools in the Raleigh area. It’s important to know what type of degree you want to earn. An Associate’s Degree takes two years, and it gives you a broad education in many different fields. A Bachelor’s Degree is a four-year commitment, and it may give you a more focused education in specific parts of Criminal Justice.

Of course, tuition and financial aid are both important parts of your educational experience. Tuition rates vary significantly from school to school, so you may want to meet with financial aid advisors at each school you are considering. To give you an idea of costs, tuition at Saint Augustine’s University, one of the oldest schools in the area, is $12,791 per semester.

Throughout the course of your two or four years in school, you’ll likely have to take classes in a variety of subfields. You may take courses in fields like criminal law, correctional procedures, criminology, Criminal Justice administration, and Internet crime. Many schools allow you to focus on one area. You can then take electives in that specific field, and you may even get to take an internship in that field.

There are many local Criminal Justice organizations that can help you meet your career and educational goals. In Raleigh, consider joining groups like the Raleigh-Wake Paralegal Association and the North Carolina Association of Private Investigators.

Job Outlook for Criminal Justice Graduates in Raleigh

One of the benefits of getting into this field is the strong job outlook. Other jobs are prone to changes in the economy. However, no matter how strong or weak the economy is, public safety still needs to be maintained. There are many careers you can pursue with a Criminal Justice degree, depending on which degree you have.

If you have an associate degree, the broad education you have can qualify you for jobs in many different settings and specialties. Consider the following popular choices, listed with their average salaries:

With a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to get a job in just about any Criminal Justice specialty. Consider the following popular choices:

Finally, if you are considering becoming a police officer, you should look into careers with the Raleigh Police Department. Starting salaries range from $50,301 per year as a recruit to $88,414 per year as a senior officer, based on experience and education.

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for Raleigh, NC positions contained here reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed November 2023.