Home Oregon Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Oregon Criminal Justice Degree Programs

State Agency: Oregon Department of Justice


Oregon has a population of approximately 4.1 million and has a pretty low violent crime rate compared to other states in the U.S. of about 265 per 100,000 people according to most recent FBI statistics. Portland, the largest city in Oregon, is home to almost 600,000 people and the population is expected to increase significantly over the coming years. Known for its laid-back vibe, vibrant arts and music scene, and great restaurants, Portland is an attractive hub for prospective students.

If you’re interested in learning more about criminal justice programs in Oregon, check out our school listings. You can request information from multiple colleges to compare and contrast the different programs.

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Criminal Justice Education in Oregon

Do you want to pursue a criminal justice education? A degree in criminal justice in Oregon can provide real opportunity to the graduate. Upon receiving an associate or a bachelor’s degree, an applicant may be hired as a security guard, a police officer, or a deputy sheriff. A graduate may also find employment as a bailiff, a jailer, or a correctional officer. An associate degree in criminal justice is typically a prerequisite for most criminal justice jobs in Oregon. It is a popular choice for those eager to start their careers as quickly as possible, typically as police officers or correctional officers or deputy sheriffs.

However, in some jurisdictions, a four-year bachelor’s degree in criminal justice will be required. Even if one is initially employed with an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree is often necessary for further advancement. Earning your bachelor’s degree is often a requirement to become a detective, for example.

The four-year Bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice usually includes a core curriculum, which is what each student at a given school must complete to obtain a degree. Some elective courses may be taken, especially during the junior and/or senior years. Specific courses in criminal justice may include courses like these:

  • The U.S. Criminal Justice System – An Introduction
  • An Overall History of Criminal Justice
  • The Basics of Criminal Law
  • The System of American Jurisprudence
  • Criminal Justice Research Methodologies
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Race Relations in America
  • Criminal Justice Ethics

Many four-year programs include a semester of field work during the Junior year. Then, you will most likely take part in a criminal justice internship during your senior year. The integration of online course work is becoming increasingly commonplace in the pursuit of both Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees.

The Master’s degree in criminal justice is typically a two-year advanced degree that allows one to reach some of the highest levels of criminal justice administration. This could include jobs like police captain or police chief as well as FBI agent. With a combination of accumulated experience and an advanced degree, positions filled by those with Masters degrees often pay in the high five figures to low six figures.

The Oregon Opportunity Grants tend to be the most popular among post-secondary students. Other sources of financial aid in Oregon include the Chafee Education and Training Scholarships, and the Ford Family Foundation Scholarships.

Outlook for Criminal Justice in Oregon

There are several different areas you can look to for employment with your criminal justice degree. Those receiving two-year Associates degrees or four-year Bachelor’s degrees from Oregon criminal justice programs are primarily employed by local government agencies. However, many of the jobs are filled at the state or federal level. In general, rural departments tend to have slightly lower educational requirements, with a high school diploma or an Associate’s degree typically being the minimal requirement for an entry-level police job. However, in or near larger cities like Portland, even entry-level positions may more typically require a four-year bachelor’s degree.

We’ve put together a graph of annual salaries for some of the top criminal justice career paths in Oregon below. Data was found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2017).

Average Annual Oregon Salary

Reach out to the criminal justice programs you see listed on our site to get started earning a degree that can lead you to a variety of rewarding and essential careers. Once you’ve contacted schools that interest you, click here to learn about available scholarships in criminal justice.

Oregon Criminal Justice Schools

Online programs may not be available in all areas

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