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Austin Criminal Justice Programs

No matter how far you go back in history, societies have always relied on impartial people to enforce justice. Today, the people of Austin rely on criminal justice professionals to maintain safety and justice on a daily basis. If you have the tenacity for this kind of work, consider starting your new career today.

At the core of the justice system in Austin is the Austin Police Department. There are more than two dozen divisions in the department. The department may hire people with specialized skills and knowledge to work in the various divisions.


Wherever you live in Austin, you are likely close to one or more criminal justice schools. There are a variety of degree options to look into; we offer information on many different schools in your area, making it easy for you to contact each school and get the necessary information.

As you look into educational options, don’t immediately settle on the school closest to you. With Capital Metro, it’s easy for you to get anywhere in Austin. By looking at the Metro’s bus, rapid rail, and rail schedules, you can figure out how to get to class, work, and internship locations.

Criminal Justice Schools in Other Major Texas Cities

Criminal Justice Education in Austin

After deciding to pursue a criminal justice degree, you have some important decisions to make! First, think about if you want to earn a two-year Associate’s degree or four-year Bachelor’s degree. You may also want to think about what type of career you want to pursue, since criminal justice courses span the entire field.

In both types of degrees, you can expect to take lower-level courses in all the different subfields of criminal justice. You may take courses like Juvenile Delinquency, Criminal Psychology, Social Justice, and Forensic Science. The curriculum is designed to give you a broad education in many subfields.

After completing your lower-level courses, you have the opportunity to take higher-level courses in select areas. It’s smart to think about what your career goals are after graduation and then choose classes based on that.

You may be wondering how much all of this will cost you. Tuition rates differ significantly between schools. Tuition at St. Edward’s University, one of the most prominent private schools in the Austin area, is $18,075 per year.

Austin is home to many local criminal justice groups and organizations. Many of these groups offer membership to students; this gives you an opportunity to network. Austin-based groups include:

Job Outlook in Austin for Criminal Justice Graduates

Of course, the end goal of a criminal justice degree is a long and fulfilling career. Depending on what degree you earn, you may pursue a career in the courtroom, in the prison system, or out in the community.

There are many entry-level careers that may be well-suited for you if you have an associate degree. These careers may have room for upward growth as well, giving you a great earning potential as stated on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022):

  • Security guard: $36,210 per year
  • Bailiff: $52,930 per year
  • Correctional officer: $48,920 per year

After earning a bachelor’s degree, you have a huge knowledge base that can prepare you for different careers. Consider these popular choices:

  • Police and detective supervisor: $109,960 per year
  • Detective: $74,820 per year
  • FBI agent: $81,000-$129,000 per year (FBI, 2024)

Another option, whether you have an associate degree or bachelor’s degree, is a career with the Austin Police Department. The starting salary is $65,411 a year after eight months of training. After a year, the annual salary bumps up to $73,404.

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