Arizona is an excellent state in which to live for those who are interested in pursuing a career in the criminal justice field. There are many excellent community colleges, online colleges, and traditional colleges and universities offering both degree granting and training programs in the field.

It’s up to you, however, to choose the right program and the best school for your career goals. Keep in mind that there are many different jobs within the field, and each one will have its own requirements. Therefore, it’s important that you know the requirements for the job you wish to have and that you keep them in mind as you plan your education.

Once you know what type of education, be it a degree program or a training program, that you will need, you’ll want to put some serious thought into selecting your school. The school you choose should offer a wide range of coursework and should have a program specifically focused on the job or type of job you wish to have. Furthermore, any school you attend should be accredited in order for your education to count for you, rather than against you in the long run.

As mentioned above, the exact coursework and classes that you will need will depend heavily upon your career choice. However, common classes typically taken by those entering into the field include subjects such as criminal investigation, constitutional law, criminal justice and criminal justice reform, criminal profiling, evidence, eyewitness testimony, forensic law, the judicial process, police science, psychology, research methods, sociology, and victimology.

Do the research to make sure you are taking the right kind of classes to reach your career goal.

Some schools offering criminal justice programs in the state of Arizona include Arizona Western College, located in Yuma, which offers an associate’s degree program in paralegal studies, a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice, a certificate in law enforcement, and an occupational certificate in paralegal studies.

Brookline College, with locations in both Phoenix and Mesa, offering online and/or traditional programs in criminal justice (associate’s and bachelor’s), paralegal studies (associate’s), justice administration (associate’s), paralegal (associates), and legal secretary (certificate and diploma).

Brown Mackie College, with locations in Phoenix and Tucson, offering associate’s degree programs in criminal justice and paralegal, and bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice and legal studies; Carrington College in Mesa, with an associate’s degree program in paralegal studies.

Central Arizona College, located in Coolidge, with an associate’s degree program in administration of justice; Chandler Gilbert Community College, in Chandler, with certificate programs in crime intelligence analysis, forensic science, homeland security, justice studies, and law enforcement training academy.

Cochise College, in Douglas, with associate’s degree programs in administration of justice, intelligence operations studies, and administration of justice, and a public safety communications officer I certificate.

Coconino Community College, in Flagstaff, offering associate’s degree programs in criminal justice and certificates in basic detention academy and basic emergency dispatch academy; and East Valley Institute of Technology, in Mesa, offering associate’s degree programs in law, public safety, and security.