Students wishing to live in the state of Utah have some choices when it comes to their college education. There are a number of schools, both land based and online, that offer specialized programs to achieve the education needed to start a career as a criminologist.

The right Utah College or university will depend on what type of preferences the person has. For those students that would prefer to live in a city where there is not a university campus to accommodate their education needs, it may be a wise choice to look at the online schools that have criminology programs.

Others that are willing to travel or relocate may decide that the traditional universities provide a better learning experience.

While the University of Utah in Salt Lake City does not have a separate department for criminology or criminal justice, there is a program designed for students with this interest that falls within the realm of the Department of Sociology. Students that go through this degree program will receive a certificate in criminology with the actual degree being labeled as a sociology bachelor.

In essence, this certificate program acts much like a traditional minor degree and has a limited amount of credit hours that are required to qualify. In addition, the University of Utah also has a criminology internship program for students that are interested in exploring the working atmosphere of being a professional criminologist.

The internship is made through the Department of Sociology and rewards three credit hours for successful completion. There are a number of sponsoring agencies where the internship can be done, including the Juvenile Court, the Salt Lake Detention Center, the Salt Lake Juvenile Center, Utah Department of Corrections, Rape Recovery Center, and Salt Lake City Police Department.

Another institution of higher learning in Utah that can train students to be professional criminologists is Weber State University. Found in Ogden, the public university emphasizes a program that looks at the root causes of crime and the development of crime prevention strategies that treat the source of the problem rather than being reactive.

In addition, a student can take classes that will enable them to learn a history of the American criminal justice system and how its evolution has created legal problems in the country in regards to criminal law.

The program at Weber State University is listed under their College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and there are further graduate degrees that can also be obtained.

As far as online options, there are several Internet based schools that have criminology programs. Kaplan University is one such company that operates these types of learning programs.

The online school has both undergraduate and masters degrees available that focus on the implementation of core criminology theories in the law enforcement and criminal justice career areas. With the online classes at Kaplan University, students can also choose to take part in live setting classes to gain first hand experience in criminologist methods and techniques.

For an online university with a complete range of degree offerings, the University of Phoenix has several different types of programs available to students. At the lowest level is an Associate of Arts degree that gives a complete overview of criminal justice as well as the necessary basics that come from other disciplines like information technology and health and human services.

This degree is mainly intended for students that would like to complete the basic education quickly and enter the working world of criminology. For a student that is looking for a more detailed education, there are three options for a bachelor degree in criminal justice administration. They focus respectively on the main subjects of institutional healthcare, human services, and management.

While there are not presently any masters of PhD programs for criminology or criminal justice at the University of Phoenix, the rapid growth of the school may see these types of programs added in the future. Choosing between an online and traditional university is a question of personal preference.

Students that would like the first hand experience of learning in a classroom may prefer the a place like the University of Utah or Weber State University. On the other hand, the online options offer a degree that can be finished anywhere and the student is able to learn at their own pace.