Criminal Justice is a popular topic in Washington colleges and universities. The state has several public, private, and online learning options for a person that would like to pursue a career in this area.

With all of the programs having a high amount of respect, the only difficult problem is choosing which one to attend.

The concentrations are slightly different from school to school and a person that takes the time to investigate all of the degree programs offered will be rewarded knowing that they made the correct decision for their undergraduate or graduate degree.

Students that would like to complete the Bachelor of Arts degree will need to take courses in sociology, political science, psychology, as well as those designated as criminal justice. With Gonzaga being a liberal arts university, the curriculum is blended to include both general liberal arts classes and those designed for the specific major.

Examples of some of the courses that are part of the criminal justice degree include Issues in Law Enforcement, Sociology of Policing, Extremism in America, Crime and Gender, and Elite and White Collar Deviance.

Another school that has achieved a strong reputation in the criminal justice filed is Washington State University. Found in the town of Pullman, WSU has some of the most extensive graduate programs for criminal justice to be located in the country.

The MA and PhD programs go beyond the technical teaching important criminal justice concepts and understanding of criminal behavior by also offering extensive training in the field that allows students to combine their practical knowledge and research to learn how to think critically about complex criminal justice issues.

The classes that students must complete to receive an MA or PhD include specialized looks at the current problems which plague the American justice system and students are challenged to find acceptable solutions that could be used in practice and not only in theory.

One of the smallest private schools in Washington that has a criminal justice program is Saint Martin’s University in the city of Lacey. With high standards for academics, the students that choose Saint Martin’s may have the advantage of taking part in smaller classes where each student is able to be more involved in the interactive structure.

In addition to the standard coursework, students are encouraged to attend the Harvie lecture series, a number of talks named after social justice leader Robert A. Harvie and dealing with important and current issues in the criminal justice field that are relevant to both Washington state as well as the country at large.

There are also internship programs where a student can see the theories of criminal justice in action by doing legislative research with the Washington State House of Representatives. In addition to the normal intern tasks that are completed, the students are invited to listen to committee hearings and other meetings where legislation regarding criminal justice is shaped.

Students that are located on the eastern side of Washington state may wish to look at Eastern Washington University as a potential option. The Department of Sociology and Justice Studies has an existing program for those students interested in criminal justice where they can obtain a BA with successful completion of all the degree requirements.

Within the EWU criminal justice program, a student can choose concentrations in law enforcement, corrections, or pre-criminology for those that plan on attending another school for a masters or doctorate degree. The courses that make up the curriculum for the program include several specialized topics, such as the juvenile justice system, criminal justice investigation, and the role of the justice system in American society.

The availability of many choices for a degree in criminal justice make Washington state one of the better places to go for a university level education. Those students that wish to expand their studies to include graduate work will also find those opportunities available in Washington.