Criminal Justice Schools, Training and Scholarships

Criminal Justice Schools and Training

Do you know why the field of criminal justice and criminal justice schools are appealing to many students? For starters, there are several entry-level careers that don’t require four-year degrees. Correctional officers, paralegals and police officers can step on the job with the help of short-term education programs. Plus, earning your certificate, diploma or associate degree in criminal justice can prepare you to further your education, once you gain some professional experience.


  • Criminal Justice
  • Homeland Security


201 New Stine Road, Bakersfield, CA 93308

  • Criminal Justice


4580 Ontario Mills Parkway, Ontario, CA 91764

  • Criminal Justice


7270 Madison Avenue, Suite 103, Temecula, CA 92590

  • Criminal Justice


8344 West Mineral King Avenue, Visalia, CA 93291

  • Criminal Justice


2900 Fairway Drive, Altoona, PA 16602

  • Criminal Justice & First Response


3050 Hempland Road, Lancaster, PA 17601

  • Criminal Justice & First Response


How does Imagine America help criminal justice students?

Imagine America awards scholarships worth up to $1,000 toward tuition to qualifying students studying criminal justice at participating criminal justice schools. Take a moment to narrow your search for schools near you that offer Imagine America scholarships. We make it simple to request information to choose the right criminal justice program.

What happens after I contact schools?

After you request information from schools, be sure to download the Imagine America mobile app! It’s the easiest way to submit and track your criminal justice scholarship application. And it’s where you can access all our great student resources that focus on school survival and career success.

Criminal Justice training programs

You can find many types of criminal justice programs at schools across the United States. You might start by looking at an Associate of Science (AS) degree program in criminal justice. Some of these options might be 100 percent online. If you want to become a police officer, you’ll need to attend a formal police academy training program. But a diploma or degree at criminal justice schools doesn’t typically require hands-on training in the same way health care or mechanical programs do. Most of the training is knowledge-based, with an emphasis on absorbing the experiences shared by your instructors.


Associate degree in criminal justice classes may include:

  • Ethics and Criminal Justice
  • Judicial Administration
  • Criminal Law
  • Juvenile Justice
  • American Policing
  • Cybersecurity


You’ll likely have to take some electives in math, science and other areas to complete your associate in criminal justice training program. When you speak with schools, talk about your goals in the field. They should be able to help you understand how to chart the best course forward in this field.

Entry-level criminal justice salary and job outlook

Here are some quick facts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) about prospective job growth and pay in criminal justice.

Paralegals and legal assistants can start working with their associate degree, and they can expect a median pay around $56,230 per year, according to 2021 data. Police officers only need to complete high school and Police Academy training. However, cadets can benefit from earning their certificate or associate degree in criminal justice first. This can give you an edge when submitting your application in a competitive job landscape. And it can give you the professional skills to handle any role you take on with maturity and professionalism.

Police and detective salary levels are higher than paralegals, but they also come with higher risk and require on-the-field criminal justice training. The BLS states the 2021 median annual wage for police officers and detectives was $66,020. However, there are many types of police officer and security career paths. If this is your interest, make sure you look for your options, and discuss each path with your adviser.


Corrections officer is another career you can pursue after completing criminal justice classes and earning some form of diploma or degree. Some employers will hire workers with a high school diploma, but we recommend pursuing criminal justice education. The BLS lists the 2021 annual median wage of correctional officers and bailiffs was $47,920 per year.

Start your search for the right criminal justice program right now! And then apply to the Imagine America scholarship that best suits you.

Criminal Justice Schools

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