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Where Can I Earn a Criminal Justice Degree in Houston, Texas?

Learn about criminal justice degree programs in Houston, Texas. Get information about classes available and program requirements to make an informed decision about your education.

In this article, you will compare various undergraduate- and graduate-level criminal justice degree programs that are located in the Houston, TX, area.

What You Need to Know

Associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs in criminal justice are available in the Houston area, offered by a number of two- and four-year public schools throughout the region. One of the associate degrees is an applied science degree and allows students to train to enter the workforce immediately following graduation, having completed a program in one of three areas of specialization. The other associate program is more geared toward students who plan on transferring to a four-year program.

Two schools offer bachelor's degree programs, one of which allows for specialization. An internship opportunity may be available to baccalaureate students. Applicants to the master's degree programs must first complete a bachelor's degree; one program mandates that the degree be in criminal justice. It takes three years of full-time study to earn a master's degree in criminal justice near Houston. One program is available online while the other school offers both a thesis and non-thesis option; students selecting the non-thesis track must complete an internship and capstone seminar.

Associate Degree Programs in Houston, TX

Houston Community College

The criminal justice program at Houston Community College offers Associate of Applied Science degree options in law enforcement, juvenile justice and corrections. Courses available through this program include criminal procedure, criminal law, juvenile justice systems, corrections and criminal investigations. You can also study the legal aspects of law enforcement, as well as police systems and practices, as part of your criminal justice curriculum.

  • Program: Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
  • Areas of Specialization: Law enforcement, juvenile justice and corrections
  • Program Length: Two years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees (2018-2019): $1,632 for in-district students, $3,360 for in-state students and $3,756 for out-of-state students
  • School Type: Two-year, public; 57,200 students (all undergraduate)

San Jacinto Community College

San Jacinto Community College offers an Associate of Art degree in criminal justice at both its North Campus in Houston and its Central Campus in Pasadena. This program prepares you for transfer to a four-year degree program in criminal justice. Required courses include behavioral and social sciences, communications, humanities and physical education.

  • Program: Associate of Art in Criminal Justice
  • Program Length: Two years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees (2018-2019): $1,548 for in-district students, $2,628 for in-state students and $4,188 for out-of-state students
  • School Type: Two-year, public; 32,137 students (all undergraduate)

Bachelor's Degree Programs in Houston, TX

University of Houston - Downtown

The criminal justice undergraduate program at this school allows you to earn two types of bachelor's degrees. The B.S. program provides a comprehensive understanding of the structure of the criminal justice system, from fundamental courses in the police and criminal court systems to electives in advanced criminal justice topics. The other option, if you've already earned your Associate of Applied Science, is to transfer into the B.A.A.S. program. This option allows you to choose a concentration and is comprised mostly of electives in topics like community-based corrections, victimology, police management and legal rights for convicted persons.

  • Program: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (B.A.A.S.) in Criminal Justice
  • Specialization Areas: The B.A.A.S. program offers law enforcement, public service and security management concentrations
  • Program Length: Four years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees (2018-2019): $6,500 for in-state students and $16,460 for out-of-state students
  • Prerequisites: The B.A.A.S. program requires an Associate of Applied Science degree with completion of a workforce development program
  • School Type: Four-year, public; 14,265 students (12,680 undergraduate)

Texas Southern University

This Bachelor of Science program is offered through the Barbara Jordan - Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs. It was designed to prepare you for leadership careers in law enforcement, corrections and related fields. Your studies can include subjects such as Texas penal law, correctional counseling and issues in judicial administration. You can also include an internship in your curriculum.

  • Program: Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice
  • Program Length: Four years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees (2015-2016): $8,726 for in-state students and $20,426 for out-of-state students
  • School Type: Four-year, public; 9,233 students (6,915 undergraduates)

Master's Degree Programs in Houston, TX

University of Houston - Downtown

This Master of Science program was created to prepare you for a criminal justice career involving administration, program evaluation and criminological theory. You can choose either a thesis or project option for this program. Your electives can include studies in corrections issues, law enforcement topics and legislation. This program is also offered in an online format.

  • Program: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Program Length: Three years, full-time
  • Tuition (2018-2019): $7,245 for in-state graduate students and $13,815 for out-of-state graduate students
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • Requirements: Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or scores from another standardized test and three letters of recommendation
  • School Type: Four-year, public; 14,265 students (12,680 undergraduate)

Texas Southern University

The purpose of this school's administration of justice master's program is to prepare you for a leadership position in the criminal justice system through advanced study of the history and theories of justice administration. The program offers both thesis and non-thesis options; students in the non-thesis track must complete a capstone seminar and internship. The curriculum also includes seminars in ethics and quantitative methods, as well as courses in evaluation research, terrorism issues and juvenile justice administration.

  • Program: Master of Administration of Justice
  • Program Length: Three years, full-time
  • Tuition (2018-2019): $5,487 for in-state graduate students and $12,742 for out-of-state graduate students
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in criminal justice or a related field with courses in criminology, criminal justice theory, statistics and research methodology
  • Requirements: GRE scores and three letters of recommendation
  • School Type: Four-year, public; 9,732 students (7,604 undergraduate)

In the Houston area, you will find a variety of two- and four-year institutions that offer associate, bachelor's or master's degree programs in the criminal justice field.