Correctional Officer Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Training for correctional officers is commonly offered as a standalone certificate program or part of a broader degree program in criminal justice. Students evaluating correctional officer schools should consider the types of credentials offered, program length, career goals and available specializations.

How to Select a Correctional Officer School

When considering correctional officer schools and colleges, one of the first factors a student should consider is the type of program a school offers. Credentials for correctional officers are available at the certificate and associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Certificate and associate's degree programs can generally be completed in two years or less, while bachelor's degree programs typically last four years, followed by an additional 1-2 years for a master's degree.

In choosing a degree program, students also should take into account their career goals. Those seeking entry-level employment in corrections might find that a certificate or associate's degree program meets their needs, while students looking for corrections officer management or administration positions may opt for a more advanced degree.

Aspiring corrections officers also might select a school or college based on the specializations it offers. Bachelor's and master's degree programs in criminal justice - the common major for prospective corrections officers - often allow students to choose from areas of concentration, such as juvenile corrections or corrections management.

Largest Schools by Total Student Enrollment

College/University Student Population Institution Type
Miami Dade College 57,222 4-year, primarily associate's, Public
College of Southern Nevada 40,310 4-year, primarily associate's, Public
University of Washington-Seattle Campus 39,675 4-year, Public
University of Iowa 29,152 4-year, Public
Texas State University-San Marcos 29,105 4-year, Public
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus 27,562 4-year, Public
St. Petersburg College 26,659 4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Florida Community College at Jacksonville 25,903 4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Northeastern University 25,837 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of New Mexico-Main Campus 25,754 4-year, Public
University of Akron-Main Campus 24,119 4-year, Public
University of Toledo 22,336 4-year, Public
Weber State University 21,388 4-year, Public
University of Texas at Brownsville 17,189 4-year, Public
Sam Houston State University 16,662 4-year, Public
University of Alaska-Anchorage 16,649 4-year, Public
University of Alabama at Birmingham 16,149 4-year, Public
Saint Louis University-Main Campus 16,086 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Eastern Kentucky University 16,031 4-year, Public
Indian River State College 15,366 4-year, primarily associate's, Public

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