Correctional Officer Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

A degree in criminal justice or a closely-related field can prepare students for a career as a corrections officer. These programs offer coursework across all area of criminal justice.

How to Select a Correctional Officer School

Correctional officers oversee prisoners at both state and federal prisons. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these individuals enforce rules, inspect facilities and aid in rehabilitation. The level of education required can vary by the facility. Some may require just a high school diploma while others may prefer a bachelor's degree.

  • Student might consider 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.
  • Students 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.

Program Overviews

Criminal justice and related degree programs include coursework in criminology, law and ethics, criminal law and historical perspectives on crime. Other courses may focus on more specific aspects of criminal justice, such as corrections, juvenile justice or policing. Some programs incorporate experience into the curriculum into the form co-ops or internships requirements.

10 Correctional Officer Schools

College/UniversityInstitution Type
Miami Dade College 4-year, primarily associate's, Public
College of Southern Nevada 4-year, primarily associate's, Public
University of Washington-Tahoma 4-year, Public
University of Iowa State 4-year, Public
Texas State University-San Marcos 4-year, Public
University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg Campus 4-year, Public
St. Petersburg College 4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Florida Community College at Jacksonville 4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Northeastern University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
New Mexico State University 4-year, Public

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