Aspiring correctional officers often earn a degree in criminal justice. Colleges and universities in Nevada offer criminal justice programs at the associate, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Associate's degree programs in criminal justice often offer specializations in corrections or law enforcement.
College of Southern Nevada
In Las Vegas, the College of Southern Nevada offers an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice. Within the program, students explore topics in probation, corrections, criminal law, corrections operations and jail management. Students are also required to complete an internship in criminal justice. CSN also offers police training through the Southern Desert Regional Police Academy (SDRPA). Students can go through the academy while pursuing an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice with a Law Enforcement Agency emphasis.
Great Basin College
Elko's Great Basin College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in corrections. The 60-credit-hour degree program trains students in how corrections personnel interact with offenders and the community at large. Students learn to apply laws and theories of rehabilitation. The college's Advising and Career Center can help students find career information and get assistance with interview preparation and resume creation.
Truckee Meadows Community College
Truckee Meadows Community College, in Reno, is a two-year, public school that offers two associate degrees related to criminal justice within its Technical Sciences Division. The Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice explores corrections, criminal justice, detention and criminal investigation. The community college formerly offered a law enforcement academy; however, it has been suspended.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
The Las Vegas campus of the University of Nevada offers a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, which includes courses specific to corrections through the Department of Criminal Justice. In the criminal justice administration and organizations emphasis, students can expect to take courses like community policing and problem solving, correctional institutions, police administration and criminal justice. At UNLV, students are encouraged to complete internships ranging from three to six credits.
Additionally, the college offers a 36-credit professional and traditional Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, which includes coursework in corrections and punishment. The traditional program is designed to prepare students for academic pursuits and doctoral programs, while the professional degree is designed for those currently working in the field.
University of Nevada, Reno
The University of Nevada, in Reno, offers a bachelor's degree in criminal justice through the Department of Criminal Justice. In the general emphasis, students start with criminal justice, criminal law and procedure before there is a choice between corrections or police in America. Students must have and maintain a 2.5 grade point average to be admitted as a major in the criminal justice program.
The university also offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Criminal Justice program designed for professionals working in the field. In addition to course requirements, students must complete a professional paper and thesis. To be eligible for the M.A. program, a student must have a bachelor's degree with a major or minor in criminal justice or a related field. Applicants must submit scores from the graduate record examination (GRE), a statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation for consideration.
The state of Nevada requires that an aspiring correctional officer be 21 years or older, have a high school diploma and two years of full-time work experience or a combination of work experience and a degree. Applicants must undergo a criminal background check, a physical fitness evaluation, a psychological evaluation and a drug test. Below are statistics on the five aforementioned Nevada schools offering programs for students interested in correctional officer training.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Corrections Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|College of Southern Nevada||Four-year, public; large city|| Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice,
Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement Agency
|$3,492 in-state; $10,371 out-of-state*|
|Great Basin College||Four-year, public; remote town||Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice: Corrections||$3,128 in-state; $9,876 out-of-state*|
|Truckee Meadows Community College||Two-year, public; midsize city||Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice||$2,963 in-state; $9,876 out-of-state*|
|University of Nevada, Las Vegas||Four-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
|$7,985 in-state, $23,132 out-of-state*|
|University of Nevada, Reno||Four-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
|$7,599 in-state; $22,236 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.