Careers in judicial administration generally require a bachelor's degree. Approximately thirty schools in the state of Washington offer bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs with coursework that can prepare students to work in court administration. Seven of the following ten schools are 4-year colleges or universities, while three private institutions in the state offer programs such as the following, with appropriate courses and concentrations:
- Law and Justice
- Criminal Justice
- Law, Societies and Justice
- Public Affairs
- Public Administration
- Public Policy and Management
Central Washington University
Located in the town of Ellensburg, Central Washington University was founded as a teacher's college in 1891. The College of the Sciences offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Law and Justice with coursework covering legal research, ethics, community corrections, family law, legal writing and basic mediation. Graduate students can pursue a Master of Science in Law and Justice as a working professional with 60 credits and a final exam with oral defense. A second option, also 60 credits, requires a thesis or research project. Graduate coursework includes topics such as legal liability, constitutional issues and research methods.
Eastern Washington University
Eastern Washington University, in the town of Cheney, is a public institution that was opened in 1977. Through the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, students can pursue a BA in Criminal Justice. Undergraduate coursework includes topics such as penology, criminal law, statistics and ethics. The College of Business and Public Administration offers graduate students the opportunity to pursue a Master of Public Administration (MPA), with courses covering research approaches, public policy analysis, personnel management, regulation and administrative law.
A private non-denominational institution founded in 1981, Heritage University is located in the town of Toppenish and is the successor to Spokane's Fort Wright College. Undergraduate students can pursue a BA in Criminal Justice with courses covering criminal justice organization and administration, social statistics, civil liberties, legislative processes, report writing and the judiciary.
The suburb of Kirkland is home to Northwest University, a private institution founded in 1934 by the Assemblies of God Ministries. Through the College of Arts and Sciences, students can pursue a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in legal studies. Program coursework includes topics such as the judicial process and constitutional law.
Founded in 1891, Seattle University is a private Jesuit Catholic institution in the metropolitan hub of Seattle offering two undergraduate and two graduate programs that can provide students with a background for employment in the court administration field. Undergraduate students can pursue a BA in Public Affairs through the College of Arts and Sciences. Program courses cover urban planning, public administration, judicial processes, policy analysis and judicial, executive and legislative policy. Undergraduates can also choose to pursue a BA in Criminal Justice, studying topics such as criminal justice organizations, the American court system, trial skills, juvenile justice and social control.
Graduate programs include a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program that focuses on crime research and analysis and an MPA program with coursework on policy formation and management analysis. Through the government specialization, students in the MPA program study administrative law and can choose elective topics like justice administration and city management.
The Evergreen State College
A public college located in Olympia, The Evergreen State College was established in 1971 to provide liberal arts education with a distinct focus on sustainability and social justice. Graduate students can pursue an MPA with concentration options in public and non-profit administration, public policy or tribal governance. Students in the public and non-profit administration program complete courses on topics such as human resources, fiscal policy, ethics and leadership.
University of Washington - Seattle Campus
Founded in 1861, Seattle's University of Washington is a large public institution. Through the College of Arts and Sciences, students can pursue a BA in Law, Societies and Justice, a program that includes coursework on constitutional law, civil liberties, U.S. courts, policing and comparative law. A minor in Law, Societies and Justice is also available. The Evans School of Public Affairs offers graduate students the opportunity to pursue an MPA with eight optional areas of specialization, including metropolitan policy as well as public and financial management. Graduate coursework includes topics such as public financial management, program evaluation and microeconomic policy. The University of Washington also offers an accelerated Executive MPA program that allows professionals to customize the curriculum to address the challenges they encounter in their jobs. Additionally, students can choose to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Policy and Management.
Washington State University
The town of Pullman is home to the main campus of Washington State University, founded in 1890. The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology features a BA in Criminal Justice program that includes course topics such as juvenile justice, and comparative criminal justice systems. A criminal justice minor is offered as well. The Pullman campus also provides a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice. Students in this program study criminal justice research and analysis.
Washington State University - Spokane
The city of Spokane is home to an urban research campus of Washington State University that was founded in 1989. Graduate students can pursue a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. The curriculum covers subjects like research methods, criminal justice institutions, prosecution, adjudication, public administration and judicial politics. The Spokane campus also offers a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice in conjunction with the main campus in Pullman. Students can study doctoral-level courses in Spokane, but must complete some courses in Pullman.
Washington State University - Vancouver
The Vancouver campus of Washington State University was founded in 1989. The College of Arts and Sciences offers a BA in Public Affairs with a concentration option in public administration and management. Graduate students can pursue a Master of Public Affairs with a concentration in justice studies. In addition to required courses that cover research methods and public policy, graduate students can complete coursework covering judicial processes, criminal procedure and civil liberties.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Court Administration Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Central Washington University||4-year public; distant town|| Bachelor of Arts in Law and Justice,
Master of Science in Law and Justice
| $8,072 in-state,
|Eastern Washington University||4-year public; fringe town|| Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Master of Public Administration
| $7,323 in-state,
|Heritage University||4-year private not-for-profit; rural||Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice||$17,914*|
|Northwest University||4-year private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies - Legal Studies concentration||$31,540*|
|Seattle University||4-year private not-for-profit; large city|| Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs,
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Master of Public Administration - Government specialization
|The Evergreen State College||4-year public; midsize suburb||Master of Public Administration - Public and Non-Profit Administration concentration|| $7,746 in-state,
|University of Washington - Seattle Campus||4-year public; large city|| Bachelor of Arts in Law, Societies and Justice,
Master of Public Administration,
Executive Master of Public Administration,
Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Management
| $11,207 in-state,
|Washington State University||4-year public; distant town|| Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
| $11,584 in-state,
|Washington State University - Spokane||4-year public; midsize city|| Master of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
| $11,840 in-state,
|Washington State University - Vancouver||4-year public; rural|| Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs,
Master of Public Affairs with Justice Studies concentration
| $10,319 in-state,
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Washington State University - Spokane.