People pursuing degrees related to criminal investigations might consider programs in criminal justice, criminal justice technology, criminology, forensics and crime scene technology. Studies are available via certificate programs as well as associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. Depending on the program, students might be able to complete some courses online. Graduates of a criminal investigations degree program might pursue career opportunities as police officers, detectives, crime scene investigators and forensic technicians.
At this campus in Fort Lauderdale, there is an associate degree program in criminal justice technology with emphases in crime scenes or criminal justice. Core classes for this degree program include government, communications, constitutional law, criminal investigations and human behavior. Students taking the crime scene emphasis will learn about criminal evidence, forensic investigations, forensic photography, court procedures and criminalistics. Classes in the criminal justice emphasis discuss corrections, police community relations, criminal evidence, homeland security and civil rights. Both emphasis areas require students to complete practicum experiences.
Florida International University
There are undergraduate and graduate degree programs in criminal justice at this school in Miami. Undergraduates can pursue bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice, or they can opt to do an accelerated, combined degree program that results in a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in criminal justice. Core classes at the bachelor's degree level include criminological theory, comparative criminal justice systems, research methods and public policy. The accelerated, combined degree program allows students to apply 12 graduate-level units to both degree programs, making these units count double and allowing students to complete both degree programs more quickly. Other available graduate-level programs include a master's degree in criminal justice and a dual degree program that allows students to earn a juris doctor degree and a master's in criminal justice degree.
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Located in Jacksonville, this school offers two certificate programs related to criminal investigations and one associate degree program. Students can choose either a certificate program to become a crime scene technician or a program to become a criminal justice technology specialist. Required courses for the crime scene technician program include criminal investigations, crime analysis, the investigation cycle and policing. Classes for the criminal justice technology specialist program discuss policing, the courts and corrections. The associate degree program in criminal justice technology requires students to complete 33 units of coursework in such areas as the American federal government, information technology, criminology, policing and juvenile delinquency. Students in the associate degree program have to take an additional 15 units of electives, which may include criminal justice ethics, criminal procedure, risk analysis, emergency services or criminal justice management.
Florida State University
There are several undergraduate and graduate degree programs related to criminal investigations at this university in Tallahassee. The bachelor's degree program in criminology and criminal justice requires students to complete 36 units of major coursework and at least 12 units of minor coursework, although students who take the online version of the degree program are not required to complete minor coursework. There is also a bachelor's degree program in computer criminology, which includes a combination of computer science courses and criminology classes. Bachelor's degree students can choose to participate in an internship program that allows students to work with criminal justice agencies on a full-time basis for an entire semester. Undergraduates interested in pursuing master's degrees can enroll in the accelerated dual degree program, and students in this program can earn their bachelor's and master's in criminology and criminal justice within five years. Other graduate degree programs include a master's in criminology and criminal justice as well as a doctorate degree in criminology.
Miami Dade College
Also located in Miami, this school provides several vocational certificate and associate degree programs related to criminal investigations. The crime scene technology certificate program requires students to complete 28 units of courses, and course topics cover forensic science, human behavior, crime scene technology, crime scene investigations and basic fingerprinting. There are four associate degree programs available at this campus, including programs in generic criminal justice technology, crime scene technology, criminal justice administration and forensic science. The generic criminal justice technology program prepares students for careers in probation and parole, law enforcement, corrections or detention centers, and the crime scene technology program trains students for such job titles as crime scene investigator, laboratory technician, medical investigator or insurance investigator.
St. Petersburg College
Students at this school in St. Petersburg can enroll in the bachelor's degree program in public safety administration with a concentration in criminal justice. The program can be completed partially online, and part-time students are also welcome to enroll. One of its admission requirements is to already hold an associate degree related to criminal justice, law enforcement or public safety. Required courses in the public safety administration program include program planning and evaluation, public finance, administrative law, grant administration, conflict management and resource development. Classes in the criminal justice concentration cover such areas as community corrections management, international organized crime, special law enforcement unit management, patrol issues and criminal investigations theory.
University of Central Florida
At the Orlando campus of this university, students can participate in a number of undergraduate and graduate programs related to criminal investigations. Certificate programs at the undergraduate level provide vocational training in such areas as crime analysis and crime mapping, criminal profiling and crime scene investigations. Students may also pursue bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice, and required classes in this area of study include corrections and penology, crime in America, prosecution procedures, research methods and criminal justice systems. Available graduate programs include a graduate certificate program in crime analysis, a master's degree program in criminal justice and a doctorate degree program in public affairs with a concentration track in criminal justice.
University of Florida
Located in Gainesville, this school offers several undergraduate and graduate degree programs in criminology and law, including a bachelor's, a combination bachelor's and master's degree, a master's degree and a doctorate degree. Undergraduate students pursuing the bachelor's degree must complete foundational courses before moving on to the required course topics, and required course topics include law and society, research methods in criminology, criminal justice principles and criminology theory. There is also an online version of the bachelor's degree program, but it's only available to upper-division transfer students. Course topics for either graduate degree program include communities and crime, white collar crime, humanitarian law, public policy and advanced criminological theory. Graduate students will have the opportunity to conduct independent study or supervised research projects, and these projects may be done as part of either the master's thesis or the doctorate dissertation requirements.
University of South Florida - Main Campus
At the Tampa campus of this university, students can pursue bachelor's, master's or doctorate degrees in criminology, or they can enroll in a master's degree program in criminal justice administration. Undergraduate students must complete a total of 36 units of criminology coursework, including four required courses that discuss criminal justice systems, research methodology, criminal behavior and a criminology capstone class. The remaining 24 units of undergraduate criminology studies are electives, allowing students to choose the classes that align with their own vocational goals. Graduate-level coursework in criminology may cover such areas as corrections theory and practice, quantitative analysis, historical legal principles, capital punishment, structural theories of crime, crime analysis and violent juvenile offenders. Students in the criminal justice administration master's degree program will learn about ethics and public service, law enforcement research, local government administration, approaches to criminal behavior and local government finances.
Located in Orlando, this college provides a certificate program for criminal justice technology specialists and a criminal justice technology associate degree program with specialization options. Students must complete 24 units of courses to earn the certificate, and course topics cover criminal evidence and procedures, criminal justice administration, community corrections, security, juvenile justice systems and community corrections. The associate degree program in criminal justice technology offers an optional specialization in homeland security. Required courses for the criminal justice technology major include policing systems and procedures, criminal investigations and criminal law. Coursework for the homeland security specialization discuss intelligence analysis, border security, security management and border transportation. Electives in the criminal justice technology program provide a broad range of options, including field observation and internship opportunities.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, police officers and detectives might only need minimal postsecondary training, but these individuals often have to go through local, state or federal police academy training. Crime scene investigators and forensic technicians often need a bachelor's degree related to their forensic area of specialty. In Florida, there are 81 schools offering programs in this field, and the ten largest schools are reviewed below.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Criminal Investigation Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Broward College||4-year, public; midsize city|| Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology with emphasis in criminal justice,
Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology with emphasis in crime scene
| In-state: $2,830,
|Florida International University||4-year, public; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice,
Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice/Master of Science in Criminal Justice,
Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Criminal Justice
| In-district: $6,556, In-state: $6,546,
|Florida State College at Jacksonville||4-year, public; large city|| Crime Scene Technician Technical Certificate,
Criminal Justice Technology Specialist Technical Certificate,
Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology
| In-state: $2,878,
|Florida State University||4-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Arts in Computer Criminology,
Bachelor of Science in Computer Criminology,
Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice,
Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice,
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology
| In-state: $5,656,
|Miami Dade College||4-year, public; large city|| Crime Scene Technology College Credit Certificate,
Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration,
Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology - Generic,
Associate of Science in Crime Scene Technology,
Associate of Science in Forensic Science
| In-state: $2,838,
|St. Petersburg College||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Safety Administration with a concentration in criminal justice|| In-state: $2,682,
|University of Central Florida||4-year, public; large suburb|| Crime Analysis and Crime Mapping Certificate,
Crime Scene Investigation Certificate,
Criminal Profiling Certificate,
Crime Analysis Graduate Certificate,
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Scholar's Track,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Scholar's Track,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice,
Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs with concentration in criminal justice
| In-state: $6,368,
|University of Florida||4-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Law,
Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Law (Online),
Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Law/Master of Arts in Criminology and Law,
Master of Arts in Criminology and Law,
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology and Law
| In-state: $6,381,
|University of South Florida - Main Campus||4-year, public; large city|| Bachelor of Arts in Criminology,
Master of Arts in Criminology,
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration,
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology
| In-state: $6,410,
|Valencia College||4-year, public; midsize city|| Criminal Justice Technology Specialist Certificate,
Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology,
Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology with homeland security specialization
| In-state: $2,474;
Source: *NCES College Navigator