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Criminal Justice Courses in NC with School Overviews

Jul 25, 2019

North Carolina has nearly a hundred colleges that offer criminal justice courses. Learn about the certificate and degree programs, tuition info and program options for the ten largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Criminal justice students have many options for education in North Carolina, with college studies available via undergraduate and graduate certificate programs, as well as associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs. Criminal justice minors are also offered. Furthermore, students interested in criminal justice studies may focus on a particular subfield, such as forensic science, latent evidence or international studies. In addition to on-campus courses, some schools may offer online learning options. Below are short summaries of programs at the largest schools, followed by a table of facts about each institution.


Appalachian State University

The criminal justice bachelor's degree program at Appalachian State University in Boone calls for 37 hours of required criminal justice courses such as criminal law, the police process and writing for criminal justice majors. A 12-semester hour internship is required unless the student has a year or more of professional criminal justice experience. Students also choose nine hours of criminal justice electives. A concentration in international studies is available, and students in that option pick from courses that include global conflict, world religions and political sociology. Undergraduates can minor in criminal justice by taking an introductory course and 15 hours of criminal justice electives.

Students can prepare for doctoral study or gain career knowledge through Appalachian State's master's degree program in criminal justice and criminology. The program is offered on the main campus and sometimes at off-campus sites. It calls for 36 credit hours, including courses in research methods, court administration and race relations. A thesis is optional.

Central Piedmont Community College

Central Piedmont Community College offers eight certificates and an associate's degree in criminal justice technology, with courses taught online and at the Central campus in downtown Charlotte, the Merancas campus in Huntersville, the Levine campus in Matthews and the Cato and Harris campuses, also in Charlotte. The degree program calls for four semesters of study with courses including legal theory, investigation, crime prevention and court procedure. The program totals in around 72 credit hours and includes 20 work hours of co-op experience. Certificates cover many aspects of law enforcement, including corrections and crime scene investigation, and can be earned while completing the degree curriculum. The certificates total 12 to 15 credits each.

East Carolina University

Students at East Carolina University in Greenville can enter the criminal justice bachelor's degree program after completing 32 semester hours of work and the introduction to criminal justice course. The degree requires roughly 120 semester hours, with required core courses in the juvenile justice system, research methods, problems in criminal justice, as well as field experience. Students take one course in corrections and another in law enforcement. Criminal justice minors complete 24 semester hours of criminal justice courses, while a minor in forensic science calls for 15 semester hours of criminal justice courses and nine to 11 semester hours of science courses such as forensic anthropology and organic chemistry.

The master's degree program in criminal justice is offered on campus and online. Students must have a bachelor's degree with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.7. The master's program calls for 36 semester hours of study, with courses including criminal justice methods and statistical interpretation. East Carolina also offers a master's degree and a graduate certificate in security studies, which covers fields such as homeland security and technology security.

Fayetteville Technical Community College

Fayetteville Technical Community College in Fayetteville offers nine certificates in various aspects of criminal justice technology including courts, the corrections system and private investigation. These certificates require two semesters of courses. The college also offers five-semester associate's degree programs with the option of choosing a concentration in latent evidence or dual enrollment with Fayetteville State University. Courses in the degree programs include Constitutional law, corrections and court procedure. Students who study latent evidence learn about crime scene processing and fingerprinting.

Forsyth Technical Community College

At Winston Salem's Forsyth Technical Community College, criminal justice students can earn a certificate with around 18 credit hours of courses or an associate's degree with 64 credit hours. The programs' classes are offered during the day, evening or online. Tracks in the degree program include law enforcement and corrections. Certificate program courses include law enforcement operations, criminalistics and Constitutional law, with associate's degree students taking courses such as juvenile justice, community relations and criminal law. A student in the degree program has the option of completing a co-op work experience with a law enforcement agency.

Guilford College

Guilford College in Greensboro offers a bachelor's degree program that requires ten courses in criminal justice. Students take courses in criminal procedure, deviance and research methods and can complete an internship. They may study conflict resolution, restorative justice and corrections. An independent study project is another course option. Guilford also offers a four-course minor in criminal justice.

North Carolina A&T State University

North Carolina A&T State University offers a bachelor's degree in criminal justice at its campus in Greensboro. The program requires between 124 to 127 credit hours of study, including 36 credit hours of criminal justice courses and an internship. Students can earn a Certificate in Forensic Science - Crime Scene Investigation separately or as part of their degree. A minor in criminal justice requires around 18 credit hours of courses. Courses in the criminal justice program may include investigative photography, interrogations, corrections and juvenile delinquency.

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Criminal justice students at North Carolina State University at Raleigh can earn a bachelor's degree in criminology. Students gain a broad understanding of the criminal justice system through coursework that includes criminology and the justice system. Field work with a criminal justice agency is required, and students can gain more experience through co-op work or internships. A minor in criminology requires 16 credit hours of courses.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

A bachelor's degree in criminal justice at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte requires 31 semester hours of criminal justice courses and a minor. Students must take a course in statistics for the social sciences and an intermediate level foreign language course. Other courses include criminal justice theory, research methods and an introduction to the field, as well as courses in law enforcement, corrections and the justice system. A minor is available with 18 semester hours that include upper-division courses in criminal justice.

A master's degree in criminal justice requires 36 credit hours, and students can choose to write a thesis or take a comprehensive examination. They must complete courses in research, criminal theory and criminal justice policy. Other course topics might include police problems, rehabilitation, juvenile justice and legal issues in corrections.

Wake Technical Community College

Students at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh have a choice of two associate's degrees and two certificates relating to criminal justice studies. Courses are available online and on campus. The certificate in corrections requires 15 semester credit hours, while the certificate in identification and information calls for 18 semester credit hours. Courses for these certificate programs can be counted towards degrees in criminal justice and in latent evidence. Both of these degree programs call for courses in criminology, ethics and expository writing. The concentration in latent evidence includes courses in friction ridge analysis, criminalistics and interrogation. Criminal justice degree students may take courses in community policing, organized crime and civil liability.

Law enforcement officers can earn professional certificates through the college's Criminal Investigations Academy, Law Enforcement Leadership Institute, Officer Survival Academy and Traffic Enforcement Academy. The programs utilize learning programs designed for adults that concentrate on experience-based lessons.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Criminal Justice Certificate and Degree Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Appalachian State University Four-year; public; distant town Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology
$7,364, in-state; $22,171, out-of-state*
Central Piedmont Community College Two-year; public; large city Certificates in Criminal Justice Technology,
Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology
$2,792 in-district; $2,795, in-state; $8,936, out-of-state*
East Carolina University Four-year; public; small city Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
$7,188, in-state; $23,465, out-of-state*
Fayetteville Technical Community College Two-year; public; midsize city Certificates in Criminal Justice Technology,
Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology
$2,544, in-state; $8,688, out-of-state*
Forsyth Technical Community College Two-year; public; midsize city Certificate in Criminal Justice Technology,
Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology
$2,199, in-state; $7,215, out-of-state*
Guilford College Four-year; private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice $37,120*
North Carolina A&T State University Four-year; public; large city Forensic Science - Crime Scene Investigation Certificate,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
$6,612, in-state; $19,822, out-of-state*
North Carolina State University at Raleigh Four-year; public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Criminology $9,101, in-state; $28,444, out-of-state*
University of North Carolina at Charlotte Four-year; public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
$6,853, in-state; $20,287, out-of-state*
Wake Technical Community College Two-year; public; large suburb Certificates in Criminal Justice Technology,
Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology,
Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology - Latent Evidence Technology
$2,768, in-state; $8,912, out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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