Criminal Justice Degree Programs in Vancouver, WA with School Info

Nov 26, 2018

There are at least nine schools in the Vancouver area that have criminal justice degree programs. Read an overview of the programs, requirements and admission info for three schools within 40 miles of the city and find out which school is the right one for you.

Vancouver-Area Schools with Criminal Justice Programs

Several schools in the Vancouver, WA, area offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in criminal justice. This article profiles three schools that are no more than 40 miles from the downtown area and looks at the programs they offer. Prospective criminal justice students can refer to a table of important information about each school, such as type, enrollment figures and tuition expenses. There is also some information about other schools in the Vancouver area with criminal justice programs.

  • Washington State University - Vancouver is around six miles from downtown Vancouver. Criminal justice students there can pursue a bachelor's or master's degree.
  • Although Portland State University isn't in the state of Washington, at just 10 miles from downtown, it is still one of the closest schools to Vancouver with criminal justice programs. Part-time students at Portland State who live in certain Washington counties may qualify for in-state tuition rates. Portland State also offers bachelor's and master's degree programs.
  • Although farther out than the other schools, Lower Columbia College, which is around 39 miles from downtown Vancouver, is still one of the nearest schools in the state of Washington with associate degree programs in criminal justice.

Comparison of Schools

Students need to consider many factors when choosing a school. The following table compiles important information that can enable them to arrive at a sound decision.

Washington State University - Vancouver Portland State University Lower Columbia College
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 3,577 (Fall 2018)* 26,693** 2,935**
Campus Setting Large suburb Large city Small city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $10,129 for in-state; $24,555 for out-of-state** $8,783 for in-state; $26,130 for out-of-state** $4,275 for in-state; $4,742 for out-of-state**
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 90% (parent institution)** 79%** 77%**
Acceptance Rate (2017) 73% (parent institution)* 92%** N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 81% for full-time students (parent institution)* 72% for full-time students** 61% for full-time students**
Overall Graduation Rate 62% (parent institution; for students who began studies Fall 2011)* 49% (for students who began studies Fall 2011)** 28% (for students who began studies Fall 2014)**

Sources: *Washington State University - Vancouver, **NCES College Navigator

Washington State University - Vancouver

In addition to its Vancouver campus, Washington State University has campuses in Spokane, Richland and Pullman. Criminal justice students at WSU - Vancouver must spend at least one full semester at the school and complete an introductory criminal justice course in order to participate in a voluntary internship.

Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences with a Criminal Justice Concentration

Out of the 24 semester credits for the criminal justice concentration, students will earn at least 15 of those credits at the upper-division level. Alternately, students may choose three related areas for the major and earn 9 credits in each. The criminal justice concentration focuses on policy and can prepare students for careers in private and governmental agencies. A criminal justice minor is also available.

Master of Public Affairs (MPA) in Justice Studies

In addition to a bachelor's degree, applicants to the MPA in Justice Studies program must submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of intent, GRE scores and a professional resume. Students without public service experience must complete an internship during the program. Class topics include crime and delinquency, violence towards women, community corrections and crime prevention strategies. The program culminates in a master's thesis and an oral defense.

Portland State University

The College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University (PSU) offers bachelor's degrees in criminal justice. In addition to the degree options presented below, students may pursue online certificates in criminal behavior, leadership in criminal justice and advanced crime analysis.

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice

PSU's bachelor's programs in criminology and criminal justice are offered in both campus-based and hybrid formats. Students can take courses in policing in America, American courts, theories of crime and punishment and crime analysis. Internship opportunities may be available in law firms, police departments or social service agencies.

Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Before students begin their graduate coursework, an orientation session must be completed. For the core of the program, topics include criminal justice research, criminal justice policy and analysis of crime data. Students may opt to complete an internship, and the program culminates in either a thesis or a final project.

Lower Columbia College

At Lower Columbia College, students can enroll in a variety of associate degree and certificate programs. The criminal justice programs at this school are intended for professionals looking to advance in the field, as well as students seeking entry-level skills.

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice

The Associate of Applied Science program is recommended for students who seek immediate employment after graduation. The curriculum is made up of 94-96 credit hours, and core classes cover criminal law, business law and report writing for law enforcement. Students who are also professional law enforcement agents can opt out of some course requirements.

Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice

This 90-credit associate degree program is geared towards students looking to transfer into a four-year school. The bulk of the program consists of general education coursework. Electives allow students to focus on criminal justice, and topics include justice administration, physical evidence, community policing, criminal law administration and the American legal system.

Other School Options

Located about 12 miles away from downtown Vancouver in Oregon, Portland Community College offers associate degrees and certificates in criminal justice. Clackamas Community College is in Oregon about 22 miles from Vancouver's downtown area and offers an associate degree program in criminal justice.

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