Many students prepare for careers in corrections through certificate or degree programs in criminal justice. Criminology and justice studies programs also exist. Several colleges and universities in Georgia offer relevant education at all levels, including certificate, associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs. Online study may be an option for some enrollees. They may participate in internships, or complete thesis or dissertation requirements, depending on their level of study. Below students will find ten of the largest schools profiled for their convenience.
Albany State University
This state university is a 4-year, public school located in the city of Albany. The school provides criminal justice and corrections programs within its College of Science and Health Professions. The 4-year Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program provides courses with instruction in corrections, research and policy, and law enforcement. A criminal justice minor is also available. Additionally, Albany State University offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a specialization in corrections. This graduate program is available on site and online. Students enrolled in this program can choose the thesis or non-thesis option, and they receive instruction in topics like rehabilitation and treatment, correctional institution management, and the foundations of corrections. The program provides the educational background necessary to work in supervisory roles in the corrections field.
Georgia Southern University
Armstrong State University provides two undergraduate programs and one graduate program in criminal justice in Savannah. Courses required for the 60-credit hour associate's degree include corrections, law enforcement, juvenile delinquency, and criminology. The bachelor's program provides two tracks: general criminal justice and cybersecurity, and the curriculum in both tracks covers the topic of corrections. Students in the master's program must complete 36 credit hours and are given the choice of a thesis or non-thesis track. This school also offers an online criminal justice certificate program, and the courses completed in this program can be applied toward the associate's degree in criminal justice at this school.
Georgia College offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice at its campus in Milledgeville. Students must complete 120 semester hours of coursework for the bachelor's degree, including 27 semester hours in the major. Courses in correctional systems and practices, research, criminal law, and criminology are required. The master's program, which prepares students for leadership positions in criminal justice organizations, requires students to complete 36 semester hours and pass a comprehensive exam for graduation. The graduate curriculum includes courses in correctional counseling and treatment, victimology, criminal behaviors, and a corrections seminar.
Georgia Gwinnett College
Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice/Criminology. This program offers concentrations in criminal justice, criminology, and liberal arts. The criminal justice concentration, which is geared toward corrections, law, police work, and leadership, provides courses in criminal procedure, the judicial system, and criminology as well as corrections. An internship is required. Students who choose a different major can earn a minor in criminal justice/criminology.
Georgia Perimeter College
Decatur's Georgia Perimeter College offers an associate's program that prepares students for employment in corrections, law enforcement, criminal investigation, and other positions in the criminal justice field. The curriculum covers corrections, the American police system, the judicial system, abnormal psychology, and forensic science. Students who receive the associate's degree in criminal justice from Georgia Perimeter College have the opportunity to continue their studies at Georgia State University or the University of Georgia.
Georgia Southern University
Students who are interested in pursuing a career in the field of corrections might want to consider the bachelor's program in justice studies at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. Offered through the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, this program requires students to complete 126 credits for the degree. Courses required for the major include corrections, research, policing, and the judicial process. An internship opportunity is also available.
Georgia State University
Atlanta-based Georgia State University offers undergraduate and graduate criminal justice programs. The 120-semester hour bachelor's degree program gives students the choice of a criminal justice track or a legal track. Both tracks provide courses in corrections, prisons and jails, gender in criminal justice, policing in America, the American courts, and other subjects relevant to the criminal justice field. Students in the master's degree program can choose a thesis option or a non-thesis option with a capstone seminar. Required courses cover topics like criminal justice statistics and research, criminological theory, and the legal aspects of criminal justice. Georgia State University also offers a doctoral program in criminal justice and criminology that requires students to earn at least 54 semester hours and write a dissertation. A joint Master of Science/Doctor of Philosophy program is available as well.
Savannah State University
This state university is located in the city of Savannah. Students interested in the field of corrections might want to explore the university's Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program. This program requires the completion of 125 credit hours of coursework to receive the degree. The program includes courses in police and society, American corrections, and juvenile justice. Savannah State criminal justice students can also choose to complete an elective internship and take elective courses in human behavior, community policing, or criminology. A criminal justice minor is available as well.
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia in Athens offers a bachelor's program in criminal justice studies that can prepare students for a career in institutional corrections. This program incorporates an interdisciplinary approach and is provided jointly by the School of Public and International Affairs and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Students must complete prerequisites and have at least 30 hours of coursework under their belts to be admitted to this program. An internship is required.
University of North Georgia
The University of North Georgia in Dahlonega offers associate's, bachelor's, and master's programs in criminal justice. All of these programs require students to earn a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in each criminal justice course and all other courses that apply to the major. The bachelor's program offers a forensics concentration. A minor in criminal justice is available as well. The master's program is only offered online. Students must complete 36 semester hours of coursework to obtain the master's degree.
In order to work as a corrections officer in the state of Georgia, candidates are required by the Georgia Office of Corrections to pass the state-administered correctional officer exam, pass the Peace Officers' Standards and Training (POST) exam, and complete five weeks of Basic Correctional Officer Training (BCOT) and all its related exams. Following is a table of the ten Georgia schools that includes tuition rates for an at-a-glance comparison.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Corrections Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Albany State University||4-year, public; small city|| Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Corrections Specialization
|$5,735 in-state; $16,196 out-of-state*|
|Georgia Southern University||4-year, public; midsize city||Online Criminal Justice Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice Online
|Georgia College||4-year, public; distant town|| Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
|$9,346 in-state; $28,060 out-of-state*|
|Georgia Gwinnett College||4-year, public; large suburb||Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice/Criminology||$5,634 in-state; $16,348 out-of-state*|
|Georgia Perimeter College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Science in Criminal Justice||$3,304 in-state; $9,501 out-of-state*|
|Georgia Southern University||4-year, public; distant town||Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies||$6,356 in-state; $17,142 out-of-state*|
|Georgia State University||4-year, public; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice,
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice and Criminology
|$9,112 in-state; $23,971 out-of-state*|
|Savannah State University||4-year, public; midsize city||Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice||$5,743 in-state, $16,204 out-of-state*|
|University of Georgia||4-year, public; midsize city||Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies||$11,830 in-state; $30,404 out-of-state*|
|University of North Georgia||4-year, public; distant town||Associate of Science in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Forensics Concentration,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
|$4,692 in-state; $13,514 out-of-state*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator