In Texas, aspiring parole officers can pursue training through bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice or criminology. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts program, which integrates training in a foreign language. Bachelor of Science programs are also available, but focus more intently on math and science. Criminal justice majors learn about corrections, the courts, juvenile law, criminal law, law enforcement and criminal investigations. In addition, many programs include an internship, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in the field.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that in order to work as a parole officer, one must have at least a bachelor's degree, commonly in criminal justice. Read on to learn about relevant degree offerings at ten of the largest postsecondary schools in Texas, and research these public universities' tuition requirements to make an informed decision.
Sam Houston State University
Aspiring parole officers in Huntsville can find two bachelor's degree programs at Sam Houston State University - a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice or a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. The core courses are common in both programs -an introduction to criminal justice, police systems and practices, and correctional systems and practices - but the difference comes in additional requirements. The Bachelor of Arts requires completion of two years of a foreign language, while the Bachelor of Science includes courses in mathematics and science. Students can take internships during the final year of study, including in adult corrections institutions.
Texas State San Marcos
At the San Marcos campus of Texas State, students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a concentration in corrections. There's a track that includes an internship and one that includes additional course work in lieu of the internship. Courses in both tracks include management in criminal justice agencies, treatment in the community and institutional corrections, and study of victimization as well. Students must also complete two years of a foreign language, if they have not done so in high school.
Texas Woman's University
Denton's 4-year, public college offers a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Both degree programs have the same core courses, but a Bachelor of Arts requires completion of courses in a foreign language, while the Bachelor of Science requires completion of courses in math and science. In core courses, students learn about constitutional law, criminal law and criminal investigation. Students take courses in social research and correctional systems and practices. Criminal justice majors must also complete sociology courses.
University of North Texas
Students in Denton can attend the University of North Texas to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. Required courses include corrections systems, criminal procedure and ethical issues in criminal justice. Students must complete five criminal justice electives and can choose from courses like organized and consensual crime, domestic and international terrorism, criminalistics and crime scene investigation. Courses in sociology, psychology and technical writing are required.
University of Texas --Arlington
The Arlington campus of the University of Texas offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The degree program includes courses in ethics and the criminal justice system, theoretical criminology and community or institutional corrections. Students also learn about juvenile justice systems and comparative criminal justice systems. Students must take four courses in the same foreign language and 11 credit hours in electives.
University of Texas -- Brownsville
The Brownsville campus of the University of Texas offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice that includes courses in the history of criminal justice, the nature of crime and criminal law. The components of the justice system are discussed, such as law enforcement, the courts and corrections. Further studies examine crime in the United States, constitutional law as it pertains to civil rights, juvenile justice and sociology. Courses in correctional practices, casework and counseling are among those required for the correctional administration focus. In addition to learning about correctional institutions, students examine rehabilitation alternatives and the role of parole officers as an interface between corrections and community. Students can also pursue this degree program online.
University of Texas--Dallas
In Dallas, students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology. Students learn about the workings of corrections, the courts and research methods in criminal justice. Other required courses look at juvenile law and criminal law, as well as advanced criminology. Fifteen credit hours in criminology electives are required.
University of Texas-- El Paso
The El Paso campus of the University of Texas offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice for those students who are interested in careers in the field of criminal justice, including corrections. Required courses include topics like correctional systems and practices, the philosophy of criminal justice, structure of American courts and individuals' rights. Qualified students may have the opportunity to complete an internship.
University of Texas--Rio Grande Valley
In Edinburg, students at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Core courses include police systems and correctional systems and the practices of both. Students can complete a field internship to gain hands-on experience and must complete a capstone course.
University of Texas--San Antonio
At the San Antonio campus of the University of Texas, students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. The 120-credit hour degree program includes a minimum of 36 credit hours in criminal justice, including an internship. Required courses cover topics like criminal law, the nature of crime and justice and management of criminal justice organizations. Students can choose from an introduction to corrections, special topics in corrections and independent study, among other courses to fulfill 18 credit hours in elective coursework. Individuals can, if they have a year of employment in a criminal justice agency, forgo the internship and instead take further courses.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Criminal Justice Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees 2018-2019|
|Sam Houston State University||4-year, public; remote town|| Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
|$8,296 (in-state), $18,256 (out-of-state)*|
|Texas State San Marcos||4-year, public; distant town||Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice||$10,280 (in-state), $21,900 (out-of-state)*|
|Texas Woman's University||4-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
|$7,796 (in-state), $17,756 (out-of-state)*|
|University of North Texas||4-year, public; midsize city||Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice||$10,852 (in-state), $20,812 (out-of-state)*|
|University of Texas--Arlington||4-year public; large city||Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice||$10,496 (in-state), $26,533 (out-of-state)*|
|Texas Southmost University||4-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
|$3,198 (in district), $4,398 (in-state), $5,598 (out-of-state)*|
|University of Texas--Dallas||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice||$13,034 (in-state), $36,876 (out-of-state)*|
|University of Texas--El Paso||4-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice||$8,198 (in-state), $22,629 (out-of-state)*|
|University of Texas--Rio Grande Valley||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice||$7,813 (in-state), $17,773 (out-of-state)*|
|_ University of Texas-San Antonio||4-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Arts in Criminial Justice||$8,049 (in-state), $19,538 (out of state)*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.