Criminal Justice Programs in South Carolina

Since 1975, the violent crime rates in South Carolina have exceeded the national average. Members of the state criminal justice department are working to decrease these numbers and have made substantial headway over the past 20 years. Criminal justice careers in South Carolina can be found either within protective or legal services. Such professions are often linked to government agencies and departments such as The South Carolina Department of Corrections and the The South Carolina Department of Public Safety. Students interested in protective services and law enforcement can visit the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy for more information on the state’s educational and physical requirements.

Criminal Justice Schools in South Carolina

The University of South Carolina at Columbia: USC at Columbia offers one of the most diverse criminal justice programs in South Carolina. While pursuing a B.A., M.A., or Ph.D. degree, students will scrutinize the policies, procedures, and cultural factors that are associated with crime and law. The department also provides a combined degree program, offered in conjunction with the South Carolina School of Law, that permits students to earn a Juris Doctor and Master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal justice in a four-year postgraduate program. The university also offers an online certification program for paralegal studies.

South University: Students enrolled at South University can choose an on-campus degree program or an online degree program in criminal justice. South University’s paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association and is offered partially online. Students who earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from South University will be prepared to advance into graduate studies or to begin entry-level careers in the criminal justice system. The university also offers an on-campus and online masters degree program in criminal justice, with online specializations such as corrections, cyber crime, homeland security, and public administration.

Trident Technical College: Trident Technical College, which is located in Charleston, offers degree programs in criminal justice that are designed for career development. After graduating from the associate degree program at TTC, students can either begin a criminal justice career or pursue studies at a four-year institution. Students who wish to transfer credits between TTC and another institution of higher education should research the transfer-credit policies of the different schools to ensure a smooth transition. Certificates are also available in specializations such as corrections, law enforcement, crime scene investigation, and emergency management and protection.

Miller-Motte College: The Miller-Motte College in Charleston offers an associate degree in criminal justice online and on-site. This two-year degree gives students an opportunity to find entry-level work within a variety of criminal justice institutions and organizations. Students also have the option to build on their associate degree education by enrolling in the online criminal justice bachelor degree program offered by MMC. The Charleston campus also offers an associate degree in paralegal studies. There is an option for online study as well.

Criminal Justice Career Statistics in South Carolina

Within the protective services sector in South Carolina, security guards make up the largest group of workers, followed by police officers. The salaries for these two occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are $24,040 and $38,810 respectively. However, it should be noted that these annual salary statistics are an average and that wages will vary based on experience and region. According to the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, jobs are expected to grow slower than average within police forces across the country. Demand for security guards, however, is expected to increase by 18%, which is the average economic growth rate in the United States.