Criminal Justice Programs in Texas

Texas offers several educational and professional opportunities in the criminal justice field, including some online schools for criminal justice. For example, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice manages the state prisons, jails, and private correctional facilities contracted with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice also funds and manages several aspects of community supervision. Another professional possibility is with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, which has several border patrol sectors in Texas, including the Laredo, Big Benda, Del Rio, and El Paso sectors. In addition, the Office of the Governor maintains aCriminal Justice Division to improve Texas criminal justice efforts through state and federal grant funding. Texas is also home to several college and university criminal justice departments and programs.

Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

University of Texas at Tyler: The University of Texas at Tyler offers a criminal justice bachelors degree. The program emphasizes the methods and procedures involved in the criminal justice field, with course work covering ethical issues, research methods, criminology theory, and criminal investigation. According to its website, the University of Texas at Tyler criminal justice graduates ranked in the top 10% of criminal justice graduates in a national test given to seniors.

University of Houston: The University of Houston Downtown’s Department of Criminal Justice offers two criminal justice bachelor’s degrees and a criminal justice masters degree offered in the traditional and online format. In fact, the program is one of the several online criminal justice programs in Texas. The University of Houston’s criminal justice programs give students the opportunity to conduct studies of crime control and prevention, as well as in-depth analyses of crime’s causes. The University of Houston hosts several seminars from professionals lecturing on multiple criminal justice topics.

West Texas A&M University: West Texas A&M, a branch of the College Station, Tex.-based Texas A&M, offers two bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice, as well as two criminal justice administration bachelor’s degrees, all of which are available online. West Texas A&M’s Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice provides insight into several aspects of the criminal justice system, including ethics, public administration, and the judicial process.

Texas State University: Texas State University, located in San Marcos in the Austin metropolitan area, offers degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. The school has a diverse student body, ranking No. 15 in the nation for the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanic students, according to the school’s website. Criminal justice students may choose concentrations in policing, corrections, law, juvenile crime, environmental criminology, criminological theory, and management and organization. Texas State University’s Department of Criminal Justice also hosts the annual Competition & Seminar for Crisis Negotiations.

Criminal Justice Career Statistics in Texas

Criminal justice comprises several career options, including local, state, and federal law enforcement, probation and correctional treatment specialist, and agency-specific positions. In fact, there are plenty of criminal justice degree jobs in Texas. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, state and local agencies encourage applicants to continue their education after high school through criminal justice and law enforcement related programs. The BLS reports that the median annual wage for police and detectives in May 2010 was $55,010, and protective service employment is expected to increase by 11% between 2010 and 2020 nationally.

In Texas specifically, the annual mean wage for protective service occupations was $39,630 as of May 2010, with an employment growth of 1.3% predicted, the BLS reports. Keep in mind, though, that salary and employment vary due to factors like employer, area, experience, and position.