Do I need a high school diploma to attend criminal justice school?

Studying criminal justice opens up many career paths for a student. The choices range from paralegal or legal assistant, to security officer, corrections officer, police officer, detective or police chief to crime scene investigator and other professionals in the law enforcement field. The criminal justice education is not only needed to begin a career in these many areas, but often, more advanced degrees or courses are needed in order to continue moving up in the career ladder. These many paths also depend on the level of degree acquired, since programs in criminal justice are offered at the certificate, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and PhD level. Since all the programs are higher education level programs, a high school diploma, or at least a G.E.D. is one of the basic necessary requirements for admission into any of the programs.

Criminal justice programs tend to focus on real-world education, teaching skills that can be directly applied within the chosen career path. Many of the programs are fast-paced and intensive, including reading a lot of texts and cases, discussion, and essay writing. High school graduates who go on to study in college are supposed to be prepared for this intense educational environment. This is why a high school diploma or G.E.D. is needed to apply to these programs.

Moreover, most, if not all, of the jobs within the criminal justice field require a high school diploma or G.E.D and some college experience, usually, a minimum of two years, though some do accept the shorter certificate programs, which can last as little as nine months. These certificate programs tend to offer a basic overview of the field and do not go as much in-depth as the degree programs. However, they are a good option for those who want a shorter introduction to the field with the ability to work within it rather quickly.

There are also online criminal justice degree programs. It is important to note that while the type of academic work required of criminal justice students allows them to study and complete their certificate and degree at home while perhaps continuing to work, the admission process for online programs is similar to that for an on-campus education, and that, again, a high school degree or G.E.D. will be required before acceptance.

Doing a college search for criminal justice schools or criminal justice colleges? Our US college search groups together quality schools in your area to help jump start your career. Use it to check out popular criminal justice colleges in Iowa or in any other state of your choosing. Looking for online colleges? You can search for online degrees too

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