Bachelor's Degrees in Criminal Justice in California

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Updated January 19, 2023

Looking for a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice in California? You should consider these top-tier undergraduate programs and jobs in Criminal Justice .

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Bachelor's Degrees in Criminal Justice in California

Earning a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice in California

If you complete the best degree in California for criminal justice, you will have several career options available to you. Bachelor's students are well-prepared to pursue a variety of careers. Obtain the skills needed to move forward in your career field.

You can expect an average income of $1,334 per week for individuals with a bachelor's degree. Graduates of a bachelor's program are more likely to be employed than those who hold a high school diploma.

Criminal Justice Bachelor's Programs for You

Working and Living in California in the Criminal Justice Profession

Completing a criminal justice degree can be very beneficial for those looking to pursue a career in law enforcement or a related field. Many criminal justice degree programs cover a wide variety of topics, including law, sociology, psychology, and forensics. This gives students a well-rounded education that can prepare them for a variety of careers. Most criminal justice degree programs also include a significant amount of hands-on training. This can include internships, field placements, and simulations. This type of experiential learning is essential for those looking to enter the workforce after graduation. There are a number of common jobs for those with criminal justice degrees. These include positions in law enforcement, corrections, and probation. Many criminal justice graduates also go on to work as private investigators, paralegals, and court reporters.

The median salary in California is $47,920 a year, or $23.04 per hour. Today, that applies to the 120,112,500 employees who work in the state. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the lowest 10% of earners make $29,780 a year, while the highest 10% of earners bring home $130,430 a year. The following provides a comparison of the earnings for detectives and criminal investigators in California.

Key

Detectives and Criminal Investigators in California
Detectives and Criminal Investigators Nationally
All Occupations in California
All Occupations Nationally

Salaries for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in California and Nationwide

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Among 51 states (including Washington, D.C.), California is ranked number 49 on the cost of living index. This index compares the average cost of living in the United States with that of specific parts of the country. Assuming that the U.S. average is 100, all locations in the U.S. are either higher (more expensive) or lower (less expensive). In California, the cost of living index currently stands at 139.8, which is 39.8% higher than the national average. Learners interested in relocating to California can use the cost of living comparison to find the right fit for them.

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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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In the next decade, detectives and criminal investigators can expect a growth rate of 2.5%. The BLS projects the occupation's total employment to change from 112,500 in 2020 to 115,300 in 2030. The typical education required for these positions is a bachelor's degree. Typical job titles include the following:

  • Detectives and criminal investigators
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Deputy United States Marshal
  • FBI Investigator
  • Homicide Detective
  • Narcotics Detective
  • Narcotics Investigator
  • Police Detective

Bachelor's Degrees in Criminal Justice in California

#1 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in California

California Baptist University

  • Riverside, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Riverside, California Baptist University provides in-person and remote learning opportunities across 89 bachelor's degree programs. The school offers a BS in criminal justice, which through a robust education equips students with the skills needed to succeed in a criminal justice career. After the program, students can pursue a criminal justice-specific career or graduate studies.

Throughout their studies, undergraduate learners can access institutional resources centering geared towards student success. Scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid can help defray the costs of an undergraduate degree.

California Baptist University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 78%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $32,942

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $32,942

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $40,000

Average Tuition
In-state
$33,930
Out-of-state
$33,930
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
11,317
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#2 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in California

California State University-Sacramento

  • Sacramento, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

California State University-Sacramento offers a total of 55 bachelor's programs in both face-to-face and online formats. The school's BS in criminal justice equips students with industry-relevant skills and knowledge through foundational and advanced coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Graduates can enter the workforce or pursue further education, such as a master's degree.

The college connects students with institutional resources throughout their studies. Enrollees can meet with a financial aid counselor to discuss funding opportunities, explore available scholarships, and determine eligibility. Financial aid enables student success, with 85% of all students receiving aid and 55% of all enrollees graduating.

California State University-Sacramento at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 82%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 26-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,742

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $17,622

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $41,800

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
32,293
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#3 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in California

Fresno Pacific University

  • Fresno, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in California, Fresno Pacific University supports both in-person and remote study opportunities across 89 bachelor's degree programs. The school's BA in criminology prepares students for the demands of a criminal justice career through rigorous study, relevant coursework, and other learning opportunities. The program also prepares students for further educational pursuits, such as graduate studies.

Students seeking career, academic, and financial guidance can benefit from career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources while enrolled. Prospective students may be eligible for funding options, such as scholarships, fellowships, and grants.

Fresno Pacific University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 66%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $32,458

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $32,458

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $38,400

Average Tuition
In-state
$32,954
Out-of-state
$32,954
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
3,995
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
9% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#4 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in California

Marymount California University

  • Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

From its main campus in Rancho Palos Verdes, Marymount California University provides in-person and remote learning opportunities across eight bachelor's degree programs. The school's BA in criminal justice introduces students to foundational skills and knowledge while also building general skills such as communication and critical thinking. The criminal justice program also prepares students for further educational pursuits, such as graduate studies.

Students can receive guidance throughout their program, through career services, academic advising, and other resources. Prospective students may be eligible for funding options, such as scholarships, fellowships, and grants.

Marymount California University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Student-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $34,134

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $34,134

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $34,300

Average Tuition
In-state
$35,158
Out-of-state
$35,158
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
582
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#5 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in California

National University

  • La Jolla, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

National University, a private, nonprofit, four-year college located in La Jolla, California, supports both in-person and online learning across 51 bachelor's degree programs. Learners seeking flexible study relevant to the criminal justice field can benefit from the school's bachelor's in criminal justice administration. Graduates can apply their knowledge and skills to a criminal justice-specific career or further studies in the subject.

Enrollees benefit from a variety of resources throughout their studies, including career services and academic advising. Depending on their eligibility, students can benefit from financial aid funding.

National University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 89%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $13,320

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $13,320

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $51,900

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,320
Out-of-state
$13,320
Retention Rate
45%
Admission Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
18,070
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

Financing a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice

College costs can be offset by financial aid programs. This aid can take the form of scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs. In addition to federal and private student loans, some students may also be eligible for scholarships. You should research the colleges you are interested in to find out if they offer scholarships or financial aid.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in California

College tuition in California varies based on which institution you attend. A number of similarities exist among institutions in the public and private sectors. In order to determine whether attending a public institution is right for you, please review the information provided below.

Public 4-Year School Tuition Rates: California vs. National Average

Key

California
National Average

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The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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Do you have any thoughts about attending a private college or university? The tuition at private schools is typically higher. Find out more about the private colleges in California by taking a look at the following graph:

Private 4-Year School Tuition Rates: California vs. National Average

Key

California
National Average

Chart

Bar chart with 5 bars.
The chart has 1 X axis displaying salary types.
The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
End of interactive chart.

Federal Student Loan Information

Would borrowing student loans help you pay for school? Prior to taking out a loan, you should consider a number of factors.

Review the data below to help you know how much students typically borrow.

Undergraduate Federal Loans
Demographic Percent who borrowed Amount borrowed
Total 66.6% $27,400
Female 69.6% $28,100
Male 62.5% $26,500
White, not Hispanic or Latino 66.1% $26,700
Black, not Hispanic or Latino 85.7% $34,800
Hispanic or Latino/a, of any race 67.7% $25,700
Asian, not Hispanic or Latino 43% $22,700
Other or Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino 70.4% $28,300
Source: NCES

Online vs. On-Campus

Pros and Cons: Online Degrees

Pros

  • Cheaper tuition
  • Flexible, asynchronous classwork
  • No on-campus fees for parking, tech, etc.

Cons

  • Less structure
  • Minimal peer-to-peer interaction
  • Less facetime with professor
  • No access to on-campus amenities

Pros and Cons: On-Campus Degrees

Pros

  • Gym, library, etc. access
  • Smaller class options
  • Face time with peers and professors

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Transportation or housing costs
  • Rigid scheduling
The primary differences between an online degree and a degree completed on campus are cost and class size. There are many advantages to studying online, including flexibility, affordability, and convenience. There is usually a higher cost associated with on-campus degrees due to student fees, which are optional for distance learners. Attending classes in person also has its advantages.

Top Criminal Justice Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Associate, Masters, Doctorate
Florida Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Georgia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Illinois Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
New York Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
North Carolina Associate, Bachelors, Masters
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

The advantages of attending a private college as opposed to a public college can be seen in a number of ways. There is a difference in cost between public and private institutions. Students at public universities often use grants and scholarships to pay for their education and fees. Private institutions charge higher tuition rates, but there are usually merit scholarships available for those with high GPAs or SAT scores.

At private colleges, students can have more personal interaction with faculty. Consider the pros and cons of attending a private institution versus a public one.

Pros and Cons

Private

  • Unique program offerings
  • Cultural or religious options
  • Local prestige
  • Higher costs
  • Less regulatory oversight

Public

  • Government-issued tuition costs
  • Government funding, benefits, and regulation
  • Oftentimes large classrooms

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do detectives and criminal investigators in California make?

Detectives and criminal investigators make a mean annual wage of $107,650 in California.

Are occupations for criminal justice majors in high demand?

The total number of detectives and criminal investigators is projected to increase by 2.5% from 2020 to 2030.

Can I study for a bachelor's in criminal justice online?

Earning an online bachelor's degree in criminal justice is possible. In today's environment, most schools offer some form of online education.

How long does it take to complete a bachelor's degree?

For a full-time student, completing a bachelor's degree normally takes four years. Part-time students will be able to choose the completion time by adjusting their pace.

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