Bachelor's Degrees in Criminal Justice in Pennsylvania

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Updated January 19, 2023

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

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Bachelor's Degrees in Criminal Justice in Pennsylvania

Earning a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice in Pennsylvania

To find the best degrees in Pennsylvania for criminal justice, you should consider institutions that offer a good selection of top-quality programs. Graduates with a bachelor's degree can pursue a variety of careers. A bachelor's degree can open doors for employment in fields that are growing and needed.

Criminal Justice Bachelor's Programs for You

Working and Living in Pennsylvania in the Criminal Justice Profession

A criminal justice degree can be earned at many colleges and universities across the United States. Criminal justice degrees prepare students for a variety of careers in law enforcement, corrections, and the court system. Common courses in a criminal justice degree program include constitutional law, criminal law, criminology, and police procedures. Graduates of criminal justice degree programs often find jobs as police officers, detectives, probation officers, and correctional officers. With further education and training, they may also become lawyers, judges, or crime scene investigators.

The state's average annual wage is $44,900, or $21.59 per hour. All 5,583,410 employees in Pennsylvania are included in this statistic. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the lowest 10% of earners make approximately $23,120 a year. The highest 10% earn approximately $99,330 annually. The following lists the average earnings for detectives and criminal investigators in Pennsylvania.

Key

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

Salaries for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Pennsylvania and Nationwide

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Among 51 states (including Washington, D.C.), Pennsylvania is ranked number 27 on the cost of living index. The cost of living index measures the national average cost of living in the U.S. against that of specific states. As a whole, the U.S. average is set at 100, and every location in the U.S. has either a cost above or lower than the U.S. average. According to the cost of living index, Pennsylvania's cost of living is 97.9, which is 2.1% lower than the national average. Please find below a comparison between grocery prices, housing costs, utilities, etc. in Pennsylvania and those of the United States as a whole.

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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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Over the next decade, detectives and criminal investigators can expect a growth rate of 2.5% in their profession. The BLS projects an increase in the total employment of 112,500 in 2020 to 115,300 in 2030. A high school diploma or the equivalent is typically required for entry-level positions in this field. An example of a typical job title would be:

  • 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 Pennsylvania

#1 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Pennsylvania

Alvernia University

  • Reading, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Alvernia University, a Reading-based private, nonprofit, four-year college, supports in-person and online study across 41 bachelor's degree programs. The school's bachelor's in criminal justice administration stands out as a competitive option for students looking to succeed in the field. After the program, students can apply their knowledge to a criminal justice career or graduate studies.

Students can access career services, academic advising, and other success-geared resources while enrolled in the program. Students seeking to defray the costs of their degree can meet with a financial aid counselor to discuss funding opportunities and determine their eligibility.

Alvernia University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 70%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $36,680

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $36,680

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $38,500

Average Tuition
In-state
$36,680
Out-of-state
$36,680
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
70%
Students Enrolled
2,560
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#2 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Pennsylvania

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

  • Clarion, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Clarion University of Pennsylvania, a leader in hybrid education, offers 56 bachelor's programs, 10 of which are available online. The BS in criminal justice administration is one of many robust degree programs, equipping students with industry-relevant knowledge. The knowledge and skills gained from these studies can benefit students in a criminal justice career or in further educational pursuits.

Students can access career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources throughout their program. Students can meet with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities and determine their eligibility. The average undergraduate is awarded $6,623 in financial aid.

Clarion University of Pennsylvania at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 94%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $7,716

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $11,574

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $33,200

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,716
Out-of-state
$11,574
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
4,465
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#3 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Pennsylvania

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

  • East Stroudsburg, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania boasts a robust hybrid learning environment, supporting both in-person and online education modalities across 56 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. students can pursue industry-relevant careers or go on to study at the graduate level.

Career services and academic advising are just two of the numerous institutional resources centering student success. Learners can connect with the Office of Financial Aid to explore funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. The college's undergraduate cohort receives an average of $6,522 in financial aid award package, per person.

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 91%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 22-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $8,288

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $16,576

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $35,300

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,288
Out-of-state
$16,576
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
5,835
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#4 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Pennsylvania

King's College

  • Wilkes-Barre, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

King's College, a Wilkes-Barre-based private, nonprofit, four-year college, supports in-person and online study across 54 bachelor's degree programs. The school offers a bachelor's in criminal justice, which through a robust education equips students with the skills needed to succeed in a career in the field. Students can also apply their knowledge to further studies in criminal justice, such as a master's degree.

Students can access institutional support for the duration of the program. Students can meet with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities and determine their eligibility.

King's College at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 87%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $38,062

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $38,062

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $44,400

Average Tuition
In-state
$38,062
Out-of-state
$38,062
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
2,320
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#5 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Pennsylvania

Lackawanna College

  • Scranton, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Lackawanna College, boasting a main campus in Scranton, Pennsylvania, offers eight bachelor's degree programs across in-person and online learning modalities. The online bachelor's in criminal justice connects students with industry-relevant knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the field. The program also prepares students for further educational pursuits, such as graduate studies.

Students can access career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources throughout their program. Prospective students can meet with financial aid counselors to determine their eligibility for scholarships, grants, and other financial aid.

Lackawanna College at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Student-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $15,300

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $15,300

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $28,900

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,300
Out-of-state
$15,300
Retention Rate
55%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,043
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
69% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Financing a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice

A financial aid program can help you pay for your college degree. You can get financial aid by applying for scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs. Students may be eligible to pay for their college with federal and private loans. You should research the colleges you are interested in and find out what kinds of financial aid they offer.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Pennsylvania

Depending on which college or university you attend, the cost of education in Pennsylvania may be higher or lower. There are some commonalities that exist among institutions of all sizes. Please review the information below to determine whether attending a public institution is the right choice for you.

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

Key

Pennsylvania
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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How about attending a private college or university? There are usually higher costs associated with private colleges. The following graph provides information regarding attending private colleges in Pennsylvania.

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

Key

Pennsylvania
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

In order to fund your education, have you considered taking out student loans? You should take a few things into consideration before committing to a loan program.

You can determine how much students tend to borrow by reviewing the following data.

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 cost and size of classes are two of the most significant differences between an online degree and a degree earned on campus. Online degree programs have the advantage of being flexible, affordable, and convenient. On-campus degrees are usually more expensive due to student fees; these fees are not required for distance students. Attending classes in person has, however, certain advantages.

Top Criminal Justice Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Associate, Bachelors, 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, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

Public and private colleges have many differences. First, the cost will vary depending on whether you enroll in a public or private school. In general, grants and scholarships help lower the cost of education at public schools. Students at private schools are often eligible for merit scholarships based on their academic performance.

The lower student-to-teacher ratios at private colleges allow students to interact with faculty more closely. Here are some pros and cons of attending a private versus a public institution.

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 Pennsylvania make?

In-state detectives and criminal investigators make a mean annual salary of $92,760.

In today's environment, are 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?

It is possible to earn an online bachelor's degree in criminal justice. Almost all schools today provide some form of online education.

How long does it take for a full-time student to complete a bachelor's degree?

Typically, full-time students complete a bachelor's degree within four years of enrolling. The time it takes for a part-time student to complete a degree varies.

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