Bachelor's Degrees in Criminal Justice in Washington

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Updated January 19, 2023

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

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Bachelor's Degrees in Criminal Justice in Washington

Earning a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice in Washington

The best degrees in Washington for criminal justice will allow you to advance your career and enrich your life. The knowledge that you gain will enable you to land a job in the field of your dreams or make it possible for you to work in a valuable occupation. Bachelor's degrees open doors for employment in a variety of fields. Bachelor's students gain the skills required to move forward in their field.

The median annual income for individuals with a bachelor's degree is $5,336 per month, or $69,368 a year. Bachelor's degree holders are more likely to be employed than those with a high school diploma.

Criminal Justice Bachelor's Programs for You

Working and Living in Washington in the Criminal Justice Profession

A criminal justice degree is broad enough to provide students with the opportunity to be well positioned for careers within government and law enforcement agencies, while also offering many opportunities in the private sector. The courses within a criminal justice curriculum cover criminology, sociology, and psychology, along with civil procedure, evidence laws, and constitutional rights. Classes are designed to educate students on the nature of justice systems, how they operate, and their role in protecting citizens.

The average annual wage in Washington is $50,450, or $24.25 per hour. This fact applies to all the state's 127,470 employees. As a result, the lowest 10% of earners earn about $30,460 per year, while the highest 10% earn about $127,470. A comparison of the earnings for detectives and criminal investigators in Washington is offered below.

Key

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

Salaries for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Washington and Nationwide

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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In terms of cost of living, Washington is ranked number 40 among 51 states (including Washington, D.C.). In the U.S., the cost of living index measures the average cost of living for specific states. The U.S. average is 100, and all locations are either above or below that average. Washington's cost of living index is 113.9, which is 13.9% higher than the national average. On the following page, you will find a comparison of the average cost of groceries, housing, utilities, etc. in Washington with that of the United States.

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There is a projected 2.5% growth in detectives and criminal investigators over the next 10 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase in total employment for the field from 112,500 in 2020 to 115,300 in 2030. With a bachelor's degree, graduates can qualify for these positions. 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 Washington

#1 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Washington

Central Washington University

  • Ellensburg, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners looking for flexible study in dual modalities can choose from Central Washington University's 226 bachelor's degree programs. For students seeking to advance in the criminal justice field, the BA in law and justice is a wise choice. Students can apply their learnings to a criminal justice-specific career or towards a graduate degree.

Enrollees benefit from a variety of resources throughout their studies, including career services and academic advising. Students can meet with a financial aid counselor to discuss funding opportunities, explore available scholarships, and determine their eligibility. The average student receives a financial aid award package of $7,529.

Central Washington University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 86%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $6,475

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $22,551

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $38,900

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,475
Out-of-state
$22,551
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
11,174
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#2 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Washington

Saint Martin's University

  • Lacey, WA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Learners seeking flexible study can choose from in-person and online bachelor's degree programs at Saint Martin's University. Students pursuing the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the criminal justice field can enroll in the school's online bachelor's in criminal justice program. After the program, graduates can apply their knowledge to a career or graduate studies.

The college supports students through institutional resources, including career services and academic advising. Depending on their eligibility, students can benefit from financial aid funding.

Saint Martin's University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 94%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 12-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $39,500

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $39,500

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $41,000

Average Tuition
In-state
$39,500
Out-of-state
$39,500
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
1,638
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#3 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Washington

Seattle University

  • Seattle, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Seattle University, located in Washington, provides 83 bachelor's degree programs in dual modalities. The BA in criminal justice is an impressive online program, equipping enrollees with industry-relevant knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a criminal justice career. After the program, students can pursue a criminal justice-specific career or graduate studies.

The college connects learners with institutional resources throughout their studies. Prospective students may be eligible for funding options, such as scholarships, fellowships, and grants.

Seattle University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 83%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 10-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $47,565

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $47,565

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $48,100

Average Tuition
In-state
$47,565
Out-of-state
$47,565
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
7,050
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
88% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#4 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Washington

Washington State University

  • Pullman, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Washington State University, a public, four-year college located in Pullman, supports both in-person and online learning across 173 bachelor's degree programs. For students seeking to advance in the criminal justice field through flexible coursework, the  bachelor's in criminal justice program is a wise choice. Graduates can enter the workforce or pursue further education, such as a master's degree.

Students can benefit from institutional resources throughout their program. The financial aid office can assist students in connecting with funding opportunities and determining their eligibility. Financial aid enables student success, with 92% of all students receiving aid and 59% of all enrollees graduating.

Washington State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 80%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $10,202

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $25,145

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $44,700

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,202
Out-of-state
$25,145
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
31,159
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#5 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Washington

University of Washington

  • Seattle, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

With its main campus in Seattle, the University of Washington facilitates in-person and online learning across 288 bachelor's degree programs. The school's BA in criminal justice stands out as a competitive option for students looking to succeed in the field. Graduates can enter the workforce or pursue further education, such as a master's degree.

Throughout their studies, undergraduates can access institutional resources centering geared towards student success. Learners seeking to defray the costs of their degree can meet with a financial aid counselor to discuss funding opportunities and determine their eligibility. The average student receives a financial aid award package of $17,004.

University of Washington at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 56%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $10,629

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $37,998

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $50,300

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,629
Out-of-state
$37,998
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
56%
Students Enrolled
48,149
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Financing a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice

The financial aid options available to students can assist them in paying for their college education. You can find financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs. A number of students may be eligible for federal and private student loans. It is a good idea to do your research ahead of time and find out what kinds of financial aid may be offered by the colleges you are interested in.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid

Average Cost of Attending College in Washington

Depending on the institution, college costs in Washington vary. While there are some differences between public and private institutions, there are also some commonalities. Take a look at the information below to decide whether attending a public institution is the right choice for you.

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

Key

Washington
National Average

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Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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How does a private college compare to a public college in terms of cost? Private schools generally charge more than public schools. For more information about private colleges, take a look at the following graph:

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

Key

Washington
National Average

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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
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Federal Student Loan Information

Would it be wise for you to take out student loans to fund your education? You should keep a few things in mind while considering a loan.

Find out how much students typically borrow by taking a look at the data below:

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
There are several differences between an online degree and a degree obtained on campus, including the cost and the size of the classes. Numerous advantages can be gained from online degree programs, including flexibility, affordability, and ease of use. Typically, on-campus degrees are more expensive because of student fees. Attending classes in person also has a number of 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, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Associate, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

Private and public colleges differ in a number of ways. Private schools tend to charge more in tuition than public schools, for example. A public college may be able to provide grants and scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition. There are usually merit scholarships available for those with high GPAs and SAT scores.

It is often the case that private universities have smaller class sizes. This is beneficial for students who want more individual attention from professors. Here are some benefits and disadvantages of attending a private institution as opposed to 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

What is the wage for detectives and criminal investigators in Washington?

Detectives and criminal investigators report earning a mean annual wage of $108,550 in Washington.

In general, 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.

Are there any opportunities to study for a bachelor's degree in criminal justice online?

A bachelor's degree in criminal justice is a great way to prepare for the workforce. Almost all schools in today's environment offer some form of online education.

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

An average bachelor's degree takes four years for a full-time student. There will be a difference in completion times for part-time and full-time students.

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