Master's Degrees in Criminal Justice in Texas

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Published January 19, 2023

Looking for a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice in Texas? You should consider these top-tier graduate programs and jobs in the Criminal Justice field.

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Master's Degrees in Criminal Justice in Texas

Earning a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice in Texas

Taking your career to the next level requires a degree. Students should consider the best degrees in criminal justice in Texas. Master's degree-holders can explore diverse career opportunities. Master's graduates possess the skills needed to move forward in their careers.

Master's degree-holders typically earn $1,574 per week. This amounts to $6,296 per month or $81,848 per year.

Criminal Justice Master's Programs for You

Working and Living in Texas in the Criminal Justice Profession

When earning a criminal justice degree, common courses covered include constitutional law, sociology, psychology, algebra, and statistics. With a criminal justice degree, common jobs include probation officer, corrections officer, police officer, and private detective.

The state's median annual wage is $39,030, or $18.77 per hour. On average, the state's lowest 10% of earners receive $22,110 annually, while the highest 10% earn $99,880. The following lists the average earnings for detectives and criminal investigators in Texas.

Key

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

Salaries for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Texas and Nationwide

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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A report by MERIC ranks Texas number 12 out of 51 states (including Washington, D.C.) on the cost of living index. The cost of living index measures the average cost of living in the U.S. against specific states. The U.S. average is 100, and all locations are either above (more expensive) or below (less expensive). According to a 100-point scale, Texas' cost of living index is 90.9, which is -9.1% lower than the national average. Learners interested in relocating to Texas 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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During the next decade, jobs for detectives and criminal investigators are projected to grow by 2.5%. The BLS projects an increase in total employment of 112,500 in 2020 to 115,300 in 2030. Master's degrees are needed for some positions. Typical job titles include:

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

Master's Degrees in Criminal Justice in Texas

#1 Master’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Texas

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

  • Edinburg, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Edinburg, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley offers an online master's in criminal justice. The program draws on a rigorous curriculum that prepares graduates for leadership responsibilities. A master's degree can also train candidates for roles in new industries.

The master's curriculum emphasizes research methods and analytical skills. Learners specialize their course of study to prepare for the job market. The master's program builds on prior experience gained during a bachelor's program.

Online enrollees complete internship requirements at approved sites in their own community. On-campus students have access to the library and gymnasium, as well as other equipment and facilities available at most institutions. Graduate students expand their professional network through internships and online events.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 82%

Program Name: Master of science in criminal justice

Graduate Tuition In State: $6,458

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $13,820

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,233
Out-of-state
$17,049
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
32,441
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Master’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Texas

Texas Christian University

  • Fort Worth, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Fort Worth, Texas Christian University offers an online master's in criminal justice. The program helps graduates increase their salary potential and take on more professional responsibilities. A master's degree can also prepare candidates for opportunities in new fields.

The master's curriculum covers theoretical and practical approaches to criminal justice. Learners individualize the program to prepare for focused careers. Applicants with prior experience in criminal justice or a related field often meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees add to their resume by pursuing internship opportunities at approved locations in their area. Students who attend on campus can access the library and gym, as well as other amenities and facilities available at most institutions. Graduate students expand their professional network through internships and online events.

Texas Christian University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 48%

Total Online Master's Programs: 6

Program name: Master of science in criminology and criminal justice

Graduate Tuition In State: $32,220

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $32,220

Average Tuition
In-state
$51,570
Out-of-state
$51,570
Retention Rate
92%
Admission Rate
48%
Students Enrolled
11,379
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
95% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Master’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Texas

The University of Texas at Dallas

  • Richardson, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master's in criminology program at The University of Texas at Dallas, located in Richardson, offers a flexible online format. The criminal justice program draws on a rigorous curriculum that prepares graduates for leadership responsibilities. A master's degree can also lead candidates to new career paths.

The master's curriculum explores theoretical and practical perspectives in the criminal justice field. Learners prepare for focused career paths by choosing electives and concentrations. Applicants with prior experience in criminal justice or a related field often meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees work with the program to identify internship opportunities at approved sites in their local communities. The common facilities and services offered at most universities, such as the library and gym, are accessible to students who live on campus. The program encourages graduate students to expand their professional connections through internships and networking events.

The University of Texas at Dallas at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 79%

Program Name: Master of science in criminology

Graduate Tuition In State: $14,560

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $28,610

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,992
Out-of-state
$38,970
Retention Rate
90%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
28,669
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
95% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Master’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Texas

Texas A&M University-Central Texas

  • Killeen, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master's in criminal justice program, offered by Texas A&M University-Central Texas from its Killeen campus, ranks as a top program. The program helps graduates move into leadership roles and increase their earning potential. Earning a master's degree helps candidates pursue a new career path or advance in their current field.

The master's curriculum emphasizes both practical and theoretical approaches to criminal justice. Learners choose electives or a specialization to stand out in a competitive job market. The master's program builds on prior experience gained during a bachelor's program.

Online enrollees can often complete professional internships at approved locations in their own community. Those who attend classes on campus can enjoy the common amenities and facilities available at most institutions, such as the library and gym. Graduate students also build professional connections by attending networking events.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 92%

Total Online Master's Programs: 8

Program Name: Master of criminal justice

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,515

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $12,877

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,425
Out-of-state
$16,241
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
92%
Students Enrolled
2,339
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Master’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Texas

Texas A&M International University

  • Laredo, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Laredo, Texas A&M International University enrolls master's students in its top-ranked online criminal justice program. The program strengthens industry-specific skills, preparing graduates for leadership responsibilities. After completing a master's degree, candidates advance in their current field or pursue new opportunities.

The master's curriculum explores advanced methodologies and research in criminal justice. Learners choose electives or a specialization to gain focused career training. The master's program recommends a background in criminal justice before applying to the program.

Online enrollees work with the program to arrange professional internships at approved locations in their area. Campus students have access to the library and gymnasium, as well as other equipment and facilities available at most institutions. Graduate students grow their professional connections through internships and virtual networking events.

Texas A&M International University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 59%

Total Online Master's Programs: 14

Program Name: Master of science in criminal justice

Graduate Tuition In State: $3,350

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $10,712

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,818
Out-of-state
$13,634
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
59%
Students Enrolled
8,525
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Financing a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice

College can be financed in many ways through financial aid. Options may include scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs. Some students qualify for federal student loans, and others qualify for private student loans. Some colleges offer scholarships and grants to assist students in paying for their degree.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Texas

In Texas, college tuition varies by institution. The private sectors and the public sectors share many similarities. The information below can help you determine whether attending a public institution is right for you.

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

Key

Texas
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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Have you ever considered attending a college or university that is private? Tuition is generally more expensive at private colleges. Here is a graph that provides information about attending private colleges in Texas.

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

Key

Texas
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 you consider taking out student loans to pay for your education? You should keep a few things in mind before taking out a loan.

Find out what students typically borrow by reviewing 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
The main differences between online and on-campus programs include the amount of money that you pay and the class size. Generally, online programs are more convenient, affordable, and flexible. Due to on-campus fees and the fact that distance learners can choose whether or not to pay those fees, on-campus degrees generally cost more. For many students, the advantages of attending classes outweigh the disadvantages.

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, Doctorate
Virginia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

Numerous differences exist among both public and private institutions. First, the cost will vary based on whether you select a public or private school. Scholarships and grants are often used by students to lower the cost of education. Students attending private schools are often eligible for merit scholarships.

Private universities often feature smaller class sizes. This benefits students who want more individualized attention from professors. There are some benefits and drawbacks to 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 Texas make?

The mean annual salary for detectives and criminal investigators in Texas is $82,700.

Are occupations for criminal justice graduates in high demand?

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

Can you get an online master's degree in criminal justice?

There are many opportunities to earn an online master's degree in criminal justice. Most programs offer at least some of their courses online.

How many years will you spend earning a master's degree?

Full-time students typically complete their master's degree within two years. The completion time may vary for part-time students.

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