Doctoral Degrees in Criminal Justice in Virginia


Published January 19, 2023

Looking for a Doctorate Degree in Criminal Justice in Virginia? You should consider these top-tier PhD programs and jobs in the Criminal Justice field. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Doctoral Degrees in Criminal Justice in Virginia

Earning a Doctorate Degree in Criminal Justice in Virginia

If you complete the best degree in Virginia for criminal justice, you can pursue diverse career paths. With a doctorate degree, graduates gain the skills needed to move forward in their careers.

An individual with a doctorate degree typically earns $1,909 per week, or about $7,636 a month and $99,268 per year. The rate of unemployment for those who graduate from a doctorate program is 1.5%, while those who hold only a high school diploma face a 6.2 unemployment rate.

Criminal Justice Doctorate Programs for You

Working and Living in Virginia in the Criminal Justice Profession

Criminal justice is a multifaceted field that focuses on different facets of criminal activity, including the prevention and detection of crime, the arrest and prosecution of criminals, the supervision of criminal offenders, or the administration of justice. It includes working with police officers, judges, and attorneys to investigate crimes, as well as law enforcement agents who investigate crimes committed on federal land.

The average annual salary in Virginia is $47,200, or $22.69 per hour. This fact applies to all of the nearly 3.8 million employees working in Virginia. In the state, the lowest 10% of earners receive an average of $23,190 per year, whereas the highest 10% receive approximately $125,820 on average. For detectives and criminal investigators in Virginia, the following is a good comparison.


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

Salaries for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Virginia and Nationwide


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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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In terms of cost of living, Virginia is ranked number 32 among 51 states (including Washington, D.C.). The cost-of-living index measures the average cost of living in specific states against the cost of living nationwide. As a whole, the U.S. average is set at 100, and every location in the U.S. has either a cost above (higher) or lower (lower) than that average. Virginia's cost-of-living index is 103.2, which is 3.2% higher than the national average. Prospective students interested in relocating to Virginia can use the cost-of-living comparison to find the right fit for their budget.


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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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There is a projected growth of 2.5% in the detectives and criminal investigators profession over the next decade. Currently, employment in occupation is projected to change from 112,500 in 2020 to 115,300 by 2030. You need a doctorate to qualify for these positions. The following are typical job titles:

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

Doctoral Degrees in Criminal Justice in Virginia

#1 Doctoral Degrees in Criminal Justice in Virginia

George Mason University

  • Fairfax, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The program at George Mason University offers an online option for doctoral students. Thanks to a flexible format, the public institution makes it easier to complete a doctorate. Doctoral students participate in career advising and gain research skills.

After meeting coursework requirements, doctoral candidates conduct research and defend an original dissertation that contributes to the field. With a doctorate in criminology, law, and society, graduates pursue academic, research, and industry roles.

Online doctoral students at the accredited institution qualify for several forms of financial aid. Reach out to the program to learn more about transfer credit policies, research support, and admission requirements.

George Mason University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 36,902

Online Master's Programs: 25

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $12,594

Average Tuition
Retention Rate
Admission Rate
Students Enrolled
Institution Type
Percent Online Enrollment
96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Financing a Doctorate Degree in Criminal Justice

A number of financial aid options can assist with the cost of attending college. Scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs are all ways to get financial aid. Some students qualify for federal and private student loans to pay for college. Do your research ahead of time and find out what kinds of financial aid can be offered by the colleges you choose.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Virginia

In Virginia, college tuition varies by institution. A number of similarities exist among institutions of both the public and private sectors. Find out whether attending a public institution is right for you by reviewing the information below.

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


National Average


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Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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What about attending a private college? In general, private colleges charge more. You can find information regarding private colleges in Virginia below.

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


National Average


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Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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Federal Student Loan Information

Have you considered borrowing student loans to pay for your education? You should take certain things into consideration before applying for student loans.

Here is some data to help you understand what 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


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


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

Pros and Cons: On-Campus Degrees


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


  • More expensive
  • Transportation or housing costs
  • Rigid scheduling
Among the main differences between an online degree and a degree completed on campus are the cost and class size. Being flexible, affordable, and convenient are advantages of online degree programs. On-campus degrees tend to be more expensive, and distance learners pay less in student fees. Attending classes has its advantages as well as 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, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Associate, Bachelors, Masters
Washington Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

Public and private colleges differ in many ways. First, the cost varies based on whether you select a public or private school. Generally, the costs of education at public institutions are covered by grants and scholarships sponsored by the government. Students at private schools are often eligible for merit scholarships based on their academic performance.

Students attending private colleges are often able to have more one-on-one time with professors. Here are some benefits and disadvantages of attending a private institution as opposed to a public one.

Pros and Cons


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


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

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do detectives and criminal investigators make in Virginia?

The mean annual wage for in-state detectives and criminal investigators is $99,390.

Are criminal justice graduates in high demand?

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

Can you get an online doctorate degree in criminal justice?

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

How much time will you spend earning a doctorate degree?

It takes 4-6 years for full-time students to complete a doctorate degree. Some students complete the program faster than others.

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