Doctoral Degrees in Criminal Justice in Washington


Published January 19, 2023

Looking for a Doctorate Degree in Criminal Justice in Washington? 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 Washington

Earning a Doctorate Degree in Criminal Justice in Washington

The best degrees in Washington for criminal justice are offered through accredited colleges and universities, where students can earn the education they need for a successful career. A doctorate degree is a great way to prepare for the workforce and pursue diverse other career opportunities. There are many benefits to earning a doctorate degree in order to advance your career.

Doctorate degree-holders are more likely to be employed than those with a high school diploma, who are more prone to unemployment.

Criminal Justice Doctorate Programs for You

Working and Living in Washington in the Criminal Justice Profession

A degree in criminal justice will prepare you to work in a variety of fields, including law enforcement and the judiciary. A doctoral degree in criminal justice can provide advanced instruction regarding many aspects of this field, including crime prevention and investigation, law enforcement, corrections and juvenile detention, the legal system, police procedures, and crime statistics.

The median annual salary in Washington is $50,450, or $24.25 per hour. This fact applies to all the state's employees. In the state, the lowest 10% earn about $30,460, while the highest 10% of earners earn about $127,470. The following provides a comparison of the earnings for detectives and criminal investigators in Washington.


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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According to MERIC, Washington ranks number 40 out of 51 states (including Washington, D.C.) in terms of the cost of living index. The cost of living index measures the average cost of living for people in the U.S. against specific states. In the U.S., the average is calculated as 100, and all locations are either above (more expensive) or below (cheaper). In Washington, the cost of living index currently stands at 113.9, which is 13.9% higher than the national average. Please find below a comparison between grocery prices, housing costs, utilities, etc. in Washington and those in the United States.


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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 that the occupation's total employment will change from 112,500 in 2020 to 115,300 in 2030. Typically, a high school diploma or equivalent is required for entry-level positions in these fields. The most common job titles are:

  • 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 Washington

#1 Doctoral Degrees in Criminal Justice in Washington

Washington State University

  • Pullman, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online Ph.D. in criminal justice program, offered by Washington State University, ranks as a top program in the field. Degree-seekers benefit from the flexible enrollment options at the public university. Doctoral students meet with career advisors and faculty mentors.

In the criminal justice program, graduate learners take advanced courses to earn the required number of credits. Doctoral candidates pass comprehensive examinations and conduct research for their dissertation. Professionals with a doctorate work in academia, research, and leadership roles.

Doctoral students can qualify for fellowships, scholarships, and federal financial aid programs at the accredited institution. Prospective applicants can contact the program to learn more about financial aid opportunities and the admissions process.

Washington State University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 8,728

Online Master's Programs: 2

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,781

Average Tuition
Retention Rate
Admission Rate
Students Enrolled
Institution Type
Percent Online Enrollment
28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Financing a Doctorate Degree in Criminal Justice

You can typically use financial aid to pay for college. Aid comes in the form of scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs. Some students also qualify for federal and private student loans. It is a good idea to do research ahead of time and find out what kinds of financial aid an institution offers students.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Washington

In Washington, college tuition varies from institution to institution. Public and private institutions do, however, share some commonalities. The information below will assist you in determining whether attending a public institution is right for you.

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


National Average


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Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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How about attending a private college? Private schools typically charge a higher tuition rate. Check out the graph below to learn more about private colleges in Washington.

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


National Average


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Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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Federal Student Loan Information

Are you considering borrowing student loans to finance your education? Prior to taking out a loan, you need to take a few things into consideration.

Check out the following data to determine what is typically borrowed by students.

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
The major differences between an online degree and a degree completed on campus are the cost and class size. Online degree programs have the advantage of being flexible, affordable, and convenient. On-campus degrees are typically more expensive because of student fees, which are optional for distance students. In spite of this, there are some benefits to attending in-person classes on a regular basis.

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, Bachelors, Masters

Private vs. Public

The experience of attending a public college is different from that of a private college. The cost of education at private colleges is generally higher than public colleges. A public institution's costs are determined by the government and can be covered by grants and scholarships sponsored by the state. A private school often offers merit scholarships to students who demonstrate superior academic performance.

Students attending private colleges will also have smaller classes, which allows them to interact more closely with their professors and explore the possibilities of their chosen field of study. A comparison of the pros and cons of attending a public versus a private institution is offered below.

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

For detectives and criminal Investigators in Washington, what is the salary?

Detectives and criminal investigators earn a mean annual wage of $108,550 in Washington each year.

Are graduates with criminal justice degrees 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?

Yes, you can get an online doctorate degree in criminal justice. As part of their program, most schools offer at least some online courses.

For those who wish to complete a doctorate degree, how long does it take?

It takes 4-6 years to complete a full-time doctorate degree. As a result, the completion time will vary, as will the duration of their studies.

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