Tips for Choosing the Right Criminology Graduate Program

If you are passionate about taking your career in criminology to a higher level, then a graduate degree program in criminology is likely to be in your future. In a field like criminology, which covers a broad range of topics from advanced psychology and crime scene investigation to community crime prevention and offender rehabilitation, you can never have too much knowledge. Having the tools and expertise to do your job well can help to propel you into roles that can help you to make your community safer and more educated about crime prevention.

Criminology encompasses many unique concepts; therefore it’s up to you to choose a program of study that gives you the foundation for long-term achievement. Here are some guidelines you can use to select the right criminology graduate programs.

Highly Ranked Criminology Programs

A good place to start when searching for the right criminology graduate programs is a reputable list of the highest ranked schools. Certain popular news and business publications often publish their top rating lists of criminology programs which can be a source for helpful information. You can also find this information through your current employer if you work in law enforcement or another area of criminology, as they may have a preferred list of colleges. Look for schools that are highly ranked based on graduation percentage rates, job placement, and overall program costs.

Accredited Universities and Colleges

The very first piece of information you should verify about a potential graduate program in criminology is if it is accredited by the region in which you live and work. Without accreditation, the courses will not be able to offer you real college credits for your studies that are transferable to other institutions and you may fall victim to a degree-mill type scam. Accredited schools provide instructors who are high level knowledgeable professionals. You are also required to attend an accredited institution to be eligible for financial aid.

Convenient to Access Courses

As a working professional, you’ll need flexible learning options to complete your graduate degree in criminology. Therefore, your choice of a program will be more beneficial if you can find one that offers easy access to course materials, lectures, and group projects.

Recognized by State and Federal Crime Agencies

Lastly, as you choose the right graduate degree program in criminal justice, you will want to make sure that the program is recognized by your state and federal crime agencies. Depending on what you intend to do with your degree following graduation; there may be strict guidelines about what eligible programs qualify you for specific jobs in advanced criminology roles. You can verify this by giving a call to the agency in question before taking your courses.

Selecting the right graduate program in criminology counts as you will take the knowledge you learn into your future career goals. Make sure you take the time to carefully evaluate any program before you commit to it.

About the Author: Samuel Clemens is a former educator who spends his time reviewing study materials for students. Click here to view the study guides he recommends on Gradesaver’s website.

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