7 Best Criminal Justice Schools in Utah

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Start Your Criminal Justice Career in Utah!

Many Utah residents are lulled into a false sense of security by the natural beauty of the environment and statistics showing the state’s low crime rate.

However, a rising population almost always means an increase in crime, and this is one of the primary reasons why the need for competent criminal justice professionals in Utah continues to grow.

If you’re thinking about starting a criminal justice career as a police officer, corrections officer, lawyer, paralegal, criminal investigator, or working in a similar role — this guide is for you.

Our guide provides an overview of some of Utah’s best criminal justice schools where students earn certificates and degrees in related fields as they prepare for entry-level employment.

How to Start a Criminal Justice Career in Utah

The first step to beginning a Utah criminal justice career is to meet the state’s basic age and education requirements.

Many students entering certificate and degree programs will need to be at least 18 with a high school diploma or an equivalent.

However, other programs like the POST program which prepares students to work in law enforcement and corrections require applicants to be at least 21 years old.

Once you’ve met the age and education requirements, you can begin applying to the best criminal justice schools offering program tracks that lead to your desired career.

Consider important program details like school accreditation, program costs, degree completion time frames, and availability of financial aid.

After you’ve chosen a program that meets your needs, complete the application process and enroll!

Best Criminal Justice Schools in Utah

The best criminal justice schools in Utah offer accredited and comprehensive programs that teach students the fundamentals of how the court systems, law enforcement, legal systems, and corrections facilities work hand in hand to deter and control crime.

Most of the programs below prepare students to work as entry-level professionals or to transfer credits to four-year colleges or universities to complete continuing education.

It is important to note that some graduates will need to take additional training or earn state licensure before becoming eligible to work as police officers and similar professions that require attending police or peace officer training academies.

Important Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Criminal Justice Schools:

  • Accreditation – Choose Accredited Programs with Proven Track Records of Excellence
  • Faculty – Experienced Faculty with Hands-on Experience in the Field
  • Support Services for On-Campus and Web Based Students Seeking Program Support
  • Intensive, Comprehensive, and Immersive Curriculum with Experiential Learning Opportunities
  • Highly Recommended by Graduates and Local Area Agencies
  • Online Options, Hybrid Options, On-Campus Options
  • Availability of Accelerated Options or Transfer Credit

Many of the colleges and universities below participate in the Public Safety Officer Career Advancement Program program, which offers tuition reimbursement options for qualified public service officials in Utah.

1 Utah Valley University

About the Program

Utah Valley University has a variety of criminal justice program options for local area students seeking degrees and certificates.

They offer 15 credit hour certificates of proficiency to concurrent enrollment students who complete the required criminal justice coursework to earn the designation.

Students can also opt to achieve a 60-credit hour associate’s or 120-credit hour bachelor’s degree.

UVU even has graduate degree options for students who want to earn a Master of Public Administration through their program.

Their comprehensive program offers specialization options for CJ students in forensic science, national security, or law enforcement track.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminology
  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Security Management and Loss Prevention
  • Introduction to Corrections
  • Corrections Law
  • Introduction to Policing
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Police Administration
  • Criminal Profiling

Average Program Costs: $9.464.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 800 West University Parkway, Orem, Utah - 84058
  • Phone: 801-863-7230
  • Website: Visit School Website

2 Weber State University

About the Program

Weber State University’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences manages its criminal justice program, which prepares students for becoming corrections officers, parole officers, criminal investigators, and clerks of criminal courts.

They offer associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s of criminal justice that teach students the fundamental and practical applications of criminal justice theories, practices, and processes.

One of the best features of their program is that students can complete their required coursework entirely online.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice Research Methods
  • Criminal Law and the Courts
  • Victimology
  • Policing History, Theory, and Practice
  • Corrections History, Theory, and Practice
  • Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
  • History of Law Enforcement
  • Theories of Crime and Delinquency
  • Criminal Justice Electives
  • Criminal Justice Internship

Average Program Costs: $10,000.00

Contact Information

3 Southern Utah University

About the Program

Students seeking a four-year bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can take coursework at Southern Utah University.

Their Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice has several degree and certificate options for local area students seeking to work in the justice system.

They offer a minor in political science, criminal justice, and legal studies that prepare students to begin a variety of careers within local, state, and federal justice agencies in Utah and the US.

SUU’s criminal justice curriculum teaches students the fundamentals of criminal justice ethics, politics, and how to ethically navigate the American legal system while administering justice and rehabilitating convicted criminals.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • American National Government
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminology
  • State and Local Government
  • Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice Management
  • Public Administration
  • Civil Rights and Liberties
  • Politics and Religion
  • Identity Politics
  • Internship

Average Program Costs: $13,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 351 West University Boulevard, Cedar City, Utah - 84720
  • Phone: 435-586-7700
  • Website: Visit School Website

4 Snow College

About the Program

Snow College provides a route for Utah students seeking a criminal justice degree through their Social Work and Criminal Justice programs.

Their program offers an introduction to the network of administrative, legal, and law enforcement aspects of the justice system needed for prospective professionals to begin entry-level careers in the field.

Snow students can earn an associate’s degree in criminal justice by taking classes on campus or through web-based studies online.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Policing
  • Introduction to Corrections
  • Laws of Evidence
  • Criminal Law
  • Diverse Populations
  • Criminal Investigation
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Criminal Justice Internship

Average Program Costs: $8,049.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 150 College Avenue, Ephraim, Utah - 84627
  • Phone: 435-283-7000
  • Website: Visit School Website

5 Utah State University

About the Program

If the Utah criminal justice job you seek requires a four-year bachelor’s degree, consider taking classes at Utah State.

USU offers a multidisciplinary criminal justice education program that allows students to earn a major or minor in related disciplines.

Their Department of Sociology and Anthropology also offers certificate options for professionals who need a basic introduction to the field.

Their comprehensive four-year program offers hybrid education options for students to take classes at a variety of satellite locations throughout the state.

Students also have the opportunity to complete their entire degree program online in their quest to become court officials, law enforcement officers, and social justice agents in Utah and the US.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Corrections
  • Criminal Law
  • Methods of Social Research
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Introduction to Policing
  • Social Statistics
  • Criminology
  • Criminal Justice Ethics
  • Field Education and Experience
  • General Education Requirements

Average Program Costs: $13,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 0730 Old Main Hill, Logan, Utah - 84322
  • Phone: 435-797-1000
  • Website: Visit School Website

6 Salt Lake Community College

About the Program

Salt Lake Community College operates one of the most comprehensive criminal justice training schools, among the best in the state.

They are POST-approved and offer criminal justice leadership training that teaches peace officers and other law enforcement officers about the foundations of leadership and how to lead others effectively.

SLCC also provides criminal justice associates in preparation for transferring to a four-year university for continuing education.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Criminal Justice Leadership and Supervision
  • Introduction to Corrections
  • Contemporary Violence
  • Justice Peace and Conflict Studies
  • POST-Approved Training
  • Law Enforcement Officer Training
  • Introduction to Policing
  • Crime Scene Processing
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Special Topics in Criminal Justice

Average Program Costs: $6,919.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 4600 South Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, Utah - 84123
  • Phone: 801-957-7522
  • Website: Visit School Website

7 Westminster University

About the Program

Westminster College of Arts and Science offers bachelor’s degrees and minors for students who want to learn how to become police officers, court officers, adjudicators, and corrections officers by completing a multidisciplinary education and earning a bachelor’s degree in Justice Studies.

Their students learn the theoretical and practical skills needed to work as Utah criminal justice professionals with a deep sociological understanding of the criminals and the public they serve.

Students learn about the nature and drivers of crime, rehabilitation, and punishments for crime and how these factors intersect with economic and social justice.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Deviance
  • Sociology of Family
  • Police
  • Corrections
  • Sociology of Law and Legal Systems
  • Criminal Courts
  • Critical Issues in Policing
  • Juvenile Delinquency and Justice
  • The Death Penalty
  • Victimology
  • Sociology of Violence and Nonviolence

Average Program Costs: $26,000.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 1840 South 1300 East, Salt Lake City, Utah - 84105
  • Phone: 801-832-2200
  • Website: Visit School Website

Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 Utah Valley University
#2 Weber State University
#3 Southern Utah University
#4 Snow College
#5 Utah State University
#6 Salt Lake Community College
#7 Westminster University

Criminal Justice Salary Information

Understanding your future earnings potential as a criminal justice professional can help you make more informed decisions in choosing the best criminal justice school or program.

Aspiring criminal justice professionals should research the salary and benefits for their desired role or job title.

The following are examples of the annual salaries of selected Utah criminal justice professionals.

  • Attorney: $100,837.00
  • Bailiff: $48,240.00
  • Corrections Officer: $52,942.00
  • Court Clerk: $41,423.00
  • Detective: $78,656.00
  • Paralegal: $36,617.00
  • Police Officer: $66,444.00
  • Probation Officer: $50,001
  • Sheriff: $40,111.000

If you’re wondering how to increase your salary in Utah, the following factors are a few examples of those that can affect Utah’s criminal justice salaries.

  • Location
  • Years of Work Experience
  • Education
  • Credentials
  • Continuing Education
Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in Utah

City Name Salary
Salt Lake City $73,136
Lehi $69,771
Provo $70,101
Sandy $72,938
Orem $70,101
Ogden $70,627
West Jordan $72,873
Layton $70,364
Logan $69,636
St. George $76,353

Regional Salary

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Ogden-Clearfield, UT70$86,640$41.65$145,480$41,790
Salt Lake City, UT260$87,920$42.27$145,480$46,550
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Detectives and Criminal Investigators, OCC Code 33-3021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

What is the Public Safety Officer Career Advancement Reimbursement, and How Can I Use It to Help Pay for Criminal Justice Education in Utah?

Public Safety Officer Career Advancement Reimbursement: PSOCAR is a program operated by the state of Utah.

It provides eligible criminal justice students and public safety officers reimbursement for up to half of their tuition costs.

Criminal Justice Schools by State

Chelsea Wilson

About Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s distance learning LLM degree program, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world.

5 Responses to 7 Best Criminal Justice Schools in Utah

  1. Avatar
    Kim Floyd #

    The thorough analysis of each school’s strengths, such as faculty expertise and partnerships with local law enforcement agencies, gives a clear picture of what students can expect. I also found the tips on what to consider when choosing a program, like accreditation and faculty credentials, very insightful.

  2. Avatar
    Jerald Long #

    I really appreciate the effort put into detailing the best criminal justice schools in Utah. The comparison of program lengths, specializations, and extracurricular opportunities provides a well-rounded view of what each school has to offer.

  3. Avatar
    Victor Anderson #

    It’s also helpful to know about the support services available to students, such as career counseling and networking events. This information is crucial for making an informed choice about where to study.

  4. Avatar
    Jayson Beck #

    As someone considering a career in criminal justice, I found this article extremely informative. It’s reassuring to see that Utah has several reputable programs with strong academic and practical training components.

  5. Avatar
    Mike Anthony Ward #

    The section on job placement rates and alumni success stories is particularly encouraging, as it highlights the effectiveness of these programs in launching successful careers.

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