7 Best Criminal Justice Schools in West Virginia

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If you want to make a difference in society, consider going into the criminal justice field in West Virginia.

Once you have your degree, job options include working as a probation or corrections officer, law enforcement, detective, or court reporter.

Job growth is 3%, which is considered average.

You can begin your career in 2 to 4 years, and begin to keep law and order in your community.

1 Fairmont State University

About School

Fairmont State University is a small school.

They offer more than 40 degree programs, some of which are not offered at any other school in the state.

The college takes pride in maintaining a beautiful cozy campus.

The school has a 15:1 student-to-teacher ratio, which allows teachers to take a personalized approach to teaching.

There are currently 3,300 students enrolled in the school.

Program Name/Courses Offered

Fairmont State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Degree.

You can also choose to earn your Master’s degree at Fairmont after getting your bachelor’s.

Faculty has expertise in different areas, including law enforcement, investigations, criminal law and theory, and corrections.

When you major in criminal justice, you’ll be paired with a faculty advisor.

Your advisor will help you choose the right courses and electives to meet your career goals and interests.

A B.S. in Criminal Justice can get you a job with the city, county, state, or federal criminal justice departments.

You will also be qualified to work in the private security field, which continues to grow quickly.

Some students continue their education in criminal justice, law, or criminology.

Contact Information

2 Bluefield State University

About School

Bluefield State University is the top HBCU in West Virginia.

It’s a small school with a 13 to 1 student-to-teacher ratio.

You’ll find more than 10 accredited programs and more than 20 student organizations.

Program Name/Courses Offered

Bluefield State University offers the most options when pursuing a criminal justice degree.

You can choose one of five Criminal Justice Bachelor of Science degree programs.

The Cyber Security Concentration will prepare you to work for a government law enforcement agency or a private security firm to help protect data and increase cyber security.

The Corrections Concentration will prepare you for a career as a corrections officer.

Specialty courses include Correctional Management and Correctional Counseling.

The Forensic Investigation Concentration is a great choice for students who want to become investigators after graduation.

Specialty courses include Forensic Investigation and Firearms and Tool Marks.

The Law Enforcement Concentration is great for anyone who wants to work in law enforcement.

However, it’s particularly useful if you plan on working in an administrative role.

The last option is a Probation and Corrections Treatment Specialist.

If you want to help those in the legal system turn things around, this may be the right degree for you.

After graduation, you can be a probation or parole officer, counselor, or qualified mental health provider.

Contact Information

3 West Virginia University

About School

West Virginia University Potomac State College, also known as WVU is a small campus with 1,100 students.

Class sizes are small for personalized learning.

The college is student-centered and encourages an entrepreneurial spirit.

West Virginia University has a 100-year tradition of serving students.

They offer more than 55 associate’s degree programs.

You can continue your education at WVU Morgantown or WVU Beckley to complete your Associate’s degree.

The school offers six technical degrees or applied science programs as well.

You can continue your education at Potomac and earn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in these fields.

Program Name/Courses Offered

West Virginia University offers several options for getting a criminal justice degree.

You can choose an Associate of Arts degree in Criminal Justice.

This allows you to transfer to a four-year university to get your Bachelor’s degree after completing your associate’s degree.

You can also choose to get your Associate of Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice.

While the Associate of Arts degree is designed to transfer, an Associate of Applied Science degree focuses much more on criminal justice classes and has fewer arts and general education courses.

This program is designed to prepare you for a career in criminal justice after graduation.

Both programs require 60 credit hours. This typically takes 2 years to complete.

WVU is the only college in West Virginia that offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice.

To qualify for the program, you must earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

You’ll then need 60 more credit hours to get your Bachelor’s.

Tuition is $4,752 for in-state residents per year.

Metro residents will pay $7,512, and out-of-state tuition is $11,760.

Contact Information

4 Bridge Valley Community and Technical College

About School

Bridge Valley Community and Technical College is a public community college.

It was founded in 2014 by a merger with Bridgemont Community and Technical College of Montgomery, West Virginia, and Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College of South Charleston, West Virginia.

Bridge Valley has two campuses, which were formerly independent schools. Approximately 2,000 students are enrolled in the college.

Program Name/Courses Offered

Bridge Valley Community and Technical College offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice.

The program takes 2 years to complete and requires 60 credit hours.

Bridge Valley has paired with a few four-year colleges as well, which can allow you to transfer to a four-year university after graduating.

After graduating, you’ll be prepared to enter the criminal justice field. Courses include criminal justice and forensic science courses.

Contact Information

  • Address: 001 Union Carbide Drive, South Charleston, WV 25303
  • Phone: (304) 205-6600
  • Website: Visit School Website

5 Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

About School

Blue Ridge Community College is a public community college in Martins Burg, West Virginia.

The school was formerly the Community and Technical College of Shepherd.

It was a part of Shepherd College until March 2005.

Then, it became accredited as its own independent school.

There are currently $1,489 students enrolled in the college.

Program Name/Courses Offered

Blue Ridge Community College offers several criminal justice programs, so you can choose the option that works best for you.

The shortest program is the Foundations of CJC Certificate.

This program takes 18 credit hours and is completed in one year or less.

The Criminal Justice Technology Diploma.

This program requires 37 credit hours.

It can be completed in one year if you are willing to take courses during the summer.

The Criminal Justice Associate of Science Degree requires 68 to 69 credits.

This program takes 2 years to complete, including a summer session.

You can also choose the Criminal Justice Associate of Applied Science degree Pathway to Mars Hill.

This path allows you to transfer to Mars Hill to get your Bachelor’s degree.

Contact Information

  • Address: 13650 Apple Harvest Dr, Martinsburg, WV 25403
  • Phone: (304) 260-4380
  • Website: Visit School Website

6 Marshall University

About School

Marshall University was founded in 1837, and named after John Marshall, who was the fourth Chief Justice of the U.S. The college is rated as R2 by Carnegie, making it a prestigious research institution.

The class sizes are small at 16 students per teacher.

The average class size is 19. 12% of the students and 20% of the faculty are minorities.

Program Name/Courses Offered

Marshall University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice.

Students can choose from Corrections, Law Enforcement, or Legal Studies concentrations.

This allows you to tailor your education to your career goals and interests.

This program takes 4 years to complete and requires 120 credit hours.

Marshall also has a Masters in Criminal Justice.

This program was named #41 by the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice.

This program gives students theoretical, legal, and hands-on training.

You’ll be prepared for careers in research, management, and teaching or training in the field.

Contact Information

  • Address: 1 John Marshall Dr, Huntington, WV 25755
  • Phone: (304) 696-3170
  • Website: Visit School Website

7 Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College

About School

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is a public community college.

Before becoming an independent college, the school was actually two branches of Marshall University.

1971, the college became accredited as an independent college.

In addition to the two campuses in Mingo and Logan, another campus was built in Williamson County.

The school provides a starting point for students who want to get a bachelor’s degree.

Southern also offers a wide variety of work programs to prepare students for employment in an in-demand field after graduation.

Program Name/Courses Offered

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College offers an Associate of Applied Science Criminal Justice degree.

You can choose from concentrations, known as pathways, in Law Enforcement, Corrections, or Homeland Security.

This program will teach you how to use critical thinking skills to apply the law, make decisions, and document facts and evidence.

You’ll learn how to interpret local laws and apply them to the situation at hand.

You’ll learn to write reports on your findings based on logic, evidence, and facts.

You will develop your communication skills, and learn how to behave ethically in a diverse society.

The program requires 60 credit hours.

You can take classes online, on campus, or a mixture of both.

Contact Information

  • Address: 00 College Drive, Logan, West Virginia 25601
  • Phone: 304-792-7098
  • Website: Visit School Website

Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 Fairmont State University
#2 Bluefield State University
#3 West Virginia University
#4 Bridge Valley Community and Technical College
#5 Blue Ridge Community and Technical College
#6 Marshall University
#7 Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College

Criminal Justice Salary Information

The average salary for West Virginia criminal justice professionals is $45,835.

Salaries range from $33,150 per year to $97,830 per year for those with years of experience.

Your education, experience, and the position you are working in will all impact your salary.

A criminal justice specialist makes an average of $45,448 per year.

Criminal justice professors earn about $45,620 a year.

Those in low-level criminal justice administration earn $35,200 to $44,700.

Entry-level detectives typically earn $54,991.

Court reporters earn $51,500 to $65,800.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in West Virginia

City Name Salary
Charleston $69,446
Huntington $68,096
Parkersburg $67,700
Wheeling $74,638
Morgantown $74,638
Weirton $74,324
Fairmont $74,638
Beckley $68,836
Clarksburg $67,090
Martinsburg $84,488

Regional Salary

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Charleston, WV70$99,520$47.85$149,410$44,030
Wheeling, WV-OH30$84,050$40.41$133,680$46,180
* 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.

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.

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