Criminal Justice Schools in Arizona

ASO Staff Writers
Updated May 9, 2023
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Programs and Resources for Arizona Criminal Justice Students

There are more than three dozen accredited criminal justice programs in Arizona, offering a range of educational paths, degree levels and specializations within the field. From a certificate in criminal justice to a PhD program, prospective students have many different locations and environments to choose from when it comes to higher education. Those interested in criminal justice can explore their options here; with a school ranking list to help distinguish the best programs in Arizona, a search tool to help narrow down programs by criteria and a breakdown of where in-state criminal justice jobs are after graduation, finding the right criminal justice information is easier than ever for Arizona students.

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Making the decision to pursue criminal justice is a big commitment, and Arizona students should choose carefully among the many programs. The list below includes a compilation of the best criminal justice schools in Arizona, designed to help aspiring criminal justice students pinpoint the top programs in the state. Based on distinctions like program cost, class size and acceptance rate, students can check out the best Arizona criminal justice schools below.

#1 Criminal Justice Schools in Arizona

University of Arizona

  • Location-markerTucson, AZ
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$10,990
  • Out-of-state$33,273
  • Retention Rate83%
  • Acceptance Rate85%
  • Students Enrolled44,577
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment42%
  • AccreditationYes


As students start looking for criminal justice schools in Arizona, they should also determine what area or specialization they’d like to focus their studies on. Because criminal justice covers many legal and protective service fields, it’s good to know if there are going to be job opportunities in those fields after graduation. The list below gives some insight into the most popular criminal justice fields in Arizona, so students can see lists the number of people with those jobs, their median salary and the degree level that they need to complete to work in-state.


As students explore Arizona’s criminal justice schools and the specializations they offer within the field, it’s also helpful to look at how their state compares with the rest of the nation. Is it smart to pursue criminal justice in Arizona? Whether students are interested in working in a courthouse on the judge’s bench or want to get involved in public or environmental law enforcement, it’s helpful to see how these jobs stack up in-state compared to national averages. The specializations below are compared with national numbers in terms of salary and potential for growth.


Private Detective52,84065,300
Supervisors: Law Enforcement85,81087,040
Title Examiner49,84051,640
Transportation Security Screeners39,33040,050
Police, Sheriff and Patrol Officers60,70061,270
Judicial Law Clerk42,14059,910

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015

Job Growth

Private Detective0.0520.248
Compliance Officer0.0330.12
Police, Sheriff and Patrol Officers0.050.072
Court Reporters0.0140.139
Fire Inspectors, Investigators0.0560.087
Correctional Officers0.0370.126

Source: Projections Central, 2015


Students at criminal justice schools in Arizona will likely want to know where they can potentially work after earning their degree or certification, and in which areas of the state they can expect to make the best salary. The map below includes stats for protective and legal occupations across the state, so students can explore the total number of people who hold careers in the field in which cities or regions. Scroll over the markers on the map to compare this and salary details specific to each area.

Protective Service

Potential Employers

Phoenix City Court; Central Arizona Correctional Facility; Tucson Police Department; Arizona Game and Fish Department; Arizona State University; Department of Public Safety; City of Mesa; private detective firms; Arizona Department of Gaming; Midwestern University; Creighton School District; Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Total Number of Employees in Arizona: 78,800

Legal Occupations

Potential Employers

Phoenix District Attorney?s Office; Arizona Supreme Court; Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings; Maricopa County Courthouse; Arizona Paralegal Services; Flagstaff County; Yuma County; U.S. Air Force; Arizona Department of the Interior; U.S. District Court of Arizona; City of Glendale; State of Arizona

Total Number of Employees in Arizona: 19,100



Arizona Department of Transportation

The Business Engagement and Compliance Office ensures that all subcontractors and consultants are in compliance with federal regulations. Business compliance professionals can may attend events put on by the BECO for job opportunities and networking.

Arizona Ethics and Compliance Council

A voluntary professional organization, the AECC is dedicated to promoting ethical practices across industry and serving as a forum for professionals who meet to exchange information, share best practices and build networks.

Small Business Checklist – Arizona Commerce Authority

This free online source helps small businesses get off the ground in good standing with compliance standards. It has information for all licensing, and has contact information for additional state resources to aid in business growth.


American Correctional Association

A member-based organization, the ACA has annual conferences, continuing education opportunities and professional development resources. Members receive discounts on AVIS, Budget rental cars and the Justice Federal Credit Union.

Arizona Department of Corrections

Corrections Officers can look here for job opportunities throughout the state, as well as find numerous other resources. The department’s policies and mission statement are here as well, which would be handy for professionals in the field to know.

Correctional Officer Training Academy

The COTA provides pre-service training for Arizona Department of Corrections Officers, as well as for officers from county, tribal and city correctional facilities. It is a vital resource at the local, state and national level.

Correctional Peace Officers Foundation

CPO is a national non-profit that works as a charitable organization to support families of officers who have died while protecting the public. The organization also offers a scholarship opportunity for students entering into the field of corrections.


Arizona Judicial Council

The AJC is a policy-making body that oversees the judicial system in Arizona. It has numerous committees, the members of which make recommendations on policies and issues that affect the court system statewide.

Arizona Municipal Clerks Association

A member-based organization, AMCA was founded in 1961 with the mission to promote excellence and professionalism. It also holds the goal of supporting its members through communication and educational opportunities, and it has a multitude of programs and institutes for the latter.

District of Arizona Judges Information – U.S. Courts

The site is a resource hub for judges in the state of Arizona. It has contact information, mailing addresses, forms and information on judicial misconduct and disability.


American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona

The ALCU of Arizona is a local branch of the national organization. The group has information for professionals to stay up-to-date on the latest issues that affect professionals and people in Arizona. It also offers resources for how working professionals can get involved in local cases.

Arizona Employment Lawyers Association

AzELA is a group of lawyers who jointly represent employees in legal matters. It has more than 60 lawyer-members who make up a specialty bar association. AzELA is an affiliate of the National Employment Lawyers Association, and provides its members with opportunities to fulfill continuing legal education.

Community Legal Services

With locations all around the state, CLS is a non-profit organization that strives to assure fairness in the justice system regardless of a client’s income. They pay specific attention to clients who fall below the poverty line, and have employment opportunities as well as the Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) which professionals can sign up with to provide legal advocacy and pro bono representation.

State Bar of Arizona

A hub of information for both lawyers and members of the public, the state bar website has a wealth of resources. Lawyers can join as members and get the latest information on professional development and volunteer opportunities. Members receive discounts and services, like email, the newsletter and the attorney career center.


Arizona Department of Public Safety

At its core, DPS is a state-level law enforcement agency that works in close contact with other agencies to protect the public. In addition, it is a service organization that provides a broad range of opportunities and information to the criminal justice community and to Arizona’s inhabitants.

Arizona Police Association

A membership organization, APA is unlike many others in that it is an association of groups rather than individuals. These members must have individuals within that are sworn Arizona law enforcement or correctional officers. The APA lobbies on behalf of its members to the state legislature, endorses political candidates and represents its members to the press. It also offers training sessions to local professionals regarding current issues facing the law enforcement community.

Phoenix Law Enforcement Association

AZ PLEA holds as its mission the promotion of the positive role of the police profession. It is a member-based organization that swears to protect its members’ rights through representation and professional relationships with the community. It offers training and classes, discounts and forums to members.


Arizona Game and Fish Department

Fish and game wardens can find a community network here at Arizona Game and Fish. The website has information on hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation and boating and provides ways to connect with organizations for hunters, fishers, shooters and off-roaders.

Arizona Wildlife Federation

AWF is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to educating individuals and organization on the value of conserving, managing and protecting wildlife and its habitat. It offers scholarships to students that may go into the conservation or protection fields, and awards to businesses and individuals who do conservation work. It is also a membership organization that can serve as a networking system for people under the protection services of wildlife umbrella.

U.S. Forest Service – Arizona

Park rangers or game wardens can find specific information on Arizona’s forests and grasslands here. There are many opportunities for volunteering, partnering or joining a committee.

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