Criminal Justice Schools in Montana

Discover the different degree programs criminal justice schools in Montana provide and the careers they prepare students for, including in-state salary data

Updated May 10, 2023 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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College and Educational Information for Montana Students

Those considering careers in legal or protective services in Montana can look to the state's criminal justice schools for educational options. Though Montana boasts a lower crime rate than the national average and a steadily decreasing violent crime rate since 2003, the state's criminal justice schools prepares students for a variety of career paths in law, crime prevention, investigation and enforcement. Explore the different degree programs criminal justice schools in Montana provide and the careers they prepare students for, including in-state salary data and resources available for prospective students.

Montana's Best Criminal Justice Schools

Prospective students might question which criminal justice school in Montana will provide the best education with the most value. As students explore their educational and professional options, they can reference the list below, ranking the best criminal justice schools in Montana based on important factors such as tuition rates, enrollment numbers and student-to-teacher ratios.

Top 10 Online Bachelor Criminal Justice Schools in Montana

#1 University of Great Falls Great Falls, MT
#2 Montana State University-Northern Havre, MT
#3 Montana State University-Billings Billings, MT 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.

Sponsored Criminal Justice Programs

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Best Criminal Justice Schools in Montana

  1. University of Great Falls

    Great Falls, MT

    Criminal justice classes at the University of Great Falls examine the sociological aspects of the field, guiding students towards the helping nature of their future professions. Students will learn about the different jobs that they can pursue with a criminal justice background, and understand the roles and responsibilities of these jobs. Graduates of the program often find work in law enforcement, private security, corrections, and probation; they also enter graduate study programs in sociology, law, and criminal justice. Students who need assistance can contact the school's student support services department, which offers workshops, mentoring, financial aid counseling, and tutoring.

  2. Montana State University-Northern

    Havre, MT

    Montana State University _ Northern guides students seeking careers in law enforcement and homeland security through its criminal justice program. Curriculum covers a wide range of topics, from the legal system to crime prevention, with additional training in conflict management and psychology. Instructors are experienced professionals who have held criminal justice roles in rural and metropolitan areas, bringing their experiences into the classroom to help students gage where they would like to work. Both current students and alumni can access the university's career center to reach a network of employment services, from resume and cover letter assistance to on-campus recruiting.

  3. Montana State University-Billings

    Billings, MT

    The criminal justice program at Montana State University _ Billings leads to an undergraduate degree with a focus on sociology, criminology and ethics, and corrections. Students can also earn a two-year degree with a concentration in criminal justice from MSU Billings City College, a two-year college within the university that offers university transfer and career preparation. This program focuses on basic knowledge of policing, crime, and courts, as well as critical thinking and effective communication skills that benefit a professional in the criminal justice environment. To ensure a successful degree path, students can consult the school's advising services for information regarding required courses for an on-time graduation.

Top 10 Online Associate Criminal Justice Schools in Montana

#1 Flathead Valley Community College Boston, MT
#2 Dawson Community College Glendive, MT
#3 Blackfeet Community College Browning, MT

Common Criminal Justice Occupations in Montana

Earning a degree is a big decision, and the best way for students to know if their time, efforts and investment will pay off is to look at their career prospects after graduation. Take a look at the most popular careers for criminal justice school grads in Montana below. Keeping earning potential in mind, each outlines the salaries and amount of jobs available for the top seven careers in the criminal justice field in the state.

Police, Sheriff & Highway Patrol Officers

  • Total Employed in Montana1,520
  • Median Salary in Montana$49,370
  • Degree Level Required in MontanaAcademy Program

Correctional Officer

  • Total Employed in Montana1,210
  • Median Salary in Montana$34,980
  • Degree Level Required in MontanaCertification

Paralegal and Legal Assistant

Compliance Officer

  • Total Employed in Montana900
  • Median Salary in Montana$53,020
  • Degree Level Required in MontanaVaries; up to Bachelor's

Court, Municipal and License Clerks

  • Total Employed in Montana780
  • Median Salary in Montana$29,450
  • Degree Level Required in MontanaVaries; up to Associate

Detectives and Criminal Investiagors

  • Total Employed in Montana450
  • Median Salary in Montana$74,870
  • Degree Level Required in MontanaVaries; up to Bachelor's

Probation Officer

  • Total Employed in Montana350
  • Median Salary in Montana$41,790
  • Degree Level Required in MontanaBachelor's

Criminal Justice in Montana Compared to National Averages

Those considering criminal justice school in Montana have some positive stats to consider when comparing the state's legal and protective service workers to national averages. Students enrolled in criminal justice schools in Montana will have some of the following career options available to them—many of which are expected to see significant growth in the coming years. This section breaks down the growth projections for specific criminal justice jobs in Montana compared to national averages, as well as the salaries these workers make.


Private Detectives, Investigators47,81052,840
Detectives, Criminal Investigators75,13079,620
Paralegals, Legal Assistants44,32052,390
Correctional Officers35,84045,320
Judicial Law Clerks39,46059,910
Transportation Security Screeners38,09040,050
Fish and Game Wardens42,62054,970
Gaming Surveillance, Investigator30,79033,880
Source: Projections Central, 2015

Job Growth

Probation Officers0.0360.065
Compliance Officers0.0330.093
Court Clerks0.0450.122
Detectives, Criminal Investigators-0.0120.05
Judges, Magistrates0.0070.106
Police, Sheriff, Patrol Officers0.050.128
Court Clerks0.0450.122
Source: Projections Central, 2015

Where to Work After Criminal Justice School in Montana

Along with determining a specific field of study at criminal justice school, Montana students can benefit from understanding where their career could take them in the state geographically. In order to make informed decisions about where to earn a criminal justice degree, consider where the top employment areas for criminal justice professionals are in the state.

  • Protective Services
    Potential Employers
    Montana Department of Corrections; Montana Department of Justice; Billings Police Department Investigations Division; Flathead County Sheriff's Office; City of Bozeman Police Department; Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks; Great Falls Public Schools; Billings Parks and Recreation
    Total Number of Employees in Montana: 7,590
  • Legal Occupations
    Potential Employers
    Private Practice Law Firms; Montana Supreme Court; Missoula County District Court; Montana Workers' Compensation Court; Montana Attorney General's Office; private corporations; State of Montana
    Total Number of Employees in Montana: 3,530
  1. Flathead Valley Community College

    Boston, MT

    The two campuses that make up Flathead Valley Community College serve two northern Montana counties with a population of 100,000. FVCC students can find their associate degree to prepare for a four-year education or choose among 50 career and technical programs that ready them for the workplace. Flathead's criminal justice program offers the option of an associate of science or associate of applied science degree. Graduating AS transfer students can complete their four-year CJ degree at The University of Montana _ Missoula or at Montana State University _ Northern. The AAS degree focuses on preparing graduates to take entry level CJ jobs after completing the two-year program.

  2. Dawson Community College

    Glendive, MT

    Established as a Montana public community college in 1940, Dawson Community College specializes in a college-transfer education, technical and career training, and continuing education. DCC's 400 undergraduates can choose from 35 plans of study leading to associate degrees, four vocational programs and six online programs. The associate of applied science degree in criminal justice is designed as a pre-academy program offering a curriculum in law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole, criminology, and penology. Graduates can seek entry into CJ roles that do not require academy training, or they may transfer to a four-year CJ program.

  3. Blackfeet Community College

    Browning, MT

    Long affiliated with Montana's Flathead Valley Community College, Blackfeet Community College became an independent intuition in 1979 in order to provide curriculum in line with its service population. BCC's associate of arts in human services program administers the criminal justice specialization. The two-year program focuses on behavioral, cognitive, and psychological impacts on criminal behavior. Students completing the AA are qualified to take entry level roles in criminal justice or tribal law enforcement organizations. Or, they may transfer to a bachelor degree program in a related field. First-time students who complete their programs in one year are eligible for tuition waivers.

Professional Resources for Criminal Justice in Montana

Business Compliance Resources

  • Association of Corporate Counsel, Mountain West Chapter
    Serving members in Montana and three other western states, this organization offers networking, service and educational events for in-house corporate attorneys and legal counsel. Job postings, webcasts and a database of helpful forms and checklists is available online to members.
  • Montana Chamber of Commerce
    A membership organization supporting business across the state, the Montana Chamber offers legal education and advocacy for workers. The group also sponsors the Montana Business Challenge, an eight-week educational business competition for high school and select college students.
  • Montana Secretary of State
    For legal information regarding businesses in the state of Montana, visit the Secretary of State website. Employment opportunities are also listed on this page.
  • Montana Women's Business Center
    The Montana Women's Business Center supports female entrepreneurs by networking professionals, providing training, business counseling and mentoring and legal resources.

Correctional Resources

  • Montana Department of Corrections
    This page provides information about the work of the Department of Corrections, including victim programs, probation and parole and the state's reentry initiative. Employment and training information can also be found here.
  • Prison Fellowship, Montana
    This group advocates for a more restorative criminal justice system that rehabilitates incarcerated individuals. They provide information such as crime statistics for Montana along with additional resources, volunteering information, campaigns and training sessions on their website.
  • Youth Community Corrections
    This page is a useful resource for those interested in juvenile justice by listing information such as youth parole resources, education, employment opportunities and other reintegration strategies.

Court & Judicial Resources

  • National Juvenile Justice Network, Montana
    This website provides information on juvenile justice reform in Montana along with current court processes, attorney resources and policy platforms.
  • Montana Judicial Branch
    Provides information on the different courts in Montana's judiciary, including the district courts and courts of limited jurisdictions.
  • Montana Justice Foundation
    The Montana Justice Foundation provides support to low-income Montanans on civil matters such as landlord-tenant disputes, bankruptcy, housing discrimination and family law cases.
  • Montana Supreme Court
    Users can find Montana Supreme Court opinions, the court's docket and legal briefs on this page.

Legal Resources

  • Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    This association provides legal professionals with networking opportunities as well as educational seminars and newsletters that uphold legal expectations and fair criminal justice systems.
  • Montana Bar Association
    The Montana Bar Association promotes the standards of legal professionals around the state by enforcing rules that govern the field.
  • Montana Department of Justice
    The Montana Department of Justice includes information on the state's Montana Department of Justice programs, divisions, and cases that the agency handles.
  • Montana Legal Services Association
    The Montana Legal Services Association provides free or low-cost legal advice and representation for those who cannot afford an attorney. Pro bono opportunities and legal internships are also offered.

Law Enforcement Resources

  • Montana Board of Private Security Officers and Investigators
    This agency is charged with providing licenses to private security personnel, including security guards, private investigators, process servers and security alarm installers.
  • Montana Law Enforcement Academy
    The Montana Law Enforcement Academy provides training and education to law enforcement officers on the state, city, county and tribal level.
  • Montana Law Enforcement Testing Consortium
    The MTLETC is responsible for testing law enforcement candidates for police agencies around the state. Their website provides information on registering for testing, study guides and other requirements.
  • Montana Police Protective Association
    Since 1930, the Montana Police Protective Association has worked on behalf of the state's police officers. The association provides advocacy support, events, and news. In addition, the organization offers scholarships and death benefits to the family members of police officers.
  • Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association
    The Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association provides professional development support—including training on investigative procedures and forensics—to its members.

Wildlife & Environmental Resources

  • Montana Association of Conservation Districts
    Through education and local advocacy, the MACD works with Montana residents and federal organizations to preserve the state's natural land and wildlife. The group offers scholarships and grants to students and includes job postings on this website.
  • Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Enforcement
    This agency regulates the state's hunting and fishing activities, protects wildlife and provides education about fish, wildlife and state parks. Those interested in details on becoming a game warden can find more information here.
  • Montana Wildlife Federation
    The Montana Wildlife Federation (MWF) works to conserve fish, wildlife, natural lands and wild rivers. Their website lists information on strategies, laws and employment opportunities to preserve Montana's natural surroundings and wildlife.
  • Western Environmental Law Center, Montana
    A team of attorneys, conservation biologists and policy experts working across four western states, including Montana. The group's focus is on legal environmental issues at the national, regional, state and local level.

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

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