Criminal Justice Schools in New Mexico

The Best Degrees, Careers and Resources for Criminal Justice Students

As the state’s interest in cracking down on crime begins to take precedence over economic concerns, criminal justice schools in New Mexico may play increasingly significant roles in producing qualified legal and protective service professionals statewide. However, students looking to find the right New Mexico criminal justice school for them may have a hard time figuring out where to begin their educational and professional pursuits. This guide provides numerous tools, lists and resources to help students find quality criminal justice schools in New Mexico and learn about the various criminal justice careers available to them.

Degree Leaderboard: Best Criminal Justice Schools in New Mexico for 2017

New Mexico is home to a variety of different schools where students can get a solid criminal justice education. It’s great to have options, but prospective students may have a hard time gauging the quality of the criminal justice schools on their lists. The list below ranks the best criminal justice schools in New Mexico based on a combination of factors, like tuition, acceptance rates, student-to-teacher ratio and total enrollment.

RankSchool Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratioRanking ScoreSchool DescriptionAdditional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1Luna Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
15%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
N/A
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 99.72
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Luna Community College offers a 63 credit hour criminal justice program. The criminal justice associate degree is a three-pronged program. In addition to taking core courses like criminal investigation, ethics and report writing and documentation, students enrolled in the program must take electives and general education courses. General education classes are in subjects like composition, public speaking and science. Program emphasis is on law, corrections and court systems. It's possible to earn the degree on campus and via a distance education option. Blackboard, webmail and Pathways are the college's main distance education platforms. There is a program director and ACCESS staff assigned to the program to provide academic and technical support to students.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
2New Mexico Junior College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
34%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
N/A
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 97.80
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Criminal justice majors can graduate from New Mexico Junior College's with an Associate of Applied Science or an Associate of Arts degree. Strong communication, research and writing skills help students to grasp key aspects of the program, particularly areas like investigative reporting and police and detective interviewing. To graduate, students must earn at least a 2.0 GPA. It is recommended that new students meet with their academic advisor and complete a degree plan. Through its Division of Public Safety, the college also operates a law enforcement academy and a corrections academy. Credit for work criminal justice and corrections experience is offered in both associate degree programs.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
3Santa Fe Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
8%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
N/A
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 97.13
Read more

Santa Fe Community College's Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice degree prepares students to transfer into four-year criminal justice programs at accredited schools. The program also provides adults with an understanding of America's criminal justice system, including courts, corrections, social controls and rehabilitation initiatives. Students enrolled in the program can expect to take courses like communications, math, criminology, political theory and sociology. Roles that the program can prepare students to enter include police officer, corrections officer, probation officer and detective. The college's main campus is located in Gainesville, Florida.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
4Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
4%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.45
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Eastern New Mexico University Ruidoso Campus is located in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Class sizes are small and highlight subjects like criminal procedures, social science, juvenile justice and criminal law. Adults currently working in the criminal justice field and adults absent any criminal justice experience can enroll. Takeaways include a solid knowledge of the American court, government and criminal justice systems. It takes between 64 to 66 credits to graduate. Online admissions and registration are accepted. Academic advisors conduct live chats with prospective and current criminal justice majors to help them develop a graduation plan and to offer academic support as needed.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
5Eastern New Mexico University - Roswell Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
5%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 94.35
Read more

The Roswell, New Mexico campus of Eastern New Mexico University offers an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice degree. The two year degree transfers into the university's Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program. Minimum GPA allowed is 2.0. Academic credits are awarded to adults who have completed police certification training, border patrol training, federal air marshal training or correctional officer academy. All of the trainings must be completed in New Mexico. Areas of study that students learn about during the degree program include behavioral sciences, law, humanities and criminal justice.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
6New Mexico State University - Alamogordo Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
41%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
N/A
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 92.78
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
7San Juan College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
28%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
N/A
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 92.41
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
8Mesalands Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
38%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
N/A
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 90.13
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
9Clovis Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
12%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 90.06
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
10Central New Mexico Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
15%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
N/A
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 87.83
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
11New Mexico State University - Carlsbad Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
32%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
N/A
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 87.68
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
12University of New Mexico - Valencia County Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
6%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
N/A
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 87.09
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
13New Mexico State University - Dona Ana Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
7%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 87.06
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
RankSchool Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratioGrad RateRanking ScoreSchool DescriptionAdditional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1Western New Mexico University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
26%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
16%
Ranking SCORE 99.62
Read more

At Western New Mexico University, students in the criminal justice program can earn two- or four-year degrees, as well as continuing education and training. Degree programs combine liberal arts courses with criminal justice studies, providing students with the professional orientation necessary for success in the field. At the bachelor's level, students choose between a corrections and policing concentration. Many minors are available, from computer science to accounting. While having a minor is not a requirement for graduation, students are strongly urged to consider completing one. The school sponsors an honor society for criminal justice students, as well as a criminal justice club.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
2New Mexico State University-Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
39%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
44%
Ranking SCORE 98.98
Read more

Criminal justice studies at New Mexico State University prepare students to work in the field with curriculum centered on critical thinking, theoretical perspectives, and experiential learning. An online undergraduate program caters to students who have attained sophomore status in their bachelor's degree, and completed all lower division courses for the program. The upper division course sequence can be completed through distance studies with the use of the Canvas learning management system. There is also an online graduate program that can be completed fully online, with the same course content and faculty as the on-campus program.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
3Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
42%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
N/A
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
29%
Ranking SCORE 98.94
Read more

Students seeking a career in law enforcement, the court system, crime victim advocacy, or consulting can study criminal justice at Eastern New Mexico University. The school's criminal justice program explores society's response to crime, with study of the theoretical foundations as well as a hands-on internship. Students can take their courses on campus, online, or in a hybrid format. The school's criminal justice league is a student-run organization where peers debate criminal justice issues, and attend presentations and conferences related to their studies. Learners can also find support with the College Success Program, which provides extended tutoring hours, personal success coaching, and a laptop loan program.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
4New Mexico Highlands University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
66%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
N/A
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
16%
Ranking SCORE 98.85
Read more

New Mexico Highlands University educates students who wish to work in the criminal and juvenile justice system through its criminal justice bachelor's program. Curriculum includes sociology and political science, and students build their communication and critical thinking skills through classroom discussions and assignments. These skills are developed further in an internship, with potential placements in law enforcement agencies, probation and corrections, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, among others. The school emphasizes the importance of personal attention from professors, as well as a lower-stress environment where students can succeed academically while forming friendships and professional networks.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
5University of New Mexico-Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
58%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
N/A
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
45%
Ranking SCORE 97.12
Read more

The University of New Mexico offers pre-law and criminology programs well-suited to students who wish to pursue a career in the criminal justice field. The criminology major outlines the causes and characteristics of crime, societal reactions to crime and deviance, and the criminal justice system. Individuals studying pre-law, a concentration of the sociology major, also learn about crime and deviance with a focus on the role that the legal system plays in handling criminals and reducing crime. The university's center for academic support provides students with services like drop-in tutoring, online tutoring, and a writing and language center to foster their success in the classroom.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
6University of the Southwest Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
22%
Ranking SCORE 97.09
Read more

Students at the University of the Southwest can earn undergraduate degrees in criminal justice 100 percent online. The degree program aims to prepare students for employment with law enforcement, federal agencies and corrections or continued education in graduate programs. The University of the Southwest boasts small classes sizes in its criminal justice program. Credit can also be earned for professional experience. The University of the Southwest is a private Christian university, with a campus ministry plus a number of student organizations available for local students.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo

Find the Right Fit: Search Criminal Justice Schools in New Mexico

Finding a criminal justice school in New Mexico that meets financial, academic and lifestyle needs isn’t always as simple as picking a school at the top of a rankings list. All students have different needs and preferences, from the school’s location to its available program concentrations. Prospective students can use the filters and sorting tabs on the search tool below to find the perfect New Mexico criminal justice schools for them.

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Most Popular Criminal Justice Careers in New Mexico

There is a ton of variety within the criminal justice field, from supervising law enforcement officers to transcribing court hearings. Students looking to study criminal justice in New Mexico can take a look at the state’s most popular legal and protective services careers to help guide them down an educational and career path.

Side by Side: How New Mexico Compares for Criminal Justice Careers

Students attending criminal justice schools in New Mexico can prepare themselves for the state’s legal and protective services workforce by being aware of criminal justice careers with positive outlooks. The following tables note criminal justice careers in New Mexico that yield annual earnings higher than or on par with the national average and careers that are growing faster than or within a few percentage points of the national average.

Salary
  • National
  • New Mexico

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015

Job Growth
  • National
  • New Mexico

Source: Projections Central, 2015

Employer Profile: Where to Get Hired with a Criminal Justice Degree in New Mexico

Students pursuing criminal justice careers aren’t limited to New Mexico’s metropolitan areas; both the state’s more populous cities are rural areas see high employment of those in the legal and protective services. The table below notes which parts of New Mexico employ the most criminal justice professionals and the average annual earnings for professionals in these regions.

  • Protective Services
    Potential Employers

    Central New Mexico Correctional Facility; Santa Fe Police Department; New Mexico Department of Game and Fish; Albuquerque Sheriff's Department; Albuquerque Animal Services Department; Penn National Gaming; Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court; Las Cruces Public Schools; Roswell Recreation Department; Albuquerque International Airport

    Total Number of Employees in New Mexico: 23,750
  • Legal Occupations
    Potential Employers

    New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts; Albuquerque Court of Appeals; Santa Fe Supreme Court; Modrall Sperling Law Firm; New Mexico Judicial Court System; Holland Services

    Total Number of Employees in New Mexico: 5,360

Largest areas of employment in descending order

Protective service

Albuquerque

Eastern New Mexico

Las Cruces

North and West Central New Mexico

Santa Fe

Legal service

Albuquerque

Santa Fe

Eastern New Mexico

Las Cruces

North and West Central New Mexico

Professional Resources for Criminal Justice in New Mexico

Business Compliance Resources
New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department – Tax Fraud Investigations Division

This page provides a list of resources and contacts related to tax fraud investigation in New Mexico.

New Mexico Office of the State Auditor

The Office of the State Auditor offers an abundance of information and resources related to the conduction of audits and fraud prevention.

New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department – Audit and Compliance Division

Find resources to help with auditing and compliance practices in New Mexico.

Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based organization that provides businesses advocacy and resources to entrepreneurs in the state.

New Mexico Secretary of State

The New Mexico Secretary of State office is the repository for business licenses and other official documentation for businesses in the state.

New Mexico Small Business Development Center

The NMSBDC offers resources, workshops and information for new and existing businesses.

Correctional Resources
New Mexico Corrections Department – Careers and Employment

Learn about and apply for careers in New Mexico’s Corrections Department, including corrections officer, parole officer, human resource and support staff positions.

New Mexico Corrections Department – Probation and Parole

This section of the NMCD website provides information about different parole programs in place throughout the state, parole and probation laws and maps of parole and probation regions.

Santa Fe County Corrections Department

Find information about Santa Fe’s adult corrections facility, youth development program, electronic monitoring program, Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), available careers in these facilities and wages of facility employees.

Juvenile Detention Centers, New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department

This hub page offers information and resources about juvenile detention centers in the state of New Mexico for offenders and their families.

Corrections Reform, American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico

The ACLU of New Mexico has sought to improve the treatment and conditions of inmates in the state’s prisons, including better mental health care, better safety and services, legislation that prioritizes treatment instead of incarceration for nonviolent drug-related crimes, religious accommodations and accountability for prisoner abuse.

Court & Judicial Resources
New Mexico Municipal League – Court Clerks

Learn about the New Mexico Municipal League’s Court Clerks Association, including bylaws and membership qualifications.

New Mexico Courts – Careers

This page contains current job openings for people interested in working within the New Mexico Judicial System.

Court Resources, New Mexico Courts

This site provides information for New Mexico courts about the kinds of programs that are available for the communities they serve.

New Mexico Court Reporters Association

This useful resource for court reporters provides general information about court reporting, resources for court reporting education, job opportunities and more.

New Mexico Child Advocacy Networks

NMCAN advocates for children in New Mexico have been abused and neglected or are otherwise vulnerable.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Bureau, New Mexico General Services Department

This page provides information about mediation services in the state of New Mexico for people who wish to pursue conflict resolution outside of a courtroom.

Legal Resources
New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners

Law students can get all the information they need about New Mexico’s Bar Examination at this website.

New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association and Foundation

This professional association of trial lawyers also has a student chapter that may interest future trial lawyers attending criminal justice schools in New Mexico.

New Mexico Black Lawyers Association

The goal of this professional association is to provide continued legal education to members, improve the judicial selection process and protect the civil rights of the public.

New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

The NMCDLA aims to build a united community of criminal defense lawyers, law students, legal assistants and other criminal defense professionals. The association provides its members with legislative representation, a members-only library and other benefits.

Voluntary Bar Associations, State Bar of New Mexico

This directory provides contact information for a diverse range of lawyer associations that are available for membership the state of New Mexico.

State of New Mexico Office of the Attorney General

The Attorney General provides legal counsel to the state’s employees as well as information about consumer protection for residents of New Mexico.

Paralegal Division, State Bar of New Mexico

The Paralegal Division serves paralegals throughout the state by providing membership-based resources and networking.

Law Enforcement Resources
New Mexico Department of Public Safety

Access public safety news and laws, and learn about New Mexico’s law enforcement agencies, like the state police, transit police and the police academy.

New Mexico Fraternal Order of Police

This state branch of the national organization is New Mexico’s largest law enforcement organizations. Members get legislative representation, the Police Officers Survivors Benefit, free tuition to a state university for a child of a member killed on duty and other benefits.

New Mexico State Police

Find information about training and recruiting opportunities, and learn about the job duties and responsibilities of New Mexico State Police officers.

New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association

The New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association connects sheriffs from around the state with membership-based resources, advocacy and events.

Private Investigations Advisory Board, New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department

The Advisory Board licenses and oversees private investigators and related careers in the state of New Mexico. Their page provides information about licensing requirements, laws, fees, exam schedules and other resources.

New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy

This government page provides information about training opportunities for New Mexico’s current and future law enforcement officers.

Wildlife & Environmental Resources
Animal Protection of New Mexico

This organization strives to protect and advocate for animals, and actively supports legislation that prevents animal cruelty. The page also includes animal control ordinances.

New Mexico Game and Fish

This government department supplies a variety of information about nature and wildlife protection in New Mexico. Visitors can find enforcement resources on the page, including news, rules and career opportunities.

Conservation Enforcement, New Mexico Game and Fish

This page specifically refers people to information about New Mexico’s enforcement efforts to protect the state’s wildlife and environment.

City of Albuquerque Fire Investigation/Arson Division

Learn about the roles and responsibilities of Albuquerque’s fire investigation and arson department, and get information about becoming a firefighter.

New Mexico Wildlife Federation

The NMWF seeks to protect water, land and wildlife in New Mexico by advocating for state parks and public lands.

Employment, New Mexico State Parks

This page provides information on how to become an employee of New Mexico’s state parks, which includes park rangers who enforce the laws around wildlife and visitor protection.