Criminal Justice Schools in New Mexico [2022 Guide]

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Updated November 11, 2022

Criminal justice schools in New Mexico can prepare students for careers in law enforcement, federal agencies and corrections or continued education in

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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

OUR METHODOLOGY+

To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:

  • Accredited at the institutional level
  • Private nonprofit or public school
  • Minimum of 1 bachelor's or master's degree in subject area for 4-year schools
  • Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools

Schools were then scored on factors such as:

  • Cost & Financial Aid
  • Number and variety of program offerings
  • Student-teacher ratios
  • Graduation rates (4-year schools only)
  • Placement and support services offered
  • Academic/Career counseling services
  • Employment services
  • Loan default rates

These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or "bang for your buck" of a college or degree program.

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.

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#1 Criminal Justice Schools in New Mexico [2022 Guide]

Western New Mexico University

  • Silver City, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a premier education to jump-start your career? Consider one of the 38 bachelor’s degrees from Western New Mexico University. Students can choose from 38 in-person bachelor's degree programs and 16 remote programs.

Students gain skills and knowledge through their coursework, and become better prepared for their future careers. Learners can customize their studies by choosing electives and declaring minors and degree concentrations. Enrollees can receive further guidance through academic advising, career services, and other resources.

Students may be eligible for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid awards. The college boasts an average financial aid award package of $6,570, with 95% of all enrollees receiving some form of aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,167
Out-of-state
$11,400
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,193
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Criminal Justice Schools in New Mexico [2022 Guide]

New Mexico State University

  • Las Cruces, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

New Mexico State University supports flexible educational opportunities for undergraduate students. Learners can choose from a variety of degree programs, in person and online. Learners can choose from 89 bachelor's degree programs or opt for remote study across 12 programs.

Learners studying on campus and online benefit from a supportive learning community. Criminal justice students complete field-specific coursework as part of the program curriculum. Enrollees take general and advanced classes and can modify their course load to suit their career goals.

Learners can customize their studies in consultation with an academic advisor, to suit their personal and professional goals. While enrolled, learners can connect with institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising, to receive further guidance.

To manage the cost of education, students can apply for scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities through the financial aid office. The average student receives approximately $8,853 in financial aid, with 99% of all enrollees receiving some form of aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,875
Out-of-state
$21,864
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
14,296
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Criminal Justice Schools in New Mexico [2022 Guide]

Eastern New Mexico University

  • Portales, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Eastern New Mexico University provides premier degree programs suitable for undergraduate students. Of its 46 bachelor's degree programs, 18 are offered online. Enrollees connect with peers, faculty, and staff, either through campus learning environments or virtual classrooms.

Degree-seekers gain skills and knowledge through classes, lectures, and experiential learning opportunities. Students have the option to modify their classes, choose electives, and customize their studies. Learners can access institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising, throughout their program.

Depending on their eligibility, students can apply scholarships, fellowships, and other funding toward their educational expenses. According to the institution, 97% of all enrollees receive financial aid, with the average award amounting to $7,142.

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,996
Out-of-state
$5,994
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
5,685
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
69% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Criminal Justice Schools in New Mexico [2022 Guide]

New Mexico Highlands University

  • Las Vegas, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Undergraduate students can benefit from a flexible, thorough education at New Mexico Highlands University. The public institution offers hybrid degree programs at the undergraduate level. The college campus and online learning environment enable students to connect with peers, faculty, and staff during their studies.

Students in the criminal justice program complete industry-relevant coursework and attend lectures, gaining the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. Students complete foundational and advanced coursework, gaining a well-rounded education.

Students have the option to select electives, degree concentrations, and degree minors, and they can pursue other academic modifications. Learners can receive personalized guidance by connecting with career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources.

Students can meet with the financial aid office to determine their eligibility for scholarships and other educational funding. At the college, 95% of all incoming students receive financial aid funding.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,440
Out-of-state
$8,712
Retention Rate
55%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,787
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Criminal Justice Schools in New Mexico [2022 Guide]

University of New Mexico

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico provides flexible educational opportunities for learners worldwide. Learners can choose from a variety of degree programs, either in person or online. The college campus and online learning environment enable students to connect with peers, faculty, and staff.

Learners studying in person and online benefit from a supportive learning community. Students in the criminal justice program complete industry-relevant coursework and attend lectures, gaining the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. Degree-seekers can supplement their learning through experiential learning opportunities, such as research projects and internships.

Learners can customize their studies, choose electives, and declare degree concentrations and minors. A leader in student success, the college connects enrollees with career services, academic advising, and other support resources.

The financial aid office can connect students with funding opportunities, to make the cost of college manageable. The average student receives approximately $8,000 in financial aid, with 94% of all enrollees receiving some form of aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,299
Out-of-state
$21,716
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
22,729
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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.

Police, Sheriff & Highway Patrol Officers

  • Total Employed in New Mexico4,460
  • Median Salary in New Mexico$50,420
  • Degree Level Required in New MexicoAcademy Program

Correctional Officer

  • Total Employed in New Mexico
    4,140
  • Median Salary in New Mexico
    $33,010
  • Degree Level Required in New Mexico
    Certification

Compliance Officer

  • Total Employed in New Mexico
    1,480
  • Median Salary in New Mexico
    $63,800
  • Degree Level Required in New Mexico
    Bachelor's

Paralegal and Legal Assistant

Court, Municipal and License Clerks

  • Total Employed in New Mexico
    1,330
  • Median Salary in New Mexico
    $33,850
  • Degree Level Required in New Mexico
    Varies; up to Bachelor's

Detectives and Criminal Investigators

  • Total Employed in New Mexico
    1,610
  • Median Salary in New Mexico
    $77,000
  • Degree Level Required in New Mexico
    Varies; up to Bachelor's

Probation Officer

  • Total Employed in New Mexico
    780
  • Median Salary in New Mexico
    $42,000
  • Degree Level Required in New Mexico
    Bachelor's

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.

[charts]

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

PROFESSIONAL RESOURCES FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN NEW MEXICO

BUSINESS COMPLIANCE RESOURCES

CORRECTIONAL RESOURCES

COURT & JUDICIAL RESOURCES

LEGAL RESOURCES

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.

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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