How to Apply to Criminal Justice Schools

It is not very difficult to understand how to apply to criminal justice schools. The process is not quite different from other fields although there may be certain requirements that may be deemed specific to criminal justice programs and schools. Applicants who have the strongest potential as seen in test scores, written and oral communication, as well as the genuine desire to play an active role in the improvement of the community will have more chances for admission to their preferred school, degree, and specialization.

Featured Undergrad Programs
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Featured Master’s Programs
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Basic Requirements

The initial requirements are really quite basic. Requirements would usually be comprised of the high school diploma or GED equivalent for those who have not attended high school to traditional means, minimum grade point average (GPA), and the payment of application fees.

The application process may vary depending on whether the student will choose to attend on-campus or through the online format. Before choosing a school however, students should be very clear about their specific preferences for their future profession since there will be different degree programs offered for every specialization. Courses required for police positions may be largely different from courses that may be required for forensic science positions. Being decisive at this very early stage avoids wasting precious time in taking courses that will not be of use to one’s desired career.

Master’s degree programs will require transcripts of all schools attended, a bachelor’s degree, and related work experience. Because of the very nature of criminal justice jobs, schools may decide not to accept applications of students with criminal records. On-campus attendance may require applicants to present themselves personally for an interview while prospective online students may be interviewed over the phone. Some schools require their new online students to present themselves in person as well.

Other Requirements

Transfer and re-entering students usually are required to provide a higher GPA plus good standing from the last university attended. Students who were in probation in their last attended educational institution may have to wait for the probationary status to elapse. Schools may also require submission of test scores for SAT or ACT for all incoming freshmen.

International students seeking admission to online programs must complete and submit their application electronically as per instructions in the school’s website. Transcripts will have to be sent to the chosen college or university by the school wherein the applicant attended high school. Transcripts in foreign language must be accompanied by official translation by the responsible agency. Applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in English through their TOEFL scores. Results must come directly from the concerned testing agency.


Financial aid and scholarship applications must be attached to admission application or after receiving confirmation from the school, at the latest. There is nothing to prevent students from applying in different schools. However, because of the application fee required for each school, it is best to prioritize applications to the most preferred schools. When applicants are not sure as to what specific field to take in criminal justice, it is best to get the proper information to arrive at the right decision. The process is relatively easy if a student knows how to apply to criminal justice schools.