Sam Houston State University – Criminal Justice College Degree

If you are looking to expand your Criminal Justice college education, then Sam Houston State University may fit your needs.

Sam Houston State University

1803 Ave I, Huntsville, Texas 77341

General Info: (936) 294-1111
Campus Setting: Town: Distant
Campus Housing: Yes
Student Population: 16496 (14160 undergraduate)

Sam Houston State University offers courses designed for Criminal Justice college degree and/or certificate program completion. Sam Houston State University is a 4-year, Public higher learning institution, which serves up one or more of the programs below:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminology
  • Forensic Science
  • Homeland Security
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Transnational Crime
  • Law Enforcement Policy
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Private Security
  • and more…
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23 comments… add one
  • Jesus Campos

    Hey, i wanted to say thanks for the great blogs on here! I live in houston texas and graduated with a BS in CJ from the university of houston-downtown and plan on attending at uhd again for my masters and complete my phd at SHSU. My question is will i suffer from getting my BS and masters from low tier school if i plan to teach at the university level? Will my phd at SHSU make up for it? Thanks a ton!

    • Radek M. Gadek

      I don’t know how much weight the University of Houston has in your state, but based on a cursory look-up, I don’t think it’s as bad as you may worry it is.

      I feel that as long as you get very good marks, going to one of the best Criminology schools, like Sam Houston State University (SHSU), should be a possibility.

      In my opinion, SHSU is a good school, but not great.

      As for UHD and teaching with a PhD from SHSU, I think you have a decent shot, but, like all things in life, we strive to look for the best — as do the colleges and universities when they hire instructors and professors. So keep that in mind.

      • Greg

        That’s ridiculous. I’ve seen professors at top schools with degrees from lower-tier schools. As for the advice you gave Jesus, you really need to watch what you say before posting publicly something you have no knowledge about. SHSU is not a “good” school rather than a “great” school. They have one of the best CJ programs in the country and at least in the southeast portion of the state, they are THE school for teachers. Will University of Texas or A&M look better? Of course, but everyone in this state knows that SHSU is a good school for teaching. It’s not always about having the best degree, it’s about how you fit in to a group and what you actually know. An ignorant Harvard grad will remain ignorant. Just because you graduated from a school doesn’t mean you actually got the best education.

        • Radek M. Gadek

          Thousands of people ask me for advice on this blog and it’s a herculean task to give the best feedback. It helps when knowledgeable people, like yourself, can contribute… but I really don’t need the labels. For me, it’s not about perfection, or Harvard elitists, it’s about helping when I can and how I can; even when it means to add my 2 cents.

          SHSU is a good school in an overall scheme of things. Great in Criminology, that’s for sure. Perhaps, it’s great in Texas for certain other programs (like teaching), but it’s not University of Texas / A&M which I did consider as a basis for my answer, among other national schools.

          I take my time to research my answers, with phone calls if I have to, in order to provide the most accurate answer. I know that at this point, from the standpoint of economy, for example, it is very hard even for PhDs to obtain teaching positions at decent, good or great schools nationwide. Very often they have to sacrifice proximity, income and aspirations – including taking non-tenure positions – to get work.

          Regardless of what you and I may think, I appreciate the feedback and help with Jesus’ question.

          • Misty

            Hi, I was looking around to find out what school might be the best as far as pursuing my Master degree sometime. I am a single Mom and have worked really hard to get where I am. I am one semester away from graduation at Texas A&M Commerce. I graduated from Northeast Texas Community with my AS in Criminal Justice. I really wanted to know if I was on the right track should I decide to go further. Should I continue with A&M or try a new college? I also at this point have a 3.8 or 3.9 GPA. Is that good? Thanks for the time you take to reply!

    • Greg

      Go for it dude, this guy that thinks he knows this state obviously knows nothing. You can teach with a Masters at the university level, but a PhD will get you further and give you more leeway against competition. SHSU is a great school for going into education. Just get the degree and start applying for jobs, it all comes down to if they like you and see that you will benefit the institution. If you are an ignorant Harvard grad, you probably won’t get hired but if you are a well-rounded, bright individual with a PhD, that’s what they look for. Enjoy your experiences and good luck in your endeavors.

      • Radek M. Gadek

        Besides the “this guy” comment, I wholeheartedly agree with Greg ;-)

  • cesar

    a quick question, would you consider the University of Houston a good school to study criminology to join the F.B.I?

    • Jesus Campos

      Cesar, the University of Houston does not offer a criminology degree, only sociology degree. With that being said, if you want to join the FBI, you should know there are multiple ways to join (law degree, accounting, linguistics, computer science, etc). Criminology in itself is not the only way to join the FBI.

  • lauren5781

    I’m a sophomore who is looking into colleges for criminal justice in Texas. I was wondering if Sam Houston is the best choice, or if there was another university that specialized in that field more.

    • Jesus Campos

      Lauren, Sam Houston would be the ideal choice for a BS in criminal justice in the state of Texas (as far as rankings go) but there are many other universities that offer criminal justice degrees. Depending on where you are from, I would consider local universities as well as Sam Houston. Keep in mind that A&M and UT offer courses that can relate to CJ but do not award actual CJ degrees.

  • Aimee

    Hello, I’m a senior this year in high school and I want to major in Finance when I get to college. I know this doesn’t have anything to do with studying criminology, but the conversation up there sparked some interest in me. I live in Texas and narrowed down my two choices of higher education to the University of Houston and Sam Houston State. I just have a hard time choosing which university I should choose for my major. I know that University of Houston is a great business school, but I’m a little conflicted as if to knowing whether I’ll be getting a good/same business education at Sam Houston State.
    Thanks for any feedback you guys! :)

    • Jesus Campos

      Aimee, UH is a wonderful school with a great reputation and great staff. Just to clarify, the University of Houston and the University of Houston – Downtown are in fact two separate schools within the same network of schools. the UH you would be interested in is UH central and that campus is a great school for accounting.

  • If you are looking for the best school for criminal justice in the Great State of Texas then SHSU is your best option. the college of criminal justice has what no other school in the state and perhaps in the nation does not have. SHSU has the Texas Criminal Justice System in its backdoor. Huntsville is considered to be the “Prison City” of Texas because of all the correctional units in Huntsville and around it. Approximately two blocks away from the college of criminal justice sits the Walls Unit. Walls Unit is the place where those who were sentenced to death spend their last hours of their life. The college also has the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) connected to its building. LEMIT is a nationally recognized Institute offering premiere professional development opportunities in policing. The faculty is among the most prestigious in the nation, SHSU counts with former agents from the DEA, FBI, CIA, ICE, etc. as well as police officers, State Troopers, Texas Rangers, correctional officers, criminologists, district attorneys, judges, etc. The college also has one of only 4 body farms in the nation, where the forensic chemistry and forensic investigation majors go and work with real corpses. SHSU is the best place to go and it is a GREAT school.

  • kidd

    What is your opinion on the university of san marcos in the criminal justice field

  • ana

    Sam Houston State University!

  • colton

    Hey im a freshmen in high school looking into cj i want to go to SHSU for my masters so i can be a game warden but i’m not sure if i should start out at a smaller college to start or just jump right into SHSU

    • Jesus Campos


      Good question. The best advice I can give you is what I give every other young person. I chose to do my first two years at community college because it was less expensive. Then, I attended two years at a local university for my Bachelors degree in CJ. Afterwards, you can apply to the Masters program at SHSU and receive your degree from SHSU while minimizing your expense and experience other institutions.

  • Becky

    I’m a junior in high school and I’m planning on becoming a Forensic/Criminal Psychologist with a masters degree. I’m not from Texas but I’m looking for great colleges that will be challenge me (as I’m an AP student and doing very well), as well as give me opportunities for my life after school. What college in Texas would be the best for my choices?

    • Jesus Campos

      Becky, if you are doing well in High school I would recommend a degree from the bigger universities (UT, A&M, Baylor, Rice, etc.) You can earn your undergrad in a science then pursue a masters degree in your specific area of study.

  • Jesus

    Well I have not been back to this in a while but thanks for all of the responses. I am going to graduate this fall from the University of Houston-Downtown with my masters degree and I am still thinking about my PhD, as I am not too certain about my potential in the program. Again, thanks to all of you guys for your opinions and thoughts, they are greatly appreciated.

    • Juan

      Good job! Hey I want to pursue a master’s degree also. I will receive my bachelor’s in CJ from University of Houston Downtown. I want to apply for my master’s right after graduation, how challenging was UHD’s master program? I have two other schools in mind, SHSU or UH (Sociology)? However, I want to continue going to UHD? Any suggestions, or your opinion Jesus?

      • Jesus

        Hey Juan, glad to see a fellow gator on here. Congrats on your CJ degree you will be receiving soon from UHD! As far as the graduate program, it is fairly simple to be honest. I did not find it difficult to enter the program nor to complete it. Compared to the undergraduate program, the professors expect a lot more writing, research and reading in graduate school. All of the classes are afternoon classes (5:30-8:15) or online classes, so no daytime courses.

        I most certainly would recommend the UHD graduate program for you, especially if you are considering ONLY obtaining a masters degree in CJ. Do well with your GPA and make sure you focus on a thesis topic EARLY.

        – Jesus

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