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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I don't want to be a police officer - is this program for me?
    Yes! Although over half of our students are interested in law enforcement, the Criminal Justice program prepares its graduates to work in all facets of criminal justice and social services including programs for youth at risk; victims of violence; probation; corrections and the court system.
  2. What is the difference between the A.A. and the B.A.?
    The Associates degree is a two-year program that prepares students for entry level positions in local criminal justice agencies. To be competitive for opportunities in state and federal positions, a Bachelor's degree is recommended. A Bachelor's degree is frequently required for promotion to command level positions. Many agencies also offer a pay differential based on years of education completed.
  3. Will my A.A. count toward my B.A. if I decide to continue on after two years?
    Yes. Almost 85% of our A.A. students continue on to complete their B.A.. In many ways, the Associates is the first half of the Bachelors program.
  4. What should I be taking in high school to be prepared to enter the Criminal Justice program?
    English, English, English! The coursework in Criminal Justice is very writing intensive so a good grounding in English (especially college preparatory or advanced placement) will help. Do not worry if that is not your strongest class however, we have a Writing Center and peer tutors to help you become a better writer. Any classes on American Government will also prepare you for your Constitutional and Criminal Law courses.
  5. Can I attend the Criminal Justice Academy while I'm a student?
    There are various opportunities for students to become Academy trained while completing their degree. The Preservice (100 hours) course is offered on site at UMPI or the Presque Isle Police Department and students can transfer in three general elective credits for that certification. Students may also pursue full academy training in their senior year for up to 12 credits.
  6. How is Criminal Justice different from Criminology?
    While Criminology programs offer a broad theoretical understanding of crime founded in sociology, the Criminal Justice program at UMPI combines that macro base with a more grounded applied curriculum analyzing the day-to-day workings of the criminal justice system.
  7. Where do your graduates get hired?
    Our graduates are working in various state and federal law enforcement agencies including: the Secret Service; Customs & Border Protection; Border Patrol; Maine Warden Service; Maine State Police, as well as various local departments across the state and beyond. We also have graduates working in a range of other non-policing agencies including: Domestic Violence Shelters; Department of Health and Human Services; Catholic Charities Maine; Department of Corrections; Probation and Parole.
  8. I am from Canada, what can this program offer me?
    This Criminal Justice program is unlike any found in Canada because it combines the broad liberal arts base taught by doctoral trained faculty that you would find in Canadian universities, with the practical applications that are usually only offered in Canadian community colleges.

    As we are located only 15 miles from the border of New Brunswick, we have several Canadian students and have tailored flexibility into our course work to meet their needs. Along with a Canadian Criminal Justice course, we also have internship opportunities with Canadian Customs and the RCMP.