Texas Parole Officers: Education and Training Requirements

Texas has more than one hundred colleges that offer criminal justice degree programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for the ten largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

In Texas, aspiring parole officers can pursue training through bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice or criminology. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts program, which integrates training in a foreign language. Bachelor of Science programs are also available, but focus more intently on math and science. Criminal justice majors learn about corrections, the courts, juvenile law, criminal law, law enforcement and criminal investigations. In addition, many programs include an internship, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in the field.

Career Requirements

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that in order to work as a parole officer, one must have at least a bachelor's degree, commonly in criminal justice. Read on to learn about relevant degree offerings at ten of the largest postsecondary schools in Texas, and research these public universities' tuition requirements to make an informed decision.


Sam Houston State University

Aspiring parole officers in Huntsville can find two bachelor's degree programs at Sam Houston State University - a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice or a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. The core courses are common in both programs -an introduction to criminal justice, police systems and practices, and correctional systems and practices - but the difference comes in additional requirements. The Bachelor of Arts requires completion of two years of a foreign language, while the Bachelor of Science includes courses in mathematics and science. Students can take internships during the final year of study, including in adult corrections institutions.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
    Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $6,608 (in-state), $15,032 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; remote town

Texas State San Marcos

At the San Marcos campus of Texas State, students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a concentration in corrections. There's a track that includes an internship and one that includes additional course work in lieu of the internship. Courses in both tracks include management in criminal justice agencies, treatment in the community and institutional corrections, and study of victimization as well. Students must also complete two years of a foreign language, if they have not done so in high school.

  • Program Offered: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $7,732 (in-state), $16,858 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; distant town

Texas Women's University

Denton's 4-year, public college offers a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Both degree programs have the same core courses, but a Bachelor of Arts requires completion of courses in a foreign language, while the Bachelor of Science requires completion of courses in math and science. In core courses, students learn about constitutional law, criminal law and criminal investigation. Students take courses in social research and correctional systems and practices. Criminal justice majors must also complete sociology courses.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
    Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $7,050 (in-state), $17,082 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; midsize city

University of North Texas

Students in Denton can attend the University of North Texas to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. Required courses include corrections systems, criminal procedure and ethical issues in criminal justice. Students must complete five criminal justice electives and can choose from courses like organized and consensual crime, domestic and international terrorism, criminalistics and crime scene investigation. Courses in sociology, psychology and technical writing are required.

  • Program Offered: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $8,357 (in-state), $16,781 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; midsize city

University of Texas --Arlington

The Arlington campus of the University of Texas offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The degree program includes courses in ethics and the criminal justice system, theoretical criminology and community or institutional corrections. Students also learn about juvenile justice systems and comparative criminal justice systems. Students must take four courses in the same foreign language and 11 credit hours in electives.

  • Program Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $8,878 (in-state), $17,302 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year public; large city

University of Texas -- Brownsville

The Brownsville campus of the University of Texas offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice that includes courses in the history of criminal justice, the nature of crime and criminal law. The components of the justice system are discussed, such as law enforcement, the courts and corrections. Further studies examine crime in the United States, constitutional law as it pertains to civil rights, juvenile justice and sociology. Courses in correctional practices, casework and counseling are among those required for the correctional administration focus. In addition to learning about correctional institutions, students examine rehabilitation alternatives and the role of parole officers as an interface between corrections and community. Students can also pursue this degree program online.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
    Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $5,488 (in-state), $14,614 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; midsize city

University of Texas--Dallas

In Dallas, students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology. Students learn about the workings of corrections, the courts and research methods in criminal justice. Other required courses look at juvenile law and criminal law, as well as advanced criminology. Fifteen credit hours in criminology electives are required.

  • Program Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $10,666 (in-state), $25,084 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; small city

University of Texas-- El Paso

The El Paso campus of the University of Texas offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice for those students who are interested in careers in the field of criminal justice, including corrections. Required courses include topics like correctional systems and practices, the philosophy of criminal justice, structure of American courts and individuals' rights. Qualified students may have the opportunity to complete an internship.

  • Program Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $7,214 (in-state), $17,814 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

University of Texas--Pan American

In Edinburg, students at the University of Texas Pan American can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Core courses include police systems and correctional systems and the practices of both. Students can complete a field internship to gain hands-on experience and must complete a capstone course.

  • Program Offered: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $5,165 (in-state), $13,589 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; small city

University of Texas--San Antonio

At the San Antonio campus of the University of Texas, students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. The 120-credit hour degree program includes a minimum of 36 credit hours in criminal justice, including an internship. Required courses cover topics like criminal law, the nature of crime and justice and management of criminal justice organizations. Students can choose from an introduction to corrections, special topics in corrections and independent study, among other courses to fulfill 18 credit hours in elective coursework. Individuals can, if they have a year of employment in a criminal justice agency, forgo the internship and instead take further courses.

  • Program Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $7,389 (in-state), $15,813 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Criminal Justice Degree Programs Offered Tuition & Fees 2012-2013
Sam Houston State University 4-year, public; remote town Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
$6,608 (in-state), $15,032 (out-of-state)*
Texas State San Marcos 4-year, public; distant town Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice $7,732 (in-state), $16,858 (out-of-state)*
Texas Women's University 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
$7,050 (in-state), $17,082 (out-of-state)*
University of North Texas 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice $8,357 (in-state), $16,781 (out-of-state)*
University of Texas--Arlington 4-year public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice $8,878 (in-state), $17,302 (out-of-state)*
University of Texas--Brownsville 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
$5,488 (in-state), $14,614 (out-of-state)*
University of Texas--Dallas 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice $10,666 (in-state), $25,084 (out-of-state)*
University of Texas--El Paso 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice $7,214 (in-state), $17,814 (out-of-state)*
University of Texas--Pan American 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice $5,165 (in-state), $13,589 (out-of-state)*
University of Texas--San Antonio 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice $7,389(in-state), $15,813 (out-of-state)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics