Private Investigator Schools And Colleges With Program Information

Each school has its unique curriculum and schedule, so it’s important to check out each program before enrolling. Some have a shorter time frame, about one year, while others are more intensive and require a longer commitment of two years.

Private investigators are a vital part of the law enforcement community. Private investigators work for businesses and individuals, but their main purpose is to help people who need information from their surroundings.

Private investigators are also called private detectives, as they often work independently or with a team of other private investigators. One can learn the skills one needs to become a private investigator through academic study and in-classroom training.

There are many education options for students who want to become private investigators, including online classes and on-campus programs at public colleges and universities throughout the country. This article will elaborate on some of the best Private investigator schools and Colleges with program information.

Best Private Investigator Schools And Colleges With Program Information

The first step in choosing a school is understanding your learning style and what types of courses you will need to fulfill your degree requirements.

Some students prefer taking notes while others prefer reading textbooks; others may need more hands-on training than others do; still, others feel more comfortable working with computers than doing things like Excel spreadsheets.

If these factors fit into how you learn best, it can help narrow down which programs will work best for you.

If you’re looking for comprehensive training in your first semester or two, consider attending one of these schools; otherwise, you may want something that offers more flexibility with scheduling options, such as weekend classes or distance learning options.

The schools below represent some of the top Private investigator schools and Colleges with program information:

1. Arizona State University

Arizona State University provides a Master of Science in Criminal Justice, which can be combined with a major or minor in other fields. The program has accreditation from CALEA.

ASU’s top 10 ranking among public universities includes its law school and highly ranked business schools. ASU has also been ranked No. 1 for “Best Value” according to Forbes’ 25 Best Colleges rankings for 2018-2019; it was No. 2 last year and No. 6 in 2016-2017.

In addition to its excellent reputation as an academic institution, ASU has a good reputation for student satisfaction. The student life survey scores are above average across all categories except academics, where they fall short of the national average by just one out of 100 points possible.

2. Central Piedmont Community College

Central Piedmont Community College is among the top public community college in Charlotte, North Carolina. It has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students and offers more than 100 programs at its main campus in Charlotte as well as satellite locations throughout the region.

One can complete the school’s criminal justice program online or on campus. Students must complete 60 credit hours to earn their certificate, which requires them to complete two semesters’ worth of classes and participate in fieldwork activities such as interviewing witnesses or collecting physical evidence. This program costs $1,200 per semester (fall/spring), plus fees totaling $2,300 total (tuition only).

Students may choose from several majors within this field:

  • Criminal justice administration.
  • Law enforcement studies.
  • Forensic science technology.
  • Criminal justice informatics.
  • Investigative journalism & communications management track.

3. Kaplan University

Kaplan University is an online university that offers degrees in many areas of study. Kaplan has an Iowa campus and offers online degrees through its distance-learning program.

Kaplan’s criminal justice bachelor’s degree is one of its most popular programs, with over 100 students enrolled per semester.

The program provides students with training in criminal investigation and forensics, law enforcement management and supervision, criminal justice policy analysis and implementation, juvenile delinquency intervention and treatment/supervision (with emphasis on forensic issues), community corrections, and corrections officer training or correctional psychology courses.

Students can complete this degree online through a combination of face-to-face workshops led by faculty members onsite at the school’s main campus in Cedar Rapids or home offices around the country where classes are held during evenings or weekends.

4. Penn Foster Career School

Penn Foster Career School provides a wide range of career-focused online courses, including courses in criminal justice, law enforcement, and paralegal studies.

The school is an accredited college that offers bachelors and associate degrees. The online associate degree program in criminal justice requires the completion of 60 credits.

The curriculum includes criminal investigation theory and hands-on practical experience through internships or externships at local police departments or sheriff’s offices.

After graduation, students who complete this program will have their businesses as an investigator.

5. Stratford Career Institute

Stratford Career Institute offers a certificate program in private investigation.

In addition, Stratford Career Institute offers an associate degree in criminal justice with an emphasis on the private investigation.

This program is designed for students who already have some experience as investigators and security guards but don’t have any formal training or certification yet. 

The curriculum includes courses such as firearms safety, investigative reporting, and research methods; advanced interviewing techniques; law enforcement procedures; crime scene investigation; ethics theory & practice; evidence gathering techniques (including fingerprinting); defensive driving training (including defensive driving skills): crime scene photography/video production.

6. University of Houston-Clear Lake

The University of Houston-Clear Lake offers a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, which is available online. It offers two programs: one that focuses on law enforcement and another on a private investigation.

The online Criminal Justice program is intended for students who want to become police officers or federal law enforcement professionals at the FBI, DEA, or other agencies. Students must complete 40 hours of coursework before they can begin working toward their degree requirements. 

For example, Introduction to Law Enforcement (IEL). This class covers topics such as; 

  • Constitutional rights and legal authority; police powers; investigative techniques.
  • Ethical standards of behavior within the law enforcement community.
  • Limitations on investigatory techniques used by criminologists/crime scene investigators, including fingerprinting.
  • Bloodstain pattern analysis using scientific principles drawn from physics plus human anatomy classes taught by professors from Texas A&M University’s Department of Forensic Sciences.

7. Argosy University, Online Programs

Argosy University offers a variety of degree programs through its online division. These include bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and forensic accounting, as well as Master’s degrees in criminal justice and law enforcement administration. A certificate program is also available for those who want to work in the field but don’t have enough time to complete an entire degree program.

8. National American University – Online

National American University’s online criminal justice degree program is offered in two concentrations: Private Investigation and Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Private Investigation. The school also offers an undergraduate certificate in criminal justice, which can be completed on the school’s website or through its website.

Students who have intentions to continue their education after completing their bachelor’s degree at National American University may choose from one of two Master of Science programs: Criminal Justice Policy and Management (MCS) or Forensic Psychology (FP). MCS students take courses such as Constitutional Law, Corporations and Commercial Law, Legal environment/Human Rights Issues/Criminal Justice Theory/Police Processes; FP students take courses such as Criminal Behavior Assessment, Juvenile Delinquency Intervention Strategies, Effective Interview Techniques for Police Officers; Parole Officer Skills Development Program Management Procedures & Advanced Assessment Toolsets In addition to these academic tracks there are also opportunities within each track

In addition, there are many other ways that you can get involved within our organization.

9. Alfred State College-SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Alfred State College-SUNY College of Technology at Alfred is a nice public college in Alfred, New York. The college offers two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Arts focusing on criminal justice.

Alfred State College-SUNY College of Technology at Alfred has received accreditation from Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1979.

It is also listed as an accredited institution by the Middle States Association (MSA) which means that the school meets or exceeds standards established by this organization for educational institutions seeking accreditation status within this region.

10. Penn Foster College

Penn Foster College is an online college offering criminal justice, marketing, and business administration degrees. This school has campuses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida.

The school offers a degree program in criminal justice through its satellite campus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). It also offers a bachelor’s degree program through its main campus in Mishawaka, Indiana, or online via Penn Foster’s virtual classroom. The college offers associate degrees and certificates at all three locations.

Additional programs are added throughout 2019 including certificate programs for law enforcement officers attending community colleges across America, cyber security specialists, and IT support staff members.

11. Utah Valley University

Utah Valley University offers a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. This program has accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education, which means it meets national standards for professional practice.

The university also has accreditation from several other organizations that oversee professional education programs in their respective fields:

  • The Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children.
  • The Council on Rehabilitation Education.
  • The National Association of Schools of Music.

12. Walden University – Online

Walden University is an online university that offers over 100 campuses in the United States and Canada. The school has a total enrollment of over 220,000 students, with more than 3,000 courses available to its students.

Walden was founded in 1970 by Dr. Henry T. Rowland, who wanted to provide access to higher education for those who couldn’t afford it or didn’t have the time or resources necessary to attend college on campus. Today, Walden’s mission remains true: providing affordable quality education through various formats (online, blended learning).

Walden University has accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission, also known as HLC. It is one of only two private, not-for-profit institutions approved as meeting HLC standards for accreditation status.

This means that all classes offered within each campus are fully accredited by HLC, including bachelor’s degrees at the Master’s level and certificate programs designed specifically with adult learners in mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Degree Is Best For A Private Investigator?

The best degrees for a private investigator are traditionally rooted in law, and this could include a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or pre-law. 

2. What State Is Easiest To Become A Private Investigator?

One can become a private investigator in Alaska is relatively simple, as most places in the state do not require a special license to be a private investigator.

3. How Long Does It Take To Become A Private Investigator In Ontario?

To be a private investigator in Ontario, you must complete a 50-hour investigator training course with an accredited instructor.

4. How Old Are Most Private Investigators?

The average age of a licensed private investigator is forty-two years.

5. Is Being A Private Investigator Difficult?

This type of work may not be easy for clients or people who do not have this skill.

6. How Much Is A PI Per Hour?

According to the website Thumbtack, private detectives cost between $99 and $150 per hour, with the national average cost of private investigator services coming in at around $105 per hour.

7. How Much Is A PI Per Hour?

According to the website Thumbtack, private detectives cost between $99 and $150 per hour.

8. Do PIs Make Good Money?

An hourly rate for a rookie American Private Detective is usually around $16 per hour, which would equal a salary of approximately $32 000 per year.

9. Is Being A Private Investigator Stressful?

People may become suspicious or feel threatened, leading to a stressful career. 

10. Can Private Investigators Carry Guns In Canada?

Firearms. The debate of whether private investigators are allowed to carry handguns is under the federal Firearms Act, the PSISA, and the Canadian Criminal Code. Generally, under these Acts, private investigators are prohibited from carrying handguns and other restricted weapons.


To become a private legal investigator, you must have the skills and education. The best way to start your own investigation company is to get training from an accredited school that offers programs in this field.

With so many options available, it’s easy for students who want to make their dreams come true at home versus elsewhere worldwide.

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