Best Criminal Justice Degrees

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Nab one of the nation’s best Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Degrees.

Whether you envision yourself chasing criminals out in the streets or behind a desk strategizing crime prevention for the local community, a bachelor in criminal justice degree is necessary. It will provide an array of career opportunities and ensure your exciting yet stable vocational future.

What kind of Criminal Justice Degree should you get?

How you design your undergraduate experience should reflect your career aspirations. For example, if you hope to work directly in law enforcement then check out a program that emphasizes the practical applications of criminal justice.

But, if you’re more drawn to the analytics of crime, wondering what causes it and how it can be prevented, then you may want to look at programs which stress the importance of research and data analysis.

However you intend to specialize, you can be assured that all of the programs here will provide a sturdy foundation in criminal justice. And some of these programs can even be completed fully online. We’ve been sure to highlight those.

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Recommended Online Programs

For a full listing of online criminal justice degrees, be sure to check out College Choice’s Best Online Criminal Justice Degrees.

How much money do people make with a Criminal Justice Degree?

A degree in criminal justice will set you up to find work in a variety of settings: the court system, in a law office, in a police station. Because of the diversity of options upon graduation, the average salary for one holding a BS in Criminal Justice degree also varies.

For example, if you decide to become a police officer then you can expect to make around $48,000 annually in your first few years. However, if you want to apply your degree to security management, then you’re looking at least $63,000 a year.

Whichever route you take, the need for those with a BS in Criminal Justice degree is projected to rise at least another 3.5 percent in the next few years.

Top 10 Best Criminal Justice Degrees

Rank School Location
1 CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice New York, NY
2 Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY
3 George Washington University Washington, NC
4 Northeastern University Boston, MA
5 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
6 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
7 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
8 Park University Parkville, MO
9 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
10 Rutgers University-Newark Newark, NJ

What are the requirements for a Criminal Justice Degree?

The programs here are all full undergraduate degree programs. You will be required to first complete two years of general education coursework (in English, science, math, etc). Once those are finished you will dive into the criminal justice major, taking such introductory classes as:

  • Criminology
  • Courts and Law
  • Police and Society
  • Juvenile Detention

After finishing your core criminal justice classes you can further explore the complex world of criminal justice by taking a number of electives, in everything from transnational crime to the death penalty. Finally, you can gain hands-on experience by participating in an internship or field practicum. Some schools even require it (we’ve been sure to note which).

What are the best Criminal Justice Degrees?

While some of these programs specialize in corrections and others in cyber crime, they all share one thing one common: they are the best Bachelor in Criminal Justice degrees.

To determine the best Criminal Justice programs we started first with the academic reputation of each school nationwide that offers the degree. We then examined retention rates, as it reflects student satisfaction. And we then took into account the affordability of the program and the early salaries of its graduates.

After our extensive research, we found those programs that are the country’s absolute best at training leaders in law enforcement and criminology. Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Part of the renowned City University of New York system (CUNY), the John Jay College of Criminal Justice is located in Midtown Manhattan. John Jay is uniquely a liberal arts school, but it specializes in forensic and criminal justice education. Over 15,000 students attend.

    Features

    What better place to earn your degree in criminal justice than the leader of criminology education, John Jay College. There you will gain a broad, multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional understanding of criminal justice. You will learn how to apply an analytical, ethical, critical, qualitative, and quantitative approach to crime control. Classes include:

    • Race, Gender, Ethnicity, Crime and Justice
    • Understanding Criminal Behavior
    • Crime Prevention and Control
    • Criminal Responsibility

    Notables

    John Jay is well decorated in its rankings, recognitions, and awards. Forbes includes the college among its list of “America’s Top Colleges.” As does The Economist. And U.S. News & World Report ranks the criminology program among the top ten best in the country.

  2. Marist College
    Location

    Poughkeepsie, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Marist College is located in Poughkeepsie, New York. It is a liberal arts college with around 7,000 students and approximately 60 academic areas of study. And, since its founding, Marist College is a Roman Catholic school.

    Features

    At Marist you have the opportunity to double major in criminal justice and psychology. Classes not only cover the causes of crime, but they examine the many responses society (and its systems) have toward crime control. At Marist you will be expected to complete an internship in addition to the coursework, which covers:

    • Policing in America
    • Corrections and Penology
    • Criminal Courts
    • Juvenile Justice and Delinquency

    Notables

    Just this past year U.S. News & World Report recognized Marist College as one of “America’s Best Colleges.” Similarly, The Princeton Review and Kiplinger’s called Marist one of the nation’s best and most affordable schools, respectively.

  3. George Washington University
    Location

    Washington, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in the nation’s capital, George Washington University (GWU) is a research university. GWU is organized into over a dozen colleges and schools, and it offers nearly 100 academic programs of study. It’s most popular areas, unsurprisingly, are in government, journalism, and international affairs.

    Features

    George Washington University offers a BA in Criminal Justice through the Department of Sociology. Because of where this program is housed, you can expect to take several classes on sociology and the sociological aspects of criminal justice. For example, at GWU you will the have the opportunity to take unique criminal justice classes such as:

    • The Sociological Imagination
    • Economics of Crime
    • U.S. Constitutional History
    • Transnational Crime

    Notables

    GWU is well ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and The Princeton Review. The latter, in fact, consistently recognizes GWU in a number of distinctive areas: for having the most politically active student body, for having one of the most popular study abroad programs, and more.

  4. Northeastern University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Northeastern University is based in Boston, Massachusetts. It is known for its active and ongoing research endeavors and for its unique co-op program. Students not only earn an education through this program, but they gain real-world experience through professional paid internships.

    Features

    Northeastern offers a BS in Criminal Justice degree that prepares you for either a professional or a research-driven career in criminal justice. You will learn how to predict and explain crime patterns while also developing community advancement strategies. Through Northeastern’s diverse range of electives you can take classes such as:

    • The Death Penalty
    • Human Trafficking
    • Corruption, Integrity, and Accountability
    • Crimes Against Humanity

    Notables

    Northeastern University is ranked 40th among all national universities by U.S. News & World Report. Likewise, The Princeton Review designates it as among the best schools for internship experience. Its criminology program is also considered one of the best in the country.

  5. Michigan State University
    Location

    East Lansing, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Michigan State University (MSU) is known for its stellar academic programs in an array of areas and disciplines. Its most popular academic degrees include the criminology, psychology, and education programs. MSU is located in Lansing, Michigan and is home to over 50,000 students.

    Features

    Through MSU you can earn a bachelor’s in criminal justice degree that focuses on the importance of security and civil liberty. You’ll take classes on everything from policing to juvenile justice, private security, and methods of criminal justice research. MSU also offers four unique study abroad opportunities to its criminal justice students:

    • Comparative Law and Legal Systems in the Caribbean
    • Australia: Its People, Government, Justice Systems and Public Policies
    • Madagascar: Paradise in Peril? Exploring Madagascar’s Biodiversity Crisis
    • The Philippines: Justice and Development Practice in Transitional Societies of Southeast Asia

    Notables

    A member of the elite Association of American Universities organization, MSU houses dozens of leading research facilities. MSU is also a leading member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance. It is ranked 82nd among all national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

  6. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    One of the most conservative Christian colleges in the nation, Liberty University is also the country’s largest evangelical school. Over 110,000 students, most of whom study online, attend Liberty. Campus is located in Lynchburg, Virginia.

    Features

    Graduates from Liberty’s BS in Criminal Justice program have gone on to become criminologists, fraud investigators, police officers, and crime scene investigators. Liberty ensures its students have many opportunities in the work force by providing a broad-based education in criminal justice. You can even specialize, in:

    • Homeland Security
    • Juvenile Justice
    • Public Administration
    • Strategic Intelligence Studies

    Notables

    U.S. News & World Report ranks Liberty in several of its categories, designating it among the best colleges for veterans and for having some of the best online education programs. Liberty is among the nation’s top ten most conservative schools.

  7. West Chester University of Pennsylvania
    Location

    West Chester, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    West Chester University (WCUPA) is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. More than 16,000 students attend WCUPA, which was originally founded as a teacher’s school. Today, WCUPA offers dozens of bachelor and master’s degrees in varying professional and academic disciplines.

    Features

    West Chester students gain both a theoretical and hands-on learning experience when earning a BS in Criminal Justice degree. While taking classes that can be tailored to meet your academic and vocational goals, you’ll also be expected to complete an exhaustive internship too. Some classes you can expect to take at West Chester include:

    • Theories of Crime and Delinquency
    • Corrections
    • Policing in America
    • Criminal Procedure

    Notables

    U.S. News & World Report has heaped much praise and many rankings on West Chester. The university is counted among the best in its region, the best college for veterans, and one of the most affordable college in the country. Likewise, its online programs are known for their excellence too.

  8. Park University
    Location

    Parkville, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Park University is primarily located in Parkville, Missouri but also has 40 other campuses across the country, 33 of which are located on military installations, not to mention many online options. Park is a private school with approximately 16,500 students. It offers nearly 54 degrees (38 Bachelor’s, eight Master’s, and eight Associates), 27 certificates (16 graduate and 11 undergraduate)

    Features

    Park University offers a BS in Criminal Justice degree that provides students with an in-depth understanding of the U.S. criminal justice system. In this program you will explore society and crime through theoretical, philosophical, and practical applications. And at Park there are three ways to further specialize in criminal justice, by enrolling in one of the three tracks:

    • Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement
    • Criminal Justice and Corrections
    • Criminal Justice and Security

    Notables

    In addition to its regional academic ranking, Park University is known for its committed service to student vets. It is ranked 1st among all private schools for “Best for Vets Colleges” by The Military Times. Similarly, Washington Monthly designates it as one of the best colleges for adult learners.

  9. Sam Houston State University
    Location

    Huntsville, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is located just outside of downtown Houston in Huntsville. SHSU is one of the oldest public universities in Texas and it is a member of the Texas State University System. Over 20,000 students attend.

    Features

    Offered through one of the best criminal justice colleges in the country, Sam Houston’s BS in Criminal Justice and Victim Studies degrees are unparalleled. You’ll investigate sociological aspects of crime and victimology while also gaining hands-on experience through an internship. You can even take classes online. Sam Houston’s curriculum covers:

    • Cyber Crime
    • Global Terrorism
    • White Collar Crime
    • Victimology

    Notables

    Sam Houston State University consistently shows up on the annual national rankings from Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly. SHSU is most known, and praised, for its criminal justice programs, and the College of Criminal Justice is ranked in the top five nationally by the Journal of Criminal Justice.

  10. Rutgers University-Newark
    Location

    Newark, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Rutgers is a public school with multiple campuses located throughout New Jersey. It is a huge, sprawling research university with more than 70,000 combined undergraduate and graduate students. Rutgers is a senior member in the Big Ten Academic Alliance and the Universities Research Association.

    Features

    Rutgers’ BS in Criminal Justice degree is notably interdisciplinary. You’ll take classes in a range of disciplines, each of which provides a unique lens to better understanding crime and criminal justice. Also, Rutgers offers an accelerated BS/MA program in criminal justice for those who know they want an advanced degree. Core classes include:

    • Criminology
    • Police and Society
    • Corrections
    • Criminal Justice: Ethical and Philosophical Foundations

    Notables

    Rutgers, one of only nine colonial colleges founded before the American Revolution, is one of the oldest universities in the country. It is ranked among the top 100 best universities in the country by ARWU, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly.

  11. St. Edward's University
    Location

    Austin, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    St. Edward’s University is a private school located in Austin, Texas. It is a Roman Catholic university that offers a liberal arts education to its 5,000 students. St. Edward’s has over 60 areas of academic study, in education, the sciences, business, and more.

    Features

    St. Edward’s offers a BA in Criminal Justice degree that readies its students for successful careers at the local, state, and federal level of justice and law enforcement. At St. Edward’s you will learn to identify patterns of criminal behavior and you will gain full knowledge of law, judicial philosophy, and the U.S. constitution. Classes include unique electives such as:

    • American Court System
    • Death Investigations
    • Mock Trial
    • And more

    Notables

    Consistently for the last five years St. Edward’s has been among the top producer of U.S. Fulbright students. And in the last decade, St. Edward’s students have won an impressive 27 Fulbright scholarships. And the university is nationally ranked by Forbes.

  12. Boston University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Boston University (BU) is a large private university with over 30,000 enrolled students. BU is loosely affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Though it is mostly known for its strengths in data science, health, engineering, and more.

    Features

    Boston University’s BS in Criminal Justice degree brings together theories of social science with applications in corrections, social policy, and policing. Students are expected to specialize in law, policing, adjudication, or corrections. BU’s core curriculum is comprised of the following classes:

    • Police and Society
    • Corrections: Concepts, Systems, and Issues
    • Criminal Law
    • Courts, Society, and Criminal Procedure

    Notables

    BU has graduated Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, Emmy and Tony winners, and MacArthur, Guggenheim, and Sloan Fellowship recipients. In addition to its academic reputation and ranking, Boston University is similarly known for its innovative research efforts and its commitment to sustainability.

  13. Indiana University-Bloomington
    Location

    Bloomington, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Bloomington branch of IU is a public research university and the flagship school in the larger Indiana University System. Many of IU Bloomington’s colleges and schools are nationally renowned, among them the business, computer science, and international studies schools. More than 40,000 students attend IU Bloomington.

    Features

    IU Bloomington’s BA in Criminal Justice degree is notably interdisciplinary. The program is a unique blend of the social sciences, legal studies, and the humanities. Students graduate ready for advanced education in law or to jump into an enforcement-related career. Three concentrations are available:

    • Criminal Justice and the Law
    • Gender, Race, and Crime
    • Criminal Justice and Psychology

    Notables

    Indiana University is considered a Public Ivy. That is, it shares the same elite academic status as private Ivy Leagues. IU is also a member of the Big Ten Conference and the Association of American Universities. It is well ranked by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and more.

  14. St. Thomas University-Miami
    Location

    Miami Garden, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    St. Thomas University (STU) is a private, Catholic university located in Miami, Florida. The university is organized into six schools and colleges. Approximately 5,000 students attend STU and are enrolled in one of the university’s 60 academic programs.

    Features

    St. Thomas’ BA in Criminal Justice degree prepares its students to find work with elite agencies such as the FBI, the DEA, and the U.S. Department of Justice. At STU you will gain crucial leadership skills while exploring the theories and applications of policing and corrections. Some of the classes you’ll take at STU include:

    • Criminology
    • Law Enforcement Systems
    • Victimology
    • Terrorism and Law Enforcement Procedures

    Notables

    St. Thomas has instituted many projects and programs on campus that specifically develop leadership skills in its students. Among these programs is the well-respected Catholic Education Continuum Program, which provides scholarship opportunities, dual enrollments among majors, and connections to local and national organizations.

  15. St. Mary's University-San Antonio
    Location

    San Antonio, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    St. Mary’s University is a Catholic and Marianist school based just outside of San Antonio, Texas. It offers a liberal arts education to its 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Having been founded in the middle of the nineteenth century, St. Mary’s is Texas’ oldest Catholic university.

    Features

    While earning a BA in Criminal Justice degree at St. Mary’s University you will take classes on everything from the international justice system to criminal justice administration. You will also hone your critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills while a student. St. Mary’s alumni have found careers as:

    • Police and Corrections Officers
    • Forensic Science Technicians
    • Loss Prevention Specialists
    • Criminal Profilers

    Notables

    Though focused on providing a liberal arts education, St. Mary’s emphasizes the importance of research, especially in the STEM fields. Students are encouraged to participate in research efforts, even at an undergraduate level. And they often are awarded with conference travel funds and summer program support.

  16. University of Washington-Tacoma
    Location

    Tacoma, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Though the University of Washington in Tacoma offers dozens of degree programs, it is most known for its computer science, criminal justice, business, education, and nursing programs. UW Tacoma’s emphasis on professional education is similarly reflected in how it offers flexible class options to its 5,000 students.

    Features

    At UW Tacoma you can earn a BA in Criminal Justice degree either on campus or fully online. Both programs provide a multidisciplinary approach to crime and justice. While at UW Tacoma you will come to understand the broader social processes and systems through classes that cover:

    • Diversity and Social Justice in Criminology
    • Addictions and Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice Systems
    • Introduction to Social Welfare
    • Police and Society

    Notables

    Because UW Tacoma is a member of the greater UW System, it shares many of the same resources as its highly ranked sister universities. And it provides a notably interdisciplinary approach to education, just like its sister universities.

  17. Hilbert College
    Location

    Hamburg, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Hilbert College is located in Hamburg, New York, just outside of Buffalo. It is a private, Franciscan college and part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. Hilbert provides a liberal arts education to its 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students.

    Features

    Hilbert offers a BS in Criminal Justice degree that offers a liberal arts foundation while introducing you to the key concepts in law enforcement and criminology. At Hilbert you will be prepared for graduate school study or to find a career in law, counseling, administration, probation, and much more. At Hilbert you can specialize in a number of areas, including in:

    • Forensic Investigation
    • Juvenile Justice
    • Family Violence
    • Police Management

    Notables

    Hilbert students are known for their involvement in extracurricular activities. In fact, despite the small size of the student body, there are over two dozen student-run clubs to get involved in. This includes everything from a snowboarding club to campus ministry.

  18. Georgia College & State University
    Location

    Milledgeville, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Georgia College and State University (GCSU) is located in Milledgeville, Georgia. It is a public liberal arts school and a member of the University System of Georgia. Around 6,000 students, most of whom are undergraduates, attend GCSU.

    Features

    GCSU’s BA in Criminal Justice degree uniquely focuses on the principles of democracy, constitutionalism, civil liberties, and equal rights. This is an ideal program for those who are interested in government work, policy making, foreign service, or criminal justice administration. GCSU’s core consists of classes such as:

    • Police Systems and Practices
    • Correctional Systems and Practices
    • Criminal Law and Procedure
    • Criminology

    Notables

    GCSU is known for its vibrant and involved student body. Nearly half of GCSU students volunteer or are involved in community service. And 40 percent play intramural sports.

  19. University of Cincinnati
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Part of the broader University System of Ohio, the University of Cincinnati (UC) is a public, research school. UC is a large school with nearly 50,000 combined undergraduate and graduate students. And there are over 300 academic programs offered across all degree levels, from certification to doctorate.

    Features

    UC’s interdisciplinary BS in Criminal Justice degree provides a foundation in criminal justice analysis and systems. You will learn how to prevent crime, enact effective intervention, and analyze crime patterns. And you can take classes either on campus or online. Once you graduate from UC you will be prepared to find work in such diverse roles as:

    • Park Ranger
    • Parole Officer
    • US Postal Inspector
    • Risk Manager

    Notables

    UC is included in the national rankings from ARWU, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly. It is also globally ranked, and dozens of its individual degrees and departments are highly ranked as well.

  20. University of Oklahoma
    Location

    Norman, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Norman, Oklahoma, the University of Oklahoma (OU) is a public, research university. More than 30,000 students attend OU and are enrolled in one of the 300 academic degree programs. OU has many strong programs but is perhaps best known for its research and education in energy, Native American studies and languages, and engineering.

    Features

    Like some of the other programs on our list, OU also allows students to earn this BS in Criminal Justice degree on campus or online. Whichever route you take, OU will ready for you a career in law enforcement. Their curriculum is exhaustive and covers the following:

    • Statistics in Criminal Justice
    • Comparative Justice Systems
    • Theories of Criminal Behavior
    • Deviance and Social Control

    Notables

    OU is a highly decorated university. It is ranked first among all public universities for its number of National Merit Scholars. It is ranked among the top ten universities in its graduation of Rhodes Scholars. And it is ranked among the top 100 best national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

  21. University of Mississippi
    Location

    Oxford, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Oxford, the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) is a huge research university. In fact, it is the largest school in the state with over 25,000 enrolled students. The Oxford campus is organized into eleven colleges while the Jackson campus is home to 5 professional schools.

    Features

    The University of Mississippi offers a BS in Criminal Justice degree that provides a foundation in both domestic and international crime concepts. As a student at Ole Miss you’ll take classes in criminal law, ethics in legal studies, and criminal justice while also participating in internships and colloquiums. Ole Miss offers its students three areas to concentrate in:

    • Corrections
    • Homeland Security
    • Law Enforcement

    Notables

    Ole Miss is a flagship university and part of the SEC Academic Initiative. It is nationally ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly. And it consistently makes Forbes’ list of Best Value Colleges.

  22. Messiah College
    Location

    Mechanicsburg, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A liberal arts college based in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Messiah College is a Christian school. Its focus on faith is reflected throughout the school’s curriculum, programming, and vision. Over 3,300 students attend Messiah.

    Features

    Messiah offers a BA in Criminal Justice degree unlike any other on our list: it specializes in restorative justice and provides a faith-based approach to education. At Messiah you will learn how to cultivate a “good society” and how you personally can become “an agent of social change.” Classes include:

    • Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
    • Restorative Justice
    • Ethics in the Criminal Justice System
    • Juvenile Delinquency

    Notables

    Despite its size, U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review have taken note of Messiah. The former ranks it as one of the “Best Regional Colleges” in the North. And the latter calls it one of the “Best Colleges in the Northeast.

  23. University of New Haven
    Location

    West Haven, CT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of New Haven (UNH) is located in West Haven, Connecticut. It is a private university that blends its liberal arts education with professional training. Approximately 6,400 students attend UNH.

    Features

    At the University of New Haven criminal justice students are allowed to customize their academic experience. You will develop a thorough understanding of public safety and crime while also exploring areas of interest specific to your career goals. There are also a half dozen ways to specialize at UNH, among them:

    • Correctional Rehabilitation and Supervision
    • Crime Analysis
    • Crime Victim Services
    • Investigative Services

    Notables

    Consistently ranked among the top 100 universities in its region, UNH is also considered one of the best colleges for veterans. And its ranked as a best value school. Each of these accolades come from U.S. News & World Report.

  24. Washington State University
    Location

    Pullman, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Washington State University (WSU) is located in Pullman, Washington. It is a public research university known for its programs in veterinary medicine, agriculture, food science, and more. WSU is therefore considered a land-grant university, and is home to 30,000 students.

    Features

    Washington State University offers a policy-focused criminal justice degree that is ideal for students who want to go into government work. This BA in Criminal Justice and Criminology program prepares students to jump into criminal justice work or to go on and earn an advanced degree in law. In fact, graduates from WSU have found work in:

    • Local and federal courts
    • Corrections
    • Law enforcement
    • Juvenile justice systems

    Notables

    WSU is known (and ranked!) for its research activities and initiatives. It has been ranked by the National Science Foundation for its research funding. And WSU has relationships with the U.S. Department of Energy and other such high-profile agencies through which it coordinates research efforts.

  25. Temple University
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Home to 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Temple University is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university is not only sprawling in terms of its student population, but Temple offers over 400 academic programs. It is also one of the world’s largest universities specializing in professional degrees.

    Features

    Temple offers a BA in Criminal Justice degree that gives students an in-depth understanding of the nature of crime, criminals, and criminal law. Students are equally trained to become practitioners, researchers, or academics through Temple’s exhaustive program. And they take an array of classes, in:

    • Nature of Crime
    • Introduction to Criminal Law
    • Criminal Justice Statistics
    • Criminal Justice Research Methods

    Notables

    Temple University is a top public school in the U.S., ranked among the 100 best. In addition, many of Temple’s individual departments are also well-ranked, by U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review, the National Science Foundation, and much more.

  26. East Carolina University
    Location

    Greenville, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    East Carolina University (ECU) is a public, research university. It is primarily located in Greenville, North Carolina and was founded as a teacher’s school. Today it is organized into ten colleges plus four professional schools.

    Features

    Offered through the College of Human Ecology, ECU offers a BS in Criminal Justice degree. This program prepares students to either gain a professional position within the diverse field of criminal justice, or to go on to earn a graduate degree in law. At ECU you will be fully prepared for both, having participated in a field internship and through classes such as:

    • Crime and Criminality
    • Race, Gender, and Special Populations
    • Principles of Criminal Law
    • Issues and Problems in Criminal Justice

    Notables

    Recognized as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity campus, ECU is well ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly. Distinctively, ECU is also known for its service to student vets, even winning the Patriot Award.

  27. University of Nebraska-Kearney
    Location

    Kearney, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Kearney affiliate in the larger University of Nebraska System (UNK) is home to 7,000 students. It was founded as a teacher’s school but now offers dozens of degree programs, at all levels and across all subjects and disciplines.

    Features

    Whether you want to work at the local, state, or federal level, UNK’s BS in Criminal Justice degree will help you get there. Classes cover correctional services, justice systems, policing, theories of crime, and more. And graduates from UNK have found work in a variety of roles, such as:

    • Police Officers
    • Special Agents
    • Probation and Parole Officers
    • Security Investigators

    Notables

    The University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) is known for being among the top ten best public universities in its region (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report). Also, its eCampus is consistently placed among the best online universities in the country.

  28. Texas Christian University
    Location

    Fort Worth, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Texas Christian University (TCU) is located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is a private school affiliated with the Disciples of Christ, maintaining a distinctively Christian focus throughout its curriculum. TCU is organized into eight colleges, through which over 10,000 students are enrolled.

    Features

    Texas Christian University offers a BS in Criminal Justice degree through its expansive Department of Criminal Justice. At TCU you will gain a foundation in criminology while also working a minimum of 125 hours in the field through an impressive internship program. Classes at TCU include:

    • Critical Issues in Crime and Justice
    • Criminal Justice Research Methods I and II
    • Courts and Judicial Process
    • Criminology

    Notables

    Texas Christian University is perhaps best known for its emphasis on classical liberal arts education. Additionally, TCU is ranked, by U.S. News & World Report, among the top 100 best universities nationwide. And it is considered a Tier 1 research university.

  29. Western Carolina University
    Location

    Cullowhee, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Cullowhee, North Carolina, Western Carolina University (WCU) is located in the Great Smoky Mountains, near the National Park. It is a mid-sized university of around 10,000 students, but offers dozens academic areas of study. WCU is part of the larger University of North Carolina System.

    Features

    At WCU you will closely examine crime, criminals, policing, courts, corrections, and victims through the BS in Criminal Justice degree. In addition to these classes, as a WCU student you will also have a number of other opportunities to gain specialization and hands-on experience. Some of these opportunities include:

    • Membership in the Student Association of Criminal Justice Affairs
    • Membership in Alpha Phi, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society
    • Criminal Justice Internship

    Notables

    WCU offers many academic programs and research initiatives that are devoted to studying the Cherokee and Appalachian Mountain cultures. And, generally, campus is pocked with over 20 research centers and facilities. Furthermore, the university is ranked among “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report.

  30. Cedarville University
    Location

    Cedarville, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Cedarville University is a Baptist college located in Cedarville, Ohio. The curriculum heavily integrates theological study, and students are expected to abide by the codes of conduct. Cedarville is a small school with around 3,700 students.

    Features

    At Cedarville you will delve into a liberal arts education while also working closely with the Department of History and Government to earn a BA in Criminal Justice degree. You will also apply a biblical worldview to criminal justice theory and applications. Additional opportunities Cedarville offers include:

    • Conducting research at the Center for Political Studies
    • Doing a semester in Washington D.C.
    • Scholarship and awards possibilities
    • Internships

    Notables

    All Cedarville students are required to minor in the Bible, earning at least fifteen credits in the areas of biblical and theological study. Similarly, students are required to attend chapel services held on campus throughout the week.

  31. The University of Alabama
    Location

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    With nearly 40,000 combined undergraduates and graduate students, the University of Alabama (UA) is a large, research-driven university. It is also comprised of over a dozen colleges and schools and hundreds of programs of study. UA is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

    Features

    The University of Alabama offers a number of ways to study criminal justice. You can either earn a full BA in Criminal Justice degree or minor in criminal justice, cyber criminology, or sociology. The full degree program specifically focuses on computer fraud investigation, terrorism, crime scene analysis, and law studies. Classes cover:

    • Introduction to Criminal Justice
    • Research Methods
    • Survey of Criminal Theory
    • Statistics

    Notables

    The University of Alabama is a flagship school ranked annually by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly, and QS World University Rankings. It is included among the nation’s top 50 public universities. And UA is a member of the SEC Academic Initiative, which promotes academic and research achievements among its students.

  32. Keiser University
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Keiser University is a private university. Keiser has other campuses located throughout the state, plus a renowned online, distance education program. Though Keiser offers many areas of study, it is most known for its degrees in business, criminal justice, healthcare, nursing, and management.

    Features

    Keiser’s BA in Criminal Justice degree program introduces students to the complexities of the U.S. criminal justice system. It also emphasizes the important roles of research and analysis in crime. In addition to introductory courses which cover corrections, law enforcement, and crime, you will also take a number of upper division classes in such unique areas as:

    • Crime and the Media
    • Organized Crime
    • White-Collar and Economic Crime
    • Cyber Crimes

    Notables

    U.S. News & World Report ranks Keiser 13th overall in its category for Regional Colleges in the South. When just considering schools in Florida, U.S. News ranks Keiser first. In addition to these academic accolades, Keiser is consistently praised for its service to student vets and active-military personnel.

  33. Miami University
    Location

    Oxford, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Miami University is located in Oxford, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati. It is a public research university with nearly 200 graduate and undergraduate degrees offered through its eight colleges. Over 25,000 students attend Miami.

    Features

    Miami University’s BS in Criminal Justice degree gives students an advanced understanding of crime, justice, policing, and the U.S. legal systems. As a student you will hone your problem-solving skills while also developing quantitative literacy and application strategies. Miami’s core curriculum consists of:

    • Law and the Courts
    • Criminal Behavior
    • Law and Individual Rights
    • Corrections

    Notables

    Miami University is adorned in rankings and awards. Foremost, it has earned a reputation for providing an excellent liberal arts education. And, in fact, it is ranked 79th among all universities in the nation. And on top of its academic reputation, Miami University is also known for its beautiful campus and for being located in a top U.S. college town.

  34. Indiana Wesleyan University
    Location

    Marion, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A private, evangelical college, Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) is located in Marion, Indiana. Over 15,000 students are enrolled in on of IWU’s 100 academic programs. Because of its size and breadth, IWU is designated as one of the state’s largest private universities.

    Features

    Indiana Wesleyan’s BS in Criminal Justice degree will open up many job opportunities for you. Whether you want to work in the courts or in victim assistance, corporate security or in the streets as an officer, this program prepares students for positions of leadership. Some of the classes you can expect to take as an IWU student include:

    • Forensics
    • Criminology
    • Youth and Crime
    • Crisis Intervention

    Notables

    IWU first provides its students with a foundation in a liberal arts education. It then offers a diverse array of academic programming, from hard sciences to the fine arts, theology, and more. IWU has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as “One of the Top Universities in the Midwest.”

  35. SUNY College at Brockport
    Location

    Brockport, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Part of the State University of New York, the College of Brockport (SUNY Brockport) is a liberal arts college. It is home to around 8,000 combined undergraduate and graduate students. SUNY offers majors in a variety of subjects, from criminal justice to pre-med.

    Features

    Brockport offers a BS in Criminal Justice degree that is ideal for those who want to work in law enforcement, the court system, or corrections. Brockport also offers its students the opportunity to easily double major in sociology and criminal justice through an accelerated program. At Brockport you will take classes such as:

    • The Police Process
    • The Corrections Process
    • Criminal Courts and Law
    • Criminology

    Notables

    Brockport is known for being one of SUNY’s most competitive schools. It is ranked as being among the best regional colleges, one of the best colleges for veterans, and for its good value, all by U.S. News & World Report.

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