Criminal Justice Degree: Best Programs

A criminal justice degree qualifies you for an array of careers in private and public sector organizations, including careers in law enforcement, courts, and corrections at the federal, state, and local levels of government.

Criminal Justice Degree: Best On-Campus and Online Degrees
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Depending on the criminal justice degree level, graduates have opportunities to ensure public safety, contribute to the effectiveness and fairness of the justice system, protect the rights and property of individuals and organizations, and more.

What can you do with a Criminal Justice Degree?

Criminal justice degree jobs include positions in administration and the legal process and jobs in the field such as an investigator or officer. Government agencies provide jobs including the FBI, DEA, IRS, INS, ATF, CIA, ICE, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, and more.

A criminal justice degree can lead to a criminal justice career in a variety of sectors such as:

  • Academia
  • Border control
  • Corrections system
  • Crime prevention agencies
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Court system
  • Cyber security
  • Forensic science
  • Government and policy agencies
  • Homeland security
  • Juvenile justice
  • Law enforcement
  • Legal Services
  • Private security

How long does it take to complete a criminal justice degree program?

Typically, full-time students can complete an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice in approximately two years, a bachelor’s degree in three to four years, a master’s degree in one to two years, a doctorate degree in two to three years, and a certificate program in approximately one year. Some criminal justice degree schools offer accelerated criminal justice degree programs.

Our list includes the best colleges for criminal justice. If you’re interested in an online criminal justice degree, each school profile indicates which degrees the school provides online.

Best On Campus and Online Criminal Justice Degrees Ranking Guidelines


Criminal Justice Degree and Career Information


Criminal Justice Degree: The Best Programs


University of Maryland, College Park – College of Behavioral and Social Sciences – Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice (College Park, Maryland)

University of Maryland, College Park – College of Behavioral and Social Sciences – Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice (College Park, Maryland)Established in 1969, the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, a leading program in the nation, provides several esteemed programs in the field. The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice develops and prepares leaders in the criminal justice field at all levels.

The internationally known faculty include current and former officers of the American Society of Criminology and editors for nearly every major relevant publication in the field.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice / Juris Doctor (joint degree)
  • Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice Highlights:

University resources and affiliated centers including C-BERC- Center for the Study of Business Ethics, Regulation and Crime, Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy, Criminology and Criminal Justice –The Universities at Shady Grove, and more

Students can take master degree programs in China, via a partnership with the Nanjing Normal University Law School, and master degree programs in Vietnam via the People’s Police Academy

Graduate students have opportunities to gain Assistantships and Fellowships which provide funding and professional experience

Hosts the Criminal Justice Student Association

Hosts a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national honors society for criminal justice students

Students gain real-world experience and connections through Internships

Independent study options provide students opportunities to focus their studies on a specific area

Undergraduate students have access to career placement assistance from the Careers4Terps program

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) provides the University of Maryland, College Park with accreditation.

Florida State University – College of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Tallahassee, FL)

Florida State University – College of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Tallahassee, FL)The College of Criminology and Criminal Justice provides a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs options, on-campus and online.

College of Criminology and Criminal Justice faculty are ranked No. 1 in the nation for research productivity and are recognized as leading experts in their fields serving as editors and co-editors of prominent journals, including: Criminology and Public Policy (CPP), Justice Quarterly, Journal of Drug Issues, Criminology, and Social Problems.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice Studies (online)
  • Master of Science in Criminology
  • Master of Science in Criminology (one-year accelerated track)
  • Master of Science in Criminology and Social Work Joint Graduate Pathway
  • Master of Science in Computer Criminology
  • Master of Science in Public Administration and Criminology Joint Graduate Pathway
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminology (also available online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Criminology
  • Bachelor of Science to Master of Science accelerated track option
  • Bachelor of Science / Juris Doctor 3+3 degree option

College of Criminology and Criminal Justice Highlights:

The College has ownership of the Journal of Drug Issues (JDI), a leader in its field

The College’s association with the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy provides students the opportunity to earn college degrees and State Officer Certifications at the same time

Membership with Lambda Alpha Epsilon

To ensure students are work-ready, the College offers both full-time and part-time internships for academic credit. Internships are specified to the student’s career goals and are available in both the public and private sector. Through internship opportunities, students can gain real-world experience, skills, and connections

The College is home to the Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research which expands the influence of scholarship in the public policy arena by promoting the use of evidence-based criminological research in policy and practice at the local, state, and national levels; the Center currently has six institutes: Crime Victim Research and Policy Institute, Corrections Research and Policy Institute, Elder Fraud Research and Policy Institute, Jail Research and Policy Institute, Juvenile Justice Research and Policy Institute, and Law Enforcement Research and Policy Institute

Through the Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, graduate students are provided excellent opportunities to gain a wide array of experiences and diverse perspectives while training to be tomorrow’s leaders in criminal justice academia, policy, and practice.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) provides Florida State University with accreditation.

University at Albany SUNY – School of Criminal Justice (Albany, NY)

UniversityofAlbanyThe School of Criminal Justice, using an interdisciplinary approach, looks at issues in the field with emphasis on the relationships between the criminal justice system, its numerous agencies, and the society it serves.

The esteemed faculty known for their research, oversee collaborative projects within one or more of the department research centers: Adolescent Work and Crime, Incarceration and Life Outcomes, Capital Jury Project, Rochester Youth Development Study (RYDS), Capital Punishment Research Initiative, Service Outcomes Action Research (SOAR), and Utilization of Criminal Justice Statistics.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

School of Criminal Justice Highlights:

Home to the Hindelang Criminal Justice Research Center; students have opportunities to participate in the Justice and Multiculturalism in the 21st century project

Undergraduate students may take an internship program during their senior year which provides them experiential learning and professional networking opportunities

Active in contemporary research and advancing the discourse of the field

The School of Criminal Justice, in partnership with the state of New York, has participated in creating the Youth Justice Institute to improve outcomes for at-risk youth

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) accredits the University at Albany SUNY.

University of Missouri, St. Louis – College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice (St. Louis, MO)

University of Missouri, St. Louis – College of Arts and Sciences - Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice (St. Louis, MO)The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice prepares students for careers as leaders in the field. The Department blends experiential learning with theory and analysis and emphasizes to students the need for understanding the field in a societal and community-oriented context.

The notable faculty participate in research in areas such as youth violence and gangs, prisoner reentry, victimization, terrorism, and crime control policy.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice Highlights:

Hosts a guest speaker series annually for its students with guests from government agencies and other universities

Hosts the Criminology and Criminal Justice Undergraduate Student Association; students have opportunities to meet, discuss, and explore the field

Hosts the Annual Youth Violence Prevention Conference, the conference attracts students, professors, criminal justice professionals, guest speakers, social workers, and others

Hosts a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national honors society for criminal justice students

Numerous scholarship opportunities

Internships provide students access to connections and real-world experience

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides the University of Missouri, St. Louis with accreditation.

University of Cincinnati – School of Criminal Justice (Cincinnati, OH)

University of Cincinnati – School of Criminal Justice (Cincinnati, OH)The School of Criminal Justice, emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach, provides students an array of undergraduate and graduate online and on-campus programs. The School of Criminal prepares students for a variety of careers.

Criminal Justice Degrees and Certificates:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Certificate in Crime and Intelligence Analysis (online)
  • Certificate in Forensic Populations (online)

School of Criminal Justice Highlights:

Faculty members involved in advancing research and discourse in the field through publication, and on-campus centers and institutes, such as the Institute of Crime Science, the Center for Criminal Justice Research, and the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute

Publishes journals such as Policing: The Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, an International Journal of the Police Strategies & Management, and Security Journal

Home to a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national honors society for criminal justice students

The Criminal Justice Society, an on-campus student organization, provides students with opportunities to grow and network, and have unique experiences with professionals in the field

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides the University of Cincinnati with accreditation.

Michigan State University – College of Social Science – School of Criminal Justice (East Lansing, MI)

Michigan State University – College of Social Science – School of Criminal Justice (East Lansing, MI)The School of Criminal Justice provides well-rounded curricula, internship opportunities, active research, professional affiliations, and more.

The School of Criminal Justice has more than 30 faculty known nationally and internationally for their expertise in areas such as public and private policing, forensic science, law enforcement intelligence and counter-terrorism, community supervision, terrorism, cybercrime, gender-based violence and victimization, conservation criminology, youth violence and prevention, and international crime and justice.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice (online)
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science
  • Master of Science in Judicial Administration (online)
  • Master of Science in Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysis (online)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

School of Criminal Justice Highlights:

The School of Criminal Justice has a tradition of advancing and translating knowledge into practice and policy via engagement with local, state, national and international partners in the public and private sectors.

The School provides criminal justice training, including the Police Executive Development Series, as an outreach service to the community

The annual School of Criminal Justice career fair provides students opportunities to develop valuable professional connections

Internship opportunities provide students connections and real-world experiences

Annually hosts the Interdisciplinary Conference on Cybercrime

The School offers several scholarship options

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides Michigan State University with accreditation.

Arizona State University – School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Tempe, AZ)

Arizona State University – School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Tempe, AZ)The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, known for its esteemed faculty and research, provides a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs.

Criminal Justice Degrees and Certificates:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (Online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Graduate Certificate – Corrections Management (Online)
  • Graduate Certificate – Law Enforcement Administration (Online)
  • Graduate Certificate – Criminal Sentencing and Sentencing Advocacy (Online)
  • Undergraduate Certificate – Criminal Investigations
  • Undergraduate Certificate – Security Studies (also available online)
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Homeland Security

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Highlights:

The proximity to major criminal justice agencies enhances the opportunities for student internship experiences

Intern opportunities at more than 200 criminal justice related agencies including law enforcement, corrections, courts, corporate and non-profit

Research centers and labs include the Center for Correctional Solutions, Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, Center for Public Criminology, Center for Spatial Reasoning & Policy Analytics, Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety, and the Developmental Etiology of Externalizing Problems lab

Study abroad opportunities

ASU branch of Alpha Phi Sigma

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides Arizona State University with accreditation.

8 Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey – School of Criminal Justice (New Brunswick, NJ)

Rutgers Law SchoolThe School of Criminal Justice, one of the first schools of criminal justice in the United States, includes internationally recognized faculty members. Via a curriculum which blends theoretical knowledge and analysis with hands-on experience and evidence-based practice, the School prepares students for criminal justice careers and graduate study.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Accelerated Master’s program (BS/MA)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

School of Criminal Justice Highlights:

The School includes the Rutgers Center for Conservation Criminology, the Rutgers Center on Public Security, and the Evidence-Based Institute for Research on Justice Practice and Policy

The Schools has affiliations with the New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons Consortium and the Racial, Democracy, Crime and Justice Network

The School of Criminal Justice, through a partnership with the New Jersey Department of Corrections, provides students the opportunity to work as a volunteer with the department

Internship opportunities provide students opportunities to gain real-world experience and connections

Hosts the Pre-Law Society and the Criminal Justice Organization for students

Hosts a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national honors society for criminal justice students

Students can pursue a niche interest in the field through the independent study option

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

9 CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice (New York, NY)

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice (New York, NY)John Jay College of Criminal Justice at CUNY contains an array of research entities which include officially designated CUNY research centers and research organizations which work with other institutions. The College provides numerous degree and non-degree options, on-campus and online. The College includes the Department of Criminal Justice.

Criminal Justice Degrees and Certificates:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science
  • Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
  • Master of Arts in International Crime and Justice (online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Institutional Theory and Practice Emphasis
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, Crime Control and Prevention emphasis
  • Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts / Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (joint degree)
  • Minor in Criminology
  • Advanced Certificate in Crime Prevention and Analysis
  • Advanced Certificate in Terrorism Studies (also available online)
  • Advanced Certificate in Race and Criminal Justice
  • Advanced Certificate in Healthcare Inspection and Oversight
  • Advanced Certificate in Criminal Investigation (also available online)
  • Advanced Certificate in Transnational Organized Crime Studies (online)

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice Highlights:

Research centers such as the Center for Cybercrime Studies, Institute of Criminal Justice Ethics, Center on Media, Crime & Justice, Research & Evaluation Center, and more

Internship program provide students opportunities to gain knowledge and skills

The CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

10University of California, Irvine – School of Social Ecology – Department of Criminology, Law, and Society (Irvine, CA)

University of California IrvineThe Department of Criminology, Law and Society focuses on the problem of crime and on understanding the cultural, social, political, and economic forces which interact with the law. The Department uses an interdisciplinary approach in its programs to provide students a broader context of law and society. The Department provides well-regarded graduate and undergraduate on-campus and online programs.

The Department prepares students for an array of careers in the field.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology, Law, and Society
  • Graduate Emphasis in Race and Justice Studies
  • Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology (online)
  • Master of Advanced Study in Criminology, Law, and Society (online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminology, Law, and Society

Department of Criminology, Law, and Society Highlights:

The faculty includes three former presidents of the American Society of Criminology; former presidents of the Law and Society Association, the American Psychology-Law Society; and the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and two Fellows of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Faculty members have particularly strong expertise in a number of sub-areas such as research in psychology and law, spatial patterns of crime, race and justice, law and society, gangs and crime, social networks and crime, incarceration and re-entry processes, and public policy and crime.

The faculty participates in contemporary research via initiatives, publications, and on-campus research centers, including the Center in Law, Society, and Culture; the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections; the Newkirk Center for Science and Society; the Center for Organizational Research; the Center for Psychology and Law; the Metropolitan Futures Initiative; and the Irvine Laboratory for the Study of Space and Crime

The most advanced students have opportunities for funded research through the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Criminology, Law, and Society

Hosts the annual Social Justice Research Symposium

The WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) provides the University of California, Irvine with accreditation.

11 Northeastern University – College of Social Sciences and Humanities – School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Boston, MA)

Northeastern University – College of Social Sciences and Humanities – School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Boston, MA)The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, provides a strong focus on experiential learning. The esteemed faculty include specialists in a broad range of areas including criminal law, serial and mass murder, crime in a global context, hate crime, terrorism, human trafficking, juvenile justice, community policing, and incarceration and punishment.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology and Justice Policy
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology and Justice Policy / Juris Doctor (combined degree)
  • Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice (online)
  • Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice / Juris Doctor (combined degree)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice / Juris Doctor (combined degree)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Political Science (combined degree)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Computer Science (combined degree)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Psychology (combined degree)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Human Services (combined degree)
  • Graduate Certificate in Global Criminology

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Highlights:

Scholarship, fellowship, and assistantship opportunities available for funding

Hosts the Criminology-Criminal Justice Graduate Student Association

The School has the Center on Crime and Community Resilience, Institute on Race and Justice, Violence and Justice Research Laboratory, and the Institute for Security and Public Policy

Provides experiential learning opportunities, including internships, study abroad, co-ops, and more

“Double Husky” program provides eligible undergraduate alumni the opportunity to pursue a graduate degree with up to 25% discounted

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) provides Northeastern University with accreditation.

12 Sam Houston State University – College of Criminal Justice – Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology (Huntsville, TX)

Sam Houston State University – College of Criminal Justice – Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology (Huntsville, TX)The College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University, established in 1963, provides a variety of undergraduate and graduate online and on-campus options. Well-regarded faculty lead the programs. The College of Criminal Justice provides an array of professional partnerships, internship opportunities, research institutes, and more.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice (online)
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management (online)
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (online)
  • Master of Science in Victim Services Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Victim Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Victim Studies
  • Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management (online)

College of Criminal Justice Highlights:

The College has partnerships with local, state, and federal criminal justice organizations, providing students valuable connections

The College provides over 300 full-time internship opportunities in federal, state, and local criminal justice agencies as well as private companies; students can earn up to nine credits for their participation

Study abroad programs provide students experience with criminal justice systems throughout the world

The Texas Legislature selected Sam Houston State University to host four institutes to offer training to top leaders in law enforcement, non-profit organizations and corrections, in the state.

The College provides students access to prominent law enforcement and correctional training institutes

Unique Victim Studies degree programs

Students have opportunities to study at research institutes in Law Enforcement, Corrections, Victims, and Legal Studies

Numerous scholarship opportunities

Hosts annual career fairs

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) provides Sam Houston State University with accreditation.

13 University of Nebraska, Omaha – College of Public Affairs and Community Service – School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Omaha, NE)

University of Nebraska, Omaha – College of Public Affairs and Community Service – School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Omaha, NE)The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, a leader in criminological research and education, offers an array of undergraduate and graduate degree and non-degree options on-campus and online. The Schools blends academic, theoretical knowledge with experiential learning.

The notable faculty conduct research in areas such as criminological theory and juvenile delinquency; policy and applied research; women, crime, and criminal justice; criminal justice issues; methods and statistics; and international criminology and criminal justice.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice / Master of Social Work (dual degree)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Graduate Certificate in Managing Juvenile and Adult Populations

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Highlights:

Internship opportunities and the London Study Abroad program provides students professional networking and experiential learning

Hosts a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national honors society for criminal justice students

Hosts the Criminal Justice Student Organization

Provides community outreach to prevent recidivism via the Vocational and Life Skills Program

Includes the on-campus research centers, the Juvenile Justice Institute and the Nebraska Center for Justice Research

Numerous scholarship options

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides the University of Nebraska, Omaha with accreditation.

14 Washington State University – College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology (Pullman, WA)

Washington State University – College of Arts and Sciences - Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology (Pullman, WA)V.A. Leonard, the person who founded Alpha Phi Sigma, established the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Washington State University. The Department emphasizes hands-on learning.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology Highlights:

Internship and study abroad opportunities provide students experiential learning and professional networking; every year, the Department provides a short-term, spring break, faculty-led study abroad program with a focus on criminal justice.

The Department has an affiliation with research centers and institutes, including the Washington State Institute for Criminal Justice, the Institute for the Study of Intercommunal Conflict, the Division of Governmental Studies & Services, and the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service

Assistantship options for graduate students

Home to student organizations such as Alpha Phi Sigma, the national honor society for criminal justice students and the Criminal Justice Club

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) provides Washington State University with accreditation.

15George Mason University – College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Criminology, Law, and Society (Fairfax, VA)

George Mason University – College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Criminology, Law, and Society (Fairfax, VA)The Department of Criminology, Law, and Society provides an array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in criminal justice. The Department, through active faculty, on-campus research centers, and unique internship opportunities in nearby Washington DC, provides students with numerous opportunities and resources.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology, Law, and Society
  • Master of Arts in Criminology, Law, and Society
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Law, and Society
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminology, Law, and Society
  • Accelerated BA-MS in Criminal Justice

Department of Criminology, Law, and Society Highlights:

Includes the Center for Justice Leadership and Management, the Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence, and the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy

Unique internship opportunities in nearby Washington DC

Awarded faculty members who participate in research lead the programs

George Mason University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

16American University – School of Public Affairs – Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology (Washington, DC)

American University – School of Public Affairs – Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology (Washington, DC)The Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology esteemed faculty members collaborate with policymakers and practitioners to create solutions to some of country’s security concerns. The Department has prominent research centers.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Justice, Law, and Criminology
  • Master of Science in Justice, Law, and Criminology
  • Master of Science in Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • Bachelor of Arts in Justice and Law
  • Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Policy, and Law Scholars (three-year program)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society
  • Bachelor of Arts / Master of Science in Justice, Law, and Criminology (joint degree)
  • Juris Doctor / Master of Science in Justice, Law, and Criminology (joint degree)

Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology Highlights:

The Department includes the Justice Programs Office, the Agencies in Cooperation for Effective Services, and a Mock Trial Team

Professors from an array of fields lead and contribute to the programs, providing students a well-rounded education

The Department participates in applicable field conferences; students have opportunities to obtain hands-on experience and even promote real-world change while still in school

Joint-degree options

The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS) provides American University with accreditation.

17 Temple University – College of Liberal Arts – Department of Criminal Justice (Philadelphia, PA)

Temple University – College of Liberal Arts - Department of Criminal Justice (Philadelphia, PA)The Department of Criminal Justice provides a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The Department provides students numerous experiential learning options through its professional partnerships. Faculty members, nationally recognized for criminal justice research, participate in research and outreach via centers and projects.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts / Master of Arts in Criminal Justice 4+1 program

Department of Criminal Justice Highlights:

Students have unique opportunities for professional and personal development through the ProRanger Philadelphia and the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program

Through partnerships with local, state, and federal organizations the Department provides internships, co-ops as well as study abroad opportunities

Faculty members involved in research and discourse in the field, via centers and projects such as the Center for Security and Crime Science, and the Philadelphia Predictive Policing Experiment

The Criminal Justice Training Programs, a division of the Temple University Department of Criminal Justice, serves as an interdisciplinary unit which has operated professional development programs for an array of criminal justice agencies and occupations

Students have opportunities to network and grow through on-campus student organizations, the Criminal Justice Society (for undergraduates) and the Criminal Justice Graduate Student Association

Provides an extensive list of sites for internships

Numerous scholarship and award opportunities

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) accredits Temple University.

18Georgia State University – Andrew Young School of Policy Studies – Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology (Atlanta, GA)

Georgia State University – Andrew Young School of Policy Studies – Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology (Atlanta, GA)The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs with a focus on criminal justice systems and administration. The Department prepares students to pursue careers as leaders in criminal justice through combining practical and theoretical knowledge from the field and from academia.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Interdisciplinary Studies in Criminal Justice Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology Highlights:

Students have study abroad options

Undergraduates must complete an internship program, providing real-world experience and connections

Hosts the Criminal Justice Graduate Student Organization and the Criminal Justice Student Organization for involvement and networking

Unique Master of Interdisciplinary Studies in Criminal Justice Administration program

Provides the scholarly journals, the Criminal Justice Review and the International Criminal Justice Review

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) provides Georgia State University with accreditation.

19University of Delaware – College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice (Newark, DE)

University of Delaware – College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice (Newark, DE)Faculty members in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice have received national and international recognition for their published research and other scholarly activities.

The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice provides undergraduate and graduate criminal justice degree programs. The Department emphasizes graduate education and development through its Sociology and Criminal Justice Grad Council. The Department has an emphasis on research, diversity, and social responsibility.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Highlights:

Field experience – a directed practicum with a criminal justice agency serves as an integral part of the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree program; the field experience is an optional course

Hosts the annual Sociology and Criminal Justice Graduate Student option

Includes the Center for Drug and Health Studies and the Disaster Research Center

The Sociology and Criminal Justice Grad Council addresses the needs of graduate students, promoting professional and academic development

Study abroad opportunities

Internships provide students opportunities to gain real-world experience and connections

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) provides the University of Delaware with accreditation.

20University of Central Florida – College of Health and Public Affairs – Department of Criminal Justice (Orlando, FL)

University of Central Florida – College of Health and Public Affairs – Department of Criminal Justice (Orlando, FL)The Department of Criminal Justice faculty members are experts in police culture, correctional health, corrections, police-community relations, victim services, and other areas.

The Department provides a wide variety of options for study, including graduate and undergraduate degree programs and non-degree programs, on-campus and online. Students have numerous specialization choices along with earning a degree.

The Department of Criminal Justice prepares students via a balanced blend of theoretical and experiential learning, curriculum specialization, and career advancement assistance.

Criminal Justice Degrees and Certificates:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice / Master of Public Administration (dual degree also available online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Minor in Criminal Justice
  • Graduate Certificate in Corrections Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate in Global Health and Public Affairs
  • Graduate Certificate in Crime Analysis
  • Graduate Certificate in Police Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate in Juvenile Justice Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate in Police Leadership
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Crime Analysis and Crime Mapping
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Criminal Profiling
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Management and Leadership
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Crime Scene Investigation
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Security Management
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Victim Advocacy

Department of Criminal Justice Highlights:

Criminal Justice Scholar’s Track and the Senior Scholar Program prepares undergraduate students for graduate study and provides them the opportunity to take graduate-level coursework

Internships available through partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies, provide students professional networking and experiential learning opportunities

Hosts on-campus chapters of the national criminal justice organizations Alpha Phi Sigma and Lambda Alpha Epsilon

Study abroad opportunities

Numerous scholarship options

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) provides the University of Central Florida with accreditation.

21University of South Carolina – College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Columbia, SC)

University of South Carolina – College of Arts and Sciences - Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Columbia, SC)The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice focuses on the causes of and societal responses to crime and deviant behavior. The Department prepares students to address the challenges of crime in society as criminal justice professionals, educators, and researchers.

The Department provides an array of graduate and undergraduate degree programs, including an MA/JD dual degree option. The Department has active research and outreach, and has an emphasis on career readiness and professional development.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts / Juris Doctor in Criminology and Criminal Justice and Law (dual degree)
  • Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice Highlights:

Internships provide students opportunities to gain real-world experience and connections

Hosts an annual internship/career fair; students have opportunities to establish professional relationships with potential employers

Home to chapters of Alpha Phi Sigma and Lambda Alpha Epsilon, two significant national criminal justice student organizations

The Department participates in community outreach via the South Carolina Law Enforcement Census and the Adolescent Mentoring course

Numerous scholarship options

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredits the University of South Carolina.

22Indiana University, Bloomington – College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminal Justice (Bloomington, IN)

University of Indiana BloomingtonThe Department of Criminal Justice offers students undergraduate and graduate degree and non-degree programs via a combination of interdisciplinary academics and practical experience. The Department provides internship and study aboard opportunities. The Department of Criminal Justice has a strong emphasis on career placement.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Criminal Justice

Department of Criminal Justice Highlights:

Home to the Center for Studies of Law in Action

The Department uses partnerships with local and state criminal justice organizations to enhance the educational experience

Students can gain valuable real-world experience and connections through internship and volunteer engagement opportunities

Students can study criminal justice in diverse cultures through a study abroad option

Hosts an annual career fair

Numerous scholarship opportunities via the department, college, and university

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides Indiana University, Bloomington with accreditation.

23University of Illinois at Chicago – College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminology, Law, and Justice (Chicago, IL)

University of Illinois at Chicago – College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminology, Law, and Justice (Chicago, IL)The Department of Criminology, Law, and Justice provides a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. The Department offers internship options, interdisciplinary concentrations, and independent study opportunities.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology, Law, and Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminology, Law, and Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Law, and Justice

Department of Criminology, Law, and Justice Highlights:

The Center for Research in Law and Justice includes notable scholars in the areas of policing, community partnerships, violence against women (especially sexual assault), information technology, drug and crime prevention, and the application of physical and social science to criminal investigations

Students gain real-world experience and connections through internship opportunities; students gain experience through internships at agencies such as the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Corrections, the Office of the State’s Attorney, and other agencies and organizations

Through interdisciplinary concentration options, the graduate programs provide students the opportunity to integrate an interdisciplinary approach, including Violence Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Survey Research Methodology, and Latin American and Latino Studies

Faculty conduct research in the subjects of violence in corrections, drug-related crimes, domestic violence, and more

Faculty members who participate in contemporary research and furthering the academic discourse lead the programs

Students can focus their studies on a specific area of interest through independent study options

Numerous scholarship options

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accredits the University of Illinois at Chicago.

24Old Dominion University – College of Arts and Letters – Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice (Norfolk, VA)

Old Dominion University – College of Arts and Letters - Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice (Norfolk, VA)The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs, provides students with the skills and knowledge to pursue or advance their career in the criminal justice field.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Applied Sociology with Criminal Justice concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice (also available online)

Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Highlights:

Affiliated with the American Society of Criminology and the Southern Criminal Justice Association

Internship opportunities provide students real-world experience and connections

Research assistantship options provide students tuition remission and valuable experiences working with professors performing research

Home to a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national honors society for criminal justice students

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) provides Old Dominion University with accreditation.

25University of Arkansas, Little Rock – College of Social Sciences and Communication – Department of Criminal Justice (Little Rock, AR)

University of Arkansas Little RockThe Department of Criminal Justice provides an array of undergraduate and graduate on-campus and online degree programs. The Department provides students a blend of experiential and theoretical knowledge.

Criminal Justice Programs:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice (online)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Associate of Science in Law Enforcement

Department of Criminal Justice Highlights:

Home to the Justice Research and Policy Center

Internship opportunities provide students real-world experience and connections

Offers the only PhD in Criminal Justice in the state of Arkansas

The Criminal Justice Society, an on-campus student organization, provides opportunities for students to network and have experiences with professionals in the field

Students have numerous scholarship opportunities

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides the University of Little Rock, Arkansas with accreditation.

26University of Massachusetts, Lowell – College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences – School of Criminology and Justice Studies (Lowell, MA)

University of Massachusetts, Lowell – College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences – School of Criminology and Justice Studies (Lowell, MA)The School of Criminology and Justice Studies offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree and non-degree programs in the criminal justice field. The School prepares students for a variety of careers in the field.

Criminal Justice Degrees and Certificates:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Master of Arts in Security Studies
  • Master of Science in Security Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Bachelor of Science / Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology (joint degree)
  • Minor in Criminal Justice
  • Graduate Certificate in Domestic Violence Prevention
  • Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Policy Development
  • Graduate Certificate in Forensic Criminology
  • Graduate Certificate in Victim Studies
  • Graduate Certificate in Security Studies

School of Criminology and Justice Studies Highlights:

Hosts the Criminal Justice Student Society which provides students opportunities to meet, discuss, and explore the field

Hosts a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national honors society for criminal justice students

The BS/MA option allows students to pursue two undergraduate and graduate education on an accelerated track

Internship opportunities provide students connections and real-world experience

Partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime to develop the Victims’ Issues Project

Provides outreach programs to the community via partnerships with law enforcement agencies, such as the Community Opioid Outreach Program

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) provides the University of Massachusetts, Lowell with accreditation.

27University of Louisville – College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminal Justice (Louisville, KY)

University of Louisville – College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminal Justice (Louisville, KY)The Department of Criminal Justice offers undergraduate and graduate programs. The Department offers students online and accelerated programs, numerous scholarships, internship and graduate assistantship opportunities, and more.

The degree programs prepare students for jobs in local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies (courts, corrections, law enforcement, and juvenile justice) and graduate studies.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice / Juris Doctor (3+3 accelerated program)
  • Bachelor of Science / Master of Science in Criminal Justice (4+1 accelerated program)

Department of Criminal Justice Highlights:

The Department includes the Southern Police Institute (SPI), the SPI has provided education and training programs for law enforcement professionals since 1951

The Department houses two professional, academic journals: The Journal of Criminal Justice Education and Criminal Justice Studies

Faculty members involved in contemporary research in the field, including the Kentucky Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Kit Backlog Research Project

The Department participates in international programs involving professional exchange and partnerships with criminal justice agencies and personnel located outside the United States

Home to student organizations, including Alpha Phi Sigma and Lambda Alpha Epsilon

Provides students internship and graduate assistantship opportunities

Provides award and scholarship opportunities

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) provides the University of Louisville with accreditation.

28Florida International University – Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs – Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Miami, FL)

Florida International University – Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs – Department of Criminal Justice (Miami, FL)The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice uses a holistic approach which emphasizes the analytical and theoretical aspects of criminal justice along with the practical in its well-regarded programs. The Department provides students with a variety of graduate and undergraduate degree programs.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in International Crime and Justice
  • Criminal Justice 3+3 with Law Program
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice / Master of Public Administration (joint degree)
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice / Juris Doctor (joint degree)
  • Bachelor of Science / Master of Science in Criminal Justice (accelerated joint degree)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Crime Science (also available online)

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice Highlights:

Home to chapters of Alpha Phi Sigma and Lambda Alpha Epsilon, two significant national criminal justice student organizations

Internship options provide students real-world experience and professional connections

The Law Enforcement Apprenticeship Program (LEAP) combines classroom instruction with specialized police training and workplace experience

Students can study abroad in England with the FIU Criminal Justice Department

Affiliated with the Center for the Administration of Justice

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) provides Florida International University with accreditation.

29University of Southern Mississippi – School of Criminal Justice (Hattiesburg, MS)

University of Southern Mississippi – School of Criminal Justice (Hattiesburg, MS)The School of Criminal Justice offers students undergraduate and graduate programs in criminal justice and forensics. The School focuses on professional preparedness, via comprehensive programs with internship opportunities, specialization options, a research center, and several student organizations.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensics
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

School of Criminal Justice Highlights:

The faculty includes prominent scholars in their respective areas

Home to student organizations, including the Criminal Justice Student Association and the Forensic Science Society

Home to the Mississippi Statistical Analysis Center

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) provides the University of Southern Mississippi with accreditation.

30North Dakota State University – College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences – Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science (Fargo, ND)

North Dakota State University – College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences – Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science (Fargo, ND)The Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science provides undergraduate and graduate programs. The Department provides an array of valuable resources including practicum and internship opportunities, and student organizations.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration
  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science Highlights:

Home to the Criminal Justice Club

Includes faculty members focused on policing, juvenile justice, corrections, theories of crime, federal law enforcement and more

Provides options for Peace Officer Licensure in the state of Minnesota

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides North Dakota State University with accreditation.

31University of North Dakota – College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminal Justice (Grand Forks, ND)

University of North Dakota – College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminal Justice (Grand Forks, ND)Established in 1974, the Department of Criminal Justice provides bachelor, undergraduate minor, and Doctoral programs in criminal justice which utilize aspects of sociology, anthropology, and philosophy to provide an interdisciplinary approach.

The Department prepares students for an array of careers in the field via emphasizing theory and application, experiential learning, and an understanding of criminal justice in societal and communal contexts.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Studies

Department of Criminal Justice Highlights:

The American Association of Doctoral Programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice recognizes the PhD program for quality

PhD program unique due to placing emphasis on criminal justice issues in rural and American Indian tribal jurisdictions

Specialized program of study for students with Juris Doctorate who seek to obtain the PhD

The BS in Criminal Justice curriculum designed in accordance with guidelines from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

Hosts the student organizations Criminal Justice Association and Native Americans into Criminal Justice Association and a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national honors society for criminal justice students

Internship opportunities provide students connections and real-world experience

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides the University of North Dakota with accreditation.

32Nova Southeastern University – College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences – Department of Justice and Human Services (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Nova Southeastern University – College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences – Department of Justice and Human Services (Fort Lauderdale, FL)The Department of Justice and Human Services provides students with relevant experience and connections. The Department provides numerous partnerships at the local and state level.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (online)
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice (online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Department of Justice and Human Services Highlights:

Partnerships with local and state criminal justice organizations provide students connections and experiences and unique internship opportunities

Participates in research via the Center for Applied Research on Substance Abuse and Health Disparities, and outreach via a partnership with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office

Dual admission option provides students early acceptance into graduate programs, while they’re pursuing an undergraduate degree

Provides field-specific scholarship options, including the Valor Award for Law Enforcement, Veterans, Military, and First Responders

The Department regularly participates in events such as Criminal Justice Week

“Memorandum of Understanding” program provides tuition reduction to eligible students already employed in the criminal justice field

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) provides Nova Southeastern University with accreditation.

33University of New Haven – Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences (West Haven, CT)

University of New Haven – Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences (West Haven, CT)The Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences provides an array of on-campus and online undergraduate and graduate degree and non-degree options. The College has research and outreach centers on campus. The College has a strong emphasis on experiential learning.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice (online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Law Enforcement Science

Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences Highlights:

Internship, co-op, and study abroad opportunities provide students experiential learning and professional networking

University of New Haven students often partner with a wide array of sponsors such as the U.S. Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Agency, the Connecticut Judicial Branch, the New Haven Police Department, and many more

Home to several research and outreach centers, including the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science, the Cyber Crime Center, and the Institute of Social Justice

Faculty members have worked for the CIA, FBI, the United Nations as well as numerous local and state police departments

Students can participate in national competitions

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) provides the University of New Haven with accreditation.

34Texas State University – College of Applied Arts – School of Criminal Justice (San Marcos, TX)

Texas State University – College of Applied Arts – School of Criminal Justice (San Marcos, TX)The School of Criminal Justice provides students bachelor, master, and doctoral degree programs which address a broad range of social issues and research opportunities. Full-time faculty members participate in a wide range of research endeavors.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Department of Criminal Justice Highlights:

Home to the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center, the Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation and the Texas Justice Court Training Center

Affiliated with the Academy of Criminal Justice Science and Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice

Home to a chapter of Lambda Alpha Epsilon

Texas State University received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

35California State University, Long Beach – School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency Management (Long Beach, CA)

California State University, Long Beach – School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency Management (Long Beach, CA)The School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency Management (CCJEM) is one of the oldest and strongest programs of its kind in California. The School’s mission is educating students to be ethical leaders in practice, policy, and scholarship; to produce informative and influential research; and to promote justice, equity, and safety through service to communities.

The faculty members are nationally recognized experts in their areas of study; those areas include forensic psychology, program evaluation, evidence based policing, disaster preparedness, corrections and reentry, bail reform, forensic science, emergency response and management, drug policy analysis, victimization, and more.

The rigorous curricula, grounded in theory, are updated regularly to reflect the ever-changing disciplines the faculty members represent.

Criminal Justice degree and non-degree options:

  • Fully online Master of Science in Emergency Services Management
  • Traditional, face-to-face Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice (also available fully online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Minor in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Minor in Forensic Studies
  • Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) Certificate Program
  • Basic Applied Forensic Science Certificate

School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency Management Highlights:

  • Home to the Center for Criminal Justice Research and Training, a regional training site for Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST); the Center serves as a Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) training site, and offers the School’s CSI Certificate Program
  • Three prominent student organizations:
    Alpha Phi Sigma: The national criminal justice honor society; open to the School’s top students
    The Criminal Justice Student Association: Open to all CCJ majors and minors
    Rising Scholars: A university-wide student organization of formerly incarcerated students, system-affected students, and their allies
  • Numerous scholarship options at the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • Numerous opportunities for undergraduates and graduate students to conduct research with faculty
  • Undergraduates must complete an integrative experience (typically an internship) where they apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world problems

WASC Senior College and University Commission provides California State University, Long Beach with accreditation.

36St. John’s University – College of Professional Studies – Division of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Homeland Security (Jamaica, NY)

St. John’s University – College of Professional Studies – Department of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Homeland Security (Jamaica, NY)The Division of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Homeland Security has a strong focus on the incorporation of classroom learning and knowledge with real-world experience via co-op, internship, and study abroad opportunities. The Division provides students an array of options to study criminal justice.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Professional Studies in Homeland Security
  • Master of Arts in Criminology and Justice
  • Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice / Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Leadership (dual degree)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (three year program)
  • Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology / Master of Arts and Criminology and Justice (dual degree)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology / Master of Arts and Criminology and Justice (dual degree)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice / Master of Arts and Government and Politics (dual degree)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice / Master of Arts and Sociology (dual degree)
  • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice

Department of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Homeland Security Highlights:

Students, through a partnership with the New York Police Department, can enroll in the NYPD Cadet Program which provides career preparation, tuition assistance as well as unique internship opportunities

Internship, co-op, and study abroad opportunities provide students experiential learning and professional networking

Well-regarded faculty members lead the programs

Students can network via on-campus student organizations, the Criminal Justice Association and the Legal Society and the St. John’s University Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma

St. John’s University received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

37Southern Illinois University, Carbondale – College of Liberal Arts – Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Carbondale, IL)

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale – College of Liberal Arts – Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Carbondale, IL)Dating back to its origins as the Center for the Study of Crime, Delinquency, and Corrections in 1961, the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice builds its programs on tradition and experience in the field.

The Department provides an array of on-campus and online undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice provides numerous resources and developmental opportunities.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Bachelor of Arts / Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice (4+1 accelerated program)

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice Highlights:

Faculty provides expertise and technical support to help local, state, and national entities concerned with issues connected to criminal justice and criminology

Practicum, internship, graduate assistantship and fellowship options

Home to a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma

Sponsors the Criminal Justice Association, a registered student organization on campus

Award and scholarship opportunities

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides Southern Illinois University Carbondale with accreditation.

38Boston University – Metropolitan College, Department of Applied Social Sciences (Boston, MA)

Boston University – Metropolitan College, Department of Applied Social Sciences (Boston, MA)The Metropolitan College provides an array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree and non-degree programs with an emphasis on meeting the needs of working and non-traditional students. The Metropolitan College offers students standard full-time schedules, part-time schedules, evening classes, and programs entirely online.

Criminal Justice Degrees and Certificates:

  • Master of Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Criminal Justice
  • Graduate Certificate in Cybercrime Investigation and Cyber Security (also available online)
  • Graduate Certificate in Strategic Management in Criminal Justice (online)

Metropolitan College Highlights:

Career placement and advancement opportunities and services available to students

Undergraduate and graduate degree program options, on-campus and online

Flexible schedules and formats for students in all situations

All programs focus on career-readiness and the development of practical skill alongside theory

Several scholarship options available

Home to several well-regarded programs across various fields

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accredits Boston University.

39University of the Cumberlands – Department of Criminal Justice (Williamsburg, KY)

University of the Cumberlands – Department of Criminal Justice (Williamsburg, KY)The Department of Criminal Justice provides on-campus and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The Department of Criminal Justice emphasizes career-readiness, and has a dedication to community service and the ethical pursuit of criminal justice.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Master of Science in Justice Administration (only available online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice (online)

Department of Criminal Justice Highlights:

Multiple concentration options for the BS in Criminal Justice degree program provides students the opportunity to specialize their study, including Law Enforcement Management, Forensics, Criminal Profiling, and Chaplain / Prison Ministries

The online Master of Science in Justice Administration provides multiple concentration options including Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, Corrections, Addiction Studies, Investigations, KLEC or equivalent, Family Services, and Juvenile Justice

Internship opportunities provide students opportunities to obtain real-world experience and connections

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) provides the University of the Cumberlands with accreditation.

40East Carolina University – Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminal Justice (Greenville, NC)

East Carolina University – Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminal Justice (Greenville, NC)The Department of Criminal Justice provides an array of undergraduate and graduate degree and non-degree programs in the field of criminal justice.

The Department provides research, educational advancement, and training development services to local law enforcement agencies.

Criminal Justice Degrees and Certificates:

  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Education
  • Graduate Certificate in Public Management and Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate in Security Studies

Department of Criminal Justice Highlights:

Undergraduates need to complete an internship; students gain valuable real-world experience; the Department has affiliation agreements with numerous agencies and organizations in many criminal justice specializations and geographic areas.

The Department provides students international study abroad programs; the Department often in collaboration with other universities, participates in international and comparative criminal justice study programs which travel to various locations throughout the world.

Provides students opportunities to gain knowledge about criminal justice vocations and career options through providing prominent guest speakers in classes, roundtable discussions, and career fairs; guest speakers come from law enforcement, law, court, correction, and juvenile professions

The Forensic Science Lab provides students opportunities to gain hands-on forensic experience

Students can become a member of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society, and the Criminal Justice Student Organization

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) provides East Carolina University with accreditation.

41University of Wisconsin, Platteville – College of Liberal Arts and Education – Department of Criminal Justice (Platteville, WI)

University of Wisconsin PlattevilleWith a select variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, the Department of Criminal Justice prepares students for careers as criminal justice leaders. The Department emphasizes experiential, hands-on learning via internships and simulated field work. The Department also hosts annual conferences.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice (online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Investigation

Department of Criminal Justice Highlights:

The Department provides professional certifications, including AODA Counseling Certification, and Social Work Certification

Hosts the annual 21st Century Policing Conference and the Restorative Justice Conference

Home to the Forensic Investigation Research Facility and the Forensic Investigation Laboratory

Home to the “Crime Scene House” which provides opportunities for forensic investigation study and practice

Students gain real-world experience and connections through local, state and national internships

Numerous scholarship options

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accredits the University of Wisconsin, Platteville.

42University of North Texas – College of Health and Public Service (Denton, TX)

University of North Texas – College of Health and Public Service (Denton, TX)The College of Health and Public Service provides on-campus and online undergraduate and graduate degrees in the criminal justice field. The College has a strong emphasis on experiential learning, balanced with academic and theoretical approaches to criminal justice.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice (online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (online)
  • Graduate Certificate in Correctional Executive Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate in Police Executive Leadership

College of Health and Public Service Highlights:

Students gain experiential learning and valuable professional networking through internships and studying abroad

Home to chapters of Alpha Phi Sigma and Lambda Alpha Epsilon, two significant national criminal justice student organizations

“Crime Scene City” provides students simulated crime scene investigation experience

Numerous scholarship options

The University of North Texas received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredits.

43Wichita State University – Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – School of Criminal Justice (Wichita, KS)

Wichita State University – Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - School of Criminal Justice (Wichita, KS)Established in 1934, the Criminal Justice program at Wichita State University, provided by the School of Community, has the distinction of being one of the oldest criminal justice programs in the nation. The School provides an interdisciplinary, hands-on approach to studying criminal justice.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Sciences

School of Criminal Justice Highlights:

Provides community outreach and training via the Regional Community Police Training Institute and the Midwest Criminal Justice Institute

Home to the Criminal Justice Student Association, offering students opportunities to interact, network and share their knowledge

Every spring the Criminal Justice Student Association hosts a CJ career fair on campus

Internship and co-op opportunities provide students professional networking and experiential learning

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides Wichita State University with accreditation.

44 Fayetteville State University – College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminal Justice (Fayetteville, NC)

Fayetteville State University – College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminal Justice (Fayetteville, NC)The Department of Criminal Justice offers undergraduate and graduate programs and provides students numerous resources to enhance their educational experience.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice completion program (online)
  • Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice

Department of Criminal Justice Highlights:

Received certification from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

Provides students professional development, internship, and work study opportunities

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredits Fayetteville State University.

45 California State University, San Bernardino – College of Social and Behavioral Sciences – Department of Criminal Justice (San Bernardino, CA)

California State University San Bernardino

The Department of Criminal Justice offers students access to contemporary, real-world knowledge and experience in the field. The faculty works with law enforcement agencies and participates in research in areas including police administration, law enforcement, hate crimes, terrorism, and more.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Intelligence and Crime Analysis

Department of Criminal Justice Highlights:

Students can gain real-world experience through an internship

Students can focus on a specific subject of their choice in an independent study project

Hosts a Criminal Justice Career Exploration Fair to help students gain connections and discover career opportunities

Includes the Center for Criminal Justice Research and the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism

The WASC Senior College and University Commission provides California State University, San Bernardino with accreditation.

46Southeast Missouri State University – College of Health and Human Services – Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work, and Sociology (Cape Girardeau, MO)

Southeast Missouri State University – College of Health and Human Services – Department of Criminal Justice (Cape Girardeau, MO)The Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work, and Sociology prepares undergraduate and graduate students for professional success in the field.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice (also available online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Department of Criminal Justice Highlights:

The Department provides students internship and graduate assistantship options

Home to a chapter of the Criminal Justice Association

Scholarship options

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accredits Southeast Missouri State University.

47Texas Christian University, Addran College of Liberal Arts, Department of Criminal Justice (Fort Worth, TX)

Texas Christian University, Addran College of Liberal Arts, Department of Criminal Justice (Fort Worth, TX)The Department of Criminal Justice, part of the Addran College of Liberal Arts, combines liberal arts and professional courses. Students obtain practical experience in criminal justice and acquire credit via interning under a practitioner/mentor at the city, county, state, or federal level in any area of the criminal justice system.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology (online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Department of Criminal Justice Highlights:

Students have opportunities to study abroad in over 50 countries and participate in service-learning trips overseas and internships throughout the world; in addition to Texas Christian University’s semester, summer and short-term programs, every summer the Department of Criminal Justice provides students global opportunities to explore criminal justice in a comparative manner

The Department provides outside criminal justice professionals to teach specialized courses and network with students

Professors serve on advisory boards for professional journals and local agencies

Every fall students meet with recruiters from a variety of criminal justice agencies on the campus

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredits Texas Christian University.

48 University of Missouri, Kansas City – College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology (Kansas City, MO)

University of Missouri, Kansas City – College of Arts and Sciences - Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology (Kansas City, MO)The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology provides an array of resources, such as internship opportunities, student organizations, professional development services, and more.

Criminal Justice Degree selections:

  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology

Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology Highlights:

Urban location provides students with opportunities for internships and part-time employment with numerous agencies and organizations

Home to student organizations, including Alpha Phi Sigma, and the Criminal Justice and Criminology Club

Scholarship opportunities

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides the University of Missouri, Kansas City with accreditation.

49 University of Memphis, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Memphis, TN)

University of Memphis, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Memphis, TN)The Department of Criminal Justice offers graduate students opportunities to work with faculty members in all aspects of research.

Criminal Justice Degree options:

  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice Highlights:

Faculty members have received national recognition for their work

The Department provides the Criminal Justice Students Association

The Department provides an Honors Program for undergraduate students.

The University of Memphis received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

50 Eastern Kentucky University – College of Justice and Safety (Richmond, KY)

Eastern Kentucky UniversityThe College of Justice and Safety, provides undergraduate and graduate degree and non-degree programs. The School of Justice Studies, part of the College of Justice & Safety, has national recognition.

Criminal Justice Degrees and Certificates:

  • Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Justice, Policy, and Leadership (online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Corrections and Juvenile Justice Studies (online)
  • Bachelor of Science in Police Studies (also available online)
  • Associate of Science in Police Studies (also available online)
  • Graduate Certificate in Correctional Leadership (online)
  • Graduate Certificate in Juvenile Justice (online)

College of Justice and Safety Highlights:

Students can develop their experience and specialize their knowledge through completing independent studies or internships

Home to Criminal Justice student organizations such as Alpha Phi Sigma, Lambda Alpha Epsilon, the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, and the Criminal Justice Graduate Student Association

Several scholarship opportunities

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) provides Eastern Kentucky University with accreditation.


Criminal Justice Degree Information


Criminal Justice Degree Salary Information


Individuals with a criminal justice degree can seek a variety of criminal justice careers. Salaries vary depending on the type of job, education, location and other factors.

A selection of criminal justice jobs and annual mean wages:

Criminal Justice JobsAnnual Mean Salaries
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives$91,590
First-Line Supervisors of Law Enforcement Workers$84,490
Detectives and Criminal Investigators$83,320
Supervisors of Protective Service Workers$74,810
Transit and Railroad Police$71,280
Police Officers$64,540
Forensic Science Technicians$61,220
Private Detectives and Investigators$55,080
Correctional Officers and Jailers$47,600
Bailiffs$46,190
(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States)


Criminal Justice Degree selections


Many colleges and universities offer criminal justice undergraduate and graduate degrees. Prospective students can find colleges with criminal justice majors throughout the nation.

PhD Degree in Criminal Justice Overview

A PhD in Criminal Justice degree, the highest criminal justice degree, prepares students in research and scholarship, including professor positions at colleges and universities. Criminal Justice PhD students typically participate in an advanced research project which result in a dissertation, defense, comprehensive exams and completed advanced coursework.

Students enhance their knowledge of methods of criminal justice, criminal justice theories as well as the criminal justice system.

Usually, Criminal Justice PhD students pursue their degree via assistantship or fellowship programs at their school.

Graduates of a PHD in Criminal Justice degree program seek positions in a broad range of environments including government agencies and public policy research institutions. They can seek leadership roles in the criminal justice field or a position in criminal justice education.


Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Overview

Master’s in Criminal Justice degree programs usually offer an array of specific concentrations and focuses.

Master’s degree students participate in advanced coursework, research projects, and sometimes assistantships or internships. Students focus on research, analysis, and criminal justice and criminality theory.

Some colleges and universities allow students to combine a Master’s in Criminal Justice with other relevant degrees, such as a Master’s degree in Sociology or a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Master’s in Criminal Justice degree programs prepares students for higher positions in the criminal justice system compared to individuals with only an undergraduate degree, specifically in criminal justice administration.


Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Overview

Bachelor in Criminal Justice degrees typically emphasize criminal justice in a societal context. The degree programs cover the history and theory of criminal justice, contemporary issues and contemporary practices. Typically, a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice also provides practical knowledge and experiential learning. Some programs require or provide students the opportunity to complete an internship in criminal justice.

Graduates of a Bachelor in Criminal Justice degree program can pursue entry-level or mid-level positions in the criminal justice field, such as a police officer or a corrections officer.

The programs provide a strong foundation for pursuing an array of graduate degrees.

Some colleges and universities allow students to combine a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice degree with an applicable Master’s degree in an accelerated joint degree program.

Students can obtain a BS in Criminal Justice degree or a BA in Criminal Justice degree.


Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice Overview

An Associate’s in Criminal Justice degree provides students an entry-level education of the criminal justice field. The degree programs typically cover the basic concepts of criminal justice and criminal justice systems in society.

An Associate’s in Criminal Justice degree, an entry-level degree, prepare graduates for entry-level criminal justice jobs and further education.


Criminal Justice Certificate Overview

Criminal Justice Certificates provide criminal justice students unique specializations. Students in other fields can enroll in certificate programs to combine their studies with criminal justice. Also, students who don’t have the time to pursue a full degree, including working adult students, can enroll in a Criminal Justice Certificate program to advance their education.

Individuals can seek Undergraduate Criminal Justice Certificates in Criminal Profiling, Victim Advocacy, Crime Science Investigation, Law Enforcement Science, and more.

Individuals can obtain Graduate Criminal Justice Certificates in Police Executive Leadership, Law Enforcement Administration, Restorative Justice Management, Criminal Justice Education, and more.


Criminal Justice Degree Specializations


Criminal Justice undergraduate and graduate programs provide specializations such as:

Analysis of Criminal Behavior
Business Administration and Management
Computer Security and Forensics
Corrections
Corrections and Offender Rehabilitation
Crime and Criminal Behavior
Crime and Society
Crime Control and Delinquency Prevention
Criminal Law and Procedure
Crime Mapping & Data Analysis
Crime Scene Investigation
Criminal Investigation
Criminal Justice Administration
Criminal Justice Planning and Research
Court Administration
Cyber Crime
Cyber Security Management
Forensics
Homeland Security
Juvenile Justice
Law Enforcement
Law Enforcement and Crime Prevention
Legal Issues in Criminal Justice
Leadership
Policing
Public Policy and Leadership
Strategic Management
Victim Advocacy – Social Justice
Youth Welfare


Online Criminal Justice Degrees


Some criminal justice colleges offer 100 percent online criminal justice degree programs, however some of the online degree programs require some on-campus visits. Some of the online degree programs provide students the opportunity to complete an internship. Some of the schools providing criminal justice online degree programs also provide career resources.

Criminal justice schools provide online undergraduate and graduate criminal justice degrees and degrees specializing in areas such as homeland security, cybercrime, cybersecurity, digital forensics, judicial administration, law enforcement intelligence analysis, international crime and justice, and more.

Typically, online students earn the same criminal justice degree as traditional students. Many of the online criminal justice programs provide teachers who also teach the on-campus programs.

Many online programs provide courses in eight-week formats which have the same number of credits as traditional, semester-based courses.

Our list of the best criminal justice schools includes the best online criminal justice degrees.


Criminal Justice Courses Online

Criminal Justice Schools with an online presence provide a variety of criminal justice courses online.

Common criminal justice online courses for bachelor’s degree programs include:

  • Comparative justice systems
  • Constitutional law and criminal justice
  • Corrections
  • Courts
  • Criminal Behavior
  • Criminal investigations
  • Criminal justice administration
  • Criminal justice procedure and evidence
  • Criminal justice statistics
  • Criminal Law and Evidence
  • Criminal punishment
  • Cyber crime
  • Ethics in criminal justice
  • Forensic science
  • Homeland Security
  • Juvenile justice system
  • Law enforcement
  • Prisons and society
  • Race, gender, class & crime

Common criminal justice online courses for Master’s degree programs include:

    • Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice
    • Basic Research Methods in Criminal Justice
    • Computer Applications in Criminal Justice
    • Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice Policy
    • Crime Causation, Prevention, and Control
    • Criminal Justice Leadership
    • Criminal Justice System and Policy
    • Data Analysis in Criminal Justice
    • Demonstration Research Project
    • Design and Analysis in Criminal Justice Research
    • Issues in Criminal Justice
    • Law and Justice
    • Legal Aspects of Criminal Justice Management
    • Legal Decision Making and Leadership
    • Nature of Crime
    • Perspectives in Law Enforcement
    • Policy Analysis in Criminal Justice
    • Program Evaluation in Criminal Justice
    • Sociology of Crime & Delinquency
    • Survey of Criminal Justice Theory & Research

 

  • Using Computers in Social Research

Criminal Justice versus Criminology


Criminal Justice includes examining all the aspects of the justice system, such as the court systems, prison systems, the police, and juvenile justice facilities. Criminal justice also includes studying crime prevention methods, effective punishment methods, recidivism reduction, and more. Criminal Justice involves maintaining social order and reducing crime.

Criminology includes examining subjects such as the causes of crime, criminal behavior, crime prevention, ethics and the effectiveness of punishment and rehabilitation. Criminologists study criminality; the rate a specific type of crime occurs among specific groups. Criminologists discover patterns in criminal behavior. Some criminologists participate in helping criminals become functioning members of society.

In education coursework, criminal justice students study specific aspects of criminal justice including corrections and law enforcement, whereas criminology students study the behavior and backgrounds of criminals. They also study the sociology and impact of crime.


Criminal Justice Organizations


National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA)

NCJA represents state, tribal and local governments on criminal and juvenile justice issues. NCJA includes members from all the sections of the criminal and juvenile justice community. The National Criminal Justice Association advocates for effective criminal justice policy and funding for justice assistance programs across a broad range of policy issues. Members have access to an array of benefits.

The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS)

The Academy, an international association, promotes professional and scholarly activities in the field of criminal justice. The ACJS has members including professionals from every sector of the criminal justice system, scholars, and students. The Academy of Criminal Justice promotes policy analysis, criminal justice education, and research in the field of criminal justice for practitioners and educators.

National Criminal Justice Honor Society Alpha Phi Sigma

Established in 1942, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society, Alpha Phi Sigma, has chapters at universities throughout the United States. The organization serves criminal justice programs and students. Alpha Phi Sigma, part of the Association of College Honor Societies, provides members benefits including professional networking, annual conferences, academic resources, scholarships and awards, honors regalia, and more.

American Criminal Justice Association Lambda Alpha Epsilon

Schools which have a membership with the American Criminal Justice Association, Lambda Alpha Epsilon, have benefits including newsletters, journals, workshops, events, and competitions. Students attending a school with a membership have access to academic resources, professional networking, and educational experiences. Also, Lambda Alpha Epsilon provides honors awards for outstanding students in the field.


Best On-Campus and Online Criminal Justice Degrees Ranking Guidelines

We selected the schools based on the quality of their criminal justice programs, the types of courses offered, the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation.


Best On-Campus and Online Criminal Justice Degrees


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