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The Best Graduate Schools Offering Criminal Justice Programs

Higher Education Articles December 10, 2016

Overview of top Graduate Schools offering Criminal Justice Programs

Enrollees in graduate criminal justice programs learn about the methods and systems governments employ in providing consequences for lawbreakers. The State University of New York at Albany and the University of Maryland – College Park are among the best schools in the United States with master’s and doctoral degree programs in criminal justice. In this article, we take a look at some top criminal justice graduate schools in the United States that are ranked highly by the U.S. News and World Report and that offer many concentration areas for students.

University of Maryland – College Park

In 2007, the U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Maryland – College Park in the top position on its list of best criminal justice graduate programs. The focus of the university’s program is on offense and dereliction, law enforcement, courts, criminology, and justice for juveniles. Both a professional master’s degree and a traditional Master of Arts (M.A.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice are available at the school; in the former, students enjoy the option of studying abroad in China. Doctoral level programs at the UMCP include a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice. UMCP also collaborates with the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore to offer a joint Master of Arts/Juris Doctor (M.A./J.D.) program. Students enrolled in this program can earn both degrees in four years.

State University of New York at Albany

In 2010, the U.S. News and World Report ranked the State University of New York at Albany second on its list of best criminal justice graduate programs. An MA and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice are available at the school, in addition to an MA/Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program. The school targets the dual master’s degree program for students interested in research and policy, apart from the field of human services.

Thirty credits are required to be completed for the MA degree while 60 credits are necessary for the Ph.D. program. An information technology concentration is available in both programs, whereby the practical and statistical knowledge provided in more general criminal justice courses may find an emphasis.

Top Graduate Schools offering Criminal Justice Programs

School Name Location
University of Maryland —​ College Park College Park, MD
University at Albany —​ SUNY Albany, NY
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH
University of Missouri —​ St. Louis St. Louis, MO
Pennsylvania State University —​ University Park University Park, PA
University of California —​ Irvine Irvine, CA
Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey —​ Newark Newark, NJ
CUNY—​John Jay College New York, NY
Temple University Philadelphia, PA
Arizona State University Glendale, AZ
Northeastern University Boston, MA
University of Florida Gainesville, FL
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
University of Delaware Newark, DE
George Mason University Manassas, VA
University of Nebraska — ​Omaha Omaha, NE
American University Washington, D.C.
University of Illinois — ​Chicago Chicago, IL
Washington State University Pullman, WA
Indiana University Bloomington, IN
Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
University of South Florida Tampa, FL
University of South Carolina Columbia, SC

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3 Program(s) Found
South University , Virginia Beach
  • Available programs include B.S. and M.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Legal Studies, and A.S. in Paralegal Studies.
  • Accreditation for the Legal Studies and Paralegal Studies programs by the American Bar Association (ABA) at select campuses.
  • Criminal Justice and Legal Studies programs are available at many of the 11 campus locations across the United States.
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Offers associate and bachelor-level programs in Criminal Justice.
  • Program topics include criminal investigation processes and ethics, criminal law, juvenile justice and more.
  • A B.A.S. in Criminal Justice program is also available for students who already possess an A.A.S.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
ECPI University , Greensboro
  • Named a Best for Vets school by the Military Times in 2014.
  • Has specialized in student-centered technology, business, criminal justice, health science, and culinary education for over 45 years.
  • Makes it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in 2.5 years or an associate’s in 1.5 years by providing a year-round schedule.
  • Offers externships and clinical experience that help students prepare for life after they graduate.
  • Has 10 campuses across the mid-Atlantic, plus online degree programs.
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

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Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Offers associate and bachelor-level programs in Criminal Justice.
  • Program topics include criminal investigation processes and ethics, criminal law, juvenile justice and more.
  • A B.A.S. in Criminal Justice program is also available for students who already possess an A.A.S.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

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