Best Colleges for Criminal Justice Majors: List of Top Schools

Learn about some of the top universities that offer criminal justice majors. Read the schools' rankings, program options and locations, and compare differences and similarities to choose the right school for you.

School Information

Below, you can explore the top schools that offer criminal justice bachelor's degree programs. Some of these schools also offer master's degree programs for those who want to continue their education in the same field. Criminal justice majors look at the theories and practices used by the criminal justice system in understanding crime. They study the judicial system, prison system, criminal behavior and crime's effect on society. Keep reading to gain more details.

1. George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

School Highlight: The Department of Sociology at GWU teaches students on a multitude of sociological subjects pertaining to skills in theory, learning and critical thinking with regard to our society.

GWU features a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program that focuses on the sociological, psychological, legal and historical impact of crime on society. Courses include violence and the family, criminal law and deviance and control. After earning the bachelor's degree, criminal justice majors can go on to purse a Master of Arts in Criminology through the Sociology Department and the Forensic Sciences Department at GWU. This academic program studies the sociology of crime and includes forensic science training. A dual-degree program is also offered as a combined BA/MA in Criminal Justice/Criminology.

2. Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York

School Highlight: The Department of Criminal Justice at Marist College requires an internship of all students majoring in criminal justice. These internships can take place at local, state and federal agencies.

Marist College offers a minor in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Students examine the practical causes and effects of criminal behavior. Course work will require students to study the causes of and responses to crime in society.

Top Criminal Justice Programs

School Name Distinction Location
California State University - Long BeachOffers BS degree in Criminology and Criminal JusticeLong Beach, CA
California State University - StanislausStudents can earn a BA in Criminal JusticeTurlock, CA
Campbell University Offers majors and minors in Criminal Justice Buies Creek, NC
Clayton State UniversityThe program has a Spanish language competency requirementMorrow, GA
Columbia CollegeOffers a B.A. program recommended for working criminal justice professionals and a B.S. program recommended for students new to the fieldColumbia, MO
Dallas Baptist University Fosters a Christ-centered approach to criminal justiceDallas, TX
San Diego State University Students can join the criminal justice honor society, access the resources of the Public Administration Center and the Institute for Public and Urban Affairs, and obtain major-related internships and paid employment opportunities San Diego, CA
University of RichmondHome to Virginia's first Victim Assistance Academy, offering specialized training to victim services providers and victim advocatesRichmond, VA
West Chester University of PennsylvaniaSchool has been granting bachelor's degrees in criminal justice since 1974West Chester, PA

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