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Top School in Columbus, OH, for a Criminal Justice Degree

Students interested in studying criminal justice in Columbus, Ohio, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition, and ranking info to find the right one for you.

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School and Ranking Information

There are 3 schools in a 25-mile radius of the Columbus, Ohio, area that offer postsecondary programs in criminal justice. Columbus State Community College (CSCC), Ohio Dominican University (ODU), and Eastman - Fairfield Career and Technical School (EFCTS) each offer unique program choices for students seeking training that may lead to jobs in corrections, law enforcement, or homeland security. These 3 schools are ranked based on number of criminal justice credentials awarded, the availability of police officer training courses approved by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC), and the variety of options for students in this field.

  • Winner: Columbus State Community College earns the top spot for its high number of program options for criminal justice students and OPOTC-approved police academy.
  • Runner Up #1: Eastman - Fairfield Career and Technical School earns second place for awarding the most credentials in criminal justice in 2011-2012 and its high graduation rate. However, this school only offers certificate-level programs.
  • Runner Up #2: Ohio Dominican University is the only school in the area to award bachelor's degrees, however it takes third place since it awarded the fewest criminal justice credentials among the three schools and had the highest tuition rate.

School Comparison Chart

Category Columbus State Community College Eastman - Fairfield Career and Technical School Ohio Dominican University
Ranking N/A N/A #92 among regional universities in the Midwest (2014)*
Location Columbus, Ohio Groveport, Ohio (10.5 miles from downtown Columbus) Columbus, Ohio
School Type 2-year, public <2-year, public 4-year, private, not-for-profit
Undergraduate Tuition $3,400 in-state,
$6,800 out-of-state, yearly tuition and fees (2012-2013)**
$5,480 for 600-hour course (2013-2014)*** $28,104, yearly tuition and fees (2012-2013)**
Criminal Justice Programs Offered Certificates and associate degrees** Certificates** Bachelor's degrees**
Criminal Justice Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2012-2013 62** 66** 11**
Most Popular Criminal Justice Program (2012-2013) Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice (47 awarded)** Basic Peace Officer Training Certificate (66 awarded)** Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice (11 awarded)**
Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) 9% (24% transfer-out rate), for 2009 entering class** 90%, for 2009 entering class** 41%, for 2006 entering class**
Noteworthy This school offers the most program options for criminal justice students in the Columbus area, with 4 associate degrees and 3 certificates offered in this field*** Courses in the basic police officer training certificate program may be transferrable to 2- or 4-year degree programs at participating schools*** Criminal justice students can participate in field-experience opportunities in the nation's capital, which are available through the Washington Center for Internships***

Sources: *U.S. News and World Report, **NCES College Navigator, ***Schools' websites.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Corrections Admin
  • Corrections, Probation, and Parole
  • Criminal Justice and Safety Studies
  • Criminal Science
  • Forensic Science
  • Juvenile Corrections
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Police Science and Law Enforcement
  • Securities Services Mgmt
  • Security and Theft Prevention Services

Winner: Columbus State Community College

  • Internships for criminal justice majors are available
  • Career services like resume building, interview coaching, and job-search assistance are available for CSCC students
  • All criminal justice classes are available in both a traditional classroom format and online

At Columbus State Community College, there are 7 program options in the criminal justice technology department. Corrections, criminal justice, OPOTC-approved police academy, and professional law enforcement are the areas of focus available for students seeking an Associate of Applied Science. Degree programs require 65-70 units and include courses in a major area of focus as well as in general education subjects like math and English.

The 3 certificate program options in crime scene investigation, homeland security, and victim-witness advocacy may be completed as stand-alone courses of study or as a supplement to an associate degree program. Certificate programs require 12-15 units of coursework.

Runner-Up #1: Eastman - Fairfield Career and Technical School

  • According to the school's website, the on-time completion rate for students in the peace officer training program was 100% in 2011-2012
  • EFCTS works with an advisory committee, which is composed of representatives from relevant industries, like criminal justice, who help to shape and update the curriculum
  • Students who have not yet completed their high school requirements or G.E.D. can enroll in the criminal justice high school completion program, which is also offered at this school

Eastman - Fairfield Career and Technical School offers several high school completion and adult workforce education courses, including a basic police officer training certificate course. Completion of this course and the required certification exam may lead to positions in local police departments, sheriff's departments, or other state facilities. This program consists of 600 hours of coursework, which is offered Monday through Friday; some weekend classes are also required. Candidates for this program must be at least 21, and they must also have a high school diploma or G.E.D and a valid Ohio driver's license. Potential trainees are also required to pass a background check and medical exam.

Training in areas including civil disorders, firearms, defensive driving, human relations, unarmed self-defense, and investigation techniques will be offered during this 6-month course. Upon completion of the certificate program, students must also pass a physical fitness test and certification exam to obtain OPOTC certification.

Runner-Up #2: Ohio Dominican University

  • Internships in local law enforcement agencies are available for criminology and criminal justice majors
  • Criminal justice faculty includes noted scholars in this field, and some faculty have law enforcement experience
  • Service learning experiences are available both locally and abroad
  • Career and internship counseling and job-placement services are available for students through the Career Development Center

Criminology and criminal justice is a major field of study available for students seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree at Ohio Dominican University. There is also a minor in criminology and criminal justice available for those seeking to supplement a degree in another field with criminal justice coursework. Students pursuing any Bachelor of Arts degree at ODU must complete a minimum of 120 units; these requirements include courses in writing, math, social sciences, philosophy, theology, the arts, and a 4-course series of core seminars. Criminal justice majors will supplement these courses with training in law enforcement, community relations, research methods, ethics, politics, and delinquency issues.

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