Criminal Law Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Criminal law degrees require college graduates to attend law school in order to earn a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Most law degrees can be completed within three years of full time study, and students can focus on criminal law by choosing relevant advanced courses after completing the core requirements.

How to Select a Criminal Law School

Criminal law is a field of law focusing on criminal acts such as drug use, fraud, abuse, assault, theft, murder or robbery. To break into this field of law, students must first complete their bachelor's degree and do well on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Strong writing, speaking, research and analysis skills are needed to succeed as a law student and as a lawyer.

To choose a criminal law school, students look for a program that matches their location and scheduling needs, as well as offering the specific degree or specialization they desire. Approximately 200 law schools in the U.S. are accredited by the American Bar Association. Typical classes in a law education include constitutional law, criminal procedures, criminal law and evidence. An aspiring criminal lawyer will complete three years of law school beyond their undergraduate degree; he or she must then pass the Bar Exam, which confers the certification necessary to become a practicing attorney in one's state.

Students with a degree in criminal law can move on to become public defenders, prosecutors or private lawyers.

Largest Schools by Total Student Population

College/University Student Population Institution Type
Arizona State University67,0824-year, Public
Ohio State University - Main Campus53,7154-year, Public
University of Florida51,4744-year, Public
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities51,1404-year, Public
The University of Texas at Austin49,9844-year, Public
Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus44,4064-year, Public
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign43,2464-year, Public
New York University42,1894-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Wisconsin - Madison41,6204-year, Public
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor41,0284-year, Public
Indiana University - Bloomington40,3544-year, Public
University of Washington - Seattle Campus39,6754-year, Public
Florida International University38,7594-year, Public
Florida State University38,6824-year, Public
University of California - Los Angeles38,2204-year, Public
University of Arizona38,0574-year, Public
University of Houston36,1044-year, Public
Rutgers University - New Brunswick36,0414-year, Public
Temple University35,4904-year, Public
University of California - Berkeley35,3964-year, Public

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