Best Colleges for Criminal Justice Majors: List of Top Schools

Jul 24, 2018

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

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School Overviews

Students interested in careers in criminal justice can check out the following high-quality schools with degrees in criminal justice and other justice fields. Three of the top schools have been highlighted. You can explore the top schools that offer criminal justice bachelor's degree programs. These schools were chosen for their variety of program options in the field, and some of these schools also offer master's degree programs for those who want to continue their education.

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 watching to get more details.

George Washington University

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

In Washington D.C., George Washington University 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. This academic program studies the sociology of crime and includes forensic science training. A dual-degree program is also offered as a combined Bachelor of Art/Master of Arts in Criminal Justice/Criminology.

Marist College

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 in Poughkeepsie, New York 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 also require students to study the causes of and responses to crime in society.

CSU-Long Beach

School Highlight: California State University at Long Beach is home to the Center for Criminal Justice Research and Training, which offers seminars and courses to corrections and law enforcement professionals.

At CalState Long Beach, the School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency Management offers bachelor's and master's degrees in criminology and criminal justice. Minors are also available in both fields, as well as a minor in forensic studies. The school also has certificate programs in forensics, high-tech crime, and crime scene investigations. The school boasts a collaborative approach in the study and understanding of what may cause some criminal behavior and then examines what seems to work best to control criminal activity at the societal level.

Top Criminal Justice Programs

The following schools offer degrees in criminal justice or other criminal justice programs:

School Name Location Distinction
California State University - Stanislaus Turlock, CA One of the few schools in the U.S. that offers a juvenile justice concentration in its criminal justice program
Campbell University Buies Creek, NC Offers both majors and minors in Criminal Justice
Clayton State University Morrow, GA Headquarters to a criminal justice program with a Spanish language competency requirement
Columbia College Columbia, MO Offers a B.A. program recommended for working criminal justice professionals and a B.S. program recommended for students new to the field
Dallas Baptist University Dallas, TX Fosters a Christ-centered approach to criminal justice
San Diego State University San Diego, CA 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
University of Richmond Richmond, VA Home to Virginia's first Victim Assistance Academy, offering specialized training to victim services providers and victim advocates
West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA School has been granting bachelor's degrees in criminal justice since 1974

George Washington University, Marist College, and CalState-Long Beach are some of the top choices for criminal justice education. There are also plenty of other schools across the nation that offer criminal justice bachelor's degree programs equal to the challenge of educating students in this field.

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