Best School for a Criminal Justice Degree - Long Beach, CA

Students interested in studying criminal justice in the Long Beach area have many schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

School and Ranking Information

There are more than 10 institutions within 15 miles of Long Beach where students can find criminal justice programs. The following schools are considered the top three based on location, tuition and how many degrees have been awarded in the discipline:

  • Winner: California State University in Long Beach is the winning school for its location being in the city, its number of awarded criminal justice degrees and for the institution's regional rankings in 2014 from U.S. News & World Report.
  • Runner Up #1: California State University, Dominguez Hills, found in Carson, appears on the list as the second pick for its degree level options and for the online delivery of the master's program.
  • Runner Up #2: Golden West College in Huntington Beach secures the second runner up spot as a result of it being a public institution and for having low tuition rates.

School Comparison Chart

Category California State University-Long Beach California State University-Dominguez Hills Golden West College
Rankings (2013) 32nd on 2014 Regional Universities (West)*,
5th for 2014 Top Public Schools (West)*
Location Long Beach, CA Carson, CA (7.6 miles from Long Beach) Huntington Beach, CA (11.3 miles from Long Beach)
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, public 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $6,052 (undergraduate, in-state)
$17,710 (undergraduate, out-of-state)
$7,506 (graduate, in-state)
$17,052 (graduate, out-of-state)**
$6,095 (undergraduate, in-state)
$17,753 (undergraduate, out-of-state)
$7,361 (graduate, in-state)
$16,907 (graduate, out-of-state)**
$1,172 (undergraduate, in-state)
$5,204 (undergraduate, out-of-state)**
Criminal Justice Program Levels Offered Bachelor's and master's degrees Bachelor's and master's degrees Less than 1-year certificates and associate's degrees
Criminal Justice Certificates and Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 168** 95** 81**
Most Popular Criminal Justice Program Level in 2011-2012 Bachelor's degrees (155 awarded)** Bachelor's degrees (95 awarded)** Less than 1-year certificates (55 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) 57% (Fall 2006 Entering Class)** 28% (Fall 2006 Entering Class)** 29% (Fall 2009 Entering Class)**
Noteworthy The school has large student computer facilities like the Spidell Technology Center Accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges 122-acre campus

Sources: *2013 U.S. News & World Report rankings, **NCES College Navigator

Winner: California State University - Long Beach

  • Student organizations and honor societies are on campus.
  • The school has a multicultural center.
  • Minors in forensic science and criminal justice are offered.

At the undergraduate level, students at the California State University-Long Beach can earn a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. This 120-unit program has a variety of class times offered, so students could complete the entire program in the evening or in the daytime. The core major courses for this program consist of the following: constitutional criminal procedure, substantive criminal law, statistics for criminal justice and criminal justice research methods. The school also offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program. Students can pick between the comprehensive examination option and the thesis option. A few of the topics covered in the master's degree program include criminological theory, advanced statistics and proseminar and professional writing.

Runner-Up #1: California State University - Dominguez Hills

  • Numerous distance-learning options are offered at this school.
  • Study abroad opportunities can be found here.
  • Urban Community Research Center on campus.

The California State University - Dominguez Hills offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration. Students are allowed to graduate from the program with honors by meeting the necessary academic requirements. Foundations of public administration, terrorism and extremism, juvenile justice process and administrative laws are just some of the topics found in the undergraduate curriculum. Then, delivered entirely online, the school has a Master of Public Administration degree program with a criminal justice policy and administration concentration. Managerial operations is one of the big topics studied in this graduate program.

Runner-Up #2: Golden West College

  • Leadership and Ethics Institute on campus.
  • This college is a commuter campus.
  • The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges has accredited this college.
  • If necessary, students can use the Student Health Center.

By completing the school's law enforcement curriculum, students can graduation from Golden West College with a Certificate of Achievement or an Associate in Arts degree. The associate's degree program requires students to complete the core curriculum along with general education requirements. The core law enforcement major here consists of classes on first aid, police report writing, special issues in law enforcement, criminal procedure and evidence and character development. There are also a few specializes courses for investigators and California peace officers.

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