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Best School for a Degree in Criminal Justice - Anaheim, CA

Anaheim, CA, has many schools with programs in criminal justice. Find the best program for you by reading about schools' rankings, program offerings and tuition info.

School and Ranking Information

There are nearly 20 schools in the Anaheim area with programs in criminal justice. Based on school rankings and program options, the top three schools in the Anaheim area for criminal justice are:

  • Winner: The University of California - Irvine (UCI) is the only one of these schools to have a nationally ranked graduate criminology program. It's also the only of these schools to offer criminal justice programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.
  • Runner-Up #1: California State University - Long Beach (CSULB) offers criminal justice programs at the bachelor's and master's levels and was ranked one of the 'Best of the West' by The Princeton Review.
  • Runner-Up #2: California State University - Fullerton (CSUF) awarded more criminal justice degrees in 2011 than CSULB, however it only offers a bachelor's-level program in criminal justice. This school also has comparable graduation rates and rankings to the first runner-up.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of California - Irvine California State University - Long Beach California State University - Fullerton
Ranking(s) 5th for Graduate Criminology, nationwide (2009),
14th for Top Public Schools, nationwide (2014),
49th for National Universities (2014),
52nd for High School Counselor Rankings, nationwide (2014)*
5th for Top Public Schools (West) (2014),
32nd for Regional Universities (West) (2014)*
7th for Top Public Schools (West) (2014),
35th for Regional Universities (West) (2014)*
Location Irvine, CA (13.3 miles from Anaheim) Long Beach, CA (12.7 miles from Anaheim) Fullerton, CA (3.7 miles from Anaheim)
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, public 4-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $13,122 (undergraduate, in-state),
$36,000 (undergraduate, out-of-state),
$12,962 (graduate, in-state),
$28,064 (graduate, out-of-state)**
$6,052 (undergraduate, in-state),
$17,710 (undergraduate, out-of-state),
$7,506 (graduate, in-state),
$17,052 (graduate, out-of-state)**
$6,195 (undergraduate, in-state),
$17,853 (undergraduate, out-of-state),
$7,461 (graduate, in-state),
$17,007 (graduate, out-of-state)**
Criminal Justice Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees Bachelor's and master's degrees Bachelor's degrees
Criminal Justice Degrees (all levels) Awarded in 2011-2012 346** 168** 253**
Most Popular Public Administration Program 2011-2012 Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Law, and Society (298 awarded)** Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (155 awarded)** Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice (253 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2006 Entering Class 86% (10% transfer-out rate)** 57% (3% transfer-out rate)** 50%**
Noteworthy Has the only criminology department in the University of California system*** Competitive admission with a 31.5% admission rate*** Ranked 8th nationwide in 2012 for number of bachelor's degrees awarded to minority students in Diverse Issues in Higher Education***

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

Winner: University of California - Irvine

  • Program faculty include past presidents of the American Society of Criminology, past presidents of the Law and Society Association, and Fellows of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
  • Alumni of the doctorate program include faculty and research staff at multiple universities such as Rutgers University and Florida State University and organizations such as the United States Sentencing Commission and the Drug Enforcement Administration
  • 50% of UCI students have no student debt at the time of graduation
  • 98% of UCI full time instructional faculty members have a terminal degree in their field
  • UCI has a 19 to 1 student to faculty ratio, according to NCES

The University of California - Irvine Department of Criminology, Law, and Society awards a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Advanced Study, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology, Law, and Society. The BA program is designed to prepare students for graduate school or law school. Qualified undergraduate students may also gain experience through field study participation with organizations such as police departments, the Orange County District Attorney's Office, and the Orange County Victim/Witness Assistance Program. The Master of Advanced Study (MAS) program is an online program designed to prepare graduates for leadership positions in the field. The PhD program is designed to prepare students for roles as faculty and researchers in the field. The program is nationally ranked and highly competitive. The department works directly with multiple research centers, providing graduate students opportunities for experience and exploration in the field. Additionally, students may choose to join the Criminal Law Society, a student organization focused on criminal justice or the UCI Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society.

Runner-Up #1: California State University - Long Beach

  • Program alumni include the current City of Irvine Chief of Police
  • In 2013, CSULB was ranked as one of the 'Best in the West' by the Princeton Review
  • 86% of CSULB full-time instructional faculty members have a terminal degree
  • CSULB has an overall 26 to 1 student to faculty ratio, according to NCES

The California State University - Long Beach Department of Criminal Justice awards a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The BS in Criminal Justice is designed to allow students to complete the program while working and all courses required may be completed in the evening. The MS in Criminal Justice is designed to prepare students for leadership positions in the field, for research positions, or to pursue advanced degrees. The department also offers the MS program in an accelerated format that allows students to take required courses on Saturdays, allowing them to work full-time while completing the program. Additionally, students may join the Criminal Justice Student Association, an award winning student organization or the CSULB Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma.

Runner-Up #2: California State University - Fullerton

  • Program faculty include personnel having credentials with probation and police departments
  • Graduates of CSUF include an astronaut, politicians, CEOs, and celebrities
  • 80% of CSUF full time instructional faculty members have a doctorate degree

The California State University - Fullerton Division of Politics, Administration, and Justice awards a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. The program is designed to prepare students for careers at agencies in the field and for advanced study. The division offers qualified students the opportunity to participate in an internship with a focus on criminal justice, administration, or pre-law. The division also offers students the opportunity to participate in the Moot Court program to gain experience with legal research, critical thinking, and the justice system. Additionally, students may choose to join a student club in the division or the CSUF Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma.


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