Top Criminal Justice Degree Program in Santa Ana, CA

Students interested in studying criminal justice in the Santa Ana, CA, 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

Several options are available within a 20-mile radius of Santa Ana for schools that offer criminal justice programs. The top three schools, determined by examining the schools' program offerings, rankings and cumulative criminal justice degrees conferred, include the following:

  • Winner: California State University in Long Beach is at the top due to its degree level choices, regional rankings assigned by U.S. News & World Report and its internship program.
  • Runner Up #1: California State University at Fullerton is the first runner up for its number of criminal justice degrees awarded, being a public school and for being within 10 miles of Santa Ana.
  • Runner Up #2: Fullerton College, found within Fullerton, makes the third school on this list, resulting from its low tuition and different program types available to students. It has also had the most programs completed in the field out of all 2-year public schools within 20 miles of Santa Ana.

School Comparison Chart

Category California State University - Long Beach California State University - Fullerton Fullerton College
Rankings 32nd for Regional Universities (West),
5th for Top Public Schools (West)*
35th for Regional Universities (West),
7th for Top Public Schools (West)*
Location Long Beach, CA (15.5 miles from Santa Ana) Fullerton, CA (8.9 miles from Santa Ana) Fullerton, CA (8.9 miles from Santa Ana)
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)**
$6,195 (undergraduate, in-state)
$17,853 (undergraduate, out-of-state)
$7,461 (graduate, in-state),
$17,007 (graduate, out-of-state)**
$1,138 (undergraduate, in-state),
$6,010 (undergraduate, out-of-state)**
Criminal Justice Program Levels Offered Bachelor's and master's degrees Bachelor's degrees 1-year certificates and associate's degrees
Criminal Justice Certificates and Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 168** 253** 161**
Most Popular Criminal Justice Program in 2011-2012 Bachelor's degree (155 awarded)** Bachelor's degree (253 awarded)** 1-year certificates (100 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2006 Entering Class 57% (3% transfer-out rate)** 51% (4% transfer-out rate)** 26% (19% transfer-out rate)**
Noteworthy Military friendly school*** Generates $1 billion annually in economic activity*** Ranked 3rd for California State University transfers in the state***

Sources: *2014 U.S. News & World Report rankings, **NCES College Navigator, ***Schools' websites

Winner: California State University - Long Beach

  • Criminal Justice Student Association is a student-run organization located on campus for this major.
  • Comprehensive internship program.
  • A minor in forensic science is offered here.

Criminal justice students at California State University - Long Beach can earn a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice or a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The master's degree program in criminal justice has an off-campus accelerated option that can be finished in 19 to 20 months. There are numerous full-time faculty members here with national reputations. The full-time faculty is involved in criminal justice research and numerous faculty members have published books on criminal justice topics. Additionally, these individuals have a group of part-time faculty members supporting them in educating the students here.

Runner-Up #1: California State University - Fullerton

  • Eligible students can join the National Criminal Justice Honor Society: Alpha Phi Sigma.
  • Criminal justice students can participate in a Washington DC internship program.
  • A minor option is available in criminal justice.

The California State University - Fullerton offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. The classes for this program draw from different fields like sociology, law, political science, philosophy, psychology and public administration. The core coursework here goes over corrections, crime and delinquency, enforcement function and criminal justice research methodology. California State University - Fullerton has numerous internship opportunities for criminal justice students to choose from.

Runner-Up #2: Fullerton College

  • There are specialized criminal justice certificate programs.
  • Fullerton College has distance education options.
  • Career technical education is available here.

The Administration of Justice Associate in Arts degree and the Administration of Justice Associate in Science degree are the two associate degree options at Fullerton College for criminal justice students. There is also an administration of justice certificate program here. Students looking for a more specialized criminal justice certificate have the option to pursue a crime science investigation skills certificate or a peace officer standards and training law enforcement skills development certificate. Out of all the 2-year public schools in a 20-mile radius of Santa Ana, Fullerton College had the most program completions in criminal justice programs. A few of the criminal justice electives here cover rules of evidence, police and community relations, traffic enforcement, weaponless defense and criminal procedure.

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