Top School in Stockton, CA, for a Criminal Justice Degree

Stockton has few schools with programs in criminal justice and law enforcement. Find the best program for you by reading about schools' rankings, program offerings, and tuition info.

School and Ranking Information

Prospective criminal justice workers and law enforcement officers in Stockton have more than a dozen schools to attend, and they can choose among a number of program levels - from certificates to master's degrees - to prepare for the range of careers in this field. The top 3 schools in the Stockton area, based on program offerings, graduation rates, and proximity to downtown Stockton, are:

  • Winner: California State University - Stanislaus (CSUS) is the only school of these 3 that has achieved regional ranking, and its Stockton Center makes it a convenient choice for those seeking law enforcement training in this area.
  • Runner-Up #1: San Joaquin Delta College (SJDC) has a lower graduation rate than the second runner-up but had more than 3 times the number of program completions in this field.
  • Runner-Up #2: Humphreys College is the only private school on the list and also boasts the highest graduation rate.

In California, the majority of peace officers must complete basic law enforcement officer training approved by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and then serve a probation training period with their employer before being awarded the Basic Certificate. Some careers require more advanced study, and the Commissions on POST awards eight other types of certificates, like the Supervisory Certificate and the Executive Certificate. Other careers in criminal justice may not require a certificate from POST.

School Comparison Chart

Category California State University - Stanislaus San Joaquin Delta College Humphreys College
Rankings #68 among regional universities in the West*,
#23 among regional public schools in the West*
no ranking data available* no ranking data available*
Location Turlock, CA (about 43 miles from Stockton) Stockton, CA Stockton, CA
School Type 4-year public 2-year public 4-year private not-for-profit
Estimated Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $6,582 in-state,
$18,240 out-of-state (undergraduate),
$7,892 in-state,
$17,438 out-of-state (graduate)**
$1,104 in-state,
$5,664 out-of-state (undergraduate)**
$11,160 (undergraduate)**
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Programs Offered Bachelor's and master's degrees Certificates and associate degrees Associate and bachelor's degrees
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) (2011-2012) 135** 49** 16**
Most Popular Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Program (2011-2012) Bachelor's degree in criminal justice/safety studies (125 awarded)** Associate degree in criminal justice/police science (30 awarded)** Bachelor's degree in corrections and criminal justice (9 awarded)**
Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) 49% (10% transfer-out rate) (for students who began in 2006)** 26% (13% transfer-out rate) (for students who began in 2009)** 84% (16% transfer-out rate) (for students who began in 2006)**
Noteworthy US News and World Report (USNWR) has designated this school as a best buy in higher education for 10 consecutive years** Several faculty members are retired police officers*** According to the National Survey of Student Engagement, 92% of students reported that this school has a strong focus on academics***

Sources: *U.S. News and World Report (2013 data), **National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), ***Schools' websites.

Winner: California State University - Stanislaus

  • According to U.S. News & World Report (USNWR), law enforcement is among the top 5 majors at this school
  • Recognized by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities as 1 of 12 public universities nationwide that effectively increases retention and graduation rates
  • Students in the B.A. program at this school can choose among 5 majors and 2 minors
  • B.A. and M.A. candidates can complete a criminal justice internship, which can provide practical experience and hands-on training in this field

California State University - Stanislaus (CSUS) offers both undergraduate and advanced study in criminal justice, which can prepare students for careers in corrections and probation. Though this school is more than 30 miles from Stockton, criminal justice is a subject offered at its Stockton Center, where students who have earned an associate degree, or who have already completed POST training, can complete their Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in a hybrid format. General education course requirements for this degree completion program are offered online, and the balance of the 52 required units can be completed at the Stockton Center. Costs for this program may differ from general tuition and fees at this school.

At the main Stanislaus campus in Turlock, undergraduates can enroll in the B.A. in Criminal Justice program, which offers concentrations in criminal legal studies, corrections, law enforcement, juvenile justice, and forensic science. There are also 2 undergraduate minors available in forensic science and criminal justice. For students seeking graduate study in this field, there is a program leading to the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, which may provide preparation for leadership roles or for positions in higher education. Additionally, all criminal justice faculty at this school hold terminal degrees.

Runner-Up #1: San Joaquin Delta College

  • It is the only school in the Stockton area to offer training approved by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training
  • This school has a cooperative education partnership with CSUS
  • The retention rate for first-time full-time students who began in 2011 was 74%, according to the NCES

San Joaquin Delta College offers several programs in corrections and in law enforcement. Students have the opportunity to train for a career as a peace officer through SJDC's Basic Peace Officer Training Academy, which awards an 18-unit certificate of achievement and is offered through POST. Credits earned in the Associate of Arts in Administration of Justice or the Associate of Science in Corrections Science programs may be transferable to a 4-year degree program at a school within the California State University system.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a bachelor's degree is the minimum education requirement for careers in probation or corrections, and this school offers students a chance to begin their path towards this goal. There are also certificate programs available in administration of justice and corrections science.

Runner-Up #2: Humphreys College

  • Criminal justice majors can complete a 4-unit internship to gain professional experience in a law enforcement agency while earning college credit
  • The Criminal Justice Advisory Board, which is composed of California law enforcement professionals, assists in determining curriculum goals for criminal justice programs at this school
  • Women made up 81% of the student population, and 71% of student enrollment represented minorities, according to NCES in 2011.

Humphreys College offers programs that can lead to an Associate of Arts or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in criminal justice. The B.S. program has 3 concentrations, including 1 in law enforcement and another in corrections. All students enrolled in criminal justice courses at this school are offered practical training in the nature of crime and the administrative aspects of working in law enforcement, and available programs aim to provide the minimum education requirements for a variety of careers in this field.

Criminal justice majors can take classes like correctional law, interview and interrogation, and ethical leadership in criminal justice. Additionally, a capstone experience and a class in advanced criminal investigations both require students to complete research projects on current issues in law enforcement, which may lead to expertise in a specialized area. Faculty in this department have both academic and professional preparation in this field, and many members of the faculty are either current or former law enforcement officers in local police departments.

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