Top School in St. Louis for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement

St. Louis, MO, has a few 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

St. Louis, MO, has 13 schools within a 25-mile radius that have criminal justice programs. Amongst these colleges and universities, the top three schools were determined by looking at their graduation rates, school rankings and program completions.

  • Winner: Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville had the highest graduation rate and the most program completions for criminal justice majors. It was also the only school whose rank was published by U.S. News & World Report. It offers bachelor's degrees.
  • Runner-Up #1: Lindenwood University offers bachelor's and master's degree options for criminal justice majors. It also has a student association that helps with job placement.
  • Runner-Up #2: Missouri Baptist University offers bachelor's and master's degree programs and online options for students.

School Comparison Chart

Category Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Lindenwood University Missouri Baptist University
Rankings (2014) 42nd for Regional Universities (Midwest), 9th for Top Public Schools (Midwest)* N/A N/A
Location Edwardsville, IL (17.9 miles from St. Louis, MO) Saint Charles, MO (21.1 miles from St. Louis, MO) Saint Louis, MO
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $9,251 (undergraduate, in-state),
$19,673 (undergraduate, out-of-state)**
$14,600 (undergraduate),
$14,600 (graduate)**
$20,764 (undergraduate),
$5,322 (graduate)**
Criminal Justice Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's degrees Bachelor's and master's degrees Bachelor's and master's degrees
Criminal Justice Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 83** 0** 13**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2006 Entering Class 52%** 41%** 39%**
Noteworthy Criminal Justice Club open to all majors Criminal Justice Student Association helps prepare students for employment N/A

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

Winner: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

  • Criminal Justice Club hosts events and field trips and gives students access to field-related professionals
  • Honors Scholars Program available to all majors
  • School is involved in numerous research efforts on campus

Depending on the criminal justice major's preference, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. This is a multi-disciplinary degree program that has a basis in the liberal arts. The program's supervised internship requirement involves written and oral presentations. The internship requires spending 140 hours in a potential area of criminal justice employment. As part of the electives students can choose from, there are options to study rehabilitation and treatment modalities, community corrections, U.S. drug policy, criminal justice ethics and white-collar crime.

Runner-Up #1: Lindenwood University

  • Faculty has experience in the criminal justice system
  • Internship opportunities available to criminal justice students
  • Criminal justice majors go on numerous field trips as part of the coursework

A Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice can be acquired at Lindenwood University. The core curriculum for the program consists of coursework on victimology, criminal investigations, policing and criminal procedure. The emphasis groups for the electives involve topics like probation and parole, corrections/juvenile, law enforcement and legal studies.

Lindenwood University also offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program. This 45-credit-hour program requires students to complete a culminating project and a research methods course or pursue the 48-semester-hour option. Students hoping to enter the field or those who are currently employed are eligible for the graduate program.

Runner-Up #2: Missouri Baptist University

  • Students can choose between 8-week classes during the evening or 16-week courses during the daytime
  • Online program and course options available
  • The school has regional learning centers across the state

Missouri Baptist University has a criminal justice major that results in a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. The core requirements of the major go over coursework like probability and statistics, evidence, constitutional law, policing institutions and correctional institutions. There are also several different tracks for this program, depending on whether or not the student has previous police academy training.

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice is offered entirely online at this school. There are options for full-time and part-time students enrolled in this graduate program.

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