Top School in Pittsburgh for Criminal Justice & Law Enforcement

Students interested in studying criminal justice in Pittsburgh, PA, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

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School and Ranking Information

Pittsburgh, PA, has nine schools within a 25-mile radius that offer criminal justice programs. Based on graduation rates and program offerings, the top three are Point Park University, La Roche College and Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver.

  • Winner: Point Park University offers both bachelor's and master's degrees and is ranked among regional universities by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Runner-Up #1: La Roche College is also ranked among regional universities by U.S. News & World Report. It offers bachelor's degrees.
  • Runner-Up #2: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver also offers bachelor's degrees and features an on-campus lab.

School Comparison Chart

Category Point Park University La Roche College Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver
Rankings (2014) #111 among regional universities (North)* #33 among regional universities (North)* N/A
Location Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh, PA Monaca, PA (22.2 miles from Pittsburgh, PA)
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $25,190 (undergraduate)
$14,598 (graduate)**
$24,058 (undergraduate)** $13,350 (undergraduate, in-state)
$19,906 (undergraduate, out-of-state)**
Criminal Justice Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's and master's degrees Bachelor's degrees Bachelor's degrees
Criminal Justice Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 71** 18** 4**
Most Popular Criminal Justice Degree Level in 2011-2012 Bachelor's degree (52 awarded)** N/A N/A
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2006 Entering Class 50%** 53%** 45%**
Noteworthy The on-campus Crime Scene Investigation House offers mock crime scenarios Chairman of the Justice, Law and Security Department is a former FBI agent N/A

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

Winner: Point Park University

  • Criminal justice students can join Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society
  • Internships with local police departments and corrections agencies are available
  • High school students can attend a CSI summer camp

Students at Point Park University can earn bachelor's and master's degrees in criminal justice. In addition to a traditional 4-year bachelor's program, the school offers accelerated and capstone programs for students with at least 60 transferable credits or an associate degree. The curriculum for each bachelor's program covers criminal evidence, forensic psychology and criminal law, among other topics.

The master's program in criminal justice administration includes courses in research design, economics of the criminal justice system and organizational behavior. In order to graduate, students complete either a capstone course or a thesis. A 5-year combined bachelor's/master's program in criminal justice is available as well.

Runner-Up #1: La Roche College

  • Students in the accelerated program can take online and blended learning classes
  • With a high GPA, students can join the school's Honors Institute
  • Study abroad opportunities are available

La Roche College offers a 120-credit Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program. The curriculum includes police and society, intelligence analysis, criminal investigations and criminal law, and students may complete internships for elective credit. Professionals who have five years of criminal justice work experience can enroll in an accelerated program that awards 48 advanced-standing credits. A related bachelor's degree in national security studies is available as well.

Runner-Up #2: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver

  • On-campus crime lab
  • Personal counseling services are available

This school's Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice program includes an internship that allows students to gain hands-on research and field experience. Students can choose from two emphasis areas. The field research specialization is designed for those seeking entry-level jobs after graduation, while the research and policy analysis specialization is tailored to students seeking research or academic positions. Regardless of emphasis area, courses in crime and justice, women and the criminal justice system, criminology and race are part of the curriculum.

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