School and Ranking Information
Only about seven postsecondary schools in Colorado Springs offer criminal justice degree programs. Based on school rankings and criminal justice degree options, the top three schools in Colorado Springs for criminal justice studies are:
- Winner: The University of Colorado in Colorado Springs leads the list on account of its regional rankings received from U.S. News & World Report and for the school's multiple criminal justice degree program options, including a master's degree.
- Runner Up #1: Colorado Christian University, located in Colorado Springs, is the first runner up due to its program variety and flexible program options.
- Runner Up #2: Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs makes third place for its sum of degrees awarded in the field and for its low tuition rates.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||University of Colorado - Colorado Springs||Colorado Christian University - Colorado Springs Center||Pikes Peak Community College|
|Rankings||38th among regional universities in the West;
9th among public schools in the West in 2013*
|Location||Colorado Springs, CO||Colorado Springs, CO||Colorado Springs, CO|
|School Type||4-year, public||4-year, private not-for-profit||2-year, public|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)|| $6,688 (in-state);
|$482/credit hour for adult undergraduate tuition and fees***||$2,989 (in-state);
|Criminal Justice Programs Offered||Bachelor's and master's degrees; graduate certificate||Certificate; associate's and bachelor's degrees||Certificate; associate's degree|
|Criminal Justice Degrees and Certificates Awarded (all levels) in 2011-2012||50**||N/A||78**|
|Most Popular Criminal Justice Program in 2011-2012||Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration (44 awarded)**||N/A||Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration (52 awarded)**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time)||41% (2005 entering class)**||42% (2005 entering class)**||21% (2008 entering class)**|
|Noteworthy||Weekend University offers 10-week condensed criminal justice courses on weekends||Offers credits for experience through its prior learning assessment program||On-site law enforcement academy|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator, ***Colorado Christian University.
Winner: University of Colorado - Colorado Springs
- Offers accelerated bachelor's to master's in criminal justice degree program
- Boasts prestigious faculty that have included Colorado's attorney general and other local public officials
- 71% retention rate for full-time undergraduates in 2011, according to NCES
The University of Colorado - Colorado Springs is the largest 4-year school in Colorado Springs and offers undergraduate and graduate programs in criminal justice through its School of Public Affairs. The school stated there were 390 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in criminal justice programs, as well as 15 faculty and staff members. The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program has concentration options in areas such as corrections, law, law enforcement, family violence, forensic studies or public policy, as well as an internship. Some courses are available online or as intensive weekend courses. UCCS also offers a Master of Criminal Justice that can be completed in 18 months. Graduate students may be required to complete an internship (if they don't possess practitioner experience), as well as a capstone or thesis.
Runner-Up #1: Colorado Christian University
- Offers certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice
- Adult students with previous credits can transfer up to 75% of required credits toward a degree program
Although the main campus of Colorado Christian University (CCU) is located in Lakewood, Colorado, CCU's College of Adult and Graduate Studies operates an education center in Colorado Springs where it offers criminal justice programs. CCU began offering its programs in criminal justice in 2011. Students pursuing the criminal justice bachelor's degree or associate's degree can choose to focus in 1 of 6 areas of study, including juvenile justice and corrections. CCU's adult undergraduate programs are geared toward busy adult students, and courses are held in the evening and online. Additionally, tuition and fees for adult undergraduate programs, such as the ones offered at the Colorado Springs Center, are calculated per credit hour instead of charging traditional undergraduate per-semester tuition and fees.
Runner-Up #2: Pikes Peak Community College
- Students can choose from 4 concentrations for an associate's program in criminal justice
- Pikes Peak Regional Law Enforcement Academy is onsite
- Four campus locations in the Colorado Springs area
Pikes Peak Community College has three campuses in Colorado Springs and one campus in the nearby town of Falcon, CO. Pikes Peak offers specialized certificate programs in areas like investigations, criminology, corrections and patrol. An Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in investigations management, crime scene investigations, patrol or corrections is also available. Students interested in pursuing a career as a sworn police officer can apply to the Pikes Peak Regional Law Enforcement Academy. Although the school has open admissions, the academy is competitive and requires applicants to meet selection criteria.