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Top Criminal Justice Degree Programs - San Jose, CA

Students interested in studying criminal justice in San Jose, California, have nine schools to choose from. Read about the top schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

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School and Ranking Information

There are nine schools within 25 miles of San Jose offering degree programs in criminal justice at the associate's degree, bachelor's degree or master's degree level. The top three schools in the area include one public community college offering police academy training and an associate's degree designed for transfer, along with two public 4-year universities with bachelor's degree programs and above. The following three programs are ranked based on their program offerings, rankings and tuition:

  • Winner: San Jose State University ranks first due to its undergraduate and graduate degree offerings.
  • Runner-Up #1: California State University-East Bay offers students the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree from a nationally ranked regional university.
  • Runner-Up #2: Evergreen Valley Community College's career training opportunities and affordability make it third on the list.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Corrections Admin
  • Corrections, Probation, and Parole
  • Criminal Justice and Safety Studies
  • Criminal Science
  • Forensic Science
  • Juvenile Corrections
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Police Science and Law Enforcement
  • Securities Services Mgmt
  • Security and Theft Prevention Services

School Comparison Table

San Jose State University California State University - East Bay Evergreen Valley Community College
Ranking #16 university in California (2013)* Best in the West designation for regional universities (2013)** N/A
Location San Jose Hayward (approximately 20 miles from San Jose) San Jose
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; public 2-year; public
Tuition and Fees (2012-2013) $6,852 (in-state, undergraduate),//$18,510 (out-of-state, undergraduate),
$8,394 (in-state, graduate),
$17,940 (out-of-state, graduate)***
$6,309 (in-state, undergraduate),
$17,967 (out-of-state, undergraduate)***
$1,324 (in-state),
$6,946 (out-of-state)***
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies,
Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science,
Master of Science in Justice Studies
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration Associate in Science in Administration of Justice
Criminal Justice Degrees Awarded (2011-2012) 205*** 136*** 71***
Most Popular Program (2011-2012) Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (202 degrees awarded)*** Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration (136 degrees awarded)*** Associate in Science in Administration of Justice (71 degrees awarded)***
Graduation Rate (150% of Normal Program Time, 2005/2008-2012) 46%*** 43%*** 18%***
Noteworthy Oldest public college in California**** Among the lowest in-state tuition in for comparable institutions in U.S.** N/A

Sources: *2013 Web Ranking, **CSU - East Bay website, ***NCES College Navigator,****SJSU website

Winner: San Jose State University

  • Undergraduate and graduate degree options
  • Member of Consortium of Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs
  • Undergraduate internship opportunities
  • Graduate research opportunities

Founded as a normal school in 1857, San Jose State University is the oldest public institution of higher learning in California. Through the College of Applied Sciences and Arts houses the Department of Justice Studies. Opened in 1930, the department offers undergraduate programs leading to either a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Justice Studies or a BS in Forensic Science. Competency areas for the justice studies program include theory, methodology, critical inquiries, analytical research and experiential learning through for-credit internships. Program courses cover penal politics, forensic entomology, justice management, research methods, crisis intervention and criminological theory. Prospective forensic scientists can complete their BS program with courses on crime scene investigation, fingerprinting, biometrics and florescent applications.

Graduate students can pursue a Master of Science in Justice Studies through a 2-year full-time program or a 3-year part-time program. Program courses include topics such as justice research methods, advanced criminology, deviance and qualitative research. Graduate research opportunities include topics such as policy evaluation, immigration, race theory and human rights.

Runner-Up #1: California State University - East Bay

  • Affordable in-state tuition
  • Program options in law enforcement or corrections
  • Internship opportunities

California State University - East Bay is located and the town of Hayward. Chartered in 1957, the college has gone through five name changes in the past 56 years. The College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences is home to the Department of Criminal Justice Administration, where students can pursue a BS in Criminal Justice Administration. Students will select one of the two program options, completing courses through either the law enforcement administration or corrections track. All majors will complete courses covering evidence, police community relations and basic criminal investigation, along with upper division courses on criminal justice research methods and crime theory. Special elective options include topics such as sex crime investigation, restorative justice, medical anthropology, family violence and hate crimes, as well as local agency internship opportunities.

Runner-Up #2: Evergreen Valley Community College

  • Affordable in-state tuition
  • Transferrable associate's degree program
  • Internship opportunities available
  • Law Enforcement Academy with Certificate of Achievement

Evergreen Valley Community College in San Jose was founded in 1975. Students can complete a Certificate of Achievement through the Law Enforcement Police Academy administered through the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium. Police Academy students can complete their 23.5 unit program through either an 880-hour intensive program format or 920-hour modular format. Students can also earn an Associate in Science in Administration of Justice, through a program that offers 60 transferrable credits toward degrees at area colleges and universities. The program includes courses covering criminal law, contemporary police issues, juvenile justice, forensic science and corrections, as well as support courses in sociology, psychology and elementary statistics. Students can also complete up to 16 credit hours through internships or work experience.

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