Top Ranked Criminal Justice Degree Program - Seattle, WA

Seattle University, located on Capitol Hill in Seattle, WA, had an enrollment over 7,900 students for the 2010 fall quarter. The Criminal Justice Department offers both Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in criminal justice, as well as a graduate certificate program in crime analysis. In conjunction with the university's School of Law, the department also allows students to pursue a joint Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ) and Juris Doctor (J.D.).

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Seattle University

Seattle University is one of the few Jesuit universities in the United States. Established in 1891, Seattle University was ranked the sixth best regional university in the West by U.S. News & World Report in 2011. With relatively small class sizes, the school offers 115 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs and boasts a diverse student population.

Within the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Criminal Justice receives curricular guidance for its academic programs from state congressional members, as well as professionals of state and federal law enforcement, public law offices, the U.S. Secret Service and the state judicial system. In 2010, criminal justice faculty members and graduate students presented work at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting. Students also can join the Pi Delta Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, a national criminal justice honor society.

Criminal Justice Programs

B.A. in Criminal Justice

Within the Bachelor of Arts program, students can choose among four concentrations, including administration of justice, criminology and theory, forensic psychology and forensic science. Courses teach the fundamentals of the criminal justice system, organizational theory, criminal justice ethics and statistics. This degree program offers a liberal arts focus and prepares students for positions in law enforcement or continued education in graduate or law school. Students can participate in several internships and paid job opportunities through local law enforcement and legal agencies that provide practical experience working in such settings as correctional facilities, law offices or victim services agencies.

B.S. in Criminal Justice

The Bachelor of Science program qualifies graduates for careers that emphasize physical science, offering either forensic psychology or forensic science as an area of focus. Forensic psychology students explore psychology, particularly psychopathic and abnormal disciplines, to learn about the process of criminal profiling. Elective courses in this focus cover juvenile justice, copycat crimes and the media's impact on crime investigations. The forensic science curriculum includes theories of investigation and criminal justice research methods and offers electives in alcohol and drug addiction, victimology and current issues in law enforcement.

Certificate in Crime Analysis

Graduates of the crime analysis certificate program can seek entry-level crime and intelligence analyst positions in law enforcement agencies at local, state and federal levels. Students must complete courses in criminological theory, statistical analysis and crime mapping using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Elective options include criminal type-matching, modern law enforcement practices, terrorism and technology use in criminal investigations. This certificate can be completed within two years, and applications are accepted only during the fall quarter.


This joint degree program requires completion of 90 semester credits for the J.D. and 55 credits for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. Full-time students can complete this program within four years. For the first two years, students alternate between the two programs, completing the first year of each before blending the coursework for the remainder of their studies. Because this is a joint effort of the School of Law and the College of Arts and Sciences, students must be admitted to both schools separately.

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