Top School for a Criminal Justice Degree - Kansas City, MO

Students interested in studying criminal justice in the Kansas City, MO, area have many 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

Several schools are located within a 15-mile radius of Kansas City that offer degrees in criminal justice. The following schools are considered the top three based on rankings, location and how many degrees have been awarded in the area of study:

  • Winner: University of Missouri in Kansas City is the top pick as a result of its tuition rates, being a public institution and for its national rankings in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Runner Up #1: Rockhurst University, found in Kansas City, secures the second runner up spot for its graduation rate, location and for being regionally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2013.
  • Runner Up #2: Park University in Parkville comes in third place due to its number of degrees awarded and program options in the discipline.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of Missouri - Kansas City Rockhurst University Park University
Rankings 179th among national universities in 2013*
100th among top public schools in 2013*
21st among regional universities in the Midwest in 2013* 107th among regional universities in the Midwest in 2013*
107th among online bachelor's programs in 2013*
Location Kansas City, MO Kansas City, MO Parkville, MO (10 mi from downtown Kansas City)
School Type Four-year, public Four-year, private not-for-profit Four-year, private not-for-profit
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $9,299 (in-state, undergraduate), $21,833 (out-of-state, undergraduate);
$6,935 (in-state, graduate), $16,380 (out-of-state, graduate)**
$29,840 (undergraduate)** $9,788 (undergraduate)**
Criminal Justice Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's and master's degrees Bachelor's degree Associate's and bachelor's degrees
Criminal Justice Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in (2011-2012) 60** 0** 217**
Most Popular Criminal Justice Program (2011-2012) Bachelor's in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration (50 awarded)** N/A Bachelor's in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration (212 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2005 Entering Class 41%** 74%** 39%**
Noteworthy Access to a chapter of the National Criminal Justice Honor Society Community advisory board of professionals in criminal justice-related fields help shape the curriculum and place students in local internships Criminal justice degree and certificate programs available online

Sources: *US News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator

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

Winner: University of Missouri - Kansas City

  • The department boasts accomplished faculty, who are exposing issues involving females and delinquency
  • The Princeton Review named the university one of the top 75 value colleges among public universities in 2012
  • Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Charles Evans Whittaker is an alumnus

The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology serves 250 students at the bachelor's and master's levels. The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology program includes 36 hours of required credits in criminal justice topics, as well as general education. Students may also choose to complete an internship, which includes 120-150 field hours. The 30-credit Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology program includes a thesis and non-thesis option and prepares graduates to work in law enforcement and corrections or continue on to doctoral studies.

Runner-Up #1: Rockhurst University

  • The school boasts a 13:1 student-faculty ratio
  • The school states that 92% of full-time professors have earned the highest degree available in their field

The School of Graduate & Professional Studies offers a bachelor's degree in criminal just through day and evening classes. Undergraduate students in criminal justice are given the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to enter law enforcement careers in corrections, courts and more. Students complete a strong liberal arts background, along with criminal justice courses in legal theory, criminology, law enforcement and research methods. Prior to graduation, students must complete a criminal justice capstone and internship course. The 128-credit degree program also allows students to choose a minor or certificate in paralegal studies

Runner-Up #2: Park University

  • The school has a 12:1 student-faculty ratio, according to the NCES
  • Park University has 40 campus centers, including three in Missouri

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers associate's and bachelor's degrees in criminal justice administration. Available through the extended studies program and Kansas City campus, the Associate of Science gives students a solid foundation in criminal justice through coursework in criminal law, criminology and criminal procedure. At the bachelor's level, students can complete a 122-credit Bachelor of Arts or 120-credit Bachelor of Science program with concentrations in law enforcement, corrections or security. The Bachelor of Arts program is available as a 26-week program in Parkville, while the Bachelor of Science is available through extended learning or online. The school also offers a Certificate in Terrorism and Homeland Security program, which delves into security, terrorism and emergency management.

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