School and Ranking Information
There are about seven schools in the Norfolk, VA, area that offer bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice. Based off of U.S. News and World Report rankings, graduation rates, tuition, and program options at each institution, the top three schools are Virginia Wesleyan College (VWC), Hampton University (HU), and Regent University (RU).
- Winner: Virginia Wesleyan College earns the top spot on this list due to its national ranking from U.S. News and World Report, its location right in Norfolk, and because it awarded the most criminal justice bachelor's degrees in 2012.
- Runner-Up #1: Hampton University takes the next spot because it has the highest graduation rate among the three schools. It offers a bachelor's degree program.
- Runner-Up #2: Regent University also earns a spot on this list since it is less expensive than the other two schools, and its students can pursue a major in criminal justice on campus or online. RU's university-wide undergraduate online program is ranked 10th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Virginia Wesleyan College||Hampton University||Regent University|
|Ranking (2014)||#176 among national liberal arts colleges*||N/A||University's undergraduate online program ranked 10th in the nation*|
|Location||Norfolk, VA||Hampton, VA (11.9 miles from Norfolk)||Virginia Beach, VA (7.4 miles from Norfolk)|
|School Type||4-year, private not-for-profit||4-year, private not-for-profit||4-year, private not-for-profit|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$30,998**||$19,738**||$15,308**|
|Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degrees Awarded in 2011-2012||27**||13**||4**|
|Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2006 Entering Class||48%**||59%**||36%**|
|Noteworthy||Day and evening criminal justice bachelor's programs available||University has a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national honor society for criminal justice majors||Government, History and Criminal Justice Department offers several internships opportunities|
Sources: *U.S. News and World Report, **National Center for Education Statistics.
Winner: Virginia Wesleyan College
- One of the most popular majors at the school, according to the school's website
- Program meets Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences standards
- Criminal justice classes have a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio
Students majoring in criminal justice at VWC can choose from three different focuses: law enforcement; forensics, applied criminology and profiling; and law school. The major's required 39 hours of coursework includes 24 hours of criminal justice courses that include topics such as ethics, criminal investigations, conflict management, and the juvenile system. Students also get hands-on experiences through simulations of real-world circumstances, in addition to the program's required internship. The program reports past graduates work for agencies like the CIA, the FBI, and the Secret Service. A minor program in criminal justice is also available.
Runner-Up #1: Hampton University
- Criminal justice bachelor's degree requires a senior thesis
- University offers a variety of scholarships on a competitive basis
- Student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
HU's Department of Sociology offers a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and criminology. Students must complete 130 hours of course work to earn the degree. Topics covered in the program include security, terrorism, forensics, and cybercrime. Students from other disciplines who also want to study criminal justice can complete the program's 18-credit hour minor.
Runner-Up #2: Regent University
- Face-to-face or online college courses offered for high school students
- Help with job and internship searches and planning for graduate school available through Career Services
- General education requirements include several Biblical courses
The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice at RU is offered through the Government, History, and Criminal Justice Department. The program prepares students to either work in the field or pursue advanced education. The bachelor's degree requires a total of 120 credit hours to graduate. Courses include corrections, constitutional law, homeland security, and juvenile justice. The department also offers an associate's degree program in criminal justice.