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Criminal Justice Degree and Certificate Programs in Virginia

Virginia has about 40 colleges that offer criminal justice programs. Learn about the programs, tuition info and program options for these schools to make an informed education decision.

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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

Essential Information

Virginia features several 2-year community colleges and 4-year universities that offer criminal justice undergraduate and/or graduate degree programs. Students could choose concentrations such as homeland security, policing or corrections. Graduate curricula often include thesis or dissertation requirements.

Individuals who want to study at the certificate, associate's, bachelor's, master's or doctoral levels can find relevant educational options at one of the following ten Virginia-based schools.


George Mason University

Located in Fairfax, George Mason University offers criminology, law and society programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. Students enrolled in the bachelor's degree can pursue concentrations in criminal justice, law and society and homeland security and justice. Core courses in the program ensure students have an understanding of criminal justice ethics, criminal process and criminology research.

The master's degree in criminology, law and society covers topics in justice and law; justice organizations, administration and leadership; and crime and crime policy. Students in the program are required to complete 30 credits and complete a thesis. The 72-credit doctoral program requires that students complete criminal justice coursework, qualifying exams and dissertation.

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College is based in Richmond and features a criminal justice certificate and an associate degree in administration of justice. The certificate requires that students complete 18 credits and take courses in juvenile justice, narcotics and drugs and patrol administration. Credits are transferable to the administration of justice degree. Students enrolled in the 66-credit associate degree program have the option of pursuing careers after graduation or continuing their education at the bachelor's degree level.

John Tyler Community College

John Tyler Community College is located in Chester, and students at the school can pursue an associate degree in criminal justice. The program is 66 credits, and courses cover topics in juvenile justice, law enforcement, police communications, criminal procedures and evidence, narcotics and drugs, criminal investigations and criminal behavior.

Liberty University

Located in Lynchburg, Liberty University offers criminal justice programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school features both an associate and bachelor's degree in criminal justice. The associate degree in criminal justice is 65 credits and includes courses in corrections, judicial process, criminology and criminal law.

The bachelor's degree requires that students complete 120 credits and take courses in juvenile justice, terrorism, criminal investigations, criminal procedures and criminal justice research. Students at Liberty University can also pursue an online criminal justice master's degree. The program is 36 credits and teaches students about criminal justice policy, criminal justice management and leadership and criminal justice systems.

Northern Virginia Community College

Northern Virginia Community College is based in Annandale, and students have the option of pursuing a certificate or associate degree in administration of justice. The certificate program is 34 credits and takes two semesters to complete. Courses include juvenile justice, criminal law, criminal evidence and criminal procedures. The administration of justice associate degree is 66 credits and teaches students about narcotics, probation, security management, organized crime and criminal investigations.

Radford University

Located in Radford, students at Radford University can pursue several criminal justice programs. The school offers a 120-credit bachelor's degree in criminal justice that includes coursework in courts, police and society, corrections, criminal justice system, diversity issues and criminal behavior. A combined bachelor's and master's degree is available that can be completed in five years for students who are performing strong academically.

Students enrolled in the master's degree program have the option of choosing between a thesis or non-thesis option. The non-thesis option mandates that students complete additional coursework in the field. Graduate courses include criminal justice research, criminological theory and public policy. The school also offers a 15-credit crime analysis graduate certificate that ensures students have an understanding of crime mapping, crime analysis applications and environmental criminology.

Thomas Nelson Community College

Thomas Nelson Community College is based in Hampton and offers an administration justice associate degree. Students are required to complete 67 credits and take courses in juvenile justice, criminology, legal evidence, criminal law, law enforcement, criminal investigation and substance abuse.

Tidewater Community College

Tidewater Community College is located in Norfolk and features an associate degree in administration of justice. The program consists of 66 credits and focuses on topics involving criminal law, criminal evidence, criminal procedures, juvenile justice, criminology and law enforcement.

Virginia Commonwealth University

Located in Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University offers criminal justice degrees at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. The bachelor's degree offers concentrations in justice and forensic crime scene investigations. Students in both concentrations take courses in corrections, policing, criminological theory and criminal procedures. The master's degree program is 36 credits and requires that students complete coursework in professional ethics, criminal justice principles, justice policy and public affairs. Students also have the option of pursing a 15-credit criminal justice graduate certificate.

Virginia Western Community College

Virginia Western Community College is based in Roanoke and has an administration of justice associate degree. Students in the program learn about the courts, corrections and law enforcement. The program is 66 credits and has articulation agreements with some 4-year universities in the state.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Criminal Justice Programs Offered Tuition Fees (2015-2016)
George Mason University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Criminology, Law and Society,
Master of Arts in Criminology, Law and Society,
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology, Law and Society
Undergraduate: $10,952 in-state,
$31,598 out-of-state,
Graduate: $13,304 in-state,
$31,424 out-of-state*
J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Criminal Justice Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Administration of Justice
$4,653 in-state,
$10,491 out-of-state*
John Tyler Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice $4,345 in-state,
$10,183 out-of-state*
Liberty University 4-year; private, not-for-profit; small city Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Undergraduate: $20,109,
Graduate: $8,000*
Northern Virginia Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Administration of Justice Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Administration of Justice
$5,138 in-state,
$11,055 out-of-state*
Radford University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Arts/Science in Criminal Justice,
Crime Analysis Graduate Certificate,
Master of Arts/Science in Criminal Justice
Undergraduate: $9,809 in-state,
$22,093 out-of-state,
Graduate: $10,661 in-state,
$19,415 out-of-state*
Thomas Nelson Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate of Applied Science in Administration of Justice $4,416 in-state,
$10,254 out-of-state*
Tidewater Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice $5,171 in-state,
$11,009 out-of-state*
Virginia Commonwealth University 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, \Criminal Justice Graduate Certificate,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Undergraduate: $12,772 in-state,
$31,464 out-of-state,
Graduate: $12,779 in-state,
$24,002 out-of-state*
Virginia Western Community College 2-year, public; small city Associate of Applied Science in Administration of Justice $4,713 in-state,
$10,551 out-of-state*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator.

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