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Criminal Justice Degrees in Massachusetts with Program Overviews

Jul 25, 2019

Massachusetts has over 40 schools that offer criminal justice degrees. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options at the largest ten schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Assorted associate's, bachelor's and master's programs in criminal justice, sociology, and criminal justice and criminology are offered at the following Massachusetts schools. These programs generally offer the opportunity to obtain experience through internships, externships and field practica, or to pursue advanced criminal justice research.

Eight of these schools offered below are 4-year public universities with lower tuition rates available for Massachusetts residents. Two private schools in the state are independent not-for-profit institutions with lower tuition rates than many of the state's most prestigious schools.


Bridgewater State University

Located in the suburb of Bridgewater, Bridgewater State University is a public institution with roots dating back to 1840. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of Criminal Justice offer a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice and a Master of Science (MS) in Criminal Justice. Undergraduate coursework includes topics such as policing, comparative crime and deviance, hate crime, corrections and research methods. Students can also complete an internship. The graduate program has optional concentrations in administration and criminal justice or crime and corrections. Students can take courses covering crime theory applications, domestic violence, juvenile justice and criminal justice information technology, as well as the possibility of including public administration courses.

Fisher College

Fisher College in Boston was founded in 1903 as an independent not-for-profit institution. The school offers bachelor and associate degree programs, as well as certificate programs. The BS in Criminal Justice degree is an interdisciplinary program with courses in sociology and psychology. Program coursework includes topics such as investigations, social control, court process, statistics and social justice, as well as a professional development internship. Students can also choose to pursue an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice.

Fitchburg State University

The suburb of Fitchburg in Northern Massachusetts is home to Fitchburg State University. The school, founded in 1894, offers professional programs with a liberal arts and sciences foundation. Through the Department of Behavioral Sciences, students can pursue a BS in Criminal Justice with introductory courses in sociology, psychology and political science. Students will also complete courses in areas such as criminology, legal processes, applied statistics and laboratory science. Students can choose to pursue an internship and receive portfolio course credit for relative life experience through the Life Experience Credit Award Program (LECAP).

Salem State University

Located in Salem, Salem State University opened its doors as a teacher's college in 1854 and was only the 10th of its kind in the United States. The College of Health and Human Services houses the Department of Criminal Justice, offering a BS in Criminal Justice and an MS in Criminal Justice. Bachelor's degree concentrations include administration, criminal investigation, policy and management research or technology and research. Program courses cover federal law enforcement, bias crime, criminal profiling, white-collar crime, legal anthropology and criminal profiling. The Master's program is a 36-credit program with concentrations in administration of criminal justice, criminology or geo-information science, as students complete courses such as advanced research methods, crime theory and statistical analysis.

University of Massachusetts Amherst

The flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) system is located in the small town of Amherst in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Through the Department of Sociology, students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with required and elective coursework in the area of crime, law and deviance. Students may also choose to pursue a Certificate in Criminal Justice offered through a partnership with the Continuing and Professional Education programs. Certificate courses cover social problems, corporate crime, race and policing, forensics, civil liberties, adolescent psychology, abnormal psychology and international criminal justice.

University of Massachusetts - Boston

The University of Massachusetts campus in Boston is located in downtown next to the John F. Kennedy Library. Through the Department of Sociology, students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Program coursework includes topics such as conformity and deviance, sociological research, substance abuse, corrections, policing, law and mental health. Students will also have the opportunity to complete an internship by the completion of the program.

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

Northeast of Boston in the city of Lowell, the University of Massachusetts - Lowell grew from its beginnings as a teacher's college in 1894 to join the UMASS system in 1991. Since 1977, the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology has offered undergraduate and graduate degree programs in criminal justice, as well as graduate certificate program options in areas such as criminal justice informatics, domestic violence prevention, leadership and policy development, security studies, victims' studies and forensic criminology. The department offers programs leading to a BS, a Master of Arts (MA) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Westfield State University

In the suburb of Westfield, Westfield State University has a long history of public education since being founded by Horace Mann in 1838. The Department of Criminal Justice offers a BS in Criminal Justice with concentrations in criminology, criminal justice policy, law enforcement, courts or corrections. Undergraduate students will complete courses covering criminal law, quantitative methods, criminality patterns and offender rehabilitation. Graduate students can pursue an MS in Criminal Justice through a program focusing on theoretical and applied issues in criminal justice.

Worcester State University

Worcester State University in Worcester was founded in 1874, gaining public university status in 2010. Undergraduate students can pursue a BS in Criminal Justice through a program that includes course topics such as crime theory, American judicial system, research methods, organized crime, white-collar crime, offender rehabilitation and quantitative methods. Students can also complete a criminal justice internship. Students can also complete a field practicum and an independent study course.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Criminal Justice Degree Programs Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)
Bridgewater State University 4-year public;
Large suburb
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
$10,367 (in-state)*,
$16,507 (out-of-state)*
Fisher College 4-year private not-for-profit;
Large city
Associate of Science in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
$31,384*
Fitchburg State University 4-year public;
Midsize suburb
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice $10,354 (in-state)*,
$16,434 (out-of-state)*
Salem State University 4-year public;
Large suburb
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
$10,642 (in-state)*,
$17,082 (out-of-state)*
University of Massachusetts Amherst 4-year public;
Large suburb
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology,
Certificate in Criminal Justice
$15,887 (in-state)*,
$34,570 (out-of-state)*
University of Massachusetts - Boston 4-year public;
Large city
Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice $14,167 (in-state)*,
$33,966 (out-of-state)*
University of Massachusetts - Lowell 4-year public;
Large suburb
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology,
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology,
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice and Criminology
$15,180 (in-state)*,
$32,827 (out-of-state)*
Westfield State University 4-year public;
Large suburb
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
$10,429 (in-state)*,
$16,509 (out-of-state)*
Worcester State University 4-year public;
Midsize city
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice $10,161 (in-state)*,
$16,241 (out-of-state)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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