Criminal Justice Schools in Boston, MA with Program Descriptions

Dec 31, 2018

Boston Criminal Justice School Options

Several schools near the heart of Boston offer criminal justice and related programs. This article looks at three that are less than a 15-minute drive from downtown. Students can explore various aspects of the schools, such as size and costs, through an easy-to-use table. Also included at the end of the article are a few facts about other criminal justice programs in the Boston area.

  • Bunker Hill Community College, about 1.5 miles from the city's center, has a certificate and an associate degree program in the criminal justice field.
  • Northeastern University is almost two miles from the downtown area. It provides bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in the area of criminal justice.
  • University of Massachusetts - Boston, just under three from the downtown district, has a bachelor's program in criminal justice as well.

Comparisons of Schools

Students who want to study criminal justice in the Boston area must look at many factors when choosing a school. This table lists important aspects to consider, including the school types and some financial aid information.

Bunker Hill Community College Northeastern University University of Massachusetts - Boston
School Type Two-year; public Four-year; private not-for-profit Four-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 11,881* 21,489* 16,415*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $4,224 in-state; $9,168 out-of-state* $49,497* $13,828 in-state; $32,985 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 66%* 75%* 81%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - open admissions 27%* 75%*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 64% for full-time students; 50% for part-time students* 97% for full-time students* 78% for full-time students; 63% for part-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 14% (23% transfer-out rate) for students who began fall 2014* 87% for students who began fall 2011* 48% (31% transfer-out rate) for students who began fall 2011*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

Bunker Hill Community College

Bunker Hill Community College offers a certificate and a degree program in criminal justice through its Criminal Justice and Public Safety Department. The certificate program was created in collaboration with the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.

Law Enforcement Certificate

This 27-credit certificate program provides instruction in criminal justice and law. The curriculum allows students to enhance their communication skills while gaining the cultural awareness required in law enforcement. Topics include evidence and court procedure, criminal law and policing in a democratic society. Credits earned in the certificate program can be applied to the associate's degree in criminal justice. This program is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to qualify for the Police Career Incentive Program.

Associate in Science in Criminal Justice

This two-year program prepares students for careers as police officers, corrections officials and security guards. It covers police procedure, corrections, criminal investigations, criminal law and criminology. Coursework also includes writing, sociology and psychology. Students interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree can use this program to transfer to a four-year school.

Northeastern University

Northeastern University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in criminal justice. The school also has a joint program available for students who want to earn their bachelor's and master's degrees in criminal justice at an accelerated pace.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Students enrolled in this five-year undergraduate criminal justice program take courses in criminal justice statistics, due process, research and criminology. Students gain real-world experience through three co-op seminars. Combined degrees for those seeking a BS in Criminal Justice include those in computer science, philosophy, political science, psychology, cybersecurity and human services.

Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Students can attend this 32-credit program on a full- or part-time basis. Those who enroll in the joint bachelor's and master's program can complete the requirements of both programs in about six years. Students also have the option to complete a thesis or non-thesis plan of study. Some of the courses students may take include the criminal justice process, victimology, crime mapping and security management. Master's students may also enroll in a joint MS/Juris Doctor (JD) program, which includes 34 semester hours of law coursework and co-ops.

Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology and Justice Policy

For those entering this program with a bachelor's, the PhD consists of 54 semester hours; for those with a master's, 42. The curriculum includes several courses on statistics and research. In addition, students must write a dissertation and pass three qualifying exams. The PhD takes five years to complete. As with the master's, a joint JD degree is also available. The JD portion is 34 semester hours and includes both law coursework and co-ops.

University of Massachusetts - Boston

The College of Liberal Arts at this university provides a criminal justice bachelor's program through its Sociology Department. The department also offers a minor in criminal justice.

Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice

This degree program requires students to complete at least 36 semester hours of coursework in the major. The curriculum covers criminology, criminal justice systems, sociology and research methods. Additional courses that students may take include family violence, victimology, white-collar crime and juvenile delinquency. Students complete an internship capstone course as well.

Other School Options

Boston University offers an undergraduate certificate, a bachelor's degree and a master's program in criminal justice. Curry College in nearby Milton has a bachelor's and a master's program in criminal justice as well. Quincy College, just outside the city, offers an associate's program in criminal justice.

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