Top 10 Criminal Justice Schools in United States

After reading couple of reviews and articles about the criminal justice schools, I came to create my own personal list of top 10 criminal justice schools in United States. In my opinion, these schools are the best among the several options out there so do consider applying into one of these schools if you are planning to study criminal justice.

1.      University of Maryland

It is the goal of the university to provide skilled manpower with leadership skills in the field through quality education and training programs. Among most of the students, the university falls on their top priority list and has gained popularity in these past few years.

The university offers both the undergraduate and graduate degree in criminal justice. The curriculums are designed to meet the international levels and are updated regularly. The coursework includes criminal law, introduction to criminology and criminal justice, law enforcement and juvenile delinquency, management and control of crimes and research methods.
Students will have the internships options where they will work as a professional agents and gain work experiences. Through seminars and international study programs, students enhance their skills and will be prepared to face any challenges in their career ahead.

2.      University at Albany, State University of New York

The university creates a friendly environment where students learn to be a leader in any field they enter. It is among the most popular destinations for students who are planning to apply for a criminal justice program.

Both the undergraduates and graduates degree in criminal justice are offered by the university. The program focuses on the root cause of the crime and the influencing factors which is why the university is on the top ten in my personal list.

The undergraduate programs have different field of specialization to choose from, depending on one’ personal interest he can choose the areas such as the American government, Women’s studies, African American Studies, psychology, sociology, law and Anthropology.
Top Criminal Justice Schools

The courses include criminal justice and law and criminology, research methods, statistics and crime controls. The graduate program includes more advance courses and is designed for those who want a management and leadership career in the field. An internship is also included in the curriculum which help gain real life experience and enhances their learned skills.

3.      University of Cincinnati

Another popular university for your criminal justice degree where quality is its excellence. Since the time of their establishment, the university has been known to provide qualified and experienced man power through quality education and training programs.

From undergraduate level programs to the graduate level programs, the university offers a range of training programs in criminal justice. Each of these programs ensures students get comprehensive understating on criminal justice process and offending in United States.  The coursework can include topics on criminal justice and criminology, statistics, policing and controlling and influencing factors of crimes.

In addition to internships, students will also get an opportunity to participate on international seminars and meetings and can also go abroad to study. Do you know that the doctorate program in this university is ranked as the third in the nation?

4.      Rutgers State University

The university focuses on providing practical as well as academic skills to their students so that they can take the leadership roles in any field they enter. One unique feature about this university is that its criminal department is engaged in research projects regularly and students are routinely involved in these projects thus enhancing their learned skills and techniques.

Both the undergraduate degree and the graduate degree in criminal justice are offered by the university. Depending on one’s personal interest, there are joint degree option of sociology and criminal justice, undergraduate option in criminal justice and graduate option in the field and a range of minors. Students can also choose a minor in criminal justice.

The courses includes topics on police and policing, confinement and corrections, management and control, introduction in criminal justice, theories on crimes and delinquency and additional methods and techniques to study and control crimes. With both the administrative and criminal justice coursework, students will be prepared to face any challenges up ahead in their career. Internships are also includes as the part of the curriculum.

5.      University of California

One of the popular destinations for a criminal justice degree among the students is the University of California. The university has been gaining in lots of popularity these past decades due to the results performance and feedbacks from passed students.

The university combines criminal justice with the cultural and social structures thus trying to solve the root cause of the crimes. Both the undergraduates and graduates degree are offered in criminal justice and the students receive trainings and skills from classroom as well as from real life experiences through seminars and meetings. Internships included in the curriculum also help students gain real life experience thus promoting their learned skills and techniques.

The coursework features topics on criminal justice, criminal behavior, theory on sociology and psychology, law and legal systems. Both the graduate and undergraduate programs prepares individual to cope with the change and stay competitive in the criminal justice field.

6.      University of Missouri St. Louis

The university is dedicated to providing quality educational program to prepare qualified professionals in the fields. Through practical and academic skills, the university offers skills and techniques so that the students can cope with any change and stay competitive and demanding on the field.

The criminology department is no exception. The trainings and skills are of international levels and routinely students get involved into different seminars and meetings to enhance their skills and knowledge they learned during their academic period. The university offers both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs in criminal justice.

The curriculum includes theories on crime control, criminal law and policies, psychology, sociology, violence control, cause and prevention as well as management of crime and human rights. At the end of the training program, internships are included which gives an opportunity to work in an actual environment thus enhancing skills and techniques to face the challenges as a professional.

7.      Michigan State University

It is the oldest degree granting university in the country; however it does not necessarily mean that the courses are old and outdated. Every year the courses are updated so that they can meet the international levels. And that is why the university is among the top ten 10 list of the best criminal justice schools in United States.

The degree programs are available at both the undergraduate levels and the graduate levels. The undergraduate level courses focus on providing skills and techniques required for the entry level position in the field whereas the graduate courses focus on the skills required for management and leadership positions in the field.

Students will have the options to choose from the Homeland Security or Judicial Administration in the certificate programs. Additional specialization field such as in the private organization, business organization and government agencies are also included in the training program. Courses include topics on criminal justice, background on crimes, crime control and management, law, statistics, psychology and sociology and many more.

8.      Pennsylvania State University

One of the top rated university at offering degree programs in criminal justice. Through academic and real life experiences the university provides quality skills and techniques to prepare a qualified manpower in the field.

Students can apply for either the undergraduate or the graduate degree programs in criminal justice. The instructors and the staff of the criminology department of the university are often engaged into their own research and studies. Students will have an opportunity to get involved into these research and studies which help them gain technical and professional skills.

Courses include theories on criminal justice and criminology, crime control and management, influencing factors of crime, psychological and sociological aspects of crime, law, human rights and statistics. These topics are presented in both the classroom and the practical setting from a qualified and experienced instructor.

The curriculum includes the internship features as well where students can work as a professional in a real life crime scene where they can utilize what they have learned during their academic year and enhance those skills and techniques. One of the major features of the training program is the abroad study opportunity where students can study the topics and theories in another country.

9.      University of Nebraska-Omaha

Almost every staff in the criminology and criminal justice department in the University of Nebraska has some backgrounds in criminal justice and criminology. So there is no doubt on how qualified and dedicated the training programs are. And this is the reason why the university was included in my personal top 10 list.

Students can choose from a range of degree programs ranging from bachelors, masters and doctorate degree program. Each of these degree programs focuses on providing the theories and background on criminology and criminal justice so that they can play the leadership and management roles as a professional.

The courses include topics on criminology and criminal justice, crime management, psychology, statistics, law system and policy, sociology and statistics. Each of these topics is presented in both the classroom and a practical setting from a qualified instructor. Apply all those you have learned during the academic sessions in the internship options included in the curriculum.

Upon completion of the training program, students will be involved in their own research and study. Doctorate degree will prepare the individuals for the teaching positions and research based projects where you will be the head managing and controlling others.

Online option is available in undergraduate courses and master’s courses which enable students to earn the respective degree from their own place and at their own pace. But one should remember that the term online does not necessarily mean that the program is completely online. To receive the practical component of the course and for internships, they need to visit the college facility or other collage associated facility.

10.  The University of Pennsylvania

The last but the least, University of Pennsylvania is another top criminal justice schools in United States. The department of criminology and criminal justice in the university are often engaged in research and government projects and almost everyone has the solid background on criminal justice and criminology.

Both the undergraduates and graduates degree in criminology is offered at the university and is the only university offering undergraduate degree in the country. Students will be engaged in studying the theories and patterns of a crime, influencing factors of the crime, psychological and sociological aspects of the crime.

Coursework includes topics on criminal justice and criminology, crime mapping and solving, statistics, law, judiciary system and policies, crime control and management, psychology and sociology. Each of these courses meets the international levels and is updated regularly.

Upon completion of the academic programs, students will have the opportunity to work as a professional in a real life scenario where they utilizes all they have learned during their academic years and help solve the crime scene or similar criminology projects. This provides a good opportunity to gain real life experience and to enhance their skills and techniques.

Bottom Line

The listed Criminal Justice Schools are the best ones you will find in the United States. But this does not necessarily mean that you need to decide on one of these. If the listed ones does not fits your demands and goals then search for the one that works out for you the best. Remember the school you choose needs to be accredited and should have good reputation. So best of luck!!

 Criminal Justice Schools in United States

  • Bachelor’s and master’s programs in Criminal Justice available
  • Ranked among the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2017
  • Concentrations include Forensics, Homeland Security, and Cybercrime and Security
  • Students study law enforcement operations, corrections, and criminal investigation


  • Doctor of Management - Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • And more...
  • Criminal Justice degree programs include BA in Social and Criminal Justice, BA in Law Enforcement Administration, and more.
  • Coursework covers areas such as forensics, criminal psychology, crime prevention, and terrorism.
  • Degree programs are 100% online, and can fit with any schedule.


  • MS/Criminal Justice - Forensic Science
  • MS/Criminal Justice - Homeland Security
  • MS/Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement and Corrections Administration
  • And more...
  • Offers associate and bachelor-level programs in Criminal Justice.
  • Program topics include criminal investigation processes and ethics, criminal law, juvenile justice and more.
  • A B.A.S. in Criminal Justice program is also available for students who already possess an A.A.S.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).


  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Criminal Justice
  • And more...
  • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.


  • Criminal Justice (MS)
  • Criminal Justice (BS)

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  • Criminal Justice (BS) (Online)
  • Master of Law in Compliance
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  • B.S. in Justice Studies
  • M.S. in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
  • M.S. in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University. Take classes online or on campus. Pursue your degree to help you start the career you want. Learn more now.


  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

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  • Criminal Justice - Bachelor's
  • Homeland Security - Bachelor's
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  • M.B.A. in Risk Management
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - General
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Online Teaching in Higher Education
  • And more...
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