Best Colleges for Criminal Justice Majors: List of Top Schools

Learn about some of the top universities that offer criminal justice majors. Read the schools' rankings, program options and locations, and compare differences and similarities to choose the right school for you.

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School Information

Below, you can explore the top schools that offer criminal justice bachelor's degree programs. Some of these schools also offer master's degree programs for those who want to continue their education in the same field. Criminal justice majors look at the theories and practices used by the criminal justice system in understanding crime. They study the judicial system, prison system, criminal behavior and crime's effect on society. Keep reading to gain more details.

Top Schools with Criminal Justice Programs

1. George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

In 2011, George Washington University (GWU) was ranked 51st among national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

GWU features a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program that focuses on the sociological, psychological, legal and historical impact of crime on society. Courses include violence in the family, criminal law and deviant behavior. After earning the bachelor's degree, criminal justice majors can go on to purse a Master of Arts in Criminology at the GWU graduate school. This academic program studies the sociology of crime and includes forensic science training.

2. Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York

Marist College was ranked the 10th best college in the North by U.S. News & World Report in 2011.

Marist College offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Students examine the practical causes and effects of criminal behavior. Curriculum includes criminal procedures, corrections, theory of punishment and policing. Graduates have gone on to law school.

Good Criminal Justice Programs

College/University Name Distinction Location
California State University - Long BeachOffers bachelor's degree completion for students who complete the first two years at a community college Long Beach, CA
California State University - StanislausConcentrations offered in forensic science, criminal legal studies, corrections, law enforcement and juvenile justice Turlock, CA
Campbell University Offers B.A. with concentrations in homeland security and pre-law Buies Creek, NC
Clayton State UniversityThe program has a Spanish language competency requirementMorrow, GA
Columbia CollegeOffers a B.A. program recommended for working criminal justice professionals and a B.S. program recommended for students new to the fieldColumbia, MO
Dallas Baptist University Fosters a Christ-centered approach to criminal justiceDallas, TX
George Washington UniversityOffers combined B.A. in Criminal Justice/Master of Public Administration program Washington, D.C.
San Diego State University Students can join the criminal justice honor society, access the resources of the Public Administration Center and the Institute for Public and Urban Affairs, and obtain major-related internships and paid employment opportunities San Diego, CA
University of RichmondHome to first Victim Assistance Academy, offering specialized training to victim services providers and victim advocatesRichmond, VA
West Chester University of PennsylvaniaSchool has been granting bachelor's degrees in criminal justice since 1974West Chester, PA
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