Whether you want to become a police officer or lawyer, or desire other careers in criminal justice, it is recommended that you earn your degree from a reputable law enforcement academy.
Before you decide which of the top criminal justice schools you should apply to or enroll in, you must first determine what degree you want to obtain and which branch of criminal justice you eventually want to work in. You should also consider factors such as location, price, and the school’s reputation. If you have a busy schedule due to professional or personal obligations, you need to ask yourself if it would be sufficient to earn a degree online, or if you absolutely have to attend live classes.
You also need to investigate if the criminal justice degree program you are considering will provide opportunities for hands-on experience through an internship. This will allow you to learn while working in a real-life setting and will greatly enhance your skills, whether in negotiation, marksmanship or preparing documents for use by lawyers in their court proceedings – whichever is applicable to your chosen career path.
Top Criminal Justice Programs
Below are the best criminal justice colleges by program in the United States:
- University of Pennsylvania (Ivy League) – Philadelphia, PA: This is the only Ivy League university that offers the undergraduate degree program in Criminology. Students will learn what causes criminal behavior in people as well as prevention. The university has an acceptance rate of 16%.
- Northeastern University – Boston, MA: Students of the 5-year Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice will gain experience both in the classroom and in the field. You can opt for the dual degree which will allow you to merge majors in Political Advocacy, Justice System and Community Development. This university has an acceptance rate of 39%.
- University of Florida – Gainesville, FL: Upon completion of their criminal justice program you can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Law. The University of Florida has an acceptance rate of 42%.
- University of Missouri – St. Louis, MO: As a student of criminology, you will be introduced to the basics and foundation of criminal justice. Theories and research methods will help develop critical thinking skills to pave the way for successful careers in criminal justice field.
- Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey – Newark, NJ: Students pursuing undergraduate criminal justice degrees usually participate in assignments that scrutinize crime and justice in the society. This state university has an acceptance rate of 49%.
- American University – Washington, DC: You will gain an understanding of the legal and criminal justice system as a student of a criminal justice program in this university which can prepare you for a variety of legal careers. American University has an acceptance rate of 53%.
- Florida State University – Tallahassee, FL: As a student in this prestigious law enforcement academy, you can expect to be educated by top notch criminologists. The criminal justice program offered by Florida State University ranks highly among other schools in the U.S. The school has an acceptance rate of 55%.
- George Mason University – Manassas, VA: U.S. News ranked this school 2nd for its criminal justice programs. Upon completion of the program, you can earn a degree in Criminology, Law and Society. Alternately, you can choose to focus in Homeland Security and Justice. The school has an acceptance rate of 55%.
- University of Albany-SUNY – Albany, NY: Students will be provided with a comprehensive education in law enforcement and criminal justice to prepare them for a variety of careers in criminal justice. This university has an acceptance rate of 56%.
- Pennsylvania State University – University Park, PA: Students can choose to earn a Bachelor of Science or Arts in Criminal Justice. This university has an acceptance rate of 58%.