Best Colleges For Criminal Justice

A Guide To The Best Colleges For A Criminal Justice Path

Are you looking to go to a school for criminal justice but don’t know exactly where to attend? Are you looking for the best criminal justice degree at a college that focuses mostly on that specific topic? Then this is the type of blog you’ll want to read! It’ll discuss the best colleges for criminal justice degrees and will tell you why they’re worth your time, and what they offer in their programs of study! Now go on ahead and get to reading so you can find the perfect college for you to apply then attend. 

Starting Off With The Basics 

Public Or Private School- Deciding What’s Best For You 

One of the first decisions you’ll want to make during the college vetting process and after deciding on your major, is figuring out whether or not you’ll want to go to a private or public school and what size you’ll want the classes to be. You’ll want to make this decision because the class size and school you choose to go to can change everything. 

For example, if you wanted a smaller school, you'd want to know that it would have a smaller campus with fewer students per class, which some people prefer, since the teacher-to-student ratio would be a lot smaller than a big state school. If you wanted to go to a big school, you will most likely have more lecture size classes with over 30 students. So, you’ll want to know which type of college size you want before you start picking one to attend! 

Incase you weren’t aware of the differences between a private and a public university, the main difference is how they are funded. For public schools, state governments do the funding while private schools are funded by students’ tuition fees and endowment funds. With the private schools being funded by tuition fees, costs to attend are typically higher than the cost of public schools as well. 

For either one you decide to pick, big or small, private or not, this blog will show you the best colleges to pick from for your criminal justice major! It’s also good to know that if you're unable to attend the school class size of your choice, sometimes it doesn’t make a difference since however big your major is may determine the class size anyways. 

If your school has a big program for your major, then you’ll most likely be in those bigger lecture classes while a smaller program would result in the smaller class sizes. Knowing how big the criminal justice program at your school is can help you determine the size of the classes which is quite simple to research! 

People on a college campus 
Figuring out what size college campus you’ll want to attend is a big step in finding the perfect college for you. This is because if you prefer more teacher-to-student interaction, then you’ll probably want smaller class sizes, while if you prefer to learn in a lecture-style class, you’ll want to look into schools with a bigger class size! Either way, whether that’s a big or small campus, you’ll want to know before you start to narrow down your search, especially if you already know your major and what career path you want to go down in the future.  

What Is A Criminal Justice Degree? 

Exactly What Studying Criminal Justice Entails 

By studying criminal justice, students will be able to learn the workings of the justice system, which involves the courts, corrections, and policing. According to, as a criminal justice major, you’ll also study how the criminal justice system works in the U.S., the psychology of crime, and how law enforcement prevents crime and delinquency. If this sounds like the perfect major description to you, then you’ll want to start looking at colleges that offer it today, which is exactly what this blog will show you in a list down below!

The Best Of The Best Criminal Justice Schools 

A List Of Some Of The Best Schools For A Degree In Criminal Justice

Now that you’ve officially decided to go forward with a criminal justice degree and need to look for colleges to apply to and attend, here’s a list of some of the best ones you’ll want to look at:

  • University of Maryland–College Park. Ranked as the best criminology masters program by USnews, this college will teach students many skills like understanding of the major theories used to explain criminal behavior and understanding the research methods used in studying criminal justice. 
  • Northeastern University–Boston, MA. As one of the top colleges for criminal justice, Northeastern University’s program for criminal justice offers small class sizes and teaches students to understand the complexities of crime, making communities safer, and ensuring justice.  
  • University of Cincinnati–Cincinnati, OH. With the option of both undergraduate and graduate programs for a criminal justice major, this top ranking school allows students to explore real-world expectations in areas like correction, law enforcement, and criminal research all while getting hands-on experience. 
A college campus 
Any of these top-ranking schools would be a great choice for an education in criminal justice. 

Best Schools For Criminal Justice Continued.. 

  • Pennsylvania State University–University Park, PA. Ranked at number 5 by USnews, this college provides training in theory, methods, statistics, and substantive issues related to criminology. As a criminology major, students can also choose between a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. 
  • Florida State University. The criminal justice program here provides students with the crime-fighting tools they’ll need to succeed in their field of choice. Students can also study on-campus or on-line which makes the program more accessible than most out there! 
  • Michigan State University. The criminal justice school at Michigan State University is the nation’s oldest continuous degree-granting program in criminal justice according to the National Training and Technical Assistance Center. This program allows students to use knowledge to assist communities locally and globally to improve the quality of life, promote public safety, and enhance fairness in the delivery of justice. 
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey–Newark. With a criminal justice major here in New Jersey, students will learn about the theory and practice of the institutions of social control, as well as consider how and why these institutions sometimes promote justice and injustice. 
  • George Mason University. With a criminal justice degree at George Mason, students will be able to study the justice system and the social, human, and moral problems raised in the justice field. 
  • University at Albany–SUNY. As the 3rd ranked undergraduate program in the nation, the school of criminal justice here will teach students who attend how to make evidence-based judgements about crime and justice. 
  • University of Missouri–St. Louis. Students who attend this university for a criminal justice degree will be able to get entry-level training in skills of legal problem solving, legal analysis, legal research, factual investigation, etc. They’ll also be able to learn legal ethics, criminal law, procedure, and evidence. 
Students learning in a lecture hall. 
With whichever college you choose to go to for criminal justice, knowing the options that are out there is a great start! They are some of the best colleges to choose for this specific major and will teach you everything you’ll need to know for your career. You’ll be able to fully understand the legal system and have the skills you’ll need for a job in the field of your choosing. Now all you’ll have to do is apply and wait to see where you’ll be going to school for your dream career! 

By choosing any of these top colleges to attend for a criminal justice degree, students will be getting the best experiences and learning opportunities that they can get. Each of these colleges has many great opportunities and teachers to learn from as well as great degree programs. 

Even though every program will be a little different, any of these colleges will teach students everything they’ll need to know in order to graduate with a degree in criminal justice. You’ll be able to have the confidence you need in your field of study to succeed. All you need to do is apply to any of these colleges and wait to see where you’ll be headed for a great criminal justice learning experience! Good luck and start applying! 

Isabella Abbott
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