50 Best Value Colleges for a Criminal Justice Degree 2015

Criminal justice (CJ) is among the most popularly pursued college majors of today. The diverse field offers plenty of challenging career opportunities. Law enforcement, corrections, Homeland Security, and criminology are just a few of the areas one could consider working in with a criminal justice degree.

The popularity of this major has, however, increased the level of job competition. Many students find it difficult to choose the right criminal justice college that is worth the investment of their time as well as money.

Choosing the right college requires meticulous research. Some of the important factors to consider when choosing a criminal justice college include costs, graduation rate, faculty and qualifications, accreditation and net price.

The right criminal justice school and program will not only enrich your academic experience but will also play an important role in determining your career prospects.

Top 50 colleges for criminal justice degrees

1.Millikin University

Located in Decatur, Illinois, Millikin University is a renowned educational institute which has been providing academic services since its establishment in 1914. The University offers many areas of study such as criminal justice. The criminal justice program focuses on theoretical as well as skill development. Students will learn about different aspects of the field including philosophy of law, sociological theory, criminology, etc. Millikin University aims to provide students with quality educational services and help them prepare for professional roles in this field.

Net Price: $20,096/yr

Millikin University

2.CUNY – John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The College was founded in 1964. Students can pursue criminal justice studies at undergraduate or graduate levels. These programs are designed to prepare students for careers in CJ. Crime control and prevention, criminology, and criminal justice administration are just a few of the main specializations offered by the College. Criminal justice is in fact one of the most popular undergraduate majors at CUNY.

Net Price: $5,552/yr

CUNY - John Jay College of Criminal Justice

3.Adrian College

Adrian College has an established sociology and criminal justice department. Students can look forward to a career-oriented, practical, and enriching educational experience here. The department offers comprehensive criminal justice programs that enable students to deepen their understanding of the field and prepare for jobs in law enforcement, law and judiciary, corrections and rehabilitation. Many students choose to enroll in Adrian College due to its cost and excellent educational services.

Net Price: $19,734/yr

Adrian College

4.University of Arkansas – Fort Smith

Located in the second largest city in Arkansas, this university has become a popular choice for criminal justice students. The University offers accredited degree programs in this field. These programs are designed to prepare students for work in diverse sectors such as law enforcement and corrections. Alongside its academic programs in this field, the University has an established criminal justice club which is open for all students and an academic internship programs for criminal justice majors.

Net Price: $6,351/yr


5.Lake Erie College

Lake Erie College is known for offering quality criminal justice studies program. The institute is located in Painesville, Ohio, and is among the oldest educational institutions in the state. Currently, the College is offering a comprehensive bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice. The program is geared towards providing students with in-depth knowledge of criminal justice and interdisciplinary knowledge related to social sciences and psychology. Students who are interested in quality educational experience within budget can consider enrolling in Lake Erie College.

Net Price: 19,577/yr

Lake Erie College

6.California State University, San Bernardino

Among the many academic disciplines offered as majors here, criminal justice has gained much popularity. California State University is currently offering an enriched Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree. This undergraduate degree covers a wide range of courses that help students prepare for leadership roles in the field. Students can also choose to specialize in various areas of criminal justice.

Net Price: $6,571/yr

California State University, San Bernardino

7.Brevard College

Brevard College is a reputed educational institute situated in Brevard, NC. The college offers majors and minors in criminal justice. Many students are opting for criminal justice education here due to quality services and affordable tuition rates. Brevard’s criminal justice programs are comprehensive, designed to help students learn about the criminal justice system. The College’s instructors for criminal justice programs are trained to promote innovation and learning in an interactive classroom environment. What sets apart Brevard College from other criminal justice colleges is its focus on hands on experience, field work, and skill development. Students enrolled in its criminal justice program will conduct research and learn through opportunities such as field trips and demonstrations.

Net Price: $19,655/yr

Brevard College

8.West Virginia Institute of Technology

Quality, low costs, and interactive learning are among the few reasons why many students enroll in West Virginia Institute of Technology. The University’s criminal justice program has gained notable recognition recently. Criminal justice graduates can explore a wide range of specializations here. Each specialization is designed to prepare students for specific careers in CJ. Alongside theoretical learning, students can also take part in practicum placements. For example, students who intend to work in the police departments can opt for an internship or training program at the local police or sheriff’s department.

Net Price: $7,425/yr

West Virginia Institute of Technology

9.Central Christian College of Kansas

Dating back to the 1800s, The Central Christian College of Kansas is among the oldest institutions in the state. The college offers a flexible yet comprehensive criminal justice program. Students can choose to pursue the program online 100%. Provision of laptops to students, small class size, individualized attention, E-textbooks, and low costs are some of the benefits that come with enrolling in The Central Christian College of Kansas’s criminal justice program. The college has a satisfactory graduation rate and has become a popular place for criminal justice studies.

Net Price: $19,563/yr

Central Christian College of Kansas

10.Indiana University East

Indiana University East has over 4000 students currently enrolled in its diverse educational programs. The University is dedicated to making education a reality for many aspiring individuals. Criminal justice is among its popular educational programs. It is offering a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. The 120 credit hour program covers a vast range of subjects that help students learn about the criminal justice field. With a minimum student/teacher ratio, each student receives individualized attention. The program is geared towards equipping students with career-oriented skills needed to pursue careers in criminal justice.

Net Price: $7,948/yr

Indiana University East

11.Waldorf College

Located in Forest City, Iowa, Waldorf College is a small educational institution that specializes in liberal arts education. The college has invested heavily in enriching the educational experience for all its students. Those interested in pursuing undergraduate studies in criminal justice can consider Waldorf’s Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice. This program has been designed to help students build a strong foundation of criminal justice knowledge. Corrections, law enforcement, justice system, and law are just a few of the areas covered in-depth in this program. Alongside theoretical knowledge building and conceptual studies, students will learn about the practical applications of concepts through case studies.

Net Price: $19,306/yr

Waldorf College

12.Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University is a fast growing institute, which currently has over 15000 students enrolled in its degree programs. The university has been accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Many students interested in joining the criminal justice field are preparing themselves with the help of Northern Kentucky’s criminal justice program. The university has become a top choice for criminal justice studies due to its diverse program that includes first-hand practical experience with an internship. Students can take the program online or on-campus, depending on their preference.

Net Price: $9,044/yr

Northern Kentucky University

13.Alliant International University

Alliant International University offers quality degree programs in a wide range of academic disciplines. The university has many branches spread across the nation. The San Diego campus offers a comprehensive undergraduate program in criminal justice. This program is designed to help students prepare for careers in criminal justice. Students can specialize in different sub-fields such as Homeland Security, law, cyber-crime, and criminal behavior. To make criminal justice education more feasible for students and working individuals, the institute offers a variety of scholarships and evening classes. Many students have rated Alliant International University among the leading educational institutions.

Net Price: $18,968/yr

Alliant International University

14.Monroe College

Monroe College has raised the bar when it comes to criminal justice education. The college has a diverse faculty which includes police captains, judges, attorneys, and qualified experts who can provide students with quality academic services relevant to the field. Monroe College is currently offering an associate and bachelor degree in criminal justice. Both programs include courses that highlight latest trends in the criminal justice field and prepare students for careers in the field. Those seeking a criminal justice degree at an affordable cost without compromising on the quality of education should consider enrolling in this program.

Net Price: $11,402/yr

Monroe College

15.Mary’s University

Whether you want to work in law enforcement, administration, or corrections, St. Mary’s University’s criminal justice degree would prepare you for your dream job. St. Mary’s University is a fully accredited educational institution, which offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of academic disciplines including criminal justice. Students can look forward to an enriching classroom experience where criminal justice is taught in detail by qualified faculty. The program will cover all main areas of the field such as drugs, crime and law enforcement.

Net Price: $18,828/yr

St. Mary’s University

16.Nevada State College

Nevada State College has recently become a popular choice for criminal justice students. The College offers affordable criminal justice programs at undergraduate level. The 4-year undergraduate degree in criminal justice is a new addition to its wide range of program offerings. Students will be given the opportunity to explore different criminal justice concepts and prepare for exciting careers in the field. The College emphasizes on career development and skill enhancement. Nevada State College is a leading institution that has attracted many students from all over the state.

Net Price: $11,611/yr

Nevada State College

17.North Carolina Wesleyan College

North Carolina Wesleyan College was founded in 1956 by the United Methodist Church and Rocky Mount leaders. Over the years, the College has expanded its program offerings and degree-levels. Criminal justice is one of the most highly pursued majors here. Students looking for quality services and an affordable criminal justice program should consider enrolling at the College.

Net Price: $18,733/yr

North Carolina Wesleyan College

18.Tarleton State University

Tarleton State University has gained much recognition for its comprehensive criminal justice programs. The program is geared towards providing students with specialized knowledge and skills needed to succeed in criminal justice field. Tarleton State University has hired a highly qualified criminal justice faculty that uses innovated methods to teach students. Academic quality and low costs make this institute a leading choice for criminal justice students all over the state.

Net Price: $11,612/yr

Tarleton State University

19.Remington College Heathrow Campus

Remington College Heathrow Campus is a great place to study criminal justice. The college offers an affordable program in this field, which could help students prepare for an exciting career ahead. Many of its recent graduates have found employment in diverse criminal justice sectors including border patrol, security, probations and corrections. Criminal justice studies can also be pursued online. The best part about pursuing a criminal justice degree at Remington College is the availability of financial aid and other exceptional learning facilities. Remington College has dedicated its services to enhancing the learning experience and educating students for a better tomorrow.

Net Price: $18,669/yr


20.Calumet College of Saint Joseph

Undergraduate students looking forward to a career in criminal justice could consider enrolling in Calumet College of Saint Joseph for a degree in this field. The criminal justice program has been designed to include a variety of courses related to the field. Students will be exposed to different theoretical models as well as practical learning. The program will enable students to choose a specific criminal justice path. Law enforcement, administration of justice, and corrections are some of the career paths students can prepare for.

Net Price: $11,644/yr

Calumet College of Saint Joseph

21.The College of New Jersey

With over 6000 students enrolled in its diverse programs, The College of New Jersey has become a popular place to study criminal justice. Students interested in criminology or criminal justice can enroll in The College of New Jersey’s criminal justice BA degree. This program comprises of different courses that shed light on basic and advanced criminal justice concepts. To enrich the overall learning experience, the college offers a wide range of facilities including libraries, online learning materials and specialized faculty. Low costs of the program have attracted many students from all over.

Net Price: $18,464/yr

The College of New Jersey

22.Rogers State University

Rogers State University’s Bachelor of Science in Justice Administration degree is geared towards prepping students for careers in the challenging criminal justice sector. The program focuses on analytical, theoretical and practical learning. Students will come across a wide range of subjects such as corrections, criminal justice theories, law enforcement, security, and border patrol. The College offers quality education services at a cost that is lower as compared to other institutions. Many students find Rogers State University affordable and flexible.

Net Price: $12,002/yr

Rogers State University

23.Eastern Nazarene College

Eastern Nazarene College is a famous Christian liberal arts college that caters to the academic needs of over 1000 students. Those seeking an undergraduate program in criminal justice can pursue Eastern Nazarene’s BA in Crime, Law and Justice. This is a 123 credit hour program that provides students with an overview of general subjects as well as in-depth knowledge of the criminal justice system. The class size is small, ensuring individual attention. The undergraduate program in criminal justice has proved to be an affordable option for many students.

Net Price: $18,228/yr

Eastern Nazarene College

24.Emmanuel College

Emmanuel College is among the few institutes that offer criminal justice as a major for sociology students. The popular Christian college aims to provide students with a well-rounded academic life and prepare them for leadership roles in the field of sociology, law, and criminal justice. Its sociology program allows students to take classes in a range of majors, including criminal justice. Students would develop a thorough understanding of sociology as well as criminal justice. Some of the courses for this track include criminology, ethnicity and group relations, crime and justice. Alongside traditional classroom learning modules, students can also gain experience through internships at local criminal justice organizations such as department of corrections, etc.

Net Price: $12,171/yr


25.Sterling College

Sterling College is located in Sterling, Kansas, and was established in 1887. Sterling College aims at preparing the young generation for professional careers ahead. Its department of criminal justice offers majors and minors in this field. These programs can help students prepare for careers in criminal justice sub-fields such as the law enforcement, or prepare them for advanced studies ahead. What makes their criminal justice studies program affordable and convenient for many are the low tuition fees and online track option.

Net Price: $17,821/yr

Sterling College

26.University of Georgia

University of Georgia is a renowned educational institute that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in many areas such as criminal justice. Students enrolled in its criminal justice studies program acquire a strong understanding of liberal arts studies, criminal justice, and research. The option of internship is also available to those who wish to acquire hands on experience. The University also offers scholarships to qualified students majoring in criminal justice.

Net Price: $12,862/yr

University of Georgia

27.York College of Pennsylvania

York College of Pennsylvania provides unparalleled academic services and diverse programs. Criminal justice has become one of its most popular majors. York College’s criminal justice program is designed to help students build expertise in this field and qualify for leadership roles in the criminal justice sector. The program covers in-depth all major areas of the field and also focuses on research, hands on experience and skill development. Some of the careers students could look forward to are: federal law enforcement, asset protection and security, corrections, forensics, and analysis.

Net Price: $17,733/yr

28.Texas Southern University

Texas Southern University follows its mission of providing high quality criminal justice studies programs to students from all over. The department of criminal justice at Texas Southern University has a distinguished faculty that specializes in different areas of CJ. Students can choose to specialize in law enforcement, research, race and crime, terrorism and theory, corrections, and justice administration.

Net Price: $13,508/yr

Texas Southern University

29.Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University has been preparing students for challenging careers since its establishment in 1857. Some of the leading programs here include public administration, criminal justice and law enforcement. Students interested in giving back to their community through services in corrections, law, law enforcement, security, and administration should consider getting a degree in this field from Upper Iowa University. The institute has a comparatively low tuition fee that makes higher education a reality for many students in the state.

Net Price: $17,654/yr

Upper Iowa University

30.Trine University

Trine University is all about excellence and providing quality educational services. Criminal justice is a hot major here. Low cost is one of the reasons why many students chose Trine University for a degree in criminal justice. The program allows students to select through a wide range of courses such as law enforcement, basic policing, investigations, criminal psychology, criminology, and crime in the society. The coursework is covered with interactive media tools, fieldwork, and other resources.

Net Price: $13,593/yr

Trine University

31.University of Missouri – Kansas City

The University of Missouri – Kansas City’s CJC department (Criminal Justice and Criminology) has over 250 students pursuing specialized education in this field. The university has gained recognition for its comprehensive and cost-friendly learning options in CJ. The main mission of its CJC Department is to provide students with the opportunity to learn about the criminal justice systems and social control methods. The coursework is not strictly theory-based. Emphasis is laid on the development of career skills through research, internships, and fieldwork.

Net Price: $17,524/yr

University of Missouri - Kansas City

32.Mount Mary University

Mount Mary University believes in educating a student at a social, spiritual, and academic level. It is currently offering majors and minors in criminal justice. This major will help students develop skills needed to pursue leadership roles in different criminal justice sectors. The program comprises of different theoretical courses, research work, case studies, and internship programs. Mount Mary University offers an affordable tuition rate that can help many achieve their academic dreams. If you are looking for a well-rounded educational experience, consider enrolling in this reputed institute.

Net Price: $13,711/yr

Mount Mary University

33.South Carolina State University

The criminal justice program at South Carolina State University is a popular choice among students. This program is comprehensively designed to offer students an interdisciplinary approach to the study of crime. Students can opt for different specializations in the field, and build solid knowledge relevant to their career goals. South Carolina State University has always been a leader when it comes to providing quality education services. It makes sure it offers programs that are cost-friendly, accessible, and convenient for many aspiring students.

Net Price: $17,344/yr

South Carolina State University

34.Lander University

Lander University is located in the city of Greenwood, SC, and was set up in 1872. The University has over 3000 students currently enrolled in its graduate and undergraduate programs. Among the many majors it offers, criminal justice has proved to be a popular choice. Students can earn an affordable degree in criminal justice and prepare for an exciting career in the field. It is also possible for students to transfer their credits to Lander University. Lander University aims to maintain its standard of quality and help students achieve their academic goals at a low cost.

Net Price: $13,847/yr


35.Cumberland University

Criminal justice and public administration have long remained one of Cumberland University’s popular majors. The main purpose of the criminal justice and public administration degree is to help students build a solid foundation of knowledge and a career skill set needed to qualify for leadership roles in law enforcement. Policing and law enforcement, corrections, and justice administration are a few of the specializations one can choose from. Unlike many other universities, Cumberland remains an affordable choice for many.

Net Price: $17,147/yr


36.Wilberforce University

Wilberforce University has added criminal justice to its vast range of program offerings. Students looking for an affordable and flexible degree in criminal justice should consider enrolling in this institute. Its criminal justice program is designed to help students acquire the necessary expertise and knowledge needed to pursue a career in the sector. The program’s curriculum will cover important fundamental and advanced concepts of the American justice system. Some of the study areas students would come across are: criminology, correctional theory and delinquency and juvenile law. The program will also help students develop important research skills through its research project requirement.

Net Price: $14,204/yr

Wilberforce University

37.Russell Sage College

If you are a woman who wants to serve her country by joining the criminal justice sector, Russell Sage College can be a suitable option for criminal justice education. This College caters specifically to the academic development of women. Russell Sage’s Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice is a four year undergraduate degree that helps students prepare for challenging jobs in criminal justice. It has been reported that recent criminal justice graduates from this college have been accepted for job positions in various judicial offices, correctional facilities, law enforcement agencies and even the U.S. Marshals Service.

Net Price: $17,121/yr

Russell Sage College

38.The University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi was founded in 1848 and remains one of the most prestigious and oldest institutions in the state. The University offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in diverse academic disciplines. Among the many areas of study, criminal justice holds a popular position. The University of Mississippi’s Bachelor in Criminal Justice is affordable, flexible, and in-demand. The program’s goal is to educate students in an interactive and effective manner, helping them prepare for careers ahead in the competitive criminal justice sector. This University can be a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable degree and a well-rounded educational experience.

Net Price: $14,409/yr

The University of Mississippi

39.Point University

Point University is a four year liberal arts college that was set up in 1937. Over the decades, the University has built repute with its diverse educational opportunities and learning environment. Students interested in pursuing higher studies in criminal justice can enroll in Point University. Its criminal justice program has been developed to introduce students to various processes of the criminal justice system. Alongside a broad education in criminal justice, the program also focuses on important relevant fields and general areas of study. Crime, political science, sociology, criminal justice administration and law enforcement are a few of the courses covered in the curriculum.

Net Price: $17,078/yr

Point University

40.Trinity Washington University

Trinity Washington University follows its mission of providing quality academic services and helping students polish their intellectual skills. Criminal justice is one of the many disciplines offered for study here. This program teaches academic and real world perspectives on crime. To keep the degree affordable for its students, the university has a low tuition fee.

Net Price: $14,928/yr

Trinity Washington University

41.Coker College

Coker College, located in South Carolina, is known for its comprehensive criminal justice program, which is designed to help students qualify for various roles in the justice system. Students can specialize in any area of their choice such as criminology. Students would develop a broad theoretical understanding of the field and would also build strong communication skills, critical-thinking skills, and analytical skills. The research project and internship included in the program are a great way to help students gain practical exposure and real-world experience.

Net Price: $16,994/yr

Coker College

42.Voorhees College

Voorhees College is one of the oldest black colleges in South Carolina. It was set up in 1897 by Elizabeth Evelyn Wright-Menafee. Voorhees College aims to educate students in a wide range of academic disciplines. Criminal justice program offered here is specifically designed for students who have completed two years of college and wish to join the criminal justice field. The program is flexible and can meet the needs of working students and full-time professionals. Most of the students currently enrolled in the CJ program are already working in the criminal justice field. Affordability and availability of financial aid are two main reasons why many students are choosing to enroll at Voorhees.

Net Price: $15,349/yr

43.Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University is known for offering quality academic services at an affordable cost. The University was established in 1899 and has since been offering graduate and undergraduate programs in many disciplines. Law enforcement and justice administration programs offered here have attracted many aspiring students looking for careers in the CJ field. The curriculum blends together theoretical studies, practical coursework, research and field work. Students could look forward to exciting careers as police officers, investigators, border patrol agents, and more.

Net Price: $16,919/yr

Western Illinois University

44.Claflin University

Claflin University has dedicated its resources to helping students achieve a well-rounded educational experience. Claflin University’s undergraduate criminal justice program is designed to prepare students for jobs in the different sub-fields of CJ such as law enforcement, rehabilitation, crime scene investigation, and corrections. The curriculum entails many courses that highlight all aspects of the field and ensure students build a broad base of criminal justice knowledge.

Net Price: $15,371/yr

Claflin University

45.Huston-Tillotson University

A historically black university located in Texas, Huston-Tillotson University’s Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers degrees in criminal justice and political science. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice will come across diverse courses such as American court system, corrections, criminal law, community policing, criminology, social research, and juvenile justice. Huston-Tillotson University has proved to be less expensive and convenient for many students.

Net Price: $16,825/yr


46.Mercy College

High quality education, personalized experience, and affordability are just a few of the reasons why many choose to enroll at Mercy College for criminal justice education. The criminal justice degree offered here has a four year curriculum that provides students with an in-depth understanding of policing, corrections, administration, etc. Many students choose to enroll here due to straightforward admission process and low tuition fee.

Net Price: $15,622/yr

Mercy College

47.Florida Memorial University

The criminal justice degree at Florida Memorial University has been designed to prepare both men and women for exciting and challenging jobs in the criminal justice sector. This University focuses on providing students with an affordable and high quality educational experience. Students enrolled in its criminal justice program will learn about different aspects of the field and also develop necessary skills needed for careers ahead. If you are looking for a cost-friendly criminal justice degree, this can be a suitable place to enroll in.

Net Price: $16,005/yr

48. SUNY Fredonia

SUNY Fredonia’s bachelor’s degree in criminal justice entails a number of theoretical courses as well as practical courses. Students will explore different areas of CJ such as criminology, corrections, criminal law, and criminal justice administration.

Net Price: $15,664/yr


49.Culver-Stockton College

Culver-Stockton College has become a number one choice for many students when it comes to criminal justice education. The College’s criminal justice program has been designed to provide students with career-oriented knowledge, hands on experience, and specialized skills. Students may select an area for specialization according to their career goals and interests. Culver-Stockton College has proved to be affordable for many.

Net Price: $15,803/yr

Culver-Stockton College

50.University of St. Francis

University of St. Francis is a popular institute that has attracted many students to its criminal justice program. Some of the concentrations offered in this field include: forensics, law enforcement, corrections, and rehabilitation.

University of St. Francis


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