Best Undergraduate Criminal Justice Schools

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Best Undergraduate Criminal Justice Schools

When choosing a school to pursue your degree, it is essential to consider the calibre of the program you are selecting. With more and more people attaining bachelor’s degrees today, your program’s vigour can set you apart during the application process for a job.

However, the evaluation goes into determining what a top undergraduate criminal justice school is a complicated one, so you should think about what is best for you as a student, instead of relying on rankings and ratings.

First and foremost, you should consider what kind of degree you are looking for. You can pursue an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s in criminal justice. Each goal would require a different set of parameters for selecting your top undergraduate criminal justice schools.

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For example, if you are looking to get an associate’s degree, your top schools would be reputable, local community colleges. These programs would save you money in comparison to associate’s degrees at universities. If they have a good reputation in the community, they will allow you to seek a career nearby with credibility, like a police dispatch operator.

If you are interested in getting your bachelor’s degree, state universities are usually a good bet. You will save money by going to a state school in the state you reside by gaining in-state tuition waivers. Moreover, state schools tend to be appreciated by local law enforcement branches, giving you an in when applying for a job.

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Finally, most state schools offer some form of criminal justice program, whereas some private schools do not. Therefore, focusing on state universities will give you the best array of options, regardless.

However, if you are interested in gaining your master’s, the top undergraduate criminal justice school criteria changes, your best bet, to save money, time, and frustration, is to look for a school that offers an accelerated master’s program. These programs combine the coursework for a bachelor’s and master’s degree, allowing you to complete what would have been six years of schooling in five.

These programs are usually very competitive in the admissions process but are tremendously beneficial if getting your master’s in criminal justice is your end goal.

This being said, there are plenty of excellent undergraduate schools to consider.

According to US News and World Reports, some of the better schools include the

University of Maryland


University of Cincinnati

University of Missouri

University of California-Irvine 

CUNY-John Jay College of Criminal Justice,

Temple University

Northeastern University

University of Florida,

University of Pennsylvania.

The programs are challenging to get into, but provide an excellent education in criminal justice. 

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