Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Criminal Justice & Corrections

Find Schools Near

2020 Best Colleges for Criminal Justice & Corrections

Approximately 123,447 criminal justice and corrections degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be a daunting task finding the best fit for you. This year's Best Colleges for Criminal Justice & Corrections ranking analyzed 413 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and corrections. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 25 schools for Criminal Justice & Corrections students.

Choosing a Great Criminal Justice & Corrections School

Best Colleges for Criminal Justice & Corrections The criminal justice program you select can have a big impact on your future. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a good education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we include a college's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a combination of various factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

Over 80% of the schools in this list are in the top 28% of our overall quality ranking.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 442 to 83 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

A criminal justice and corrections degree from colleges on this list typically results in higher than average earnings following graduation. While the average criminal justice and corrections bachelors degree from U.S. schools results in an average starting salary of $32,434, graduates of colleges on this list average $35,208.

Starting Salary  ( 29407 to 38092 )
$0
$45,600

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Criminal Justice & Corrections students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other criminal justice and corrections students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized criminal justice and corrections related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Criminal Justice & Corrections students.

Best Schools to Study Criminal Justice & Corrections in United States

The following list ranks the best colleges and universities in the U.S. for a Criminal Justice & Corrections degree. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 413 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best Criminal Justice Colleges

#1

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In VA
$38,700 Median Starting Salary

It is hard to beat George Mason University if you wish to pursue criminal justice and corrections as a major. GMU is a very large public school located in the large suburb of Fairfax. A Best Colleges rank of 230 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means GMU is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, GMU also offers 3 different higher degree levels in criminal justice and corrections, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates from the criminal justice and corrections program at George Mason University make $3,492 more than the typical college graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

More…

Request Information
Master Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In DC
$45,600 Median Starting Salary

George Washington University is a wonderful option for individuals pursuing a Criminal Justice & Corrections major. GWU is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Washington. A Best Colleges rank of 105 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means GWU is a great school overall.

There are approximately 102 criminal justice and corrections undergrads enrolled in this degree at GWU. George Washington University criminal justice and corrections graduates make $10,392 more than the standard criminal justice grad.

More…

Request Information
#3

University at Albany

Albany, NY
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
16th Most Popular In NY

University at Albany is one of the best schools in the United States for criminal justice and corrections. Located in the city Albany, UAlbany is a public college with a large student population. This school ranks 310th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

For those interested in something more advanced, UAlbany also offers 2 different higher degree levels in criminal justice and corrections, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

More…

Request Information
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
5th Most Popular In NJ
2.9% Growth in Graduates

Rutgers University - Newark is a great option for students interested in a Criminal Justice & Corrections degree. Rutgers Newark is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Newark. A Best Colleges rank of 252 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Rutgers Newark is a great college overall.

A preferred major for criminal justice and corrections undergraduates, there are about 209 individuals enrolled in this degree at Rutgers Newark. After getting their bachelor's degree, criminal justice students usually earn an average of $33,300 in their early careers.

More…

Request Information
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
12th Most Popular In MA
10.5% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city Boston, Northeastern is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 77 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Northeastern is a great school overall.

With 76 students enrolled, Northeastern University is one of most popular colleges to study criminal justice in United States. Students from the criminal justice and corrections program at Northeastern University make $8,592 more than the standard college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More…

Request Information
Master Highest Degree Type
34th Most Popular In NY
15.3% Growth in Graduates

Located in the large city New York, Pace University is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 500th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Pace University offers a Master's Degree in criminal justice and corrections. Students who graduate from this degree state that they receive average early career wages of $26,900.

More…

Request Information
#7

American University

Washington, DC
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In DC
$40,700 Median Starting Salary

The American University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Washington. A Best Colleges rank of 161 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means The American University is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, The American University also offers 2 different higher degree levels in criminal justice and corrections, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. American University criminal justice and corrections majors earn $5,492 more than the standard criminal justice grad.

More…

Request Information
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In OH
$32,400 Median Starting Salary

Cincinnati is a very large public school located in the city of Cincinnati. This school ranks 379th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

There are approximately 478 criminal justice and corrections undergrads enrolled in this program at Cincinnati. Students who complete this program state that they receive average early career income of $32,400.

More…

Request Information
#9

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In FL
6.8% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city Tallahassee, Florida State is a public school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 220 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Florida State is a great college overall.

There are about 672 criminal justice and corrections undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Florida State. Students who graduate from the criminal justice program make about $30,000 for their early career.

More…

Request Information
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MA
13.9% Growth in Graduates

UMass Lowell is a large public school located in the large suburb of Lowell. This college ranks 319th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

UMass Lowell offers criminal justice and corrections degrees as low as a First Year Certificates and all the way up to a Research / Scholarship Based Doctorate's. Students from the criminal justice and corrections degree program at University of Massachusetts - Lowell earn $3,792 above the standard graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

More…

Request Information
3rd Most Popular In SC
$37,000 Median Starting Salary

Located in the midsize city Charleston, The Citadel is a public school with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 234 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means The Citadel is a great college overall.

There are roughly 87 criminal justice and corrections undergrads studying this program at The Citadel. Grads of the criminal justice program report average early career earnings of $37,000.

More…

Request Information
#12

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In MI
$34,700 Median Starting Salary

Michigan State is a fairly large public school located in the small city of East Lansing. A Best Colleges rank of 120 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Michigan State is a great school overall.

There are approximately 179 criminal justice and corrections undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Michigan State. Soon after graduation, criminal justice students generally earn around $34,700 in the first five years of their career.

More…

Request Information
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
5th Most Popular In IL
$31,900 Median Starting Salary

UIC is a very large public school located in the large city of Chicago. This school ranks 265th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

For those interested in something more advanced, UIC also offers 2 different higher degree levels in criminal justice and corrections, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after graduation, criminal justice students generally earn an average of $31,900 at the beginning of their careers.

More…

Request Information
#14

Molloy College

Rockville Centre, NY
Master Highest Degree Type
50th Most Popular In NY
18.0% Growth in Graduates

Located in the large suburb Rockville Centre, Molloy is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 242 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Molloy is a great college overall.

A preferred choice for criminal justice and corrections undergraduates, there are approximately 50 learners studying this degree at Molloy. Grads of the criminal justice program state that they receive average early career earnings of $31,400.

More…

Request Information
Master Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In PA
$36,800 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large suburb West Chester, WCUPA is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 373rd out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

A favorite major for criminal justice and corrections undergraduates, there are approximately 156 learners studying this program at WCUPA. Graduates of the criminal justice program earn an average of $36,800 in the first couple years of their career.

More…

Request Information
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In WA
$33,900 Median Starting Salary

Wazzu is a very large public school located in the town of Pullman. This school ranks 290th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Washington.

For those interested in something more advanced, Wazzu also offers 2 different higher degree levels in criminal justice and corrections, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after graduating, criminal justice students generally make around $33,900 at the beginning of their careers.

More…

Request Information
#17

Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX
Master Highest Degree Type
38th Most Popular In TX
40.5% Growth in Graduates

Located in the large city Fort Worth, TCU is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 115 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means TCU is a great school overall.

With 74 undergraduates, Texas Christian University is one of most popular schools to study criminal justice in United States. Texas Christian University criminal justice and corrections students make $4,792 more than the average criminal justice student.

More…

Request Information
#18

University of New Haven

West Haven, CT
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In CT
2.0% Growth in Graduates

U of New Haven is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of West Haven. This school ranks 493rd out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Connecticut.

There are approximately 613 criminal justice and corrections undergraduates enrolled in this program at U of New Haven. Soon after graduation, criminal justice students typically earn about $33,400 in the first five years of their career.

More…

Request Information
#19

Seattle University

Seattle, WA
Certificate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In WA
1.3% Growth in Graduates

Located in the large city Seattle, Seattle U is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 174 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Seattle U is a great college overall.

There are approximately 77 criminal justice and corrections undergraduates studying this program at Seattle U. Students who graduate from this degree state that they receive average early career wages of $35,400.

More…

Request Information
Master Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In NY
8.6% Growth in Graduates

John Jay is a fairly large public school located in the large city of New York. This school ranks 960th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

John Jay offers criminal justice and corrections degrees as low as a First Year Certificates and all the way up to a Master's. Soon after graduating, criminal justice students typically earn about $33,300 at the beginning of their careers.

More…

Request Information
#21

Sacred Heart University

Fairfield, CT
Master Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In CT
8.6% Growth in Graduates

Located in the suburb Fairfield, Sacred Heart is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. This school ranks 366th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Connecticut.

There are roughly 116 criminal justice and corrections undergrads enrolled in this program at Sacred Heart. Grads of the criminal justice program state that they receive average early career income of $33,500.

More…

Request Information
#22

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In PA
$33,600 Median Starting Salary

Temple is a very large public school located in the city of Philadelphia. This school ranks 263rd out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

For those interested in something more advanced, Temple also offers 4 different higher degree levels in criminal justice and corrections, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Graduates of the criminal justice program earn about $33,600 in the first couple years of working.

More…

Request Information
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
7th Most Popular In NY
20.0% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city Queens, STJ is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. This college ranks 398th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

With 230 undergrads, St John's University - New York is one of most popular colleges to study criminal justice in United States. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, criminal justice students generally earn around $32,800 in the first five years of their career.

More…

Request Information
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In IN
3.4% Growth in Graduates

Located in the small city Bloomington, IU Bloomington is a public school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 181 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means IU Bloomington is a great college overall.

There are about 149 criminal justice and corrections undergrads studying this degree at IU Bloomington. Grads of the criminal justice program report average early career income of $35,300.

More…

Request Information
#25

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
36th Most Popular In FL
$31,600 Median Starting Salary

Located in the suburb Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 382nd out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Florida.

Nova Southeastern University is a fairly popular school to study criminal justice in United States with over 74 graduations last year. After graduation, criminal justice students typically earn about $31,600 in their early careers.

More…

Request Information

Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Criminal Justice & Corrections

Additional Award Winners

This list shows the rest of the schools awarded a Best Colleges for Criminal Justice & Corrections badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 413 different United States criminal justice and corrections schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Texas State University San Marcos, TX
52 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
53 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
54 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
55 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
56 Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO
57 Mercer University Macon, GA
58 Norwich University Northfield, VT
59 La Salle University Philadelphia, PA
60 DeSales University Center Valley, PA
61 Simpson College Indianola, IA

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for Criminal Justice students that almost earned our Best Colleges for Criminal Justice & Corrections award.

Rank College Location
62 San Jose State University San Jose, CA
63 University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
64 University of Dayton Dayton, OH
65 University of Georgia Athens, GA
66 University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Norman, OK
67 Monmouth University West Long Branch, NJ
68 LIU Post Brookville, NY
69 Ohio Northern University Ada, OH
70 Merrimack College North Andover, MA
71 California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA
72 Westfield State University Westfield, MA
73 Western New England University Springfield, MA
74 Bradley University Peoria, IL
75 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
76 Florida International University Miami, FL
77 Roanoke College Salem, VA
78 St. Mary’s University San Antonio, TX
79 University of Baltimore Baltimore, MD
80 Messiah College Mechanicsburg, PA
81 University of Wyoming Laramie, WY
82 Gannon University Erie, PA

Criminal Justice & Corrections by Region

View the Best Colleges for Criminal Justice & Corrections for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
The Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Criminal Justice & Corrections is one of 3 different types of Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting programs to choose from.

Majors Similar to Criminal Justice

Related Major Annual Graduates
Fire Protection 19,510
Homeland Security 5,733
Other Homeland Security 2,129

View All Criminal Justice Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).

Featured Criminal Justice Administration Schools

Find Schools Near You