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2020 Best Colleges for Criminology

Approximately 9,624 criminology degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be difficult finding the best choice. This year's Best Colleges for Criminology ranking analyzed 72 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in criminology. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 10 schools for Criminology students.

Choosing a Great Criminology School

Best Colleges for Criminology Your choice of criminology school matters. Important measures of a quality criminology program can vary widely even among the top schools. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

A school that excels in educating for a particular major must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 17% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 13%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 220 to 42 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

A criminology degree from schools on this list usually results in higher than average earnings after graduation. While the average criminology bachelors degree from U.S. colleges results in an average starting salary of $31,254, graduates of colleges on this list average $34,556.

Starting Salary  ( 29255 to 38944 )
$0
$44,700

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 Criminology students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other criminology students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized criminology related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Criminology students.

Best Schools to Study Criminology in United States

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities to study criminology. 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 72 schools analyzed, only 10 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 10 Best Criminology Colleges

Every student pursuing a degree in criminology has to check out University of California - Irvine. UC Irvine is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Irvine. A Best Colleges rank of 81 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UC Irvine is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UC Irvine also offers 2 different higher degree levels in criminology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from this program report average early career earnings of $29,700.

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Every student pursuing a degree in criminology has to look into University of Maryland - College Park. UMCP is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of College Park. A Best Colleges rank of 103 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UMCP is a great college overall.

There are roughly 432 criminology undergraduates studying this degree at UMCP. Criminology majors from University of Maryland - College Park earn a boost of around $5,895 over the typical income of criminology majors.

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#3

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

University of Pennsylvania is a wonderful option for students pursuing a Criminology major. Located in the city Philadelphia, UPenn is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 3 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UPenn is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UPenn also offers 2 different higher degree levels in criminology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#4

Stonehill College

Easton, MA

It's hard to beat Stonehill College if you want to pursue criminology as a major. Located in the large suburb Easton, Stonehill is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 190th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

Stonehill College is a fairly popular school to study criminology in United States exceeding 34 graduates last year. Students who complete this degree report average early career income of $31,000.

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#5

Saint Joseph's University

Philadelphia, PA

St. Joe's is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Philadelphia. This college ranks 196th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

For those interested in something more advanced, St. Joe's also offers 2 different higher degree levels in criminology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students from the criminology degree program at Saint Joseph's University earn $11,495 above the average college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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U of Delaware is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Newark. A Best Colleges rank of 92 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means U of Delaware is a great college overall.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, U of Delaware offers a Master's Degree in criminology. University of Delaware criminology graduates earn $2,895 more than the typical criminology graduate.

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Located in the city Richardson, UT Dallas is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 239th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Texas.

The University of Texas at Dallas is one of the most popular college to study criminology in United States with more than 72 graduations last year. Soon after graduating, criminology students generally earn about $30,300 in their early careers.

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#8

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

U of F is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized city of Gainesville. A Best Colleges rank of 73 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means U of F is a great college overall.

There are approximately 166 criminology undergraduates studying this degree at U of F. After graduating, criminology students usually earn an average of $34,100 at the beginning of their careers.

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USF Tampa is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Tampa. This school ranks 301st out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Florida.

There are approximately 324 criminology undergraduates enrolled in this degree at USF Tampa. Soon after graduation, criminology students typically make about $31,900 at the beginning of their careers.

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#10

Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI

Located in the large city Milwaukee, Marquette is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 160th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Wisconsin.

There are roughly 63 criminology undergraduates studying this program at Marquette. After graduation, criminology students generally make around $34,100 at the beginning of their careers.

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Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Criminology students that almost earned our Best Colleges for Criminology award.

Rank College Location
11 Saint Anselm College Manchester, NH
12 Regis University Denver, CO
13 Le Moyne College Syracuse, NY
14 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
15 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
16 University of St Thomas Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
17 University of Denver Denver, CO
18 University of Nevada - Reno Reno, NV

Criminology by Region

View the Best Colleges for Criminology for a specific region near you.

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

Criminology is one of 13 different types of Social Sciences programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Economics 47,528
Political Science & Government 44,651
Sociology 37,615
General Social Sciences 19,123
International Relations & National Security 14,908

View All Criminology 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).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to {}.

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