10 Best Known Schools For Criminal Justice

The best schools for criminal justice help produce individuals that are knowledgeable in various ways to handle crime-related issues.

It is projected by the bureau of labor statistics that there would be a 3% increase in the demand for practitioners of criminal justice.

And the best schools for criminal justice will offer prospective students leverage to be renowned legal practitioners.

In this article, you will see the best schools for criminal justice, their LSAT scores, and their GPA scores. Also, you will see their tuition fees and the characteristics that are unique to them.

What is criminal justice?

best schools for criminal justice

Criminal justice is the term used to describe the process by which people who have committed crimes are served punishment.

 It covers the alleged offense a defendant committed, the law enforcement personnel who detained him, the legal system that prosecutes and defends him, and the punishment the defendant would get if found guilty.

For ages, there have been several sorts of criminal justice systems, though these forms have evolved with time. 

By prosecuting and punishing the guilty, encouraging them to stop wrongdoing, and safeguarding the innocent, the criminal justice system aims to provide justice for all.

What’s the difference between criminal justice and criminology?

The difference between criminal justice and criminology is the various applications that they have. 

Due to the fact that both criminal justice and criminology have job paths that occasionally cross, they may appear to be similar. A detective, for instance, may practice both criminology and criminal justice.

However, there are a few areas in which criminology and criminal justice differ from one another:

  • Criminology focuses on the social and psychological behaviors of offenders to ascertain why they commit crimes, whereas criminal justice investigates the law enforcement system and operations.
  • While criminologists may find employment as investigators and analysts inside the criminal justice system, graduates of criminal justice degrees frequently choose careers in law enforcement.

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The best schools for criminal justice studies

1. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania, a colonial college and one of the nation’s oldest universities, was established by Benjamin Franklin in the 1750s.

This is an Ivy League school, and the top undergraduate criminology degrees in the country are offered by the Department of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania. 

An introduction to criminology, race and ethnic relations, criminal justice, and a research capstone (done in the student’s senior year) are just a few examples of the core courses for the best criminal justice degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Classes for this University of Pennsylvania bachelor’s degree program include, among others, an introduction to criminology, particular themes in the criminal justice profession, and a research capstone in the last year of study.

The degree that this school gives is a Major in Criminology, and it requires you to have an LSAT score in the range of 167-173, and a GPA of 3.56-3.96

2. University of Florida

This school is located in Tallahassee, FL. It currently ranks No. 55 among the best schools for criminal justice studies.

Advanced criminal justice fundamentals as well as electives like crime and punishment in American history, US Legal History, or Law and Economics are all part of the University of Florida’s undergraduate criminal justice curriculum.

The tuition at this school is $21,683 (out-of-state) and $46,517 (in-state). For this school to admit you, you will need a minimum LSAT score of 165, and a GPA of 3.6.

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3. University of Maryland-College Park

This is one of the best schools for criminal justice studies, and it is located in College Park, USA. It offers a BA in criminal justice and criminology.

The courses offered in these schools include crime and delinquency prevention, statistics for criminology and criminal justice, criminal justice research methods, and courts and sentencing, to name a few.

This school requires you to have a GPA score of at least 3.25, and an LSAT score of 154 or above. The tuition is also $10,779 (in-state) and $36,891 (out-of-state).

4. University of California, Irvine

In 1965, the University of California, Irvine was established as a land-grant research university under the Morrill Act. It has since stood as one of the best schools for criminal justice studies.

The Bachelor of Science degree program (BS) in Criminology, Law, and Society, offered by the Department of Criminology at the University of California, Irvine, focuses on how crime interacts with legal, social, cultural, and political issues. 

The top undergraduate criminal justice programs at UC require all students to take seminars in the fundamentals of criminology, law, and society as well as American law, theories of punishment, domestic violence, and US legal philosophy.

For this school, you will need an LSAT in the range of 163-168, 3.0 GPA (for Californians) and 3.4 (for non-Californians) In addition, the tuition is $13,753 (in-state) and $43,507 (out-of-state)

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5. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

This school is the second-oldest university in the Garden State after Princeton. It was founded in the 1760s as Queen’s College. It is also one of the oldest universities in the nation. 

One of New Jersey’s top undergraduate criminal justice programs is the BA in Criminal Justice offered by Rutgers University. 

The top undergraduate criminology programs at Rutgers University provide courses in criminal law: theory and practice, prisons and inmates, crime and public policy, crimes against humanity, forensic science, and ideas in justice, to mention a few. 

As one of the best among schools for criminal justice, it requires a GPA in the range of  3.08-3.60, and an LSAT score of 153-158. Also, the tuition for this school is $27,083 (in-state) $41,053 (out-of-state).

6. University of Delaware

This school is located in the United States. It is also among the best schools for criminal justice studies. 

The Department of Social and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware offers a (BA) in Criminal Justice offered by 

The mandatory field experience, or practicum, which combines theory and expertise with real-world experience, is an essential component of the best undergraduate criminology programs at UD. 

Classes for this criminal justice undergraduate degree include, among others, corrections, introduction to criminal justice, challenges of law enforcement, and criminal judiciary.

Only four institutions of higher learning offer a degree in art conservation, with the University of Delaware being one of them.

This school requires a GPA of 3.77, an LSAT of 152, and tuition of $12,800 (in-state).

7. University of Iowa

This school is also among the best schools for criminal justice in the United States. Two of Iowa’s top undergraduate criminology programs are offered at the University of Iowa’s (IA) College of Liberal Arts/Sciences through its Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Criminology, Law & Justice. 

Although the requirements for these top undergraduate criminal justice programs vary significantly. They all involve coursework in criminology, sociological theory, and criminology research methodologies, as well as a capstone project or an internship in criminal justice, to mention a few. 

Additionally, students interested in criminal justice can choose one of the school’s double majors in finance or business analytics.

The tuition at this school is $29,132 (in-state) and $48,747 (out-of-state). The LSAT score for this school is in the range of 166-180, and the GPA is 3.61.

8. Michigan State University

The BA in Criminal Justice program at Michigan State University is regarded as one of the state’s top and most cutting-edge undergraduate criminology programs. 

The best undergraduate criminal justice program at MSU requires students to take classes in criminal procedure, research methods in criminal justice, race and justice, private security, advanced cybersecurity topics, criminology and public policy, crime, mass media and society, and juvenile justice, as well as an independent study.

For this school, you will need a GPA score of 3.76, and an LSAT score of about 152. Also, the tuition for this school is $45,676 (out-of-state) and $41,116 (in-state).

9. University of Texas at Dallas

This school is located in the United States, and it is also among the best schools for criminal justice. 

It offers a BA in criminal justice. The top undergraduate criminal justice programs at the University of Texas provide a fast-track option for criminal justice students to take master’s level coursework while pursuing their bachelor’s degree. 

The tuition for this school is $39,251 (out-of-State-students) and $31,254 (in-state-students). Also, the GPA required for this school is 3.7 or above, and an LSAT of 151 or above.

10. Indiana University Bloomington

The BA in Criminal Justice degree offered by Indiana University Bloomington is one of the best undergraduate criminal justice programs in Indiana. 

Degree candidates can choose from concentrations in gender, racism, and crime, criminal justice and psychology, and criminal justice and the law in Indiana University’s best undergraduate criminology programs. 

Upper-level courses for this degree at Indiana University Bloomington include, among other topics, private security, prosecution, white-collar crime, teenagers and the law, cybercrime, and digital evidence.

For this school to admit you, you will need an LSAT score in the range of 157-163, and a GPA score of 3.72 or above. The tuition for this school is $38,185 (in-state) and $59,435 (out-of-state).

Is criminal justice a good degree?

Yes, criminal justice is a good degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 3% increase in the demand for criminal justice in 10 years’ time.

The various opportunities open to the criminal justice field are bailiff, police officer, forensic technician, crime scene analyst, and community service manager.

Careers for criminal justice practitioners

The careers available for criminal justice practitioners include police and detectives, private detectives and investigators, correctional officers and bailiffs, security guards, gambling surveillance officers, etc.

After attending any of the best schools for criminal justice, you can earn the following amount from the following careers:

  • Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers – $43,290
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants – $52,920
  • Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators – $66,130
  • Social and Community Service Managers – $69,600
  • Forensic Science Technicians – $60,590.

The above is a look at some of the earnings one can make in the field. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the average wage for a criminal justice career is $43,710.


And as promised, this article has shown you all you need to know about the best schools for criminal justice, their LSAT, GPA, and tuition.

In addition, you saw some characteristics that make the schools stand out and the careers available to you as a criminal justice practitioner.

With this information at your fingertips, you can easily decide if criminal justice studies are for you. And easily pick any of the best careers in it.

Furthermore, you should ensure to share this article with friends and family. They too can enjoy all the insights shared in this article.

Frequently asked questions about the school for criminal justice studies

What college has the best criminal justice program in California?

The best criminal justice programs in California include Fresno Pacific University, National University, California State University-Los Angeles, California State University-San Bernardino, 
California Baptist University, California State University-Long Beach.

What are the best majors for criminal law?

The best majors for criminal law include forensic science, legal studies, homeland security, corrections, law enforcement administration, etc. 

How hard is criminology?

Criminology is a very tough course, and this is because it requires you to deal with various human-related issues. 

Furthermore, to be employed as an entry-level criminologist, you will need a bachelor’s degree in criminology, sociology, or psychology. 

Is criminal justice an easy major?

Yes, criminal justice is a relatively easy major. It does not involve much reading and writing, and this makes it an easy major for you.

What kind of math do you need for criminal justice?

Criminal justice majors may be required to take an introductory calculus course in addition to the general education mathematics requirements set forth by the undergraduate institution. 

Understanding calculus, which is the study of change, will help you better comprehend criminology and the use of evidence.

Reference – Best criminal justice colleges and school programs


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