30 Best Criminology Masters Programs Online

What circumstances motivate people to commit crimes? How can we reduce the number of crimes that take place? These are the types of questions that criminology experts seek to answer.

beautiful campus of Western Kentucky University

Your master’s education in criminology can prepare you to secure gainful employment in this growing field. Even better, your work will play a very real role in helping to reduce crime’s effects on society.

Online Master’s in Criminology Programs

Click on the subject area that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:

Whether online or on-campus, you may choose to pursue a specialization in which you focus your studies on one particular aspect of the field. The expert knowledge that you gain in concentration courses may help to set you apart from other candidates for career advancement.

To enhance your education, some universities want you to gain hands-on experience through fieldwork and practicums. Others may require that you write a thesis or complete a capstone project before graduation.

Criminal Justice

Police officers near crime

A degree in criminal justice can prepare you for your lifelong career or serve as the basis for entering another specialization program. In this overview program, you’ll learn how the court system works, how to serve in correctional institutions, and all about law enforcement.

You could start working as a police officer or detective, a crime scene investigator, a probation officer, a corrections counselor, or an FBI agent. On the legal side, you could become a paralegal or teach criminal justice as an adjunct professor.

After earning your degree, you might consider earning a doctorate in one of the many law and law enforcement specialties to further your career or enter the exact field that interests you.

Cyberterrorism

police officer checking his computer

Working in cyberterrorism means that you work in a specific branch of cybersecurity. A person who works in cyberterrorism works to protect people from pre-meditated, often politically motivated cyber attacks. These attacks can sometimes be a threat to national security.

Those with a background in cybersecurity and who are looking to further their expertise should consider applying to these programs. This specialty is also an option for those who have a background in any sort of IT-related field.

Law Enforcement

special police force in action

Law enforcement is one of the most difficult jobs in America, and those who undertake a career in policing need to make sure they have had the correct training.

There are a number of factors that should be considered when studying policing. A person must have a solid understanding of the law and be able to assess risks, understand social conditions, and be able to react quickly and wisely in difficult situations.

Law enforcement is a field that anyone from any background can enter, though it should definitely be considered by those who have studied law enforcement in the past.

NYPD helping commuters at a subway station

Legal Issues and Society can be a broad subject area to get involved in. It draws from several other disciplines and can be extremely beneficial to work in. Legal issues and society takes a look at the impact the law may have on society and looks at things like gender, race, family, class, and several factors that could be impacted.

This field is best suited to someone who has a background in either law or the social sciences. It will create plenty of interesting career opportunities, including research, law enforcement, council positions, and social work.

Public Administration

detectives looking for clues to solve a crime

Public administration involves the overseeing and implementation of public and government policy. This can involve a number of different areas, including but not limited to public finance, labor services, and human resources.

Public Administration is great for people from a wide variety of backgrounds but is ideal for someone looking to work in government or for a non-profit. A background in administration, finance, law, business, or several other fields is beneficial.

Criminology Curriculum

police chief speaking in front of criminology students

The classes in a criminology program are designed to help you understand more about the science behind criminal behaviors. This may include theories of criminal behavior and methods of conducting research.

To help you apply this knowledge in real-world settings, you can also expect to learn more about the criminal justice system, including policing, the courts, and corrections.

Sample courses for a criminology master’s program include:

  • Computer Use in Criminology: Increase your proficiency with computer-based tools, such as spreadsheets and search engines. Learn how they can help you conduct research and investigations.
  • Criminology Research: Study methods of gathering quantitative and qualitative data that can be used for research and discuss ways to improve the reliability of data. Learn basic techniques for drawing meaningful information from sets of data.
  • Crime Reduction: Find out about strategies that law enforcement officers currently use to predict or prevent crimes and discuss future advancements in this field.
  • Cyber Crime: Learn about approaches that criminals use to commit crimes in the cyber realm; examples may include hacking and fraud. Understand the motivation behind these acts and develop strategies to combat attacks and secure networks.
  • Domestic and Global Corrections: Discuss the history of criminal justice and learn about ways that criminals are sentenced today. Compare methods used for corrections and incarceration in the United States to those used in other countries around the world.
  • Ethics in Criminology: Develop a framework for ethically conducting criminology research and sharing findings with others. Consider issues like obtaining consent, using valid research methods, and sharing appropriate levels of information.
  • Social Issues in Criminal Justice: Explore how demographics such as race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual identity relate to prosecution, sentencing, and victimology. Read case studies and identify ways that social policies present challenges for various populations.
  • Statistical Techniques in Criminology: Learn scientific methods for analyzing statistical data. Discuss ways to use these tools in criminology contexts.
  • Theories of Criminology: Study the current understandings of criminal behavior and the criminal mindset. Discuss how psychology, sociology, genetics, and other factors play a role.

Course offerings are similar for online and on-campus programs, and online coursework is just as rigorous and thorough as its traditional counterpart.

You’ll receive comparable instruction and complete similar assignments, but you may have greater flexibility about when and where you do your work. That can make online criminology master’s degrees ideal for working professionals and people with family commitments.

Criminology Careers and Salaries

police chief at work

Often, people who study criminology are interested in the theoretical and research aspects of criminal justice. They may work in behind-the-scenes roles to help develop a better understanding of criminal behavior. Even still, some criminology experts do work directly in the field to investigate or punish crimes.

  • Criminologist: As a criminologist, you may gather and analyze statistics to draw conclusions about criminal behaviors. Your research may help guide policy development, sentencing decisions, and prevention efforts. Criminologists earn between $30,000 and $50,000 per year.
  • Detective: Many detectives serve as criminal investigators in local police or sheriff departments. Others work for state or federal law enforcement agencies. On average, detectives earn $85,000 annually.
  • Forensic science technician: After investigators gather evidence at a crime scene, forensic science technicians analyze it. Their areas of expertise may include blood splatters, handwriting, bullets, chemicals, or fingerprints. They may be required to present their findings in court and earn an average of $58,000 per year.
  • Fraud investigator: If you’re interested in uncovering criminal activity related to insurance or finance, consider becoming a fraud investigator. Your responsibilities may include analyzing documents or interviewing people involved in the situation. You could be earning $39,000 upon graduation.
  • Law enforcement officer: All sorts of law enforcement officers may be able to benefit from a criminology master’s degree, and earning this credential may help you advance to a higher position. You may be able to become a supervisor in your police force, work as a U.S. Marshal or land a job with the FBI. On average, first-line police supervisors earn $91,500 annually, and the number of positions is expected to increase by 5% from 2018 to 2028.
  • Police chief: If you have sufficient experience in the field, earning a master’s degree may be enough to qualify you to hold the highest leadership position in your police department. These positions pay an average of $108,000 per year.
  • Professor: With a master’s degree in the field, you might be able to teach criminology at the postsecondary level. Postsecondary teachers in this field earn an average of $72,000 annually.
  • Sociologist: You can apply your knowledge about human behavior and your ability to conduct research as a sociologist working in the field of criminology. Your work could focus on understanding the criminal mindset or preventing future incidents. Sociologists may earn $82,000 each year, and the field is growing at a 9% rate.
  • Statistician: You may be able to earn $88,00 a year as a statistician who analyzes crime data. Statistician positions are growing at a 30% rate.

To summarize:

Job Title

Salary

Criminologist

$30-50,000

Detective

$85,000

Forensic science technician

$58,000

Fraud investigator

$39,000

Law enforcement officer

$91,500

Police chief

$108,000

Professor

$72,000

Sociologist

$82,000

Statistician

$88,000

As you can see, there are lot of specialization choices with a wide range of income potential. If you already have a good idea of your post-graduation career plans, you may want to select a school that offers a related specialization.

Accreditation

campus police patrolling a school

Whether you’re studying criminology or another field, it’s essential to attend a school with regional accreditation. This distinction certifies that the college meets or exceeds the minimum standards for quality postsecondary education. Whether you attend class on campus or take courses online, you can trust that you’re receiving a good education.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognizes the following regional accreditors:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Although the Joint Commission on Criminology and Criminal Justice Education and Standards set academic standards for criminology programs in the 1970s, there is not currently a CHEA-approved organization that issues programmatic accreditation for criminology master’s programs.

Financial Aid

NYPD police car patrolling the area and providing security during Bay Fest street festival in Brooklyn

To line up financial aid for your master’s program, your first mission should be to fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). With that, you can learn whether you are eligible for any federal grants or loans.

Grants will not need to be repaid after graduation. Loans must be paid back, but federal student loans usually feature a lower interest rate than private loans.

Your state may have similar tuition assistance programs for students. Eligibility for this state funding may depend on your FAFSA results.

Some students receive scholarships or fellowships from their university or outside sources. In fact, some scholarship programs are intended especially for criminology and criminal justice students.

Scholarships to consider include:

And if you’re already working in the criminology field, don’t forget to investigate if your employer offers any tuition assistance.

Professional Organizations

police officers gathering at a conference

As a professional in the field of criminology, you may benefit from joining an industry association. These groups provide opportunities to network with others in your field and sharpen your skills. The organizations’ publications and websites may help you stay up to date on current developments and trends in criminology.

Professional organizations for the criminology field include:

  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences: Whether you plan to pursue a career in higher education or work in the field, membership in ACJS will keep you apprised of the latest research in the field.
  • American Society of Criminology: ACS encourages scholarly research related to crime. The organization’s interests range from prevention to sentencing to results.
  • National Criminal Justice Association: NCJA represents justice organizations from throughout the country. This includes agencies at the local, state, and tribal levels.

As a student, you may qualify for a discount on membership fees.

frequently asked questions best criminology masters programs online

Looking for more info? Take a look at these common questions from those interested in a Criminology program.

What’s the Difference Between a Criminology Degree and a Criminal Justice Degree?

Criminal justice and criminology have a good deal in common, and there is crossover regarding the jobs for which each program prepares you. Even still, there are some fundamental differences to keep in mind.

You could think of criminology as the more theoretical of the two. This degree program often focuses more on research and analyzing statistics. The conclusions drawn from these efforts can influence policies and practices.

On the other hand, criminal justice addresses the more practical side of the field. Students in this discipline study the structures and operations of police, legal, and corrections systems.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s in Criminology Online?

police officer studying on his laptop

Your total program length will vary based on the number of credit hours that your school requires and whether you enroll full-time or part-time. Most full-time students can finish in 1-2 years.

How to Choose What Kind of Online Criminology Degree to Get?

You may want to select an online criminology program that offers a specialization in your area of interest, such as Corrections, Forensics, or Statistics. Alternatively, if you’re interested in studying both theories and systems related to this field, look for a school with a combined degree in both criminology and criminal justice.

What Can You Do with A Master’s Degree in Criminology?

masters in criminology careers

This degree program can prepare you to study criminal behavior as a researcher, a criminologist, or a sociologist. You could also choose to work directly in the criminal justice system as a police officer, an investigator, or a forensic science technician.

List of Universities Offering Online Master’s Programs in Criminology

Take a look at these 30+ schools to see which ones offer the program most suited to your interests.

Methodology

We chose to include the following schools based on their good standing with accrediting bodies, their degree offerings, and their online accessibility.

Rank University Featured Image tbl-programs Location mdgtbl-description
1 Arizona State University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONArizona
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Arizona State University is a public metropolitan university based in Phoenix, Arizona. The university has five campuses spread across the Phoenix metropolitan area. The university was first established in 1885.

It has an enrollment of around 90,000 students, with an extra 38,00+ students taking courses online. The university offers 350 degrees for undergraduates as well as 400 for postgraduates. Arizona State often ranks as one of the best research universities in the entire country.

The university has a strong sporting tradition. Its college football team are the Sun Devils, and the university has an excellent record in both men’s and women’s archery.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice

ASU has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1931.

2 Boston University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONMassachusetts
ACCREDITATIONNECHE
Boston University is a private university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the largest university in the state and is home to over 41,000 students. The university has 18 schools spread across two campuses in Boston.

Boston University is nonsectarian, though, historically, it has had ties with the Methodist church in the city.

The Boston University Terriers are the university’s sports team, and they offer a fine range of sports and athletics for students to take part in. Their ice hockey team is their most successful, though they have also found success in basketball.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice – Crime Analysis
  • Master’s in Criminal Justice – Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity
  • Master’s in Criminal Justice – Strategic Management

BU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.[NEASC]).

3 California State University – Long Beach
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONCalifornia
ACCREDITATIONWSCUC
California State University is a public university based in Long Beach, California. The university is the third-largest in the California state university system.

The University is home to around 38,000 students, with 33,000 of them being undergraduates and around 5,000 of them being postgraduates and doctorate students. It is also one of the most diverse universities on the entire West Coast. It also offers very low fees for students that are California residents.

The University is a founder of the Big West Conference, and their inter-sports athletic teams, the Long Beach State 49ers, take part in around 19 different sports and have teams for both men and women.

  • Master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice

CSULB receives regional accreditation from WASC Senior College and University Commission.

4 California University of Pennsylvania
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONPennsylvania
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
The California University of Pennsylvania is a university that is based in the city of California, in Pennsylvania. The university was founded in 1852 and is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

It is home to around 7,500 students and its campus consists of around 38 different colleges. There are also two additional complexes that are a part of the university. The California University of Pennsylvania also has an impressive virtual school that is home to many students.

The California Vulcans are the university’s football team, and they also offer many different sports to their students.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice Studies – Applied Criminology

Cal U is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

5 Capella University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONMinnesota
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Capella University is an online university that has its headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The university was founded in 1993 and has been offering accredited bachelor’s programs since 2000.

There are around 38,000 students enrolled in the university, with the majority of them being postgraduate students. Around 95% of the students who are enrolled at the university are part-time. They have around 207 full-time members of staff at the university and around 1,300 members of part-time staff.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice – Continuity Management
  • Master’s in Criminal Justice – Corrections
  • Master’s in Criminal Justice – Criminology
  • Master’s in Criminal Justice – Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR)
  • Master’s in Criminal Justice – Higher Education
  • Master’s in Criminal Justice – Human Resource Management
  • Master’s in Criminal Justice – Project Management

Capella is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

6 Colorado State University Global
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONColorado
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Colorado State University Global is a public online university campus that is part of the public Colorado State University system. The university is best suited to adults or students who can’t or don’t want to participate in a traditional university setting.

The university was established in 2007 and is now home to around 19,000 students, the majority of which are taking part-time courses. As well as online bachelor degrees, the university also offers 12 master degree programs.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice – Fraud Management
  • Master’s in Criminal Justice – Information Technology

CSU Global is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

7 Concordia University – St. Paul
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONMinnesota
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Concordia University-St. Paul is a private liberal arts university based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The university is a member of the Concordia University System, which is a collection of schools and universities around the US that are members of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.

The university enrolls around 5,000 students each year, with a considerable number of students also taking degrees through their online programs.

The Concordia Golden Bears are the athletics teams that represent the university, and they compete in various sports, including football, basketball, golf, and lacrosse with teams for both men and women.

CSP is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice Leadership
8 East Tennessee State University
GRE/GMATYes
LOCATIONTennessee
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
East Tennessee State University is a public university that is located in East Johnson, Tennessee. It also has campuses in Kingsport and Elizabethton and is the fourth-largest university in Tennessee.

The university’s origins go back to 1911 when it was first established as a school to educate teachers. It has undergone various changes since and is now enrolls around 14,000 students.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice and Criminology

ETSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award Baccalaureate, Masters and Doctoral degrees.

9 Florida International University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONFlorida
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Florida International University is a research university based in Greater Miami, Florida. The university has two main campuses, with the one in University Park being its main one. The university is a part of the State University System of Florida.

In terms of enrollment, the university is the second largest in its state and the fourth largest in the entire country. It has around 55,000 students, with around 8,000 of those being post-graduates.

The FIU Panthers are the university’s sports program, and it is made up of 17 different varsity sports teams. The FIU Panthers football team is particularly well-known in the world of college sports.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice

FIU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master, and doctoral degrees.

10 Florida State University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONFlorida
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Florida State University is located in Tallahassee, Florida and is one of the biggest and most respected universities in the state.

The university is classified as a research university and is made up of over 16 separate colleges and over 100 different centers and facilities. The university has a high enrollment rate, and the university is home to around 42,000 students.

Florida State’s intercollegiate sports team, the Florida State Seminoles, has achieved great success over the last 100+ years and are one of the most attractive aspects of the entire university for many students.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice Studies

FSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, master, specialist, and doctoral degrees.

11 Indiana State University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONIndiana
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Indiana State University was founded in 1865 and is a public research/doctoral university located in Terre Haute, Indiana. The university offers over 100 different bachelor degrees and over 75 different postgraduate programs.

The university is home to around 12,000 students, with a lot of students from Saudi Arabia, China and India all studying there.

The university’s sports teams are the Sycamores, and they currently compete in the Division I Missouri Valley Conference.

  • Master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice

ISU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1915.

12 Kent State University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONOhio
ACCREDITATIONHLC
KSU is a 1,000-acre public campus in Kent, Ohio, with 7 satellite campuses scattered around the state. It began as a school for training teachers in 1910. It is one of the largest colleges in the state, with a recent enrollment of close to 40,000 students.

At Kent, you can choose between 300 bachelor degrees, 50 master programs, and 23 doctorates.

The Golden Flashes play in the NCAA Division I – FBS.

  • Master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice – Global Security
  • Master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice – Corrections
  • Master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice – Victimology
  • Master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice – Policing

Kent State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

13 Lamar University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONTexas
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Lamar University is a public university that can be found in Beaumont, Texas. The university was founded in 1923 and is named after Mirabeau B. Lamar, the second president of Texas. It has around 15,000 students attending.

The Lamar Cardinals is the name of the collegiate athletic teams that represent the university. The Cardinals, or the Cards as they are also known, have an excellent football team and sponsors 15 different sports for both male and female students.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice

Lamar is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master, and doctorate degrees.

14 Loyola University New Orleans
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONLouisiana
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Loyola University is a private Jesuit university that is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. The university is one of the 28 universities that are a part of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in the United States.

The university enrolls around 5,000 students, approximate 3,000 of which are undergraduates. The university’s main campus is on St. Charles Avenue, which is just across from Audubon Park.

The university’s sports teams are known as the Wolf Pack, and they compete in a variety of sports in the Southern States Athletic Conference.

  • Master’s of Criminology & Justice

Loyola is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate level degrees.

15 Michigan State University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONMichigan
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Michigan State University, located in East Lansing, Michigan, is a public research university that was founded in 1855. The university is one of the biggest in the United States when it comes to enrollment and is home to around 50,000 students.

It is estimated that there are around 576,00 alumni from the university in the world.

The Michigan State Spartans, the university’s intercollegiate sports teams, are incredibly successful and have won several major championships throughout their history. They currently compete in the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference.

MSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice
16 Missouri State University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONMissouri
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Missouri State University was founded in 1905 and is a public university based in Springfield, Missouri. It is the second-largest university by enrolment in Missouri, with an enrollment of around 23,500 students.

Missouri State University has been classified as a “Doctoral/Professional” university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

In athletics, the university is represented by the Missouri State Bears, which have a wide range of sports teams available for students to join.

  • Master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice

On a 10-year review cycle, Missouri State has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1915.

17 Northeastern University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONMassachusetts
ACCREDITATIONNECHE
Northeastern University is a private university that is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The university, which was founded in 1898, is notable for its research and has been classified as an R1 institute by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Northeastern University has an enrolment of around 26,000 students, with approximately 18,000 of those being undergraduates.

The university also boasts one of the biggest co-op education programs in the world, which allows students to combine their studies with real-world work experiences. It is regularly ranked as the best university in the United States for internships and work opportunities.

The university’s sports teams, the Northeastern Huskies, compete in NCAA Division I’s Colonial Athletic Association and offer 10 different sports for both their male and female students to take part in.

  • Master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Northeastern is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.

18 Saint Joseph’s University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONPennsylvania
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
Saint Joseph’s University is a private Jesuit university that is located in Lower Merion Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of the oldest Jesuit universities in the country and is one of the 28 universities that make up the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

The university is home to around 8,000 students, just over half of which are undergraduates, with the rest being postgraduates.

The university’s athletic teams, the Hawks, compete in the NCAA Division I program and are a part of the Atlantic-10 Conference and Philadelphia’s Big 5.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice

SJU is approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

19 San Jose State University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONCalifornia
ACCREDITATIONWSCUC
San Jose State University is a public university located in San Jose, California. It is the founding campus of the California State University system and is the oldest university on the West Coast of America, having been founded in 1857.

It has the highest student enrolment of any university in the California State University system, with around 32,000 students being educated per year. It is also home to one of the most ethnically diverse student populations in the United States.

San Jose State University, due to its location, is often seen as one of the top universities for students hoping to work in the tech industry and in Silicon Valley.

The university’s sports team is known as the Spartans, and they compete in the NCAA Division I – FBS Mountain West Conference.

  • Master’s in Criminology – Global Criminology

SJSU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

20 Slippery Rock University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONPennsylvania
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania is a university located in Slippery Rock, Pennslyvania. It is one of the largest universities in the state and was founded back in 1889. The university educates around 9,000 students per year, of which 7,600 of which are undergraduates.

The university has a wide range of varsity sports available for students, including basketball, baseball, cross country, football, and soccer. They compete in the NCAA Division II.

  • Master of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice

SRU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

21 Southern New Hampshire University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONNew Hampshire
ACCREDITATIONNECHE
Southern New Hampshire University is found between Manchester and Hooksett, New Hampshire. It is a private, non-profit university that was established in 1932.

The university has one of the fastest growing online programs in the United States, with around 87,000 students taking courses online through the university. There are around 3,000 students being educated on campus.

The university’s athletics teams are nicknamed the Penman, and they compete in the NCAA Division II athletics. They offer 8 sports teams for men, including football, baseball, and golf, as well as 11 sports teams for women, including sports like lacrosse and volleyball.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice – Advanced Counterterrorism
  • Master’s in Criminal Justice – Public Safety Administration

SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

22 Texas A&M University – Commerce
GRE/GMATWaiver
LOCATIONTexas
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Texas A&M University is a public university located in College Station, Texas. The university was founded in 1876 and has the highest number of students of any university in the state.

It also has one of the highest numbers in the entire country. There are around 70,000 students enrolled at the university, with around 54,000 of them being undergraduates.

Texas A&M is also a senior military college and is one of only six institutes in the US that has military personnel studying alongside civilian students.

Texas A&M University, being one of the oldest in the country, also has a number of cultural traditions that pay respects to its Texan heritage.

The Texan A&M Aggies is the name given to both the university sports teams and those who attend the university. The Aggies are a member of the Southeastern Conference and are one of the most successful universities in its history.

  • Master’s in Applied Criminology

TAMUC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master, and doctoral degrees.

23 Texas Christian University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONTexas
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Texas Christian University is a Christian university located in Fort Worth, Texas. The school was originally established by the Clark brothers – Addison and Randolph. It has an affiliation with the Disciples of Christ.

Texas Christian University has around 10,000 students enrolled, with nearly 9,000 of those being undergraduates. It also has approximately 98 staff members, with 620 of those being full-time.

The TCU Horned Frogs are the university’s sports teams, and they offer a wide range of sports for both male and female students. Their football team has had considerable success in the past.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice and Criminology

TCU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master, and doctoral degrees.

24 University of California – Irvine
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONCalifornia
ACCREDITATIONWSCUC
The University of California Irvine, also known as UCI, is a public university located in the city of Irvine, California. It is one of the 10 universities that make up the University of California system. They offer around 87 undergraduate degrees and over 100 postgraduate programs.

UCI is renowned for having a very high standard of education and is often referred to as one of “the public ivies,” with many comparing the standard of education there to the Ivy League universities.

The university has around 35,000 students enrolled, making it one of the most popular universities in California.

The school’s sports teams are the UC Irvine Anteaters. The UC Irvine Anteaters, who have been successful in various sports over the years, compete in the NCAA Division I as members of the Big West Conference.

  • Master’s in Criminology, Law, and Society

UC Irvine is fully accredited by the Senior Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WSCUC), California’s regional accrediting agency.

25 University of Cincinnati
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONOhio
ACCREDITATIONHLC
The University of Cincinnati is a public university that is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is the oldest university in the city and has around 44,000 students being educated at the institute.

It is one of the biggest universities in the state of Ohio and is part of the University System of Ohio.

The university has an impressive sports program. The University of Cincinnati Bearcats compete in a total of 19 different sports in the NCAA Division I.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

26 University of Colorado – Denver
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONColorado
ACCREDITATIONHLC
The University of Colorado Denver is a public university that is located in two locations, Denver and Aurora, Colorado. The university is a part of the University of Colorado system and is the largest research institution in the state.

It has more than 18,000 students studying across its two canvases, and it also has its own online school system, which is becoming increasingly popular. The university offers a wide range of social groups and programs for its students and is also very heavily involved with local hospitals.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice

CU Denver is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

27 University of Massachusetts – Lowell
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONMassachusetts
ACCREDITATIONNECHE
The University of Massachusetts Lowell is one of the five universities that make up the University of Massachusetts system. The university has over 18,000 students enrolled and is the second-largest university in the entire state.

The school offers a wide range of different degrees for its students, including over 120 undergraduate programs and over 40 master degrees. It also has a wide range of online courses available for students and currently has 28,000 students registered online.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice

UMass Lowell is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and has been continuously since 1975.

28 University of Nebrasda – Omaha
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONNebraska
ACCREDITATIONHLC
The University of Nebraska Omaha is a public university in Omaha, Nebraska. The university is a non-sectarian institute and is often seen as an alternative to the many Christian or religious universities and educational institutes in the city. It was founded in 1908.

The university has around 15,000 students enrolled, with around 12,00 of those being undergraduates.

The university’s sports teams are known as the Mavericks. They have 16 different sports teams and 13 of those teams compete in the NCAA Division I and The Summit League. The Omaha men’s hockey team has found some notable success in recent times.

  • Master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice

UNO is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

29 University of Oklahoma Extended Campus
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONOklahoma
ACCREDITATIONHLC
The University of Oklahoma Extended Campus is an extension of the University of Oklahoma, which is based in Norman, Oklahoma. The campus offers interdisciplinary education to non-traditional students, as the courses for the university all take place online.

The University of Oklahoma Extended Campus currently offers five undergraduate and five postgraduate degree options. These courses all take place 100% online.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice

OU Extended Campus is a part of the University of Oklahoma, which is a regionally accredited institution through the Higher Learning Commission.

30 University of Southern California
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONCalifornia
ACCREDITATIONWSCUC
The University of South California is a private research university that is located in Los Angeles, California that was founded in 1880. It is the oldest research university in the entire state.

USC is one of the most respected universities on the West Coast and has a notoriously difficult selection process. They are currently educating around 20,000 students, the majority of which are undergraduates.

The USC Trojans, the university’s sports teams, have been incredibly successful at a number of sports and have plenty of famous sporting alumni.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice

USC has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) since March 6, 1949.

31 Walden University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONMinnesota
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Walden University is an online university that has its headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The university offers a wide range of degrees, all of which are completed 100% online, and has around 49,000 students enrolled in its online courses.

The majority of the students studying at Walden University tend to be older, and a lot of them are taking part-time online courses.

  • Master’s in Criminal Justice

Walden has been accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1990.

32 West Liberty University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONWest Virginia
ACCREDITATIONHLC
West Liberty University is a public university that was founded in 1837 and is based in West Liberty, West Virginia. It has around 2,800 students enrolled, with 2,500 of them being undergraduates and the rest being postgraduates. The university offers around 70 different degree options to potential students.

The school also has an impressive athletics program, which features around 18 different sports for both male and female students. Their athletics team is known as the Hilltoppers.

  • Master’s in Criminology

WLU is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

33 Western Kentucky University
GRE/GMATYes
LOCATIONKentucky
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Western Kentucky University is a public university that can be found in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Founded in 1906, it is one of the most popular universities in the state of Kentucky, enrolling around 20,000 students. The university also has campuses in several other areas of the state.

The men’s athletics team at the university is also known as the Hilltoppers, while the women’s teams are known as the Lady Toppers. Both of them have impressive records, and the university offers a wide range of different sports for students to take part in.

  • Master’s in Criminology

WKU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Check each university’s requirements for admission and overall costs to get a better idea of which ones you’d most like to apply to.

Fit for Duty?

criminology students during a graduation ceremony

If you’re serious about pursuing a master’s in Criminology, here are some smart next steps:

  1. Decide on your concentration
  2. Determine which schools offer the program best suited to your career goal
  3. Apply to 3-10 schools
  4. Research financial aid opportunities

Earning a master’s degree is no joke, but if you’ve selected the right program, you’re sure to enjoy the curriculum and should have no problem advancing your career afterward.

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