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Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools

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2021 Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools

909 Colleges
$31,952 Avg Salary
$24,936 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Criminal Justice & Corrections School for You

In 2018-2019, 122,741 criminal justice and corrections students received their degrees and certificates, making the major the #5 most popular in the country.

There are lots of options to pick from today when trying to decide which program is right for you. As online education oppotunities continue to grow, you're not restricted to just schools in your local area anymore. Even some of the 'big name' schools are offering online courses. Also, there are a number of trade schools with offerings that you might find attractive.

To assist you in seeing some of the education options that are available to you, Course Advisor has created its Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools ranking. Our analysis looked at 909 schools in the United States to see which programs offered the best educational experiences for students. Factors related to overall quality of the school, post-graduation earnings, average student debt, and more accumulated were considered when coming up with this list.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools in the United States

The following schools top our list of the Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Colleges.

Top 25 Top Schools in Criminal Justice

#1

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

Our 2021 rankings named University of Chicago the best school in the United States for criminal justice and corrections students. UChicago is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Chicago.

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The excellent programs at Union Institute & University helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best criminal justice and corrections schools in the United States. Union is a fairly small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Cincinnati.

Criminal Justice majors at Union take out an average of $17,850 in student loans while working on their egree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $185, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Out of the 909 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, George Washington University landed the # 3 spot on the list. GWU is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Washington.

On average, criminal justice graduates from GWU take out $33,250 in student loans while working on their degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $372.

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#4

Excelsior College

Albany, NY

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Excelsior College. The school came in at #4 on this year’s Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools list. Located in the city of Albany, Excelsior College is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population.

Criminal Justice majors at Excelsior College take out an average of $12,500 in student loans while working on their egree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $130, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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A rank of #5 on this year’s list means Herzing University - Minneapolis is a great place for criminal justice and corrections students. Herzing University - Minneapolis is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Minneapolis.

Criminal Justice majors at Herzing University - Minneapolis take out an average of $20,546 in student loans while working on their egree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $213.

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#6

Columbia Southern University

Orange Beach, AL

Columbia Southern University ranked #6 on this year’s Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools list. Located in the town of Orange Beach, Columbia Southern University is a private for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

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Citadel Military College of South Carolina came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools ranking. The Citadel is a small public school located in the medium-sized city of Charleston.

After completing their degree, criminal justice graduates from The Citadel carry an average student debtload of $25,000. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $259.

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American Public University System did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for criminal justice and corrections students. It came in at #8 on the list. American Military University is a fairly large private for-profit school located in the fringe town of Charles Town.

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With a ranking of #9, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus did quite well on this year’s best schools for criminal justice and corrections students. University of Oklahoma is a very large public school located in the midsize suburb of Norman.

Criminal Justice majors at University of Oklahoma take out an average of $25,000 in student loans while working on their egree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $259.

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Central Christian College of Kansas ranked #10 on this year’s Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools list. Located in the remote town of McPherson, Central Christian College is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly small student population.

The average amount in student loans that criminal justice majors at Central Christian College take out is $17,886. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $186.

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Herzing University - Brookfield came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools ranking. Located in the suburb of Brookfield, Herzing University - Brookfield is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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#12

Westfield State University

Westfield, MA

Westfield State University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for criminal justice and corrections students. It came in at #12 on the list. Located in the suburb of Westfield, Westfield is a public college with a medium-sized student population.

While working on their degree, criminal justice majors at Westfield accumulate an average of around $22,750 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $236.

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With a ranking of #13, Herzing University - Kenosha did quite well on this year’s best schools for criminal justice and corrections students. Herzing University - Kenosha is a small private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized suburb of Kenosha.

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#14

Saint Louis University

Saint Louis, MO

Saint Louis University ranked #14 on this year’s Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools list. SLU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Saint Louis.

The average amount in student loans that criminal justice majors at SLU take out is $25,000. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $259.

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Siena Heights University ranked #15 on this year’s Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools list. Siena Heights University is a small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Adrian.

On average, criminal justice graduates from Siena Heights University take out $18,000 in student loans while working on their degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $187.

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#16

Norwich University

Northfield, VT

Norwich University ranked #16 on this year’s Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools list. Norwich is a small private not-for-profit school located in the town of Northfield.

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#17

Champlain College

Burlington, VT

Champlain College ranked #17 on this year’s Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools list. Located in the small city of Burlington, Champlain is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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Herzing University - Atlanta ranked #18 on this year’s Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools list. Herzing University - Atlanta is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Atlanta.

After completing their degree, criminal justice graduates from Herzing University - Atlanta carry an average student debtload of $17,965. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $186.

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#19

Webster University

Saint Louis, MO

Webster University ranked #19 on this year’s Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools list. Located in the suburb of Saint Louis, Webster is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population.

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Roger Williams University ranked #20 on this year’s Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools list. Located in the suburb of Bristol, RWU is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

While working on their degree, criminal justice majors at RWU accumulate an average of around $22,375 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $232.

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Herzing University - Akron did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for criminal justice and corrections students. It came in at #21 on the list. Located in the suburb of Akron, Herzing Akron is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

The average amount in student loans that criminal justice majors at Herzing Akron take out is $20,546. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $213.

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#22

Utica College

Utica, NY

Utica College ranked #22 on this year’s Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools list. Located in the city of Utica, Utica College is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

After completing their degree, criminal justice graduates from Utica College carry an average student debtload of $30,511. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $339, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Herzing University - Birmingham landed the #23 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best criminal justice and corrections programs. Located in the suburb of Birmingham, Herzing University - Birmingham is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

While working on their degree, criminal justice majors at Herzing University - Birmingham accumulate an average of around $20,546 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $213.

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Herzing University - Madison did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for criminal justice and corrections students. It came in at #24 on the list. Herzing University - Madison is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Madison.

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With a ranking of #25, Herzing University - Kenner did quite well on this year’s best schools for criminal justice and corrections students. Located in the large suburb of Kenner, Herzing University - Kenner is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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Rest of the Top 50 Schools for Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools

#27

Anna Maria College

Paxton, MA
#28

Bemidji State University

Bemidji, MN
#29

Oakland City University

Oakland City, IN
#30

Lewis University

Romeoville, IL
#31

Santa Rosa Junior College

Santa Rosa, CA
#33

Endicott College

Beverly, MA
#34

Marian University

Fond Du Lac, WI
#38

Bethel University

McKenzie, TN
#41

Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX
#42

Northeastern University

Boston, MA
#43

Simpson College

Indianola, IA
#47

Winona State University

Winona, MN
#49

Ashland University

Ashland, OH
#50

University of South Dakota

Vermillion, SD

Remaining Award Winners

This section represents the rest of the schools awarded a Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 909 different United States criminal justice and corrections schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 University of Maryland - University College Adelphi, MD
52 Western Illinois University Macomb, IL
53 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
54 Grand View University Des Moines, IA
55 Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Winona, MN
56 The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ
57 Waldorf University Forest City, IA
58 Rutgers University - Newark Newark, NJ
59 Washington State University Pullman, WA
60 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
61 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
62 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
63 Ball State University Muncie, IN
64 Pennsylvania State University - World Campus University Park, PA
65 North Dakota State University - Main Campus Fargo, ND
66 Buena Vista University Storm Lake, IA
67 St. Joseph’s College-Long Island Patchogue, NY
68 Salve Regina University Newport, RI
69 Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA
70 DeSales University Center Valley, PA
71 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
72 Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud, MN
73 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
74 American University Washington, DC
75 University of Dayton Dayton, OH
76 Wayne State College Wayne, NE
77 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
78 Fox Valley Technical College Appleton, WI
79 Trine University-Regional/Non-Traditional Campuses Fort Wayne, IN
80 Farmingdale State College Farmingdale, NY
81 Boston University Boston, MA
82 University of Washington - Tacoma Campus Tacoma, WA
83 Peru State College Peru, NE
84 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
85 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
86 Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA
87 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
88 Washburn University Topeka, KS
89 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
90 Angelo State University San Angelo, TX
91 Curry College Milton, MA
92 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
93 Alvernia University Reading, PA
94 University of Houston - Downtown Houston, TX
95 California State University - Sacramento Sacramento, CA
96 Pennsylvania State University - Hazleton Hazleton, PA
97 SUNY Oswego Oswego, NY
98 University of Dubuque Dubuque, IA
99 Aurora University Aurora, IL
100 National University La Jolla, CA
101 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
102 Lindenwood University Saint Charles, MO
103 Southwest Minnesota State University Marshall, MN
104 Stevenson University Stevenson, MD
105 Dakota Wesleyan University Mitchell, SD
106 Plymouth State University Plymouth, NH
107 Holyoke Community College Holyoke, MA
108 Montgomery County Community College Blue Bell, PA
109 University of Georgia Athens, GA
110 Metropolitan State University Saint Paul, MN
111 Lees - McRae College Banner Elk, NC
112 Worcester State University Worcester, MA
113 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
114 Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Shippensburg, PA
115 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
116 Tiffin University Tiffin, OH
117 Suffolk County Community College Selden, NY
118 Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX
119 Sacred Heart University Fairfield, CT
120 Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, FL
121 Carlow University Pittsburgh, PA
122 Pennsylvania State University - Shenango Sharon, PA
123 Ashford University San Diego, CA
124 Olivet College Olivet, MI
125 Pennsylvania State University - New Kensington New Kensington, PA
126 University of New Haven West Haven, CT
127 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Bloomsburg, PA
128 Truman State University Kirksville, MO
129 Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI
130 Arizona State University - Downtown Phoenix Phoenix, AZ
131 Fitchburg State University Fitchburg, MA
132 Waynesburg University Waynesburg, PA
133 Lake Region State College Devils Lake, ND
134 Oakland Community College Bloomfield Hills, MI
135 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI
136 Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA

Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Schools award.

Rank College Location
137 Pennsylvania State University - Schuylkill Schuylkill Haven, PA
138 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC
139 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
140 NHTI-Concord’s Community College Concord, NH
141 Florida International University Miami, FL
142 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, CO
143 Pennsylvania State University - Greater Allegheny McKeesport, PA
144 Rochester Community and Technical College Rochester, MN
145 Kean University Union, NJ
146 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
147 Bucks County Community College Newtown, PA
148 Metropolitan State University of Denver Denver, CO
149 Minnesota State University - Moorhead Moorhead, MN
150 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
151 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
152 Bridgewater State University Bridgewater, MA
153 University of North Texas Denton, TX
154 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
155 Concordia University - Wisconsin Mequon, WI
156 Colorado State University - Global Campus Greenwood Village, CO
157 Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL
158 University of Louisville Louisville, KY
159 Culver - Stockton College Canton, MO
160 North Hennepin Community College Brooklyn Park, MN
161 MacMurray College Jacksonville, IL
162 University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati, OH
163 Pennsylvania State University - Dubois DuBois, PA
164 Seattle University Seattle, WA
165 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
166 Palm Beach State College Lake Worth, FL
167 Pennsylvania State University - Wilkes - Barre Lehman, PA
168 Arizona State University - Skysong Scottsdale, AZ
169 Northeast Community College Norfolk, NE
170 University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI
171 Pennsylvania State University - Altoona Altoona, PA
172 Park University Parkville, MO
173 Seminole State College of Florida Sanford, FL
174 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, MO
175 Pennsylvania State University - Fayette - Eberly Campus Lemont Furnace, PA
176 Schoolcraft College Livonia, MI
177 Illinois State University Normal, IL
178 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
179 Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global Marion, IN
180 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA
181 Appalachian State University Boone, NC

Criminal Justice & Corrections by Region

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

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

One of 3 majors within the area of study, criminal justice and corrections has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Criminal Justice

Related Major Annual Graduates
Fire Protection 13,656
Homeland Security 6,367
Other Homeland Security 1,995

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • 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).

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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