By Iris Stone
A degree in criminal justice is an important first step in your journey to a career in law enforcement, government, corrections, or legal studies. Given that cost and quality are often equally important factors in a person’s job search, we aimed to develop a list of the best value colleges in the field.
To determine the top colleges in the United States for criminal justice degrees, we turned to College Navigator, a data website and subset of the National Center for Education Statistics. We used the website’s specific filter options to generate a list of all of the postsecondary schools in the country with bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and/or law enforcement administration. We also limited the results to the most selective schools – in other words, schools that admit 60% or fewer of their applicants.
From this data set, we sorted the schools by net price and kept only the cheapest 50. “Net Price” represents an amalgam of potential costs and savings while you are in school, from scholarships and loans to tuition payments and miscellaneous fees. However, the values below are simply an average assessment, and the actual amount you will pay to attend any one of these schools may vary.
50. Millikin University
Political Science with a Minor in Criminal Justice
At Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, students benefit from a hands-on approach to criminal justice education that mixes theory and practice in the classroom. From quantitative, statistical approaches to sociological theory, this cheap criminal justice degree serves as a riveting introduction to this broad field. Criminology, philosophy of law, and appellate law reasoning are just a few of courses offered in this program. Students are also required to complete an internship that puts their learning to use, whether it be at the Decatur Police Department, District Attorney’s Office, or truancy court.
Net Price: $20,096/yr
49. Adrian College
The study of sociology and criminology merge at Adrian College, a school that offers a cheap criminal justice degree program rich with psychological insights and analysis. After all, the justice system is about more than just crime, and so students at Adrian immerse themselves in topics on group interaction and cultural influences. In addition to engaging courses such as Social Deviance, Sociological Theory, and Social Research Methods, students also have the opportunity to complete a senior research project. And although you will need to take certain “core” classes no matter what, you can choose a specialty track in Law Enforcement (if you plan to work for the police or a federal agency) or Law and the Judiciary (if you plan to go to law school or to work in either the political or non-profit sector).
Net Price: $19,734/yr
48. Brevard College
A Brevard College, criminal justice students participate in an interdisciplinary program that examines the justice system and affected parties from every angle. Offenders, victims, and workers are all part of the social matrix that makes criminal justice such an important and challenging field. Courses in topics such as criminology and social sciences research methods are complemented by experiential opportunities like court visits, jail tours, and K-9 law enforcement demonstrations. And with career options in law enforcement, victim services, juvenile rehabilitation, and more, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can be your chance to make a difference.
Net Price: $19,655/yr
47. Lake Erie College
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Lake Erie College has one of the best criminal justice degrees on this list. This rigorous, interdisciplinary program is comprised of various coursework in criminal justice, legal studies, and social psychology to provide a variety of perspectives on the law and human behavior. Over the course of 60 credit hours, LEC students can pursue topics like investigative techniques, constitutional law, and forensic science. Students are also required to complete an internship in criminal justice, as well as a senior practicum, which grants a hands-on perspective to this already comprehensive program.
Net Price: $19,577/yr
46. Central Christian College of Kansas
Online Criminal Justice
At Central Christian College of Kansas, students can pursue a fully accredited criminal justice degree program that is as affordable and convenient as it is rigorous. All courses are offered online, with all supplies from laptops to textbooks included in CCCK’s competitive tuition. Professionals, parents, and teens alike can learn at their own pace, studying topics like community corrections, police administration, and victimology. Students can even transfer up to 72 of the required 120 credit hours in the degree program from another institution. All of this makes CCCK a great place to start a career in anything from law enforcement to sociology research.
Net Price: $19,563/yr
45. Waldorf College
Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Waldorf College is a great way to start a career in law enforcement, courts, and/or corrections. In just 120 total credit hours, students can go from criminal justice enthusiasts to experts with a bright future. This bachelor’s of applied science program features specializations in homeland security; technical, hands-on training; and a general core curriculum to provide students with a breadth of knowledge and experience. Students can take courses in judicial procedure, criminal investigation, business law, and more to determine their personal interests and areas of expertise.
Net Price: $19,306/yr
44. Alliant International University
Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice
One of the best criminal justice degrees in the city of San Diego is available at Alliant International University through its California School of Forensic Studies. Combining the study of law enforcement, courts, corrections, and victim services with public health models and community engagement, this integrated program prepares students to become career leaders in justice. Students can also specialize in criminal behavior, cyber crime, and homeland security, among other concentrations. Evening sessions and a variety of tuition scholarships make this a great program for working professionals and parents who want a future in law enforcement, sociology, or security.
Net Price: $18,968/yr
43. St. Mary’s University
Criminal Justice Major – Law Enforcement Track
At St. Mary’s University, criminal justice students select between two tracks: law enforcement and corrections. Whether you’re looking to clear the streets and keep your community safe, or help offenders join the community again, a cheap criminal justice degree from St. Mary’s can make that possible. Accredited by the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (POST), St. Mary’s prepares students for law enforcement licensure in the state. Courses like Drugs in American Society; Ethnicity, Class, and Gender; and Crime and Delinquency complement the study of the legal system to prepare students to be leaders in justice.
Net Price: $18,828/yr
42. North Carolina Wesleyan College
Crime, both as a social phenomenon and as individual behavior, is as fascinating to study as it is necessary. Combining the exploration of crime, social science, law, psychology, philosophy, and more, the criminal justice program at North Carolina Wesleyan College is diverse by nature, and it helps students look at the issue of crime from many different angles. A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from NCWC opens to doors to a number of lucrative and meaningful careers, such as paralegal/legal work; penal system management and probation services; and law enforcement and/or forensics.
Net Price: $18,733/yr
41. Remington College Heathrow Campus
Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice
Whether you are an experienced professional looking to raise your skills and boost your salary, or just looking to begin your career, Remington College’s Heathrow Campus offers an affordable criminal justice degree program that could be just right for you. Students looking to put their degree to use immediately can even complete the program online in as little as 18 months – if they already have an associate’s degree from an accredited institution. Coursework in Criminal Justice Research Methods and Data Resources; Forensic Psychology; Narcotics Intelligence, and more prepare students for diverse opportunities after graduation. Graduates have gone on to careers in law enforcement, border control, loss prevention, and other occupations essential to our nation’s security.
Net Price: $18,669/yr
40. The College of New Jersey
At The College of New Jersey, Criminology students examine criminal behavior in conjunction with the law and the communities it affects through sociological study, psychology, and law enforcement. This cheap criminal justice degree takes four years to complete and features coursework in social science, research methods, and criminal juridical process, as well as a hands-on senior capstone project and required internships. College of New Jersey Students gain experience in the field of their choice, with internships available in law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office, and more.
Net Price: $18,464/yr
39. Eastern Nazarene College
Crime, Law, and Justice
Students at Easter Nazarene College can “discover their purpose” with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. ENC’s Crime, Law, and Justice program requires 123 credit hours of rigorous research into law, sociology, and even business. With courses in policing and investigation, conflict resolution, and legal writing, students prepare for a wide range of career opportunities in the field of criminal justice, including positions of management. From law enforcement and corrections to legal and court work, a degree in criminal justice provides meaningful career paths that cater to many different skills and interests. (Additional Resource: Criminal Justice & Legal Degrees)
Net Price: $18,228/yr
38. Sterling College
If you’re looking for a cheap criminal justice degree that can get you started with your career in law enforcement right away, look no further than Sterling College. At Sterling, students gain first- and second-hand insights into the rich field of criminal justice through internships and engaging lectures by experienced faculty members. Courses in terrorism and homeland security, criminal investigation, and juvenile justice prepare students for work that impacts the lives of people in need. Students can also opt for a pre-law track instead of a law enforcement concentration if they wish to further their education.
Net Price: $17,821/yr
37. York College
Criminal Justice Major
York College of Pennsylvania features one of the best criminal justice programs on this list. Strong faculty-student relationships provide a framework for in-depth research courses; independent, one-on-one seminars; and internships at the local, state, and federal level. In addition to the rigorous coursework, these connections help graduates of York’s Criminal Justice program go on to promising careers in federal law enforcement, forensics, security, and more. Students can also gain practical experience working for Campus Security, giving back to their school and classmates while getting more out of the whole experience.
Net Price: $17,733/yr
36. Upper Iowa University
Public Administration: Law Enforcement
A degree in public administration prepares students for a career in service, helping individuals and communities achieve the greater good. At Upper Iowa University, Public Administration students can choose from a number of concentrations, including a specialized degree in Law Enforcement. This accredited criminal justice degree is a great opportunity for students looking to give back to their community and truly learn the definition of “to protect and serve.” In addition to a general public administration curriculum, law enforcement students prepare to develop, implement, and manage public programs in law enforcement that make a difference in their communities.
Net Price: $17,654/yr
35. University of St. Francis
Criminal and Social Justice
University of St. Francis offers a unique, cheap criminal justice degree program that allows students to pursue the vocation of their choice. With six individual concentrations in Forensics, Languages & Cultural Diversity; Leadership for Law Enforcement Officers; Politics and Law; Psychology; and Social Work, students can prepare for a wide range of careers in the public and private sector. Students take a combination of rigorous general education coursework with the criminal justice program, featuring interesting classes that cover topics like white-collar crime, constitutional law, and social justice issues.
Net Price: $17,556/yr
34. University of Missouri-Kansas City
Criminal Justice and Criminology
Serving over 250 graduate and undergraduate students, University of Missouri-Kansas City features one of the best criminal justice degree programs in the state. A wide range of theoretical and practical coursework in criminal law, business, and psychology prepares students for any number of careers in the criminal justice system. Students can also pursue prestigious internships at the FBI Kansas City Field Office, where two currently hold positions. Under the guidance of leading faculty, UMKC graduates go on to work in law enforcement, public law, social services, and other forms of public advocacy that are indispensable to urban life.
Net Price: $17,524/yr
33. South Carolina State University
South Carolina State University offers students the opportunity to develop actionable skills in the field of criminal justice that prepares them for entry-level work and/or graduate school after graduation. This top criminal justice degree program features coursework in Criminology and Penology; Research Methods; and Probation and Parole in addition to already robust general education requirements. This diverse curriculum prepares students for a number of exciting careers in law enforcement, corrections, and legal advocacy right out of college. Students can also pursue field experience at a number of local criminal justice agencies to gain invaluable connections and insights into their future careers.
Net Price: $17,344/yr
32. Cumberland University
Criminal Justice and Public Administration
At Cumberland University, criminal justice students can prepare for work in the public or private sector, or even academia, with this cheap criminal justice degree. From law enforcement to loss prevention to public defense, career choices abound in the field of criminal justice. Coursework in investigation and criminology are available alongside general education requirements like arts and math to provide a rounded, yet practical educational experience for a low price. The department also encourages students to pursue outside internships in the field for course credit to apply their knowledge to real problems.
Net Price: $17,147/yr
31. Russell Sage College
People have many different reasons for pursuing a degree in the field of criminal justice. From future police officers to aspiring attorneys, students who are fascinated and inspired by the crimes committed all around them will find a stimulating education at Russell Sage College. In addition to general coursework, this top criminal justice degree program features special coursework in topics like victimology, evidentiary law, and the death penalty. Students can also apply for a 6-year joint B.A./B.S. and J.D. degree program with Albany Law School to jumpstart their career in the courtroom.
Net Price: $17,121/yr
30. Point University
Counseling and Human Services: Criminal Justice
Point University is known for producing Christian counselors who practice their profession with integrity and service to their community. Students in this program can earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice through one of several concentration options that include psychology and sociology with an emphasis on social work. Internships in criminal justice services and a selective honor’s program augment rigorous coursework that covers judicial law, sociological research and beyond. Point prepares students to become faith leaders in their community, from ministry and counseling work to human resources administration and business.
Net Price: $17,078/yr
29. Coker College
Criminology is the go-to course of study for students who want to make a positive difference in the lives of criminal offenders and their victims, and Coker College is the place to study it. Whether you want to pursue a career in law, psychology, local law enforcement, or even the FBI, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Coker makes it easy for traditional students and working professionals to get the education and experience they need to succeed. Courses in Forensic Psychology, Substance Abuse, Child Abuse, and Crisis Intervention prepare students to address a range of social issues from a multitude of practical and theoretical perspectives.
Net Price: $16,994/yr
28. Western Illinois University
Law Enforcement and Justice Administration
Ranked among top programs in the country by U.S. News, Western Illinois University offers the largest and most comprehensive criminal justice program in the state. Instruction in this top criminal justice degree program combines practical and theoretical insights from current and former law enforcement professionals as well as leading researchers in the field. Through criminology and legal coursework, WIU prepares graduates to begin their careers in criminal justice or continue their education. Graduates can even go on to earn a Master of Arts in Law Enforcement at the same institution.
Net Price: $16,919/yr
27. Huston-Tillotson University
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice
At Huston-Tillotson University, Criminal justice is a complex, multi-tiered field of study that incorporates the study of crime prevention; law enforcement; and deviant behavior to produce a holistic picture of the social issue that is crime. In addition to coursework that covers everything from the American court system to social research methods and requires two internships, students can also pursue elective coursework in psychology, social science, and political science to provide interdisciplinary insights. In this way, HTU’s top criminal justice degree program prepares students for a variety of careers and opportunities in higher learning, from security to law enforcement.
Net Price: $16,825/yr
26. Florida Memorial University
B.A. in Criminal Justice
Florida Memorial University offers a highly affordable criminal justice degree that prepares students for careers in law enforcement and corrections as well as higher education. Students who choose to attend graduate school often earn their J.D. as a path to even more meaningful careers in the field. Over the course of 122 credit hours, students cover topics in sociology, psychology, and law as they explore courses such as State and Local Government, Police Administration, and the Sociology of Deviance. Students must also complete internships and field observations in the criminal justice sector while simultaneously solidifying their liberal arts education through general coursework.
Net Price: $16,005/yr
25. Culver Stockton College
A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Culver-Stockton College is your gateway to a career in criminal justice, be it in the private or public sector. With specializations in Forensic Science and Accounting, as well as internships at law enforcement agencies, courts, and jails, students at CSC gain professional skills that help them to transition seamlessly into their new professions after graduation. Leadership, service learning, and travel study are the three cornerstones of the program that make this degree so special: in addition to rigorous coursework in law and social science, students have a variety of opportunities to explore their interests in and out of formal classroom settings.
Net Price: $15,803/yr
24. SUNY at Fredonia
Criminal Justice Bachelor of Arts Degree
Why choose the cheap criminal justice degree at SUNY at Fredonia over the other schools on this list? In addition to offering a comprehensive education in the social, legal, and ethical underpinnings of the study of crime for an ultra-low tuition rate, Fredonia will also open the door to a number of unique scholarships for criminal justice students to enjoy. Fredonia prepares students to succeed in their conquest of crime with a diverse array of unique interdisciplinary coursework in Computer Security, Social Psychology, Social Inequality, and more.
Net Price: $15,664/yr
23. Mercy College
B.S. in Criminal Justice
Studying at Mercy College will earn you more than just a top criminal justice degree; you can also gain professional mentorship and connections that will last your whole career, whether it be in legal studies, law enforcement, justice, security, or a completely different field. The diverse, experienced faculty at Mercy is comprised of attorneys, police and detectives, social workers, and other professionals who have chosen to develop the next generation of crime stoppers. Coursework in such topics as terrorism, policing, and social deviance gives students the perspective and insights they need take justice into their own hands.
Net Price: $15,622/yr
22. Claflin University
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
The accredited criminal justice degree program at Claflin University is not only a great learning experience; now offered completely online (as well as on-campus), students at CU can pursue a career in criminal justice at their own convenience. In this degree program, Claflin features classes such as Correctional Systems, Criminal Investigation, and Supervision Leadership to prepare students for a wide range of careers. Students also acquire hands-on experience in the field by completing an advanced level practicum in their senior year. After graduation, students go on to rewarding careers in crime scene investigation, treatment and rehabilitation, and court administration.
Net Price: $15,371/yr
21. Voorhees College
Criminal Justice Major
Voorhees College prepares students for careers in the criminal justice system by providing an education in the latest laws, theories, and technologies that underlie contemporary understandings of crime and its effects. Students pursue the justice system/law and social science in equal measure, with the degree requirements split between the two departments. From Social Science Research Methods and Political Theory to US Court Procedure, courses in this accredited criminal justice degree program span theory and practice to prepare students for graduate or advanced studies in criminal justice or public administration, law, and/or police work.
Net Price: $15,349/yr
20. Trinity Washington University
Criminal Justice B.A.
To gain both academic and experiential education in criminal justice, students should look no further than Trinity Washington University. This top criminal justice degree program features a broad curriculum that encompasses a variety of perspectives on crime, from social issues to law enforcement. With courses in criminology; criminal procedure and corrections; juvenile justice, and more, TWU exposes students to many perspectives on the causation, prevention, and control of crime. And with affiliation with the U.S. Marshals Service in their Centralized Student Career Experience Program, students can participate in paid internships to finance and augment their education.
Net Price: $14,928/yr
19. University of Mississippi
B.S.C.J. in Criminal Justice
At the University of Mississippi, students looking for a unique bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can start to pursue their career through concentrations in Corrections, Homeland Security, and Law Enforcement. General major course requirements range from Criminal Law to Ethics and Legal Studies in just 21 credit hours. This cutting-edge program further prepares students for challenging careers in justice services by augmenting their major curriculum with a combination of social science, history, and general education requirements. Internships and colloquiums are another major requirement that ensures students receive practical experience in the field before graduation.
Net Price: $14,409/yr
18. Wilberforce University
Criminal Justice Administration
Criminal Justice professionals and traditional students alike have a lot to gain from Wilberforce University’s top criminal justice degree program. Flexible modular scheduling in five-week blocks makes it easy to attend classes, which are held in a participation-oriented seminar style. In their pursuit of a career in criminal justice administration, students at Wilberforce take such key courses as Criminology, Correctional Theory, and Criminal Investigations. In addition, the school’s broad curriculum ensures that students acquire insights and understanding about key institutions in the same fields of justice they will lead someday soon.
Net Price: $14,204/yr
17. Lander University
Sociology: Criminal Justice
At Lander University, sociology students who are interested in the causation and prevention of crime can earn a specialization in criminal justice in just 18 credit hours. This cheap criminal justice degree combines rigorous coursework in social science research with granular insights into the operation of the American legal and judicial systems to prepare students for the many diverse careers available in the field. Lander also offers its criminal justice program online and accepts transfer credits from accredited institutions to accommodate parents and professional students who can’t make it to regular class hours.
Net Price: $13,847/yr
16. Mount Mary University
At Mount Mary University, a degree in justice is not just about getting a job; it’s about developing the leadership skills, experience, and perspective you need to be a positive leader in your community. Whether you are pursuing a career in law, police, business, or social services, Mount Mary’s rigorous curriculum and robust resources will help you acquire an interdisciplinary appreciation of all facets of the field of criminal justice. The standard justice track consists of coursework in everything from law enforcement to business law and includes local internship opportunities in both the public and the private sector.
Net Price: $13,711/yr
15. Trine University
Criminal Justice Major
Many criminal justice degrees simply qualify students for licensure in law enforcement. At Trine University, students can gain actionable insight and experience into the field of criminal justice that will prepare them for a more meaningful career. Coursework in forensics, psychology, and criminal law are complemented by multiple internship opportunities at the local and federal level. Experienced, professional faculty also augment the curriculum with practical knowledge and career connections. With low tuition, rigorous coursework, and robust career services, Trine’s accredited criminal justice degree program is a great way to begin your career as a crime preventer.
Net Price: $13,593/yr
14. Texas Southern University
Administration of Justice
The administration of justice requires integrity, knowledge, and perspective. All of these can be acquired at Texas Southern University through their accredited criminal justice degree program. The coursework at TSU features such topics as Comparative Criminal Justice; Contemporary Justice Administration and Management; and Terrorism and Theory. Through expert faculty leadership and rigorous coursework that combines theoretical and practical experience, TSU students gain a comprehensive picture of the justice system that prepares them for a wide range of careers. A future in homeland security, law enforcement, the judiciary system, and other top fields are all available to students who avail themselves of this selective program.
Net Price: $13,508/yr
13. University of Georgia
At the University of Georgia, sociology, political science, psychology, and communications all come together to form a top criminal justice degree program. Unlike more conventional practitioner degrees, UG features a comprehensive approach to criminal justice that covers a wide range of perspectives on crime from both sides of the equation. And with coursework in criminology, victimology, and criminal procedure, UG prepares students for careers with real impact on people’s lives. UG also helps students finance their criminal justice education with multiple endowed scholarships for competitive students interested in the field.
Net Price: $12,862/yr
12. Emmanuel College
Sociology: Crime and Justice
Emmanuel College prepares students for rewarding careers in service and research with their accredited criminal justice degree program. By concentrating in Criminal Justice, sociology students choose among classes such as Criminology, Forensic Chemistry, and Deviant Behavior. Alongside all this rigorous legal, sociological, and psychological coursework, students at Emmanuel can also pursue internships in Boston’s criminal justice headquarters, including (but not limited to) the Federal Courthouse, Brookline Department of Corrections, and the State House. These programs have provided indispensable connections for Emmanuel graduates as they pursue careers in law enforcement, legal advocacy, judiciary work, and more.
Net Price: $12,171/yr
11. Rogers State University
Justice Administration Bachelor’s Degree
Rogers State University is known for featuring a top criminal justice degree program at a competitive price point. Through the fulfillment of rigorous graduation requirements, from classes to capstone projects and internships, student gain insights into a variety of perspectives on crime, criminal behavior, and the law. Targeted coursework at RSU covers such topics as the American court system, Native American law, and Data Analysis, delivering insights that will resonate with graduates throughout their careers. Whether you choose to pursue work in law enforcement, corrections, law, or security, a criminal justice degree from RSU is a strong investment in your future.
Net Price: $12,002/yr
10. Calumet College of Saint Joseph
Through practical and theoretical coursework in the study of crime and law, as well as leadership opportunities in and outside of class, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Calumet College of Saint Joseph prepares students for careers in many different preventative and service capacities. Criminal justice students at Calumet take diverse classes that cover topics ranging from criminal procedures to serial killers, cults, and juvenile delinquency. Internships and interdisciplinary course requirements grant students a broad perspective on the social issue on crime, which will undoubtedly serve alumni well in any career field they choose.
Net Price: $11,644/yr
9. Tarleton State University
Tarleton State University features one of the best criminal justice degree programs for the price, thanks to its expert faculty, challenging and relevant coursework, and competitive tuition rates. Experienced professionals with many years of service in their respective fields lead courses in topics like criminal evidence, research methods, and professional writing, all of which guarantee career-forward instruction. Finally, you’ll end your studies with a senior capstone project that applies many of the legal and research insights you have gained over their last four years. Tarleton graduates go on to bright futures in law enforcement, corrections, and criminal law.
Net Price: $11,612/yr
8. Nevada State College
Criminal Justice (BA and BAS)
Nevada State College’s newest cheap criminal justice degree programs provide a unique interdisciplinary approach to public service, featuring the emerging field of social justice alongside global perspectives on crime and law. Whether students wish to pursue careers in drug enforcement, criminal law, or social work, they can find interesting courses that challenge their intuitions and cultivate social responsibility. Courses like Vice, Drugs, and the Law; Social Inequality and Crime; and Comparative Criminal Justice Systems also provide actionable skills and experience that students will carry with them throughout their careers.
Net Price: $11,611/yr
7. Monroe College
Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice
Featuring a faculty of police captains, attorneys, judges, and beyond, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Monroe College is sure to provide professional insights and connections that will aid students in their careers. Monroe students complete a combination of theoretical and practical coursework in criminal justice, from classes in criminal law and homeland security to internships and field exercises in actual criminal justice facilities. After graduation, many Monroe students go on to serve their communities through meaningful careers in law enforcement, corrections, and judicial practice, as well as in academic research and teaching.
Net Price: $11,402/yr
6. Northern Kentucky University
Northern Kentucky University prepares students to address crime in their community head on with an accredited criminal justice degree. With a degree in criminal justice, students can pursue a number of meaningful careers in public service, ranging from the FBI and Homeland Security to court administration. Coursework in comparative justice, legal research, financial investigation and more provide the practical, measurable skills that will help students become leaders in their fields. Students also complete an internship in law enforcement, courts, or human services to acquire professional connections and experience in their area of interest.
Net Price: $9,044/yr
5. Indiana University East
B.S. in Criminal Justice
At Indiana University East, a cheap criminal justice degree provides students with a comprehensive liberal education that features specialized coursework in law, criminal procedure, psychology, and sociology. In addition to rigorous core requirements, IUE students are required to take 36 credits for the major that include topics such as Evidence Collection; Crime in the Mass Media; and Criminal Justice Data, Methods, and Research. Research internships and field experiences allow students to apply their knowledge in the real world, gaining valuable insights, experience, and connections in various avenues of the field of criminal justice.
Net Price: $7,948/yr
4. West Virginia University Institute of Technology
West Virginia University Institute of Technology prepares students for careers in homeland security, law enforcement, courts, and corrections. This affordable criminal justice degree combines coursework in criminal justice, sociology, criminal investigation, political science, public service administration and psychology to help students see the big picture of crime. Students also complete a 300 contact hour practicum/internship in a criminal justice agency of their choice. Selecting between agencies such as police departments, courts, juvenile and adult probation, community corrections, prosecutor’s offices, and more, WVU students have the unique ability to launch their careers before they even pick up a diploma.
Net Price: $7,425/yr
3. California State University San Bernardino
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
One of the top criminal justice degree programs for the price can be found at California State University San Bernardino. With a comprehensive, liberal education core, research and internship opportunities, expert faculty, and low tuition, CSU educates the whole student as a leader, thinker, and community member. Challenging coursework in criminal justice includes unique classes such as Criminality Across the Life Course; Environmental Crime Prevention; and Justice in the Media alongside more traditional topics in law and research methods. Students can also pursue independent studies in topics of their choice, working one-on-one with a professor for a personalized learning experience.
Net Price: $6,571/yr
2. University of Arkansas Fort Smith
University of Arkansas Fort Smith is a great choice for students looking to pursue a public service career in law enforcement, criminal investigation, social work, business, or law advocacy. This accredited criminal justice degree prepares students for meaningful careers in their community with rigorous coursework in criminology, criminal court procedure, and law ethics, among other topics. Students also have a wide range of internship opportunities within Fort Smith, such as at the Van Buren Police Department, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Arkansas Probation/Parole Office, and the Fort Smith Children’s Emergency Shelter. UAFS also holds an annual criminal justice symposium, where professionals and researchers deliver talks on justice and recruit for agencies around the entire country.
Net Price: $6,351/yr
1. CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice: Crime Control and Prevention or Institutional Theory and Practice
CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice offers a multiple-track criminal justice program that allows students to specialize in Crime Control and Prevention; Institutional Theory and Practice; Criminology; or Criminal Justice Administration. In all tracks, students must take 24 credits of core major requirements, ranging from Criminology to Constitutional Law. Students then diversify their coursework through “distribution areas” that include topics in police work and corrections as well as career-focused courses in management and technology. An affordable criminal justice degree from CUNY is a great way to build the expertise and specialization you’ll need to spark a successful career in criminal justice.
Net Price: $5,552/yr
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Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates’ careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile.