Norwich University

Norwich University is also featured in our ranking 50 Best Value Colleges for a Criminal Justice Degree.

Norwich University Criminal Justice Programs

Norwich University (NU) offers an on-campus undergraduate degree in criminal justice as well as both online Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in the field. The residential program culminates in a Bachelor of Arts and requires 121 total credit hours. Along with general university requirements, the curriculum involves a combination of classes in political science like U.S. Constitutional Law, sociology including Racial and Cultural Minorities, and psychology. Additionally, at least 12 criminal justice courses are required, nine core and three electives. Early in the program, students take Methods of Social Science Research which introduces the idea of evidenced-based practice, a concept that is infused into all subsequent criminal justice classes. One of the final courses in the program is the Senior Seminar during which students complete a capstone project demonstrating that they can use the theories and techniques taught throughout the program to perform a high-level analysis of a contemporary issue in the field.

There are two optional specialty tracks within the department, Criminology and Computer Crime and Forensics, as well as a related minor in Transnational Crime. Norwich also offers an online version of the undergraduate degree that is very similar to the on-campus program. While no campus visits are required, students are invited to attend a Residency Conference to network with professionals in the field and attend workshops. The Master of Science in Criminal Justice is only available online, but graduate students are required to attend their one-week Residency Conference shortly before graduation. This program is designed for completion in 15 months, and students take five courses, each 6 credit hours. These include advanced topics in the discipline like Law Enforcement Administration and Law and the International System.

About Norwich University

Also known as the Military College of Vermont, Norwich University is a private college founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge who also started six other military colleges. Partridge's ideas about military education were considered revolutionary and somewhat controversial at the time as he designed his programs around what he termed the ‘Citizen-Soldier' concept and started the ROTC program. He combined a traditional liberal arts education, military training, and study in practical fields like engineering and agriculture to produce well-rounded graduates. Over the years, the school underwent many changes including a move to Middletown, Connecticut, followed by a return to its initial location in Northfield, Vermont, during the late 1800s. The most significant changes involve the composition of the student body. In 1974, Norwich admitted its first female students even though government-funded military academies still only admitted male students. Then, in 1993, the university consolidated with Vermont College after a merger that occurred years prior. As a result, Norwich expanded its enrollment to include civilians.

At present, enrollment has reached about 4000 total students and about two-thirds of the 2400 students on campus participate in the ROTC program, the Core of Cadets. Norwich University offers 42 areas of study for residential students as well as 19 online degrees. Faculty emphasize experiential learning and encourage students to participate in internships or practicums whenever possible. In every program, leadership skills are built into the curriculum along with the university's eight ‘Guiding Values.' Holding true to the mission and values of its founder, Norwich University is still recognized as one of the six senior military colleges in the U.S. Additionally, the U.S. News and World Report has ranked it 24th on its list of the Best Value Schools in the region.

Norwich University Accreditation Details

Norwich University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), the organization tasked with evaluating post-secondary schools in six states in the northeastern part of the United States. This designation is updated every ten years, and the university's next certification is scheduled for 2020. During each review, the NECHE focuses on nine categories including The Academic Program, Institutional Resources, and Organization and Governance. The accreditation process provides students with the assurance that the university provides a quality education and verifies that its policies and procedures are fair and that the institution is solvent financially for the foreseeable future. Additionally, since schools must regularly undergo this review process, they are continually motivated to identify weaknesses and make measurable improvements.

Norwich University Application Requirements

Applicants to Norwich University's residential undergraduate criminal justice program can use either the Common Application or the school's own admissions portal to complete their application. The only supplemental documents required are official high school transcripts. However, students are advised to submit optional material including a resume listing extracurricular activities, three letters of recommendation, and a one-page personal essay. The online bachelor's program requirements are only slightly different, requiring 30 credit hours of college-level coursework prior to admission. For online master's admission, applicants must submit the standard graduate school application including academic and military transcripts illustrating the completion of an undergraduate degree, professional resume, one letter of recommendation, and a letter of intent describing the applicant's goals and motivation for attending Norwich University. A requirement specific to the criminal justice graduate program is a prior GPA of at least 2.75.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for full-time undergraduate students attending Norwich University on campus runs approximately $38,000 per year with an expected total cost of $58,000 annually including room, board, cadet uniforms, and other fees. For online bachelor's programs, tuition is $375 per credit hour, discounted to $250 for active military members. The criminal justice master's program consisting of 30 credit hours has a total tuition cost of $23,145, or $704 per credit hour. Nearly all students receive some type of financial assistance including scholarships, grants, and military benefits. Norwich University offers five levels of freshman scholarships awarded to students based primarily on high school GPA. Additionally, students involved in ROTC can receive funding up to the full amount of tuition in some cases. Graduate and online students are also eligible for NU scholarships including the Norwich Alumni and Leadership Summit scholarships. Any students employed full-time at one of the school's many partner organization receive a 10% discount on tuition in addition to any tuition reimbursement program offered by their employer. Staff at Norwich University are also knowledgeable in military funding options and ensure students receive their full GI Bill, veteran, and active-duty educational benefits.