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Best Universities offering graduate programs in Criminal Justice

Criminal justice refers to the laws, procedures, institutions, and policies in place before, during, and after a crime has been committed. Criminal justice and corrections research includes criminology research methodologies, criminological theory, and the psychology of criminal conduct. There is no single criminal justice system in the United States. Rather, there are numerous distinct systems that work together.

23 universities offer graduate programs in Criminal Justice. Texas Christian University had highest number of international students receiving a Master's degree. Texas Christian University had the most women graduates in this program.

Harvard University logo
Ranked as:  #2 in Best National University
Tuition:  $50,654 per year
Total Cost:  $101,308 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Massachusetts
Acceptance:  5.01%

The Criminal Justice Institute is the curriculum-based criminal law clinical program of Harvard Law School. The mission of the Criminal Justice Institute is to educate Harvard Law School students in becoming effective, ethical and zealous criminal defense lawyer-advocates through practice in representing indigent individuals involved in the Massachusetts court system as well as to research and present issues and debates about the criminal and juvenile justice systems in order to affect local and national reform.

Harvard Law School is committed to the full inclusion of students with disabilities in the life of the University. Students requesting accessibility resources or accommodations in any of HLS’s Clinical and Pro Bono Programs may work with Accessibility Services in the Dean of Students Office

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Harvard Law School Criminal Justice Institute - Program details

Harvard University admission requirements for graduate programs in Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting
  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research assistantships:  864
  • Teaching assistantships:  1388
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details
Yale University logo
Ranked as:  #3 in Best National University
Tuition:  $44,500 per year
Total Cost:  $89,000 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Connecticut
Acceptance:  6.53%

Yale Law School offers a rich academic experience studying criminal law through many different lenses. In addition to a variety of courses, students can collaborate with faculty on empirical research, work on reform efforts, and gain hands-on experience through work with clinics and student organizations.

Two vibrant centers at the Law School create a myriad of ways for students to get involved in criminal justice reform work that is having a profound impact across the country.

Several clinics and student organizations play an important role in introducing students to the state and federal criminal justice systems and affording the students an opportunity to represent individual clients and pursue systemic reforms.

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Criminal Justice - Yale Law School - Program details

Yale University admission requirements for graduate programs in Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting
  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research assistantships:  1565
  • Teaching assistantships:  1598
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details
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Ranked as:  #14 in Best National University
Tuition:  $56,562 per year
Total Cost:  $113,124 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Missouri
Acceptance:  16.02%

The Law School has compiled the following list of upper-level courses currently or recently offered to guide students interested in criminal justice. Related clinics and/or externships are marked with an asterisk and grouped separately at the end of the list. The Law School offers the listed courses regularly, but some are not available every year.

The Law School offers the following clinics and externships related to criminal justice: the Criminal Justice Clinic, the Prosecution Clinic, the Post-Conviction Relief Clinical Practicum, and the International Justice & Conflict Resolution Externship.

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Criminal Justice - WashULaw - Program details

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research assistantships:  912
  • Teaching assistantships:  474
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details

477 universities offer the Masters’s program in Criminal Justice. Which one best suits your need? We will help make you a decision.

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Vanderbilt University logo
Ranked as:  #16 in Best National University
Tuition:  $50,624 per year
Total Cost:  $101,248 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Tennessee
Acceptance:  11.62%

Vanderbilt Law School's Criminal Justice Program offers an array of courses, seminars, and clinics for students interested in criminal law and procedure. In addition to the first-year criminal law course, Vanderbilt's large criminal law faculty and adjunct faculty teaches over twenty courses in the second and third years that focus on criminal theory and practice, criminal procedure, juvenile justice, international criminal law, mental health law, and various other areas connected to criminal law. The program also features academic roundtables and symposia aimed at exploring current legal scholarship on criminal justice issues.

All students are required to take Criminal Law during their first year. Students who are interested in practicing criminal law should consider pursuing a criminal justice course concentration, which should include: Constitutional Law II; Evidence; Criminal Procedure: Investigation; Criminal Procedure: Adjudication; an experiential/skills course that has a criminal justice orientation; and at least three other courses from the list below. Students should also consider short course offerings that vary from year to year (recent one-credit courses included Policing in the Twenty-First Century and Defending a Criminal Case).

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Criminal Justice Program - Program details

  • GRE Required:  Register to view the details
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University of California-Berkeley logo
Ranked as:  #20 in Best National University
Tuition:  $29,347 per year
Total Cost:  $58,694 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  California
Acceptance:  17.48%

Berkeley Law is an ideal place to study criminal justice. The faculty includes top criminologists, renowned experts in domestic and international law, first-rate practitioners, and scholars who bring an interdisciplinary approach to the most pressing problems of the day. Students gain important practical experience through our Death Penalty Clinic, East Bay Community Law Center, Policy Advocacy Clinic, Samuelson Law and Technology Clinic, and Domestic Violence Practicum, as well as the Field Placements, Student-Initiated Legal Services Projects, and a host of advocacy classes.

Berkeley Law takes full advantage of the rich opportunities in the Bay Area. The nine-county region offers countless possibilities for prosecution and defense field placements and careers in local, state, and federal agencies, as well as policy work for non-profit organizations.

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Criminal Justice - Berkeley Law - Program details

  • GRE Required:  Register to view the details
  • Research assistantships:  Register to view the details
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Georgetown University logo
Ranked as:  #21 in Best National University
Tuition:  $53,591 per year
Total Cost:  $107,182 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  -
Acceptance:  16.81%

Georgetown Law students graduate with a strong background in all aspects of the American criminal justice system, whether they want to pursue a career in criminal law or apply their knowledge to other legal fields. For J.D. students, the first-year curriculum includes courses in criminal procedure and criminal law. Students planning a career in the field can then concentrate on specialized courses covering topics such as federal white-collar crime and international criminal law, as well as seminars in areas such as capital punishment, computer crime and race, gender and criminal law. The students publish renowned journals including the American Criminal Law Review, the nation’s premier journal of criminal law, and Georgetown Law Journal’s Annual Review of Criminal Procedure, the “must-have” reference guide for criminal law practitioners.

Georgetown Law’s faculty scholars are also at the forefront of contemporary issues in criminal law, such as race and criminal justice, drug policy, crime in the digital age, the prosecutions of corporations, the special challenges of the juvenile justice system and prisons. The faculty’s research is regularly published in leading scholarly journals, and news organizations of

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Criminal Law - Georgetown Law - Program details

Georgetown University admission requirements for graduate programs in Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting
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Find scholarships and financial aid for Criminal Justice graduate programs

$500 $20000
University of California-Los Angeles logo
Ranked as:  #23 in Best National University
Tuition:  $28,131 per year
Total Cost:  $56,262 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  California
Acceptance:  14.33%

The Transnational Program on Criminal Justice fosters research and discussion on domestic, comparative, international and transnational criminal justice systems. The Transnational Program on Criminal Justice produces timely, collaborative research to improve the understanding on diverse topics at the intersection of criminal justice, comparative and international law, and human rights law.

Two of the goals of TPCJ are supporting cutting-edge and important legal research by practitioners and scholars and to create bridges between legal practice and legal research in the United States and other countries. As a way to advance these goals, the TPCJ has welcomed practitioners and scholars at different stages in their careers from around the world.

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Transnational Program on Criminal Justice at UCLA Law - Program details

  • GRE Required:  Register to view the details
  • Research assistantships:  Register to view the details
  • Teaching assistantships:  Register to view the details
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor logo
Ranked as:  #29 in Best National University
Tuition:  $49,548 per year
Total Cost:  $99,096 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Michigan
Acceptance:  26.11%

Michigan graduate degree from University of Michigan-Dearborn in the rapidly growing criminal justice profession. This flexible degree program is 30-32 credits and provides a thesis and non-thesis option, while offering traditional, evening and online courses. ublic safety professionals from partnering organizations may qualify for a scholarship valued at 20 percent of tuition and fees through the Community Service Personnel Scholarship program.

Faculty, who are experts in their field, developed the Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice to prepare students for research, management and policy positions or continuation into a Ph.D. program.

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Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice - Program details

GRE score required at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor master's degree programs in Criminal Justice, Safety Studies
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  • Research assistantships:  Register to view the details
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New York University logo
Ranked as:  #32 in Best National University
Tuition:  $36,892 per year
Total Cost:  $73,784 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New York
Acceptance:  21.09%

Criminal law at NYU is a rich discipline that begins with the first-year course in Criminal Law, which covers general principles of criminal responsibility. Second-year students can take courses in evidence or criminal procedure. Most law schools have only one course in criminal procedure—at NYU, students can choose from four. Upper-level courses in substantive and procedural criminal law include Business Crime, Federal Criminal Law, and Juvenile Justice.

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Criminal Justice - NYU School of Law - Program details

  • GRE Required:  Register to view the details
  • Research assistantships:  Register to view the details
  • Teaching assistantships:  Register to view the details
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Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus logo
Ranked as:  #35 in Best National University
Tuition:  $31,334 per year
Total Cost:  $62,668 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Georgia
Acceptance:  21.34%

Crime and criminal justice are at the forefront of national policy and practice. The increasing emphasis on professional preparation in criminal justice careers places additional academic demands on the in-service professional. To meet this need, Georgia State’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology offers a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in criminal justice, as well as a Doctor of Philosophy degree in criminal justice and criminology.

Career opportunities for graduates of the master’s program in criminal justice are numerous, diverse and rewarding. Georgia State graduates have found employment at the following: FBI, ATF, GBI, EPA, Secret Service, numerous local and state law enforcement and correctional agencies, probation and parole agencies, juvenile justice agencies and the research branches of federal, state and local agencies.

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Criminal Justice, M.S. - Program details

  • GRE Required:  Register to view the details
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What is the GRE score required for admission to Master’s degree in Criminal Justice?

Gre score requirements differ from school to school. Most colleges do not publish the cutoff scores. For example 477 offer Graduate programs in Criminal Justice. 10 - Gre score required for admissions are.

Gre score requirements for Master’s program in Criminal Justice

Quite a few accredited universities have waived off the GRE score requirements for admissions to Masters programs. Admission to Northcentral University's Doctoral Degree program requires a conferred Master's degree from an accredited academic institution. Applicants holding other doctoral degrees (MD, DO, DC, DDS, DVM, etc.) may be admitted into a doctoral program at the discretion of the Dean. Admission to the Doctoral programs in the School of Business, Department of Psychology & Department of Marriage and Family Therapy in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences will be determined by the degree used for basis of admissions.

1. Complete the online application for admission, which will generate your personal identification number (PIN).

2. Get the academic evaluation: When the university receive your application, and all of your transcripts, an Enrollment Advisor will review your application packet and determine if you are eligible for admission, as well as the number of transfer credits you will be awarded, if applicable.

3. Receive your online enrollment packet that includes:

>An official, printable letter of acceptance or electronic enrollment agreement.

>A proposed degree plan.

>The first and second course requests for your review.

No GRE/GMAT are required.

The application deadline for Fall is January 31.

Required Application Materials includes:

1. Transcripts from all schools attended

2. Resume/CV

3. Three letters of recommendation

4. Statement of Background and Goals

This program requires an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience requirement. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions.

For unconditional admission, applicants must meet the following requirements set by TCU:

1. A bachelor’s degree from an institution regarded as standard by the University and a regional accrediting agency

2. A “B” average in either the last 60 hours of undergraduate work or in all undergraduate work

3. A “B” average in the major field

The Department of Criminal Justice also requires the following from each applicant:

1. A personal statement of no more than 250 words describing academic and professional objectives

2. Three letters of recommendation

3. A non-refundable application fee

Individuals who do not meet these requirements may be accepted conditionally, in accordance with TCU policy and with the approval of the program director. Meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program; it is up to the discretion of the program director and faculty to select applicants for admission. The department will consider qualified majors in other fields and can take into account life and career experience.

Students not meeting minimum GPA requirements can be considered for admission with supplemental performance predictors such as career experience or, GRE exam scores (not required).

Application materials must be received by May 1 to be considered for full consideration.

The Application deadline for department funding is March 1.

Students interested in receiving department funding (such as an assistantship) should submit their application by March 1 for full consideration for funding.

Required Documents are:

1. Official Transcripts from all schools attended for course credit

2. 2 Letters of Recommendation

3. Statement of interest and study or career objectives

4. Official GRE or MAT Score (not required for admissions). The program will consider requests to substitute scores from the LSAT for the GRE or MAT on a case-by-case basis

Admission requirements for Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice include:

1. Completion of a Bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA

2. Completion of the following courses or equivalent:

>CRJ 468 Criminology

>CRJ 416 Criminal Law

Applicants who meet the GPA requirement but lack one or more required courses may be admitted conditionally with the permission of the Program Director. These course deficiencies may be completed concurrently with graduate courses in the program upon Program Director approval.

The GRE is not required.

Students are accepted into the program during the Fall or Spring of each year. Students are strongly encouraged to submit their completed application materials to the Graduate School no later than July 1 for Fall admission and November 1 for Spring admission. A completed application includes the following:

>application for admission

>payment of application fee

>transcripts from all post-secondary institutions the student attended

>three letters of recommendation

>a statement of purpose

Application fees are $50 for domestic students and $60 for international students.

The UAB Graduate School has established minimum standards for admission into the MSCJ program "in good standing." Minimum requirements for admission include:

1. evidence of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States

2. 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) computed either overall or for the last 60 hours of undergraduate credits earned

3. Completion of an introductory-level social science statistics course and research methods course, with minimum grades of B

4. three letters of recommendation--letters from faculty are prioritized over those from employers

5. a statement of purpose that discusses your academic objectives and experiences, qualifications, and career and/or research goals

The GRE is no longer required for admission into the MSCJ program.

Admission requirements are simple. All that’s required is:

>A completed graduate application for admission.

>A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.

There is no application fee and no GMAT/GRE required for application to the program.

Applicants to master’s degree must have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to enrollment.

1. Transcript(s) from each college and graduate school attended. Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded to your application. Official transcripts will be required upon enrollment.

2. Two letters of recommendation

3. A personal statement (200-500 word essay) discussing your motivation for study.

4. A current résumé/CV

5. A nonrefundable application fee ($85 for master’s degree application, $25 for graduate certificate applications).

GRE/GMAT exams are not required for admission to graduate programs at Metropolitan College.

Undergraduate students at Adrian College are eligible for provisional admission if they have earned a minimum of 90 credit hours and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above.

Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited higher education institution are eligible for admission if they have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above.

External applicants interested in the Criminal Justice master’s program should apply during the semester before they wish to begin taking courses. Internal applicants who are interested in participating in the 4+1 Criminal Justice program should apply during the second semester of their junior year. Applications are taken on a rolling basis.

>Completed application

>Official transcripts (unofficial copy accepted for Adrian College applicants)

>Statement of Purpose detailing why you are seeking admission and how you would be successful in the program

>Three letters of recommendation

GRE is not reuired.

To be considered for admission to the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program, applicants must hold an earned Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university. To apply, submit the following:

1. Completed online application form accompanied by the $50 application fee

2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework

3. Letter of Intent (two double-spaced pages maximum) describing your interest in Criminal Justice, relevant past experiences and career goals

4. Two letters of recommendation attesting to your potential to succeed in graduate school

5. If your first language is not English, an official report of TOEFL or IELTS results

The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is not required for admission.Applicants with an overall GPA below 3.00 (B) are strongly encouraged to take either the GRE or MAT. Applicants for the Joint M.S./J.D. must apply separately to the School of Law, and must submit an LSAT score.

Preferred deadline for Fall is August 1, for Spring is January 1, and for Summer is May 1.

No GRE schools for Masters in Criminal Justice

Is it worth getting a master's degree in Criminal Justice?

Before you invest 2-3 years of your life and anywhere between $40,000 - $110,00 of your hard earned money, students do ask as to what is the return on investment on the Master’s degree.here are some of the statistics from bls.gov.

Career Outlook

Overall employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. About 139,600 openings for postsecondary teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

The median annual wage for postsecondary teachers was $80,560 in May 2020. Number of Jobs in 2020 was 1,276,900.

Career Opportunities with master’s degree in Criminal Justice


Job Title 2020 median Pay Education Number of Jobs Job Outlook What they do
Financial Examiners $81,430 Bachelor's degree 70,800 Employment of financial examiners is projected to grow 18 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 6,900 openings for financial examiners are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. Financial examiners ensure compliance with laws that govern institutions handling monetary transactions.
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary $80,560 1,276,900 Overall employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. About 139,600 openings for postsecondary teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a variety of academic subjects beyond the high school level.
Emergency Management Directors $76,250 Bachelor's degree 10,500 Employment of emergency management directors is projected to grow 6 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 1,000 openings for emergency management directors are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. Emergency management directors prepare plans and procedures for responding to natural disasters or other emergencies. They also help lead the response during and after emergencies.

Are there universities offering online Master's in Criminal Justice?

130 universities offer Master's program in Criminal Justice. At this time, we do not have any information on online Masters' program in Criminal Justice.

Check out these universities offering on-campus and hybrid master's program program

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

How can I compare the Criminal Justice Graduate Programs?

Compare the GRE score requirements, admission details, credit requirements and tuition for the Master's Program, from 477 universities offering Graduate School Programs in Criminal Justice. Compare Graduate School Programs in Criminal Justice

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