Best 15 Criminal Justice Colleges in Texas in 2021 - Best Value Schools

Best 15 Criminal Justice Colleges in Texas in 2021

Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

Catching the bad guys may be what you think of when the term “criminal justice” is used. However, that is just a small part of what professionals in this industry do. Those in this profession uphold the law and create a system that protects the innocent and holds the suspects accountable. One of the best states to earn this degree is Texas because of its flourishing economic health. If you are interested in a law enforcement career, finding criminal justice colleges in Texas is the first step.

We have scoured the internet in search of institutions in the state of Texas that offers this program. Without further ado, here are our picks for the top criminal justice colleges in Texas.  

Best 15 Criminal Justice Colleges in Texas

1. Sam Houston State University (32 Points)

Located in Hunstville, Sam Houston State University ranks #27 out of 630 schools for being one of the Best Colleges for Criminal Justice in America. The faculty is comprised of well-respected criminal justice experts, allowing students to learn from some of the best in the business. They will be able to study at Law Enforcement, Victims, Legal Studies, and Corrections research institutes. Undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. programs are available. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $8,534
  • Graduation rate: 54%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 21 to 1

2. Tarleton State University (31 Points)

The Criminal Justice program at Tarleton State University combines theory with the ability to practice what was learned. Along with the exceptional education offered by this institution, students will be given the opportunity to test what they have learned through internships and other opportunities within their chosen career path. Students with a major or minor in Criminal Justice will also be able to join the campus’ Criminal Justice Association or Alpha Phi Sigma. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $7,851
  • Graduation rate: 49%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 22 to 1

3. West Texas A&M University (29 Points)

Ranked as the Best Online Programs in 2018 by U.S. News, West Texas A&M University offers an online bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Some of the curriculum students can expect to learn includes the study of criminology, what community corrections are, how to legally search a person’s home or vehicle, and more. Internships are available to all criminal justice majors. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $8,135
  • Graduation rate: 45%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 18 to 1

4. University of North Texas (28 Points)

A Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice is available at the University of North Texas, which will prepare students for careers as a police officer, detention or custodial officer, federal or state law enforcement officer, and more. The curriculum includes the practical, theoretical, and empirical aspects of criminal justice and will require 27 credit hours of core criminal justice courses, 12 credits of psychological-related courses, and 15 credits of electives. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $11,044
  • Graduation rate: 56%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 26 to 1

5. The University of Texas at Arlington (27 Points)

The University of Texas at Arlington offers a Bachelor of Arts or Master of Arts degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The programs focus on forensic science, preparing for a case and trial, the criminal justice system processes, and how to investigate a crime scene. Internships are available to students at both law criminal justice agencies and law offices. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $11,040
  • Graduation rate: 51%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 24 to 1

6. Angelo State University (26 Points)

Founded in 1928, Angelo State University has more than 100 majors and minors and has been named one of the “Best Colleges” every year for the past decade. Three of the degrees offered are a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. The programs combine the use of lectures, case studies, videos, and discussions to give the students a thorough education in criminal justice. A minor in criminal justice is also available. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $7,637
  • Graduation rate: 40%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 20 to 1

7. North American University (25 Points)

North American University is a private, non-denominational university that prides itself in providing individualized learning plans to meet the unique educational needs of each student. The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Science requires 120 credits to complete, 42 of which should be related to forensic science and criminal justice. Students who complete this program will be prepared for both leadership and entry-level positions in criminal justice and law. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $9,900
  • Graduation rate: 45%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 11 to 1

8. University of Houston- Downtown (24 Points)

The Downtown campus of the University of Houston is a mid-size institution with more than 6,000 undergraduate students. This school has been ranked #48 of 308 as being one of the Best Online Colleges in America, as well as #67 of 1,605 as one of the Best College Locations in America. The undergraduate Criminal Justice program will prepare students to analyze issues with crime and justice, communicate effectively, and apply research methods to criminal justice problems. All it takes to complete the program is 120 credits. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $6,788
  • Graduation rate: 29%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 19 to 1

9. Texas Christian University (23 Points)

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice program from Texas Christian University is an online degree that only takes two years to complete. This program has been ranked as the #1 program in Texas and allows students to work in the field of their choice, including juvenile justice, courts, law enforcement, and corrections. An undergraduate degree is also available in criminal justice. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $49,250
  • Graduation rate: 83%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 13 to 1

10. Abilene Christian University (22 Points)

Abilene Christian University incorporates the Word of God into all of its courses and programs, including the Political Science and Criminal Justice program. Faculty teach topics that will strengthen the students’ knowledge of domestic and international topics through study abroad programs and on-campus classes. Some of the alumni from this institution include Ron Holifield (a government specialist), Len Wade (former 141st district court judge), and Lynn Kelly (attorney). 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $36,300
  • Graduation rate: 61%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15 to 1

11. Central Texas College (21 Points)

The campus of Central Texas College first opened its doors to students in 1967 with a total enrollment of just over 2,000 students. Today, this community college has more than 4,000 undergraduate students and a multitude of degree programs to choose from. Three Associate of Applied Science degrees are available in the Department of Criminal Justice: Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice with a Corrections Specialization, and Fire Service Administration. All three degrees require 60 credits and take a total of two years to complete. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $3,390
  • Graduation rate: 15%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17 to 1

12. Prairie View A&M University (20 Points)

The diverse environment at Prairie View A&M University has made it a popular institutional choice among the African American population since the college was first established in 1876. The College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice that is designed to enhance the leadership, service, innovation, and service skills of the students. The program requires 42 credit hours to earn the degree.  

  • Annual in-state tuition: $10,786
  • Graduation rate: 36%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 18 to 1

13. Hardin-Simmons University (19 Points)

Hardin-Simmons University is a Christian-based institution that was founded by a Baptist minister by the name of James B. Simmons over 120 years ago. The Criminal Justice program is offered as a Bachelor’s degree or as a Minor and gives students the opportunity to participate in research-based projects. Some of the areas these programs focus on include forensic science, behavioral analysis, criminal psychopathology, and victimology. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $30,140
  • Graduation rate: 51%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 14 to 1

14. East Texas Baptist University (18 Points)

Located in Marshall, East Texas Baptist University is a small university with less than 1,300 students enrolled. One of the programs offered is a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, which can be used as a career stepping stone for those who want a career in law enforcement or corrections. At least 120 total credit hours are required to graduate and students could choose between two specialization areas to add to their degree: Offender Rehabilitation and Law Enforcement. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $27,210
  • Graduation rate: 44%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 14 to 1

15. Texas Southern University (17 Points)

Texas Southern University is a public, mid-size institution that has approximately 6,503 undergraduate students enrolled in one of their over 100 programs. The Administration of Justice program prepares students to work in justice agencies by becoming educated on justice theories, statistics, and research methods. Law enforcement, security administration, parole and probation, corrections, and transportation security are all employment areas graduates will be able to work in. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $9,173
  • Graduation rate: 23%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 16 to 1

How These Criminal Justice Colleges in Texas were Ranked

While all of these colleges are excellent and will fulfill the educational needs of those interested in a criminal justice career, we did rank them based on a point system. After making a list of the top schools, we gave points to each one based on tuition and graduation, giving more to those with lower tuition costs and higher graduation rates. Once the points were given, we put the schools in order of the highest amount of points to lowest. 

This list should be just the place to start if you are still in need of the right college. If there is a school that should be listed or if there is information that needs to be corrected, please let us know. 

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