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Best Criminal Justice Schools in New Jersey: Online/Campus

Review the best criminal justice schools in New Jersey to find the quality education you need for a successful career. Whether you want an undergraduate or graduate degree, we’ll help you make a well-informed decision.

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Written By

Kenya McCullum

Updated

11/29/2023

Crime and justice are a concern for all communities. Those working in the criminal justice field ensure that the system functions effectively and that everyone is treated fairly. This is no simple matter, so students who step up to the challenge need specialized training to succeed. Criminal justice schools in New Jersey provide that training.

Are you interested in criminal justice programs in New Jersey but don’t know where to start? Or are you already in the field and looking for ways to increase your job opportunities and earning potential? No matter what road you’re on, this guide will help you reach your destination.

Continue reading to find out what top-rated criminal justice programs in New Jersey have to offer. Also, get a glimpse of the different career choices graduates typically pursue and the salaries they make, as well as ways to fund your education.

Best New Jersey Colleges for Criminal Justice: 2024 Spotlights

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that New Jersey has dozens of criminal justice schools. How do you make the best selection for your needs? From cost to curriculum to student services, you’ll want to make an informed decision. To help you make this choice, we’ve curated a list of the best criminal justice programs in New Jersey. See if one of these programs has what you’re looking for, and stay tuned for our full rankings list, coming soon.

Rutgers University

Since it began its criminal justice department in the 1970s, Rutgers has been providing programs that combine preprofessional training with a liberal arts education. This interdisciplinary experience delivers a deep understanding of the criminal justice field, as well as the critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills professionals need to be successful.

Students earning a bachelor’s degree are required to take coursework covering policing, criminology, the prison system, and legal philosophy. In addition, they can participate and an internship to receive training from organizations such as the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness or the New Jersey Judiciary Appellate Division.

On the graduate level, Rutgers has master’s- and doctoral-level programs that also utilize its interdisciplinary approach. For example, the school has a dual MA/MPA degree for those who want to combine criminal justice and public administration studies.

Program Highlights:

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: 4 years
  • Cost: $13,674/year in-state | $32,436/year out-of-state
  • Mode: Full-Time
  • Specializations: None

Felician University

Are you interested in a criminal justice school in New Jersey that stresses the importance of reimagining the system, one that focuses on crime victims getting the justice they deserve and addresses shortcomings in the prison and parole systems? If so, the program offered by Felician University is the right choice for you. In addition to an overview of criminal and constitutional law, victimology, and forensics, you’ll get the opportunity to focus on one of two tracks: crime and society or police studies. Also, you’ll be required to take general education courses to receive a well-rounded learning experience.

In addition, this criminal justice program in New Jersey offers opportunities for hands-on training through internships. Since the school is conveniently located near major metropolitan areas in New Jersey and New York, students complete internships at the FBI, state probation offices, police departments, and district attorneys.

Program Highlights:

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: 4 years
  • Cost: $17,590/semester
  • Mode: Full-Time
  • Specializations: None

Georgian Court University

Through a combination of passionate, experienced professionals and a curriculum designed to nurture important skills, the criminal justice program at New Jersey’s Georgian Court University trains students to become competent and compassionate members of the profession. Graduates have gone on to work in government agencies on the state, local, and federal levels as well as nonprofit organizations and security firms.

To help prepare students for these jobs, Georgian Court University’s curriculum includes core classes in gender and crime, criminal law and practice, and law enforcement. Also, students can concentrate on one area of criminal justice to gain deeper expertise. For example, the law enforcement and corrections concentration includes a look at juvenile justice, criminal investigation procedures, and the role that race and ethnicity play in the system. Concentrations are also available in cybercrime and global justice and society.

Program Highlights:

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: 4 years
  • Cost: $17,680/semester
  • Mode: Full-Time
  • Specializations: Cybercrime; global justice and society; law enforcement and corrections

Top Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs in New Jersey

Earning a degree can be challenging enough when you’re able to dedicate all of your time to your studies. But if you’re also working to make ends meet and raising a family, completing your criminal justice program in New Jersey can be especially difficult. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Thanks to online criminal justice degrees in New Jersey, you can get your education without your other responsibilities suffering.

Online criminal justice degrees in New Jersey allow you to save money on tuition and travel because many schools have entirely virtual options. In addition, some programs may be delivered on an asynchronous basis, meaning you can watch lectures and complete assignments when it’s convenient for you, rather than on a set schedule.

Want to learn more about how virtual programs work? Check out our guide to online criminal justice degrees in New Jersey and around the country for more information on what to expect. For details about the best online criminal justice degrees in New Jersey, review the list below.

Rowan University

Rowan University has an online master’s degree in criminal justice that prepares students for a future in the field by providing a look at the history of criminal justice as well as current issues that professionals face. To be admitted, applicants are expected to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum 2.5 grade point average. Also, the school recommends that applicants complete introductory statistics, criminal justice, or research methods courses during their undergraduate years. Along with official transcripts, applicants submit a resume, two recommendation letters, and a statement of professional objectives.

After enrolling, students take 30 credits of coursework that can be completed entirely online in one to two years. The core classes cover contemporary issues in criminal justice, policy analysis, and criminal justice planning. Students also choose elective classes in white collar crime, gender and crime, and administrative law. The curriculum has a strong emphasis on criminal justice research.

Program Highlights:

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 5 semesters
  • Cost: $833.26/credit
  • Delivery: Online
  • Specializations: None

Bergen Community College

If you’re looking for an introduction to the criminal justice field but you’re not ready to enroll in a four-year program, Bergen Community College offers an associate degree online. Students receive an introduction to the criminal justice system that prepares them to further their education or pursue jobs in the court system, law enforcement agencies, or private security companies.

When you finish this online criminal justice degree in New Jersey, you’ll have an understanding of the different components of the criminal justice system, the issues professionals face and the factors that cause them, and theories about why crime occurs and how it affects communities. Also, you’ll be required to take an ethics and criminal justice class that addresses the moral and ethical standards officials are expected to follow. In addition to classes for the major, for this online criminal justice degree in New Jersey you’ll also take coursework in mathematics, English composition, and humanities.

Program Highlights:

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $212.75/credit in-state | $389.75/credit out-of-state
  • Mode: Fully-Online
  • Specializations: None

Hudson County Community College

Hudson County Community College’s fully online associate degree is for students who want to begin their education at a two-year online criminal justice program in New Jersey and then move on to a four-year school, such as Rutgers, Kean University, or New Jersey City University. To give you the preparation to enter a criminal justice bachelor’s degree program in New Jersey, the curriculum focuses on policing, the courts, law enforcement and investigations, and juvenile offenders. Through the coursework for this online criminal justice degree in New Jersey, students develop a holistic view of the justice system that includes the factors that contribute to crime, the impact crime has on neighborhoods and victims, and how those who are arrested get treated as they go through the court, prison, and parole processes.

To further prepare students for the realities of the criminal justice field, Hudson County Community College offers an externship. During this hands-on training experience, you’ll learn how professionals combine theoretical concepts with real-world work activities to gain the skills employers are looking for.

Program Highlights:

Associate of Science in Criminal Justice

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $155/credit in-state | $457.50/credit out-of-state
  • Mode: Fully-Online
  • Specializations: None

Types of Criminal Justice Degrees in New Jersey

Are you looking for a criminal justice school in New Jersey to help you enter the field? Or do you already have work experience and want to advance? Continue reading to find out how criminal justice colleges in New Jersey can help.

Associate Degrees

An associate degree is a good starting point for those who want to learn the basics of criminal justice, whether you want to get a job immediately after graduation or move on to a higher degree. As students work through these two-year programs, they learn about juvenile justice, forensic science, terrorism, and trends in the criminal justice field. In addition, criminal justice colleges in New Jersey have general education requirements—including mathematics, English composition, and science classes—designed to increase students’ overall skills.

Examples of Accredited New Jersey Colleges with this Criminal Justice Degree

CollegeLocationDeliveryAccreditation
Passaic County Community CollegePatersonOn-CampusMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
Bergen Community CollegeHackensackOnlineMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
Hudson County Community CollegeJersey CityOnline; On-CampusMiddle States Commission on Hig