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Exploring the Best Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

Learn about the best criminal justice programs in Texas today. Discover how an online or on-campus criminal justice degree or certificate can jump-start or advance your career in corrections, law enforcement, or other related areas.

Author: Blake Huggins
Editor: STEPS Staff

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If you’re looking to launch a new career in law enforcement or corrections, or seeking more responsibilities and better pay in your current job, Texas criminal justice schools offer programs that provide policy knowledge and social science skills needed to achieve your goals. This guide explores the criminal justice degree options available in Texas, highlights some of this year’s top-ranked schools, and examines convenient online criminal justice degree programs in the state. Additionally, it examines job outlook and earnings trends for criminal justice graduates and lists key student resources. Read on to discover the best Texas criminal justice schools that meet your needs.

Best Criminal Justice Schools in Texas for 2024

Researching potential degree programs can be overwhelming, so we have compiled a list of some of the best criminal justice schools in Texas to help you get started. These schools offer quality, accredited programming with multiple pathways to completion, setting themselves apart from others. They provide the curriculum, flexibility, and student support necessary to jumpstart a career as a court official, law enforcement officer, or security specialist. Check out our ranking below to find out who stands out in 2023.


Texas Christian University

Based in Fort Worth, Texas Christian University (TCU) confers graduate and undergraduate degrees in the arts and sciences. Its Department of Criminal Justice and AddRan College of Liberal Arts extend several degree options for students interested in careers in corrections, law enforcement, and social science. Its campus-based undergraduate program requires 124 credits and includes core instruction in criminal justice along with electives in social work, sustainability, victimology, and cyberspace policing. All students complete an applied internship before graduation and many study abroad in London, Scandinavia, and Japan.

TCU delivers its master’s program in criminal justice entirely online except for one two-day orientation session. Most students complete the program in just two years, progressing through study using a cohort model. Full-time faculty and experienced professionals facilitate all learning experiences. TCU also extends scholarship opportunities and career resources to its students, making it one of the best criminal justice schools in Texas.


  • Online
  • On-Campus
  • Part-Time
  • Full-Time

Undergraduate Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Minor in Criminal Justice

Graduate Programs:

  • Master of Science

Specialization Options:

  • General Criminal Justice
  • Leadership, Executive and Administrative Development


Texas State University

A public research institution established in 1899, Texas State University administers criminal justice programming at every degree level from its main campus in San Marcos. These comprehensive, campus-based offerings develop hard skills in social science research methods, criminal court procedures, and corrections. Housed within Texas State’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, each course of study qualifies students for work in asset protection, policing, research, rehabilitation counseling, and other fields.

The school’s undergraduate program uses a traditional 4-year timeline and covers topics like juvenile justice, crime theory, and contemporary issues in law enforcement. Students can also complete optional internship experiences depending on their professional interests. At the graduate level, Texas State offers both a master’s degree and a doctorate. Learners in the master’s program complete 30-36 credits and choose from thesis or non-thesis tracks in research and executive