Sheriffs, police officers and detectives are responsible for protecting peoples’ lives and properties. They investigate crime scenes and gather evidence to solve crimes. Their work can be stressful, demanding and even dangerous.

Featured Programs and Schools

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Police and Detectives earned an annual median salary of $63,380 in 2018, which roughly approximates to $30.47 per hour. The data reported by BLS also predicts an employment growth of 5% for this profession between 2018 and 2028. This rate of growth is as fast as the average for other occupations.

Almost all states in the U.S. have set their own specific employment and licensure requirements about becoming a sheriff. If you are an aspiring sheriff then you must be very strong and healthy, both physically and mentally. In order to work as a sheriff, you must begin by obtaining the relevant education. A degree in Criminology or Criminal Justice may lead to this profession.

To help you get started, here is a list of the top 10 schools that offer degrees in Criminology or Criminal Justice. The following schools have been listed according to Niche’s compilation of ‘2020 Best Colleges for Criminal Justice in America’. The criteria used by Niche in making this list has been explained on their website. It consists of elements like, academics, admission requirements, faculty and campus etc.

The list of schools below states various criminal justice degrees offered at these colleges and universities. If you are interested in looking at further details related to the graduation requirements, admission dates, course details or faculty etc., it is suggested that you visit the website of the institution.

1 – CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a well-known public college with quite a big campus that is located in Manhattan, New York. It is home to more than 13,000 undergraduate students. This college offers a 4-year bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice as well as Criminal Justice Management. Students of both degrees must complete 120 credit hours to graduate.

2 – Liberty University

This university is one of the largest non-profit institutions in the U.S. situated in Lynchburg, Virginia. It offers various degree programs in Criminal Justice that are all accredited. The requirements of graduation vary for each degree. For example, students can opt for a 4-year bachelor’s degree with 120 credit hours, a 2-year master’s degree with 36 credit hours or a 3 to 5-year doctoral degree with 60 credit hours.

3 – University of California – Irvine

It is one of the most prestigious public universities located in Irvine, California. UCI has a huge campus with approximately 30,000 student enrolled in its various undergraduate programs. The University of California – Irvine offers a 4-year bachelor’s degree with 180 credit hours and a 2-year master’s with 52 credit hours in Criminal Justice.

4 – Florida State University

This is one of the most prestigious public universities of Florida. FLU has an enormous campus and almost 32,000 undergraduate students are enrolled here in various programs. FLU’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers various degree programs for aspiring sheriffs. For example, you may select a 4-year bachelor’s degree, a 2-year master’s degree or a 3 to 5-year doctoral degree.

5 – Northeastern University

It is one of the many well-reputed private universities in Boston, Massachusetts. Northeastern University’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers a 4-year bachelor’s that students can complete with 128 credit hours. The 2-year master’s is offered with 32 credit hours and the 3 to 5-year doctoral degree with 42 credit hours.

6 – Penn State

Penn State University offers multiple degrees for aspiring criminologists, police officers and sheriffs under its Department of Sociology and Criminology. The department currently has 650 undergraduate students and more than 70 graduate students. It offers a Bachelor of Science Program, which requires 22 major credits for completion. The university also offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, which requires 34 major credits. In addition to that, it also offers a Doctor of Philosophy and a Master of Arts in Criminology.

7 – University of Miami

The University of Miami is a highly ranked private university and has a large campus that houses 9 undergraduate schools and colleges. Its student population consists of almost 11,000 undergraduate students. This institution offers 3 particular degrees in Criminology that are as follows:

  • a 4-year bachelor’s degree
  • a 2-year master’s degree
  • a 3 to 5-year doctoral degree

8 – Texas Christian University

It is a well-reputed private institution in Texas and has an enormous campus. It is home to almost 9,500 undergraduate students enrolled in a diverse range of subjects. This university offers 2 particular degree levels for prospective candidates who want to become a sheriff. TCU offers a 4-year bachelor’s degree and a 2-year master’s degree in Criminal Justice.

9 – La Sierra University

The La Sierra University is a well-recognized private institution in the U.S. It has a relatively small campus that was established in Riverside, California. The number of undergraduate students, who are enrolled in different subjects is close to 1,800. This university has a 4-year bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. The students enrolled in this degree must complete 72 credit hours of course work to graduate.

10 – University of Florida

This university ranks among the most prestigious institutions in the U.S. It is a public university based in Gainesville, Florida. This highly reputed university offers a top-notch 4-year bachelor’s degree in Criminology. Students of this degree must complete 120 credit hours to graduate.