Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

by

Updated January 24, 2023

check mark Edited by
California criminal justice programs prepare graduates for in-demand jobs. Learn more about the best criminal justice schools in California.

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Credit: Alexander Spatari / Moment / Getty Images

Want to work as a police officer, lawyer, detective, or corrections officer? Attending one of the best criminal justice schools in California can get you started on your career.

You'll learn about criminal law, courtroom procedures, and the legal system, or study forensic science and the psychology of crime. You can even earn a criminal justice degree online. With a degree in criminal justice, you'll enter an in-demand and growing field in California.

Why Study Criminal Justice in California?

  • You can learn about law enforcement, the court system, and the correctional system from experienced instructors.
  • California's criminal justice field employs hundreds of thousands of people — many career paths report strong projected growth.
  • Several of the highest-paying criminal justice careers report six-figure median salaries in California.
  • California's public colleges offer some of the most affordable tuition rates in the country, especially for community colleges.
  • You can qualify for criminal justice scholarships offered at accredited criminal justice schools in California.
  • With so many options, California is a great state for college — and its strong economy makes it a great place to work.

Did You Know?



Check Out Our Featured Criminal Justice Programs

How Does Accreditation Work for Criminal Justice Colleges in California?

Accredited criminal justice schools in California meet high standards for educating students. Independent, nonprofit accrediting agencies grant accreditation to schools and programs in California and around the country.

When researching programs, make sure to check the school's accreditation status. By attending an accredited college, you can apply for federal financial aid.

You'll also qualify for more transfer credits and meet graduate school and employer requirements.

The best colleges in California will hold accreditation from one of the following agencies:

WSCUC accredits four-year institutions, whereas ACCJC accredits two-year colleges.

Top Criminal Justice Schools in California

Read About Our Methodology Here

#1 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

Fresno Pacific University

  • Fresno, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Fresno Pacific University provides flexible options for learners seeking bachelor's-level study. For undergraduates, the college supports hybrid study from its main campus in California. Students connect with supportive faculty, colleagues, and other staff through in-person and online learning environments.

Learners across modalities benefit from robust programs. Criminal justice students follow a rigorous curriculum. Students complete foundational and advanced coursework, gaining a well-rounded education.

In consultation with an academic advisor, students can modify their coursework, choose electives, and pursue degree concentrations and minors to suit their career goals. Throughout their studies, learners can work with career services and academic advising to receive further guidance.

The college connects students with scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities to be applied to educational expenses. The institution boasts that 100% of all enrollees receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$32,458
Out-of-state
$32,458
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
4,300
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#2 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

National University

  • La Jolla, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

National University supports a variety of undergraduate-level degree options. Located in La Jolla, California, the private institution offers competitive, flexible programs that can be completed in person or online. According to the college, undergraduates can access 51 bachelor's degree programs on campus or pursue remote study across 40 degree tracks.

Learners studying in person and online benefit from a supportive learning community. The college provides students with a competitive education through intensive study. Enrollees complete foundational and advanced coursework, gaining a well-rounded education.

Learners can customize their study in consultation with an academic advisor, to suit their personal and professional goals. Students seeking academic and career guidance can connect with campus resources, such as academic advising and career services.

To defray the costs of education, students can apply for scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities. At the college, 33% of all incoming students receive financial aid funding.

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,320
Out-of-state
$13,320
Retention Rate
50%
Admission Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
16,670
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#3 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

California State University, Los Angeles

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Students seeking flexible study should consider California State University, Los Angeles. For undergraduates, the college supports hybrid study from its main campus. At present, the college provides 67 bachelor's degree programs.

Students near and far benefit from a supportive learning community. As part of the criminal justice program curriculum, students complete coursework and attend industry-relevant lectures. Learners can also pursue internships, research projects, and experiential learning opportunities to supplement their learning.

Learners can customize their study in consultation with an academic advisor, to suit their personal and professional goals. Students can receive guidance through career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources.

Students can meet with the financial aid office to determine their eligibility for scholarships and other educational funding. The institution reports that 94% of all degree seekers receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
48%
Students Enrolled
26,671
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#4 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

California State University, San Bernardino

  • San Bernardino, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking a flexible bachelor's degree can learn at their own pace at California State University, San Bernardino. The school supports hybrid learning opportunities, with in person and online programs. The college campus and online learning environment enable students to connect with peers, faculty, and staff during their studies.

The college connects students across campus-based and remote learning communities. After enrolling, students complete coursework as part of the program curriculum. Learners engage foundational and advanced concepts throughout interactive study and gain practical knowledge.

Enrollees work with an academic advisor and customize their degree to meet their academic and career goals. Throughout their studies, learners can work with career services and academic advising to receive further guidance.

When preparing for the cost of education, degree-seekers can meet with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities. According to the college, 93% of all enrollees receive financial aid, with the average student awarded $10,343 in aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
86%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
20,638
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#5 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

California Baptist University

  • Riverside, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

California Baptist University is a private college offering premier bachelor's-level education to students worldwide. The Riverside-based school supports hybrid learning opportunities, with in-person and online programs. To date, the school offers 89 bachelor’s programs, with 24 online degree options.

Whether learning in person or online, students join a supportive learning community, working alongside peers, faculty, and staff. Criminal justice students follow a rigorous program curriculum. Students complete foundational and advanced coursework, gaining a well-rounded education.

Students have the option to modify their coursework, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations. Learners further benefit from access to institutional resources, such as academic advising and career services.

Students can meet with the financial aid office to determine their eligibility for scholarships and other educational funding. According to the college, 98% of all enrollees receive financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$32,942
Out-of-state
$32,942
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
11,045
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#6 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

California State University, Long Beach

  • Long Beach, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking a flexible bachelor's degree can learn at their own pace at California State University, Long Beach. The public institution offers competitive, flexible programs that can be completed in person or online. Learners can choose from 91 bachelor's degree programs.

Enrollees benefit from a supportive learning community throughout their studies. After enrolling, students complete coursework as part of the program curriculum. Students gain skills and knowledge through their engagement with general and advanced classes.

Students have the option to modify their coursework, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations. A leader in students success, the college connects enrollees with career services, academic advising, and other supportive resources.

Depending on their eligibility, students can apply for scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities. The average enrollee receives $9,098 in financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
87%
Admission Rate
39%
Students Enrolled
38,674
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#7 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

Humphreys University

  • Stockton, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Humphreys University provides premier degree programs suitable for undergraduate students. Learners can choose from in-person and online bachelor's degree programs. Enrollees connect with peers, faculty, and staff, either through campus learning environments or virtual classrooms.

Students complete foundational and advanced classes throughout their studies. Learners have the option to modify their classes, choose electives, and customize their studies. Students can access academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources.

Students may be eligible for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid awards. The college boasts that 100% of all enrollees receive some form of aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$14,580
Out-of-state
$14,580
Retention Rate
100%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
486
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#8 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

California State University, Sacramento

  • Sacramento, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

California State University, Sacramento supports flexible educational opportunities for undergraduate students. Learners can pursue remote study or learn from the college's campus. According to the college, undergraduates can access 55 bachelor's degree programs on campus or pursue remote study across two degree tracks.

Students near and far benefit from a supportive learning community. Criminal justice students follow a rigorous program curriculum. Learners also have the option to pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and research projects.

In consultation with an academic advisor, students can modify their coursework, choose electives, and pursue degree concentrations and minors to suit their career goals. Learners can receive personalized guidance by connecting with career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources.

To defray the costs of education, students can apply for scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities. Of all enrollees, 85% receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
31,992
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#9 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

California State University, Fullerton

  • Fullerton, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

California State University, Fullerton is a public college offering premier bachelor's-level education to students worldwide. Undergraduate students benefit from hybrid learning opportunities, with the option to study in person or online. According to the college, undergraduates can access 57 bachelor's degree programs on campus or pursue remote study across two degree tracks.

Students near and far benefit from a supportive learning community. Criminal justice students follow a rigorous program curriculum. These classes equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to advance in their future career.

Students have the option to select electives, degree concentrations, and degree minors and pursue other academic modifications. Students can receive guidance through career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources.

To defray the costs of education, students can apply for scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities. Of all enrollees, 77% receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
53%
Students Enrolled
40,445
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#10 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

San Francisco State University

  • San Francisco, CA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

San Francisco State University provides premier degree programs suitable for undergraduate students. To date, the college offers 86 in-person bachelor's programs. Both modalities support rigorous study and connect students with premier faculty and supportive learning communities.

Students complete foundational and advanced coursework throughout their program. In consultation with an academic advisor, students can customize their coursework, select electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations. Enrollees can access career services, academic advising, and other resources throughout their program duration.

Prospective students can inquire with the financial aid office about funding opportunities and explore their eligibility for scholarships, fellowships, and other aid. The college reports an average financial aid award package of $9,479.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
29,032
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#11 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

California State University, Dominguez Hills

  • Carson, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

California State University, Dominguez Hills offers numerous bachelor's degree programs suitable for learners from all walks of life. Enrollees can choose from 49 bachelor's degree programs or opt for remote study in two degree programs. Students benefit from a supportive learning environment and personalized interactions with faculty and staff.

Enrollees gain skills and knowledge suitable for their field of choosing through lectures, coursework, and other learning opportunities. Students have the option to modify their classes, choose electives, and customize their studies. While enrolled, learners can access institutional resources including career services and academic advising.

Applicants may be eligible for funding, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid, to defray the costs of education. At the college, 92% of all enrollees are awarded financial aid packages.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
17,977
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#12 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

California Lutheran University

  • Thousand Oaks, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking a flexible bachelor's degree can learn at their own pace at California Lutheran University. A leader in hybrid education, the private college supports both in-person and online learning. To date, the school offers 35 bachelor’s programs, with an online degree option.

After enrollment, students join a supportive learning community, connecting with peers, faculty, and staff in person and online. Criminal justice students follow a rigorous program curriculum. Students gain skills and knowledge through their engagement with general and advanced classes.

Students can declare minors, choose degree concentrations, and further customize their studies in consultation with an academic advisor. Students seeking further academic and career guidance can access numerous institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising.

To manage the costs of education, students can apply for scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities through the financial aid office. To date, 98% of all enrolled students receive financial aid awards.

Average Tuition
In-state
$43,900
Out-of-state
$43,900
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
71%
Students Enrolled
4,303
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
9% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#13 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

La Sierra University

  • Riverside, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

La Sierra University offers numerous bachelor's degree programs suitable for learners from all walks of life. Students can choose from 62 in-person bachelor's degree programs. Students benefit from a supportive learning community, top-ranked faculty, and motivated peers.

Enrollees complete general and advanced coursework, gaining the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their field of choosing. Students can work with an academic advisor to customize their degree, and they can declare minors and degree concentrations. Enrollees can access career services, academic advising, and other resources throughout their program.

Prospective students can meet with the financial aid office to determine their eligibility for scholarships and other financial aid awards.

Average Tuition
In-state
$32,580
Out-of-state
$32,580
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
2,159
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
0% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#14 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

San Jose State University

  • San Jose, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Undergraduate students seeking competitive study should consider one of San Jose State University's 86 bachelor's programs. Students can enroll in campus-based bachelor's programs or opt for remote study. While enrolled, students connect with premier faculty and benefit from a supportive learning community.

Learners complete foundational and advanced coursework throughout their studies. Degree-seekers can modify their classes, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations. Throughout their studies, enrollees can access academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources.

The college connects students with numerous funding opportunities, including scholarships and federal financial aid. On average, students receive $9,262 in financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
87%
Admission Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
36,085
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#15 Best Criminal Justice Schools in California

California State University, Chico

  • Chico, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

California State University, Chico supports a variety of undergraduate-level degree options. Undergraduate students benefit from hybrid learning opportunities, with the option to study in person or online. To date, the public college supports 76 bachelor's programs, three of which are online.

In-person and online learners benefit from a supportive learning community. Students in the criminal justice program build competency through rigorous coursework and industry-relevant lectures. These classes equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to advance in their future career.

Students have the option to modify their coursework, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations. Students seeking further academic and career guidance can access numerous institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising.

To manage the cost of education, students can apply for scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities through the financial aid office. Of all enrollees, 76% receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
17,110
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

Most Popular Criminal Justice Careers in California

Many people study criminal justice to work in law enforcement, in corrections, or for the legal system.

Criminal justice colleges in California prepare graduates for careers as detectives, correctional officers, patrol officers, and probation officers.

Some criminal justice careers require a graduate degree. For example, after earning a bachelor's in criminal justice, you could apply to law school to become a lawyer or judge.

The following table shows the highest-paying criminal justice jobs in California, as well as their projected job growth rates and education requirements.

10 High-Paying Criminal Justice Jobs in California
Job Median Annual CA Salary (May 2021) CA Job Growth Rate (2020-2030) Minimum Education Required
Lawyers $162,700 13% First-professional
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives $161,720 3% High school diploma
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers $134,870 0% First-professional
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary $130,910 10% Doctorate
First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers $106,500 -4% High school diploma
Detectives and Criminal Investigators $104,060 2% High school diploma
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers $100,330 5% High school diploma
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists $99,090 4% Bachelor's
Correctional Officers and Jailers $81,890 -7% High school diploma
Compliance Officers $80,330 10% Bachelor's

Sources: BLS, Projections Central

Q&A With a Real Criminal Justice Professor in California


Katharine Tellis, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics at California State University, Los Angeles. She holds a Ph.D. in criminal justice from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Dr. Tellis also holds a master of social work and a BA in gender studies from UCLA.

Her areas of interest include race, class, gender, violence prevention, and criminal justice policy.



Q: What should students look for when researching criminal justice programs?


“Students should look for diversity in class offerings, as well as in the instructors who teach them. Courses should cover everything from law enforcement to the courts and corrections to reentry and community-based issues that often intersect with criminal justice. It is also helpful to have real-world opportunities for students, such as service-learning placements.”

Q: How can students determine the quality of criminal justice program faculty?


“Faculty should have both academic credentials (graduate degrees) and practical or research experience — all three are a plus. It is critical that faculty reflect the diversity of the student body they serve to ensure the best educational environment that will translate to professional success, especially given the social issues we face.”

Q: What are some of the most important skills you'll gain in a criminal justice program?


“The most important skills students should learn include critical thinking, professional writing, and emotional intelligence (empathy in particular), as well as other interpersonal skills to assist when interacting with the diverse populations who work within and interface with the criminal justice system.”

Q: How can these skills help students in their criminal justice careers?


“These skills translate into success in the workplace because students are then better able to identify, evaluate, and problem-solve the ethical, logistical, and technical issues that inevitably emerge as a criminal justice professional in California.”

Professional Resources for Criminal Justice Students in California

Business Compliance Resources

California Chamber of Commerce

This organization focuses on helping businesses in the state of California thrive through business compliance practices. The CalChamber tackles many issues facing companies today, from political action to worker compensation.

California Secretary of State

The Secretary of State provides tons of business-related regulatory information for the state of California, from e-file forms to tax information.

Small Business California

Dedicated solely to serving small businesses and their employees, SB Cal responds to the unique needs of small businesses. The site provides information on advocacy campaigns and allows users to submit their input so ideas can be easily shared and acted upon.

Correctional Resources

California Correctional Peace Officers Association

Geared toward those who work in California's correctional facilities, this site provides information on prison reform and culture.

California Correctional Supervisors Organization

Serving the supervisors and managers working in the California state corrections system, CCSO protects and represents members' values through legal representation and tackling labor-related issues.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

This government site offers services to incarcerated individuals and their families, in addition to career and general information about the California corrections and rehabilitation program.

California Probation, Parole & Correctional Association

CPPCA represents correctional personnel and those interested in how the California correctional system works. It also supports research relevant to the corrections system.

Court and Judicial Resources

California Commission on Judicial Performance

This department of the state of California is dedicated to investigating complaints of judicial misconduct and assigned to disciplining judges. Get information on pending cases and commission membership.

California Court Association

CalCourt was designed to help past and present employees of California's court system train and prepare for leadership roles, keep up with ever-changing laws, and help review and make recommendations on pending legislation.

California Judges Association

A professional group supporting judges and justices across the state of California, CJA holds educational conferences, provides publications for currently serving and retired justices. It also appoints ethics and other committees to ensure the well-being of California-based judges.

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

With a focus on balancing California's justice system and impacting policymaking, CJCJ offers news and educational information on juvenile justice and adult correctional reform.

State of California Department of Justice

The Department of Justice provides information on government careers in the criminal justice field, including fellowships and scholarship programs.

Legal Resources

Association for Criminal Justice Research - California

ACJRca aims to improve criminal justice practices in all sectors through discussion and research. Members have access to conferences and networking opportunities with other criminal justice professionals.

California Attorneys for Criminal Justice

This professional association's goal is to protect and promote people's rights under the Constitution. The website provides information on legislation and internship and career opportunities.

State Bar of California

Students planning to become attorneys in California should visit this website to learn how to become practicing lawyers in the state.

Western Association of Criminal Justice

This association of western states, including California, aims to improve criminal justice practices through academic research. Students are encouraged to become members.

Law Enforcement Resources

California Law Enforcement Association

A nonpolitical organization established to help offer California peace officers the best possible benefits for their service, CLEA provides information on long-term disability plans and scholarships.

California Peace Officers' Association

This site hosts a collection of information for California's police, sheriffs, and highway patrol officers. You can find details on training, community partnership opportunities, and events.

California Police Youth Charities

CPYA aims to foster a relationship between law enforcement and California's youths by providing activities for at-risk youths.

California Statewide Law Enforcement Association

This professional association comprises all types of law enforcement professionals throughout California. Members receive a variety of benefits, while non-members can access news articles, press releases, and more.

Peace Officers Research Association of California

As California's largest public safety organization, PORAC offers information on advocacy programs, training sessions, and labor relations for peace officers across the state. It even maintains a job board for peace officer prospects.

Statewide University Police Association

This site represents police officers working on college and university campuses in California. Read about current events, news, and leadership surveys.

Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Justice in California

Which Cal State school is best for criminal justice?

The best program depends on your unique needs. Many Cal State schools offer criminal justice degrees. Sacramento State, for example, has the largest criminal justice program in the state. Meanwhile, CSU San Bernardino offers the only online criminal justice degree at a Cal State school.

Be sure to compare programs to find the best fit for you.

Which University of California school has the best criminal justice program?

You can study criminal justice at many UC campuses. UC Berkeley offers a top-ranked legal studies major, while UC Santa Cruz also offers a legal studies degree.

You can study criminology as part of a psychology or sociology degree at a UC school. In addition, many UCs rank among the best law schools in the country.

How much do criminal defense lawyers make in California?

Lawyers earned an average annual salary of $176,610 in California in May 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Salaries for criminal defense lawyers vary greatly by location, experience, and specialization.

For more information on your earning potential with a law degree, contact California law schools to ask about starting salaries for recent grads.

What is a judge's salary in California?

California judges reported an average annual salary of $206,790 in May 2021, according to BLS data. In order to work as a judge, you typically need a law degree and several years of work experience as an attorney.


Next Steps

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

See All Posts

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Shape your future with an online degree

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.