Research Methodology

Research Methodology

Our researchers surveyed 1,800 colleges and universities offering criminal justice programs  in the United States,  using information from the U.S. Department of Education, online information, and direct contact with school administrators.

We identified over 5,000 criminal justice programs during our research. For each program, we recorded the specialties offered, degree levels, campus location, online options available, accreditation status, and relevant web URL links to information provided by the institution.

Our database contains the following information for each criminal justice program we identified during our research.

Institution Name—The official name of the institution.

Program Name—The program name exactly as it appears in the institution’s printed and online materials.

Specialty—Our researchers determined the specialty categorization for each program after close examination of the courses required for completion. The alternate specialty names listed below were used to identify program naming variations across institutions.

Similar programs at different institutions were listed under the proper specialty category according to the courses required by the program and, to a lesser extent, the name of the program and information in the program description. In rare cases, our researchers contacted a school administrator for clarification.

  • Criminal Justice (Alternative: Criminal Justice Research and Policy Analysis, Criminal Justice Crime and Public Policy)
  • Information Technology (Alternative: Criminal Justice Cyber Security, Computer Info Systems in Criminal Justice and Public Administration, Computer Criminology)
  • International Criminal Justice (Alternative: Global Criminology)
  • Criminology (Alternative: Culture and Deviance Studies, Criminology and Public Policy)
  • Legal Studies (Alternative: Law and Society, Law and Justice)
  • Paralegal
  • Forensic Science
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Administration and Management (Alternative: Administration, Management, Leadership, Organization)
  • Corrections (Alternative: Correctional Studies)
  • Court Reporting
  • Homeland Security
  • Police Studies (Alternative: Police Training, Law Enforcement and Intelligence)
  • Criminal Justice Education

Degree Type—The level of the degree awarded to students upon completion of the program.

  • Certificate
  • Associate’s Degree
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Master’s Degree
  • Doctorate Degree

Accreditation—The institution and program level accreditation.

Online Status—Programs offered 100 percent online are noted as such. For programs with online and campus options, two entries are made into our database, one for each option.

City, State, Zip—The city, state, and zip code where the institution is located.

School Homepage—This will be the link to the school’s main page, not the criminal justice page.

Criminal Justice Department Web Page—A direct link URL to the school’s public criminal justice department web page.

Program URL—This will be a link to the exact page where information can be found on the specific program.

If you have any questions or comments regarding our research methodology, we would love to hear from you.