Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Degree Programs in California (A-B)

Searching for bachelor’s in criminal justice degree programs in California will return numerous results scattered across its 163,696 square miles.

With the United States’ highest population, California relies on criminal justice graduates to keep over 39.25 million people safe. That’s a tall order since the State Attorney General announced that violent crime rose by 10 percent in 2015 alone. The California Board of Corrections reports around 1.26 million crimes each year, including 2,150 murders. According to Forbes, Oakland and Stockton rank among the “10 Most Dangerous U.S. Cities.” California’s judiciary system is also the largest nationally with 1,600 judges total. The BLS shows that 374,460 Californians work in protective services for an annual mean wage of $56,810.

The following is the first installment of criminal justice schools in California (A-B) for learning to enforce laws.

Alliant International University-San Diego

California School of Forensic Studies

Originally founded as the Balboa School of Law by Leland Ghent Stanford in 1924, Alliant International University has evolved into a private, for-profit teaching institution within the Arist Education System to serve around 4,000 non-traditional scholars at six campuses statewide, including San Diego. Graded A+ for diversity and A for value on Niche, Alliant was ranked 10th nationally in Military Times EDGE magazine’s “Best for Vets Colleges.” The California School of Forensic Studies confers one of the bachelor’s in criminal justice degree programs in California and an ABA-approved Juris Doctor.

Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Systems

Delivered by PhD-level faculty trained at Clemson, Syracuse, Clark, Manchester, and more, the Alliant Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Systems arms undergrads with in-depth legal knowledge to formulate solutions in victim and offender services. The 120-unit B.S. degree offers evening sessions in San Diego with an average 14:1 student-faculty ratio. Courses like corrections and anthropology of law are supplemented with two field placements. Priced at $83,085 total, the 48-month program requires finishing a high school diploma or IGETC Certificate with a minimum 2.0 GPA.


• Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)


10455 Pomerado Road

San Diego, CA 92131

(866) 825-5426

Program Link

Argosy University

College of Arts and Sciences

Noted for the first competency-based programs accredited by the WASC, Argosy University is a for-profit learning system established in 2001 that’s been sold to The Dream Foundation to uphold the values of “Tradition, Passion, Excellence” in educating over 24,800 adults at five California locations and online. Ranked in the top 15 percent of military-friendly colleges by Victory Media, Argosy was graded “B” for value and campus quality on Niche. The College of Arts and Sciences confers four bachelor’s from psychology to business for an average placement rate of 89 percent.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Spanning 40 months full-time for $66,943 total, the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice at Argosy is one of the widest-reaching bachelor’s in criminal justice degree programs in California with courses at the Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and San Francisco campuses or online. The 120-credit curriculum sharpens students’ critical thinking skills for addressing modern crime and security concerns. Majors choose from seven concentrations: Corrections, Forensic Psychology, Homeland Security, Management, Police, Security Management, and Substance Abuse, with field placement opportunities.


• Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)


3401 Centre Lake Drive, Suite 200

Ontario, CA 91761

(909) 472-0800

Program Link

5230 Pacific Concourse Drive, Suite 200

Los Angeles, CA 90045

(310) 531-9690

Program Link

601 South Lewis Street

Orange, CA 928684

(714) 620-3718

Program Link

1615 Murray Canyon Road, Suite 100

San Diego, CA 92108

(619) 321-3000

Program Link

1005 Atlantic Avenue

Alameda, CA 94501

(510) 217-4793

Program Link

2233 West Dunlap Avenue

Phoenix, AZ 85021

(866) 427-4679

Online Program Link

Ashford University

College of Liberal Arts

Rated “A-” as a BBB-accredited business, Ashford University is owned by Bridgepoint Education to deliver nearly 70 online, for-profit programs to 48,900 students across four colleges under President Craig D. Swenson’s leadership at the physical headquarters in San Diego, Forbes’ 33rd best place for careers. Ranked America’s 77th “Best Online College” on Niche, Ashford was placed fifth nationally by For an average net price of $17,572 yearly, the College of Liberal Arts confers 17 degrees, including one of the bachelor’s in criminal justice degree programs in California.

Bachelor of Arts in Social and Criminal Justice

Conducted wholly online in five-week modules, the Bachelor of Arts in Social and Criminal Justice is a 120-credit, WASC-accredited program for Ashford undergrads to gain broad-based understanding of legal processes. Courses are drawn primarily from criminal justice, sociology, and political science disciplines before a three-credit capstone project. Applicants must be at least 22 years old with 20-90 transferrable credits graded “C” or higher. Additional programs to consider are the B.A. in Homeland Security and Emergency Management or B.A. in Law Enforcement Administration.


• Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)


8620 Spectrum Center Blvd.

San Diego, CA 92123

(563) 242-4023

Program Link

Azusa Pacific University

School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences

Opened in March 1900, Azusa Pacific University is a private, Wesleyan-Holiness teaching institution and largest CCCU member with 6,500 undergrad Cougars studying on its 105-acre suburban campus in Azusa, three satellites, and online. Recognized for America’s 191st “Best College Dorms” on Niche, APU was ranked the 270th best private college and 160th top research university with the 373rd most grateful grads by Forbes. The School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences (BAS) is led by Dean Robert Welsh, Ph.D. to provide 27 academic programs with benefits like the Law Enforcement Discount.

Criminal Justice Major

Retaining 85 percent of freshmen on average, the Criminal Justice Major confers a Bachelor of Arts to traditional APU undergrads for developing the ethical reasoning and critical thinking skills to resolve issues concerning criminal behavior. Requiring a minimum 2.0 GPA, the 120-unit curriculum integrates courses like victimology, forensic science, counter-terrorism, family violence, and constitutional law before an applied capstone. Majors may also join the Honors College, participate in the Noel Academy for Strengths-Based Leadership, and pledge Sigma Alpha Pi.

B.A. in Criminal Justice (Bachelor’s Completion)

Available at the Murrieta, San Diego, and Inland Empire campuses, the B.A. in Criminal Justice Completion is one of the fastest bachelor’s in criminal justice degree programs in California requiring just 48 units in residence. Presently costing $575 per unit, the WASC-accredited curriculum helps returning adults with 30+ units finish learning the contemporary theories of crime causation and reaction. The Senior Capstone will involve fieldwork in settings like the Azusa Police Department and Los Angeles County Superior Court.

B.S. in Criminal Justice Online

Rooted in Biblical concepts, the B.S. in Criminal Justice Online is offered by the APU University College to support non-traditional students needing Internet flexibility to study the major elements of law procedures and investigative processes. For just $450 per unit, students complete 60 to 120 units based on previous experience with the guidance of success coaches. Undergrads specialize their study in seven emphases: Clinical Psychology, Criminal Behavior, Cultural Psychology, Forensics, Human Services, Paralegal, and Public Administration.


• Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)


901 E. Alosta Avenue

Azusa, CA 91702

(626) 815-6000

Program Link

375 W. Hospitality Lane

San Bernardino, CA 92408

(909) 888-9977

Program Link

40508 Murrieta Hot Springs Rd.

Murrieta, CA 92563

(951) 304-3400

Program Link

5353 Mission Center Road, Suite 300

San Diego, CA 92108

(619) 718-9655

Program Link

Brandman University

School of Arts & Sciences

Educating over 11,000 working adults with the iDEAL model, Brandman University is a private, nonprofit WASC-accredited institution tracing back to 1958 that’s now led by Chancellor Gary Brahm and 1,575 staff from its Irvine headquarters to educate at 26 California and Washington State campuses. Deemed America’s 287th “Most Conservative College” on Niche, Brandman is proudly a Yellow Ribbon School applauded by G.I. Jobs magazine. The School of Arts & Sciences was recognized in the USNWR survey for the 63rd best online undergrad education, including one of the bachelor’s in criminal justice degree programs in California.

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Offered to transfers with 12+ baccalaureate credits, Brandman’s Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice is available at 24 California locations and fully online for analyzing how the legal system protects the public in today’s post-9/11 world. The 120-credit curriculum offers five specialized tracks: Corrections, Forensics, Homeland Security, Leadership, and Victim Advocacy-Social Justice. Expect courses ranging from constitutional rights to conflict resolution before the social science capstone. Alumni have excelled with Olympia Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Association of Washington Cities, and more.


• Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)


16355 Laguna Canyon Road

Irvine, CA 92618

(949) 753-4774

Program Link

Criminal justice majors are trained to enter protective service and legal occupations that are projecting 10-year job growth at 4 and 5 percent respectively according to the BLS. Studying criminal law could open jobs like court reporter, arbitrator, correctional officer, detective, surveillance officer, and fire inspector. For example, CNN Money recognized corporate paralegals for having America’s 60th best job with an “A” for personal satisfaction. Continue searching for your ideal college match with our next bachelor’s in criminal justice degree programs in California.

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