4 Best Criminal Justice Schools in Arkansas

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Deciding to pursue a career in criminal justice means finding the right school and program that will help you meet your career goals.

This is true for any educational degree program but perhaps more important in the field of criminal justice.

These are programs that provide a solid educational foundation and then specialized coursework to get you ready for the workforce.

Fortunately, Arkansas offers several excellent educational institutions with comprehensive programs in criminal justice.

In this article, we will explore the best criminal justice schools in Arkansas, providing information on contact details, tuition costs, and the programs they offer.

Whether you’re looking to earn an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or even a master’s degree in criminal justice, you’re sure to find an institution that suits your needs and goals in the Natural State.

Also, some schools offer online programs which make it easier for working students to continue their jobs while pursuing their degree.

Also, look into financial aid and loan programs that can make working on your degree program easier.

There are a large number of programs to consider throughout the state so be sure to look closely for the college or university that will help you meet your goals.

1 University of Arkansas at Little Rock


The tuition costs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock can vary depending on the program and your residency status.

As of the 2021-2022 academic year, here are the approximate tuition rates:

  • In-State Undergraduate: $9,271 per year
  • Out-of-State Undergraduate: $21,257 per year
  • In-State Graduate: $8,632 per year
  • Out-of-State Graduate: $15,016 per year

Please note that tuition rates are subject to change and may be updated each semester.

Be sure to check the university’s website or contact the admissions office for the most current Information.

This can help you make decisions about your educational path.

Programs Offered

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Department of Criminal Justice offers a wide range of programs in criminal justice.

These include:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Criminal Justice:

This undergraduate program covers various aspects of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, corrections, and the courts.

Students can choose from concentrations such as law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, or pre-law.

Master of Arts (MA) in Criminal Justice:

Graduate students can delve deeper into the field with this program.

It offers advanced coursework and opportunities for research and specialization in areas like criminal justice administration, victimology, and more.

The ability to add research and specialization gives students a broader education that better meets their career goals.

Online Programs:

UALR provides online courses for those who require flexibility in their studies.

The online programs cover both undergraduate and graduate levels.

This is important for students who are still working full-time jobs or have hectic schedules.

This allows studies to be completed on a less strict schedule.

Students still have access to their professors and additional educational materials to support their studies.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is known for its commitment to academic excellence and offers students access to experienced faculty members.

These professors are actively engaged in criminal justice research which can be a unique experience for students.

The university’s central location in Little Rock also provides students with proximity to various criminal justice agencies and organizations, making it an ideal place to gain practical experience and internships.

Contact Information

  • Address: 2801 S University Ave, Little Rock, AR 72204, United States
  • Phone: (501) 916-3000
  • Website: Visit School Website

2 Arkansas State University


Arkansas State University’s tuition fees are typically determined by residency status and the level of study.

As of the 2021-2022 academic year, here is an overview of tuition costs:

  • In-State Undergraduate: Approximately $8,607 per year
  • Out-of-State Undergraduate: Approximately $12,057 per year
  • In-State Graduate: Approximately $6,060 per year
  • Out-of-State Graduate: Approximately $11,436 per year

Tuition rates can change from year to year.

In order to understand the program costs, it’s advisable to check for the latest information on the university’s website or by contacting the admissions office.

This information can help you plan accordingly.

Programs Offered

Arkansas State University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers comprehensive criminal justice programs.

These include:

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminology:

This undergraduate program prepares students for careers in law enforcement, corrections, and the judicial system.

The curriculum covers subjects such as criminological theories, criminal justice ethics, and criminal law.

Master of Science (MS) in Criminology and Criminal Justice:

This graduate program is designed for those seeking advanced knowledge and research skills in the field.

Students can specialize in areas like corrections, law enforcement, or crime and delinquency.

Online Programs:

Arkansas State University offers online courses and programs, including a fully online master’s program for students who require the flexibility of remote learning.

This is perfect for students who are in the workforce or have busy schedules.

Taking online courses does not mean that students lack attention from the faculty or access to supplemental educational materials or opportunities.

The quality of education is high it just provides a better scheduling opportunity that many students need.

Arkansas State University stands out for its commitment to hands-on learning, providing students with internship and experiential opportunities within the criminal justice system.

This gives students real-world experience where they can apply what they have learned in the classroom or online.

The university’s location in Jonesboro, a city with a growing job market in criminal justice, offers students the chance to gain practical experience and connect with potential employers.

Contact Information

  • Address: 2105 East, Aggie Rd, Jonesboro, AR 72401, United States
  • Phone: (870) 972-2100
  • Website: Visit School Website

3 University of Arkansas - Fort Smith


Tuition rates at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith depend on your residency status and the specific program.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, here are approximate tuition figures:

  • In-State Undergraduate: Around $4,782 per year
  • Out-of-State Undergraduate: Around $8,808 per year
  • In-State Graduate: Approximately $3,804 per year
  • Out-of-State Graduate: Approximately $8,808 per year

Please check with the university for the most up-to-date tuition information.

Tuition rates change periodically, often year to year.

Contacting the admissions office or visiting their website can provide the most up-to-date information.

Programs Offered

The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith’s College of Health Sciences offers several criminal justice programs, including:

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice:

This undergraduate program provides a comprehensive overview of criminal justice and prepares students for various careers in the field.

Courses cover topics like criminal law, corrections, and policing.

This coursework provides a good foundation for an education in criminal justice then the opportunity to explore more specializations that will be the best fit for each student.

Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Criminal Justice:

Designed for students with an associate degree in a related field, this program allows for seamless transfer of credits.

It offers a fast track to completing a bachelor’s degree.

This is a unique opportunity to use the education that students have already received and expand their knowledge in the field of criminal justice.

If there are questions about transferring credits to join this program, contact the admissions office.

They will be able to work with each student for a smooth transition to this program.

Online Programs:

UAFS offers online courses, providing flexibility for students who need to balance their studies with other commitments.

This is a wonderful opportunity for working students to pursue their educational goals.

The coursework is on par with classroom instruction.

Students still have access to professors and faculty members for questions and guidance.

Also, students have access to any additional materials the university provides to support each student’s educational progress.

University of Arkansas – Fort Smith prides itself on offering small class sizes, which allows for more personalized attention from faculty.

This allows students to ask questions and clarification when needed.

This enriches the entire educational experience.

Students have the opportunity to engage in practical experiences through internships and cooperative education agreements with local law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.

This gives students the opportunity to gain real-world experience and the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom.

Contact Information

  • Address: 5210 Grand Ave #3649, Fort Smith, AR 72913, United States
  • Phone: (479) 788-7000
  • Website: Visit School Website

4 University of Central Arkansas


Tuition costs at the University of Central Arkansas depend on factors like your residency status, the number of credit hours you take, and the specific program.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, the approximate tuition rates were as follows:

  • In-State Undergraduate: $7,061 per year (12-15 credit hours)
  • Out-of-State Undergraduate: $12,288 per year (12-15 credit hours)

As tuition costs change from year to year, it’s important to contact the admissions department and the university website for the most up-to-date information when planning your educational experience.

Programs Offered

Bachelor’s degree in Criminology:

At the University of Central Arkansas, sociology, criminology, and anthropology are combined into one department.

This gives students a unique educational opportunity.

Students and faculty interact in many different ways.

The goal is to provide students with the analytical and conceptual tools to operate in today’s workforce.

The faculty does this by leading students through a number of both methodological and theoretical approaches to the subject matter.

The faculty strives to help students with the tools that they need to actively contribute to their chosen field.

With a bachelor’s degree in criminology, students also receive a solid liberal arts education.

Once students graduate, they are well prepared to enter a graduate criminal justice program if they want to further their education.

Contact Information

  • Address: 201 Donaghey Ave, Conway, AR 72035, United States
  • Phone: (501) 450-5000
  • Website: Visit School Website

Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 University of Arkansas at Little Rock
#2 Arkansas State University
#3 University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
#4 University of Central Arkansas

Criminal Justice Schools by State

Chelsea Wilson

About Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s distance learning LLM degree program, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world.

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