9 Best Criminal Justice Schools in Mississippi

Mississippi Seal

As you consider a career in criminal justice in Mississippi, take into account the schools in-state offering this major or minor for a degree.

You can earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to be eligible for entry-level criminal justice careers.

Some students go on to pursue a master’s degree and professional certificates in specialized areas of criminal justice.

See where you might attend as you prepare for a future working in criminal justice jobs.

1 University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

The most popular and biggest public college in Mississippi is the University of Mississippi.

This school is also referred to as Ole Miss.

The school offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.

In terms of success rates for graduates from the college criminal justice program, the school was ranked No. 54 of the Best Colleges for Criminal Justice in America.

While the main campus of the University of Mississippi is in Oxford, MS, there are several other campuses.

This includes the Medical Center campus in Jackson, as well as campuses in DeSoto, Tupelo, and Rankin, as well as Grenada Center and Booneville Center.

At UM, students can study criminal justice and earn a four-year Bachelor of Science degree.

The BS in Criminal Justice degree program includes an applicable service project.

Students must complete 130 hours of in-person service as part of their degree.

Specializations for criminal justice majors include corrections, homeland security, and law enforcement.

Tuition at Ole Miss is nearly $27,000 a year before financial aid for in-state students.

With financial assistance, residents of MS pay about $12,000 a year.

A four-year degree in criminal justice will cost about $48,000 to $108,000.

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2 Itawamba Community College

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice

Itawamba College has three campuses.

The main campus is in Fulton, MS, while additional campuses are located in Tupelo and Belden, both in MS.

As a two-year community college, Itawamba has associate’s degree programs.

For criminal justice majors, the program of study is 100 percent online.

Students can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice in this program.

The total coursework covers 60 credit hours and some general education classes.

Itawamba College is one of the most affordable MS schools.

Students pay about $5,000 before aid and $3,000 after aid for in-state tuition.

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3 Coahoma Community College

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Founded in 1949 as the first black community college in MS, Coahoma Community College today has a 92 percent African-American student population.

Students interested in criminal justice can major in this subject at CCC.

This is a four-year degree program that prepares graduates for the working world.

Students are also enabled to go for a master’s degree at another MS college in criminal justice.

The cost of tuition at Coahoma Community College is very affordable.

After aid, students pay about $700 an academic year and students without aid pay $3,000.

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4 The University of Southern Mississippi

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Certificate in Criminal Justice for Graduates

On Gulf Park and Hattiesburg campuses, students at The University of Southern Mississippi can pursue a degree in criminal justice.

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree can be featured as a minor or with a specialization in juvenile justice.

In addition, there are two master’s programs for criminal justice majors.

Both the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree and the graduate certificate in criminal justice are offered online and coursework is completed 100 percent remotely.

The graduate certificate is a criminal justice program to prepare students for a certification exam.

Tuition to The University of Southern Mississippi is $9,204 for in-state students and $11,204 for out-of-state students.

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5 Mississippi State University

Bachelor of Science in Criminology

At Mississippi State University, students can attend campus at three locations.

This includes on-campus physically in Starkville and Meridian, as well as a 100 percent remote online campus.

The Sociology Department is in charge of the criminology majors.

Here students can earn a four-year Bachelor of Science in Criminology.

This degree is beneficial for employment as well as the pursuit of higher education.

Continue on to earn a master’s degree from another MS college focusing on criminal justice.

Tuition at Mississippi State University is $9,220 a year for MS residents.

Students from other states pay nearly three times that at $24,900 per academic year.

Contact Information

  • Address: 75 B.S. Hood Dr., Mississippi State, MS 39762
  • Phone: 662-325-5198
  • Website: Visit School Website

6 Mississippi College

Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice

Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice – Homeland Security

Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice – Loss Prevention

Mississippi College is the oldest university in Mississippi, founded in 1826.

This is a private college and religiously affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention.

At Mississippi College, criminal justice and criminology students can earn a Bachelor of Science degree.

There are three route options.

Choose from the BS in Administration of Justice or specialize in a BS in AJ plus Loss Prevention or Homeland Security.

The BS degree at MC takes four years even with a concentration in homeland security or loss prevention.

Students graduate ready to work in a specialized area of expertise with a BS in Administration of Justice.

This includes law enforcement, corrections, and prisons.

The tuition rate for MC is $10,123 an academic semester for full-time students in undergraduate programs.

This rate breaks down to $632 per credit hour.

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7 Alcorn State University

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Alcorn State University is a historically black college and the second-oldest university in Mississippi.

The main campus is in Lorman with additional campuses in Vicksburg and Natchez, MS.

Students at Alcorn State University can earn a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in four years.

This program is offered traditionally on campus and prepares students for a career in criminal justice fields.

The cost of tuition at Alcorn State University for in-state students is $16,206, while out-of-state students pay $23,812.

These figures are before any financial assistance is applied.

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8 Delta State University

Bachelor of Science in Social Justice and Criminology

Master of Science in Social Justice and Criminology

Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi is a teacher’s college offering additional coursework.

Students at this four-year public college are able to earn a Bachelor of Science in Social Justice and Criminology.

In addition, the school has a master’s program for criminal justice majors.

Students can pursue a Master of Science in Social Justice and Criminology to continue their education.

The master’s degree track takes one and a half to two years to complete depending on the student’s schedule.

Tuition at Delta State University is $14,377 per academic year for in-state students.

Non-residents pay $21,744 a year for tuition and fees.

These figures are as of the 2020-2021 school year.

Contact Information

  • Address: 1003 W. Sunflower Rd., Cleveland, MS 38733
  • Phone: 662-846-3000
  • Website: Visit School Website

9 Mississippi University for Women

Bachelor of Technology in Professional Studies in Legal Administration

Mississippi University for Women is a college that started as the Industrial Institute and College for the Education of White Girls.

Years after the school opened in 1884, the school was renamed again to Mississippi State College for Women.

There is one program for criminal justice students that is not quite a CJ degree but may be relative to a student’s career path.

The school offers a Bachelor of Technology (BT) degree in Professional Studies with a concentration in Legal Administration.

This is a four-year degree program that is not American Bar Association-approved or used by paralegals.

Tuition at Mississippi University for Women is $7,765 for in-state students.

Do you have to be a female student at the Mississippi University for Women? No.

As of 2023, men account for 20 percent of the student population, which is primarily made up of female students.

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Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)
#2 Itawamba Community College
#3 Coahoma Community College
#4 The University of Southern Mississippi
#5 Mississippi State University
#6 Mississippi College
#7 Alcorn State University
#8 Delta State University
#9 Mississippi University for Women

Criminal Justice Salary Information

The average pay per hour for a criminal justice professional in Mississippi with an associate’s degree is $24.30.

A four-year bachelor’s degree in criminal justice brings in more pay with an hourly wage of $26.90 per hour.

This is a pay raise of approximately $2.50 an hour.

An expert-level criminal justice administrator in MS earns between $35,000 and $44,000 on average a year.

For a criminal investigator, the pay range is higher at $51,000 to $75,000 a year.

For criminal justice professionals working in corrections as an officer, the MS pay range varies greatly by city.

The highest paying correctional officers earn just more than $26.00 per hour in Jackson, MS.

Compare this to the $20 an hour earned in Raymond and the nearly $14 an hour earned by correctional officers in Meridian.

Natchez, MS is also a low-paying city for correctional officers with the average rate at slightly over $13 an hour.

Other jobs that are related to criminal justice majors in Mississippi include crime scene investigator and justice court judge.

A justice court judge earns a salary ranging from $14,000 to $55,000 a year depending on the county population.

By specializing in a concentration when earning a criminal justice degree, students can increase their pay range even for entry-level jobs.

How does Massachusetts compare to the US at large for criminal justice salaries?

The rest of the US criminal justice experts earn anywhere from $32,000 to $80,000 a year comparatively.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in Mississippi

City Name Salary
Jackson $74,245
Gulfport $72,937
Biloxi $73,518
Hattiesburg $72,481
Greenville $73,742
Meridian $73,526
Tupelo $69,976
Southaven $76,753
Vicksburg $73,498
Pascagoula $73,178

Regional Salary

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS170$66,220$31.84$137,610$39,120
Jackson, MS320$62,660$30.12$125,820$35,190
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Detectives and Criminal Investigators, OCC Code 33-3021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

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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