OU Online Criminal Justice Program Among Top in the Nation


OU Online Criminal Justice Program Among Top in the Nation

The OU College of Professional and Continuing Studies has proven once again it has one of the best online criminal justice graduate programs in the country, earning high rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice, which offers innovative, challenging and engaging programs led by top-notch faculty, came in at No. 12 among the best online graduate criminal justice programs in the  “2021 Best Online Programs” rankings. The program also ranked No. 8 for best online graduate criminal justice programs for veterans.

“Even in policing, we have stressed public safety strategies and organizational concepts that are on the cutting edge of research and innovation. Our faculty are national in scope, with a heavy emphasis on blending experience with academic scholarship.”

Whether students are looking for job advancement in their law enforcement career, or working to boost their skills by combining the degree with a graduate certificate in organizational leadership or another area, the PACS criminal justice program is designed to put them in a position to meet their goals, especially in today’s changing climate.

“It’s actually a dynamic time in criminal justice ─ a time of change,” said Todd Wuestewald, associate professor with the PACS School of Criminal Justice Studies. “New career opportunities are being opened in restorative justice, victim services, community corrections, community building and community policing.

“The call has gone out for innovative thinkers and leaders well versed in research and evidence-based practice,” he added. “Education, particularly graduate education, has never been more in demand as agencies in all branches of the criminal justice system seek to connect with constituents and explore innovative approaches to public safety.”

PACS recently added a Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice to its program, one of the first in the country to do so. The certificate focuses on emerging tools and techniques for helping victims and offenders, and it may help those who work with these groups find new meaning in their careers.

“Restorative justice is where the system is headed; many just haven’t known what to call it. From its inception, the program has been heavily invested in restorative justice, with specialized courses and nationally recognized faculty in this area,” Wuestewald said. “Even in policing, we have stressed public safety strategies and organizational concepts that are on the cutting edge of research and innovation. Our faculty are national in scope, with a heavy emphasis on blending experience with academic scholarship.”

In addition to restorative justice, the program allows students to tailor their education and add credentials by choosing from additional graduate certificates they complete as part of their degree program, including Corrections Management, Drug Policy and Criminal Justice Administration.

“With embedded graduate certificate options in our master’s degree program, students can earn both their graduate degree and a specialization in the area of most interest to them and to potential employers,” Wuestewald said.

Visit our website to learn more about the Master of Science in Criminal Justice or other degrees and programs offered by the OU College of Professional and Continuing Studies.

OU logo

Tami Althoff

Tami Althoff holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is a reporter with more than 20 years’ experience working for newspapers, including The Oklahoman. She has covered everything from breaking news to local music and art. She loves sports, especially OU football and basketball games, where she often embarrasses her children by yelling too loudly.