Online criminology master’s program again rated No. 1 in nation

mas cohort

Amanda Geller (bottom, left), associate professor of criminology, law and society and co-director of the university’s top-ranked online M.A.S. program in the subject, flanks some of the 93 students in the current cohort. Below photo: Charis Kubrin, professor of criminology, law and society and co-director of M.A.S. (bottom, right) with Class of 2023 M.A.S. graduates.

U.S. News & World Report ranks M.A.S. best for five consecutive years

The University of California, Irvine Master of Advanced Study in criminology, law and society has been named the nation’s best online criminal justice master’s program by U.S. News & World Report for the fifth year in a row. The 2024 rankings mark the seventh consecutive year in which the UCI program has placed in the top three.

“To be No. 1 once takes work. To hold that ranking for multiple years running is a sign of remarkable commitment,” said Jon Gould, dean of the School of Social Ecology. “Our faculty and staff are dedicated to providing the best-quality program for our students, and it’s no wonder that their efforts have been continually recognized. This is exactly why students come to UC Irvine and the M.A.S. program.”

M.A.S. co-directors and criminology, law and society faculty members Charis E. Kubrin and Amanda Geller said in a joint statement: “Five years in a row ranked No.1! UCI M.A.S. has some serious staying power. We want to congratulate everyone involved – students, staff and faculty – for making this program as successful as it is, year after year.” 

Created more than 20 years ago, UCI’s M.A.S. in criminology, law and society was the first online degree offered in the University of California system. The program is designed to meet the goals of students seeking leadership positions in a range of fields, including corrections, law enforcement, social services, probation/parole and forensic psychology, as well as a variety of public administrative roles.

Irvine Police Chief Michael Kent enrolled in the UCI program after extensive research into options available nationwide. Its reputation set it apart, he said.

“Police officers are trained to go out there, conduct criminal investigations, identify different statutes, make arrests, write police reports and testify. It’s very one-dimensional. What the UCI M.A.S. program provides is the why. I gained a better understanding of the challenges we have in our communities, of our criminal justice system, how it impacts our society, why communities have lost trust in police and how we can bridge the gap,” said Kent, who completed the program in 2015.

The annual U.S. News list of the best online programs is one of the most influential in the country, with ratings derived from five categories of academic quality: engagement, faculty credentials and training, services and technology, expert opinion, and student excellence.

UCI’s M.A.S. program in criminology, law and society has graduated more than 637 students who have gone on to pursue doctorates, law degrees or careers as police administrators, educators, federal law enforcement agents, forensic psychologists and others. Ninety-three students are currently enrolled in the program.

Mimi Ko Cruz

Press release