Written by Sarah Shelley | Content Development Specialist

For several consecutive years now, the online graduate criminal justice program at University of the Cumberlands has ranked in the top 10 in the nation – and best in the state. That record still stands, with U.S. News and World Report listing Cumberlands’ program at No. 7 in the nation and No. 1 in Kentucky. The program ranked No. 8 nationwide for U.S. military veterans.

Dr. Jack Brown, director of graduate studies and associate professor for the Department of Criminal Justice at Cumberlands, said, "I think the U.S. News ranking reflects the consistent effort of our criminal justice graduate faculty and the UC administration to consistently deliver high-quality education to the great men and women that serve and protect all of us across the country on a daily basis. It is a testament to not only our faculty but also our students who do excellent academic work.”

U.S. News evaluates more than 1,500 schools around the country, measuring the overall academic quality of programs such as business, criminal justice, education, information technology, and nursing across undergraduate and graduate levels. According to Dr. Brown, the rankings are primarily a “quantitative review of a program’s annual operations,” though qualitative aspects like curriculum development and online delivery are considered as well. In general, he finds the U.S. News ranking process to be rigorous and thorough. Every year that Cumberlands’ online graduate criminal justice program receives a top-ten spot in the rankings, Dr. Brown considers it a big win – not only for the Cumberlands community, but also for society in general.

He said, “Our program has a tremendous impact on criminal justice professionals in their pursuit of excellence in the field. Through students' engagement with our expert faculty and the connections they make with colleagues around the country, these professionals graduate better prepared to serve and protect their communities.”

Cumberlands’ overall ranking for bachelor’s programs jumped 64 spots in 2024 while its undergraduate business program maintained its ranking from the previous year.

The university’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration (MJA) program is one of the most affordable in Kentucky and can be completed entirely online in as little as one year. It was developed by law enforcement professionals for law enforcement professionals. In addition to core courses, students choose from nine (9) emphasis area, giving them the opportunity to dig deeper into their specific area of interest. Learn more at www.ucumberlands.edu