Criminal Justice Program at Adventist University Ranked Among Top in the U.S.


Bachelor of Science degree is now La Sierra University’s largest major.

A 2019 college guide has ranked La Sierra University’s criminal justice program 12th in the United States, a designation that comes as the program has grown into the university’s largest major.

The 2019 Best Colleges for Criminal Justice in America ranking is produced by, a site that prepares annual rankings and analysis on thousands of K-12 schools, colleges, cities, and employers. On the best criminal justice programs list, La Sierra landed ahead of such schools as Florida State University, Rutgers University, Ohio State University, and others. states that its college rankings are based on student reviews, data from the U.S. Department of Education, and other sources.

The Program at La Sierra

The La Sierra University criminal justice program, which was launched in the fall of 2010, operates under the umbrella of the College of Arts and Sciences at two campuses, one in Corona and the other in Ontario, California. Since its inception, the program has expanded to reach enrollment in fall 2018 of 255 students. It offers Bachelor of Science degrees in criminal justice for those aiming for careers in public safety, criminal law, private security, court administration, forensics, or corrections.

  • Lowell Smith, a former Orange County, California, probation officer, is also a nationally known expert in extremism and hate groups and a consultant with law enforcement and the media. He is a criminal justice professor at La Sierra University. [Photo: Natan Vigna, La Sierra University News]

Students learn from faculty members who possess extensive professional experience in various fields of criminal justice after working for such agencies as the Orange County Probation Department, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department forensics unit, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and other entities. The program also provides many hands-on learning environments such as a police driving simulator, crime lab, tactical training room, and mock trial courtroom. Students learn specific skills including arrest and control techniques, weaponless defense, fingerprinting, ballistics, crime scene processing, forensics, blood-spatter analysis, and report writing. The department is currently planning a special topics course covering narcotics in the 21st century.


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