School of Social Ecology building on UCI campus
The UCI Master of Advanced Study in criminology, law & society in the School of Social Ecology has been named the best online master’s criminal justice program in 2021 by U.S. News & World Report. This marks the second consecutive year it has been ranked #1 in the annual list and the fourth year in a row it has placed in the top three. Steve Zylius / UCI

Irvine, Calif., Jan. 26, 2021 — The University of California, Irvine Master of Advanced Study in criminology, law & society has been named the nation’s best online criminal justice master’s program by U.S. News & World Report for the second year in a row. The 2021 rankings also mark the fourth consecutive year in which UCI has placed in the top three.

The annual U.S. News list is one of the most influential in the county, with ratings derived from five categories for academic quality: engagement, faculty credentials and training, services and technology, expert opinion, and student excellence. Evaluators considered 79 online programs for the 2021 report.

“We are thrilled that our MAS program has once again been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the best in the country. It is a testament to the hard work of our faculty, who are leaders in their field, talented students and innovative courses,” said Nancy Guerra, dean of the School of Social Ecology. “This ranking further validates that our graduates are prepared with the critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and leadership skills necessary for criminal justice professionals to truly protect people and public safety.”

Launched in 2002, the MAS program currently has 100 students enrolled. It’s designed to meet their goal of seeking leadership positions in a wide range of fields, including law enforcement, criminology, forensic psychology, corrections and fraud investigation.

“We are delighted to be ranked as the number one online graduate criminal justice program for the second year in a row,” said Susan Turner, MAS program director. “We continue to strive to provide a relevant and rigorous education by UCI award-winning faculty.”

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

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