Amanda Geller (bottom left), UCI 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.
Amanda Geller (bottom left), UCI 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. UCI

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 7, 2024 — 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. It’s 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, etc. Ninety-three students are currently enrolled in the program.

UCI’s Brilliant Future campaign: Publicly launched on Oct. 4, 2019, the Brilliant Future campaign aims to raise awareness and support for the university. By engaging 75,000 alumni and garnering $2 billion in philanthropic investment, UCI seeks to reach new heights of excellence in student success, health and wellness, research and more. The School of Social Ecology plays a vital role in the success of the campaign. Learn more at

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced five 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 224 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 $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit

Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UCI news, visit Additional resources for journalists may be found at