Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice shines in latest U.S. News & World Report rankings

Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice David Klinger

Renowned faculty members, such as Professor David Klinger (center), are a critical component in making the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice one of the nation’s best – something U.S. News & World Report acknowledged again when it placed UMSL’s program in the top five in its 2019 Best Graduate Schools rankings. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis continues to be recognized for one of the elite criminology and criminal justice programs in the country.

In a U.S. News & World Report ranking published Tuesday, the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice’s graduate program placed fifth on the publication’s 2019 list of the “Best Graduate Schools.”

“The rankings are really based on the quality of our faculty as well as our alumni and current graduate students and their hard work and dedication,” said Finn Esbensen, the department’s chair. “It’s a testament to the tradition that we have at UMSL. I think we’ve created a tradition and a history here that transcends individual faculty.”

Esbensen says this tradition is possible by intentionally recruiting around five PhD students each year. These small cohorts allow for specialized attention, financial support and access to research and teaching assistantships.

“We can give a lot more individualized time and attention to their academic development, and I think that helps in terms of their development as young scholars,” Esbensen said. “That also impacts their ability to compete in a very tight job market.”

Eight other UMSL graduate programs also made the publication’s latest rankings.

UMSL’s College of Nursing earned two placements for its master’s and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. Both degree options earned top-100 spots and jumped six and four positions, respectively.

Other recognized fields include social work, clinical psychology, psychology, biology, public policy administration and chemistry.

The U.S. News rankings are based on data from statistical surveys of 2,012 programs and from reputation reviews distributed to more than 20,500 academic experts and professionals. The publication collected data from fall 2017 to early 2018.

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