The University of Nebraska – Omaha is the main university in Nebraska, because it's in the state's largest city. Several members of the Omaha Presbyterian Theological Seminary came together at the turn of the 20th century and created plans to establish a new college in the city. They hoped that the new school would use Christianity as a basis for the classes taught but without that faith exerting a high level of control over students. Established in 1908, this college served as both Omaha University and the University of Omaha. Many of the teachers working for the university came from nearby schools, and the majority of its early classes consisted of local high school graduates. The university moved to a new campus in 1930 and later gained status as a full university. The University of Nebraska took over operations of the university in the 1960s, which led to its current name, which reflect its status as part of that school system and as a branch in Omaha.

U.S. News & World Report does not rank the university as a whole, but it does rank some of the programs that the university offers as among the best in the nation, including its Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of General Studies. Both these programs and others are available online. Washington Monthly ranked UNO, as most call it, as the 163rd best college in the United States. U.S. News & World Report also recognized five of the university's School of Public Administration programs as being the best in the country.

University of Nebraska – Omaha Accreditation Details

UNO offers a dual degree program for those with an interest in criminology that lets them earn degrees in both criminology and social work. The social work section of this program has accreditation from the Council on Social Work Accreditation, which is the only accrediting body that approves social work programs. Other program accreditation that might apply to some of the courses that you take include those from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and Council on Education for Public Health. The university's programs in teacher education, business, computer science and art history all have accreditation as well. UNO also has primary accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which gives you the right to both apply for financial aid and use that aid while in college.

University of Nebraska – Omaha Application Requirements

To earn a spot in one of the UNO graduate programs, you must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The university may place more weight on other factors and admit you with a lower GPA, but it will admit you as a conditional student and require that you take more introductory courses and maintain a high GPA in your first semester. There are really only three steps in the university's admissions process. The first is the online application. You will need to answer all questions honestly and pay a $45 fee when you submit it.

UNO understands that some people do better in the real world or on standardized tests than they do in college, which is why it lets you submit other information when you apply. It will accept the official score that you earned on the GRE or any other similar graduate level standardized test and letters of recommendation. You must select people with a strong familiarity with your work and professionals who can explain why you would do well in graduate school. The user name and password that you use to work on your application are also useful in the future. You can log in to see if UNO needs any additional information from you or if it made a final decision regarding your application.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for UNO graduate students taking classes on the Omaha campus starts at around $270 per credit. If you are a nonresident, you will pay $753 per credit. UNO offers a Metropolitan Advantage Program (MAP) that allows students living in other major cities to take classes for less. MAP students pay $405 per credit instead of the standard nonresident tuition rate. The cost for distance education or online students is less because these students do not pay the same fees. As a nonresident online student, you'll pay $583 per credit. If you're a Nebraska resident, your rate drops to $346 per credit hour, which is slightly more than you would pay to take classes on the UNO campus.

You can now file the FAFSA the year before you want to start classes because the government makes the form available in October. As long as you apply by the late spring, you should get some financial aid. Online students can borrow more than $20,000 a year in the form of two different loans. Some online students qualify for grants or scholarships too.

M.S. in Criminology and Criminal Justice

UNO is one of the only colleges in the country that offers a Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice. This program is unique when compared to other similar options because it looks at both the criminals and their behaviors as well as the function of the criminal justice system and those working in the system. It ranks as one of the most affordable online programs for CJ students and as one of the best online graduate programs for criminal justice students. UNO designed this as a terminal degree program, which means that it is the highest degree that you can get. The university expects graduates to go out and find work in the field instead of entering a doctoral program. You will take a class on diversity, four electives from any department, three criminal justice electives and four required classes.

Related Resource: Top 30 Affordable Online Master's in Criminology Programs

The four required courses include the nature of crime, seminar in administration of justice, statistical applications in criminal justice and criminal justice research, theory and methodology. You can do an internship or an independent study project from home too. UNO also gives you the option of picking a concentration in public administration or counseling. You'll need to take 12 credits of classes to fulfill the requirements of your concentration. The University of Nebraska – Omaha requires that you take a capstone course in the spring or that you take and pass some type of comprehensive exam before you graduate.