Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University
By: Stephenie Slahor

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private, not-for-profit, accredited university. Founded in 1932, SNHU has an 80-year history. The university is based in Manchester, N.H., with satellite campuses in Portsmouth, Salem and Nashua, N.H. and in Brunswick, Maine. The university’s online courses and degree programs began in 1996.  The online programs are available at all degree levels: associate, bachelor’s and master’s, and in various certificate programs.

Undergraduate level programs of particular interest to law enforcement personnel include the concentrations of Crime and Criminology, Law and Legal Process, Policing and Law Enforcement, Terrorism and Homeland Security, Public Administration, Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination, Computer Information Technology, Organizational Leadership, Operations and Project Management, Cybersecurity, and Database Management. 

Graduate online-degree-program subject areas include: Justice Studies, Cybersecurity, Public Administration, Terrorism and Homeland Security, Forensic Accounting, Public Relations, and Internet Security. The online degree programs can be completed in as few as 18 months, with more than one course taken each term. SNHU does not require GMAT or GRE tests for admission to its programs.

The Master of Science degree in Justice Studies is a 36-credit program that includes comprehensive examination of the U.S. justice system, its components, policing and corrections practices, management and law. The Master’s degree can be shaped to the individual student’s preferences through the selecting of courses from the curriculum’s electives. At present, the three concentrations of study in the Justice Studies graduate program are Public Administration, Cybersecurity, and Terrorism and Homeland Security.

In addition to its degree programs, SNHU offers Justice Studies Graduate Certificates options in the same three concentrations of study. The 7-course Cybersecurity Certificate teaches the latest Internet security measures and techniques including analytical and technical skills, and an understanding of the techniques of prevention, detection and recovery from information loss. 

The 4-course Public Administration Graduate Certificate focuses on responsive, efficient, accountable governance processes, and on policies in public administration problems.  The 4-course Terrorism and Homeland Security Certificate involves practices in emergency management planning, threat assessments, Constitutional rights, and civil liberties.

SNHU’s policy is to offer affordable tuition rates, flexible program design, and a tradition of academic excellence. Qualified faculty members who are specialists and practitioners in the content they teach lead the campus and online courses. In January 2013, SNHU froze tuition for courses taken online, locking in the 2012 tuition rates for the 2013 school year. 

The tuition freeze applies to both undergraduate and graduate courses taken online or at the campuses. The school chose to do this in accord with its stated philosophy of keeping education an affordable reality. To that end, SNHU conducted a website-based comparison study with a number of universities offering similar degree programs and found that its tuition was the lowest. 

About 90 percent of SNHU students receive some form of financial aid, which might include need-based grants, academic scholarships, commuter scholarships, work-study, and/or loans. Currently, tuition begins at $960 per course / $320 per credit hour for online undergraduate degrees and programs, and $1,881 per course / $627 per credit hour for graduate-level online degrees and certificates. 

Application to the SNHU graduate level programs is done on a rolling basis. Applicants can submit their information at any time and will likely receive a decision within four weeks of submitting all required materials. 

Stephenie Slahor, Ph.D., J.D., writes in the fields of law enforcement and security. She can be reached at

Published in Law and Order, May 2013

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