While many associate a criminal justice degree with police officers, the discipline actually prepares graduates for a much wider range of career opportunities in law enforcement and beyond. Criminal justice students commonly work as detectives, case workers, paralegals, private security officers and in many other positions.
Quality CJ programs provide a thorough overview of the country’s laws and criminal justice system, alongside an analysis of the nature of crime and deterrence. As part of the degree, students learn how criminals are filtered through the justice system and reintroduced to society. Courses prepare students for a career in the field, and many programs supplement this instruction with internship or capstone requirements. These allow students to work in police departments, rehabilitation centers, the courts or a similar facility, providing them a firsthand look at how the system functions.
Below, we’ve ranked the best online bachelor’s in criminal justice programs in the country. Each school thoroughly prepares graduates for the field, building practical skills within an ethical framework that encourages graduates to carry an empathetic attitude into their work. If you want to pursue a career in law enforcement or criminal justice, and are interested in online programs, start your research with a look at these top schools.
2016 Online Education Trends Report: Learn how online programs are changing the face of higher education.