Best Online Associate in Criminal Justice Programs

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The interdisciplinary field of criminal justice encompasses a network of government programs and agencies designed to deter criminal activities, prosecute criminal offenders and maintain social order and public safety nationwide. The components of criminal justice include law and law enforcement, fire protection, emergency management, information security and ethics. Criminal justice is one of the most popular fields of academic study; a recent poll by USA Today noted that ‘criminal justice and corrections’ is the sixth most common college major among U.S. undergraduates.

An associate degree in criminal justice will prepare students to succeed in this exciting, often challenging field. The curriculum typically includes coursework in law and ethics, criminal investigation, corrections and probation, juvenile justice and homeland security. A large number of programs also require students to complete an internship course, in which they will receive supervised onsite training from experienced professionals. Many of today’s students are choosing to earn their associate degree in criminal justice online. Web-based students follow the same rigorous curriculum as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, leading to the same number of job opportunities after graduation. The asynchronous (or self-paced) schedule and study-from-home format are also ideal for students with part-time jobs, childcare duties and other responsibilities that could possibly interfere with campus-based learning.

Learn more about what you can do with an online associate in criminal justice and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.

IS AN ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE WORTH IT?

An associate in criminal justice helps many graduates obtain a higher earning potential, and many potential careers have room for growth. According to PayScale, after accruing ten years of experience, many professionals earned a pay increase of about 45%. Read more here.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH AN ASSOCIATE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE?

An associate in criminal justice prepares students for many careers, including police officer, paralegal and legal assistant, and probation officer. Read more here.

HOW MANY CREDITS DOES IT TAKE TO EARN AN ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE?

Most associate programs in criminal justice will require between 60 and 70 credits. Read more here.

WHAT IS AN ASSOCIATE OF ARTS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE?

Criminal justice is a multidisciplinary field that covers law, law enforcement, fire protection, emergency management, information security, and ethics. This program is considered to be one of the most popular. Read more here.

WHAT TYPE OF ASSOCIATE DEGREE IS CRIMINAL JUSTICE?

Criminal justice associate degrees are considered multidisciplinary, teaching students about the law, law enforcement, legal procedures, ethics, and more. Many graduate who earn this degree find careers in law or law enforcement. Read more here.

WILL AN ONLINE ASSOCIATE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

Online associate in criminal justice programs usually offer a broad overview of law and law enforcement, the justice system and principles of forensics and detection. This comprehensive curriculum will prepare students for different career paths, and also introduce them to realities of working for a bureaucratic government agency. Internships and other onsite trainings are also useful; these courses enable students to apply the skills and knowledge they have gained in a real-world work setting.

WILL AN ONLINE ASSOCIATE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

Associate online degrees in criminal justice offer a flexible alternative to traditional higher learning. Students can download course lectures and readings, participate in virtual discussions with other students, submit written assignments, take exams and communicate with their professors from the comfort of their home computer. Current educational technology also allows them to study on the move using a laptop, tablet, smartphone and other Wi-Fi-compatible devices. For added convenience, online criminal justice students will usually be able to coordinate internships at locations within a reasonable commuting distance of their current residence.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY ASSOCIATE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE?

Job availability for criminal justice associate degree recipients will vary by their specific career goals. Many roles in law enforcement are attainable with an associate; however, these positions may require on-the-job training in firearm safety, CPR/first aid and other competency areas. Paralegals and legal assistants, on the other hand, are often hired with only an associate degree and certification is not normally required. Other professions in criminal justice include information security and cybersecurity specialists, forensic investigators and technicians, court reporters and probation officers.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE CRIMINAL JUSTICE ASSOCIATE PROGRAMS?

Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school’s strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online associate in criminal justice programs in the United States. If you are considering an online associate in criminal justice, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific requirements and offerings.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Drury University RANKING SCORE 81.72 COST GRADUATION RATE 58% LOCATION Springfield, MO

Established in 1873, Drury is a liberal arts and sciences institution that maintains community partnerships to provide networking and professional opportunities for students. The online criminal justice associate degree is designed to accommodate the schedules of working professionals and to encourage the immediate application of learned knowledge in the workplace.

The associate of science in criminal justice requires 62 credit hours: 26 general education hours, 12 elective hours, and 24 hours of major coursework. General education courses cover technology, mathematics, sciences, and communication. Students must demonstrate mathematics knowledge prior to enrolling in a required statistics class. An introduction to criminology course is a prerequisite for the required law and society course. Other major courses include police patrol and introduction to forensic science.

Students choose to take online classes in 16-week terms or accelerated eight-week terms. The university delivers coursework, including exams, through Moodle. Students can pursue the degree in a fully online or blended format, and all instructors are trained in best practices for online instruction. The majority of Drury faculty, 88%, hold top degrees in their fields. The university boasts a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Drury offers a variety of scholarships to online students, including a scholarship for students who previously began but did not complete a degree at Drury. Transfer students follow a streamlined online application process. Drury maintains partnerships with community colleges, including Tulsa Tech and North Arkansas College, to ease the credit transfer process.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $299/credit
Credit requirements: 62 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (471) 873-7373
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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2 Florida Institute of Technology RANKING SCORE 81.49 COST GRADUATION RATE 58% LOCATION Melbourne, FL

Florida Tech was founded in 1958 to serve working professionals. Located in Melbourne, the university is known for its programs in aeronautics, engineering, and the sciences. Florida Tech has approximately 60,000 alumni.

Florida Tech offers a variety of asynchronous online programs, including an associate of arts in criminal justice that requires 61 credit hours and offers six start dates per year. Students can earn the associate degree in criminal justice online in fewer than 20 months. General education courses cover topics in communication, life sciences, mathematics, the humanities, and the social sciences. Students explore the U.S. legal system, victimology, and criminal justice practices, and graduates often pursue careers in law enforcement, nonprofit organizations, and the court system. Major courses include delinquency and prevention, correctional systems, and criminal investigations. Florida Tech faculty members are experts in their fields, and 90% hold doctorates or the top degree available.

Florida Tech accepts transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions. The university awards credit for military experience and accepts employer tuition assistance. In-state and out-of-state students pay the same tuition rate. The university makes admissions decisions within two weeks of receiving applications and required documentation. Online students have access to the library, tutoring services, tech support, and advisors.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $510/credit
Credit requirements: 61 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: Not required

Contact
Phone: (855) 300-1469
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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3 Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale RANKING SCORE 80.44 COST GRADUATION RATE 67% LOCATION Fort Lauderdale, FL

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Keiser University is a private, nonprofit school that offers quality, self-directed education programs through its online division. Every program is reviewed by an advisory board that consists of experts in the field, faculty, and alumni, to ensure that curricula reflect the most up-to-date training in professional practices. The associate degree in criminal justice online is part of the school's flexible Blackboard learning platform, and the online course format promotes the sharing of diverse ideas through group discussions and occasional group work. Students complete 36 credit hours of general education courses and 24 hours of major coursework, which covers theories of criminology and criminal law, the basics of criminal investigations, legal foundations, and practical training in law enforcement procedures. There are no prerequisites for this accredited online associate degree in criminal justice. Graduates have a firm understanding of the structure and history of the American justice system and are prepared for entry-level jobs in the criminal justice field. An online career center prepares students for entry into the workforce with mock interviewing and an exclusive job-posting database. Potential applicants can chat with an online admissions counselor.

Applicants must supply either a high school transcript or GED diploma, and international students must provide evidence of graduation from a school comparable to a U.S. secondary institution. All transfer credits, with a least a minimum grade of C, are subject to approval by the dean of academic affairs. Transfer credit, usually only accepted from regionally-accredited institutions, may be granted for relevant courses taken at an accredited institution outside of the region. Students are required to complete at least 25% of the program requirements through Keiser. High academic performers may apply for the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society.


Program overview
Program Name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $440/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 60

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 2.75

Contact
Department phone: (888) 4-KEISER
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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4 Endicott College RANKING SCORE 74.63 COST GRADUATION RATE 80% LOCATION Beverly, MA

In 1939, Endicott was founded as a women’s college in Beverly, Massachusetts. The college became co-educational in 1994. Endicott offers an online criminal justice associate degree designed for students with at least two years of work experience.

This associate of science in criminal justice is a 66-credit program that requires core courses in topics such as global issues, literary perspectives, and quantitative reasoning. Major courses include police process, technology applications in criminal justice, and two critical reading and writing classes. Students select 12 elective credits and complete three credits in criminal justice coursework. The curriculum provides a thorough understanding of the criminal justice field, teaches students the importance of abiding by ethical standards, and develops critical thinking and communication skills.

Endicott provides financial aid opportunities specifically for online students. Veterans have access to peer mentors through the federal Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership program, and Endicott is home to a chapter of the Student Veterans of America. The college offers a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, and 72% of faculty hold terminal degrees. Endicott has sites in Spain, Thailand, Bermuda, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic.

Students can complete the fully online program in an accelerated format. Distance learners have access to online tutoring, the library, the writing center, and disability support resources. Applicants must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and must submit a letter of recommendation from a coworker, supervisor, or teacher and an essay detailing career plans.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $359/credit
Credit requirements: 66 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Work experience: 2+ years full-time

Contact
Phone: (978) 232-2199
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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5 Georgia Military College RANKING SCORE 72.27 COST GRADUATION RATE 22% LOCATION Milledgeville, GA

Founded in Milledgeville in 1879 by the Georgia General Assembly, GMC is a two-year college and is one of five military junior colleges in the U.S. The college accepts military and non-military students and enrolls more than 1,000 online students. GMC's programs emphasize character development, critical thinking, and community involvement.

GMC offers three fully online criminal justice associate degree programs: an associate of arts, an associate of science, and an associate of applied science. The AA and AS degrees in criminal justice are designed for students transferring to a bachelor’s program. The AA curriculum focuses on liberal arts and includes a foreign language component. The AAS is ideal for students planning to enter a career in the criminal justice field immediately after graduation. Graduates of the AAS program who decided to pursue further education are eligible only for a bachelor's of applied science program.

The curricula include coursework analyzing criminal justice theories and exploring current issues in the field. Each program prepares students for careers in fields such as emergency services, police patrol, social work, and law.

GMC accepts admissions on a rolling basis. GMC offers five terms each year to allow students flexibility and an opportunity to receive their degree in an accelerated format. In-state and out-of-state students pay the same tuition rate, and more than 80% of students receive financial aid. GMC offers small class sizes averaging 14 students and delivers online coursework through Moodle.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice, Associate of Science in Criminal Justice, Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $156/credit
Credit requirements: 43-70 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: Not required

Contact
Phone: (706)-623-3551
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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6 Indiana Wesleyan University - Marion RANKING SCORE 71.37 COST GRADUATION RATE 65% LOCATION Marion, IN

Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion, founded in 1920 in the Wesleyan Church tradition, is a Christian college with the goal of preparing students to leave a positive impact on the world through a commitment to service. In addition to being the largest private school in Indiana, IWU is the largest member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Distance learners have access to free academic resources, like the online library’s digital databases and eBooks. The criminal justice associate degree online encompasses 60 credit hours of foundational and major coursework, such as criminology, modern police issues, homeland security, and more. A liberal arts foundation includes topics like writing, psychology, history, and religion. This associate degree in criminal justice online emphasizes development of strong communication skills, problem-solving of modern day criminal justice issues, and an understanding of emerging technologies in the field of homeland security. Students are assigned to small cohorts, which meet online one night each week. Average program completion time is 26 months. Students who have not yet earned their associate degree but who have earned between 36 and 59 credits may also consider IWU’s Bridge program, which leads to completion of a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Associate students can earn up to 18 hours of prior learning assessment credit toward the program’s 60 required credit hours.

Applicants must complete an application and provide official high school and/or college transcripts if more than 30 credit hours have been earned at a regionally-accredited institution; there is no application fee. Students must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA in order to graduate. Students benefit from an affordable online tuition rate, with scholarships and other financial aid available to online learners.


Program overview
Program Name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $283/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 60 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: August 30, October 10, November 22, January 3rd, February 14, March 28, May 9, June 20

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling

Contact
Department phone: (866) 468-6498
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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7 Northern Michigan University RANKING SCORE 69.86 COST GRADUATION RATE 46% LOCATION Marquette, MI

Founded as a normal school in 1899, NMU enrolls approximately 7,900 undergraduate and graduate students. The university is based in Marquette, on the south shore of Lake Superior, and boasts a 4G network that makes it one of the most wireless campuses in the country.

NMU’s online associate degree in criminal justice is designed for students planning to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. The 60-credit associate degree in criminal justice requires 32 general education credits, including college composition and an integrative thinking elective. Students complete 24 major credits, including introductory courses in criminal justice and policing, and four elective credits, which students can fulfil with an internship.

NMU students must maintain a minimum 2.90 GPA and must earn a grade of C or better in all criminal justice courses. Online students access course materials, complete quizzes, and communicate with peers using the NMU EduCat management platform. Students complete a two- to three-hour tutorial before beginning the online program and an online orientation before registering for classes.

NMU offers a ten-minute online application process, and online students receive financial aid opportunities. Approximately 75% of faculty members hold the highest degrees available in their fields. Full-time tuition includes a ThinkPad or MacBook.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $397/credit
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.25 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (906) 227-1200
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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8 Georgia Highlands College RANKING SCORE 69.65 COST GRADUATION RATE 8% LOCATION Rome, GA

GHC was founded in 1970 as a junior college. Now part of the University System of Georgia, GHC enrolls approximately 6,000 students and offers associate and bachelor’s programs online and at five campuses in Georgia and Alabama.

GHC's online associate of arts in criminal justice program requires coursework in criminology, the American police system, and courts and basic criminal procedures. The degree transfers seamlessly to bachelor's programs.

While most online classes are asynchronous, some classes may require synchronous elements; students use Blackboard Collaborate to participate in live sessions. Students can pursue the criminal justice associate degree online or in a hybrid format and can take eCore classes from instructors of any University System of Georgia member institution.

Applicants should have a minimum 2.0 GPA, and GHC recommends that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. The college sends admission decisions five months prior to the beginning of each term. GHC's Criminal Justice and Political Science Association provides networking, employment, and scholarship opportunities. Students can apply year-round for the Community Criminal Justice Scholarship offered through the Community Criminal Justice Foundation and the Rome Rotary Club. The GHC Foundation awards $100,000 in scholarships each year.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $93/credit in-state; $351/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 61 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: Not required

Contact
Phone: (706) 295-6300
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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9 Concordia University - Wisconsin RANKING SCORE 69.38 COST GRADUATION RATE 56% LOCATION Mequon, WI

Concordia University Wisconsin is a Christian institution associated with the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. The university enrolls approximately 2,400 online students, and its online programs utilize case studies, news articles, and research more frequently than textbooks.

The associate degree in management of criminal justice requires 64 credits, including core courses in areas such as communication, religion, mathematics, and psychology. Major courses include terrorism, introduction to courts, and procedural criminal law. Students gain an understanding of levels of government and types of law, and the curriculum improves communication, research, and statistical skills. While earning the associate degree online, criminal justice students contribute to their communities.

All course instructors are current criminal justice professionals. Students can complete the program in an accelerated format or in a hybrid format, which involves taking weekly evening classes at one of the university's learning centers in Wisconsin and Michigan.

The university assigns each student an online student success advisor, who assists with the application, financial aid, and transfer processes and who works closely with the student throughout the program. Online students have access to an online writing lab, tutoring, and spiritual guidance. CU provides more than 100 free software tutorials and offers tuition payment plans.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate in Management of Criminal Justice
Tuition: $482/credit
Credit requirements: 64 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.25 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT

Contact
Phone: 1 (877) 289-1897
Email: [email protected]cuw.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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10 Centralia College RANKING SCORE 67.78 COST GRADUATION RATE 34% LOCATION Centralia, WA

Centralia College is the only college or university in the state of Washington that awards police officers, deputy sheriffs, or state troopers 45 credits towards the required 90 credits needed to earn an Associate of Technical Arts degree in Criminal Justice for their Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy, Washington State Patrol Academy training, or the Washington State Equivalency academy for those trained in another state.

Centralia College was founded in Washington in 1925 and is the state’s oldest continuously operating community college. CC enrolls more than 2,000 students, 85% of whom receive financial aid. Centralia offers two of the best online criminal justice associate degree programs in the country and is one of the few community college in Washington to offer fully online criminal justice associate degree programs.

The associate of arts with an emphasis in criminal justice requires 30 emphasis credits and 63 general education credits. The program is designed for students planning to transfer to a four-year college. Graduates can transfer directly to the criminal justice bachelor’s degree completion program at Saint Martin’s University. This is part of Washington State’s Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) recognized by other colleges.

The associate of technical arts in criminal justice requires 70 credits of criminal justice coursework and 20-23 general education credits. Most students complete the program in 15 to 18 months. Required courses include Constitutional Case law, Community Policing, Reports Forms & Affidavits, Criminology, Criminal Justice Ethics, and Criminology. Some electives, such as crime scene photography and homicide investigation, are only available on campus. The degree transfers to Centralia College’s Bachelor of Applied Management program, Washington’s Brandman University, Evergreen State College, and Columbia Southern University.

Both programs provide reasoning and communication skills, and the curricula cultivate an appreciation of diversity to prepare students for criminal justice roles. Courses follow a quarterly schedule with rolling start dates. The college provides more than 175 scholarships each year and offers tuition payment plans.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Arts with an emphasis in Criminal Justice; Associate of Technical Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $105/credit
Credit requirements: 93-96 credits
Program length: 15-24 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (360) 736-9391 ext. 8955
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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11 Sauk Valley Community College RANKING SCORE 66.79 COST GRADUATION RATE 43% LOCATION Dixon, IL

Based in Dixon, Illinois, Sauk offers an associate of applied science in criminal justice and justice affairs. After earning the criminal justice associate degree online, graduates often pursue positions in the court systems, security, corrections, and private investigations. The program is designed for students planning to enter careers immediately after graduation.

The online criminal justice degree requires 64 credit hours, including 30 hours in major courses such as correctional counseling and treatment, human growth and development, and substance abuse. The curriculum includes 15 hours of criminal justice core courses and 18 general education hours. Students also complete a one-credit first year experience course. Sauk encourages students to focus on improving their communication skills and engaging in physical training to prepare for careers in corrections and security.

Sauk develops its programs with feedback from local professionals, and all faculty members have master’s degrees. The college offers open enrollment, and the Sauk Valley Foundation provides a variety of scholarship opportunities. The Sauk Scholar award covers the full tuition cost for students who graduated within the top 10% of their high school class. More than half of students receive financial aid. Sauk awards credit for military service, proficiency exams, certifications, and evaluations.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice-Justice Affairs
Tuition: $123/credit
Credit requirements: 64 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: ACT

Contact
Phone: (815) 835-6354
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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12 Tallahassee Community College RANKING SCORE 66.42 COST GRADUATION RATE 33% LOCATION Tallahassee, FL

Established in 1966, TCC offers 70 degree and certificate programs. The college maintains articulation agreements with Florida Gulf Coast University and Barry University to provide a streamlined transfer process for graduates. TCC enrolls more than 37,000 students annually, and 77% of graduates pursue bachelor's degrees.

TCC offers an associate of science in criminal justice technology that requires 60 credit hours, including 45 major hours and 15 general education hours in the humanities, mathematics, and the sciences. The online associate degree in criminal justice requires courses in justice administration; the court system; and probation, pardons, and parole. Several major courses fulfill requirements of the Florida Corrections Academy and the Florida Law Enforcement Academy.

TCC delivers online courses asynchronously through Canvas. Students take exams at the TCC Campus Testing Center or arrange proctored exams locally. The program offers start dates in the fall, spring, and summer.

TCC awards credit for professional and military experience, certifications, and proficiency examinations. The TCC Foundation provides scholarships and grants to approximately 400 students each year. According to the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program, 82% of TCC associate of science and associate of applied science graduates secured jobs after graduating in 2014.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology
Tuition: $101/credit in-state; $387/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (850) 201-6200
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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13 Maranatha Baptist University RANKING SCORE 65.43 COST GRADUATION RATE 52% LOCATION Watertown, WI

Maranatha is a Christian university located in Watertown, Wisconsin. The university offers 14 fully online programs, including a 64-credit associate of science degree in criminal justice. All associate degree credits transfer to Maranatha's online bachelor's programs. Core classes cover communication and behavioral science, and major courses include the nature of crime, ethics in criminal justice, and policing and criminal investigation.

Students earning the associate degree in criminal justice online complete coursework asynchronously and can elect to participate in synchronous sessions. Some faculty require proctored examinations. Maranatha offers year-round classes in sessions lasting eight, 12, and 16 weeks. The university advises new online students to take one class during their first session, after which most students take one to three courses per session. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative and semester GPA to remain in good standing; students on academic probation may take only one class per semester.

Maranatha accepts transfer credits and considers credits from non-accredited institutions. More than 95% of alumni participate in church ministry, and the university has a seminary with seven degree programs. Applicants must provide testimony to their belief in their salvation through Jesus Christ.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $404/credit
Credit requirements: 64 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (920) 261-9300
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook

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14 Bucks County Community College RANKING SCORE 65.21 COST GRADUATION RATE 18% LOCATION Newtown, PA

Located in Newtown, Pennsylvania, Bucks began offering online associate degree programs in 1994. The AA in criminal justice provides a transfer degree to students on the path toward attending a four-year university. Coursework emphasizes a foundation in criminal justice and the functions of the justice system’s major components: courts, police, and sanctions. The curriculum fosters an understanding of the scope, sources, and purpose of criminal law. Students complete a variety of courses including biological science, effective speaking, criminal investigation, and elementary statistics. Graduates possess an advanced understanding of the constitution and how to apply it to crimes and possible defenses, qualifying for careers as police officers, correctional officers, and sheriff deputies.

Students looking to transfer course credits should contact the school to determine transferability. Students must complete 62 credit hours to earn the online criminal justice associate degree. Distance learners may enroll as part-time or full-time students. The program recommends that full-time students follow Bucks’s outlined course sequence for timely graduation. Students can access all course materials, including lectures, readings, discussion boards, and Bucks’s library, any time of the day or night.

Learners complete coursework through Canvas, either entirely online or through hybrid study. Students must participate in online discussions and complete multimedia assignments both independently and in group settings. Canvas delivers non-group projects, examinations, and readings asynchronously. Students can submit their application any time throughout the year, and begin classes on their choice of start dates. Both recent high school graduates and working professionals can apply. Bucks offers dual enrollment for current high school students interested in earning college credit in criminal justice.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $145/credit in-state; $435/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 62 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (215) 968-8270
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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15 Dawson Community College RANKING SCORE 64.79 COST GRADUATION RATE 37% LOCATION Glendive, MT

Founded in 1940, DCC sits equidistance between the banks of Makoshika State Park, the Yellowstone River, and the city of Glendive, Montana. The college offers AA and AS degrees on campus, online, and in blended format, as well individual courses and vocational training programs.

DCC’s associate degree online in criminal justice prepares students for transfer into a four-year degree program. Graduates also qualify for immediate employment within an organization that offers its own post-hire training requirements. DCC’s criminal justice AAS emphasizes a strong foundation in criminal justice, and includes courses in communications, human relations, and computation, to develop an understanding of diversity and social responsibility. This customizable criminal justice associate degree online may also include courses in criminology, probation, corrections, and penology.

Students complete all coursework online, with an emphasis on communication, engagement, and collaboration with faculty and fellow distance learners. Though distance learners are required to meet deadlines and participate in peer discussions on a weekly basis, students may complete coursework at their convenience. Students residing within the school district pay discounted tuition. Students within participating states of the Western Undergraduate Exchange Program may also qualify for reduced tuition rates.

Applicants of at least 16 years of age with a high school diploma, or in the process of earning one, may qualify for enrollment. Those seeking to complete courses for college credit may apply as non-degree students. Full-time students can graduate in two years.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $185/credit

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: Not required

Contact
Phone: (406) 377-3396
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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16 Ocean County College RANKING SCORE 64.77 COST GRADUATION RATE 35% LOCATION Toms River, NJ

For over 40 years, this public community college in New Jersey offered two-year degrees and vocational training to area residents. OCC recently added online degrees to its academic offerings, now serving a wider scope of students across the U.S. The college also offers individual online courses.

This online criminal justice associate degree suits students looking to transfer into a four-year criminal justice program. OCC’s degree in criminal justice encompasses general core and major-specific coursework. Topics include the criminal justice system, police organization and administration, and constitutional law and rules of evidence. Students must complete a minimum of three credits in criminal investigation, political science, and social science. OCC mandates all students complete at least one humanities course. Full-time students can graduate within two years, however they must complete the degree within three.

The program accepts applicants in possession of a GED or in pursuit of a high school diploma. Online students may enroll from anywhere in the U.S. and pay in-state tuition, regardless of residence. OCC accepts applications on a rolling basis prior to the onset of each term. Semesters begin in the fall and spring.

OCC offers an honors by contract program to students with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, with at least one term completed. Aspiring honors students work alongside faculty to develop a project or thesis. Upon admission, students must complete at least four honors courses and receive special recognition at graduation. Honors graduates may qualify for unique scholarships from four-year colleges.

Distance courses follow the same calendar as on-campus classes. Students may complete coursework entirely online or through a hybrid format. Learners complete courses through OCC’s “ocean connect” e-learning platform, providing access to OCC’s library, academic advising, campus news, and career services. Distance learners enjoy 24/7 access to all course materials.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $148/credit in-county; $238/credit out-of-county
Credit requirements: 64 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (732) 255-0400
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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17 Mansfield University of Pennsylvania RANKING SCORE 64.56 COST GRADUATION RATE 51% LOCATION Mansfield, PA

Founded in 1912 in Tioga County, Mansfield joins the ranks of 14 schools comprising the Pennsylvania state system of higher education. The university emphasizes four core values: character, scholarship, culture, and service. Mansfield began offering the fully online AS in criminal justice administration in 2013.

This AS degree suits students pursuing transfer into a four-year school or entry-level employment in criminal justice, and current members of the military. Graduates qualify to enter a bachelor’s in criminal justice program.

To earn the criminal justice associate degree online, students must complete 18 major-related credits and 12 elective courses. Core classes cover the fundamentals of criminal justice administration. Elective courses, customizable to a student’s area of interest, include criminal justice policy, violent criminal behavior, delinquency prevention, and ethics. All students must complete a nine-credit, three-class introductory sequence.

As a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), Mansfield meets national standards of postsecondary distance education programs. Students complete online courses asynchronously, with 24/7 access to lectures, readings, discussion boards, and library materials. The same faculty lead both online and on-campus courses, online and on-campus curriculum follows the same schedule.

Applicants must possess a diploma or current diploma-eligible status in their senior year of high school, and submit SAT or ACT scores if under 21 years of age. Students may also apply with a GED. The office of admissions calculates the highest combination of test scores in reviewing student applications.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Administration
Tuition: $315/credit in-state; $630/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 30 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (732) 255-0400
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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18 Hilbert College RANKING SCORE 64.33 COST GRADUATION RATE 43% LOCATION Hamburg, NY

Located in Hamburg, New York, this private Franciscan college cites Mother Collette Hilbert, a nun of the Franciscan Sisters of Saint Joseph, as its namesake. Hilbert offers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in the liberal arts, generally available through on-campus, online, or blended study.

This school's AA in criminal justice suits students planning to apply credits toward a bachelor's degree. Hilbert’s online associate degree in criminal justice prepares students for positions in police offices, courts, parole offices, youth counseling, and private security. Graduates also qualify for some careers in law in the context of the justice system.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED. The program does not require SAT or ACT, however they may factor into scholarship considerations. Transfer students must demonstrate a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 from any previously attended higher education institutions, and may submit a maximum of 30 credit hours for transfer. Applicants ineligible for admission into the standalone AA degree may qualify to enroll as associate degree students for eventual admittance to the BS in criminal justice program.

Students complete online coursework, communicate with professors, and access Hilbert's library through Blackboard. Distance learners enjoy 24/7 access to course materials, assignments, examinations, and student discussion boards. Learners complete courses asynchronously, following weekly deadlines. Students may take an online orientation course prior to beginning instruction.

Hilbert runs on a semester schedule, with terms beginning in the fall and spring. Summer sessions comprise accelerated, seven-week terms. The program accepts applications on a rolling basis but encourages students to apply as early as possible. Hilbert applies caps to online enrollment in an effort to keep class sizes small.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $10,875/semester
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: Not required

Contact
Phone: (716) 649-7900
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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19 Westmoreland County Community College RANKING SCORE 64.29 COST GRADUATION RATE 62% LOCATION Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania, has offered degrees since 1970. The school offers traditional in-person classes, distance learning centers, and entirely online courses. Online offerings include an associate of applied science degree in criminal justice.

The online associate in criminal justice degree is designed to be completed in two years. The program can be completed part time or full time. The degree provides a broad overview of criminal justice and encourages students to select minors that reflect their specific interests. Graduates are prepared for careers in various entry-level law enforcement positions or advanced studies. Courses include substance abuse and crime, white collar crime, multiculturalism and the criminal justice system, and criminology of terrorism. Students must earn 60 credit hours to graduate.

The program can be completed entirely online, and courses are taken asynchronously. A hybrid format is also offered. Students may complete the courses through their personal computers or at one of the the school's distance learning centers. The school utilizes Blackboard for its online content and provides access to an online student support center.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Students must complete the online application and submit GED or high school transcripts. Transfer students must also submit transcripts from any previously attended colleges or universities. In-state residents receive discounted tuition; Pennsylvania residents over the age of 60 receive a 50% discount on tuition.


Program overview
Department: School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Public Service
Program Name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: MSCHE
Tuition: $124/credit (in-county), $248/credit (out-of-county), $372/credit (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 62 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling

Contact
Department phone: (724) 925-4000
Department email: [email protected]
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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20 Excelsior College RANKING SCORE 64.29 COST GRADUATION RATE N/A LOCATION Albany, NY

Founded in 1971 Excelsior claims rank as one of the nation's “big three” schools offering distance learning opportunities, along with Thomas Edison State College and Charter Oaks State College. The school.boasts one of the best online criminal justice associate degree programs in the world, available exclusively online.

Excelsior offers the online AS in criminal justice through its School of Public Service. This degree prepares students for Excelsior’s BS and MS in criminal justice. Students must take 60 total credits of general education, core, and elective coursework to complete the degree. Criminal justice courses include an introduction to law enforcement and corrections, and criminal procedures and evidence, culminating in a capstone project or thesis. Students may apply completed credits in criminal justice curriculum toward their BS at Excelsior or corrections academy training. Graduates possess an advanced understanding of the major psychological and sociological practices and theories of crime, and the ethics behind criminal justice decision-making.

Students can access course materials, including library resources, academic advising, career services, and student-led discussion boards, 24/7 through Excelsior’s online learning platform. Terms begin throughout the year and consist of eight-week sessions. Students may transfer up to 57 of 60 total credits from another regionally accredited institution. Freshman applicants must submit a high school diploma or GED. The program accepts applications from across the U.S. and from more than 80 international locations. All online students pay the same tuition rate.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate in Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $510/credit
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: Not required

Contact
Phone: (888) 647-2388
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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21 Ashland University RANKING SCORE 64.27 COST GRADUATION RATE 63% LOCATION Ashland, OH

Founded in 1878 through an affiliation with the Brethren Church, Ashland provides higher education programs in the Judeo-Christian tradition. This private, non-profit university encompasses multiple campuses across Ohio as well as online.

This online criminal justice associate degree program explores investigation methodology, correctional facilities, and courtroom administration. The curriculum provides students with an in-depth practical and theoretical knowledge of criminal behavior and the ethics of criminal justice. Graduates qualify for work in fields such as criminal investigation, criminal law, and criminal procedure, often pursuing careers as private investigators, police officers, paralegals, or probation officers.

The program encourages students not already employed in the field to participate in at least one internship. Ashland partners with numerous local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to match students with an appropriate internship experience. Qualifying students may apply to Ashland’s Advanced Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC) internship, which offers the opportunity to study at one of the nation's most recognized intelligence and cybersecurity groups, alongside active members of the CIA, FBI, NSA, and DEA.

Learners complete courses asynchronously, with 24/7 access to live and recorded lectures. Courses run in five-week sessions; the program accepts applications prior to each term. Ashland encourages distance learners to form chatroom groups to conduct peer discussions.

Applicants must possess a high school diploma with a minimum 2.5 GPA or an equivalent GED score. Applicants who graduated from high school more than three years ago do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $405/credit
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT
Work experience: N/A

Contact
Phone: (419) 289-5738

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22 South Texas College RANKING SCORE 62.55 COST GRADUATION RATE 18% LOCATION McAllen, TX

Located in the Rio Grande Valley, this public community college recognized for its diverse student body boasts one of the largest dual enrollment programs in the U.S., with approximately 11,000 STC students concurrently pursuing their high school diploma and a college degree.

STC offers a fully online AA in criminal justice. This associate degree prepares students for employment in police departments, courts, and correctional offices, pursuing careers in law enforcement at the local, state and federal level; in community correctional programs; and in protective services. Many criminal justice professions recently expanded into the private sector, creating additional job opportunities in the field.

Students complete 60 credit hours to earn the online associate degree in criminal justice. The curriculum includes general education, core, and elective requirements. Students explore topics including federal government, social and behavioral sciences, and U.S. history. Courses follow a semester format. Full-time students can graduate in approximately two years. Online students may complete coursework in a standard or accelerated format.

Distance learners can earn their degree entirely online, with courses delivered asynchronously through Blackboard. Online students can access course materials including pre-recorded lectures, discussion boards, assignments, and exams at their convenience. The program offers flexible scheduling, tuition assistance, and exclusive academic advising to active members of the military.

Applicants at least 16 years old must submit a high school diploma or GED, unless in the process of earning a high school degree. Online, out-of-state students must complete a general education assessment prior to admission. Transfer applicants must submit all transcripts from previously attended accredited institutions.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $70/credit in-district; $80/credit out-of-district; $200/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 60-61 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT, ACT, or Texas Success Initiative

Contact
Phone: (956) 872-2598
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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23 Northeast Community College RANKING SCORE 62.36 COST GRADUATION RATE 53% LOCATION Norfolk, NE

Northeast Community College, located in Norfolk, Nebraska, is committed to providing affordable education in online and traditional formats. The school boasts a 99% employment rate for its graduates and offers competitively discounted tuition rates.The university offers a number of online programs, including an associate degree in criminal justice online.

The degree is designed to be completed in two years. Students may take the program at a full-time or part-time pace. Some classes are only offered during specific semesters. The program emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to the subject, drawing on a variety of fields of analysis and practical experience. Graduates are prepared for careers in various law enforcement professions or advanced studies. Courses include criminal law, police and society, and communication skills in criminal justice. Students must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours to earn the degree.

Courses are offered asynchronously. The program can also be taken in a hybrid format. The school provides online support for managing online learning. Online students are charged the same as traditional students.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and students are accepted into the program every semester. Students must complete the online application, submit GED or high school transcripts, and submit scores from either the ACT or SAT. Transfer students must also submit transcripts from any previously attended colleges or universities. All students must attend a new student registration event, although online students who are unable to be on campus may qualify for an alternative remote event.


Program overview
Department: Criminal Justice Law Enforcement
Program Name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $94/credit (in-state), $132/credit (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 60 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall - August 22, spring - January 9

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Department phone: (402) 371-2020
Department email: [email protected]
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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24 Saint Johns River State College RANKING SCORE 62.09 COST GRADUATION RATE 42% LOCATION Palatka, FL

Located in Palatka, Florida, St. Johns offers a variety of associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Founded in 1958 as a junior college, St. Johns became a state school in 1966. Students can apply credits earned in associate degrees, recognized as transfer programs within the Florida College System, towards a bachelor’s degree at St. Johns or another four-year institution.

Students in the online criminal justice associate degree qualify for support positions in police stations, sheriffs departments, and courts of law. St. Johns offers concentrations in corrections, law enforcement, and justice technology. Core courses include criminal evidence, court procedures, organized crime, and juvenile delinquency. Graduates of this program can transfer into a state university with junior standing.

Students can complete most courses online, however the program may require some campus visits. Distance learners receive the same instruction, from the same faculty, as on-campus students. Students complete courses asynchronously, with access to pre-recorded lectures, notes, study centers, academic advising, and library resources through the school's online learning platform.

First-year applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED. Eligible high school students over the age of 16 looking to earn college credit must submit current high school transcripts. Transfer students may submit credits from another accredited institution, subject to approval and accepted on a case-by-case basis.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology
Available concentrations: Corrections, law enforcement
Tuition: $92/credit
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: PERT, SAT, ACT, Accuplacer, or FCAT

Contact
Phone: (904) 808-7490
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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25 University of the Cumberlands RANKING SCORE 62.06 COST GRADUATION RATE 43% LOCATION Williamsburg, KY

Originally established in 1889 as the Williamsburg Institute, the school endured several name changes before settling on the University of Cumberlands and gaining official university status in 2005. Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, the university offers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in the Christian tradition.

Students can complete the AS in criminal justice entirely online. Credits from this associate degree can apply toward a BS in criminal justice at Cumberlands. Students build a foundation in criminal justice with an emphasis in understanding the roles of society, human diversity, cultural influences on crime, and the role of law enforcement in response to delinquent behavior. This program fosters critical thinking skills, an understanding of deviance, and the importance of personal values in the context of studying criminal activity. The curriculum explores policing, investigation of death and white collar crime, and probation and parole. Graduates qualify to work in the FBI, border patrol, customs enforcement, and the DEA.

Applicants must submit high school transcripts with a minimum 2.0 GPA or an equivalent GED score. Transfer students must earn at least 11 hours of college credit from another accredited institution, subject to approval by the office of admissions. To graduate, students must earn at least 25% of total semester hours on campus at the University of Cumberlands. Bi-term courses last for eight weeks, with start dates in the fall, spring, and summer.

Students complete courses asynchronously, while still submitting assignments and examinations according to weekly deadlines. Online students must meet online for a live chat with their instructors and classmates three times during each course.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $199/credit
Credit requirements: 61 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (855) 791-7201
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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26 Campbell University RANKING SCORE 61.68 COST GRADUATION RATE 57% LOCATION Buies Creek, NC

A private Christian school located in Buies Creek, North Carolina, Campbell offers vocational training programs and associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in the liberal arts and sciences.

Campbell’s AA in criminal justice introduces students to courts and procedures, ethics in government, correctional philosophies, and criminal law. The curriculum comprises core, general education, and criminal justice coursework. Students must complete at least 62 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 to graduate. Learners who qualify to waive some core credits through competency examinations must make up the credits with elective classes. All new students must complete Campbell's orientation seminar.

First-year applicants must submit high school transcripts or GED scores. Current high school students may apply for dual enrollment in order to enroll in select associate degree classes. Transfer applicants must earn at least six credit hours from another institution of higher education.

Students can complete coursework entirely online or in a hybrid format. Learners in the hybrid program can take classes on campus in Buies Creek, or at outreach centers in Fort Bragg and Raleigh. Online classes run in an accelerated eight-week format, led by the same faculty as on-campus courses. Distance learners can access library resources, academic advising, and career counseling through Campbell’s online learning platform.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $425/credit
Credit requirements: 62 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (910) 893-1278
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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27 LeTourneau University RANKING SCORE 61.6 COST GRADUATION RATE 53% LOCATION Longview, TX

Through its main campus in Longview, Texas, LETU offers fully online and hybrid degrees from an interdenominational Christian perspective. Originally founded in 1946 as a technical institute, LETU become a university in 1989, eventually adding locations in Dallas and Houston.

Ranked one of the best online criminal justice associate degree programs in the U.S., LETU’s AS degree emphasizes a comprehensive understanding of the criminal justice system. Students prepare for careers as police officers, probation officers, and homeland security specialists. The curriculum explores the ethics of criminal justice, cyber crime, conflict resolution, and addiction theory. Online students can choose an optional concentration in homeland security. Graduates may apply degree credits towards a BS in criminal justice at LETU or another four-year institution with junior standing. Students in LETU’s AS and BS in criminal justice programs often qualify for employment opportunities with the Dallas police department.

Students complete courses over three seven-week sessions or in accelerated, five-week terms. Online classes begin each Monday, with most weekly assignments due by midnight that Sunday. Distance learners complete coursework asynchronously, with 24/7 access to all course materials, library resources, and pre-recorded lectures. Online students must make weekly contributions to peer discussion boards. Law enforcement personnel, active members of the military, and veterans may waive out of some degree requirements through on-the-job experience and/or police academy training. The program accepts transferable credits from regionally accredited or ACE colleges and universities.

First-year applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED. Out-of-state students should research educational licensure requirements in their resident state prior to applying to LETU.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $450/credit
Credit requirements: 63 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (903) 233-4395
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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28 Chaminade University of Honolulu RANKING SCORE 61.56 COST GRADUATION RATE 57% LOCATION Honolulu, HI

Chaminade University of Honolulu, situated in the Kaimuki district, promotes values of service and character that are rooted in the Catholic tradition. The university’s online programs are designed for working adults and are taught by qualified faculty who are trained in teaching with technology. The online criminology and criminal justice degree provides the foundation for a successful career in law enforcement. Program focal areas include the criminal justice system, issues of race and gender in crime, criminal justice research, and crime scene investigation. Students complete a minimum of 60 credit hours, including 34 general education credits. Foundational courses span religion, English, math, social and natural sciences, and the fine arts. Concentration courses are delivered through the Canvas platform and include the juvenile justice system, foundations in criminology, and introduction to law. At least 15 credit hours must be completed through Chaminade, and 12 of those credits must be in major requirements. Students must earn at least a 2.0 in all courses to graduate with their online criminal justice associate degree.

An online technology helpdesk is available six days a week during scheduled hours. Distance learners also have access to free Smarthinking online tutoring services, digital library resources, and career preparation services. A streamlined applications process can be completed online in 15 minutes or less. Admission requirements include any official undergraduate transcripts. Chaminade offers online students an affordable tuition rate, with additional discounts for active duty, national guard, and reservist military members. An additional online technology fee is accrued for each course. Currently enrolled students may be eligible for one of Chaminade’s endowed scholarships.


Program overview
Department: Criminology and Criminal Justice
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: WASC
Tuition: $380/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 60 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - May 1 ; spring - December 1
GPA: Minimum 2.5
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Department phone: (808) 735-4755
Department email: [email protected]
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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29 Trine University RANKING SCORE 61.45 COST GRADUATION RATE 56% LOCATION Angola, IN

Founded in 1884 as Tri-State University, Trine now offers on-campus and online degrees through its Angola, Indiana location. In addition to its main campus, Trine occupies several satellite locations in Indiana and Michigan.

Trine’s online criminal justice associate degree provides an academic and theoretical foundation in criminal justice. Students can transfer all credits toward Trine’s bachelor’s in criminal justice program. Professionals including judges, lawyers, law enforcement officers, and psychologists teach the online courses. The curriculum includes courses in probation, parole, and community corrections; criminalistics and crime scene investigations; and criminal procedures. Students must complete 60 credit hours, comprising 22 general education credits, 24 credits of core content, and 14 credits of electives. Online students must complete an adult learning orientation seminar prior to beginning classes.

Students complete coursework through Moodle. Distance learners can access recorded lectures 24/7. The online associate degree in criminal justice follows the same curriculum as the on campus program, with classes offered in accelerated eight-week terms. Learners complete distance courses asynchronously with no required login times.

Applicants must submit high school transcripts with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0, or an equivalent GED score. The program accepts applications year round on a rolling basis, and does not require SAT or ACT scores. Students may transfer credits, accepted on a case-by-case basis, from another accredited institution.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $500/credit
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (260) 665-4100
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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30 Wake Technical Community College RANKING SCORE 61.37 COST GRADUATION RATE 18% LOCATION Raleigh, NC

Opened in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1963, Wake Tech now claims rank as the largest community college in North Carolina and within the North Carolina Community College System. This two-year school offers associate degrees, technical certifications, and non-credit courses.

Students may complete their AAS in criminal justice technology on campus, online, or through a hybrid program. Face-to-face classes convene during days and evenings at Wake Tech’s southern, northern, and public safety education campuses. Wake Tech’s online criminal justice associate degree curriculum explores federal, state, and local law enforcement; corrections, probation, and parole; and security systems. The program emphasizes criminology, juvenile justice, constitutional law, and investigative principles. Graduates qualify for careers in law enforcement, security, and corrections.

Students complete online classes in Blackboard, beginning with a Blackboard orientation seminar. The program delivers most courses asynchronously, though some teachers may require group projects with specific login times. The same faculty lead on-campus and online courses. Distance learners can access student-led discussion boards, library resources, archived lectures, and the college’s individualized learning center—a free, personalized tutoring service—at any time.

Applicants must submit high school transcripts or GED scores and complete a placement test prior to admission. Transfer, students must provide transcripts from all previously attended accredited institutions. Applicants holding a college-level degree need not submit high school transcripts.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology
Tuition: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 66 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online, hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (919) 866-7000
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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31 Fox Valley Technical College RANKING SCORE 61.08 COST GRADUATION RATE 41% LOCATION Appleton, WI

Fox Valley Technical College has multiple locations throughout Wisconsin and focuses on providing high-tech educations. Their online school offers a criminal justice associate degree which prepares students for careers in law enforcement, corrections, and more. Classes include juvenile law, traffic law, and criminal procedures. Graduates are also prepared for advanced studies or entry-level careers. Students must complete 63 credit hours of online course work. Courses are taught asynchronously. The program takes two years to complete, and students have the option to attend part time or full time. Admission requires proof of GED completion or a high school transcript. Students must also take an academic skills assessment course which can be found on the the program website. Hybrid course options are available.

Transfer credit it offered to students who come in with relevant career experience. The program is also setup to help students easily transfer credits to four-year colleges and universities. Students who earn the degree are given priority for the Wisconsin Department of Justice Law Enforcement Office Certification program. Graduates are prepared for careers as corrections officers, police officers, public safety dispatchers, and more.

Online classes are offered at a discounted tuition rate, and Wisconsin residents receive a discount on course credit fees. Deadlines include: fall quarter, August; summer quarter, May.


Program overview
Department: Criminal Justice
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $158/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 63 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall - August 24 ; winter - January 2

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: Skill assessment

Contact
Department phone: (920) 735-5645
Department email: [email protected]
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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32 Reinhardt University RANKING SCORE 60.5 COST GRADUATION RATE 32% LOCATION Waleska, GA

A comprehensive liberal arts university, Reinhardt maintains a flagship location in Waleska, Georgia, with satellite campuses in Cartersville, Marietta, and Canton. The university originated in 1883 through an affiliation with the United Methodist Church.

Reinhardt’s AS in criminal justice caters to active professionals in the field of law enforcement. The curriculum provides a foundation in criminal justice in the context of an increasingly globalized society. This criminal justice online associate degree comprises career training for those interested in the legal system; local, state, and federal government; and law enforcement. Coursework emphasizes the importance of professional preparation. Students must complete a core criminal justice course with a “C” grade or better within their first semester. AS graduates can seamlessly transition into the degree completion program offered by the School of Professional Studies.

Students complete courses asynchronously through an accelerated format. Online classes follow the same curriculum as on campus classes. The program accepts new students every eight weeks. Each spring and fall semester consist of two eight-week terms. The summer semester encompasses two seven-week terms. Students take two courses, or 12 credits, per semester, totaling 60 hours to complete the degree; most students graduate in five semesters. The cost of tuition includes textbooks for some classes, available to distance learners in an e-book format.

First year applicants must submit a high school transcript with a minimum 2.25 GPA, or equivalent GED scores, as well as SAT or ACT scores. Students may transfer up to 30 semester hours from another accredited institution.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $20,744/yearly
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.25 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (770) 224-7421
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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33 Miami Dade College RANKING SCORE 60.34 COST GRADUATION RATE 30% LOCATION Miami, FL

Founded in 1959, MDC claims the distinction as the largest college in Florida and the second-largest in the U.S. Originally established as a junior college, MDC became a four-year institution in the mid 1990s.

MDC offers an online AS in criminal justice technology, with a concentration in basic law enforcement or corrections. The criminal justice associate degree online consists of 60 credits, encompassing 18 credits in general education, 30 in the major, and 12 in optional electives. Full-time students can graduate in two years. Course topics include juvenile delinquency, narcotics and dangerous substances, and constitutional law and legal procedure. Graduates qualify for careers as bailiffs, police identification and records officers, and immigration and customs inspectors.

While coursework in the AS degree generally does not require campus attendance, some classes may require synchronous study. Prospective students should speak with an advisor to confirm online availability of desired courses. Online students can pursue the same financial aid opportunities as on-campus learners.

Applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED. First-year and transfer students must submit all prior transcripts, though only credits from accredited schools count toward a degree at MDC. While the program does not require SAT or ACT scores, advisors encourage applicants to submit scores of tests taken within the last five years.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate in Science in Criminal Justice Technology
Tuition: $83/credit in-state; $331/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (305) 237-3800
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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34 Ulster County Community College RANKING SCORE 59.86 COST GRADUATION RATE 35% LOCATION Stone Ridge, NY

Also known as SUNY Ulster, this public two-year college maintains campuses in Stone Ridge and at the Business Resource Center in Kingston, New York. Founded in 1961, the community college now offers more than 60 associate degrees.

Ulster’s online criminal justice associate degree suits currently employed criminal justice professionals, individuals seeking employment in the field, and citizens looking to understand the administration of justice. Students develop an understanding of the U.S. criminal justice system, including its history, organization, development, and procedures. Coursework includes theories in the nature of crime, causes of criminal behavior, and methods for treating and preventing crime. Students research current topics in criminal justice and apply them to real-world projects. The curriculum includes coursework in constitutional criminal procedure, ethics in criminal justice, and abnormal psychology. Graduates qualify for criminal justice careers at the local, state, and federal level. Most AS degree holders continue their education at a four-year institution. Many graduates of this program ultimately attend law school.

Students complete online courses asynchronously. SUNY Ulster offers accelerated programs to distance learners. Learners may choose three-, six-, seven-, or 10-week terms; students enrolled in the accelerated program can earn their degree in as little as 17 months. Distance learners can access all course materials, including library resources and student-led discussion boards, at any time of the day or night.

The program accepts applications during several enrollment periods throughout the year. Freshman applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED. Transfer students must submit all transcripts from previously attended accredited institutions. Advisors evaluate transfer credits on a case-by-case basis.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $2,240/semester in-state; $4,480/semester out-of-state
Credit requirements: 61-64 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (845) 687-5278
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook

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35 McLennan Community College RANKING SCORE 59.34 COST GRADUATION RATE 30% LOCATION Waco, TX

Established in 1965, MCC joins Baylor University and Texas State Technical College as one of three prominent higher learning institutions in Waco, Texas. This two-year community college boasts a student enrollment of roughly 9,000.

Students earning an associate degree in criminal justice online follow MCC's “field of study” option, completing a group of courses designed for transfer into a specialized bachelor’s program at a four-year school. All classes receive approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Coursework includes practical and theoretical training, provided by staff currently employed in the criminal justice field. Students may choose a concentration in law enforcement or corrections. The curriculum covers both adult and juvenile justice systems. Graduates of the AAS degree qualify for careers as parole officers, correctional guards, municipal police officers, and federal agents. The school also offers certification programs in law enforcement, corrections, and forensic science online.

While students can complete the majority of courses online, they may prefer the hybrid program, as not all classes in the AAS degree offer distance education. Students complete courses individually in six-week blocks. Distance learners can access live or pre-recorded lectures, peer discussions, and academic advising through MCC’s online platform. Online students can also complete self-paced tutorials to build skills and/or earn credits in a subject unrelated to their criminal justice degree. Learners can often complete tutorials in just a few hours. Sessions begin every month.

First-year applicants must submit high school transcripts or GED scores, including high school students at least 16 years of age seeking dual enrollment credits. The program accepts applications at any time. Students may submit transfer credits from accredited institutions, evaluated individually for consideration.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Applied Sciences in Criminal Justice
Available concentrations: Corrections, law enforcement
Tuition: $106/semester in-county; $124/credit in-state; $181/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 60-61 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: ACT, SAT, or Texas Success Initiative

Contact
Phone: (254) 299-8622
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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36 Eastern Wyoming College RANKING SCORE 59.33 COST GRADUATION RATE 45% LOCATION Torrington, WY

Established in 1948 with a primary campus in Torrington, EWC also maintains outreach centers in Platte, Converse, Niobrara, Crook, and Weston counties. The college offers associate degrees and vocational training, as well as transfer-friendly programs for earning a bachelor’s degree through a partnership with several local four-year schools.

Students can earn the AA in criminal justice entirely online. This program suits students aspiring to careers in probation and parole; state, local, and federal corrections agencies; or case management. Many EWC graduates transfer to the University of Wyoming and Chadron State College. Students may also concurrently complete a one-year certification in corrections. The recent opening of a new medium-security prison in Torrington inspired modifications to EWC’s criminal justice program—classes now emphasize corrections to provide training to aspiring local prison employees.

As an approved SARA institution, EWC provides distance learning in all member states. Students complete online coursework asynchronously, with the exception of exams and pre-scheduled student-teacher web conferences. Distance learners can access all course materials, EWC’s online library, student services, academic advising, and e-tutoring through CampusCruiser. The online learning system also facilitates message boards, assignment uploads, and photo albums for distance learners. The same faculty lead on-campus and online classes, outlining the same curriculum.

The program accepts applications prior to each new semester. Applicants must submit a high school diploma or GED. EWC does not require ACT or SAT scores.


Program Overview
Program name: Criminal Justice Associate of Arts
Tuition: $94/credit in-state; $282/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 60-61 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or Accuplacer

Contact
Phone: (307) 532-8284
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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37 Massasoit Community College RANKING SCORE 59.2 COST GRADUATION RATE 15% LOCATION Brockton, MA

Named for Massasoit, the Great Sachem of Wampanoag, MCC began offering associate degrees and one-year certification programs in 1966. The school remains one of the largest community colleges in the Massachusetts Public Higher Education system.

Students can complete the associate degree in criminal justice online at MCC. The curriculum provides a practical understanding of the criminal justice system and its major components, including law enforcement, courts, and corrections. This AS degree also establishes an academic foundation for students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. MCC facilitates transfers through partnerships with many four-year colleges in New England. Half of the program focuses on general education requirements, while the other half includes courses such as criminal law and evidence, criminal investigation and criminalistics, and court procedures. Approximately 15% of students work as police officers. Classes follow the same curriculum and semester-based schedule as on-campus courses. Most students graduate in two years.

Students can complete coursework entirely online or in a hybrid format. The program includes asynchronous courses, delivered through Canvas. Online students must complete a Canvas orientation prior to beginning any online coursework. MCC online offers students 24/7 access to library materials, lectures, assignments, and exams. The program pairs distance learners with their own academic and career advisors.

MCC accepts applications on a rolling basis for fall and spring semesters, however the school recommends that prospective students apply as soon as possible. The program caps enrollment to keep class sizes small. First-year applicants must submit high school transcripts or a GED. Transfer students must submit transcripts from all previously attended accredited institutions.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $195/credit in-state; $401/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (508) 588-9100
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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38 University of Maine at Fort Kent RANKING SCORE 58.56 COST GRADUATION RATE 35% LOCATION Fort Kent, ME

The University of Maine at Fort Kent, located in the St. John Valley, is committed to providing affordable education online and on its rural campus. The university offers a number of online programs, including an associate of arts in criminal justice. It's a two-year program that can be taken either full or part time. The degree prepares students with the theory and practice necessary to seek employment or advancement in the criminal justice system and with various law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, regional, and local levels. Students are also prepared to transfer to a four-year university.

Courses are offered asynchronously, although students may choose to compete the degree in a hybrid format which would require taking some synchronous format courses. The distance learning program utilizes Interactive Television, and compressed video technologies are used to deliver course content to students located at sites and centers throughout the state. The program offers courses ranging from criminology to constitutional law. Advisers are available to help students plan the best course sequence. The program also encourages students to take a variety of support courses in business and economics, although these are not mandatory. Students must earn 60 credit hours in order to obtain the degree.

Students must complete the online application, submit GED or high school transcripts, and complete the personal essay requirement. Maine residents receive a discounted in-state tuition rate. Former military, current military, and military family members may also qualify for in-state tuition rate.


Program overview
Department: Rural Public Safety Administration
Program Name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: NEASC
Tuition: $228/credit (in-state), $365/credit (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 60 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling

Contact
Department phone: (207) 834-7600
Department email: [email protected]
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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39 Northampton County Area Community College RANKING SCORE 57.98 COST GRADUATION RATE 21% LOCATION Bethlehem, PA

Northampton Community College, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, values student success, which is evident in its graduate employment rate of 90%. The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and offers online learning options for students in need of flexible and easily accessible programs. These are not self-paced, but offer convenience and individualized attention to students unable to participate in on-campus classes.

Students enrolled in the associate of applied science in criminal justice, one of NCC’s most popular programs, will earn a 63-credit degree designed for entry-level employment in the criminal justice system, professional advancement, and pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. The program is available fully online through Blackboard, and a full-time student taking 15 or 16 credits per semester can complete the program in four semesters. They can expect to take criminal justice associate degree online classes in subject areas such as the American legal system, juvenile justice, abnormal psychology, and criminal justice ethics. In their final semester, students will take a capstone course examining controversial issues in crime.

NCC accepts GED recipients, home schooled students of senior level education, and adults without a high school diploma who can demonstrate how they would benefit from an online criminal justice associate degree. Students outside of these criteria may also be assessed.

While general tuition and fees are based on residency, NCC has the lowest fees in the state and charges a flat fee for full-time students taking 12-18 credit hours. Students enrolled in the dual enrollment program pay the same regardless of location. NCC recommends that students who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree consider the college’s dual admissions partnerships with DeSales University, Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Law Enforcement, and Moravian College.


Program overview
Department: Humanities & Social Sciences
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: MSA
Tuition: $141/credit (Northampton County PA), $231/credit (Monroe County PA), $308/credit (Other PA County), $454/credit (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 63 to 64

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling

Contact
Department phone: (610) 861-5500
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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40 Pamlico Community College RANKING SCORE 57.96 COST GRADUATION RATE 53% LOCATION Grantsboro, NC

Located in eastern North Carolina, Pamlico Community College offers a variety of academic and continuing education programs, including an associate degree in criminal justice online. The criminal justice technology program reflects the school's vision to provide accessible education and workforce training to nontraditional students, preparing them for successful careers as police officers, parole officers, state troopers, and other law enforcement and corrections officers. The curriculum focuses on corrections procedures, criminal law, community relations, investigative principles, and ethics. Essential courses include constitutional law, victimology, and counseling. Online courses are accessed through the Moodle learning management system. Pamlico is a member of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus and shares courses and programs with other member institutions. Through a reality-based curriculum, students learn what it’s like to serve as a law officer, observe standard procedures in court, investigate crime scenes and collect evidence, and more. Distance learning resources include online tutoring, a virtual library with an online video collection and audio books, and career center resources. Students are required to take 23 courses to graduate.

Application requirements for the criminal justice associate degree online program include an official high school transcript. Depending on classes taken and grades earned, students may or may not be required to take a placement test to determine best-fit classes in English, math, and computer science. Pamlico offers distance learning that's accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is authorized to confer degrees in 23 U.S. states. North Carolina residents receive a discounted tuition. Pamlico offers tuition payment plans to help students budget finances.


Program overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $76/credit (in-state), $268/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 60 to 61

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Contact
Department phone: (252) 745-7349
Department email: [email protected] (Michelle Willis Krauss, Vice President/Chief Academic Officer)
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

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41 St Charles Community College RANKING SCORE 57.48 COST GRADUATION RATE 18% LOCATION Cottleville, MO

Founded in Cottleville, Missouri in 1986, SCC offers associate degrees and certification programs, the majority delivered as transfer programs geared toward enrollment in a four-year institution with junior standing.

SCC offers an online AA in criminal justice. This transfer program focuses on the criminal justice system, including its organizational components, processes, and correctional systems. The curriculum includes courses in the administration of justice, the judiciary, and public opinion in relation to law enforcement. Graduates qualify for careers in child support services, emergency management, fraud investigation, and compliance administration. Students who go on to earn their bachelor’s degree in criminal justice may work as criminal investigators, parole officers, and substance abuse counselors.

Students must complete 61-64 total credits to earn the associate degree. The curriculum includes general education, criminal justice, and elective coursework. Full-time students take between 15 and 17 credits per semester. Most students graduate within two years. Learners complete courses through Canvas, with 24/7 access to class materials and technical support. Distance learners can complete classes asynchronously, or tune in to live lectures and class discussions in Canvas’ chat rooms.

The program accepts online applications year round, prior to each new semester. Freshman applicants must submit a high school diploma or GED. High school graduates meeting Missouri A+ Scholarship requirements may qualify to receive free tuition. The program accepts transfer credits from accredited institutions. Approximately 80% of associate degree graduates continue their education at a four-year school.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $118/credit in-district; $169/credit out-of-district; $231/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 61-64 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: synchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: ACT

Contact
Phone: (636) 922-8398
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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41 Liberty University RANKING SCORE 57.48 COST GRADUATION RATE 51% LOCATION Lynchburg, VA

Founded in 1971, this nonprofit, private Christian university serves students primarily at its flagship campus in Lynchburg, Virginia. The school receives Carnegie Classification as a doctoral research university.

Through Liberty’s Helms School of Government, online students can earn an AA in criminal justice. This fully online criminal justice associate degree provides students with a strong foundation of knowledge and skills in the field. The curriculum focuses on the judicial process, corrections, criminal law, and criminology. This AA degree prepares students for careers in casework, counseling, juvenile justice, and social services. Graduates may apply their associate degree credits towards a BS in criminal justice at Liberty, or transfer to another four-year institution with junior-level standing. Students must earn at least 15 credits at Liberty.

Students must complete 60 hours to earn this associate degree. Distance learners completing courses through Blackboard can also access recorded lectures, readings, peer discussion boards, and assignments at any time of the day or night. The same faculty teach online and on-campus classes. Courses span eight-week sessions with start dates in spring, winter, and fall. Students may participate in intensives by choosing a hybrid program.

Dual enrollment applicants must submit a current high school transcript and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Both freshman and transfer applicants must provide an official high school transcript with a minimum 2.0 GPA or equivalent GED scores. Transfer students must also submit transcripts from all previously attended higher education institutions, potentially transferring up to 45 college-level credits.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $390/credit
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 424-9595
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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43 Surry Community College RANKING SCORE 57.41 COST GRADUATION RATE 36% LOCATION Dobson, NC

Surry Community College, located in Dobson, North Carolina, has been providing quality education since 1964. Twenty percent of students are enrolled in fully online courses in eight areas of study.

The online associate of applied science degree in criminal justice technology is 65 credit hours and provides students with criminal law and procedural training within the context of modern society. Over four semesters, students explore ethical issues, race relations, social problems, law enforcement operations, court procedures, and forensic psychology. The associate degree in criminal justice online program also offers courses in humanities and fine arts. The degree emphasizes juvenile justice, criminal and constitutional law, community relations, and more. Graduates are prepared for careers as police officers, deputy sheriffs, detention center officers, state troopers, parole officers, and more.

SCC has an open-door admissions policy. New students of the criminal justice online associate degree may be required to attend campus to complete online placement testing. Students with transferrable college-level coursework, current SAT scores, or a previous associate or bachelor’s degree are exempt. Only courses with a grade of "C" and above are eligible for transfer, but they can be from any institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.


Program overview
Department: Public Services
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $76/credit (in-state), $268/credit (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 65 credits
Field education requirements: Work-based learning

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: ACCUPLACER, ACT or SAT

Contact
Department phone: (336) 386-3312
Department email: [email protected] (Debbie Burton, CIS Director/System Administrator)
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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44 Daytona State College RANKING SCORE 57.22 COST GRADUATION RATE 34% LOCATION Daytona Beach, FL

Founded in 1957 as one of Florida’s first comprehensive colleges, DSC originated as a junior college and became a four-year school in 2006. DSC now holds rank as a valued member of the Florida College System.

The online criminal justice associate degree from DSC suits students with correctional officer recruit training or Florida law enforcement recruit training. Prospective students must also pass the State Officer Certification Examination. The program caters to current correctional officers and members of law enforcement looking to broaden their career opportunities. The curriculum comprises general education, program-specific, and elective credits. Topics include juvenile delinquency, introduction to criminal forensic studies, organized crime, and police supervision. Graduates qualify for supervisory roles in law enforcement and corrections.

DSC receives authorization to provide online education to most out-of-state students; though the school encourages applicants to make sure their state honors DSC online education programs. With the exception of an oral communication course, students can complete all coursework online, with 24/7 access to course materials, peer chat rooms, library resources, academic advising, and e-tutoring. Classes run in seven-week sessions in the fall, winter, and spring semesters, with a six-week term in the summer. Full-time students can earn the AA degree in three semesters.

First-year students may apply up to 24 credits from prior vocational training. The program accepts applications year round. Students may begin the program at the onset of any semester. Applicants must submit high school transcripts with a minimum 2.0 GPA or equivalent GED score. Applicants must also submit proof of academy training completion.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology Bridge
Tuition: $79/credit in-state, $311/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (386) 506-3000
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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45 Alvin Community College RANKING SCORE 57.06 COST GRADUATION RATE 23% LOCATION Alvin, TX

Located in Brazoria County, Texas, ACC originated in 1948 as a public, two-year community college.

ACC offers one of the best online criminal justice associate degree programs in the U.S., including courses in court systems and practice, fundamentals of criminal law, and correctional and police systems and practices. The 60-credit program comprises 42 credits in general education and 18 field study credits. This degree receives approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. ACC developed the online degree in criminal justice with transferability in mind; graduates typically transfer earned credits to a four-year institution. The program encourages students to complete an internship at a criminal justice agency, potentially awarding college credit for the internship.

Distance learners can complete coursework entirely online. The same faculty teach online and on-campus courses. Classes span six-week terms, with new sessions beginning each month. The program accepts pplications year round, prior to the onset of each term. Online students can access course materials, lectures, and peer discussions, 24/7. Learners complete courses asynchronously, with assignments due each week. Distance learners may also access e-tutoring and e-advising services.

Freshman applicants must submit official high school transcripts or GED scores. The program does not require, but will consider, SAT or ACT scores. Admissions evaluates transfer credits from accredited institutions on a case-by-case basis.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Arts with a Field of Study in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $228/credit in-district, $274/credit out-of-district; $322/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (281) 756-3779
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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46 Florida State College at Jacksonville RANKING SCORE 56.95 COST GRADUATION RATE 37% LOCATION Jacksonville, FL

Established in 1965 as a community college, FSCJ became a state school in 2009—one among few within the Florida College System to receive such a designation.

FSCJ’s online associate degree in criminal justice technology emphasizes the development of criminological theories, the criminal justice system, ethics, and critical thinking skills. The curriculum focuses on corrections, policing, juvenile justice, victim services, and the courts. AS students may concurrently earn certification in criminal justice technology or as a crime scene technician. The curriculum includes classes in criminal justice management, constitutional law, technical report writing, and the investigative cycle. Graduates qualify for jobs as police officers, private detectives, security guards, and emergency management directors.

Students can complete coursework primarily online, but must satisfy at least 25% of their total credit hours in residence at FSJC, excluding prior credits awarded through examination. Learners may complete online courses through an accelerated program. Students typically graduate in 18-24 months. Distance learners can access online tutoring, academic advising, and library resources, as well as purchase many textbooks as downloadable files.

Students must complete at least 60 credit hours to earn the degree. Learners may earn college credit for prior experience; prospective students with academy training/experience in a criminal justice agency should submit to a prior learning examination for formal assessment. Students must complete at least 15 semester hours at FSJC. The program accepts transfer credits from accredited institutions of higher education. Freshman applications must include an official high school transcript, with a minimum GPA of 2.0 or an equivalent GED score. FSJC does not require SAT or ACT scores for admission to associate-level programs.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate in Science in Criminal Justice Technology
Tuition: $105/credit in-state, $219/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 18-24 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (904) 646-2300
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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47 Lincoln Land Community College RANKING SCORE 56.93 COST GRADUATION RATE 30% LOCATION Springfield, IL

Established in 1967 in Springfield, Illinois, this public community college now serves an ever-expanding student population. LLCC emphasizes easily transferable associate-to-bachelor's programs through a partnership with the University of Illinois at Springfield.

LLCC offers a fully online AAS or AA in criminal justice, the former emphasizing practical experience and the latter focusing on theoretical knowledge. These programs prepare students for law enforcement careers at the city, county, state, and federal levels. The curriculum includes classes in law enforcement, corrections, probation, parole, forensic investigation, and human services. Graduates qualify for careers as canine, conservation, or corrections officers, as well as crime scene investigators, federal agents, and transportation security officers. The BLS projects an employment increase of 7% for police officers and detectives from 2016-2026.

Students complete this online associate degree through Blackboard, with courses delivered entirely online or through a customizable hybrid program. In-person courses convene at LLCC’s main campus and at several outreach centers across Illinois. The same instructors teach both online and on-campus classes, which follow a universal curriculum. Distance learners can log in anytime to complete work asynchronously, as well as access online learning materials, including the center for academic success, library resources, and the online bookstore.

Applicants must submit official high school transcripts or GED scores, and provide SAT or ACT scores from within the past five years. Freshman applicants must take placement tests, though some may waive this requirement if they exceed standard SAT/ACT scores. The program accepts transfer applications from other accredited institutions. All students must attend a new student orientation on campus at LLCC. Students with “chargeback” authorization may qualify for discounted tuition rates. Online students must reside permanently in Illinois.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice; Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $121/credit in-district, $242/credit out-of-district; $363/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (217) 786-2391
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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47 Franklin Pierce University RANKING SCORE 56.93 COST GRADUATION RATE 43% LOCATION Rindge, NH

Named after the only U.S. president from New Hampshire, FPU opened in 1962 and achieved university status in 2007. This non-profit, private school occupies a rural campus in Rindge, New Hampshire.

FPU offers a fully online criminal justice associate degree. This AA program provides students with the leadership skills to maintain a safe community. The curriculum explores policing, courts, corrections, parole, and probation. Courses include rehabilitation of the offender, race and ethnic relations, and courts and criminal procedures. Students must complete an internship at a relevant law enforcement or corrections agency, counting toward the 60 credits needed to earn the degree. Students may take a prior-learning assessment to earn credit for previous work experience. The majority of professors currently hold positions as criminal justice professionals. Graduates may apply completed credits towards a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at FPU.

Online courses run in eight-week terms. The program offers four start dates per year; students may start at the beginning of any term. Distance learners can earn this associate degree entirely online with no residency requirements, or opt for a hybrid program.

The program accepts applications through a rolling admissions system. As the school caps enrollment to keep classes small, prospective students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applicants must provide a high school diploma or GED. The program does not require SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students from an accredited institution may apply. Distance learners receive the same scholarship and financial aid opportunities as on-campus students. Online programs offer a lower tuition rate per credit hour than traditional courses.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $390/credit
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: Optional

Contact
Phone: (800) 325-1090
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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49 Eastern Florida State College RANKING SCORE 56.1 COST GRADUATION RATE 46% LOCATION Cocoa, FL

Established in 1960 as a two-year junior college, EFSC eventually joined the Florida College System and developed articulation agreements with the University of Central Florida and the Florida Institute of Technology. With a 51% increase in online program enrollment over the past two decades, the majority of two-year degree students flock to the school’s associate in arts transfer program.

EFSC offers an online AS in criminal justice technology. Classes focus on broadening student knowledge of criminal justice and preparing current professionals for increased career opportunities. The curriculum comprises 15 general education credits, 33 major-specific credits, three support credits, and 9 credits of technical electives. Course topics include American criminal justice; drugs, alcohol, and crime; foundations of homeland security; and critical issues in criminal justice. Students who completed law enforcement/corrections academy training in Florida may receive college credit for their experience. Associate degree graduates can apply credits toward a bachelor’s degree at EFSC. Graduates qualify for entry-level work in a criminal justice agency. The AS program includes a certification in criminal justice technology, with no additional coursework required.

Students can complete the associate degree entirely online, through Canvas. Distance courses may span standard 16-week or accelerated 12-week terms. EFSC requires strict attendance of all online students; distance learners must complete daily activities, with failure to participate in assignments for more than two weeks resulting in expulsion.

First-year applicants must submit a high school transcript with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 or an equivalent GED score. The program does not require, but encourages SAT or ACT scores from within the last two years. Current high school students over age 16 can apply for dual enrollment credit. Transfer applicants with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher from another accredited institution may waive the placement test requirement.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology
Tuition: $104/credit in-state; $406/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (321) 433-5695
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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50 Casper College RANKING SCORE 55.98 COST GRADUATION RATE 32% LOCATION Casper, WY

Casper College is a public, two-year school with 140 career and technical programs. Based in Wyoming, the college offers two online criminal justice associate degree programs, an AA and an AAS in criminal justice, both of which foster tolerance, communication skills, and discipline. The city of Casper provides access to court systems, federal organizations, and the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy.

CC offers both online criminal justice programs in a hybrid format; students complete at least 70% of coursework online. The associate of arts in criminal justice is a 64-credit program designed for students who plan to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. The AA program requires 32 general education credits and 32 major credits in courses such as social problems and law of evidence.

The associate of applied science in criminal justice requires 64 credits and is designed for students who intend to enter careers immediately after graduation. Students complete 17 general education credits, including one credit in physical education, and 31 major credits in courses such as police administration, criminal procedure, and probation and parole. An academic advisor helps each student select courses to fulfil the 16 required elective credits. Pre-approved electives include computer forensics and fire causes and investigation.

The college maintains articulation agreements with several four-year institutions, many of which send faculty members to teach at CC's campus. The University of Wyoming is the only partner institution that offers a criminal justice program. Students complete the AA or the AAS program in two years. CC boasts small class sizes and a 14-to-one student-to-faculty ratio.


Program Overview
Program name: Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice, Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $126/credit in-state; $314/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 60-64 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (307) 268-2368
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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Some online criminal justice associate degree programs allow students to develop a concentration in a specialized area. While course and curriculum details tend to differ between schools, there are several educational tracks commonly offered through criminal justice programs across the United States. Most are designed to prepare students for specific careers while others are tailored to prepare learners for further education.

CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Concentration Description Careers this concentration prepares for
Corrections This concentration focuses on the role of the correctional system in relation to the criminal justice system as a whole. Coursework covers topics such as incarceration, probation, and parole, along with courtroom procedures and recent innovations in crime prevention and personal security. Corrections Officer; Corrections Dispatcher; Parole Officer
Law enforcement Coursework focuses on criminal law and procedures, investigations, and constitutional law. Students learn the fundamentals of criminology, and how these concepts can be applied in the community to prevent crime. Curricula may address topics related to homeland security, cybercrime, and forensic detection. Some programs may include a weapons training component. Law Enforcement Officer; Security Officer; Loss Prevention Expert; Statistic Researcher in criminal justice fields
Forensic science Students on a forensic science track gain the knowledge necessary to assess and process crime scenes. In addition to courses like crime scene photography and accident investigation, students learn the basic scientific skills required to succeed in a forensic laboratory setting. Students may be expected to complete an internship or work-study program. Forensic Science Technician; Crime Scene Investigator/Photographer; Records Officer

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Although course selections vary from school to school, some subjects are integral to the study of criminal justice. Variations on the following courses are frequently offered by online criminal justice associate degree programs.

  • Quantitative methods in criminal justice: This course provides an overview of common methods used by criminologists to research the causes and distribution of crime. Lectures cover primary methods of data acquisition and analysis, as well as challenges introduced by social relations and economic factors.
  • Criminological theory: Designed to provide students with a broad foundation in the integral concepts of criminology, this course describes the various schools of thought that have contributed to modern criminological theory. Topics covered in this course are crucial for anyone pursuing a career in law enforcement or forensic science.
  • Criminal justice ethics: A must for future law enforcement officers, students can expect to learn the code of ethics that defines the behavior of all police professionals. Coursework details ethical methods of problem solving and conflict resolution, stressing the importance of honor and integrity in the field.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE?

While it takes most learners around two years to complete their criminal justice associate degree online, several factors can affect program length and completion time. Many schools provide the option of studying part-time, for example, which may extend the duration of a course or program. However, the biggest factor influencing degree length is program pacing.

Featuring accelerated courses and lenient deadlines, self-paced, or asynchronous programs allow students to study and complete assignments without requiring their online presence at specific times. Ideal for busy individuals, self-paced courses can be completed quickly. Online criminal justice associate degree students in cohort programs begin and end classes with the same group of people. Students may be expected to log on at designated times, and deadlines are typically stricter. Assignments and projects often require collaboration between group members. Following a precise schedule, cohort programs often take more time to complete.

Not all criminal justice online associate degree programs are created equal. To ensure that you receive the highest quality education possible, it’s important to seek programs from accredited schools. The accreditation process ensures that a school is operating according to standards set by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Institutions may be regionally or nationally accredited, depending on the body evaluating them. Regional accreditation is generally applied to nonprofit, academically oriented colleges, while for-profit vocational schools are often nationally accredited.

For students who are interested in entering a bachelor’s program after earning their criminal justice associate degree online, finding a regionally accredited school is crucial. While nationally accredited schools will accept credits from regionally accredited ones, the opposite is generally not true. Most graduate programs follow similar practices. A degree from a regionally accredited institution provides many more opportunities for further education than its national counterpart.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a quality associate degree in criminal justice online from a nationally accredited institution. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes all accredited schools as legitimate. While the DOE doesn’t accredit institutions, it reviews accrediting agencies to ensure that they meet federal standards. All agencies are monitored by the DOE, and undergo review periodically. CHEA also oversees accrediting organizations from a non-governmental perspective, and provides the public with information about accreditation’s role in protecting students. You can find a list of accredited institutions on the DOE’s website, or search for schools on CHEA’s extensive database.

Job Placement: Associate in Criminal Justice

The demand for qualified professionals is quite high in law and law enforcement, emergency management, homeland security and other criminal justice-related fields. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that most legal occupations for associate degree-holders — including police officers and detectives, paralegals, legal assistants, probation officers and correctional treatment specialists — will grow by 4% to 8% between 2014 and 2024. This industry growth will result in thousands of new jobs. Additionally, jobs in the cutting-edge field of forensics are also on the rise. The number of forensic science technicians, for example, is expected to increase 27% over the next decade.

Unemployment rates in criminal justice are linked to areas of specialization. The following table features five criminal justice professions that were included in the ‘Best Jobs‘ ranking published by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.

Profession Unemployment Rate
Patrol Officer 1.0%
Lawyer 1.1%
Paralegal 2.8%
Information Security Analyst 3.9%
Security Guard 8.0%

Source: U.S. News & World Report

Generally speaking, most jobs in law and law enforcement, information security and other criminal justice fields have unemployment rates lower than 4.0%. Comparatively, the national unemployment rate for all occupations currently sits at 4.7%.

Earning a Living

According to the 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report, students who earn an associate degree in criminal justice earn median annual salaries of $31,100 during the first five years of their career and $46,000 after a decade on the job. This represents a 10-year growth rate of nearly 48%. The report also found that those with an associate in criminal justice administration earn median salaries of $36,800 and $50,200 at the five- and 10-year marks, respectively.

How do these two fields stack up against other areas of study in terms of earning potential for new graduates? The table below features projected earnings for six related academic fields.

Associate Degree Field of Study Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (10+ Years)
Fire Science $34,700 $56,600
Legal Studies $32,300 $51,300
Criminal Justice Administration $36,800 $50,200
Law Enforcement $34,000 $50,200
Legal Assistant Studies $33,400 $46,300
Criminal Justice $31,100 $46,000

Source: 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report

Another important consideration for criminal justice degree-holders is specific job title. Salary expectations will strongly vary between different positions; other potential factors include employer size, certification level, experience and city/state of employment. The next table looks at salary projections for five of the most common occupations in criminal justice.

Occupation Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (10+ Years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Police Officers $43,146 $51,046 $55,662 $61,218
Police Detectives $50,000 $52,000 $63,000 $69,000
Probation Officers $35,057 $39,926 $45,742 $58,590
Paralegals $38,734 $46,626 $51,154 $53,194
Forensic Scientist $47,000 $59,000 $63,000 $69,000

Source: PayScale

All five occupations listed in the table experience salary growth of at least 37% after 20 years in the workforce. Probation officers reported the highest growth rate: a 67.1% increase in earnings between the entry-level and late-career phases. Forensic scientists placed second with a 20-year growth rate of 46.8%, followed by police officers with 41.9% growth.

Career Opportunities

Students who graduate with an associate in criminal justice will be qualified for dozens of entry-level positions, although individual eligibility will also depend on their areas of specialization. Four of the most popular careers in criminal justice are outlined below.

Police and Detectives: Police officers and detectives safeguard public safety. Officers are primarily responsible for protecting human lives, property and natural resources through active patrolling and law enforcement practices. Detectives are mid- to top-level law enforcement officials who investigate different crimes and, in many cases, arrest the perpetrators. These professionals also collect evidence, interview people linked to crimes that have been committed, write police reports and testify during trials and other criminal proceedings.

Paralegals and Legal Assistants: Paralegals and legal assistants provide supportive services for practicing attorneys. Their day-to-day duties include researching case studies, composing legal documents, formally requesting affidavits and other legal forms, preparing lawyers for court appearances and organizing client records.

Forensic Science Technicians: Forensic science technicians collect material evidence at crime scenes, and then perform a series of tests and analyses on each piece of evidence to help investigators apprehend guilty parties. Their time is neatly divided between crime scenes and laboratories, and they must be skilled at using different lab tools and equipment.

Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists: Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work directly with probationers, or individuals who have been convicted of criminal offenses. They monitor their clients to ensure they do not reoffend, and may also meet with them to discuss employment opportunities and rehabilitation programs.

Profession Median Annual Salary Projected Industry Growth (2014-24)
Police and Detectives $60,270 4% (33,100 jobs)
Paralegals and Legal Assistants $48,810 8% (21,200 jobs)
Forensic Science Technicians $56,320 27% (3,800 jobs)
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists $49,360 4% (3,300 jobs)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to criminal justice is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you’ll find three of the country’s most prominent organizations established for criminal justice professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates. Resources like these often prove invaluable as you complete your degree requirements and prepare to enter the job market.

  • National Association of Police Organizations: NAPO was founded in 1978, and today represents roughly 241,000 officers and detectives in more than 1,000 law enforcement units. Members receive invitations to three annual conferences, as well as continuing education opportunities.
  • National Association of Legal Assistants: NALA is a nonprofit organization representing more than 18,000 paralegals, both individual members and employees of member affiliates. The association offers two certifications for paralegals, as well as online webinars, job leads and complimentary issues of the Facts & Findings academic journal.
  • American Probation and Parole Association: APPA represents probation and parole personnel working with criminals and juvenile offenders. The organization’s website features an extensive online resource library, as well as links to online and onsite training programs.

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Associate in Criminal Justice Programs of 2017
Rank School Location
1 Pamlico Community College Grantsboro, NC
2 Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL
3 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
4 Indiana Wesleyan University - Marion Marion, IN
5 Central Georgia Technical College Warner Robins, GA
6 Albany Technical College Albany, GA
7 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
8 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI
9 Oconee Fall Line Technical College Sandersville, GA
10 Hodges University Naples, FL
11 Odessa College Odessa, TX
12 Fox Valley Technical College Appleton, WI
13 Stanly Community College Albemarle, NC
14 Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY
15 University of Maine at Fort Kent Fort Kent, ME
16 Haywood Community College Clyde, NC
17 Southeastern Technical College Vidalia, GA
18 Northeast Community College Norfolk, NE
19 Westmoreland County Community College Youngwood, PA
20 Lanier Technical College Oakwood, GA
21 Forsyth Technical Community College Winston Salem, NC
22 Lansing Community College Lansing, MI
23 Northampton County Area Community College Bethlehem, PA
24 Surry Community College Dobson, NC
25 Truckee Meadows Community College Reno, NV