Best Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Programs of 2021

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Published on January 29, 2021

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An online criminal justice degree prepares you to work within law enforcement, corrections, and the justice system. Few entry-level careers in these fields explicitly require a bachelor's degree, but obtaining an undergraduate education can greatly improve your employment prospects. For example, a bachelor's degree can make you extremely competitive for entry-level policing jobs that require only that candidates complete a non-degree training program.

What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Criminal Justice Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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#1 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
#2 Florida International University Miami, FL
#3 Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA
#4 Minot State University Minot, ND
#5 Crown College Saint Bonifacius, MN
#6 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA
#7 Trine University Fort Wayne, IN
#8 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
#9 Averett University Danville, VA
#10 University of North Alabama Florence, AL

Police officers who hold a bachelor's degree may also qualify for promotions to detective positions and supervisory roles. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for detectives in 2018 was $81,920, while police officers earned a median salary of $61,380 that same year.

With an online criminal justice bachelor degree, you may also qualify for work as a criminal justice educator, probation officer, FBI agent, or federal correctional officer. Earning a master's degree can open the door to advanced supervisory positions or specialized roles in criminology or forensic psychology.

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2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Criminal Justice Programs

Few major decisions seem to carry as much weight as choosing a college. You are preparing to make a significant financial commitment and embark on a journey where your academic achievement will determine your career prospects. Thanks to online criminal justice programs, your options are no longer limited to schools within commuting distance and/or those for which you're willing to relocate. However, finding the right online degree can seem like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

To make the process easier, we've done some of the heavy lifting for you. Using our rigorous methodology, we ranked the best online criminal justice degrees in the U.S. You can read a detailed description of each one in the list below, which includes helpful information about program formats, learning outcomes, curricula, student resources, and other program-specific details.

For more information about a particular program, feel free to explore the school's website on your own or reach out to an admissions specialist.

University of Central Florida View School Profile Orlando, FL

Based in Orlando, UCF offers an online BA or BS in criminal justice. The program provides students with an in-depth understanding of the justice system while preparing them for career opportunities at the local, state, and federal levels. The online program focuses on the history of American crime, how to conduct research and analyze data, and what crimes can be prosecuted under law.

The bachelor of art track requires either two semesters of the same foreign language or three semesters of college-level American Sign Language. The bachelor of science focus involves more math and science coursework. Core courses for both degrees include the criminal justice system, prosecution and adjudication, and research methods. Students must also complete a capstone project.

UCF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Online Bachelor of Arts or Science in Criminal Justice
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: In-state: $179 per credit (in-state); $716 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: SAT and ACT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Florida International University View School Profile Miami, FL

Located in Miami, FIU's online bachelor's in criminal justice program focuses on core issues related to crime and justice. In addition to a challenging curriculum, the program pairs each student with a success coach who answers questions, offers advice, and provides guidance.

Taught through the School of International and Public Affairs, the program prepares students for work at local police departments or national organizations, such as the Central Intelligence Agency or Federal Bureau of Investigations. Graduates may also choose to continue on to law school. Core courses include criminological theory, research methods and analysis in criminal justice, and criminal justice and the Constitution. Students must also complete a capstone course.

FIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: In-state: $229 per credit (in-state); $346 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum required
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program

Pennsylvania State University View School Profile University Park, PA

Based in University Park, Penn State World Campus offers an online bachelor's in criminal justice. The program prepares students to pursue a career in criminology. Program participants learn from distinguished faculty who have specific online teaching and training experience. 

In addition to general education courses, such as elementary statistics, students study upper-level criminal coursework and major requirements. Specific course topics include criminology, ethics in criminal justice, psychology, and security and police administration.

Penn State World Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $576-$617 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Minot State University View School Profile Minot, ND

Located in Minot, North Dakota, Minot State offers an online bachelor's in criminal justice. The program prepares students for career opportunities in law enforcement, the courts, corrections, and juvenile justice. The curriculum, one of the most comprehensive in the upper Midwest, provides participants with in-depth education on each component of the criminal justice system. Students may also augment their degree with a minor in police management and investigation, law and legal study, or risk assessment.

The degree's core courses include policing, criminological theory, corrections, and criminal law. Required criminal justice elective course offerings consist of interviewing and interrogation, use of force in policing, crimes against children, and cybercrimes.

Minot State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $329 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120-122 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: ACT (minimum score of 17) or SAT (minimum score of 920)

Contact the School

Request more information about this program

Crown College View School Profile Saint Bonifacius, MN

Located in Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota, Crown College offers an online bachelor's in criminal justice. Students learn about diverse social, political, legal, and ethical concerns related to criminal justice issues from a Christian perspective. Students may also combine their criminal justice studies with programs/degrees in psychology/counseling, alcohol and drug counseling, disaster management, business, or ministry.

Required classes for the degree include Bible classes, general education courses, and major core courses. Core courses include introduction to criminal justice, victimology, and introduction to emergency management. 

Crown College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $395 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 125 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

University of Louisiana at Monroe View School Profile Monroe, LA

ULM Online offers an online bachelor's in criminal justice. The program provides in-depth knowledge of the criminal justice system's three main parts: the police, the courts, and corrections. Graduates qualify for jobs such as crime scene investigator, private detective, and computer forensic specialist. The program also prepares students to pursue advanced educational opportunities in the field.

General courses include an introduction to sociology, state and local government, and social research. Required courses for the major cover criminal justice, theories of crime and delinquency, and criminal justice procedure and evidence. Students take courses in eight-week sessions.

ULM is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $400 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.35 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Trine University View School Profile Fort Wayne, IN

Based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, TrineOnline offers bachelor of science with a criminal justice major. The program focuses on criminal law, criminal justice, and psychology. Students obtain a mix of practical knowledge and theory taught by active and experienced professionals. Upon graduation, individuals can pursue a criminal justice career or move on to advanced study.

Required general education classes include principles of sociology, intro to government, and effective communication. Major courses include juvenile justice, introduction to criminal justice, and criminal procedures and evidence. The program also offers three concentrations: psychology, criminal justice professional, and Indiana law enforcement.

Trine University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science With a Criminal Justice Major
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $399 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT recommended

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Florida Atlantic University View School Profile Boca Raton, FL

Located in Boca Raton, FAU offers an online bachelor's in criminal justice. The program focuses on the nature and causes of crime and delinquency, along with in-depth studies about the American legal system. Graduates can pursue criminal justice careers or go on to earn a master's degree in the field. Program undergraduates may begin a master of science in criminology and criminal justice at FAU by completing up to 12 master's-level credits during their senior year.

Core courses include criminology and ethics and the justice system, and electives focus on crime in the schools and criminal justice management. Students may also complete a directed independent study or criminal justice field experience or internship.

FAU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $301 per credit (in-state); $720 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Averett University View School Profile Danville, VA

Located in Danville, Virginia, Averett offers an online bachelor of science in sociology and criminal justice. The program prepares students to serve their communities and assume a variety of local, state, and federal government positions. The curriculum combines professional preparation in criminal justice while emphasizing the importance of integrity, respect for others, ethics, fairness, and empathy. Graduates obtain the skills and understanding needed to develop and maintain community relations within public safety and human services professions.

Core courses include criminal justice, police in America, tactical communications, and courts and trials. Students also study crisis intervention, introduction to sociology, and problem-solving strategies. Program participants may add a minor, choosing from options like business administration, cybersecurity and computer forensics, homeland security, or leadership.

Averett is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Criminal Justice
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $480 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

University of North Alabama View School Profile Florence, AL

Located in Florence, Alabama, UNA offers an online BA or BS in criminal justice. Students receive in-depth instruction on criminal justice, security, emergency management, and crime scene investigations. Graduates can pursue law enforcement, corrections, and emergency management jobs, or continue with graduate studies.

Foundation classes go over the United States government and politics, introductory sociology, and current social problems. Students also study criminology, research methods in criminal justice, and research methods in criminal justice. To finish their course of study, participants complete a research practicum in criminal justice.

UNA is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts or Science With a Major in Criminal Justice
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $320 per credit (in-state); $640 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Synchronous and Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.25 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: ACT optional for fall 2021

Contact the School

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California State University, San Bernardino View School Profile San Bernardino, CA

CSUSB offers an online bachelor's in criminal justice that provides a comprehensive education for college students wishing to pursue careers within the criminal justice system. To enroll, program participants need at least 60 transfer credits from a community college or regionally accredited university, as well as relevant work experience.

The curriculum begins with university-required courses, such as natural sciences, university writing, and diversity and inclusion. Major courses include research methods in criminal justice, police and police systems, correctional theory and institutions, and integrative studies in criminal justice. Participants also complete six upper-division elective courses. Students may add a homeland security certificate to their degree.

CSUSB is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $420 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 60 credits (120 credits total)
  • Degree Completion Program: Yes
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.7 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

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University of Mary View School Profile Bismarck, ND

Located in Bismarck, North Dakota, the University of Mary offers an online bachelor's in criminal justice. The program provides the necessary training to help students launch or advance careers in law enforcement and crime management, while also making a positive community impact. The curriculum helps students increase their knowledge in areas including criminology, law adjudication, corrections, and homeland security. A five-week rolling admissions schedule provides additional flexibility.

Required classes include dynamics of addiction, police science, criminal procedures, and juvenile justice. Students must also complete a capstone project.

University of Mary is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $240 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 124 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact the School

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Southeastern University View School Profile Lakeland, FL

Located in Lakeland, Florida, SEU offers an online bachelor's in criminal justice. The program combines classroom instruction with hands-on experience, preparing students to pursue careers in law enforcement, corrections, or criminal investigations. The curriculum examines the three major criminal systems branches: law enforcement, courts, and corrections.

The degree plan begins with foundational courses in Christian studies and spiritual formations, as well as math, history, humanities, and the sciences. Criminal justice core classes include an introduction to crime scene investigations, juvenile delinquency, corrections and punishment, and theory and criminal justice. Students may also pursue a minor in a related discipline, such as business, pre-law, social services, or psychology.

SEU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $390 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 124 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Eastern New Mexico University View School Profile Portales, NM

Based in Portales, New Mexico, ENMU offers an online BA or BS in criminal justice. Students prepare to pursue careers in local, state, or federal law enforcement or related fields. Many potential careers relate to social services or policing. Students may also enroll in law school upon graduation.

Criminal justice courses include criminology, sociology, and criminal law and the courts. Learners also complete an internship to gain hands-on experience in the field. Students who want to further customize their degree plan can study a related minor.

ENMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science or Arts in Criminal Justice
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $170 per credit (in-state); $255 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Synchronous and Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: ACT (minimum score of 14) or SAT (minimum score of 760)

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Indiana University East View School Profile Richmond, IN

Located in Richmond, Indiana, IU East offers an online bachelor's in criminal justice. The program emphasizes the causes and prevention of crime, along with legal processes and offender treatment and rehabilitation. 

Students explore the criminal justice system through an interdisciplinary lens, combining legal studies, sociology, political science, psychology, forensic science, public administration, urban studies, and philosophy. The program prepares graduates for careers in corrections, law enforcement, crime scene investigation, the courts, and private security. 

The curriculum includes general education coursework; criminal justice core and elective courses; and ethics, diversity, and social work classes. Specific classes include crime and deviance theories, courts and criminal justice, criminal justice data, and a senior seminar in criminal justice.

IU East is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $236 per credit (in-state); $341 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Format: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT optional

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Read our bachelor’s in criminal justice degree page to learn more about how to choose a program, common admission standards, and the educational requirements for specific careers.

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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