Best Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

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Criminal justice is a broad, multidisciplinary field dedicated to the study of laws and law enforcement. Students explore the historical and sociological motives behind different laws, as well as the various ways that laws are interpreted and enforced at the municipal, state and federal levels. Criminal justice is a common academic pathway for police officers, detectives and other members of the law enforcement community, as well as forensic scientists, criminal psychologists and legal professionals. A bachelor’s degree is considered the minimum educational requirement for most criminal justice careers.

Many of today’s students are choosing to earn online criminal justice degrees. The web-based format is typically more flexible than classroom-based education, enabling students to hold down a job and financially support themselves while they pursue a degree. The best online bachelor’s in criminal justice programs feature the same rigorous coursework as traditional brick-and-mortar options. Online criminal justice programs often include internships, as well, which allow students to gain supervised training at police stations, law offices and other real-world workplaces where criminal justice majors tend to find employment.

WHAT IS A MAJOR IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE?

A criminal justice major explores the foundations of law and law enforcement, as well as the nature of crime and criminal behavior. Read more here.

WHAT KIND OF DEGREE DO YOU NEED TO BE A CRIMINAL PROFILER?

A criminal profiler typically needs at least a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, forensic science, forensic psychology, or criminology. Read more here.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEGREE?

Graduates of criminal justice programs can become police officers, detectives, probation officers, forensic scientists, criminal psychologists, and criminal profilers. Read more here.

CAN YOU GET A CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEGREE ONLINE?

Yes. There are many criminal justice programs in fully-online or hybrid formats. Read more here.

HOW TO GET A CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEGREE ONLINE

Applicants must meet all admission requirements in terms of minimum GPA, standardized test scores, and application materials. Following admission, students must fulfill all course requirements and may need to maintain a minimum GPA. Read more here.

Learn more about what you can do with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.

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

The best online criminal justice degree programs take a comprehensive approach to the field. Students pursuing a criminal justice degree online will learn about the procedures for creating, modifying and eliminating laws at different jurisdictional levels. They also study the underlying reasons behind criminal behavior, as well as strategies for deterring crime and reintroducing convicted offenders back into society once their prison sentences have ended.

WILL AN ONLINE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROGRAM WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

Online bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice are usually asynchronous, or self-paced. Students can access lectures and other course materials, submit written assignments, take exams and communicate with their professors on their own time from the comfort of their home computer. Current educational technology also allows them to study on the go using a laptop, tablet, smartphone and other Wi-Fi-compatible devices. For added convenience, online students can typically arrange internships and practicum courses at sites near their current residence, rather than being forced to commute to the community where their campus is located.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY BACHELOR’S IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE?

Most career pathways in law enforcement are attainable with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, although additional training is usually required; law enforcement officers must also earn an official commission. Although a doctoral law degree will be needed for those who wish to practice law as attorneys, a bachelor’s is generally sufficient for paralegals and other supportive legal personnel. Criminal justice online degrees are also an important step for students who plan to continue their education with a master’s program.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE CRIMINAL JUSTICE 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 bachelor’s in criminal justice programs in the United States. If you are considering an online bachelor’s in criminal justice, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific bachelor’s degree requirements and offerings.

See Methodology
Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 University of Central Florida RANKING SCORE 86.87 COST GRADUATION RATE 69% LOCATION Orlando, FL

The University of Central Florida's online degree programs are offered through its Center for Distributed Learning. With its main campus located in downtown Orlando, UCF offers an online criminal justice degree via [email protected] With two degree options for students interested in studying criminal justice online, online learners have the opportunity to prepare for careers in the criminal justice field, whether it’s at a federal, state, or private security organization. Students are also prepared to complete graduate work in a related field.

This 120-credit accredited online criminal justice degree is offered as a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree. Learners choose from courses such as corrections and penology, crime in the U.S., prosecution and adjudication, and research methods in criminal justice. Online learners complete a final capstone course in criminal justice ethics and are encouraged to participate in an internship, in which six credits can be applied to their upper-level elective requirements.

Each online class is designed by the individual instructor, so some courses may be taught asynchronously, while others may require specific times for online attendance. Coursework is delivered through Canvas. UCF offers many academic resources to its online students, including the University Writing Center, which offers online tutoring, career services, peer-assisted learning, and library resources.

BA-seeking students must demonstrate foreign language proficiencies while BS-seeking students must demonstrate high school foreign language skills. All applicants must submit official SAT or ACT scores. Public universities in Florida require students with fewer than 60 hours to complete nine hours of summer sessions. Students who are interested in transferring credits from other institutions must have a minimum 2.0 GPA at the last school attended and overall cumulative GPA. UCF will accept up to 12 hours of coursework related to criminal justice.

Online students at the school are encouraged to apply for financial aid. Most awards given at UCF are merit-based. Please note that due to state regulations, UCF does not currently provide online instruction to students in Michigan, Minnesota, or Oregon.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts or Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $179/credit in-state; $383/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Department phone: (407) 823-2603
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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2 Florida International University RANKING SCORE 84.59 COST GRADUATION RATE 56% LOCATION Miami, FL

A leader in criminal justice education, Miami's Florida International University boasts an extensive distance education division and worldwide network of more than 200,000 online alumni. More than half of the school's current student body takes at least one online course every year.

FIU offers a 120-credit online criminal justice degree designed for individuals interested in careers related to law enforcement, homeland security, border patrol, and U.S. Marshals. Coursework covers global terrorism, criminological theory, search methods, and more.

Led by top-tier faculty, online coursework at FIU is delivered synchronously via Blackboard. Students can log in to engage in discussions and complete activities and assignments whenever it is convenient for them. Since classes are not self-paced, however, students must complete assignments and exams by specific due dates.

Distance learners at FIU are matched with virtual success coaches who will guide them through their entire online education. The schools also offers academic coaches, advising, 24/7 live technology support, and tutoring services.

Online students have the option of joining the FIU Honors College in which they practice problem-solving, communication, and analysis skills. To graduate in the honors programs, students must complete 12 credits of honors coursework. Within the honors program, students gain access to competitive scholarships, have more study abroad and research opportunities, and premier access to jobs and internships.

Prospective students can take a demo course to see what an online experience will be like before enrolling. Applicants must submit official SAT or ACT scores. Admitted students in this criminal justice degree online can begin coursework in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

Distance learners pay $213 for in-state tuition and $329 for out-of-state tuition. Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, federal work-study, and student loans.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $213/credit in-state; $330/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time only
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Department phone: (305) 348-5890
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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3 Florida State University RANKING SCORE 77.58 COST GRADUATION RATE 80% LOCATION Tallahassee, FL

Founded in 1851, Florida State University is the flagship member of the State University System of Florida. FSU offers an online criminal justice degree designed for nontraditional students who have completed all required liberal arts courses at FSU or who have already earned an associate degree from a previously attended accredited institution.

FSU’s program provides students with a breadth of knowledge surrounding the criminal justice field. The program also offers an optional 36-credit specialization in criminology. Students who do not wish to earn a specialization or minor may opt to complete an onsite internship instead. The internship can then be taken for academic credit, however, internships are not available in every state.

This program is intended for those who are balancing school with a full-time job and have limited availability. As such, there are no on-campus requirements. Most online courses at FSU are offered asynchronous via Blackboard. Online students have access to an academic advisor, the career center, a virtual computer lab, the reading-writing center, and the Academic Center for Excellence.

Applicants must complete their associate degree in Florida or meet the FSU Liberal Studies requirements and complete an oral competency exam. Applicants must also submit ACT or SAT scores. Accepted students can start in fall, spring, or summer. Students who wish to transfer credits from previously attended institutions may transfer up to nine credits toward their degree.

Tuition is $216 per-credit for in-state students and $721 per credit for out-of-state students. There is also an additional distance learning fee. Some online learning courses require students to purchase course packets. Degree-seeking online students who are registered for six or more hours per semester are encouraged to apply for financial aid. However, students cannot use independent living waivers, state employee tuition waivers, or the Florida Prepaid College Plan to cover the costs of their criminal justice degree online.


Program Overview
Department: College of Criminology & Criminal Justice
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Criminology & Criminal Justice Degree Completion
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $315/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Associate of Arts (or meet FSU Liberal Studies requirements)
Credit requirements: 36 credits (major)

Program Length
Program options: Part-time only
Program length: 3-4 years
Program start dates: Fall - July 1; spring - November 1; summer - March 1

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling

Contact
Department phone: (850) 644-4051
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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4 Rutgers University - New Brunswick RANKING SCORE 77.17 COST GRADUATION RATE 80% LOCATION New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers is one of the oldest universities in the country, serving over 69,000 students in New Jersey and around the world. The school offers 150-plus majors for undergraduate students, including a BA and BS in criminal justice. Online programs are delivered through the Canvas platform, and students may enroll full- or part-time.

The criminal justice major can lead to careers in law, government services, or law enforcement. Criminal justice classes online may include juvenile justice, crimes against humanity, and the theory and practice of criminal law. Graduates can enter the workforce or pursue graduate education, and the career services department lists 30-plus potential occupations, along with criminal justice employers, graduate programs, and past Rutgers internship locations.

Applicants must have earned an associate degree in criminal justice from an accredited community college. All applicants are expected to have met certain high school course requirements in English, foreign language, math, science, and other areas for 16 academic units. Transfer students are also expected to meet these requirements, though college courses may satisfy certain requirements.

Rutgers states that each application is reviewed comprehensively. First-year applicants are reviewed for admission based on high school grades, curriculum, test scores, and other factors like essays and extracurriculars. Transfer applicants are reviewed on grades, curriculum taken, and the number of credits completed. Prospective students can check out the Rutgers admissions profile to see accepted student averages.

New Jersey residents pay significantly reduced tuition compared to non-residents. However, there are merit-based scholarships for both first-year and transfer students. New Jersey residents may also be eligible for NJ STARS, which provides funding for community college students to transfer to four-year universities.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Criminal Justice; Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $374/credit in-state; $894/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.6-4.0
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (732) 445-8088
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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5 Liberty University RANKING SCORE 76.02 COST GRADUATION RATE 51% LOCATION Lynchburg, VA

Founded in 1971, Liberty University boasts more than 94,000 online students. Liberty is the largest private, nonprofit provider of online higher education in the United States. Rooted in Christian philosophy, scriptural teachings, and faith-based values, Liberty offers one of the best online criminal justice programs.

Liberty University's criminal justice degree online is designed for both individuals with and without experience in the field. With seven specializations -- business administration and management, criminal psychology, crime scene investigation, homeland security, public administration, strategic intelligence, and juvenile justice -- online learners can tailor the program to their particular interests. With a focus on different types of crime and the various responses of the criminal justice system, students take several interesting classes such as juvenile justice, corrections, terrorism, and criminal investigations.

Most coursework in this 120-credit program is offered in an eight-week format, while a few classes are offered in 14-week or 17-week blocks. Online coursework is delivered by Blackboard asynchronously. With flexibility in mind, professors at this school do not require any login times. Online learners engage in coursework through discussion boards, case studies, group work, quizzes, research papers, exams presentations, and book reviews.

Distance learners at Liberty University, which is headquartered in Lynchburg, VA, have access to great resources, such as the online writing center, time management tools, tutorial services, a virtual career center, web-based library resources, and online academic advising.

Applicants are expected to have a minimum 2.0 cumulative combined GPA, however, those who do not meet this requirement can speak to an admissions representative. Students who wish to transfer credits from other institutions may transfer up to half of their major course credits. Individuals with law enforcement or military training may be eligible for college credit as well.

Part-time students pay $455 per hour, while full-time students pay $390 per hour at Liberty. Online learners must pay an additional fee. Students are encourage to apply for scholarships and payment plans.


Program Overview
Department: Helms School of Government
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Available concentrations: Business administration & management, criminal psychology,
crime scene investigation, homeland security, public administration, strategic intelligence
juvenile justice
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $390/credit full-time; $455/credit part-time

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time only
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (434) 592-3691
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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6 University of South Florida RANKING SCORE 75.40 COST GRADUATION RATE 67% LOCATION Tampa, FL

USF was founded in 1956. The university serves more than 50,000 students with 180-plus undergraduate majors, including the BSAS with a concentration in criminal justice. The BSAS program is offered on campus and entirely online. The 120-credit degree includes 24 credits in the concentration, consisting of two required courses, a capstone course, and five electives. Students can choose electives like the death penalty, miscarriages of justice, and environmental law and crime. The capstone is required of all BSAS graduates and allows students to synthesize and apply the knowledge they learned from the program.

This online criminal justice degree is a degree completion program designed for students who have completed an AS degree from a Florida community or comparable college. Students who have completed AA degrees are not eligible. Applicants must have completed at least 18 general education credits, including specific writing and math requirements. Students may transfer up to 60 credits into school, and they can graduate by earning only 60 additional credits at USF.

Prospective BSAS students should mind admission deadlines. Though applications are accepted on a rolling basis, students must complete admission files by June 15 for fall, November 15 for spring, and April 15 for summer. Upper-level transfers, or students with 60 credit hours, should have a minimum GPA of 2.30 and have completed at least 67% of all credits attempted. For full-time students, Florida residents pay less than half the tuition charged to non-residents.

Online programs are delivered through the Canvas platform, and students can contact USF IT with technical issues. Academic support for online learners includes the learning commons online -- a partnership between USF’s learning and tutoring services and the library.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Applied Science
Available concentrations: Criminal justice
Tuition: $211.12/credit in-state; $575.01/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.9 - 4.4
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (813) 974-4051
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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7 Pennsylvania State University RANKING SCORE 74.28 COST GRADUATION RATE 86% LOCATION University Park, PA

The BS in criminal justice at Penn State is a 120-credit degree that offers students practical information in preparation for a variety of professional careers. Some students might be new to criminal justice, others may already be employed in the field, and the degree is suitable for both. The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) has certified the program. Online courses are taught asynchronously, and faculty have been specifically trained for online education. Criminal justice degree online courses are generally 12 to 15 weeks long.

Of the required 120 credits, 36 focus on the criminal justice major, with students choosing 12. Topics include psychology, police administration, and ethics in criminal justice. Other requirements for the degree include 45 general education credits and 21 credits in supporting social science courses. Students can also add the homeland security minor, which requires 18 credits.

Online student services include career counseling, academic advising, tutoring, and technical support. Students can access the university’s library online -- one of the largest research libraries in North America. Online students can also participate in alumni networking events, online clubs, graduation, and a national honor society.

All students in Penn State online programs pay the same per-credit tuition regardless of residency, though tuition varies depending on credits earned. There is also an information technology fee each semester, based on how many credits are being taken. Applicants can be transfer students or first-time freshmen, with the only prerequisite being a high school diploma or GED. While there is no cap on the number of transfer credits accepted, bachelor’s degree students must earn at least 36 of their last 60 credits at Penn State. Applications should be submitted by June 30 for fall, Oct. 31 for spring, and March 15 for summer.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science Criminal Justice
Tuition: $555/credit in-state; $596/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (814) 863-5386
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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8 Missouri State University - Springfield RANKING SCORE 73.72 COST GRADUATION RATE 55% LOCATION Springfield, MO

Law enforcement, counseling, and institutional corrections are just some of the career fields available to graduates of the BS in criminology and criminal justice at Missouri State. This online criminal justice program is one of 10 online bachelor’s degrees offered at the university and offers over 50 different criminal justice courses. The program focuses on four principal areas: corrections, courts, law, and police. The BS degree requires 120 credits, including 45 major credits. Students must complete a capstone course where they write a paper analyzing policy and integrating the knowledge gained during the program to graduate.

Online courses are delivered through Blackboard, and technical assistance is available to students via email, phone, or online chat. Online students are also supported by the office of adult student services, and encouraged to call with questions. Additional resources for distance learners include career services, financial aid, and the library. The library can be accessed through the Ask a Librarian feature, phone, email, or by setting up a research consultation.

Transfer students with at least 24 credits and a 2.0 GPA are eligible for admission. Transfer applicants with fewer earned credits must also meet freshmen admission guidelines -- including core curriculum requirements. First-time freshmen are admitted based on a scale that considers class rank, GPA, and test scores. However, freshmen and transfer students below stated minimums can apply through alternative admission options. Transfer students must complete a 45-minute online orientation before registering for classes.

Tuition for online students is the same regardless of residency, which provides significant savings to non-Missouri residents. Financial aid is available through scholarships, grants, and loans, with nearly 75% of all MSU students receiving financial assistance. Transfer students may also be eligible for donor and institutional-funded scholarships.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Tuition: $285/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.50 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (417) 836-3799
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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9 University of Alabama at Birmingham RANKING SCORE 72.21 COST GRADUATION RATE 53% LOCATION Birmingham, AL

UAB offers 10-plus online bachelor’s programs, including the BS in criminal justice. While the degree is offered entirely online through the Canvas platform, students near Birmingham have the option to combine on-campus and online courses, creating a customized learning experience. Students may also add a minor, with online offerings in business administration, human services, and psychology.

The 120-credit online criminal justice bachelor's degree includes 42 major-specific credits. The major requirements include eight required classes, four electives, a statistics requirement, and the capstone, which also involves an internship. Students can choose the most fitting capstone course, with options for current practitioners and distance learners. Major components of the internship are civic responsibility, writing, and ethics. Students must have a 2.3 GPA to apply for their internship. Among unusual criminal justice courses offered at UAB are serial killers in cross-national settings, white collar and corporate crime, and investigation of fires and explosions.

The admissions process is the same for on-campus and online students. First-time freshmen applicants are evaluated on high school transcripts, both grades and strength of curriculum, and standardized test scores. Priority consideration deadlines are June 1 for fall, Nov. 1 for spring, and March 15 for summer, but first-time freshmen interested in academic scholarships must be accepted by Dec. 1 of their senior year. Priority admission deadlines are the same for transfer students, though those interested in academic scholarships should apply by March 1. Transfer applicants should have a 2.0 GPA after completing at least 24 college credits, and be in good academic standing at all institutions attended. Applicants with fewer than 24 transferable credits must meet freshmen admission requirements.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $347/credit in-state; $793/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 125 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.62 average
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (205) 934-8221
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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10 Brandman University RANKING SCORE 72.15 COST GRADUATION RATE 45% LOCATION Irvine, CA

The BA in criminal justice with a concentration in forensics at Brandman is offered at 24 campus locations, including online. Brandman has always focused on the distance learner. Online terms are offered all year with students supported by personal coaching. Students work with an academic advisor to develop a study plan for their online program -- delivered through the Blackboard platform. The college prides itself on one-stop student services, where students can get answers to questions regarding admissions, billing, and registration with only one contact.

Most faculty at the university are current practitioners in the field, leading to program curricula that is relevant and applicable. The online bachelor's in criminal justice and forensics requires 45 major credits, with 30 coming via core requirements. The remaining 15 credits include the 12 needed for the forensics concentration and an elective. The forensics emphasis is one of the five offered with the criminal justice major, along with homeland security, leadership, corrections, and victim advocacy and social justice. Forensics focuses on evidence collection and analysis, as well as criminal profiles, with courses in forensic studies and documentation, crime scene investigation, and applied criminology. The program’s requirements include a capstone course.

Applicants to the criminal justice program should have a minimum of 12 transferable college credits with a 2.0 GPA. Students who do not meet this requirement can take advantage of the Brandman Track, where they can earn the necessary credits through eight-week online courses or a six-month, self-paced program. Students must complete the track with a 2.0 GPA. Courses are charged at a per-credit rate, with the same tuition charged to all students, regardless of residency. Federal aid and loans are available to all eligible students, and California aid is available to state residents.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Criminal Justice
Available concentrations: Forensics, homeland security, victim advocacy/social justice, corrections, general criminal justice
Tuition: $500/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: Math and English admissions exam

Contact
Phone: (949) 341-9800
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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11 Colorado State University - Global Campus RANKING SCORE 70.52 COST GRADUATION RATE 45% LOCATION Greenwood Village, CO

CSU-Global was founded in 2007 as the first online state university, and it has always focused on serving working adults. Online students have access to student support, including tutoring, career services, financial assistance, and the library. In 2017, the university launched the student assistance program, providing students with free support with health and wellness, career development, and work-life balance. The program is available 24/7 through the portal and app. Courses are asynchronous and offered in eight-week terms, allowing students maximum flexibility.

Tuition at CSU-Global is charged per credit, with the same rates for all students regardless of residency. The institution has not raised tuition rates in six years, and offers a tuition guarantee, something offered by just 6% of four-year institutions. It ensures that tuition rates won’t change while a student is enrolled in the program. Additionally, there are no student fees.

The BS in criminal justice and law enforcement administration is a 120-credit degree that includes 30 major credits. All students must complete a capstone course, and those working in the field can take part in an optional practicum. Graduates of the online criminal justice program earn three awards of completion highlighting their earned skills: foundations of criminal justice and law enforcement; understanding, interpreting, and enforcing U.S. law; and applied criminal justice and law enforcement. CSU-Global offers optional, 15-credit online specializations in 20-plus areas including criminal forensics, criminology, and emergency management.

Online programs offer monthly start dates. Applicants should have at least 12 transferable college credits with a minimum 2.3 GPA. Students below the GPA requirement can apply for provisional admission, requiring the submission of additional materials. Students can transfer up to 90 credits towards their CSU-Global bachelor’s degree. Applicants with fewer than 13 transferable credits may be eligible for the university’s first-time freshmen bachelor’s degree.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
Tuition: $350/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.30 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (800) 920-6723
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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12 University of Nebraska at Omaha RANKING SCORE 70.16 COST GRADUATION RATE 45% LOCATION Omaha, NE

Founded by the Presbyterian community as a private religious university in 1908, the University of Nebraska at Omaha was integrated into the University of Nebraska system in 1968 and currently serves more than 15,000 students. Many of these students are now enrolled in web-based courses through University of Nebraska Online Worldwide (NUOW) network. This network currently features more than 100 degree and certificate programs offered through the University of Nebraska schools in Lincoln, Omaha, Kearney, and the UN Medical Center in Omaha.

UNO's online criminal justice programs are part of a bachelor of general studies pathway that spans 120 credits in length. Core courses tackle a wide range of subjects, from women and minorities in crime to juvenile justice, statistics, and sociology of deviant behavior. Unique courses include international criminology and criminal justice, which analyzes social responses to criminal behavior and the differences in proceedings in justice systems between socialist and capitalist economic systems; and organized crime, which traces the historical development of organized crime within American society (specifically in terms of narcotics trafficking, gambling, extortion, bribery, and corruption). The curriculum additionally includes an internship and independent study that allows students to gain first-hand experience of their desired role within the justice system and may be completed through such agencies as the U.S. Marshal’s Service, local law enforcement agencies, the United States Secret Service, or the Child Advocacy Center.

Students enrolled in NUOW may also pursue a specialized online bachelor of science in criminal justice at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The curriculum for this program is also 120 credits and is designed for students who seek a science-based career in law enforcement, with courses emphasizing theory in correctional services, forensics, and new procedures for collecting and documenting criminal evidence. Its focus on institutional corrections, the program presents an in-depth analysis of the history and operation of jails and prisons around the world, covering the operation and management of justice institutions from the perspective of both incarcerated persons and justice employees. Coursework in the program also emphasizes community-based corrections strategies and the theoretical framework of parole and probation.

UN-Omaha seeks to provide potential applicants with the financial tools to succeed as a student, furnishing a scholarship program in partnership with the College of Public Affairs Community Service to help non-resident distance learners with the means to offset the cost of attendance. Students who wish to transfer from an institution within the University of Nebraska must demonstrate a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA.


Program Overview
Department: School of Criminology & Criminal Justice
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $264/credit in-state; $489/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time only
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - August 1; spring - December 1; summer - July 1
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Department phone: (402) 554-2276
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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13 Regis University RANKING SCORE 69.55 COST GRADUATION RATE 68% LOCATION Denver, CO

Regis was founded in 1877 and now serves over 11,000 students, both online and on campus. Online students have access to the Regis bookstore and can seek assistance from enrollment services, including registration and financial aid, and ITS -- which provides support for technical-related issues. Online students should register for WorldClass Orientation -- an online course showing students how to use the course management system and participate in class activities like discussion boards, email, and quizzes. Online courses start either every five or eight weeks.

Regis offers 20-plus online bachelor’s degrees, including an online bachelor's in criminal justice. Criminal justice students gain research skills and an overall understanding of crime in society. The major requires 36 credit hours, including a practicum and elective courses. Required courses include writing as a social scientist, diversity in U.S. society, and introductions to sociology and anthropology.

This BA degree can lead to careers in law enforcement, security, corrections, and investigations. Online students can seek assistance from the center for career and professional development, which provides career counseling, online workshops, and assistance with resumes, cover letters, portfolios, and interviews.

Students with previous college credit can apply up to 90 transfer credits towards their degree at Regis, and students should apply early to receive their free transfer evaluation and work directly with an advisor. Transfer students can also request an unofficial transfer evaluation if they are not quite ready to apply. While the university offers rolling admissions, students are encouraged to apply by the priority deadlines, which differ for transfer and first-time freshmen applicants. Freshmen applicants are required to submit their high school transcripts, standardized test scores, a personal essay, and a letter of recommendation. Tuition is charged per credit and students can apply for financial aid including scholarships, loans, and grants.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $1,102/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (303) 458-4900
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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14 Excelsior College RANKING SCORE 69.16 COST GRADUATION RATE 45% LOCATION Albany, NY

Excelsior’s BS in criminal justice with a concentration in investigative forensics is a 120-credit degree offered entirely online. Of the required credits, 60 are earned in arts and science requirements -- 33 of which are earned in general education. Thirty-three credits are earned in major courses, including 15 from online classes for criminal justice and 15 from concentration classes. All students must complete a three-credit capstone at Excelsior. The investigative forensics concentration offers courses in forensic pathology and psychology, digital forensics, and ethical issues. Graduates are employed in federal, state, and local law enforcement and private security, among other areas.

The college prides itself on generous transfer policies, which it says allows students to complete their degree as quickly as possible. Students can also earn credit for exams and work and life experience, including corrections and law enforcement training. To earn transfer credit, students must have a minimum grade of C- in a course. Excelsior offers a OneTranscript service where all official transcripts and training credits are combined into one document, which can be useful for employers, professional development requirements, and future college applications.

There are many support resources available for online students, including the library, veterans center, technical support, and the career center. Students can also receive personalized help from their academic advisor and through success coaching, providing support for potentially struggling students. The online writing lab offers resources related to writing for specific careers, avoiding plagiarism, and research and citation. Students are encouraged to learn more beforehand about their online classroom through the online orientation, which offers help from faculty experts. Tuition is charged per credit hour, and students who earn at least 12 credits at Excelsior do not have to pay the enrollment fee.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Available concentrations: Forensics, criminal justice administration, homeland security, law enforcement and public safety
Tuition: $510/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous

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

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15 University of Cincinnati RANKING SCORE 68.12 COST GRADUATION RATE 67% LOCATION Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati has a long history of distance education, as it was one of the first universities to offer online courses. The university offers nearly 100 online programs taught by almost 800 online faculty members. Over 5,000 students are enrolled online, representing every state and several countries. Cincinnati Online offers advisors who help with the admissions process, answer general questions, and assist with study plans guiding students to graduation.

The BS in criminal justice is an interdisciplinary program educating students on the criminal justice process. Students may take courses like crime in media and popular culture, juvenile justice system, American violence, and politics of criminal justice. Graduates can work in safety, law enforcement, corrections, or for the federal government.

Applications to the criminal justice degree online are open to transfer students and first-time freshmen. Freshmen applicants are required to submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores, and are encouraged to also send in a letter of recommendation and common application school report. Students must also meet minimum high school curriculum requirements. Transfer students can be admitted if they were admissible as freshmen and have a 2.0 transfer GPA, or if they have earned at least 24 transfer credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Both freshmen and transfer applicants should note application deadlines for fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Cincinnati Online students pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Online students are considered Ohio students, though non-residents must pay a $15 per credit surcharge. Online students are eligible for financial aid, though awards may differ based on if a student is full- or part-time. Distance students are also eligible for federal work-study, and the financial aid office helps students find a position in their area.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $221/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (513) 556-110
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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16 University of Oklahoma - Norman RANKING SCORE 67.55 COST GRADUATION RATE 68% LOCATION Norman, OK

OU offers six online bachelor’s degrees, as well as many online graduate degrees and certificate programs. The BS in criminal justice is offered online through asynchronous courses administered by way of the Canvas platform. The 120-credit degree is offered in an accelerated format, with eight-week terms. The terms are offered five times per year -- two in fall, two in spring, and one in summer. Through this schedule, students can usually complete 30 credits in one academic year.

The online criminal justice degree requires students to complete courses in general education, electives, and major courses. Major courses include deviance and social control, drugs and society, cyberspace security, and human trafficking. To earn the degree, 60 of the 120 required credits must be completed at a four-year university, and at least 30 must be completed at OU. Students can start the program in any of the five terms, but applicants are required to have 24 transfer credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Applicants below these requirements can provide supplemental materials like a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a statement of goals.

Tuition varies based on residency, with Oklahoma residents paying significantly less than non-residents. OU also offers a Military and Homeland Security non-resident tuition waiver, which is granted to any non-resident who provides documentation that they are affiliated with the armed forces or are currently working in law enforcement, corrections or homeland security. There are mandatory fees that are charged per credit hour. Financial aid and scholarships are available for online students, with scholarships available up to $1,500 per semester. Students interested in scholarships should apply by the scheduled dates.

Online students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor each semester to choose courses and to learn about the opportunities provided by OU. Students who complete the bachelor’s in criminal justice may be interested in applying to OU’s online MS in criminal justice or one of the related online certificates like corrections management or restorative justice.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $159.62/credit in-state; $672.32/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 522-4389
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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17 California Baptist University RANKING SCORE 67.49 COST GRADUATION RATE 60% LOCATION Riverside, CA

Located in Riverside, California Baptist University is a Christian institution that was founded in 1950. CBU faculty are dedicated to providing a Christ-centered education experience. In addition to traditional programs, CBU offers more than 40 online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, including an online bachelor of science in criminal justice.

CBU’s online criminal justice bachelor’s degree prepares graduates for careers in law enforcement, the legal field, amd victim services. Graduates also pursue careers in the military or continue with graduate education in criminal justice or law. The program focuses on basic concepts in the American and California criminal justice systems. CBU’s flexible online format allows working professionals to earn a bachelor’s degree quickly. On average, learners complete their degree in sixteen months.

Students complete 48 credits within the program, which includes courses such as introduction to criminal justice, minorities in the criminal justice system, terrorism and homeland security, and comparative criminal justice. The curriculum emphasizes preparing and presenting oral and written reports on a number of topics, including the history and philosophy of criminal justice, principles of emergency management, and leadership and ethics within criminal justice.

Applicants should fill out an application and provide official transcripts that show a minimum 2.0 GPA. CBU recommends that applicants have at least 24 transferable credits or a high school diploma or equivalent. Incoming students who have earned an associate degree in California do not have to complete the general education requirements. Other students must meet the general education requirements in addition to the program requirements.

CBU’s transfer credit policy allows students to transfer up to 100 credits toward a bachelor’s degree.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $566/credit
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (877) 228-5657
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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18 Ball State University RANKING SCORE 66.90 COST GRADUATION RATE 58% LOCATION Muncie, IN

Ball State in Muncie, Indiana, began in 1899 as a private teacher training college operated by the Ball family. Today, this public university named in honor of its early benefactors serves more than 22,000 students across seven colleges.

Ball State offers an online criminal justice degree program allows those seeking to advance their criminal justice careers the opportunity to earn an undergraduate degree. The curriculum examines best practices across the field and helps students use data to make decisions while demonstrating ethics and cultural competency and learning to communicate effectively verbally and in writing. Ball State has earned specialized accreditation for this degree from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Students can earn their 120-credit bachelor's degree in four years, or fewer if they transfer credit from an accredited school or for military or professional training. The curriculum includes required courses on topics such as research and evaluation methods, ethics, and theories of criminal law and race, gender, and crime. Students must also choose 24 credits of upper-level electives, which cover topics like constitutional issues in criminal justice, community corrections, human services, or victimology. There is also a required hands-on capstone experience that has students apply classroom knowledge to a professional situation.

Ball State delivers online courses asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. Most classes require students to complete weekly assignments with many courses offering collaborative learning projects. Online students have access to a variety of resources including the writing center or online tutoring sessions. They also have full access to Ball State library resources, such as research tools, a dedicated online librarian, and interlibrary loan agreements. Ball State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is designated a research university of high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology
Tuition: $300/credit in-state; $501 credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (765) 285-7161
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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18 University of North Texas RANKING SCORE 66.90 COST GRADUATION RATE 52% LOCATION Denton, TX

UNT is a public research university in Denton, Texas, that offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates online. The school offers an online criminal justice bachelor's degree that allows students to advance their careers while continuing to work and care for their families.

This 120-credit program includes a review of criminal law and procedure, history of criminal justice, criminological theory, and research methods. Students may also study emerging fields such as cybercrimes and terrorism. Faculty members maintain strong relationships with criminal justice agencies throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, allowing students to take advantage of mentoring and internship opportunities. Online students may also participate in study abroad programs with classes ranging from eight to 14 days.

This online criminal justice bachelor's degree is offered as a degree completion program, allowing students with an associate degree to quickly earn their degree. Transfer counselors work with each applicant to ensure that students receive credit for any prior learning experiences. UNT also offers credit for military or professional training. Students may attend part-time or full-time, though only students enrolled in at least five credits per semester qualify for financial assistance.

Courses are delivered asynchronously online, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. Online students enjoy access to the university's libraries either through online databases or by requesting materials to be mailed. Distance learners also have access to online tutoring and writing assistance and many other resources through the Off-Campus Student Services department. UNT is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $964.29/credit in-state; $1,317.48/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

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

Contact
Phone: (940) 565-2681
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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20 University of Nebraska at Kearney RANKING SCORE 66.67 COST GRADUATION RATE 57% LOCATION Kearney, NE

UNK was founded in 1903 and joined the University of Nebraska system in 1989. Today, the school serves more than 6,800 students each year and maintains a 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. UNK teamed up with the Omaha and Lincoln campuses to offer an online criminal justice degree completion program. Students can earn a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice with either a related minor or by completing at least 21 additional credits of criminal justice electives.

This 120-credit program is offered as a degree completion program specifically for students who have completed general education requirements or an associate degree. Students usually complete the internship requirement during the summer between their junior and senior years. Program coordinators work with distance students to find appropriate placements convenient to their home location. Students can seek these internships in a variety of settings. Faculty members encourage students to consider their career goals when applying for internships.

UNK accepts transfer credits that were earned at least a "C" grade. Students may begin classes in the spring, fall, or summer semesters. UNK participates in the Nebraska Law Enforcement Act, which waives 30% of tuition costs for Nebraska law enforcement officers who are pursuing undergraduate degrees.

Courses are delivered asynchronously online, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. Although classes are delivered online, virtual discussions, collaborations, and feedback provide students with many opportunities for one-on-one interaction. Students also work closely with their academic advisor. Online students have access to all university library materials and services, such as online databases and 24/7 tech support. UNK is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $247/credit in-state; $375/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (308) 865-8927
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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21 Sam Houston State University RANKING SCORE 66.46 COST GRADUATION RATE 51% LOCATION Huntsville, TX

Sam Houston State University, a public institution located in Huntsville, Texas, was founded in 1879 when the state legislature created the school to educate teachers. SHSU offers a number of bachelor’s degrees, including several online degree options. Among the online degrees are a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science in criminal justice.

The online bachelor’s in criminal justice from SHSU prepares graduates for careers in law enforcement and criminal justice. The bachelor of science degree requires additional credits in a social science such as psychology, sociology, or political science; the bachelor of arts requires a foreign language. The College of Criminal Justice at SHSU offers an internship program for majors to gain hands on experience and network with criminal justice professionals. Interpol, the FBI, and local police departments participate in the internship program.

Students must complete 120 credits to earn a bachelor’s degree. The core curriculum consists of 42 credits and includes courses in communications, U.S. history, mathematics, and creative arts. These requirements can be fulfilled with transfer credits. Within the major, students take core courses in criminology, criminal law, police systems and practices, and victimology. Learners can also choose 21 credits of advanced electives.

Prospective students should complete an application and submit official transcripts from all prior institutions. Learners with fewer than 12 transfer credits must meet the freshman admission requirements and have obtained a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants with more than 18 transfer credits should have a minimum 2.0 GPA.

SHSU offers automatic transfer scholarships for incoming transfer students on a first-come, first-served basis. Transfer students can receive between $1,000 and $3,000 automatically based on their cumulative transfer GPA.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $505/credit
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5, or 2.0 with more than 18 transfer credits
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (877) 870-9214
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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22 Florida Gulf Coast University RANKING SCORE 66.23 COST GRADUATION RATE 46% LOCATION Fort Myers, FL

Founded in 1991, Florida Gulf Coast University is located in the coastal city of Fort Myers. The university currently serves more than 14,000 students and about 80% of all courses are taught by full-time faculty members. FGCU utilizes the FloridaShines distance learning program, which enables students with an AA or an AS degree from an accredited Florida public community college to enroll in online courses and transfer credit from institutions across the state. All credit hours of the upper-division portion of FGCU’s online criminal justice degree program may be completed in this way.

The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and is also a member of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus, a collective of colleges and universities across 16 states that exists to regulate standards of excellence for online education.

FGCU's accredited online criminal justice degree can be earned entirely online. According to the school, the strength of on-campus instruction leads roughly 80% of students enrolled in the program to opt for a hybrid of campus-based and online coursework. Prospective students typically apply with a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher, and will have also earned a composite ACT score of 21 (the equivalent of a 1070 on the SAT). The online criminal justice degree program includes 36 core course credits in areas such as criminal justice research methods, crime data analysis, juvenile justice and leadership, and management in law enforcement agencies.

The school also requires student completion of a three-credit internship as part of its criminal justice program, nine elective credits within the major, and a mandatory three-credit “University Colloquium” course that all FGCU students must pass in order to graduate. Criminal Justice students participate in their internships in tandem with legal studies and forensics students, either working directly with an approved agency or serving as a research assistant with a professor. Example agencies include local law enforcement, law firms or state/county legal offices, corrections facilities, and private security companies. Most students complete the 120-credit program in four years of full-time study. Transfer students may apply up to 30 credits of the upper-division’s required 60 credits with earned credits from coursework at other accredited institutions.


Program Overview
Department: Justice Studies
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice Degree Completion
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $178/credit

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Associate of Arts or Associate of Science
Credit requirements: 60 credits (major)

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

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - August 17; spring - January 9; summer - May 9

Contact
Department phone: (239) 590-7821
Department email: [email protected] (Vanessa Cournoyer, Executive Secretary)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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23 Western Carolina University RANKING SCORE 66.07 COST GRADUATION RATE 57% LOCATION Cullowhee, NC

Founded in 1889 in Cullowhee, North Carolina, Western Carolina University ranks among the oldest public institutions in the University of North Carolina system. WCU promotes an intimate learning environment and the nearly 10,000 students enrolled at the university enjoy an average student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1. (Nearly 30% of all courses boast an enrollment of fewer than 20 students.) WCU currently offers two dozen degrees and certificates in addition to its online criminal justice degree program.

Admission occurs in a two-stage process: first, general admission into the university and second, admission into the school's criminal justice program. The second stage may or may not coincide with a student’s selection of a concentration in justice administration. The program's distance education requirements include a cumulative 2.0 or better GPA on any coursework transferred from all other AA or AS degree courses from accredited college or universities. All incoming students have completed the core curriculum necessary to satisfy North Carolina community college general education/liberal studies requirements. The school also asks students to submit proof of at least one year of experience in the criminal justice field.

WCU's criminal justice degree online program spans 120 credits in length and emphasizes key areas of the field including the justice system; diversity and ethics in criminal justice; sports, crime, and delinquency; international perspectives on justice; and criminological issues. Degree requirements include 18 credits of core courses, 18 credits of concentration core courses and electives, and an additional 15 credits of major electives. Students pursue up to 135 hours at an internship in a criminal justice setting as part of the latter group. Coursework on international perspectives coincides with travel abroad for a program in a country that meets departmental approval.

Alternatively, students interested in the administrative and logistical side of criminal justice may choose to pursue an online bachelor's in emergency management. Required courses in this pathway focus on areas of politics and government, disaster mitigation and preparedness, public communication, and systems management and security.

Tuition prices are typically based on whether or not a student chooses to engage with a program on a part-time or full-time basis. The school offers no official full-time rate for distance learning students, and all online students are charged part-time rates unless their program has a special provision. WCU approves special provisions on the basis of prior military or community service, and rates may also differ based on a student’s designation as in-state or out-of-state.


Program Overview
Department: College of Arts & Sciences - Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $152/credit in-state; $503/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Associate of Arts or Associate of Science (or "44 General Core" from NC community college)
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time only
Program length: 2-4 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - February 1 & March 1; spring - November 15; summer - April 15
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT
Work experience: 1year in criminal justice field

Contact
Department phone: (828) 227-7464
Department email: [email protected] (Pirjo Swentzel, Administrative Support Associate)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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24 University of Massachusetts - Lowell RANKING SCORE 65.59 COST GRADUATION RATE 56% LOCATION Lowell, MA

Located along the banks of the Merrimack River and named for the New England town in which the campus was originally built, the University of Massachusetts Lowell is considered one of the country's premier research universities.

UMass Lowell offers one of the highest rated criminal justice programs online. In addition, the school boasts an accelerated joint-degree program for BA- and MA-seeking students, in which two graduate courses will count toward both degrees. Students enrolled in this accredited criminal justice program online can opt for a minor in business, economics, English, history, political science, or psychology.

Distance learners are required to earn 21 criminal justice elective credits and 12 credits of coursework in computer skills related to criminal justice. Coursework includes criminal law, policing, corrections, criminology, crime mapping, police innovations, and violence in America.

This 120-credit-long program is offered entirely online, so there are no in-person requirements. While there are scheduled live-chat sessions, some students are unable to make them due to scheduling conflicts. As such, UMass Lowell offers Chat Hours for online learners to connect with their professors in real time. Online learners also have access to career services, as well as the extensive university electronic library system.

Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis, so students can apply at any time. Applicants under the age of 21 with fewer than 12 college credits are required to submit SAT or ACT scores. Accepted students are encouraged to attend a virtual open house before classes start.

In-state and out-of-state online students pay $375 per credit. Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, student employment, waivers, and reimbursement programs. Due to state regulations, UMass Lowell does not currently provide online instruction to students in Arkansas, Kansas, or Minnesota.


Program Overview
Department: Division of Online & Continuing Education
Program name: Bachelor's of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
Available concentrations: Criminal justice, social sciences
Accrediting body: NEASC
Tuition: $375/credit

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling

Contact
Department phone: (978) 934-2474
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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25 Arizona State University - Skysong RANKING SCORE 65.45 COST GRADUATION RATE 20% LOCATION Scottsdale, AZ

Arizona State University has a longstanding reputation for high-quality online education. The school offers more than 100 online degree programs, including an online criminal justice degree.

With a focus on research and analytics, this criminal justice program covers a breadth of knowledge, including the impact of crime as well as topics in law enforcement, the court systems, and corrections facilities. Notable classes include domestic violence, gangs, white collar crime, and social psychology. Students complete a three-credit solution-based learning course, in which they participate in an internship, an honors thesis, a self-directed study, or a community impact lab. Students typically explore their internships in the sixth term. ASU partners with Google to offer distance learners students Google’s education applications. Graduates from this program develop strong communication skills.

This criminal justice degree online program spans 120 credits and consists of 40 classes, which are offered in 7.5-week terms. Even though most students complete their degree in four years, there is a fast-track option available that allows students to earn their degrees within 30 to 36 months. Student must speak with their advisors to enroll in the fast-track plan.

Online learners who hold more than 24 credits from other institutions are considered transfer students, while those who have fewer than 24 credits are still considered freshmen applicants. ASU accepts a maximum of 64 community college credits. Arizona transfer applicants are assured admission if they hold an associate degree with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Admitted students have multiple start dates to choose from throughout the year.

Online tuition is $517 per credit hour plus university fees. More than 70% of ASU students receive financial aid. As such, students are encouraged to apply for grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study opportunities.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $517/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time only
Program length: 4 years (2.5-year & 3-year fast-track options)
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT, ACT

Contact
Department phone: (602) 496-2356
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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26 Central Methodist University - College of Graduate and Extended Studies RANKING SCORE 65.31 COST GRADUATION RATE 45% LOCATION Fayette, MO

CMU offers online classes for criminal justice that lead to either a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree. The curriculum draws on social science and methodology to develop critical thinking skills and communication abilities. Students learn the basics of the American criminal justice system as well as technological advances revolutionizing the field, such as DNA testing and cyber security. The program includes a variety of criminal justice electives in areas such as profiling, public administration, or investigation.

The department encourages students to pursue hands-on learning opportunities through for-credit internships. These experiences allow students to gain professional experience in the legal field or as a victim advocate and to develop mentors and professional relationships. Students must also complete a senior thesis capstone project, which will draw on the student's research design and analysis abilities.

This program is offered through the College of Graduate and Extended Studies and does not require students to have prior college experience to apply. However, students with an associate degree accelerate their progress toward earning their degree. The school maintains articulation agreements with every public community college in Missouri, easing the transfer process and helping students earn their undergraduate degrees.

CMU also participates in the MOBIUS consortium of libraries, allowing students to access printed works through the participating 76 libraries in Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. Online classes are delivered in both eight- and 16-week formats. Students have access to the school's career development services, including a job board and career coaching. CMU is regionally accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice; Bachelor's of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $247/credit in-state; $375/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 124 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (660) 248-6251
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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27 Dallas Baptist University RANKING SCORE 65.28 COST GRADUATION RATE 59% LOCATION Dallas, TX

DBU is a private university that is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The school offers an online bachelor's in criminal justice degree that combines a liberal arts core curriculum with coursework vital to success in the field and exploration of a variety of religious faiths and philosophies. DBU launched its online education platform in 1998 and boasts a 94% completion rate. The school maintains an 11-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio.

The program covers crime in America and legal aspects of law enforcement. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as ethics, criminology, corrections, human trafficking, and homeland security. Students must also complete an internship with law enforcement agencies, courts, correctional facilities, or related offices to gain field experience. Students must also complete either a foreign language course to earn the bachelors of arts degree or additional study of lab science to earn the bachelor of science degree.

Transfer students may apply up to 66 hours from accredited community colleges towards their degree. DBU also offers credit for corporate or military training and certifications. The online learning platform supports mobile applications, web and video conferencing, and multimedia presentations. One-week, on-campus mini-terms offer additional opportunities to accelerate degree completion. DBU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice; Bachelor's of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $886/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (214) 333-5336
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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28 California State University - San Bernardino RANKING SCORE 65.05 COST GRADUATION RATE 55% LOCATION San Bernardino, CA

CSUSB is a public university that was founded in 1965 and earned university status in 1984. The school is a member of the California State University System and serves more than 20,000 students in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. CSUSB offers an online undergraduate criminal justice degree that is ideal for working professionals with at least 60 credits of coursework. The program is designed specifically for students who have completed general education courses and welcomes transfer students with a minimum GPA of 2.7.

The 180-credit curriculum includes courses in criminal justice theory, research methods, statistical analysis, and integrative studies prepare students to bring an objective, methodical approach to the evaluation of special circumstances in criminal justice. Electives allow students to investigate other areas of criminal justice, such as domestic violence, gangs, or forensic profiling. The capstone race and racism social science course allows students to examine issues of race, ethnicity, and prejudice with an interdisciplinary examination.

All faculty hold doctorate degrees in criminal justice along with practical experience working in local, state, and federal law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. The school houses the Center for Criminal Justice Research and the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, allowing faculty and students access to the latest research in the field. Students have access to a number of support services, including a writing center that provides one-on-one help with writing assignments and technical Blackboard support. CSUSB is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $270/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 180 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.7 minimum

Contact
Phone: (909) 537-5000
Email: [email protected]b.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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29 Washington State University RANKING SCORE 64.72 COST GRADUATION RATE 67% LOCATION Pullman, WA

Washington State University, located in Pullman, offers online degrees through its Global Campus program, including a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

WSU’s online criminal justice degree prepares graduates to be leaders in state, federal, and private law enforcement. The program combines problem-driven research with real world expertise, and many graduates hold top positions in law enforcement organizations. While WSU’s Global Campus was founded in 2012, the criminal justice program dates back to 1943, making it the second-oldest, continuously-operating criminal justice program in the country.

Students must complete 120 credits in order to earn the bachelor’s degree. The major consists of 18 credits and includes courses in criminological theory, crime control policies, and the administration of social justice. Learners also take six credits in research methods, nine credits in criminal justice institutions, and six elective credits. The curriculum includes a senior seminar on ethical issues in criminal justice.

Applicants who do not have college transfer credits should fill out an application, submit official high school transcripts, and submit SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students with less than a full year of college must meet the freshmen requirements and submit official college transcripts. Adult students, those over the age of 25, should follow the freshman requirements or the transfer requirements depending on whether they have a year or more of college credits to transfer. Incoming students who hold an associate degree typically satisfy the university’s general education requirement.

WSU offers an online tuition discount to Washington state residents.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $4,996/semester in-state; $5,668/semester out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (800) 222-4978
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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30 Old Dominion University RANKING SCORE 64.71 COST GRADUATION RATE 51% LOCATION Norfolk, VA

ODU offers an online criminal justice program that prepares students for careers in law enforcement, counseling, corrections, and advocacy. The curriculum draws on sociological study in areas of social inequality, cross-cultural perspectives, and minority groups to provide an interdisciplinary learning experience. Criminal justice requirements include courses in criminology and the criminal justice system. There is also a culminating capstone research project that allows students to collaborate on a specific research question.

The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice provides research opportunities through the Social Science Research Center. The center works with agencies across the region, including the Chesapeake Police Department and Norfolk Circuit Court, to conduct survey research such as the Survey on Citizen Satisfaction with the Police. Students also explore career options through service learning and internship opportunities.

ODU launched distance education programs more than 30 years ago and has consistently refined its process and delivery to provide a rigorous academic experience. A recent student satisfaction survey found 96 percent of students were satisfied with their experience. Online students receive personalized support from their academic advisor and have access to DegreeWorks, a web-based tool that allows students to map their progress to graduation. Students can participate in online discussions, collaborate with fellow students, access multimedia resources, and submit assignments through the online classroom portal. Some classes may require students to be logged in at a particular time for web conferencing, allowing students to participate in class discussions and ask questions in real time.

The 120-credit program requires students complete at least 30 hours at ODU. ODU accepts transfer credit from accredited schools and graduates of the Virginia Community College System receive guaranteed admission. Online courses are delivered asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. ODU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice; Bachelor's of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $335/credit in-state; $369/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 968-2638
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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31 Georgia Southern University RANKING SCORE 64.57 COST GRADUATION RATE 51% LOCATION Statesboro, GA

GSU is a public research institution that was founded in 1906 in Statesboro, Georgia. Today, the school serves more than 27,000 students across 142 degree programs and is a member of the University System of Georgia. The school offers a 126-credit bachelor of interdisciplinary studies with 26 hours of specialized education in a criminal justice specialization.

GSU requires students to have completed at least 30 credits of college-level work before entering the cohort-based program. The criminal justice studies curriculum includes 18 credits of instruction in criminal law, policing, corrections, and justice administration. Students can select two additional areas of study on topics like sociology, public administration, or business to complement the core curriculum. Students can also choose from a variety of upper-division classes to complete their individualized degree plan.

GSU offers eight online undergraduate degrees and more than 30 graduate degree or certificate programs. The school also participates in the Georgia Online Virtual Instruction Enterprise Wide (GoVIEW), a collaboration of online courses offered by the University System of Georgia. GSU also provides hybrid opportunities for students near one of its three campuses.

The school delivers online courses through Desire2Learn, which provides quick access to course materials, assignments, and assessments and allows for easy communication between classmates and with instructors. Most classes are delivered in an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. Potential students can take an assessment to help determine if online learning is right for them. GSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Interdisciplinary Studies with an area of study in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $177.66/credit in-state; $627.06/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 126 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (912) 478-7740
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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32 Northern Arizona University RANKING SCORE 64.56 COST GRADUATION RATE 53% LOCATION Flagstaff, AZ

NAU offers a criminal justice degree online that allows students to apply up to 90 credits of credits toward the 120-credit degree. Students can pursue a bachelor's degree or an applied science bachelor's degree. Both programs allow students to select an emphasis in criminal justice administration or intelligence studies. Both of these paths prepare students for a variety of careers in the criminal justice field. The curriculum develops leadership and ethics while providing students with an understanding of theory and practice in areas of criminology, the justice system, corrections, or victim advocacy.

The intelligence emphasis teaches students to develop investigative skills while exploring current events and special considerations, such as the psychology of terrorism or use of social media in terrorist network recruitment. NAU faculty all hold advanced degrees in criminal justice, and many instructors have years of professional experience that enhances their instruction.

Students earning a bachelor's degree must complete at least 30 credits of upper-division classes and satisfy the university's writing and diversity requirements. They must also complete a senior capstone course that demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the major. NAU delivers courses asynchronously online through Blackboard Learn, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. Students can log in and view lectures, take part in class discussions, or turn in assignments.

NAU provides students with access to 24/7 technical support and academic tutoring. School librarians are also available to assist online students with research questions. The school participates in the Western Undergraduate Exchange, which provides reduced tuition rates to students from 14 Western states, the Northern Mariana Islands, or Guam. NAU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Tuition: $3,000/6-month subscription in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (928) 523-9519
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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33 Northwestern State University of Louisiana RANKING SCORE 64.55 COST GRADUATION RATE 35% LOCATION Natchitoches, LA

NSU offers more than 40 fully online degree programs, making it Louisiana's largest provider of distance learning programs. The school offers a bachelor's degree in criminal justice that emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to the field. This program is offered by the school's Global Campus and mixes coursework in areas of sociology, psychology, and political science with a core criminal justice curriculum.

This 120-credit program can be completed in four years, with more than 40 credits of coursework on topics like criminal justice theory, investigation techniques, and research methods. A senior seminar requirement offers a comprehensive review of student learning and an opportunity to use those skills in a hands-on experience. The school hosts a career fair each spring, which brings together representatives from across the field together to meet students.

Most classes do not require students to visit the Natchitoches campus, though online students may need to arrange for a test proctor for some midterm or final exams. Online students access their course materials through Moodle and enjoy access to the Student Help Desk. Tech support, tutoring, and academic advising help students have the best chance of success in their studies. The Watson Library provides access to its online databases, ebooks, periodicals, and reference materials. Librarians also accept questions by email or text.

All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. The school accepts transfer credit from accredited institutions and allows students to earn college credit from life, work, or volunteer experiences through a prior learning assessment course. NSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $375/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.35 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (318) 357-6967
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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34 Bryan College - Dayton RANKING SCORE 64.24 COST GRADUATION RATE 58% LOCATION Dayton, TN

Bryan is a private liberal arts college that was named in honor of the famed orator and three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. The school offers a 124-credit criminal justice degree online that prepares students for careers in law enforcement, corrections, the court system, immigration, juvenile justice, and advocacy. It also provides students with a solid foundation for individuals planning to continue their studies at the graduate level or in law school. This program emphasizes the need for law and order with a need for due process in law.

The curriculum includes core courses in criminal justice on topics such as homeland security, counterterrorism, forensic science, psychology, and personality theory. Online courses are delivered asynchronously in six-week terms, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. Students may transfer credits earned at accredited institutions, but half of the major requirements and at least 31 credits must be completed at Bryan. As a Christian university, all courses are taught from a Christian perspective.

Bryan does offer credit for prior learning, with all applicants encouraged to complete a portfolio for assessment. Students must have continuous full-time enrollment and must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 to graduate. Bryan College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $345/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 124 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.00 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (423) 775-2041
Email: Online contact form
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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35 LeTourneau University RANKING SCORE 64.17 COST GRADUATION RATE 53% LOCATION Longview, TX

Located in Longview, Texas, LETU offers a bachelor's of science in criminal justice with concentrations in criminal justice management, human trafficking, and homeland security. LETU provides a Christian-based education for students of all denominations that integrates faith into every aspect of their learning. General education requirements include religious courses on topics like biblical literature, biblical theology for Christian life, theological engagement, and more.

This fully online criminal justice degree helps students develop a strong understanding of the psychology behind criminal behavior and teaches them key conflict resolution skills that are needed to succeed in many criminal justice careers. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers as federal agents, police officers, private investigators, and juvenile specialists.

The 126-credit curriculum includes core courses on topics such as criminology, constitutional criminal procedure, and justice and human rights. Specific course offerings for the three concentrations include: organizational behavior, terrorism and counter-terrorism, cyber crime, and international criminal law. Students must complete the final capstone course, personal and professional ethics, prior to graduation. This accelerated degree offers courses in a five-week format. Most coursework begins on Monday, with assignments due at the end of the week. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 to graduate.

This program is ideal for those who currently work as law enforcement officers, military personnel, and veterans, as they may transfer their work experience over as prior learning credits. LETU accepts only transfer credits with a "C" grade or higher. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered. Students must complete at least 25% of their courses at LETU, with 21 credits of the upper-division classes taken within the major.

LETU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Available concentrations: Criminal justice management, human trafficking, or homeland security
Tuition: $450/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 126 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (866) 873-5388
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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36 Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale RANKING SCORE 63.63 COST GRADUATION RATE 67% LOCATION Fort Lauderdale, FL

Originally established in 1977 as a training academy for healthcare professionals, Keiser University is a private nonprofit university and a member of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. Keiser currently administers a total of 17 satellite campuses throughout the state of Florida, but the bulk of the university's online programs are offered through its flagship Fort Lauderdale campus. The school offers a total of 18 bachelor's degree programs 100% online, including multiple degree pathways for students seeking a criminal justice education. In addition to these domestic sites, Keiser maintains a number of international sites in diverse locales (including Nicaragua, Shanghai, Moldova, Taiwan, and Seoul).

Keiser University’s online criminal justice degree requires completion of 120 credits in order to graduate. Its curriculum consists of 24 core course credits, including surveys of corrections theory, law enforcement best practices, and juvenile justice strategies. To satisfy the program's 51-credit major elective requirements, students may also choose from courses in subjects like deviant behavior studies, white-collar crime, and cybersecurity. Keiser features a total of four accredited online criminal justice programs in related areas: cyber forensics and information security, legal studies, homeland security, and public safety administration. In terms of credits required to graduate, the university’s degree pathways are identical. All coursework for the online criminal justice programs can be completed without a single campus visit.

Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school holds a unique teaching philosophy: according to Keiser’s educational model, all classes are conducted at a pace of four weeks per class. As a result, all courses issue a final exam that must be completed before moving on to the following course. This focused approach, combined with a small class size, ensures a comprehensive, hands-on education.

The school requires all applications to submit proof of high school graduation or GED, either in the form of a diploma or as an official transcript. All criminal justice students must also successfully complete requisite english composition coursework before beginning their capstone project.


Program Overview
Department: Criminal Justice
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $8,744/semester

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time only
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Monthly

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling

Contact
Department phone: (888) 453-4737
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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37 Concordia University - Saint Paul RANKING SCORE 63.26 COST GRADUATION RATE 52% LOCATION St. Paul, MN

Concordia University in Saint Paul is a private, Lutheran liberal arts institution that offers a variety of online courses. Concordia crafts its courses for the busy, working adult student, and the school administers one of the best online criminal justice programs in the United States. Associate degree-holders can earn this degree by completing 40 credit hours. For first-time college students, this undergraduate program consists of 128 credits, including general education requirements and major-related coursework.

Earning a criminal justice degree online is a major time commitment, which is why Concordia utilizes a flexible web format to deliver its seven-week courses to students. Additional benefits to enrolling at Concordia include its unique approach to cohort learning and the university’s transfer advantage program. In Concordia's cohort learning program, the school groups students together at the beginning of their degree program. Thereafter they regularly collaborate and communicate until the program ends. This collective experience creates a trusted network, a team in which everyone contributes. As part of Concordia's transfer advantage program, students who complete their associate degree at a Concordia partner institution will receive a $2,000 scholarship in addition to the school's seamless credit transfer.

Upon the completion of required courses, a final portfolio presentation course offers students the opportunity to display their new skills and knowledge. Concordia's regionally accredited criminal justice program online program provides a deep understanding of the administration and organization of criminal justice, and of constitutional law. According to the school, enrollment in Concordia's online criminal justice degree boasts strong student outcomes: 92% of students who earn this degree have received employment offers by the time they graduate. The program prepares students for careers as private investigators, CIA agents, and forensic crime analysts, among others.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $420/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time only
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Department phone: (651) 641-8230
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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38 California State University - Stanislaus RANKING SCORE 63.09 COST GRADUATION RATE 57% LOCATION Turlock, CA

Located in California's Central Valley, Stanislaus State boasts a diverse student body of over 9,000 students on two campuses in Turlock and Stockton. This university offers a bachelor's of arts in criminal justice that is ideal for working law enforcement professionals who have completed or finished most of an associate degree in administration of justice or a similar discipline. The P.O.S.T. Academy training also qualifies as a prerequisite for admission. This criminal justice degree online program offers concentrations in corrections or law enforcement.

Students can earn their degree in approximately 18 months of full-time study. Most courses are offered in a five-week, hybrid format that includes an in-class course once a week with the rest completed online. Some courses are offered entirely online. The curriculum includes courses on topics like juvenile corrections and service learning, constitutional rights of prisoners, and causes of crime. Students can also enroll in a wide range of general education credits including classes in theater, gender studies, and physics.

Students have access to online support from My CSUSTAN, the online school portal which includes class registration, class schedules, financial information, the bookstore website, writing center tutoring, and the university library. This program groups students into cohorts, allowing for a personalized learning environment both in the classroom and online.

Applicants must have 60 transferable credits and a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered. Of these 60 credits, at least 30 must be general education courses and 12 in lower-division criminal justice classes. New cohorts begin in either the fall or spring semester, alternating each year.

Stanislaus State is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Criminal Justice
Available concentrations: Law enforcement or corrections
Tuition: $320/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 102 credits
Program length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT if GPA is lower than 3.0

Contact
Phone: (209) 667-3070
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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39 Fort Hays State University RANKING SCORE 62.78 COST GRADUATION RATE 37% LOCATION Hays, KS

Named for the Kansas town in which its original campus was founded, Fort Hays State University was inaugurated in 1908 as a premier institution of higher learning. Currently the university serves more than 14,000 students, roughly 6,000 of whom are enrolled in distance learning courses through the Fort Hays Virtual College. Tuition rates for online students at FHSU fall within the lowest 2% of all U.S. postsecondary institutions, and more than 40 associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs are currently offered through the virtual college program.

FHSU currently offers two accredited criminal justice program online pathways to its students. The bachelor of arts track has a requirement of 10 credit hours of language coursework, while the bachelor of science track has no specific language requirement. Otherwise, the two programs follow the same 124-credit curriculum. Core coursework throughout focuses on research methods and administration within different criminal justice systems, while available electives delve into more specific areas of the field. The Department of Criminal Justice at FHSU places an emphasis on developing appreciation among its students of the ways in which other cultures coordinate judicial efforts. In order to do this, FHSU coordinates field internships to other countries, such as Costa Rica and Italy, to gain a first-hand perspective on how these countries organize corrections facilities and communicate sentences to convicted persons.

Example courses include overviews in criminology, corrections, juvenile justice, and victim services. The school requires all criminal justice students to complete an internship with a local law enforcement agency or research project with faculty. Some examples of agencies with whom students have completed their internships include: the Hays Police Department, Kansas Community Corrections, Kansas City’s FBI Field Office, and the Dodge City Community College criminal justice program. Additionally, students can fulfill their criminal justice degree requirements with courses in psychology, government, and social justice. The program culminates in an advanced seminar in justice studies.

One of the more affordable online criminal justice programs in the United States, the school charges the same tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students. All transcripts students issue to FHSU from other institutions must be sealed within an official school envelope. The university does not require students over the age of 21 to submit an ACT or SAT score in order to fulfill its application requirements.


Program Overview
Department: Criminal Justice
Program name: Bachelor's of Science or Bachelor's Arts in Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $207/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time only
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT (only if under 21 years of age)

Contact
Department phone: (785) 628-5668
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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40 Tarleton State University RANKING SCORE 62.74 COST GRADUATION RATE 43% LOCATION Stephenville, TX

Tarleton, part of the Texas A&M university system, offers a bachelor's of science in criminal justice that is taught by professors who work in the law enforcement field. This blend of real-world experience and textbook education provides students with a well-rounded foundation that prepares them to begin their career or pursue graduate study after graduation. This online criminal justice program prepares graduates to pursue careers as correctional officers, FBI agents, law enforcement officers, and forensic investigators.

Core courses cover topics like juvenile delinquency, techniques of interviewing, and gender, crime, and the criminal justice system. This program requires 120 credits to graduate and usually takes four years of full-time study to complete. Tarleton offers this program online, through satellite campuses in Fort Worth, Waco, and Midlothian, and on the main campus in Stephenville. A hybrid option allows students living near a Tarleton campus the chance to experience both online and on-campus formats. Local students can also take advantage of internships within the community law enforcement departments, including the Stephenville Police Department.

Online courses are delivered through Blackboard, where students can submit their assignments, check grades, and track course schedules. Additional student resources include individual academic advising, access to a writing clinic, and career services that assists with resumes and gives mock job interviews.

Applicants must have 30 transfer credits, a minimum GPA of 2.0, and must take the Texas Success Initiative assessment exam unless they are exempt by scoring high on the SAT, ACT, TAKS, or the STAAR. Transfer students may apply with a minimum of 11 credits if they have a minimum GPA of 2.8. Those with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.79 and a minimum of 11 credits may qualify for admission if they meet all freshman requirements.

Tarleton State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Available concentrations: Law enforcement or corrections
Tuition: $158.34/credit in-state; $573.33/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

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

Contact
Phone: (254) 968-9024
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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41 Saint Joseph's College - New York RANKING SCORE 62.69 COST GRADUATION RATE 72% LOCATION Brooklyn, NY

SJC is a private liberal arts college with campuses in both Brooklyn and Long Island. The school offers an online bachelor's of science in criminal justice practice and policy that draws from philosophy, criminal justice, political science, sociology, psychology, and forensic bioscience courses. This online criminal justice bachelor's degree allows students to continue their undergraduate studies by learning from professors who all specialize in a certain area within the field. Graduates commonly pursue careers in law enforcement, social work, and law.

SJC offers courses asynchronously online, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. The school recommends that students should set aside 3 hours each week per 3 credit class for the coursework, plus additional time for homework and studying. The 120-credit curriculum includes courses on topics like criminal procedures, court and civil liberties, and race, class, and gender in criminal justice. Students must also complete a culminating capstone seminar in criminal justice that involves a seminar paper on major works within the field.

SJC allows transfer students from four-year institutions to apply up to 90 transfer credits towards their degree, as long as they were earned with a "C" grade or higher. Students coming from a two-year program may transfer up to 64 credits with a "D" grade or above or 82 credits with a "C" grade or higher. Students may also earn credits through the PELA, CLEP, DSST, certifications from on the job training, or past military training. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency.

SJC is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and registered with the New York State Education Department. Due to state regulations, SJC cannot provide online courses to students residing in Alabama, Arkansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon and Wisconsin.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice Practice and Policy
Tuition: $520/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (631) 687-4514
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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42 Texas A&M University - Central Texas RANKING SCORE 62.67 COST GRADUATION RATE 42% LOCATION Killeen, TX

TAMUCT, located in Killeen, Texas, is one of the 11 schools that make up the Texas A&M state system, one of the largest university systems in the country. The school has one of the most diverse student bodies within the Texas A&M system. The main campus is located in the Killeen/Fort Hood area, which boasts a large military population. As a result, around 40% of the students identify themselves as active-duty military, military dependents, or veterans; most consider themselves part-time students.

TAMUCT offers a bachelor's of science in criminal justice with concentrations in homeland security, forensic investigations, supervision and management, or crime theory for continuing education students interested in law enforcement, research, investigation, and community supervision within the field. These diverse concentrations allow students to find employment in local or state police departments, courts, parks and wildlife management, corrections, and federal law enforcement departments.

This online bachelor's in criminal justice requires 120 credits of coursework, made up of core courses, general education classes, major electives, and minor concentration courses. Core courses cover a variety of topics, including correctional systems and practices, criminal justice ethics, methods of criminal justice, and supervision and management. Classes maintain an 18-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio, allowing each student to receive more one-on-one attention.

Transfer students must have at least 30 transferable credits, a minimum GPA of 2.0, and meet TSI requirements through prior coursework or passing the TSI assessment that demonstrates college readiness. The school admits transfer students with rolling admissions, though applying by the priority deadlines guarantees the availability of required courses.

TAMUCT is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Available concentrations: Homeland security, forensic investigations, supervision and management, or crime theory
Tuition: $176.43/credit in-state; $631.86/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (254) 519-5438
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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43 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus RANKING SCORE 62.32 COST GRADUATION RATE 48% LOCATION Denver, CO

The University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus' online criminal justice degree program allows students to earn their bachelor’s degree through their prefered combination of online or on-campus courses, making it possible for students to work completely online or to pursue web-based courses as a supplement to traditional classroom learning. The University of Colorado Denver is a regionally accredited school, and offers discounted tuition rates for non-Colorado residents who are enrolled in online courses. According to the school, this discounted rate will save online, out-of-state criminal justice students an average of $500 per credit hour.

UC-Denver is one of only four colleges to rank among the top 29 educational institutions that offer an online criminal justice program in the United States. Program degree requirements include 120 total credit hours, 36 focused on the major, and remaining credits for core education and elective courses. Students interested in a master’s degree may be interested in the bachelor-master joint degree the school offers, in which a total of 15 credits can be applied to both degrees, making it possible to complete the master’s in criminal justice with only one additional year of study.

Completion of UC-Denver’s criminal justice degree online program involves collaborative learning with other enrolled students through discussion and conversation, although the course material itself is available to be studied at an individual pace. Sample courses detailed online include an introductory overview to criminal justice and criminology, a course on criminal justice statistics, and a course on crime theory and causes, where students develop critical thinking skills to interpret various theories and perspectives that seek to explain criminal behavior.


Program Overview
Department: School of Public Affairs
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Criminal Justice​
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $303/credit in-state; $968/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time only
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - August 1; spring - January 1; summer - June 1
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Department phone: (303) 315-2228
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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44 Central Washington University RANKING SCORE 62.24 COST GRADUATION RATE 52% LOCATION Ellensburg, WA

Located in Ellensburg, Washington, CWU provides students with a comprehensive liberal arts education. CWU offers a bachelor's of arts in law and justice that prepares students for careers in law enforcement, paralegal professions, corrections, or for further studies in graduate school.

This online criminal justice programs requires 180 quarter credits of coursework, all of which must be earned with a minimum grade of "C-". The curriculum includes core courses on a variety of topics, such as crime in America, domestic violence issues, victimology, and advanced correctional counseling. Students must attend a mandatory online student orientation that shows them how to use virtual resources, including library services, the Canvas platform, and the MyCWU portal. Online writing tutors also offer assistance by phone, email, or Skype for those who need help. They help students brainstorm ideas, format their work, and provide a second pair of eyes to catch any mechanical errors.

Students coming from a regionally accredited four-year college may transfer up to 135 quarter credits (90 semester credits) towards their degree, while those coming from a community college are limited to 105 quarter credits (70 semester credits). Qualifying first time undergraduate students may receive reduced tuition through the Western Undergraduate Exchange Program. Regardless of which type of institution a student is transferring from, they must meet all general education requirements. All online students pay the same tuition rates, regardless of residency.

CWU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Law and Justice
Tuition: $402.44/credit in-state; $1342.90/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 180 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.8 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (509) 963-1111
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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45 University of Memphis RANKING SCORE 62.17 COST GRADUATION RATE 42% LOCATION Memphis, TN

Founded in 1912, the University of Memphis is the flagship institution of the Tennessee Board of Regents school system and holds accreditation by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school currently serves more than 20,000 students, more than three-quarters of whom are undergraduates and nearly a third of whom are enrolled part-time. Despite a relatively large student population, the University of Memphis offers a notably individualized environment for all learners. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1, almost half of all of its courses have fewer than 20 students. The school makes a comprehensive online student orientation available for first-time distance learners.

The U of M offers a total of 18 bachelor's programs online, including an online criminal justice degree path. This accredited criminal justice online program emphasizes four potential concentrations for aspiring students of the criminal justice profession: independent scholarship, a department-based research focus, coordinated public service projects and community outreach initiatives. All coursework within the online criminal justice degree provides an overview of a wide range of topics, including corrections strategies, capital punishment in its social context, in-depth research of precedents and historical models, international crime history, and gang and organized crime studies. Students graduate from the criminal justice degree online with a firm understanding of the theories and methods guiding modern criminal investigations, as well as best practices within the field of intervention and crime and social justice studies. U of M's bachelor of arts program spans a total of 120 credits in length. Students may earn their degree entirely online or they may supplement their web-based courses with on-campus courses.

The school makes internships available with local and national law enforcement agencies, and seeks to nurture the skill set necessary for students to build lasting relationships with community organizations. In order to better prepare them for the demands of the profession, the university's teaching staff makes a concerted effort at delivering a high level of on-hand experience to its criminal justice students. In addition, all criminal justice majors and minors at the university are given the opportunity to become member of the Criminal Justice Student Association, allowing them to gain first-hand experience in the field.


Program Overview
Department: School of Urban Affairs & Public Policy - Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Criminology & Criminal Justice
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $480/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full time
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Department phone: (901) 678-2111
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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46 Wilmington University RANKING SCORE 61.90 COST GRADUATION RATE 33% LOCATION New Castle, DE

UofM offers a bachelor's of arts in criminology and criminal justice that provides students with a comprehensive understanding of international crime, policing strategies, violence, addiction, corrections, and gangs. This program emphasizes service, community outreach, scholarship, and research as successful tools in this field. The faculty within this online criminal justice degree boast national recognition within their field for their research, national and international outreach, advising, and teaching excellence. Professors deliver exceptional instruction on the root of crime, program evaluation, the current issues in social justice, and intervention strategies.

This 120-credit online degree consists of general education requirements, bachelor of arts requirements, major courses, and electives. The curriculum includes courses on topics like ethical dilemmas, research methods, and introduction to courts. Students must also choose electives from both their major and other fields. Students who have completed at least 55 credits with a minimum GPA of 3.25 may apply for the honors program. Honor students must enroll in 15 credits of honors classes with at least nine credits of upper-level major courses, while maintaining a GPA of 3.25.

Online courses are delivered asynchronously through UofM Global, the university's online school. Distance learners have access to a variety of resources through UofM Global, including academic advising, learning support, tutoring, career services, and technology assistance.

UofM accepts transfer credit from Tennessee Transfer Pathways for students who have completed courses at one of the participating state community colleges. SmartStart offers assistance to students returning to school to finish their degrees including a readiness assessment, a personalized readiness plan, and practice aids to prepare students for re-entry into college-level courses.

UofM is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS). All of UofM Global's online programs are authorized under the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Tuition: $420/credit in-state; $480/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (844) 302-3886
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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47 National University RANKING SCORE 61.87 COST GRADUATION RATE 38% LOCATION La Jolla, CA

NU is a nonprofit school based in La Jolla, California, that prides itself on offering high-quality online educations to its diverse student body. The school serves a large military student population, providing affordable tuition for active members, veterans, and their dependents. NU offers a bachelor's of science in criminal justice administration that is ideal for law enforcement professionals seeking to advance their careers or for students who want to start their career in the justice system. Those who want to continue on to NU's master's degree in criminal justice may participate in a transitional program that allows students to register for two graduate-level courses as electives. Applicants to the transitional program must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered.

This program includes upper-level criminal justice classes that focus on topics like criminal law, juvenile justice, research methods, corrections, leadership and management, and basic forensic science. Students must also enroll in elective courses from fields outside the major like psychology, sociology, and human resource management to gain a wider perspective on human behavior. The 180-credit curriculum includes core courses on topics like the juvenile offender, violence and society, gangs in america, and ethics and the criminal justice system. Students must also complete a final senior project that is supervised by a faculty member.

Students with California P.O.S.T. police academy training credit can complete the program in as little as 11 months. NU accepts year-round admission and holds transfer agreements with over 110 community colleges. NU offers scholarships like the Transfer to Success Scholarship that allows approved community college students to receive up to $5,000 towards their tuition. Transfer applicants must have completed at least 30 credits from an approved two-year college with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered.

NU is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice Administration
Tuition: $362/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 180 quarter units
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: ACCUPLACER

Contact
Phone: (209) 475-1475
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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48 Pennsylvania State University - World Campus RANKING SCORE 61.73 COST GRADUATION RATE 25% LOCATION University Park, PA

Penn State World Campus offers distance learning degrees that are on-par with Penn State's on-campus programs. The school offers a bachelor's of science in criminal justice that is ideal for those who want to begin their career or those who already have professional experience in the field. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in social services, law and corrections, security management, and court administration.

This online criminal justice bachelor's degree requires 120 credits to graduate, with 36 credits taken at Penn State. Required major courses include lower- and upper-level courses that emphasize the science, history, and practice of criminal justice. Penn State requires students to complete 45 general education credits. Students need a "C" grade or higher to pass all courses. Core courses on topics like policing in America, research methods in criminal justice, ethics in criminal justice, and alternative to incarceration provide students with a strong foundation for future careers in the field. A final required senior seminar focuses on the past, present, and future within the criminal justice field.

All online classes are delivered asynchronously through a combination of Skype, Blackboard, email, and discussion forums. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent to qualify for admission. All transfer credits must be earned with a "C" grade or higher. This program is certified by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), which recognizes high quality education within the field.

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


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Available concentrations: Homeland security, human development and family studies, political science, psychology, or sociology
Tuition: $555/credit in-state; $596/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (814) 863-5386
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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49 University of Missouri - St Louis RANKING SCORE 61.49 COST GRADUATION RATE 53% LOCATION St. Louis, MO

UMSL is one of the four schools in the University of Missouri higher education system. The school offers a bachelor's of science in criminology and criminal justice that is a good fit for students interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement or continuing on to law school or graduate school in a related field.

This fully online bachelor's in criminal justice allows learners to learn about social science research techniques, institutions and policies, criminal theory, and current criminal justice problems. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers within the police, juvenile corrections, or legal, probation, and detective occupations. Students must complete the following four courses before declaring the major: introduction to criminology and criminal justice, theories of crime, research methods, and statistical analysis in criminology and criminal justice. UMSL requires students to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 throughout the program to graduate.

Core courses cover topics such as violence against women, rights of the offender, and white collar crime. The university recommends that students participate in a local internship as one of their elective courses during junior or senior year. Students gain practical experience in a structured professional environment under the supervision of program faculty and agency professionals.

UMSL offers distance learners with a number of virtual support services, including the Online Mentor Program (OMP), where graduate students act as liaisons between professors and online students. This program uses online tools such as VoiceThread, MyGateway applications, Bonfyre, Kaltura, and Panopto to make online courses as seamless as possible. Transfer students who have 24 or more credits must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.3 to be considered for admission.

UMSL is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Tuition: $342.50/credit in-state; $910.90/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 121-122 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.80 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (314) 516-5031
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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50 Chaminade University of Honolulu RANKING SCORE 61.36 COST GRADUATION RATE 57% LOCATION Honolulu, HI

Chaminade is the biggest and most established criminal justice program in the state and the only Catholic university in Hawaii. The school offers an online bachelor of science in criminology and criminal justice that prepares students for a career in public safety, administration, law enforcement, criminal justice, and criminology. This program emphasizes strong writing skills, preparing students to communicate effectively when documenting cases within the field. The program also provides a separate track for students preparing for law school.

Chaminade provides military programs on bases throughout Oahu, which are managed by the school's Office of Professional and Continuing Education. Non-military students may attend courses on bases by filling out special paperwork. Core courses cover topics like contemporary issues in criminal justice, juvenile deviance and juvenile justice, and corrections: prisons and community alternatives. Chaminade requires students to enroll in one of the offered sociology or psychology major electives to gain a comprehensive understanding of the field. Chaminade recommends that students pursuing careers in federal law enforcement like the FBI or secret service enroll in elective courses in business to further prepare themselves for this specialized branch of the criminal justice industry. Students must also complete a final capstone based on ethics and criminal justice before graduation.

Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 throughout their studies. This program offers start dates in January, April, July, and October. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. However, active duty and non-active duty members of the military can receive a tuition discount.

Chaminade is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Tuition: $450/credit in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (808) 735-4751
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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An online criminal justice bachelor degree offers a broad and multidisciplinary education for learners who seek to pursue a career in the study of law or in law enforcement. Fulfilling the minimum educational requirement for the vast majority of jobs in this field, an online criminal justice degree covers an array of topics fundamental to the field. However, advanced coursework may deviate depending on the specific mission of a program and/or the interests of the faculty involved. This guide aims to provide an excellent starting point for future professionals hunting for the best criminal justice degree program for their needs.

CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Concentration Description Careers This Concentration Prepares For
Law Enforcement This criminal justice concentration is well-suited for students who want to pursue a career in policing or other forms of tangible law enforcement at the local and state level. Coursework emphasizes topics such as investigative techniques, constitutional rights, and public policy. State and local law enforcement, deputy sheriff, private security officer
Homeland Security The field of homeland security has seen huge growth within the past two decades and students enrolled in this specialization take classes on topics such as domestic, terrorism, international terrorism, and public safety. Learners are equipped, for example, to take on roles as public servants in the federal government or to play vital roles in disaster management organizations. Federal law enforcement, emergency management specialist, TSA operations manager
Juvenile Justice Students who pursue this specialization learn the complex processes of legal procedures as it pertains to minors. They also complete coursework focused on the development of delinquent behavior, victimology, and preventative police techniques to become effective advocates for child safety, justice, and overall well-being within the community. /td>

Juvenile court counselor, juvenile detention staff, child welfare advocate

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

The sample of general coursework below exemplifies topics typically covered in criminal justice programs at this level. Variations and differences in advanced course areas depend on the history and overall goal of specific schools and departments.

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice: A fundamental class for all online criminal justice degree programs (and usually a prerequisite to more advanced coursework), this course provides students with a philosophical and historical framework for the processes and functions in the American criminal justice system. Students also begin to learn about more complex topics like social control systems and comparative justice, preparing them for entry-level positions in the field or further education.
  • Ethics and Diversity: Essential for learners interested in law enforcement or victim advocacy, this course examines ethical considerations within the criminal justice system, including its advantages and shortcomings. Students also use this information to craft their own code of conduct in relation to external structures, like the legal system and cultural and ethnic nuances.
  • Law and Court Procedures: This course teaches students the practical ins and outs of the legal system in the United States, including the process for detention, arrest, and all the steps of a trial. This course and its more advanced counterparts are essential to those who intend to work in criminal courts as, for example, legal assistants or courtroom advisers.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE?

All criminal justice online schools that offer a bachelor’s degree require their students to complete at least 120 credits in order to graduate, which takes approximately four years for those enrolled full-time. The curriculum generally consists of a combination of general education, core major requirements, and select electives. Students may choose to enroll in a program that allows them to complete their full tenure completely online or through a hybrid structure. However, many programs require students to have completed previous college credits either at their home institution or at another school before they enroll in the program or they officially declare a criminal justice major.

Before applying for any online criminal justice programs, students should take the time to research each potential university’s specific academic requirements and transfer policies. For example, some schools employ more of a cohort curricular model, enabling students to advance through their degree with the same group of people — and therefore building a sense of community and peer support. Most, however, allow students to learn on their own individual terms and schedules, recognizing the need for the flexibility this allows.

When considering schools for application, students should seek out criminal justice degree online programs accredited both nationally and regionally. National recognition by the United States Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation means that the school meets (and continues to meet, since they must seek reapproval every three to five years) the overarching national standards for an institution of higher education. Regional accreditation from the seven recognized bodies means that the school meets a related but distinct set of standards established by a state or group of states. Both are important for academic and professional advancement.

However, it’s important to highlight that regional accreditation is more stringent. Nationally recognized schools will accept college work from any regionally accredited school, while the opposite is not always true unless a school has both markers of quality.

A third level of accreditation also exists, the industry/field standard. While not as important as the other two levels of accreditation, future criminal justice professionals may also want to check to see if their program is recognized by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Only a handful of programs work under the ACJS umbrella.

The United States Department of Education (USDOE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) both provide national accreditation to ensure that colleges and universities meet general standards and learning outcomes for the degrees they offer. Most online colleges for criminal justice have both stamps of approval. The former, unsurprisingly, is a government organization, while the latter is non-government body. The two usually work together to ensure a ubiquitous set of checks and balances, and the duo also sets standards that regional accreditation organizations, such as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, must meet in order to maintain their authority. Lists of the colleges and universities under the auspices of the DOE and CHEA are available at their respective websites.

Job Placement

A recent ranking by Pucker Mob listed ‘criminal justice’ as one of the best college majors for job placement, citing a 4.7% unemployment rate for all degree-holders in this field. However, the unemployment rate for criminal justice job candidates will depend on the amount of professional experience they have gained in addition to their undergraduate studies. A recent survey from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) includes unemployment rates for different college majors. Using findings from that survey, the following table includes unemployment rates for ‘criminal justice and fire protection’ bachelor’s degree-holders over the last three years of available data.

Academic Year Unemployment Rate for Bachelor’s Graduates with No Professional Experience Unemployment Rate for Bachelor’s Graduates with Some Professional Experience
2009-10 7.6% 4.1%
2010-11 8.9% 4.3%
2011-12 8.4% 4.0%

Source: From Hard Times to Better Times’ by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

As the table shows, the unemployment rate for criminal justice degree-holders is significantly lower for individuals with professional experience. It’s also important to note that the unemployment rate for experienced degree-holders was actually lower than the rate for inexperienced individuals with a master’s degree in criminal justice (4.4% to 4.6%), and only slightly higher than the rate for experienced master’s degree-holders (3.3% to 4.0%).

Earning a Living

A bachelor’s degree is generally considered the strongest investment for individuals who plan to pursue a career in criminal justice. Bachelor’s degree-holders in this field outearn associate degree-holders by a strong margin. The 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report examines earning potential for different degree levels and fields of study. The following table explores salary expectations for employees with an associate, bachelor’s and master’s in criminal justice.

Degree Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (10+ Years)
Associate Degree in Criminal $31,100 $46,000
Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice $37,000 $59,100

Source: 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report

As the table reveals, employees with a bachelor’s in criminal justice outearn those with an associate degree by roughly 19% at the entry-level mark and 28.5% at the mid-career mark. However, the salary for graduates with a bachelor’s in criminal justice will vary by their chosen career path. The next table explores expected earnings at four career benchmarks for some of the most common professions for criminal justice majors.

Profession 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
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary $43,000 $45,000 $55,000 $59,000
Paralegals $38,734 $46,626 $51,154 $53,194

Source: PayScale

Of the five professions listed above, probation officers enjoy the highest career salary growth: roughly 67% between the entry-level and late-career benchmarks. The other four professions also experience strong salary growth throughout their careers ― roughly 37% to 42%.

Career and Further Education Opportunities

Students who graduate with an online bachelor’s in criminal justice will be qualified for dozens of positions in law and law enforcement. Four of the most common career pathways for these degree recipients are detailed below.

Police and Detectives: Police officers and detectives are responsible for bolstering public safety and protecting human lives, property and natural resources. They also investigate crimes, collect evidence and arrest perpetrators of crimes; they often testify in court proceedings, as well. Other day-to-day duties include patrolling by car or on foot, writing police reports and obtaining different types of warrants.

Paralegals and Legal Assistants: These professionals act as supportive staff for practicing attorneys. Their job includes researching case studies, writing legal documents, requesting affidavits and preparing lawyers for trials and court appearances. Paralegals and legal assistants are also responsible for maintaining detailed client records, and must be skilled at legal database software that allows them to keep their records organized and up-to-date.

Forensic Science Technicians: These technicians gather physical evidence and analyze their findings in order to help investigators solve crimes. Their duties are largely compartmentalized to two locations: crime scenes and laboratories. They must be adept at identifying various types of evidence and utilizing different tools and lab equipment.

Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists: Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work with probationers, or individuals who have already been convicted of a crime. They meet with probationers on a regular basis to administer drug tests and discuss post-incarceration options, such as employment or higher education. They also monitor probationer activities to help ensure they do not reoffend, or commit more crimes.

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)

Many criminal justice bachelor’s degree recipients choose to continue their education with a master’s program. For more information on this option, please visit our Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Guide.

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 physician’s assistants. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates.

  • 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.

Larissa NonniLaw Clerk, Castro Legal Group

Larissa Nonni graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2009 from Monroe College in New Rochelle, NY. She is currently in her third year of law school and works at an immigration law firm.

How did your criminal justice bachelor’s degree help prepare you for your career and for law school?

Well, since high school I wanted to be an attorney but I didn’t want to do criminal law because I just felt like it was too cliché. So I pursued criminal justice because I wanted to understand the law enforcement side before I looked into the law side. In that regard, it helped me be more aware of the law enforcement side of things, and now in law school I realize how they both intertwine and how they need one another and play off of each other. This includes how in a criminal case, a problematic arrest can destroy a case, how someone’s environment plays a real role in their upbringing, especially when looking at criminal cases, and how as prosecutors, understanding that can give you a greater power in how to help defendants and what plea deals would be more beneficial to society.

What types of skills did you develop in your criminal justice bachelor’s program?

I would say psychological skills. I had criminology and victimology and those two classes were really helpful in understanding people in general, which goes back to the effects of environment in upbringing and how that affects people’s choices later on in life when it relates to crime. Also, my criminal justice program helped me develop my critical thinking skills. When you study these subjects, your way of thinking changes because you see people differently, which really helps me in my job now; I am able to look at different components and see how they played a bigger role in what we are dealing with today.

What advice would you give to bachelor’s graduates seeking a career in the field of criminal justice?

I would say that now-a-days, a bachelor’s is not enough if you want higher-up jobs. Make sure you research what you are really interested in in the field so that you know whether you will need to get a master’s after and if it’s really worth it to you. The job market is available for those that research and go after it.



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 Criminal Justice Bachelor Degrees of 2017
Rank School Location
1 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
2 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
3 Florida International University Miami, FL
4 Crown College Saint Bonifacius, MN
5 University of Massachusetts-Lowell Lowell, MA
6 Arizona State University-Skysong Tempe, AZ
7 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
8 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus University Park, PA
9 Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion Marion, IN
10 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
11 Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, FL
12 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC
13 University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK
14 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
15 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
16 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL
17 Park University Parkville, MO
18 University of Memphis Memphis, TN
19 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA
20 University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus Norman, OK
21 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, CO
22 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
23 City University of Seattle Seattle, WA
24 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
25 Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN

Best Online Criminal Justice Bachelor Degrees of 2016
Rank School Location
1 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
2 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
3 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC
4 Washington State University Pullman, WA
5 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
6 University of Massachusetts - Lowell Lowell, MA
7 University of Louisville Louisville, KY
8 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
9 California State University - Sane Bernardino San Bernardino, CA
10 Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA
11 Florida International University Miami, FL
12 University of Wisconsin - Platteville Platteville, WI
13 Mercer University Macon, GA
14 University of Colorado - Denver Denver, CO
15 Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights, KY
16 Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, FL
17 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
18 Viterbo University La Cross, WI
19 University of Mount Olive NC
20 Crown College Saint Bonifacius, MN
21 University of Oklahoma Norman, OK
22 Portland State University OR
23 University of Memphis Memphis, TN
24 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
25 Stevenson University Stevenson, MD

Best Online Criminal Justice Bachelor Degrees of 2015
Rank Name Location
1 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
2 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
3 Florida International University Miami, FL
4 Dallas Baptist University Dallas, TX
5 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
6 University of Oklahoma Norman, OK
7 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
8 University of Louisville Louisville, KY
9 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
10 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC
11 Tiffin University Tiffin, OH
12 California State University - San Bernardino San Bernardino, CA
13 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
14 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL
15 Hampton University Hampton, VA
16 Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, FL
17 University of Massachusetts - Lowell Lowell, MA
18 Mercer University Macon, GA
19 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN
20 Stevenson University Stevenson, MD
21 Trine University-Regional/Non-Traditional Campuses Fort Wayne, IN
22 University of Memphis Memphis, TN
23 St. John’s University Queens, NY
24 Crown College Saint Bonifacius, MN
25 Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights, KY