Online Criminal Justice Degrees

An online criminal justice degree opens doors to a number of rewarding careers serving the public through law enforcement, the legal system, and corrections. Those who typically excel in a criminal justice degree online are critical thinkers with strong verbal and written communication skills. An eye for small details and the ability to explain difficult concepts are also key for criminal justice professionals. Prospective online criminal justice students should not have any felony convictions, domestic abuse convictions or DUI convictions, and should not have used illegal drugs for three years prior to their job application.

Those who feel called to protect the public can expect greater flexibility in criminal justice online degree programs, which makes it easier to continue working full-time or manage a busy schedule. Though many online criminal justice degree programs can be completed fully online, some will require several visits to the campus.

It’s beneficial to take on a relevant internship locally, as well, to gain experience before entering the job market. These may be found in community police departments, legal offices and elsewhere. It’s also wise to check out relevant certifications, such as the Criminal Justice Awareness and Terminology Certification, as detailed further below.

Regardless of which program is right for you, an online criminal justice degree properly prepares graduates for a rewarding and meaningful career. To learn more about how you can pursue your degree online, be sure to check out our guide below.

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Mary Lou Chernik Criminal Justice

“Earning a master’s degree has enhanced my reputation as a medicolegal death investigator and has allowed me to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher.”


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Online Criminal Justice Degree Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, police and detective work will grow at a rate of 4% between 2014-2024. Graduates of online criminal justice degree programs will have an edge over the competition, making it far easier to secure a job. Employers in the criminal justice field value professionals who demand and deserve respect, and earning your degree will demonstrate your commitment to justice.

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $12,837 15.78% 1+ years $30,600 $46,000 8.9%
Bachelor's $18,070 11.51% 4 years $36,900 $62,900 4.7%
Master's $16,476 10.39% 1+ years $43,100 $62,900 3.9%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

If you want to ensure public safety on the ground in your community, an associate degree will take you less time and money to earn while ensuring opportunities for advancement as a police officer. If you have more specific interests in criminal justice, a higher-level degree such as a bachelor’s or master’s may be a better fit. A bachelor’s degree requires less financial investment when spread across four years and results in stronger employment opportunities. Though a bachelor’s degree will, on average, cost approximately $5,000 more than an associate degree, the average difference in salary between the two degrees is $6,300, making a bachelor’s degree a worthwhile financial investment. A master’s or doctoral level program requires additional financial investment, but will likely yield higher salaries across the span of your career.

Online Criminal Justice Degrees

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Online Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice

Although there are good jobs in the criminal justice field that don’t require more than a high school diploma or GED (like uniformed police officer), an online criminal justice associate degree can seriously strengthen a candidate’s credentials to work as a police officer, detective, or legal investigator. At an average cost of $12,000 for one to two years of study, an online associate degree can help an applicant secure an average salary level approximately 2.5 times higher than the cost of tuition.

Online Criminal Justice Degrees
For the 2016 rankings, OnlineColleges.net has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

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Criminal Justice Associate’s Degree Rankings

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Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1

South Texas College

McAllen$$$$$3201 W Pecan
McAllen, TX 78502-9701
(956) 872-8311

South Texas College offers a criminal justice associate degree online, designed to prepare students for careers as probation officers, border patrol agents and private security guards. The degree comprises 60 to 61 total credit hours, combining topics in criminal justice, government, sociology, English and history for a well-rounded set of professionals skills in the field. Graduates of the two-year program are eligible for entry-level employment in both public and private criminal justice positions or, if preferred, enrollment in a four-year bachelor's program.

Online courses are delivered through Blackboard, with the help of numerous additional student services available via South Texas College Online, including a live tech support feature, an interactive course schedule and student help desk for distance learners. Academic support services found online include tutoring, test proctoring and student advising.

2

Northampton County Area Community College

Bethlehem$$$$$3835 Green Pond Rd
Bethlehem, PA 18020-7599
(610) 861-5300

Northampton County Area Community College offers a criminal justice associate degree online, awarded by the department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Northampton. The program is designed to provide an introductory education in criminal justice topics, including speech communication, psychology and the American justice system; all of which prepare students for transfer into a four-year program or entry-level employment in the field. Potential careers resulting from completion of the NCACC program may include police officer, corrections officer or community treatment center staff member.

Online assignments are completed through Blackboard, with a variety of online support tools dedicated to distance learners, including career services, counseling, tutoring and technical support. Additional services for nontraditional students may be accessed through the New Choices program, aimed at providing options to single parents, displaced homemakers and dislocated workers enrolled in a college program at NCACC.

3

Southeastern Technical College

Vidalia$$$$$3001 E First St
Vidalia, GA 30474
(912) 538-3100

Southeastern Technical College offers an online AS in criminal justice technology, emphasizing a combination of the theoretical and practical skills needed in modern occupations in the field. Graduates are prepared for entry-level employment in a variety of occupations involving criminal justice and investigative technology, including police officer, corrections officer, private investigator, security guard, police administrator and more. Coursework comprises 63 semester hours in criminal law, ethics, juvenile justice and psychology training, among other topics; students are required to complete a practicum or externship experience during their final term.

Online courses are accessed through an exclusive student portal, with the aid of additional resources designed to enhance the virtual classroom, including personal tutoring, counseling services and online learning workshops.

4

Northern Kentucky University

Highland Heights$$$$$Nunn Drive
Highland Heights, KY 41099
(859) 572-5100

Northern Kentucky University offers a criminal justice associate degree online through its department of political science and criminal justice. Coursework in the AA program stresses a broad overview of concepts, processes, theories and research methods comprising the complex criminal justice system in America. The curriculum includes a combination of core and secondary courses totaling 60 credit hours, designed to prepare students to begin a career in local, state or federal law enforcement, corrections or security sectors. The online program can also lead to transfer into a four-year degree program in criminal justice or a related field.

Assignments are completed through Blackboard, incorporating additional student resources, such as video tutorials, live Web conferencing and IT support, through a single sign-on portal for distance learners.

5

Western Wyoming Community College

Rock Springs$$$$$2500 College Dr
Rock Springs, WY 82902-0428
(307) 382-1600

Western Wyoming Community College offers an online criminal justice associate degree, ideal for students looking to gain basic skills and transfer into a bachelor’s degree program. Coursework in the WWCC program is designed to develop in students a foundation in criminal law, sociology, statistics and problem-solving, combining core and elective courses over four semesters to total 67-69 total credit hours. Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions within corrections, law enforcement, and parole and probation divisions.

Online courses are delivered via Blackboard, alongside a variety of student services through a single sign-on portal. Support resources for distance learners include peer and professional tutoring, library and bookstore services, Blackboard and IT technical assistance and access to WWCC’s mobile site for remote students.

6

Genesee Community College

Batavia$$$$$One College Rd
Batavia, NY 14020
(585) 343-0055

Genesee Community College offers two options for an online criminal justice associate degree. Each program is designed to address a diverse set of skills needed in the criminal justice field: the AA stresses humanities and sociology concepts in criminal justice, while the AAS incorporates the study of criminal law, corrections policy and forensics basics. Graduates of both programs are well-versed in introductory general education and core liberal arts topics and are prepared for transfer into a four-year program or entry-level employment as detectives, corrections officers, customs inspectors and more.

Courses are delivered through Genesis, alongside a wealth of links and resources for online student support; through Genesis’s one-stop student portal, distance learners can access personal counseling services, find tutoring information, get technical help and view job opportunities for those who have an associate degree in criminal justice.

7

North Central Missouri College

Trenton$$$$$1301 Main St
Trenton, MO 64683
(660) 359-39481418

North Central Missouri College offers an online AAS in criminal justice, well-suited to students seeking entry-level employment in criminal justice. The degree comprises 46-58 total credit hours, depending on the student’s desired area of expertise. Though the curriculum in the AAS degree is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of concepts including corrections, criminology and criminal law, students are given the opportunity during the first year of study to customize their courses to their individual area of interest via optional electives. Graduates are prepared for employment in police departments, corrections agencies and juvenile justice centers, among other options.

Online students complete assignments primarily through Blackboard, using digital dropboxes and multimedia tools to share information. Additional support services available for online students include math, writing and tech labs, as well as system support, mental health resources and academic advising.

8

Oconee Fall Line Technical College

Sandersville$$$$$1189 Deepstep Rd
Sandersville, GA 31082
(478) 553-2050

Oconee Fall Line Technical College offers an online AAS in criminal justice technology, emphasizing a combination of theory-based learning and application of skills relevant to today's tech-oriented criminal justice field. The 60-credit-hour program is designed to introduce students to an overview of criminal justice programs and technologies used on-the-job. The curriculum explores principles of law enforcement, introduction to computers and criminal procedures and includes a mandatory practicum or externship to complete the degree. Graduates are prepared to enter law enforcement, security and corrections occupations at the starting level.

Online assignments are delivered through ANGEL, with the help of additional support services, including tutoring, test proctoring and counseling.

9

Jefferson Community College

Watertown$$$$$1220 Coffeen St
Watertown, NY 13601-1897
(315) 786-2200

Jefferson Community College offers a criminal justice associate degree online, with available concentrations in criminology and juvenile delinquency. The program focuses on building a foundation in core principles of the field, including criminal evidence and administrative procedures, American government and sociology, while also offering diverse electives for students aspiring to a variety of criminal justice professions. Graduates of the comprehensive 63-credit program are qualified for entry-level employment as police investigators, crime lab technicians, corrections officers and probation officers.

Online assignments for the online criminal justice associate degree are completed in Blackboard, using interactive TV and other multimedia delivery methods developed specifically for the virtual classroom. Additional online support services include academic coaching services, advising, tech support and access to a mobile Blackboard app for distance learning on-the-go.

10

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

Paducah$$$$$4810 Alben Barkley Drive
Paducah, KY 42002-7380
(270) 554-92000

West Kentucky Community and Technical College offers an online AAS in criminal justice in a variety of optional tracks, including corrections, criminal justice, law enforcement and security and loss prevention. Curriculum in the 60-credit-hour program comprises a combination of courses exploring criminology, computer forensics, police supervision and more to prepare students for careers in a broad range of occupations involving criminal justice. Graduates may be eligible to become professional police officers, criminal investigators, parole officers or security guards, among other opportunities.

Online assignments are completed in Blackboard via the KCTCS eLearning portal, with the support of numerous online student support resources. Learning tools for distance learners offered at KCTCS include a virtual library and bookstore, self-service tutorials and online advising services.

11

Northwest Mississippi Community College

Senatobia$$$$$4975 Hwy 51 N
Senatobia, MS 38668-1714
(662) 562-3200

Northwest Mississippi Community College offers an online AA in criminal justice, designed to provide an overview to the common theories and practices used in the field of criminal justice. The AA program's curriculum covers broad topics within the judicial system, criminology and the prison system, preparing students to apply their skills in a range of diverse occupations within the industry. Graduates are eligible for entry-level employment in law enforcement, security and loss prevention.

Online coursework is completed through Canvas, assisted by several other online learning platforms; distance learners may access library databases, writing labs, cultural reference materials and tech help through various apps in Canvas, Microsoft portals and via a Canvas mobile app.

12

Barton County Community College

Great Bend$$$$$245 NE 30th Road
Great Bend, KS 67530
(620) 792-2701

Barton County Community College offers an online AS in criminal justice, providing a broad education in for students exploring a range of careers. Through an introduction to general concepts in criminal justice, the program is designed to be customizable according to student preferences. The AA degree comprises 64 credit hours in a combination of foundation, humanities, social and behavioral science, natural science and mathematics and physical education, health and performance courses. Students must also perform a practicum to complete the degree. Graduates are prepared to assume a variety of law enforcement and criminal investigation employment opportunities at the entry level.

Distance students can access assignments through the exclusive BARTonline student portal, which also features student support resources like student advising, tutoring services, transferability counseling and virtual conferencing tools.

13

Dawson Community College

Glendive$$$$$300 College Dr
Glendive, MT 59330
(406) 377-3396

Dawson Community College offers an online AAS in criminal justice, ideal for students looking to find immediate employment in criminal justice upon graduation. Curriculum in the career-oriented program serves a variety of interests, and optional electives can be customized to suit individual student needs. For example, a student interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement may tailor courses outside of the general education requirements to focus on this specialty. Other topics offered include criminology, probation and parole, corrections and penology.

Online assignments are delivered through Moodle, assisted by online student support resources, including virtual library services, a job board and interactive calendar system. Additionally, students may take part in live elearning events hosted through the DCC online community platform.

14

Middlesex Community College

Bedford$$$$$Springs Rd
Bedford, MA 01730-9124
(978) 656-3200

Middlesex Community College offers a criminal justice associate degree online, with a concentration in administration of justice. The program emphasizes both academic and practical skills in three major areas of criminal justice: the police, courts and corrections. Graduates are equipped with the skills needed to find gainful employment in parole, probation, corrections and advocacy-inspired sectors of criminal justice. The program encompasses 60-61 credits in topics such as criminology, juvenile justice victim psychology, as well as soft skills including communication, sensitivity and interpersonal relations.

Assignments are completed online through Blackboard, with additional student support provided via live chat, interactive tutorials and a mobile online learning app.

15

Lanier Technical College

Oakwood$$$$$2990 Landrum Education Dr
Oakwood, GA 30566
(770) 531-6300

Lanier Technical College offers an online AAS in criminal justice technology, designed to provide relevant professional training for students aspiring to a career in corrections, security, police administration or other occupation within criminal justice. The degree comprises a total of 60 credit hours in a combination of general education core, program-specific core and elective courses. Coursework explores conceptual topics in language arts, social sciences and humanities, but also requires completion of a hands-on practicum experience.

Assignments are delivered through Blackboard with the aid of additional support services available through the GVTC portal, including tech support, virtual library access and tutoring services via the Smartthinking platform.

16

Ridgewater College

Willmar$$$$$2101 15th Ave NW
Willmar, MN 56201
(800) 722-1151

Ridgewater College offers an online AA in liberal arts with an emphasis in corrections, designed for students intending to find employment as a probation officer, corrections officer, parole officer or other non-peace-officer occupation in criminal justice. The 60-credit program explores topics in communications, global perspective and logical reasoning, intended as an overview of social behavior and the ethical and civic responsibility skills needed in a corrections job in the field of criminal justice. Students planning to advance to a four-year program after completing the AA degree must satisfy minimum transfer credit requirements, according to Minnesota college system standards in this discipline.

Online assignments are delivered through D2L Brightspace, with supplemental Web-based resources available for elearning, such as advising, counseling, a full-service help desk and more. Distance learners may also take advantage of a live chat option and student discounts on select Web-based software and programs.

17

McHenry County College

Crystal Lake$$$$$8900 US Hwy 14
Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761
(815) 455-3700

McHenry County College offers an online AS in criminal justice, ideal for students looking to complete their associate degree in an accelerated format and go on to pursue a bachelor’s in criminal justice or a related field. Curriculum in the 60-credit program mimics that of the first two years of a four-year degree in the subject; McHenry supports immediate transfer into four-year programs at a variety of partner schools in the state. The AS degree may be completed via a cohort model in as little as 16 months. Courses delivered online in Canvas provide introductions to criminal justice, psychology, corrections and sociology, as well as explore topics in humanities, ethics and computer literacy.

Resources in support of distance learners are available through the convenient MyMCC student portal and include tutoring, counseling and advising options, a career center, tech support and online continuing education opportunities.

18

Albany Technical College

Albany$$$$$1704 South Slappey Boulevard
Albany, GA 31701
(229) 430-3500

Albany Technical College offers an online AAS in law enforcement technology, designed to prepare students for entry-level employment opportunities within security, corrections, police administration and investigative areas of criminal justice. The program comprises 60 hours of core and occupational courses, combining theoretical and practical application of skills in language arts, social sciences, natural sciences and humanities. Students are also introduced to a wide range of criminal justice and law enforcement topics through optional electives and are required to complete a practicum or internship as part of the degree.

Courses are completed online through ANGEL, with a wide range of online student services available to aid distance learners in completing their degree online. Support resources include an interactive school calendar, Titan help desk, counseling, tutoring options and more services available via Albany’s Academic Achievement Center.

19

Southeastern Community College

West Burlington$$$$$1500 West Agency Road
West Burlington, IA 52655-0180
(319) 752-2731

Southeastern Community College offers an online AAS in criminal justice, well-suited to those looking for a broad overview of major competencies and skills needed for entry-level employment in the field. Graduates of the AAS program are qualified for employment within civic police departments, state sheriffs' agencies and highway patrol divisions, correctional institutions, narcotics agencies, parole and probation offices and more. Students who complete the AAS program may also transfer into a four-year degree program upon graduation. The 64-credit AAS program consists of coursework in criminal justice, corrections, criminal law, psychology and juvenile delinquency.

Courses are delivered through the Iowa Community College Online Consortium, which also features links to numerous other student support resources for distance learners. Available tools for the virtual classroom include 24/7 tech support, live chat options, online tutoring and advising services and mobile apps for the online learning system.

20

Luzerne County Community College

Nanticoke$$$$$1333 South Prospect Street
Nanticoke, PA 18634-3899
(570) 740-0200

Luzerne County Community College offers an online AAS in criminal justice, designed to promote a broad, introductory education in the field of criminal justice. Through coursework in criminal law, sociology and police community relations, for instance, students are prepared for either entry-level employment or further study in criminal justice or a related field. The 65-credit degree spans two years of combined core, elective and field experience courses, incorporating relevant topics in English, composition, mathematics, science and history.

All online assignments are accessible through Blackboard, via advanced multimedia delivery and video conferencing programs. Additional support tools available to distance learners include counseling and advising options, career services, transfer assistance and live tech support through the technology help desk.

21

Georgia Military College

$$$$$
, GA
() -

Georgia Military College offers online AA and AS degrees in criminal justice. Each of the programs are 90-98 quarter credit hours in length, depending on optional electives, and are designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in corrections, law enforcement and private and corporate security, as well as to pursue the next level of study in a four-year criminal justice baccalaureate program. Students are required to complete an e-portfolio as a final condition of the degree. While the AA curriculum focuses the majority of courses in humanities-based concepts such as English composition, the AS degree features a more scientific approach, offering electives including statistics and environmental science, for example.

Online assignments are accessible via the GMC Online single-sign-on student portal, which also offers support services for online learning, including academic advising, personal technology assistance and a mobile app for distance learners.

22

Prince George's Community College

Largo$$$$$301 Largo Rd
Largo, MD 20774-2199
(301) 546-7422

Prince George’s Community College offers an online AAS in criminal justice, designed to provide students with a wide range of communication and service-oriented skills that can lead to entry-level employment in local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Curriculum in the AAS degree emphasizes literacy and articulation competencies; in addition to basic introductory courses in criminal justice, humanities, science and IT concepts, the program includes extensive training in ESL, English composition and language-based topics.

Online students complete assignments in Blackboard, with the support of additional student services including a live chat feature for Blackboard-specific tech support. Additionally, student support tools offered to distance learners include free online tutoring via Smarthinking, a virtual library media center and an online job board.

23

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond$$$$$521 Lancaster Ave
Richmond, KY 40475-3102
(859) 622-1000

Eastern Kentucky offers an online AA in police studies, designed for prospective police officers looking to satisfy minimum college credit requirements and obtain hands-on experience in the field of law enforcement. The 60-hour program was developed in accordance with typical credit requirements for entry-level police officers; by completing this comprehensive introduction in criminal justice, police policy, ethics and contemporary police strategy, graduates are qualified to enter the field as trained professionals in police theory and administration.

Online assignments are delivered through Blackboard, with a variety of student support resources built-in to the extensive EKU Online elearning portal. Resources for distance learners include streaming video tutorials, access to library databases and archives, textbook-lending services and virtual learning materials and advising via the Instructional Development Center at EKU.

24

Phoenix College

Phoenix$$$$$1202 W Thomas Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85013
(602) 264-2492

Phoenix College offers an online AAS in administration of justice, designed to provide an overview of basic concepts in criminal justice. The 60-credit program is well-suited for both students looking to continue their studies in a specialized field as well as those seeking entry-level employment in law enforcement, security, probation or parole. The curriculum encompasses general education and required courses exploring criminal law, constitutional law, oral communication and social and behavioral sciences, among other topics.

Online assignments are delivered through Canvas, supported by a range of additional services for distance learners. Resources available through the online student portal include academic advisement, personal counseling, a live chat option for program or tech assistance, interactive career services and outreach program opportunities.

25

Lone Star College System

The Woodlands$$$$$5000 Research Forest Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77381-4399
(832) 813-6500

Lone Star College System offers an online AA in criminal justice, intended to provide an introductory education in criminal justice concepts for those seeking transfer into a four-year degree at an affiliated institution. The 60-hour, two-year program covers broad topics in criminal justice, touching on court systems and practices, correctional systems and practices, general psychology, Texas history, federal government and more. Students may also choose from electives in composition, speech, math, creative arts and other humanities options.

Online assignments are delivered through D2L, also offering numerous elearning resources at the same single-sign-on site. Resources for distance learners include live chat support, online advising opportunities, virtual exam proctoring and round-the-clock technical assistance.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice

A criminal justice online degree at the bachelor’s level opens the doors to a number of careers in the criminal justice field. Some examples include the probation officer, detective, and computer forensic investigator careers described above. Although earning a bachelor’s degree requires four years and an average investment of $18,070, the cost per year is much cheaper than earning an associate degree. Also, salary levels with this degree can be much higher than with an associate or high school diploma/GED.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Drugs and Society, Statistics in Criminal Justice, and Crime Prevention

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Criminal Justice, Computer Forensics, and Science in Criminal Justice

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Probation Officer, Computer Forensic Investigator, and Homicide Detective

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $58,630 per year, $28.19 per hour

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    4% growth rate per year

Online Criminal Justice Degrees
For the 2016 rankings, OnlineColleges.net has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

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Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree Rankings

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Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1

University of Central Florida

Orlando$$$$$4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL 32816
(407) 823-2000

The University of Central Florida offers a BS and a BA in criminal justice. UCF's programs equip students with the knowledge and skills to work at the local, state or federal government level, as well as in private agencies. UCF offers classes on a semester calendar and students are able to register during all three academic terms.

  • Students who opt for the BA need to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language at a first year college level.
  • 120 credits are required for degree completion; 60 hours of general education coursework, 21 credit hours for the criminal justice core, 27 for upper-level criminal justice and 12 hours of supportive coursework.

UCF uses an in-house learning management system called WebCourse. It hosts integrated video lectures, assignments, collaborative platforms and interactive lab work. WebCourse is accessible for online criminal justice bachelor's degree students through standard laptops or tablets.

2

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

Lowell$$$$$1 University Ave
Lowell, MA 01854-5104
(978) 934-4000

UMass Lowell's criminal justice program is available entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and distance learning courses. Students are expected to take 36-48 hours of criminal justice courses, and complete the degree with general education classes. Students must also fulfill a professional skills requirement: foreign language courses or a mixture of statistics, data analysis and information technology classes will satisfy the requirement.

  • UMass Lowell requires a 2.2 overall GPA and a 2.5 criminal justice GPA for graduation.
  • Students must take between 36 and 60 CJ credits.
  • Admission is based on a standard application process. Students may register for courses approximately two months prior to each semester.

UCF uses the Blackboard learning management system to provide students with access to course materials. Blackboard intuitively and conveniently organizes a host of multimedia tools, including live and recorded lectures, bulletin board discussions, interactive assignments and labs. The platform is accessible through computers or tablets.

3

Florida State University

Tallahassee$$$$$222 S. Copeland Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1037
(850) 644-2525

FSU offers nontraditional students all of the benefits of a campus-based CJ program without requiring any on-site visits. FSU requires applicants for the online criminal justice bachelor's degree to have completed their general education liberal studies courses or an associate of arts degree from a public Florida institution. Once at FSU, students must:

  • Complete 36 hours of criminal justice coursework.
  • Earn a C grade or better in CJ classes.

Additionally, students may transfer nine semester hours of criminology coursework into FSU.

FSU uses Blackboard to deliver classes and supplementary materials, including live and recorded video and audio lectures, collaborative discussion tools, integrated email and 24/7 technical support. Students may be required to purchase additional course materials such as books, CD's and DVD's. Students are required to have a tablet or laptop.

4

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo$$$$$33701 State Road 52
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
(352) 588-8200

Saint Leo's CJ program combines criminology courses with general education requirements, providing distance learners with a comprehensive education. Saint Leo's is a private Roman-Catholic college, and most students are adult learners or military personnel.

  • 120 total credits are required.
  • Not every course is offered online
  • Students must take 39 credits of core classes; the remaining credits can be completed in general education courses, including writing, science, arts and religious studies.

Saint Leo's program is delivered through Pearson LearningStudio, which lets students access coursework through computers, tablets or smartphones. Multimedia resources include live and streaming video lectures, interactive lab work and collaborative discussion boards. Technical support is available 24/7, and instructors are always willing to answer questions and provide assistance.

5

Sam Houston State University

Huntsville$$$$$1806 Ave J
Huntsville, TX 77340
(936) 294-1111

Sam Houston University offers BA degrees in victim studies and a criminal justice bachelor's degree online. The program requires 120 credit hours and enrollment is considered for summer, fall or spring semester. Popular courses include white collar crime, cyber crime, forensic science and victimology.

  • Sam Houston offers an internship program for seniors in lieu of credits. Participating organizations include the FBI, Interpol and local police departments.
  • Degree completion in the BA requires foreign language courses while the BS requires social science classes.

Sam Houston University's online courses are managed and delivered through the Blackboard learning system, where students can access multimedia educational tools such as video lectures, group discussion boards, assignments and coursework. Professors can interact with students through Blackboard's integrated messaging system, and technical support is readily available.

6

Western Carolina University

Cullowhee$$$$$Highway 107
Cullowhee, NC 28723-9646
(828) 227-7100

WCU's criminal justice program offers a BS and a minor in criminal justice. The school requires prospective transfer students to have one year of criminal justice experience. Applicants must also hold an associate degree or have completed all general education prerequisites.

  • 120 credit hours are required to obtain a degree, divided into 49 hours for criminal justice, 42 hours for liberal studies and 29 hours for general electives.
  • The required one year experience in criminal justice can consist of employment in law enforcement, military service or court work. Eligibility is determined by a panel of faculty members. A year internship or volunteer work in the field may suffice in lieu of professional experience.
  • Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

WCU uses the Blackboard platform to host video lectures, class projects and assignments. Students also use Blackboard to manage email communications with classmates and faculty members. Technical support is available 24/7.

7

Fort Hays State University

Hays$$$$$600 Park St
Hays, KS 67601-4099
(785) 628-4000

Fort Hays State University's CJ program offers BA and BS degrees in justice studies in a convenient online setup. Most of the school's online criminal justice students are adult learners, many of whom already have experience in law enforcement or military service. FHSU requires students to complete 124 credit hours to earn their degree. Admissions and applications are considered on a rolling basis.

  • Of the 124 required credit hours to obtain an online criminal justice bachelor's degree, general education courses comprise 55 hours; the justice studies core and electives account for 21 credit hours each.
  • Foreign language courses are required for the BA, specified electives for the BS.

To provide the best education possible, FHSU uses several learning management systems including Blackboard, Moodle and Google Applications. Through these programs, students can access video lectures, collaboration platforms, coursework and discussion boards.

8

Washington State University

Pullman$$$$$French Administration Building
Pullman, WA 99164-5910
(509) 335-3564

WSU's criminal justice bachelor's degree online earns praise for its strong retention and graduation rates and experienced faculty, most of whom have held top positions in law enforcement agencies. To graduate, students must complete either two years of a foreign language prior to attending college, or one year in college.

  • WSU has several degree requirements. Students must earn 15 CJ core credits, six credits in criminal justice institutions, nine in elective courses, nine in political science classes and six in research methods and qualitative analysis.
  • WSU also requires students to complete several general education credits.

Washington State uses Blackboard Learn to implement their online courses. WSU's 'Global Campus' integrates with Blackboard to provide course-specific multimedia support through live and streaming videos, online discussion boards, project collaboration tools and assignments.

9

Gardner-Webb University

Boiling Springs$$$$$Main St
Boiling Springs, NC 28017-0997
(704) 406-2361

The CJ program at Gardner-Webb prepares students for specialized and administrative positions in law enforcement agencies and correctional facilities at all levels of government. Gardner-Webb's courses cover a range of criminal justice topics, including philosophy of law enforcement, the social implications of imprisonment and how to optimally move criminals through the legal system.

  • Criminal justice bachelor's degree online students are required to take 60-64 hours of general education credits prior to enrolling in the program.
  • 128 total credit hours are required to graduate; 31 credits from the core curriculum and 30 from criminal justice classes.

GWU's criminal justice bachelor's degree online courses are administered through Blackboard, where students can access lectures and assignments and collaborate with classmates and professors.

10

Rowan University

Glassboro$$$$$201 Mullica Hill Road
Glassboro, NJ 08028
(856) 256-4000

Rowan University's BA in law and justice provides students with the tools to find gainful employment in law enforcement or to continue onto a master's program. The degree requires 120 total credit hours, with criminal justice courses accounting for 60 credits. The remaining hours can be filled with general education and elective classes.

  • Classes are formatted in eight-week modules with weekly assignments starting on Tuesdays at 8 AM and ending every Monday at 11:59 PM.
  • Criminal justice programs admit students for the spring and fall semesters.

In 2012, Rowan University switched from Blackboard to the Canvas learning management system. Students use Canvas to access course materials, including lectures, digitized library materials, collaborative project programs and integrated email. Technical support is also available to address any software issues and to facilitate an active and engaged learning environment.

11

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Omaha$$$$$6001 Dodge St
Omaha, NE 68182-0225
(402) 554-2800

University of Nebraska-Omaha offers a criminal justice bachelor's degree online, focusing on practical criminology matters and the societal effects of law and justice. The program requires 120 total credit hours and students must maintain a C- grade or better to graduate.

The general education curriculum comprises 40 total credits. The remaining required courses to complete a criminal justice bachelor's degree online are:

  • 30 credits in criminal justice
  • 24 credits in secondary fields
  • 25 elective credits

A minimum of 30 credits of upper level courses are required.

UNO students access course materials through Blackboard's course management system. They can view live and streaming video and audio lectures, discussion boards, integrated email and assignments. Archived lectures are on Blackboard as well. The school's system is accessible through laptops, tablets and smartphones. Technical support is available on weekdays.

12

Concordia University - Wisconsin

Mequon$$$$$12800 N Lake Shore Dr
Mequon, WI 53097-2402
(262) 243-5700

Concordia University's Wisconsin campus offers a fully encompassing online criminal justice degree from a Christian perspective on legal, operational and managerial issues in law enforcement. Concordia's instructors work in the criminology industry, which gives them a breadth of practical knowledge to incorporate into the curriculum. Classes are taught asynchronously.

  • 63 transferable credits or an associate's degree in criminal justice will qualify students for advanced transfer status.
  • The degree requires 128 total credit hours.

Courses are taught through Blackboard, which hosts video and audio lectures, bulletin boards, assignments, exams and other course materials. Online students at Concordia University are assigned an E-Learning assistant to facilitate their distance education. Technical support is available to address any problems students have with Blackboard or other aspects of online education.

13

Stevenson University

Stevenson$$$$$1525 Greenspring Valley Rd
Stevenson, MD 21153-0641
(410) 486-7000

Stevenson offers its online CJ program to professionals with at least two years of work experience. Students learn about the administration of justice at all levels of government in preparation for immediate employment or placement in a graduate criminological program. Applicants are admitted on a rolling deadline.

  • Courses are offered fully online in eight-week increments.
  • The criminal justice bachelor's degree online requires 120 credit hours for completion.
  • Applicants are required to have two years of prior professional experience and a 2.5 GPA in previous academic work.

Online courses at Stevenson are administered through the Blackboard learning management system. Students use Blackboard to access archived course materials, including audio lectures, bulletin boards, assignments and exams. Stevenson also provides remote technical support.

14

Crown College

Saint Bonifacius$$$$$8700 College View Drive
Saint Bonifacius, MN 55375-9001
(952) 446-4100

Crown College's BS in CJ offers a Christ-centered overview on all facets of the criminal justice system, with selected focuses. The degree is targeted towards both professionals in law enforcement and freshman interested in criminology.

  • The CJ degree requires 125 credit hours.
  • A maximum of 95 outside credits are transferrable for this degree.

Crown's online courses are implemented through Angel Learning. Here, students can access course materials, such as lectures, discussion boards, assignment and exams. Angel allows instructors to remotely monitor and interact with students.

15

National University

La Jolla$$$$$11255 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037-1011
(800) 628-8648

The CJ program at National University prepares students for entry level careers in criminology. The program covers a range of law enforcement-related topics, including forensic science, juvenile justice and court systems. Seniors have the opportunity to complete a comprehensive research project with supervision from full-time faculty.

The criminal justice program degree can be focused on one of four areas of research:

  • Criminal justice
  • Forensic science
  • Public administration
  • Juvenile justice

180 quarter units are required for degree completion, 45 of which must be taken at National.

National University's online courses are administered through both eCollege and Blackboard. Students can access important course information and resources like video lectures, interactive assignments and message boards. The school's courses are backed with technical support from faculty members and technical service staff.

16

University of Mount Olive

Mount Olive$$$$$634 Henderson St
Mount Olive, NC 28365-0919
(919) 658-2502

Mount Olive's targets their online bachelor's degrees at adult learners looking to enhance their current careers. Their CJ program focuses on practical experience from industry-connected instructors through study, research and analysis on domestic and international criminology issues.

  • The degree requires 126 credit hours.
  • Mount Olive accepts up to 94 transfer credits.

Online courses at UMO are administered through Moodle. In Moodle, students can view archived course materials, collaborative project software, integrated email and chat systems, assignments and exams.

17

University of Houston - Victoria

Victoria$$$$$3007 N. Ben Wilson
Victoria, TX 77901
(877) 970-4848

The University of Houston-Victoria's CJ program helps students learn to understand criminal behavior and to research rehabilitation procedures and crime prevention methods. The degree prepares students for further graduate study and for immediate employment in law enforcement.

  • Applicants are accepted on a rolling deadline.
  • Full completion of the bachelor's degree requires at least 120 credit hours.
  • 54 credits must be from upper division classes.

Online students at UHV use Blackboard to view course materials, such as archived video lectures, collaborative discussion boards, assignments and exams. Blackboard is available through computers, tablets and smartphones, and the school's technical support staff is available to address any issues.

18

University of Louisville

Louisville$$$$$2301 S 3rd St
Louisville, KY 40292-0001
(502) 852-5555

Louisville's criminal justice bachelor's degree online program gives students a functional knowledge of the entire criminal justice system, linking theory and practice in a thorough review of criminal reform policies. Graduates of this BS program are poised to find employment in law enforcement and to continue their education in a master's or doctorate program. Courses are delivered asynchronously.

  • Louisville admits students on a rolling basis.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 121 credits.
  • Courses are administered in an accelerated six week format.

Blackboard is the learning management system of choice for Louisville's online courses. Students use Blackboard to access assignments and lectures, collaborate with students and professors and participate in discussion boards.

19

Pennsylvania State University - World Campus

University Park$$$$$128 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-5403

Students in Penn State's online CJ program focuses on both the theoretical and practical facets of rehabilitating juvenile and adult offenders. Instructors have real world experience in law enforcement and are specifically trained to lead online courses. The criminal justice program also offers a unique homeland security minor for 18 credits.

  • The curriculum consists of specific bachelor's courses, upper level classes and general courses and electives.
  • Penn State's admissions are based on a rolling deadline.
  • Program completion requires 120 credits, including 18 core credits.

Penn State uses Blackboard's ANGEL platform to deliver online instruction. ANGEL archives course materials, such as video lectures, assignments and interactive discussion boards. Students will occasionally collaborate with classmates and faculty through Skype.

20

University of Memphis

Memphis$$$$$Southern Avenue
Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-2000

The University of Memphis offers an online BA in criminology. The program emphasizes research, scholarship, service and community outreach to give students an all-encompassing overview of criminal justice. Faculty members at Memphis have received recognition for their work through research grants and various awards.

  • A minimum of 120 total credit hours are required to graduate.
  • The major itself is comprised of 36 core credits and 18 credits in a focused minor.
  • The application deadline for online programs is July 1st.

The University of Memphis uses Desire2Learn to connect online students with their course materials. Resources include live and recorded video lectures, podcasts, collaborative discussion boards and integrated email messaging. The school offers 24/7 technical support to distance learners.

21

Mercy College

Dobbs Ferry$$$$$555 Broadway
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
(800) 637-2969

Mercy College's BS in criminal justice program is administered by diverse faculty members; the staff includes current or former attorneys, law enforcement officers, court officials and other professionals with experience in criminology. Their varied backgrounds provides a base for comprehensive instruction in this complex field. The bachelor's degree requires 120 credit hours for full completion.

  • Students can transfer 75 credits from a two-year institution and 90 from a four-year school.
  • Specialized courses include the criminal justice system, the corrections system, criminal procedure, constitutional law issues and the impact crime has on victims and law enforcement officers.

Mercy College's learning management system is Blackboard, where students can access labs and assignments, bulletin board discussions, video and audio lectures and exams. Technical support is provided 24/7.

22

Keiser University

Fort Lauderdale$$$$$1500 NW 49th St
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
(954) 776-4456

An online CJ degree at Keiser University provides students with a strong basis for understanding complex issues in criminal justice in topics such as victimology, deviant behavior, private security and juvenile rehabilitation. The program strongly emphasizes research and analysis through verbal and written skills.

  • Degree completion requires 120 credit hours.
  • The criminal justice portion is divided into 24 lower division credits and 51 upper division credits. Students can complete the degree with general classes and electives.
  • Keiser admits students on a rolling deadline.

Keiser uses Blackboard to deliver course materials to students. The learning management system organizes and archives video and audio lectures while providing access to collaborative message boards, simulation labs and assignments. Online courses are accessible on several devices and mediums.

23

University of Oklahoma - Norman

Norman$$$$$660 Parrington Oval
Norman, OK 73019-3072
(405) 325-0311

Oklahoma's BS in CJ will provide you with a foundational understanding of a range of criminology issues, from forensic science to justice systems. The program accommodates working adults by providing flexible course schedules and asynchronous classes. The degree can be completed in as little as 18 months with transferable prior credits.

  • Courses are offered in an eight-week accelerated format.
  • A minimum of 120 credits are required for degree completion. Of those 120 credits, 30 credits must be earned from the college of liberal studies, 60 credits from four year institutions and 40 credits must be from upper-division coursework.
  • Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0
  • The application deadline is July 1st.

Oklahoma uses the Desire2Learn learning management system to implement their online curriculum. Students can use their computer to access course materials, including readings, audio lectures, bulletin boards and simulation labs. Technical support is available 24/7.

24

California State University - San Bernardino

San Bernardino$$$$$5500 University Pky
San Bernardino, CA 92407-2397
(909) 537-5000

CSU-San Bernardino offers a comprehensive overview of foundational issues in criminal justice through courses like correctional theory, courts and law and drug rehabilitation. Students take classes from instructors with terminal degrees in the field. Courses are presented in five-week blocks, allowing students to progress quickly through class material.

  • 180 total credits are required to complete the degree.
  • There are 21 required four-credit courses at CSU-San Bernardino. These include two prerequisite courses, four university-required courses, six core courses and nine elective classes.

CSU-San Bernardino uses Blackboard to deliver course materials to students, including simulation labs, bulletin board discussions, collaborative workshops, assignments and exams. Blackboard is supplemented with a 24/7 integrated support team to assist students with technical issues.

25

Anderson University

Anderson$$$$$316 Boulevard
Anderson, SC 29621-4035
(864) 231-2000

The CJ program at Anderson University covers a spectrum of important topics, from the history of correctional systems and procedure to the future of policy changes. The program educates adults seeking long-term careers in law enforcement, preparing students for immediate employment or graduate level work. Students can tailor their program to focus either on law enforcement or homeland security and emergency preparedness.

  • The bachelor of criminal justice requires 123 degrees for completion.
  • 42 semester hours are dedicated to general education, 42 to the core curriculum and 27 to general electives.

Anderson University's online courses are delivered through the Moodle learning management system. Here, students can conveniently access course materials, resources and collaborative activities. Moodle provides students with integrated messaging and simplified communication with fellow classmates and faculty.

Online Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice

Earning a master’s in criminal justice degree online can help working individuals secure promotions and higher salaries. Depending on your area of study, you can earn a master’s degree in one to three years. This advanced degree explores niches within criminal justice and will likely open doors to additional career paths.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Organizational Behavior, Victimology, and Policing Special Populations

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Homeland Security, Science in Terrorism and Counterterrorism, and Science in Criminal Justice

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Criminal Investigator, Youth Correctional Officer, and Victim’s Advocate

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $44,570 per year or $21.43 per hour

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    5% growth per year

Online Criminal Justice Degrees
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Criminal Justice Master’s Degree Rankings

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Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1

Michigan State University

East Lansing$$$$$
East Lansing, MI 48824-1046
(517) 355-1855

The online criminal justice master's degree, is the first of its kind to be offered at Michigan State in 1998, is designed for professional students working in the areas of criminal justice and security. Students may choose to only complete the 30 required credits for the general MA in Criminal Justice, or complete additional coursework for an emphasis in Security Management or an international focus. Average time to complete the program, depending on work and other obligations, is one-and-a-half to three years. Michigan State is ranked as #26 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

Michigan State uses the Desire2Learn (D2L) learning management platform. Online courses are taught by the same on-campus faculty, and students are required to complete weekly readings and participate in class discussion boards. Small group collaboration is also used when solving case problems. Though all courses are completely online, students are required to purchase some class texts. A dedicated, 24/7 telephone support line is available to students for any technical issues with the D2L platform.

2

Florida State University

Tallahassee$$$$$222 S. Copeland Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1037
(850) 644-2525

Acceptance to the Florida State University (FSU) online criminal justice master's programs are competitive, and students must hold either a bachelor’s degree or have five or more years of relevant professional experience to apply. FSU is ranked #7 on U.S. News and World Report’s list for Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs. This 36-credit online program provides an extensive foundation in criminological theories, research and real-world issues and applications. The online faculty and coursework are the same used for the on-campus program.

Students must complete an online orientation before registering for classes. Online courses are delivered through the Blackboard Learn management system, which is accessed through the myFSU portal. Courses are offered in an asynchronous format, to allow students the flexibility needed to fit their schedules. Blackboard can be used to access and submit course assignments, complete quizzes and tests, participate in discussion forums and more. Compatible Kaltura software allows students to record and create video presentations. Online criminal justice master's degree students also have access to Bb Student, the mobile app version of the learning platform.

3

University of Central Florida

Orlando$$$$$4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL 32816
(407) 823-2000

University of Central Florida (UFC) offers its MS in Criminal Justice “Professional Track” online, with a focus on research, theory, policy and organizational administration. The 36-credit master's in criminal justice online program is specifically designed for criminal justice organization leaders. Residency requirements hold that students must have completed a minimum of 21 hours in Criminal Justice at UCF. Admission is competitive, and students must hold a bachelor’s degree and prepare a statement of career goals as part of the application process.

Online or “distributed” learning is offered via Webcourses@UCF. The Center for Distributed Learning (CDL), which collaborates with universities to design and create online programs, is the anchor of UCF’s distance learning courses. All online courses are designed by the UCF faculty who teach them. Students can access course content at any time of the day and participate in online discussions when their schedules allow. Faculty can usually be reached by email, phone or in-person during scheduled office hours.

4

University of Louisville

Louisville$$$$$2301 S 3rd St
Louisville, KY 40292-0001
(502) 852-5555

The online criminal justice master's programs at University of Louisville (UofL) are offered to professionals in the criminal justice system striving to become leaders in their field. The program, which is ranked #13 on U.S. News and World Report’s list for Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs, covers many areas of the criminal justice system, including administration, theories, legal issues, advanced statistics and research methods. The 36-credit degree can be completed by full-time students in three semesters. Classes are offered every six weeks, with course enrollment offered at six points during the year.

The UofL Online Learning experience is delivered through the Blackboard learning platform. Online courses are taught by the on-campus faculty and many assignments are similar to those offered on-site as well. Students can interact with peers and instructors and view recorded lectures via Blackboard Collaborate. Classes are asynchronous, allowing students to work full-time and complete weekly coursework around their schedules. UofL’s Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning offers a number of useful Blackboard resources as well as an IT help desk to help resolve technical issues.

5

University of Colorado - Denver

Denver$$$$$1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400
Denver, CO 80217-3364
(303) 556-5600

The University of Colorado Denver offers an online criminal justice master's degree geared towards professionals pursuing advancement in the criminal justice field, professionals desiring a career change and students looking to continue their education. The 36-credit program is ranked #9 on U.S. News and World Report’s list of the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs. All students are required to choose and complete a traditional research thesis or a field-based capstone project; students without any experience in the criminal justice field also complete an internship in criminal or juvenile justice.

The CUOnline experience is delivered through the Canvas learning management system. Classes are taught by the on-campus faculty and offered asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at any time during the week. Students can access course syllabi and schedules, along with all assignments, tasks and recorded lectures through the Canvas Dashboard. Threaded discussions are a requirement of most courses. Exams may be either offered online, printed and taken at home or completed at a proctored location.

6

University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati$$$$$2624 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0063
(513) 556-6000

The University of Cincinnati (UC) MS in Criminal Justice is specifically designed for professionals in the field who are looking to move into a leadership or administrative role. Ranked #27 on U.S. News and World Report’s list for Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs, UC’s online degree program consists of an 11-course curriculum taught over six, 15-week semesters (or two years), though the degree can be completed in one year with an intensive, full-time courseload. In addition to the General Track option, students may choose a concentration from the following: Analysis of Criminal Behavior, Law Enforcement and Crime Prevention and Corrections and Offender Rehabilitation. Courses cover policies, research methods, analysis of criminal behavior, professional writing and more.

Online courses use a mix of internet resources, as well as manuals, textbooks and real-world applications; any required hard-copy materials are provided via mail to a student’s home or office. UC uses the Blackboard Learn platform, accessible through “Canopy,” UC’s “eLearning ecosystem.” Courses are asynchronous, and students have 24/7 access to assignments; recorded lectures; course materials; discussion forums, wikis and blogs; and complete assessments through Blackboard.

7

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

Lowell$$$$$1 University Ave
Lowell, MA 01854-5104
(978) 934-4000

University of Massachusetts (UMass Lowell) offers an Online MS in Criminal Justice through its Division of Online and Continuing Education. The program, designed for full-time professionals in law enforcement, security and corrections, spans topics that include leadership, public policy, forensic psychology and terrorism. The 33-credit program includes a core curriculum focused on theory, research, scholarship, quantitative analysis and criminal justice administration. Additionally, a range of electives offered allow students to choose subject areas that fit their career goals.

UMass Lowell delivers its online courses through the Blackboard learning platform. All online classes are the same as those taken on-campus, though a more limited range of electives is offered online. Students access all course materials, communicate with peers and faculty and complete all assessments online; if they encounter any issues, they can contact the 24/7 online help desk via email or phone. Access to Blackboard Mobile Learn is also provided.

8

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale$$$$$3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
(954) 262-7300

The online criminal justice master's programs offered through Nova Southeastern University (NSU) are ranked #22 on U.S. News and World Report’s List of Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs. Students generally complete the 36-hour program, which includes a core curriculum and a customized elective track for differing career tracks, over a two-year period. Those seeking careers in the police force, the FBI, Loss Prevention, the DEA, the Secret Service and many other areas within criminal justice fill find that NSU's program fits their specific training needs. Nova offers a unique Valor Award 20% Scholarship for Law Enforcement, Veterans, Military and First Responders.

Online courses are accessed on the Blackboard “Sharklearn” platform through the NSU “Sharklink” portal. Students access course materials and distance library services, interact with faculty and peers through threaded discussion boards and chatrooms, submit assignments and deliver multimedia presentations through Blackboard. Class recordings and live interactions are conducted through GoToMeeting software. All courses are asynchronous, allowing students to work full-time and complete coursework according to their schedule.

9

Lewis University

Romeoville$$$$$One University Parkway
Romeoville, IL 60446-2200
(815) 838-0500

Lewis University’s MS in Criminal and Social Justice is specifically designed for the working professional looking to enhance their knowledge and advance their career. The 36-hour program covers theory and real-world application in the areas of administration, law enforcement, homeland security and other specialized areas. Students must hold either a bachelor’s degree or be currently serving in the criminal justice field to be considered for immediate acceptance. All program requirements must be completed within seven years.

Online courses are offered in an accelerated seven to eight-week format ; in comparison, the on-site program is delivered through 16-week long courses. Lewis uses the Blackboard learning management platform to deliver its online program. Students have access to course materials, discussion boards, group wikis and other collaborative resources via Blackboard. A wide range of online training videos is available via the Blackboard dashboard, and students are also offered email and phone help through the Center for Academic Technology Solutions (CATS).

10

California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach$$$$$1250 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90840-0115
(562) 985-4111

The online master's in criminal justice is an accelerated and flexible program designed for working professionals in the criminal justice field. The program, offered through California State University’s (CSULB) College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE), is appropriate for those seeking supervisory positions in the field or pursuing a more advanced degree. Curriculum spans a variety of subject areas, including police organization and management, law and social control, research and statistics and ethics and diversity. Students must choose between completing a thesis or comprehensive exam. Full-time students can complete the program in 16 months.

CSULB offers online courses through the “BeachBoard” Desire2Learn content management system. Students have access to a dedicated help desk and site on the BeachBoard home page. Students can access course announcements and content, submit assignments via Dropbox, complete quizzes and participate in online discussions with faculty and peers via BeachBoard. Students also have access to an integrated email system within the platform. Additional materials and podcasts may be available to students via iTunes U.

11

East Carolina University

Greenville$$$$$East 5th Street
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
(252) 328-6131

East Carolina University’s (ECU) MS in Criminal Justice, ranked #25 in U.S. News and World Report’s list of Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs, is geared toward students looking to advance in the field or pursue higher degrees. Core concepts covered include principles of criminal justice, research methods and statistics, criminal justice administration and management as well as a series focusing on a variety of corrections and law enforcement specialization areas. The 36-credit program can be completed in two years with full-time enrollment. Distance Education students must be currently employed in the criminal justice or a related field and have a minimum of five years experience in order to apply.

All online courses are offered through the Blackboard learning management system. An online orientation course is offered to all new students, and a number of how-to tutorials and help desk resources are also available. ECU also provides students with access to Lynda.com, a site offering a collection of educational videos covering everything from Adobe PhotoShop to resume writing. Students access assignments, discussion boards, wikis and blogs through Blackboard, which is also accessible on all mobile devices.

12

Sam Houston State University

Huntsville$$$$$1806 Ave J
Huntsville, TX 77340
(936) 294-1111

The Sam Houston State University (SHSU) online MS in Criminal Justice is designed for full-time professionals looking to complete their degree in two years. The 36-credit program, ranked #5 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs, is geared towards professionals currently in the field of criminal justice and those who are making a career change. The degree is appropriate for those looking to enter the criminal justice field immediately upon graduation. Graduates have secured work as judges, victim advocates, police administrators, chief probation officers and more. Those interested in pursuing a PhD after earning a master's degree should instead look into the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology from SHSU.

Online courses are available on the Blackboard learning platform through My Sam, SHSU’s web portal. Students access streaming and recorded video lectures, course materials and assignments, and participate in interactive discussions with peers and faculty via Blackboard. A technical team is available from 7 a.m. to midnight by phone or email to assist with any issues. SHSU Online also features “Student Central”, an online campus community where students can use social media and discussion boards to share advice and personal success stories about their online learning experience.

13

DeSales University

Center Valley$$$$$2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034-9568
(610) 282-1100

DeSales University offers both an online Master’s in Criminal Justice (MCJ) in Digital Forensics and an online MCJ in Investigative Forensics. Both 30-credit programs consist of 10 courses that can be taken part- or full-time. DeSales aims to address the changes science and technology have made to the field of criminal justice; the program emphasizes high ethical standards in all of the offered coursework. Info sessions for both programs are held online throughout the year, and students who attend are eligible to have their $50 application fee waived. Additionally, DeSales offers all employed law enforcement, probation and corrections offers a 20% tuition discount for either online program.

The online course experience is delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. Courses are asynchronous and can be accessed at any time. Students can find class updates and materials, submit assignments and participate in Blackboard Collaborate and other discussion boards via the Blackboard platform. DeSales also provides students access to Blackboard Mobile Learn. Students have the option to attend free online learning workshops, including a new student orientation, throughout the year.

14

New Mexico State University

Las Cruces$$$$$2850 Weddell Street
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001
(575) 646-0111

The online Master’s of Criminal Justice (MCJ) offered through New Mexico State University (NMSU) provides distance learners or those in full-time professions access to the same program curriculum and faculty as on-campus. Online students complete the 36-credit focused coursework option; the thesis option is reserved for on-campus participants. Students can take a variety of courses focused on research, policy analysis, criminological theory, ethics and administration, among other topics. Admission to the program is competitive and only a small cohort of students are selected once a year.

Online courses are delivered through the Canvas learning platform. Course structure varies by class instructor, but typical assignments include online readings and quizzes, research papers, learning activities, discussion forums and real-time chat sessions. Distance learners have access to the online NMSU Library and can purchase all texts and materials through the online NMSU bookstore. Students have d access to an online orientation, a library of how-to Canvas videos and a technology help desk reachable by phone and email.

15

Saint Cloud State University

Saint Cloud$$$$$720 Fourth Ave. South
Saint Cloud, MN 56301-4498
(320) 308-0121

Saint Cloud State University offers an online version of its MS in Criminal Justice in a research- and course-centered structure. Students choose from three specializations, including criminal justice administration, criminal justice counseling or an elective track. The Department of Criminal Justice Studies has trained students for over 37 years, and is authorized by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (MPOST) to prepare students for the first step in MPOST licensing of peace officer candidates.

Online courses are offered through the Desire2Learn (D2L) Brightspace platform. Students have access to assignments, course lectures and quizzes through the platform. The Central Minnesota Distance Learning Network also provides real-time interactive options for classes with two-way audio and video, as well as recorded and streamed courses. Distance learners have access to digital library resources through the main library site. Online master's in criminal justice students have access to a dedicated technology help desk by phone and email, as well as free online training through its Training Hub site.

16

University of Central Missouri

Warrensburg$$$$$202 Administration Building
Warrensburg, MO 64093
(660) 543-4111

University of Central Missouri (UCMO) offers an online option for its MS in Criminal Justice, a program designed for students who are entering or want to move ahead into leadership roles in the fields of law enforcement, corrections and juvenile justice. The 36-credit program allows students to choose a thesis or non-thesis option. Students who opt for the non-thesis track take an additional Individual Research course and four elective classes. Graduates of UCMO online have gone on to become attorneys, judges, professors, juvenile justice professionals and chief administrators. An undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice or a related field is required for admission.

UCMO uses the Blackboard learning platform to deliver its online learning experience. Courses may be synchronous or asynchronous, depending on the class or instructor. Students access all assignments, tests and quizzes, and interact with peers and faculty through discussion boards, wikis, blogs and more. Online classes may also make use of NBC Learn, a collection of current event videos, documents and images, accessible via Blackboard. Additionally, students have access to both Blackboard Mobile and iTunes U for streaming audio-recorded lectures.

17

Washington State University

Pullman$$$$$French Administration Building
Pullman, WA 99164-5910
(509) 335-3564

The online MA in Criminal Justice offered through Washington State University (WSU) is designed for students looking to enter the field or for those interested in expanding their knowledge about criminal justice policy, institutions and the theory and applications of crime and public safety. In addition to providing knowledge related to administration and processes, the 31-credit program prepares professionals to design and conduct research, apply for grants and prepare research reports for criminal justice agencies.

The WSU Global Campus online learning platform is powered by Blackboard Learn. The program is highly interactive, though students can access materials and assignments based on their schedules. Students may participate in group projects and complete real-world activities outside of the online classroom. Online library resources and an online bookstore are available to all distance learners. Students also have the option to enroll in the Global Connections program, a virtual learning environments that provides extra-curricular experiences and events for distance learners.

18

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Little Rock$$$$$2801 S University Ave
Little Rock, AR 72204
(501) 569-3000

University of Arkansas’s MS in Criminal Justice online is a terminal degree that provides professionals with training in advanced criminal justice system issues, supervisory and administrative skills and the knowledge to understand current research trends in the field. The 36-credit program is offered in an accelerated format online, with seven-week courses that move twice as fast as a regular semester-length course. However, the suggested sequence of study spans three years. A bachelor’s degree is required for admission to the program.

Online courses are accessed through the Blackboard Learn platform. Classes may be synchronous or asynchronous, depending upon the instructor. Students access all class updates and announcements, submit scheduled assignments and participate in discussion forums and other collaborative tools. Distance learners have access to a range of digital library resources through the university’s Ottenheimer Library.

19

Wichita State University

Wichita$$$$$1845 N. Fairmount
Wichita, KS 67260-0124
(316) 978-3456

The Criminal Justice program at Wichita State University (WSU) is one of the oldest in the country. The online MA in Criminal Justice is designed to be an an affordable and flexible program that prepares students for careers in the Criminal Justice field or for law school or doctoral studies. The program focuses on integrating theory and practice of criminal justice through the scientific study of crime, criminals, the justice system and the law. After graduating, students should be equipped to become researchers, teachers, policymakers or managers. Students can enroll part- or full-time and transfer up to 12 approved graduate credit hours toward degree completion. WSU offers some of the lowest tuition rates available for in-state residents. Program completion typically takes one-and-a-half to two years.

WSU provides all online courses through the Blackboard learning management system. Students access class materials, submit assignments and participate in interactive discussion forums via Blackboard Collaborate in an asynchronous or synchronous fashion. Students can download the Blackboard IM application to instantly connect with peers and faculty in real-time. In one convenient dashboard, students have access to on-demand Blackboard tutorials, online library resources and an online bookstore. Live chat help is also provided through the OneStop online help desk.

20

Concordia University - Saint Paul

Saint Paul$$$$$1282 Concordia Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55104-5494
(651) 641-8278

Concordia University’s (CSP) online MA in Criminal Justice Leadership is designed for working professionals from a variety of backgrounds, including law enforcement, corrections and the military. The program, ranked #34 on U.S. News and World Report’s list of Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs, requires 36 hours for degree completion. Students enter the program as part of a cohort, and each course length is seven weeks. According to a Concordia graduate survey, 92% of CSP students receive a job after graduation. Common careers pursued by graduates include criminal sociologists and private detectives or investigators. Admission is competitive, and applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree and be currently employed in a Criminal Justice-related field to be considered.

Students take online courses through the Blackboard Learn platform. All class materials and updates, as well as assignments, tests and quizzes, can be accessed through Blackboard. Classwork, including discussion forums and other interactive or group assignments, can be completed around students’ schedules. Distance learners also have access to CSP’s online library resources. Technical support is available 24/7 via email and phone.

21

University of Memphis

Memphis$$$$$Southern Avenue
Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-2000

University of Memphis’s (UM) MA in Criminal Justice, offered through the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, serves students looking to obtain a full-time career in the field. The program focuses on creating partnerships with policymakers, program developers and other community groups. The curriculum covers criminological theories and principles, and provides students with the skills necessary to perform and evaluate research. Students complete 33-credit-hours to complete their degree online.

UM Online offers online courses through eCourseware, powered by the Desire2Learn (D2L) management system. All courses are asynchronous, allowing students to complete coursework around their schedules. The online curriculum, including all materials, is identical to the on-campus program. Students access and submit all assignments, complete quizzes and tests, participate in discussion forums, access email and chat options and view grades via eCourseware. Distance learners have access to digital library resources, online career services and online disability services.

22

College of Saint Elizabeth

Morristown$$$$$2 Convent Rd
Morristown, NJ 07960-6989
(973) 290-4000

The online MA in Justice Administration and Public Service offered through the College of Saint Elizabeth (CSE) focuses on developing an understanding of social, ethical and political issues that are part of the American justice system. The program, which ranks #13 in U.S. News and World Report’s list of Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs, is designed for both current criminal justice practitioners and those interested in careers in the field. Current law enforcement officers receive a 50 percent discounted tuition rate.

Students meet virtually with a graduate advisor to plan out a planned 30-credit course of study. CSE uses the Moodle learning management system to deliver its online experience. Students access all class updates and resources, participate in discussion forums and complete assignments and tests through Moodle. New students are provided access to a Moodle Orientation, and students can contact a dedicated Help Desk via phone or email until 5 p.m. EST on weekdays.

23

Sul Ross State University

Alpine$$$$$HWY 90 East
Alpine, TX 79832
(432) 837-8011

Sul Ross State University’s MS in Criminal Justice focuses on criminal justice theory, social research and homeland security. A range of elective tracks offer students the ability to customize their course of study according to their career goals. The program is offered in a 30- credit thesis or 36 credit non-thesis track.

Online courses are offered through the Blackboard learning management system. All classes are asynchronous, allowing students to access and complete assignments and quizzes around their weekly schedule. Students may use Blackboard Collaborate for real-time conferencing or recorded lectures, as well as Blackboard Instant Messaging for instant chat communication with peers and faculty. An online Technical Assistance Center is available to help with Blackboard-related issues.

24

Western Oregon University

Monmouth$$$$$345 North Monmouth Ave
Monmouth, OR 97361-1394
(503) 838-8000

The MA in Criminal Justice from Western Oregon University (WOU) is designed for full-time professionals in criminal justice and related fields. The 45-credit program prepares students to assume supervisory and leadership positions. After graduating, students will emerge with foundational skills in conducting social science research and the ways to apply these methods to solving administrative issues in criminal justice. Full-time students can complete the program—which includes a thesis, professional project or comprehensive exam—in two years. Students are required to have a bachelor’s degree and experience in the criminal justice field in order to apply.

WOU uses the Moodle learning management system to deliver their online course experience. The average online course size is 13 students. Courses are asynchronous and students can design their own schedules. All course materials, assignments and assessments, discussion forums and other interactive resources can be accessed through Moodle. The WOU Moodle Support Team is available via email and phone until 5 p.m. PST on weekdays.

25

Texas A&M International University

Laredo$$$$$5201 University Blvd
Laredo, TX 78041-1900
(956) 326-2001

Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) online MS in Criminal Justice prepares students to become informed and skilled participants in the development of knowledge and policy responses to current issues in the criminal justice system. Students participate in research and are encouraged to take leadership roles in the field of criminal or juvenile justice. The program, which is ranked #35 on U.S. News and World Report’s list of Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs, offers both a thesis and non-thesis track option, the latter of which requires additional hours of coursework.

TAMIU’s eLearning platform is powered by the Blackboard Learn management system. A typical assignment includes reading a range of professional and scholarly literature and participating in thoughtful analysis and debate via discussion forum. Students can access all other assignments, tests and communication features such as email through Blackboard. In addition to online student orientation videos, students can access live chat until 5 p.m. CST for help with any technical issues.

Online Doctorate Degree in Criminal Justice

A doctorate in criminal justice will help those people who are seeking high-level careers in academia, private or governmental research agencies, or criminal justice leadership. An online doctorate in criminal justice will allow you to pursue a variety of specializations while continuing to work.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Contemporary Public Safety Leadership, Race and Ethnicity in Crime and Criminal Justice, and Management and Leadership Theory

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Criminology, Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Criminal Justice

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    FBI Agent, FBI Investigator, and First-Line Supervisor of Police Officers

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $68,400 to $115,720 per year

Online Criminal Justice Choose Your Career

Average Criminal Justice Salaries

$55,360
$44,570
$75,720
$49,060
$58,630

Computer Forensic Investigator

Salary: $55,360
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
27% 14,400 Bachelor's None

Computer forensic investigators examine computer systems and data in order to present information for legal cases. They can also help determine when and how a hacker gained access to a system, as well as discover hidden digital information. A bachelor’s degree in computer forensics will provide the necessary background for a successful career in this area. In addition, analytical and problem solving skills are key, as well as effective verbal and written communications abilities, and an interest in the latest technological advances.

Legal Investigator

Salary: $44,570
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
5% 34,900 Associates Licensed Private Investigator / Certified Legal Investigator recommended, not required

A legal investigator, more commonly known as a private investigator (PI), is a for-hire detective. They may search for clues by studying crime scenes, conduct surveillance and background investigations, report information to the authorities, and testify in court. PIs often work undercover. In addition to their help in the criminal justice field, PIs may also be hired to escort valuable property from place to place or to guard high-profile individuals. There are no formal educational requirements to be a PI, but most states require PIs to obtain a license. To be successful in this field, PIs must be assertive, unafraid of confrontation, possess effective communication skills (including the ability to question or interrogate individuals), and be extremely detail-oriented. They must also be at least 18 years old and have no criminal record.

Detective

Salary: $75,720
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
4% 108,720 High School Diploma or Equivalent On-Job Training

Detectives investigate crimes. They gather evidence, interview witnesses, conduct background checks on victims and suspects, identify responsible parties, prepare for court, and assist in the prosecution of offenders. The scope of the work varies by location, and the work itself can be stressful and dangerous, so a detective must have mental and physical endurance. The minimum education requirements for a detective are a high school diploma, law enforcement certification, and experience as a sworn law enforcement officer. However, many agencies require a two- or four-year degree in criminal justice, forensic science, or a related field. Additionally, detectives should possess strong communication skills, the ability to remain objective, and the patience and empathy necessary to work through the long investigation process.

Probation Officer

Salary: $49,060
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
4% 91,700 Bachelor's State Specific Licensing Requirements

Probation officers, also known as parole officers, help criminal offenders re-enter society after serving their sentences. Based on their supervision of and interaction with the offender, parole officers attend hearings and make suggestions to the parole board. Parole officers may encounter dangerous situations and heavy workloads of 70 to 130 cases at a time. Most state and federal parole agencies require applicants for this position to hold a bachelor’s degree, typically in either criminal justice, psychology, social work, correction, sociology, counseling, or business administration. Most parole officers must be at least 20 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, and must attend required training and certification courses. They must also have a license to carry a firearm, undergo background investigation and drug screening, and pass a psychological examination.

Uniformed Police Officer

Salary: $58,630
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
4% 806,400 High School Diploma or Equivalent Police Academy Training

Uniformed police officers protect the public by enforcing local, state, and federal laws within their jurisdiction. Police officers have a number of specific responsibilities, including preventing and investigating criminal activity; apprehending criminals; conducting routine safety patrols; enforcing traffic laws; conducting safety inspections on roads and highways; and participating in public safety community programs. Education requirements to become an officer vary by state or city. Some police departments require a candidate to have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED, though several years of college coursework, such as an online associate degree in criminal justice, is often needed. Higher degree levels typically equate to higher pay and more opportunities for promotion and advancement. Candidates must be US citizens, 21 years of age, and must meet rigorous physical criteria include tests of stamina, agility, vision, hearing, and physical and mental strength. Military police experience is highly advantageous.

Online Criminal Justice Degree in Action

Mary Lou Chernik Criminal Justice

Mary Lou Chernik is an Air Force vet with more than 27 years of investigative experience that has earned a master of science in management for criminal justice, and a bachelor of science in criminal justice from Colorado Technical University (CTU), online. She also earned two associate of applied science degrees by going to on-ground campuses part-time while in the Air Force.

As a board certified fellow with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, she has worked in private, federal, and state agencies. She has 24 years of experience as the administrator of a woodworking company and ran her own private investigations business for 16 years. In addition to teaching criminal justice courses online, she works part-time as a field deputy medical investigator.

Why did you pursue your criminal justice degree online?

I live in a rural community with limited access to higher education. I had three choices—do nothing, move to a city where I would have access to an on-ground campus, or complete my degree online. I really liked CTU's accelerated program. I was just going to finish my bachelor's degree for my own satisfaction, but found I really liked online learning. Earning a master's degree has enhanced my reputation as a medicolegal death investigator and has allowed me to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher.

What were the biggest advantages for you as you studied online?

The biggest advantages for me were the flexibility of online learning and not having to waste time by driving to a campus. I continued to work, while going to school full time.

What were the challenges or obstacles you faced as an online student?

Time management was a challenge throughout my degree programs, along with self-discipline. The same flexibility that was an advantage was also a challenge because it was up to me to decide when to study or when to participate, rather than going to weekly class meetings. Balancing work, family, and school required both self-discipline and time management skills.

How did the online format help prepare you for your career?

I now teach criminal justice online degree courses for an online college. My experience as an online student helped me become familiar with online classrooms, submitting assignments, working with others through discussion boards, and the like. I know many of the challenges my students face. I know I would not be teaching online college courses if I had not been an online student first.

Online Criminal Justice Professional Requirements

State law prescribes whether or not you need to pursue a professional certification to work in criminal justice. Generally, uniformed police officers are required to be certified with the Peace Officer Skills Training Certification before they can work in the field. A Certified Criminal Justice Professional Certification will likely enhance a probation officer’s credentials. Take a look below for more information.

The Criminal Justice Awareness and Terminology Certification

Whether or not you hold a college-level degree, this short, ultra low-cost, and highly recognized multiple choice certification is a great way to demonstrate your professional prowess and boost your résumé.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

35 minutes

Certified Criminal Justice Professional

Parole or probation officers who work with recovering drug users may pursue this clinical certification. Specific requirements vary by state, but a bachelor’s degree is usually required. Additional hours of work-experience and specialized education may also be required depending on your jurisdiction.

Is it required?

Varies by state

How long will it take?

At least 4 years to earn a bachelor's degree

Peace Officer Skills Training Certification

This certification is required in order to work as a uniformed police officer. In some jurisdictions, correctional officers are also required to have this certification. Only candidates who have successfully completed 500 hours in an approved peace/police officer academy and have at least a high school diploma or GED are eligible for this certification.

Is it required?

Varies by state

How long will it take?

500 hours