Online Criminal Justice Degrees

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Anyone interested in a long-term, stable career should consider an online criminal justice degree. Many high-growth and high-paying jobs are available to those with a degree in criminal justice, and online studies make it easier for full-time workers to earn their degree without putting their current career on hold.

Students who earn a degree in criminal justice can choose from a plethora of career paths, including positions as a police officer or detective. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an estimated 53,400 jobs will be added to this field from 2016-2026. This career boasts a respectable median pay of $63,380, higher than the national median pay rate. There will always be a need for police and detectives, so these positions are unlikely to see huge layoffs.

After earning one of the best online criminal justice degrees available, you could also find work as a forensic science technician, fish and game warden, or even as a teacher — and these are only some of the other options you could have after completing your bachelor's degree. To get your career started, here are the best online criminal justice degrees.

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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.
Criminal Justice
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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.

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
1Keiser University - Ft LauderdaleFort Lauderdale$$$$$1500 NW 49th St
Fort Lauderdale, FL
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Based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Keiser University was founded in 1977 to deliver career-oriented education to adult learners. Today the private, nonprofit school has 18 locations spread across Florida, and a thriving online campus. The school offers degrees to more than 20,000 students from the associate to doctoral level. Many degrees are available through the Fort Lauderdale Online Division, including Keiser’s online criminal justice associate degree.

The associate of arts in criminal justice program follows a 60-credit curriculum, and explores the components and traditions of the American criminal justice system. Students receive an in-depth and hands-on education in legal systems, law enforcement organizations, juvenile issues, corrections, and patterns of criminal behavior. The degree is divided into 36 hours of general education credits and 24 credits in major courses. There are no prerequisites. Web-based students have access to Keiser’s Online Career Center, which offers job postings, resume counseling, interview coaching, career-development workshops, and more.

2Liberty UniversityLynchburg$$$$$1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(800) 434-9595

Liberty University is the largest private non-profit school in the United States. The Lynchburg, VA- based institution offers its 110,000 students a wealth of options and resources, including more than 545 different fields of study and more than 270 online degrees.

The Helms School of Government’s associate of arts in criminal justice program requires 60 credits to complete, and students may transfer as many as 45 into the program. Students learn the basics of law enforcement and the criminal justice system, and develop excellent written and oral communications skills to increase their career prospects. This criminal justice associate degree online can also be used as a pathway to a bachelor’s degree, which Liberty offers in its virtual classrooms. A 25% “emergency response discount” is available to all first responders. Web-based students have access to IT support, an online library, writing help, and tutoring. The school boasts a 91% employment rate for its online graduates.

3Saint Leo UniversitySaint Leo$$$$$33701 State Road 52
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
(352) 588-8200

Established in 1889, Saint Leo is a Catholic liberal arts institution in the Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL, metropolitan area. With more than 16,000 students, the university is one of the largest Catholic schools in the nation, and one of the top regional schools in the South. Saint Leo offers more than 40 academic programs in 40 learning centers across seven states, military bases, and online.

Saint Leo has 30 years of experience teaching law enforcement, and its online associate degree in criminal justice takes a liberal arts approach, which provides students a broad background in general studies and encourages critical thinking skills. The 60-credit curriculum examines all aspects of the criminal justice system, from crime scene investigation, to ethics and legal issues, to homeland security. The associate of arts criminal justice program lays the groundwork for students who want to earn their bachelor’s. Saint Leo Online has an array of programs and services to help students succeed in web-based education, including “Starting Point” orientation tutorials, access to the school bookstore and library, and 24/7 access to career services. Applicants can download a free e-book to learn more about Saint Leo’s online experience.

4West Kentucky Community and Technical CollegePaducah$$$$$4810 Alben Barkley Drive
Paducah, KY 42002-7380
(270) 554-92000

Located in Paducah, KY, West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) is a public, two-year college focused on career education. Most of the school’s 8,500 students attend part-time, and more than half take at least one of their courses online. WKCTC has offered classes digitally for more than two decades and is a pioneer in online education. The school’s virtual classrooms host dozens of degree programs, including an online criminal justice associate degree.

The associate in applied science in criminal justice degree is a 60-credit program that students can pursue entirely online, and may specialize in one of four areas of concentration -- criminal justice, corrections, law enforcement, and security and loss prevention. The curriculum begins with general studies coursework, and proceeds to major classes like criminalistics, computer forensics, and police supervision. The program is designed as a pathway to entry-level positions in law enforcement or as a gateway to a more advanced degree and an administrative role. Online students pay in-state tuition, and the school has a nine-step orientation program on its website.

5Pamlico Community CollegeGrantsboro$$$$$5049 Hwy 306 South
Grantsboro, NC 28529
(252) 249-18513084

Founded in 1962 as an industrial arts school, Pamlico Community College (PCC) in Grantsboro, NC, has grown into a fully-accredited two-year institution. The school offers a variety of degree programs in the liberal arts, sciences, healthcare, business, and technology. PCC is home to 700 students and offers most of its degrees on campus and online.

The 67 credit criminal justice technology associate degree prepares students for careers in law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole, the legal system, security, and loss prevention. Students complete general studies courses, including classes in writing, mathematics, the humanities, and the sciences, and proceed to courses in their major. The online associate degree in criminal justice is a broad program that includes two certificates, a diploma, and a two-year degree. Students gain first-hand experience meeting with officers, investigating crime scenes, and attending court proceedings. Online learners have access to the college’s library, advising and counseling services, tutoring, career center, and the Virtual Student Success Center.

6Albany Technical CollegeAlbany$$$$$1704 South Slappey Boulevard
Albany, GA 31701
(229) 430-3500

A member of the Technical College System of Georgia, Albany Tech provides secondary education throughout seven counties in southwest Georgia. The school offers two-year degree programs, career-training, continuing education, and community enrichment to a student body of 3,000 full-time and 2,500 part-time students at learning centers across south Georgia. It also has a vibrant virtual campus with 30 online programs, including a criminal justice associate degree.

Albany Tech’s associate of applied science in law enforcement technology degree is a 60-credit program combining criminal justice theory and practice. Students can specialize in criminal justice or Homeland Security by adding technical certificates. Background checks are not required for admission, but they are necessary for placement in a lab, clinic, or internship setting. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and have passed the COMPASS exam with appropriate scores. The Blackboard platform is used to deliver course content.

7Bismark State CollegeBismarck$$$$$1603 Edwards Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58506-5587
(701) 224-5400

Located on a 220-acre campus overlooking the Missouri River in North Dakota, Bismarck State is a comprehensive public two-year college with a student body of more than 3,700. The school offers an array of associate degrees, certificates, professional programs, and a bachelor’s in energy management, both in on-campus and online. Almost two-thirds of students at BSC take at least one web-based course – more than 40 percent attend online only.

The associate of applied science in criminal justice degree is a 60-credit program that waives the entrance requirements for other associate-degree tracks at Bismarck State. Background checks are required, however. Taught by an experienced faculty and under the supervision of a board of advisers from the law enforcement community, the curriculum combines general and professional education courses. Students take liberal arts courses such as college composition, and fulfill major requirements with courses like criminology, juvenile delinquency, and police administration. All classes can be taken via the web, but a field internship is necessary to graduate. This online associate degree in criminal justice is not intended for transfer.

8Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester$$$$$2500 North River Road
Manchester, NH 03106-1045
(603) 668-2211

Based in Manchester, NH, Southern New Hampshire (SNHU) is one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. A private nonprofit institution, SNHU is primarily a virtual campus, with about 3,000 students in its traditional, brick-and-mortar location and over 75,000 attending classes via the web. The university offers more than 200 career-oriented degree and certificate programs, from the associate to master’s level, including an online associate degree in criminal justice.

SNHU’s associate of science in criminal justice program is designed for working law enforcement professionals who wish to advance their careers, and students interested in entry-level positions in the field. Graduate gain an understanding of the American system of criminal justice and the issues facing modern law enforcement. Classes in this 60 credit program explore ethics, juvenile justice, and the legal system, and students can specialize in policing, corrections, and security through their selection of electives. SNHU online programming is available 24/7 and can be fast-tracked. The university claims some of the lowest tuition costs in the country, and a full slate of services is available to online students, including writing help, round-the-clock computer support, and tutoring.

9Northeast Community CollegeNorfolk$$$$$801 E Benjamin
Norfolk, NE 68702-0469
(402) 371-2020

Located in Norfolk, NE, Northeast Community College is a public, two-year school providing access to associate degrees, career-training, job certification, and cultural enrichment to more than 23,000 students. In addition to the 200-acre main campus, the school has satellites in 60 communities and a growing virtual campus. Northeast hosts an online associate degree in criminal justice with two available areas of concentration – corrections and law enforcement.

Northeast Online’s associate of arts criminal justice degree takes an interdisciplinary approach, combining a core curriculum with specialized classes in its two concentration areas. The corrections track includes visits to area jails and prisons, and sessions with a mobile crime lab and repelling wall. The law enforcement track involves guest speakers and courses in police and society and criminal investigation. Admission to all online criminal justice associate degree programs includes background checks, physiological and psychological exams, and a polygraph test. Students may also receive credit for completing the course at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center. Northeast has an active Criminal Justice Association, which offers great networking opportunities. Online students can receive advising help, order textbooks, visit the library, and explore career services from the Northeast Online site.

10Western Wyoming Community CollegeRock Springs$$$$$2500 College Dr
Rock Springs, WY 82902-0428
(307) 382-1600

Western Wyoming Community College (WWCC) opened its doors in 1959 to forty students. Today, the two-year school provides access to higher education to more than 2,700 students, 97 percent of whom are from western Wyoming. WWCC also has a robust distance-learning program that is a leader among schools in the Rocky Mountains.

WWCC hosts an online associate degree in criminal justice designed for students planning to transfer into a four-year program. The associate of arts in criminal justice curriculum emphasizes general education courses required for a baccalaureate degree, and includes a few classes in the major. An introduction to criminal justice gives participants a broad overview of the American criminal justice system; criminal law looks at legal issues; and criminology explores crime and its root causes. Each class follows a traditional semester schedule, and online learners must dedicate at least nine hours per week to each three-credit course. WWCC recommends its “Intro to Online Learning” class for new students.

11Northampton Community CollegeBethlehem$$$$$3835 Green Pond Rd
Bethlehem, PA 18020-7599
(610) 861-5300

Northampton Community College (NCC) in Bethlehem, PA, is one of the few community colleges with a residency program. It’s also home to a vibrant virtual campus. More than 34,000 students pursue degrees and certificates in over 100 areas of study at NCC, and its criminal justice program is one of its most popular majors. Despite its size, the school boasts a 21-1 student to faculty ratio. The campus is also one of the most diverse in Pennsylvania and received national recognition for its “tech savvy.”

Northampton’s online criminal justice associate degree is designed for three groups: students seeking entry-level work in law enforcement, corrections, and counseling; working criminal justice professionals looking to develop their careers; and transfer students intending to transfer to a baccalaureate degree in the field. The associate in applied science criminal justice curriculum is evenly split between general education classes, criminal justice core courses, and psychology and sociology classes that describe criminal behavior. NCC uses Blackboard to deliver its online coursework, while proctored exams are taken on campus or arrangements can be made for a local option. Online students have access to the same advising, tutoring, IT, and career services as on-campus students. NCC alumni include a four-time Pulitzer Prize winner, an Oscar-winning documentary director, and many chief executives.

12Columbia College - MissouriColumbia$$$$$1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(573) 875-8700

This private liberal arts institution in Columbia, MO was founded in 1851 as Christian women’s college. Today, over 29,000 students (women and men) are enrolled in its 36 nationwide educational centers and online campus. More than half of the student body registers for at least one online course each year.

Columbia College offers an online criminal justice associate degree which integrates sociology and psychology into a study of the American criminal justice system. The 60-credit associate in science in criminal justice administration program provides a comprehensive overview of modern law enforcement, from criminology to penology. Students take 24 general education credits and 24 credits in the major. Twelve additional electives allow specialization in areas like corrections or political science, while available internships and practicums provide valuable hands-on experience. Online classes are scheduled in eight-week sessions, six times a year, allowing students to fast-track their education.

13South Texas CollegeMcAllen$$$$$3201 W Pecan
McAllen, TX 78502-9701
(956) 872-8311

With more than 34,000 students, South Texas College (STC) is the largest university south of San Antonio. Based in the Rio Grande Valley city of McAllen, TX, STC is a comprehensive community college that offers professional certification, dozens of associate degrees, four bachelor’s degrees, job training, and cultural enrichment. Thirty degrees at South Texas can be earned entirely via the web, including an online associate degree in criminal justice.

The criminal justice associate degree program at STC prepares students for careers in policing, corrections, the court system, private investigation, protective custody, corporate security, and several federal agencies. The curriculum is liberal-arts based with the majority of classes in general education, and only a half dozen in the major. Online students can access many of the same services and amenities as on-campus students, including the library, advising, the bookstore, and tutoring; and STC has orientation courses for using Blackboard and finding student resources. STC is one of the most affordable schools in the nation and most students graduate debt-free.

14Central Texas CollegeKilleen$$$$$6200 West Central Texas Expressway
Killeen, TX 76549-4199
(254) 526-7161

Central Texas College (CTC), based in the city of Killeen, TX, is a public two-year college with more than 100 learning centers around the globe, a presence on dozens of military bases and naval ships, and an online campus with over 55,000 enrolled worldwide. CTC offers more than two dozen degrees that can be earned entirely online, including an online criminal justice associate degree.

The associate of applied science in criminal justice program follows a 60-credit curriculum divided into four semesters. The program is an intensive immersion in the basic precepts of criminal law in the U.S., and the curriculum is a blend of criminal justice core courses with general education courses. Students may also specialize with a concentration in corrections. CTC participates in the Servicemembers Opportunities College Degree Network, and is known for its close ties to the military. A full slate of online student resources, from advising to tech support, is available on the CTC Distance Education page.

15Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourne$$$$$150 West University Blvd
Melbourne, FL 32901
(321) 674-8000

Located in Melbourne, FL, Florida Institute of Technology Online is the second-largest private university in the state and the only independent tech school in the Southeast. Founded in 1958, Florida Tech is now a comprehensive university with acclaimed offerings in communications, psychology, education, the humanities, and criminal justice. The school’s 6,600-member student body is a split of undergraduate and grad students.

The associate of arts in criminal science program combines a liberal arts core -- the writing, computation, and business classes of a general studies degree -- with a thorough overview of the modern American system of justice. Students take courses in criminology, juvenile delinquency, crime prevention, investigation, substance abuse, and the many psychological and sociological factors affecting contemporary law. Completion of 20 classes is required, each lasting eight weeks, and the entire curriculum can be done via the web. All students in Florida Tech’s online associate degree in criminal justice program must take the one-credit mastering e-learning class. Five start dates allow students flexibility in scheduling.

16Park UniversityParkville$$$$$8700 NW River Park Dr
Parkville, MO 64152-3795
(816) 741-2000

Based in Parkville, MO, Park U. has more 18,000 students across 40 campuses in 21 states. This private four-year nonprofit university offers 63 degrees from the associate to master’s level. Park is a leader in online education, earning national recognition for quality and affordability. The school offers more than three dozen programs on its virtual campus, including a criminal justice associate degree online.

The associate of science in criminal justice administration program follows a 60 credit curriculum with three available specializations: corrections, law enforcement, and security. Coursework is designed to be highly interactive and highly flexible. Students gain a theoretical and practical understanding of the American justice system, and graduate prepared for more more than 40 different career opportunities. Students may also pursue a bachelor’s degree, while certifications are available in homeland security and terrorism. The university’s programming earned the Quality Matters online seal of approval.

17Rio Salado CollegeTempe$$$$$2323 W 14th St
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 517-8000

Rio Salado is one of ten Maricopa Community Colleges in the greater Phoenix area, and one of the fastest-growing public two-year schools in the nation. Based in Tempe, AZ, Rio specializes in online learning, with more than half of its 54,000 students studying via the web. Over 600 classes and dozens of degree programs are available via Rio Salado’s RioLearn virtual campus. The online criminal justice associate degree prepares students for careers in law enforcement, counseling, corrections, and many federal agencies.

The associate of applied science in administration of justice prepares students to face issues in the American justice system in the 21st century. Instructors hold a variety of criminal justice backgrounds as police officers, attorneys, parole officers, and paralegals. Rio’s unique schedule allows new students to begin courses every Monday, and students must maintain a C average to graduate. A RioLearn demo allows prospective students to try out the school’s online environment and sample a class.

18St Petersburg CollegeClearwater$$$$$6021 142nd Ave N
Clearwater, FL 33760-2822
(727) 341-4772

Founded in 1927, St. Petersburg College (SPC) was the first two-year college established in Florida. The school now offers over 100 career-oriented degree and certificate programs, and awards more associate degrees than most community colleges in the nation. Part of that success is due to SPC’s virtual campus -- the largest online school in Florida -- as more than a third of the school’s 64,000 students participate online.

SPC’s College of Public Safety Administration offers several variations on the criminal justice associate degree online. The school has a traditional criminal justice technology associate of science program, which can be specialized with a homeland security certificate. The 64 credit curriculum prepares students for baccalaureate programs or entry-level positions in the courts, corrections, and law-enforcement agencies, but does not lead directly to certification as an officer. Other programs include an associate in digital forensics and computer investigations, and an associate in crime scene technology. All can be earned entirely via the web and coursework is asynchronous.

19Peirce CollegePhiladelphia$$$$$1420 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102-4699
(888) 467-3472

With its main campus in the Center City district of Philadelphia, PA, Peirce College has been providing educational opportunities to working adults for over a century. The private nonprofit college was established in 1865 to expand the options of Civil War vets, and it has maintained a mission of career-oriented, practical instruction ever since. Peirce has been offering accredited digital courses longer than most universities in the United States.

The 61 credit curriculum in Pierce’s associate of science in criminal justice studies includes emphases in law enforcement, corrections, criminal investigation, private security, and juvenile justice. Coursework provides students experience in criminal court systems, victimization, and homeland security, among others. The school’s professors have real world experience and serve as officers, judges, and attorneys. Ambitious students can join Alpha Phi Sigma and the criminal justice honor society, and accelerated tracks are available. All on-campus support services are accessible to online learners.

20Tyler Junior CollegeTyler$$$$$1400 East Fifth Street
Tyler, TX 75701
(903) 510-2200

One of the largest community colleges in Texas, Tyler Junior College (TJC) takes its name from the east Texas city in which it’s located. With professional training and certification programs, more than a 100 degree options, and a 137-acre campus, the school is a community hub. It’s one of the few two-year schools with residential options and is known for its award-winning athletics.

TJC’s online criminal justice associate degree prepares students to continue their bachelor's in the field. The 60 credit curriculum of the associate of art in criminal justice program explores contemporary issues in law and justice from theoretical and practical standpoints. Faculty include former federal law enforcement officers, crime scene investigators, and homicide detectives with more than 200 years of cumulative experience. Students complete 44 general education credits, in addition to 16 credits of major coursework. Tuition at TJC costs about one-third of a typical four-year college education, and the schools’ 16-hour, Tech Skills Boot Camp, is available to help students prepare for digital learning.

21Hodges UniversityNaples$$$$$2655 Northbrooke Dr
Naples, FL 34119
(800) 466-8017

Hodges University is a small private nonprofit institution in Naples, FL offering 34 career-oriented degree programs. With 78 percent of students over the age of 24 -- and an average of 32 -- Hodges is committed to educating working adults. Classes are scheduled for maximum flexibility, and the school takes a competency-based approach, which allows ambitious students to move forward on a fast-track. Hodges’ digital campus has become an important part of the university’s mission.

Hodges’ criminal justice associate degree online emphasizes coursework in the major -- of the 60 credits required to graduate, only 20 are general studies -- providing students a thorough understanding of the justice system. Classes in the criminal justice associate degree core curriculum take students from crime scenes to courtrooms, and explores all aspects of the American legal system. The Blackboard platform allows close interaction with faculty, peer to peer discussions with classmates, and easy assignment submission.

22Surry Community CollegeDobson$$$$$630 S. Main St.
Dobson, NC 27017-8432
(336) 386-81213264

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Surry Community College is a comprehensive two-year school with 4,000 students, and offers associate degrees, certification, and professional training. More than 60 percent of students hail from Surry County and attend the Dobson-based school part-time; 20 percent are enrolled in the college’s distance learning programs. The online criminal justice associate degree prepares students for careers as law enforcement and corrections officers, security personnel, and loss prevention specialists.

The associate of applied science in criminal justice technology emphasizes criminal justice systems and operations. The degree introduces judicial processes, security services, and law enforcement on the federal, state, and local levels. Courses in psychology and sociology are also part of the curriculum. Students with a background in law enforcement or who have completed a police academy program may be able to waive some classes. Online students are required to complete an orientation to the Moodle platform before the first class. Every web-delivered course shares the same outcomes as the on-campus equivalent.

23Somerset Community CollegeDobson$$$$$808 Monticello Street
Dobson, KY 42501-2973
(877) 629-9722

Established in Somerset, KY, in 1965, Somerset Community College (SCC) has evolved into one of the nation’s fastest-growing two-year schools. Serving a ten-county area, the college provides degrees, certificates, occupational training, and continuing education to a student population of 6,400. In addition to the main campus, SCC has facilities in five other Kentucky locations and a virtual campus.

Somerset’s online associate degree in criminal justice offers four areas of specialization – criminal justice, corrections, law enforcement, and security and loss prevention. The criminal justice associate in applied science consists of 61 credit hours, nine of which are completed in the concentration. Students can also elect to add certifications in computer forensics and advanced law enforcement. Background checks are not required (but may be for employment in the field later). SCC uses Blackboard to deliver course content and the college recommends students spend at least nine hours a week per course.

24Columbus State Community CollegeColumbus$$$$$550 E Spring St
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 287-5353

Columbus State Community College (CSCC) sits on the edge of downtown in Columbus, OH. With almost 30,000 students, it’s one of the biggest schools in the Buckeye State, and offers associate degrees, career certification, technical education, and enrichment programming. Despite its size, CSCC keeps class sizes small with an average of 20 students per course. The main campus is augmented by a second campus in Delaware, OH, nine learning centers in the nearby suburbs, and an expanding virtual campus.

Columbus State’s criminal justice program is multifaceted, and students select from a variety of degree tracks. The online criminal justice associate degree prepares students for entry-level positions in law enforcement, with concentrations in crime scene investigations, homeland security, crime prevention, and victim advocacy. Students who attend a police academy can register for the law enforcement academy track, a two-year degree that prepares serving, sworn police officers to advance in their careers. The probation and supervision track is aimed at people interested in the legal services. CSCC helps students determine if they’re ready for digital learning via an online readiness assessment.

25Allen Community CollegeIola$$$$$1801 N Cottonwood
Iola, KS 66749
(620) 365-5116100

Allen Community College was established in 1923 on the third floor of Iola High School in Iola, KS. Today, 2,300 students can choose between two campuses, six outreach sites, and online curriculums. Run by the Kansas Board of Regents, Allen offers two-year degrees, vocational certification, adult education, and workforce training programs, including a criminal justice associate degree online.

The associate in science with an emphasis in criminal justice studies program is offered as an associate in science (AS) or an associate in applied science (AAS). The AS is a 65-credit curriculum for students planning to transfer to a four-year program or police academy. The AAS degree requires only 60 credits but includes more courses in the major, including a criminal justice practicum and 12 credits at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center. Online learners have access to the school’s library, writing center, and 24/7 tech support.

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

Criminal Justice
Get Seal
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.

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
1Saint Leo UniversitySaint Leo$$$$$33701 State Road 52
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
(352) 588-8200

Saint Leo, a Catholic institution, offers an affordable online criminal justice degree program, and the majority of enrolled students are eligible for some type of financial aid. The program comprises 120 credits, including 39 major-specific credits. Students will also have the option to concentrate their degree in criminalistics or homeland security. Specialized courses include introduction to homeland defense, police organization and administration, forensic science and criminal justice, and criminal procedure.

Saint Leo boasts a partnership with the FBI National Academy Associates, helping students land government positions after completing their degree, and serves as a top location for veterans and current military members. Saint Leo's online program features a structure that aims to fit around the busy schedules of working adults.

2Concordia University - Saint PaulSaint Paul$$$$$1282 Concordia Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55104-5494
(651) 641-8278

CSP's online criminal justice bachelor's degree program features an accelerated format. Courses are offered in seven-week periods, meaning students can complete courses in about half the time it would take at a traditional school. To earn their degree, students will need to complete 44 credits through CSP; the rest of the credits can be transferred from another school or satisfied with a prior bachelor's degree from an accredited school.

Along with their accelerated class format designed for current criminal justice professionals, CSP also boasts an impressive job placement rate for graduates within one year of earning their degree. When applying, students will either be placed on the Minnesota POST licensure or non-POST licensure track, depending on their previous experience. It is important to note that this is a program designed for working adult learners who have criminal justice experience.

3Northern Arizona UniversityFlagstaff$$$$$1900 S. Knoles Dr, Babbitt Administrative Center
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-4132
(928) 523-9011

Perfect for students with a bachelor's degree or community college credits, NAU’s bachelor's of justice studies 90-30 allows students to bring in up to 90 credits from another institution. Of the 120 required credits, a minimum of 30 must be completed at NAU to be eligible to graduate. Students will need a C or better in these classes for them to count toward their degree. Unlike other similar programs, NAU’s program is designed for all students, not just working adults looking to advance their current career.

The bachelor's of justice studies has two emphasis areas: intelligence studies and criminal justice administration. While most students interested in criminal justice may pick the latter, either study can prepare students for a career in a criminal justice role. An emphasis area is required to graduate. While an internship is not required, students can use this experience to earn credits toward their degree.

4Champlain CollegeBurlington$$$$$246 S. Willard St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 860-2700

For over 20 years, Champlain has provided working adults with convenient online learning meant to further their careers. Champlain’s online bachelor's in economic crime investigation is no exception, meant to find students a position analyzing finances and accounting as it relates to crime. This niche field can lead to high-paying positions related to criminal justice.

All of Champlain’s courses are offered entirely online in seven or eight-week formats, depending on the course and the time of year. There are six start dates available throughout the year, and students can apply for any start date to begin working toward their degree. To make things easier for adult learners, Champlain accepts up to 90 transfer credits from accredited schools.

Champlain’s admissions process focuses on analysis of a student’s entire history, including work and volunteer experience as well as their personal career goals.

5University of South DakotaVermillion$$$$$414 E Clark St
Vermillion, SD 57069-2390
(605) 677-5301

Located in Vermillion, USD serves as the flagship school of the state. The university hosts over 10,000 students and boasts a 16-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Among the myriad of online degree options is the bachelor's in criminal justice.

The online criminal justice bachelor's degree can be completed as a BA or BS. The 120-credit program takes four years to complete, although there is a degree completion option for students with previous school credit. Courses include criminology, criminal law, and information literacy in the discipline.

General requirements mandate first-time undergraduate applicants have a minimum 2.6 GPA, a minimum SAT score of 1070 or ACT score of 21, a minimum score of 3 on the English Language Arts and Mathematics Smarter Balanced Assessments, or for the student to have graduated in the top 50% of their high school class.

6Rowan UniversityGlassboro$$$$$201 Mullica Hill Road
Glassboro, NJ 08028
(856) 256-4000

Rowan University, also called Rowan Global Learning and Partnerships, has crafted its programs for working adults looking to complete their degree. The online bachelor of arts in law and justice studies .

The bachelor's in criminal justice comprises 51 of the required 120 credits students must complete. Thirty of the total required credits must be completed at Rowan. Notable courses include an intensive writing seminar on law and justice, a criminal law internship, criminal justice research, and law and human rights. Other courses round out the degree and provide an interdisciplinary approach, such as essentials of psychology and statistical literacy.

To be eligible for this online program, students need a minimum of 24 college credits or an associate degree and a minimum 2.4 GPA for all transfer credits.

7King UniversityBristol$$$$$1350 King College Rd
Bristol, TN 37620-2699
(423) 968-1187

King University, a Presbyterian school based in Bristol, Tennessee, has educated students for over 150 years. Recently, King’s education has expanded into the digital space with the growth of their online programs. The online criminal justice bachelor's degree demonstrates the flexibility of King’s online degrees.

The bachelor's in criminal justice is an online degree completion program and requires a total of 45 previous credits to be eligible, including 30 specific prerequisite courses that must be completed prior to applying. After getting into the program, students will need to complete 48 credits to finish their degree. Notable major-specific courses include juvenile justice, ethics and justice, alternatives to justice: restorative justice, and American policing.

Because there are multiple start dates throughout the year, students can begin their online studies whenever is most convenient for them. In total, this program should take roughly 16 months to complete.

8University of Nebraska at OmahaOmaha$$$$$6001 Dodge St
Omaha, NE 68182-0225
(402) 554-2800

UNO provides some excellent opportunities for students earning a bachelor's in criminology and criminal justice, including internships that students may complete at local law institutions, although these must be completed in-person. Students can study abroad in London to learn about the inner workings of the United Kingdom’s justice system.

Aside from these opportunities, students will need to complete 120 credits to earn their degree, all of which can be completed online. Students with previous course experience can also transfer credits into the program. To finish their degree, students will take a senior assessment to demonstrate their understanding of criminal justice. Applicants must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and 45 credits to apply to the program.

9University of Alabama at BirminghamBirmingham$$$$$Administration Bldg Suite 1070
Birmingham, AL 35294-0110
(205) 934-4011

UAB will allow students to study online, in-person, or through a hybrid of the two while working toward their bachelor's in criminal justice. The program comprises 120 credits with 48-51 required for the major. Students with no previous class credit can expect to finish this program in four years. Notable course requirements include the judicial process in America: an overview, corrections in America: an overview, and criminal justice ethics.

Along with their major, students can choose to use some of their elective credits to earn a minor relevant to their degree. All courses for both the major and minor must be completed with a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

10Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester$$$$$2500 North River Road
Manchester, NH 03106-1045
(603) 668-2211

In terms of flexibility of education, SNHU is among the top in the nation. Students working toward an online BS in criminal justice can choose from six different concentrations, and courses in the program are offered in eight-week terms and start at six different times during the year.

SNHU allows students to transfer in up to 90 credits, cutting the time and cost of the degree. Students with relevant law enforcement training can also receive up to 12 credits for their real-world experience. In total, 120 credits are needed to graduate, regardless of which concentration students choose. Students with no prior school credits will be required to take part in SNHU’s general education program, which is designed to teach students the skills necessary for any job.

11Bay Path UniversityLongmeadow$$$$$588 Longmeadow Street
Longmeadow, MA 01106
(413) 565-1000

Bay Path's American Women’s College offers an online bachelor's degree in criminal justice comprising 120 credits. The fully online program is designed to help women find a role in the justice system immediately after earning their degree and can typically be completed in four years. Due to the flexible nature of the online format, students are able to study at their own pace.

Courses required for the major include principles of policing, women in criminal justice, victimology and criminology. A variety of electives in subjects such as liberal arts and humanities provide an interdisciplinary approach and provide a well-rounded education. Graduates of the program can pursue a variety of career paths that include positions as corrections managers, emergency management coordinators, and forensics accountants.

To be eligible for this program, students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA for all high school and transfer credits.

12LeTourneau UniversityLongview$$$$$2100 S Mobberly Ave
Longview, TX 75607-7001
(903) 233-3000

Intended for students with some prior experience in the criminal justice system, LETU's online bachelor's in criminal justice can be completed online, on campus, or through a hybrid of the two. While applicants are likely interested in completing this degree entirely online, LETU does bring in current law enforcement agents and experts to give students hands-on training and experience.

Regardless of how students choose to earn their degree, they’ll have the option to concentrate their degree in one of three areas: criminal justice management, human trafficking, and homeland security (which is only available online). To graduate, students will need to earn 120 credits, 21 of which must be degree-related upper-level courses. Since LETU is a Christian school, 12 theology credits will be required to graduate. All online courses are offered year-round.

13California Baptist UniversityRiverside$$$$$8432 Magnolia Ave
Riverside, CA 92504-3297
(951) 689-5771

CBU allows students to bring in up to 100 previous credits toward their degree; however, for the online bachelor's in criminal justice, students will be required to bring in at least 24 previous credits prior to applying. These courses must have been completed with a GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Once in the program, students will need to complete 48 credits related to criminal justice. Because CBU’s online courses are offered throughout the year and last only eight weeks, most students complete the BS in criminal justice in just 16 months; however, the time it takes to complete this degree depends on how many transfer credits students are bringing in.

14University of MaryBismarck$$$$$7500 University Dr
Bismarck, ND 58504
(701) 255-7500

University of Mary is a private Catholic school based in Bismarck, North Dakota. The online bachelor's criminal justice is designed for working adults who may not have any prior college credits or criminal justice experience. Students can pursue a bachelor of science or bachelor of arts in the major.

Courses can be started roughly every five weeks, making this an incredibly flexible program. Some full-time workers have completed this program from start to finish in just 30 months, although accelerated study isn’t required for the program. Course requirements for the major include police science, dynamics of addiction, and juvenile justice. Electives cover topics such as human trafficking and serial killers.

15Ashland UniversityAshland$$$$$401 College Avenue
Ashland, OH 44805
(800) 882-1548

The online bachelor's in criminal justice at AU caters to those who currently work in the field, but is available to any student. This 100% online program does suggest that students without work experience partake in an internship, which would require in-person studying. Highlighted courses in the major include advanced criminology and profiling, gangs and cults, and juvenile delinquency.

Students can complete the online BS in criminal justice with a minor of their choice in just three years. With courses offered year-round, students can finish their degree as quickly as they’d like. Students who have transfer credits can further reduce the time it takes to earn, or complete, the online degree.

16Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourne$$$$$150 West University Blvd
Melbourne, FL 32901
(321) 674-8000

Boasting accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Florida Tech offers an online bachelor of arts in criminal justice comprising 121 credit hours. Students take courses in an accelerated eight-week format, meaning they can complete the degree in under four years. This program is designed for students with no prior criminal justice experience, but graduates leave prepared for positions including FBI special agent, corrections supervisor, and crime scene investigator.

Notable core courses include homeland security, criminal justice ethics, introduction to terrorism, and the intelligence process. Courses such as global perspective and research methods in applied psychology add an interdisciplinary element to the studies.

Applicants will need either 24 transferable credits or to submit their high school transcript. For transferred credits, students will need to have a 2.0 GPA or higher for the credits to count.

17Dallas Baptist UniversityDallas$$$$$3000 Mountain Creek Parkway
Dallas, TX 75211-9299
(214) 333-7100

DBU imbues its online bachelor's in criminal justice with Christian ethics, meaning core courses for the major include Biblical studies and religious morals. The program comprises 120 credits and can be completed fully online. All courses must be completed with a 2.0 GPA or higher, and the same standard is applied to any transfer credits.

Because DBU is private, no in-state tuition is available; however, many online students receive some form of financial aid. To specialize their education, different online minors are available. For students that are sure they’ll want to continue their education, DBU offers an accelerated BA in criminal justice/MA in leadership option.

18University of Nebraska at KearneyKearney$$$$$905 W 25th St
Kearney, NE 68849-1212
(308) 865-8441

Available entirely online, UNK's bachelor's degree in criminal justice comes in two formats: the UNK criminal justice comprehensive or criminal justice major. The coursework for both is similar, as are the outcomes; however, students will have slightly different requirements based on which they choose. For example, the criminal justice comprehensive major requires about 21 more criminal justice credits, whereas the criminal justice major has room for a minor.

Regardless of which option is selected, students will be required to complete 120 credits, roughly half of which will be related to criminal justice. While UNK accepts transfer credits, at least 15 credits in criminal justice need to be completed through the university. A 2.5 GPA or higher must be maintained to be eligible to graduate, and in-state students can take advantage of a lower per-credit tuition rate.

19University of LouisvilleLouisville$$$$$2301 S 3rd St
Louisville, KY 40292-0001
(502) 852-5555

Designed for working adults, UofL’s online bachelor of science in criminal justice provides an affordable per-credit tuition rate for all students. While the program is designed for working adults, students aren’t required or expected to have previous criminal justice experience.

A total of 121 credits are needed to graduate, including 13-15 arts and sciences credits, 31 general education credits, and 50 upper-division criminal justice credits. Assuming no transfer credits are used, this degree can be completed in four years. That being said, the bachelor's in criminal justice can also be structured as a degree completion program. To complete this program, students will need to maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher. After graduating, students will be connected to UofL's extensive professional network.

20University of Missouri-St LouisSaint Louis$$$$$One University Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63121-4400
(314) 516-5000

UMSL's online bachelor of science in criminology and criminal justice is open to students without any previous college credit or real-world experience in the field. The BS is a comprehensive program intended to help students find a position in law enforcement, criminal justice, or law school immediately after graduation.

Prior to applying to UMSL, students will need to submit their high school transcript as well as ACT or SAT test scores. After enrolling, students are required to complete 13 credits related to criminology and criminal justice, all of which can be completed online. After finishing these courses, students can begin the 37-credit major. A total of 120 credits are required to graduate.

21University of West GeorgiaCarrollton$$$$$1601 Maple St
Carrollton, GA 30118-0001
(678) 839-5000

An online degree from UWG can be a fast and affordable option for students on a budget, as per-credit tuition rates are decreased for every course a student takes in a term. So, the faster students complete their degree, the less they’ll pay for their education. It generally takes students three years to complete the online bachelor's of science in criminology — much faster than a traditional degree length.

The accelerated timetable assumes students take 15 credits each semester, including during the summer. A total of 120 credits are required, and up to 90 transfer credits are allowed. There are three different enrollment dates offered to online students, and applicants will need to submit transcripts from their high school and any accredited institutions they’ve attended.

22California State University - StanislausTurlock$$$$$One University Circle
Turlock, CA 95382
(209) 667-3122

Stan State's accelerated bachelor of arts in criminal justice is intended for current criminal justice employees, such as police officers. While most of the program will be completed online, some courses will require on-site evening classes. Current criminal justice employees in the area can benefit from this 18-month cohort program. Students can choose between a law enforcement or corrections concentration, depending on their career goals. Courses in the program are offered in quick five-week sessions, and students should expect to spend at least one evening per week on-site for discussions.

Before applying, any prospective students will need at least 60 transferable credits and will need to have maintained a 2.0 GPA or higher. Some specific courses are also required before students can begin this accelerated bachelor's degree program. The program has a flat tuition fee that can be reduced with financial aid.

23Stevenson UniversityStevenson$$$$$1525 Greenspring Valley Rd
Stevenson, MD 21153-0641
(410) 486-7000

Meant specifically for working adults who want to advance their criminal justice career, Stevenson's online bachelor's in criminal justice was created with flexibility in mind. One notable part of Stevenson’s program is the generous transfer system. Students are eligible to transfer up to 70 credits from a community college and up to 90 credits from a four-year institution, greatly reducing the remaining credits needed for this 120-credit program. Courses are offered in an accelerated eight-week format, so students can complete required courses quickly.

There are important requirements to note prior to applying. All applicants will need a minimum of 15 transferable credits with a 2.0 GPA or higher. Also, students will need to show at least two years of professional work experience in the criminal justice field. Fortunately, work experience can potentially count as up to 30 credits toward the degree.

24Loyola University ChicagoChicago$$$$$1032 W. Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 274-3000

Loyola’s online bachelor's in applied criminal justice leadership is perfect for working adults that want to study at their own pace. Available entirely online or in a hybrid format, most courses are offered asynchronously. On the way to earning the required 120 credits to graduate, students will be taking accelerated eight-week courses with six start dates throughout the year. Of the 120 credits, at least 30 credits are specific to the major.

This degree is best for current criminal justice workers who want to advance their career. While no previous school or work experience is required, Loyola does accept up to 15 transfer credits. To be eligible for the program, applicants must provide high school and/or college transcripts with a 2.0 GPA or higher.

25Park UniversityParkville$$$$$8700 NW River Park Dr
Parkville, MO 64152-3795
(816) 741-2000

Available as either a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science, Park's bachelor's of criminal justice administration can be completed at a variety of campuses across the nation. However, only the bachelor of science is offered entirely online, so students looking for a flexible education will likely be more interested in this option.

The BS in criminal justice administration comprises 45 credits for the major, all of which must be completed with a 2.0 GPA or higher. This major also requires students to choose a concentration in law enforcement, corrections, or security; each concentration requires six credits to complete. In total, students should plan on completing 121 credits.

Park connects students with criminal justice internships, though this requires in-person attendance. Applicants will need a minimum 2.0 GPA in high school and past college courses.

Online Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice

Online master's in criminal justice programs combine interdisciplinary coursework in subjects such as law, sociology, forensics, and public policy. Students in criminal justice programs study research methodologies, technology and its relationship to crime, and the role of the justice system in society. Learners also explore economic, political, and cultural issues that impact the field.

An online master's degree in criminal justice can lead to career advancement opportunities in law enforcement, criminal investigation, forensics, and corrections. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of positions for probation officers, police officers, and security guards to continue increasing through 2026, providing continued employment opportunities in the field.

A master's degree in criminal justice also allows you to work for local, state, and federal agencies or as a postsecondary educator at some schools. The following ranking outlines the best online master's in criminal justice programs in the country.

  • 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

Criminal Justice
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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.

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
1Webster UniversitySaint Louis$$$$$470 E Lockwood Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63119-3194
(314) 961-2660

Webster offers academic programs online and from its main campus in Webster Grove, Missouri. Since its founding as a Catholic women’s college in 1915, Webster has remained dedicated to educational excellence and social progress.

Webster’s interdisciplinary criminal justice program prepares learners to apply theories of crime and criminal processes while collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data. Students gain insights into the interrelated nature of the criminal justice system and social, legal, and economic environments.

The online master of science in criminal justice at Webster includes 36 credits. Required courses in ethics and decision-making, theories of crime and justice, and criminal actions accompany electives and research coursework. Students choose electives from specialized areas, including administration of justice, fraud investigation, cybersecurity, and international and regional security. Learners also have the option to add certificates to their course of study. At the end of the program, students complete a culminating capstone course.

2Colorado State University GlobalGreenwood Village$$$$$7800 East Orchard Road Ste 200
Greenwood Village, CO 80111-0000
(800) 920-6723

Established under the auspices of the CSU Board of Governors in 2007, CSU-Global offers undergraduate and graduate programs to roughly 18,000 students. CSU-Global maintains accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

CSU-Global’s online master of science degree in criminal justice and law enforcement administration includes 36 credits. Classes in criminological theory, criminal justice policy, and administration and management of criminal justice organizations accompany courses in research and writing and analytical methods. Students explore advanced research for criminal justice professionals to prepare for a capstone course and internship.

CSU-Global’s criminal justice curriculum features 14 specializations, allowing students to customize their degree to match their interests. Options include fraud management, information technology, business intelligence, and organizational learning and performance.

3Johnson & Wales UniversityProvidence$$$$$8 Abbott Park Pl
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 598-1000

Based in Providence, Rhode Island, JWU hosts more than 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students. JWU is an innovator in experiential education, blending industry-focused education with community-based leadership opportunities.

Learners can complete JWU’s 30-credit online master’s degree in criminal justice in less than two years. Coursework combines criminological theory with organizational and leadership skills. Students complete core classes in advanced administration of criminal justice, contemporary criminology and crime prevention, and criminal justice ethics and diversity.

The program allows students to personalize their degree by taking elective classes covering topics such as juvenile justice, global criminal justice, and technology in the criminal justice system. Required classes in research methods prepare learners for a capstone project. During their final semester, students analyze a criminal justice problem and develop a solution by applying the knowledge and skills they acquired throughout the program.

4Liberty UniversityLynchburg$$$$$1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(800) 434-9595

Founded as a conservative Christian school in 1971, Liberty offers more than 600 academic programs to over 100,000 learners. Liberty also oversees more than 400 online programs, including a master of science degree in criminal justice.

Liberty’s master’s in criminal justice online program includes 36 credits that students can complete in 18 months. The program allows learners to specialize in forensic psychology, homeland security, public administration, or general criminal justice.

The forensic psychology track emphasizes psychological principles and practices through coursework in rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders, crisis intervention, and psychology and the legal system. The homeland security concentration focuses on homeland security processes and administration, while the public administration specialization explores public policies as they relate to criminal justice. The curriculum of the general online master’s in criminal justice covers leadership, ethics, and administration of justice in organizational and legal settings.

5Arizona State UniversityTempe$$$$$University Drive and Mill Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85287
(480) 965-9011

Established in 1885, ASU offers academic programs from five campuses in Phoenix, at four regional centers, and online. The online master of arts in criminal justice at ASU includes 33 credits that students can complete in 18 months.

The curriculum emphasizes theories and impacts of crime while exploring practices of policing and justice. Learners complete required classes in criminology, criminal justice planning and program evaluation, and applied data analysis. Electives in policing, courts and sentences, the nature of crime, and punishment and society allow students to tailor the curriculum to their interests and goals.

Students can also complete a criminal justice internship. At the end of the program, students participate in a required capstone class to apply acquired knowledge and skills to improve criminal justice policy. Learners produce a comprehensive research paper as part of this course.

6Nova Southeastern UniversityFort Lauderdale$$$$$3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
(954) 262-7300

Established in 1964, NSU educates undergraduate and graduate students at its main campus in Fort Lauderdale, at regional centers throughout the state, and online. The online master of science in criminal justice represents one of more than 60 master’s degrees offered by the institution.

NSU’s online criminal justice master’s degree includes 15 core credits, 12 specialization credits, and three elective credits. Core courses explore social administration, legal issues, and investigative processes in criminal justice. Learners choose from 12 specializations, including legal perspectives in criminal justice, behavioral science, emergency preparedness, and information systems.

Elective options include a practicum, during which students gain hands-on experience working with a criminal justice professional in an approved department or agency. Learners can also work with a member of NSU’s faculty on a research-based thesis.

7University of Central FloridaOrlando$$$$$4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL 32816
(407) 823-2000

Founded in 1963, UCF serves more than 68,000 students through 13 academic colleges. UCF offers over 220 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including an online master of science in criminal justice.

Learners can finish UCF’s online master’s in criminal justice degree in two years. The program emphasizes managerial, administrative, and theoretical aspects of criminal justice while preparing learners to transition from the classroom into a practical criminal justice setting. The 36-credit program includes core classes on the nature of crime, administration of justice, research methods, and policy and data analysis. Learners also complete a required capstone seminar.

Students can choose from 15 elective classes, six credits of which fall under restricted options. Restricted courses include foundations of corrections, juvenile justice, law and social control, and American criminal courts. Students may also complete a thesis as part of the curriculum.

8Florida State UniversityTallahassee$$$$$222 S. Copeland Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1037
(850) 644-2525

Founded in 1851, FSU offers almost 42,000 students over 300 academic programs, including an online master of science in criminal justice studies.

The university's online master’s in criminal justice studies degree includes 36 credits that learners can complete in two years. Core classes emphasize criminological theories, computer applications, and research methods. Learners complete 21 credits of elective courses, 12 of which must come from the school's college of criminology and criminal justice. Electives cover topics such as penology, victimology, prevention and treatment of crime and delinquency, and police and society.

With opportunities to take up to nine credits from other disciplines, FSU’s program allows students to increase the interdisciplinary nature of their coursework and build a wider breadth of knowledge.

9Boston UniversityBoston$$$$$
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 353-2000

BU offers more than 34,000 students undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs through 17 schools and colleges. Once affiliated with the United Methodist Church, BU now serves as a nonsectarian, private research university. The school is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

BU offers an online master of criminal justice degree that learners often complete in 20-24 months. The 40-credit program allows students to specialize in cybercrime and cybersecurity or strategic management. Both degree tracks explore principles of leadership in organizational settings, theories of social control, and perspectives of law enforcement and criminal justice.

The cybercrime and cybersecurity specialization includes advanced classes in practical digital investigation, cybersecurity risk assessment, and policies and legal practices related to cybercrime. BU’s strategic management online criminal justice degree enhances students' abilities to analyze criminal justice problems and develop sustainable solutions and policies.

10Saint Leo UniversitySaint Leo$$$$$33701 State Road 52
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
(352) 588-8200

Located in central Florida, Saint Leo is one of the oldest Catholic institutions of higher learning in the state. The school hosts more than 15,000 learners in over 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Saint Leo’s 36-credit online criminal justice program includes six specializations: behavioral studies, corrections, criminal investigations, critical incident management, forensic science, and legal studies. Learners can also complete a general criminal justice master’s degree.

All students take core classes in ethical and legal issues in criminal justice administration, public policy, and leadership applications. Learners also participate in an applied project, applying degree knowledge and skills to a topical criminal justice issue.

11University of South DakotaVermillion$$$$$414 E Clark St
Vermillion, SD 57069-2390
(605) 677-5301

Established in 1862, USD is the oldest university in South Dakota. Based in Vermillion, USD provides academic programs to more than 10,000 students through nine colleges and schools.

USD offers an online master of science in administration with a specialization in criminal justice studies. This 36-credit program includes 24 credits of required coursework alongside 12 elective credits. Core classes cover topics such as administrative law and government, research in administrative practice, and managerial communications. Students gain the critical thinking, analytical, and problem-solving skills needed to manage and lead organizations.

Criminal justice elective options include police administration, courts and judicial politics, criminal law and procedure, and national security policy. Learners must also complete a capstone project.

12Columbus State UniversityColumbus$$$$$4225 University Ave
Columbus, GA 31907-5645
(706) 507-8800

Columbus State serves more than 8,000 learners each year. Established in 1958, the school is a member of the University System of Georgia and offers undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs through seven colleges and schools.

Columbus State’s online master of public administration program includes a specialized degree track in criminal justice. This degree prepares students to work in justice administration, law enforcement, and government policy.

Columbus State’s program includes 36 credits of core and concentration coursework that precede a comprehensive examination. Core classes in public personnel administration, policy analysis, and legal and ethical environments of administration accompany research and capstone courses. Criminal justice coursework includes criminal justice, race, and class; distributive justice; courts and judicial administration; and correctional practices and problems. Students can also complete a criminal justice internship.

13University of the CumberlandsWilliamsburg$$$$$6191 College Station Drive
Williamsburg, KY 40769
(606) 549-2200

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, Cumberlands was formed by a merger between Highland College and the Williamsburg Institute in 2005.

The online master’s in criminal justice administration at Cumberlands includes 30 credits. Students complete 18 credits of core courses in foundations, criminological theories, and ethical issues in justice administration. Additional required courses in research and design and statistical applications in justice administration accompany 12 credits of specialization classes.

Students can pursue one of eight concentrations to tailor their degrees to match their interests and career goals. Options include law enforcement, corrections, homeland security, and juvenile justice. All students complete a capstone course in justice administration, during which they conduct research and present their findings.

14Saint Joseph's UniversityPhiladelphia$$$$$5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131-1395
(610) 660-1000

Established by the Society of Jesus in 1851, SJU’s main campus occupies 114 acres in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. SJU offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate programs that combine academic excellence with Jesuit values.

SJU offers an online criminal justice master’s degree that includes 30-36 credits. The criminal justice program features several career-focused degree options. Students pursuing the general, behavioral management, federal law enforcement, homeland security, or intelligence and crime analysis tracks must complete 30 credits. Alternatively, the behavior analysis concentration includes 36 credits.

All students complete four core courses in research methods and analysis, criminological theory, ethics and criminal justice, and professional writing for law enforcement. Concentrations, with the exception of the behavioral analysis option, include four specialized classes. The behavioral analysis track incorporates seven classes that align with requirements put forth by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

15University of San DiegoSan Diego$$$$$5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
(619) 260-4600

USD offers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs to over 9,000 students. Established as a Catholic institution in 1949, USD remains true to its roots, emphasizing academic excellence and Catholic traditions.

The online master of science in law enforcement and public safety leadership includes 31 credits that learners can complete in 20 months. This synchronous program incorporates classes in communication, organizational leadership, conflict resolution, and law to build an interdisciplinary foundation for future law enforcement, public safety, and crime prevention professionals. Students study budgets, finance, and community engagement to enhance their managerial and practical skills in law enforcement settings.

The program also includes an integrated capstone that learners complete during their final semester. Students produce a portfolio demonstrating degree competencies through projects, papers, presentations, and exercises.

16Lewis UniversityRomeoville$$$$$One University Parkway
Romeoville, IL 60446-2200
(815) 838-0500

Founded as a Catholic university in 1932, Lewis provides more than 130 undergraduate and graduate programs from its main campus in Romeoville, Illinois; locations in Oak Brook and Tinley Park; a campus in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and online. Lewis also offers almost 20 online degrees, including a master of science in criminal justice.

The online master’s in criminal justice at Lewis includes 36 credits. Students complete 24 credits of core coursework and 12 credits of electives. Core courses include criminal justice administration and management, fiscal management of criminal justice agencies, fair practices for labor relations in the public sector, and criminal procedures. Learners also complete two classes in applied research methods and courses in criminal law and criminology.

Lewis offers elective classes on topics such as family violence, white collar crime, and ethics and integrity. Students can also complete elective coursework in homeland security and defense, issues in juvenile crime, and correctional counseling and rehabilitation. All learners must pass a comprehensive examination at the end of the program.

17Mississippi CollegeClinton$$$$$200 South Capitol Street
Clinton, MS 39058
(601) 925-3000

Affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention, MC traces its origins to 1826. As the oldest institution of higher education in the state, MC offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate programs.

MC’s online master of social science in homeland security explores the administration of justice, crime, and law in America. Students also learn about various police problems and practices.

The homeland security degree introduces students to terrorism prevention through classes on intelligence operations, security concerns, and ethics of homeland security. Participants also investigate public policies at local, state, and national levels and determine how to work with corporate, government, and nonprofit entities to help keep the nation safe.

18Florida International UniversityMiami$$$$$11200 S. W. 8 Street
Miami, FL 33199
(305) 348-2000

Opened in 1972, FIU currently offers academic programs to almost 57,000 students. The school is one of 12 campuses within the State University System of Florida.

FIU offers an online master of science in criminal justice that includes 36 credits. Students complete core classes in criminological theory, research methods, and data analysis. Additional core coursework in criminal justice policy analysis and transnational crime and national security builds an understanding of domestic criminal justice theories and practices.

Students take 12 credits of criminal justice electives and nine credits of open electives from any discipline. Learners interested in teaching college can complete a teaching practicum, while students interested in doctoral study can enroll in supervised research coursework.

19The University of West FloridaPensacola$$$$$11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514-5750
(850) 474-2000

Established in 1963, UWF offers undergraduate and graduate programs to almost 13,000 students. UWF functions within the State University System of Florida and maintains regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The school's online master’s in criminal justice includes 33 credits. Students complete core classes in criminal justice and criminological theory, research methodology, and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. Criminal justice electives include criminal justice administration, policing and society, courts and society, and penology.

The program includes two tracks: one with an internship and one with a research paper completed under the supervision of a faculty member. Students can also earn certifications in social work, public administration, homeland security, or education by completing nine elective credits in those areas.

20Sam Houston State UniversityHuntsville$$$$$1806 Ave J
Huntsville, TX 77340
(936) 294-1111

Located in Huntsville, Texas, SHSU offers more than 80 undergraduate and 50 graduate programs. Established in 1879, SHSU is a member of the Texas State University System.

SHSU’s online master of science in criminal justice includes 36 credits. Students complete required coursework in critical analysis of justice administration, research methods, communication theory, and computer and technical applications for criminal justice. Additional core classes include organizational administration and program evaluation.

Learners choose 15 credits of criminal justice electives before taking a class in emergent issues in criminal justice leadership. The emergent issues course functions as a capstone requirement, during which students examine technology, organizational theory, principles of public administration, and community expectations of criminal justice leaders.

21Wilmington UniversityNew Castle$$$$$320 Dupont Hwy
New Castle, DE 19720
(877) 967-5464

Established with an initial class of less than 200 students, WilmU now offers undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 18,000 learners.

The online master of science in administration of justice leadership at WilmU includes 36 credits. Students complete core courses in criminological theory, criminal justice ethics, managing diversity, and technology for modern policing. The program includes three concentrations: criminal behavior, homeland security, and leadership and administration.

The criminal behavior degree track focuses on violent crime, mental health and the law, and therapeutic strategies for violent offenders, while homeland security coursework explores terrorism, legal aspects of homeland security, and risk assessment and management. The leadership and administration emphasis builds competencies in crisis management, workplace law and liability, supervision and management, and police executive leadership.

22Lamar UniversityBeaumont$$$$$4400 MLK Blvd
Beaumont, TX 77705
(409) 880-7011

LU hosts more than 15,000 students online and from its main campus in Beaumont, Texas. The school became a member of the Texas State University System in 1995 and maintains regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

LU’s online master of science in criminal justice includes 30 credits that learners can complete in one year. The program includes required classes in theoretical foundations of crime control, quantitative methods in criminology, and a criminal justice capstone.

Students can tailor their degrees by taking 15 credits from a series of special studies options. Special studies classes cover topics such as ethics, police law, cybercrime, and comparative juvenile justice. Additional options include serial murder, homeland security, and constitutional law.

23University of Colorado - DenverDenver$$$$$1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400
Denver, CO 80217-3364
(303) 556-5600

Part of the University of Colorado System, CU Denver is the largest research institution in the state. The school provides academic programs to more than 18,000 students and holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

CU Denver’s 36-credit online master of criminal justice program is offered through its Anschutz Medical Campus. Students take five core classes and concentration coursework before completing a thesis or applied research capstone project. Learners without criminal justice experience also participate in an internship with a local, state, or federal criminal justice organization.

Core classes emphasize criminal justice theory, practice, and research. Students choose from specializations in criminal analysis, emergency management and homeland security, gender-based violence, and nonprofit organizations.

24Concordia University - Saint PaulSaint Paul$$$$$1282 Concordia Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55104-5494
(651) 641-8278

Founded in 1893 by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, CSP is one of nine schools in the Concordia University System. CSP offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate programs to roughly 5,000 students.

The online master of arts in criminal justice degree at CSP includes 36 credits. Students complete required classes in accessing criminal justice resources, research methods in criminal justice, and administration of criminal justice. Learners also study legal and legislative issues, correctional design, and ethics in criminal justice leadership. Students synthesize degree content by completing a criminal justice capstone project.

Students pursuing this master’s in criminal justice online prepare for careers as forensic psychologists, criminal profilers, and police and detective supervisors. Participants also develop the knowledge and skills needed to work as criminal sociologists and private detectives and investigators.

25Bellevue UniversityBellevue$$$$$1000 Galvin Rd S
Bellevue, NE 68005-3098
(402) 291-8100

BU was established as Bellevue College in 1965 and adopted its current name in 1994. Based in eastern Nebraska, BU offers academic programs from campuses throughout the state; at locations in Iowa, Idaho, and Washington; and online. BU serves more than 10,000 students and holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

The school's online master of science in justice administration and crime management includes 36 credits. The cohort-based curriculum incorporates coursework in criminal law, forensics, and criminal behavior analysis. Students also study planning, budgeting, and resource management alongside classes in communication and leadership.

Coursework in writing for criminal justice professionals, technology and trends, and ethics and decision-making prepares learners to assume leadership roles in the field. Students also improve their research, statistical, and analytical competencies. Graduates can pursue work as criminal justice and law enforcement teachers, corrections specialists, and police and detective supervisors.

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