Bachelor's Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

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Updated January 19, 2023

Looking for a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice in Illinois? You should consider these top-tier undergraduate programs and jobs in Criminal Justice.

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Bachelor's Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

Earning a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice in Illinois

Looking for a good career? Start with the best degrees in Illinois for criminal justice. Bachelor's degrees are suitable for diverse career paths. With a bachelor's degree, graduates possess the skills required to move forward in their careers.

Criminal Justice Bachelor's Programs for You

Working and Living in Illinois in the Criminal Justice Profession

A criminal justice degree can help you understand and enforce the law, research crime, and formulate strategies for the prevention or rehabilitation of criminals. Criminal justice degrees also offer a background in a specific area of law enforcement such as police work, corrections, or forensics. Criminal justice degrees may prepare students for jobs in all levels of law enforcement, from investigations to arrests to courtroom appearances and beyond.

The average annual salary in Illinois is $46,630, or $22.42 per hour. This fact applies to all 5,618,830 employees in Illinois. According to the BLS, the lowest 10% of earners take home $24,470 annually, and the highest 10% of earners make $103,490. The following shows the earnings for detectives and criminal investigators in Illinois compared to other states.

Key

Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Illinois
Detectives and Criminal Investigators Nationally
All Occupations in Illinois
All Occupations Nationally

Salaries for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Illinois and Nationwide

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Illinois ranks number 13 out of 51 states (including Washington, D.C.) on the cost of living index, according to MERIC. This index measures the average cost of living in the U.S. in comparison to specific places within the country. As a whole, the U.S. average is set at 100, and every location in the U.S. has either a cost above (higher) or below (lower) the U.S. average. The cost of living index for Illinois is 91.4, which is -8.6% lower than the national average.Check out the cost of living here:

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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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Over the next decade, the detectives and criminal Investigators profession is projected to grow by 2.5%. The BLS projects that the total employment for the occupation will change from 112,500 in 2020 to 115,300 in 2030. You need a bachelor's degree to qualify for these positions. The following are typical job titles:

  • Detectives and criminal investigators
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Deputy United States Marshal
  • FBI Investigator
  • Homicide Detective
  • Narcotics Detective
  • Narcotics Investigator
  • Police Detective

Bachelor's Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

#1 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

Blackburn College

  • Carlinville, IL
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Blackburn College boasts a robust hybrid learning environment, supporting both in-person and online education modalities across 47 bachelor's degree programs. The school's criminology and criminal justice BA prepares students for the demands of the field through rigorous study. After graduating, students can pursue careers or postgraduate study relevant to the field.

Criminal justice students benefit from institutional support throughout their program. Students seeking to defray the costs of their degree can meet with a financial aid counselor to discuss funding opportunities and determine their eligibility.

Blackburn College at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 57%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $23,510

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $23,510

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $29,600

Average Tuition
In-state
$24,950
Out-of-state
$24,950
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
516
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
86% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

Eastern Illinois University

  • Charleston, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Eastern Illinois University, boasting a main campus in Charleston, offers 67 bachelor's degree programs across in-person and online learning modalities. The school's bachelor's in criminal justice introduces students to foundational skills and knowledge while also building general skills such as communication and critical thinking. Students in the criminal justice program can also pivot to a master's degree program after their undergraduate studies.

Students can access career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources. Prospective students should meet with a financial aid counselor to determine their eligibility for scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid. The average financial aid award available through the school is $9,713.

Eastern Illinois University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 53%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $8,875

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $11,045

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $35,500

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,036
Out-of-state
$11,231
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
56%
Students Enrolled
8,626
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
63% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

Greenville University

  • Greenville, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Greenville University, a leader in hybrid education, offers 51 bachelor's programs, four of which are available online. The online bachelor's in criminal justice connects students with industry-relevant knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the field. Graduates can pursue industry-relevant careers or go on to study at the graduate level.

Students can benefit from institutional resources throughout their program. Prospective students can meet with financial aid counselors to determine their eligibility for scholarships, grants, and other financial aid.

Greenville University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 56%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $27,580

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $27,580

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $33,200

Average Tuition
In-state
$28,406
Out-of-state
$28,406
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
59%
Students Enrolled
994
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

Lewis University

  • Romeoville, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Romeoville, Illinois, Lewis University provides in-person and remote learning opportunities across 79 bachelor's degree programs. The school's bachelor's in criminal justice introduces students to foundational skills and knowledge while also building general skills such as communication and critical thinking. Learners can apply their knowledge and skills to graduate-level studies in criminal justice.

Students can access career services, academic advising, and other success-geared resources while enrolled in the program. Prospective students can connect with financial aid counselors to explore funding opportunities, determine their eligibility, and apply for student loans.

Lewis University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 64%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $33,270

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $33,270

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $43,800

Average Tuition
In-state
$34,268
Out-of-state
$34,268
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
6,437
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
89% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

North Park University

  • Chicago, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A leader in hybrid education, North Park University supports 56 bachelor's degree programs, four of which are available online. The school offers a criminal justice BA, which through a robust education equips students with the skills needed to succeed in a criminal justice career. The program also prepares students for further educational pursuits, such as graduate studies.

Students can access institutional support throughout the program. Depending on their eligibility, students can benefit from financial aid funding.

North Park University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 48%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 10-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $30,360

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $30,360

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $40,300

Average Tuition
In-state
$31,430
Out-of-state
$31,430
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
44%
Students Enrolled
2,831
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
87% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Financing a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice

Financial aid can help you pay for your college degree. In addition to scholarships and grants, work-study programs are available as financial aid opportunities as well. Some students qualify for federal and private student loans. The college's financial aid office is a great resource for applicants who need help determining their financial aid options.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Illinois

There is a wide variation in the cost of attending college in Illinois. There are some similarities that exist among institutions in both the public and private sectors. For more information on attending a public institution, please review the information below.

Public 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Illinois vs. National Average

Key

Illinois
National Average

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The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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Would it be possible to attend a private college or university? In general, private schools charge higher costs. A graph that provides information about attending private colleges in Illinois is shown below:

Private 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Illinois vs. National Average

Key

Illinois
National Average

Chart

Bar chart with 5 bars.
The chart has 1 X axis displaying salary types.
The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
End of interactive chart.

Federal Student Loan Information

Would you consider taking out student loans to pay for your education? Before you take out a loan, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Take a look at the following data to determine what students typically borrow:

Undergraduate Federal Loans
Demographic Percent who borrowed Amount borrowed
Total 66.6% $27,400
Female 69.6% $28,100
Male 62.5% $26,500
White, not Hispanic or Latino 66.1% $26,700
Black, not Hispanic or Latino 85.7% $34,800
Hispanic or Latino/a, of any race 67.7% $25,700
Asian, not Hispanic or Latino 43% $22,700
Other or Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino 70.4% $28,300
Source: NCES

Online vs. On-Campus

Pros and Cons: Online Degrees

Pros

  • Cheaper tuition
  • Flexible, asynchronous classwork
  • No on-campus fees for parking, tech, etc.

Cons

  • Less structure
  • Minimal peer-to-peer interaction
  • Less facetime with professor
  • No access to on-campus amenities

Pros and Cons: On-Campus Degrees

Pros

  • Gym, library, etc. access
  • Smaller class options
  • Face time with peers and professors

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Transportation or housing costs
  • Rigid scheduling
The major differences between online and on-campus programs include the cost and the class size. An online program has the advantage of being flexible, affordable, and convenient. There are usually higher fees associated with on-campus degrees since distance students do not have to pay these fees. Classes provide many advantages that can't be found elsewhere.

Top Criminal Justice Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Florida Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Georgia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Illinois Associate, Masters, Doctorate
New York Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
North Carolina Associate, Bachelors, Masters
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

Private and public colleges differ in cost. You can use grants and scholarships to cover the cost of attending a public college. A private college often offers merit scholarships based on the student's previous academic performance.

The size of private colleges is generally smaller, which allows for more one-on-one time with professors. There are several pros and cons to attending a private institution over a public institution.

Pros and Cons

Private

  • Unique program offerings
  • Cultural or religious options
  • Local prestige
  • Higher costs
  • Less regulatory oversight

Public

  • Government-issued tuition costs
  • Government funding, benefits, and regulation
  • Oftentimes large classrooms

Frequently Asked Questions

In Illinois, how much do detectives and criminal investigators make?

In Illinois, detectives and criminal investigators make a mean annual wage of $96,300.

What is demand like for graduates with criminal justice degrees?

The total number of detectives and criminal investigators is projected to change by 2.5% from 2020 to 2030.

Can I study for a bachelor's in criminal justice online?

It is possible to earn an online bachelor's degree in criminal justice. As part of their program, most schools offer at least some online courses.

How long does it take to complete a bachelor's degree?

On average, a bachelor's degree takes four years to complete for a full-time student. It will take longer for part-time students.

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