Criminal Justice Degrees and 30 Notable Online Programs

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Search Colleges
TheBestSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

criminal-justice
If public service, securing crime scene evidence, catching the bad guys, or making a difference in the community sound like a great challenge, a career in criminal justice may be in the future. Online Criminal Justice programs educate students on the different forms of criminology, law enforcement, and the methods associated with dealing with victims and criminal behavior.

Criminal justice students study how to stop or prevent crime, and how to deal with those who break the law. These programs combine the fundamentals of law and psychology to adequately prepare students in becoming the front line of criminal investigations, understanding the inner workings of the justice system, and managing criminals.

The need for security in both the private and public sector continues to be on the rise, and a criminal justice degree online gives the necessary edge to attain a variety of jobs within areas such as counterterrorism and homeland security.

Skip to the list of schools or to associate, bachelor, or master degree information.

Job outlook for criminal justice degree graduates:

Associate (Police & Sheriffs) Bachelor's (Forensic Science Technicians) Master's (Detectives & Investigators)
Pay Range (2012): $32k--$89k $32k--$85k $40k--$123k
Median Pay (2012): $57,000 $52,800 $74,300
US jobs in 2012: 780,000 12,900 109,200
Job growth forecast 2012-22: 5% 6% ---
Projected US jobs, 2022: 819,000 13,675 ---

Job opportunities for criminal justice degree graduates:

Associate Bachelor's Master's
Police Officers Forensic Science Techs U.S. Marshals
Correctional Officers Parole / Probation Officers Emergency Mgmt. Directors
Private Security Officers Criminologists Forensic Specialists
Court Officers Rehabilitation Counselors FBI Agents
Emergency Responders Detectives Research Analysts

The associate criminal justice degree:

Consider an AAS (Associate in Applied Science) in Criminal Justice if you want to begin earning income and experience quickly as a police or corrections officer without continuing on to a bachelor's degree.

The AS (Associate in Science) in Criminal Justice degrees are recommended for those wanting to pursue a bachelor's degree. These degrees can be an excellent way to make and save money, quickly update a resume and gain valuable employment experience while working toward a bachelor's degree.
crime-scene

Skip to the list of schools

The bachelor's degree in criminal justice:

A bachelor's in criminal justice is typically presented as a BS (Bachelor of Science), BA (Bachelor of Arts) or BSCJ (Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice). Some careers that require a bachelor's degree in criminal justice can be found in federal agencies. For example, FBI recruits must attain a bachelor's degree with at least 3 years of professional work experience to enter the field.

In terms of law enforcement, candidates only need a high school diploma and training to enter the field as a police officer. However, to advance in an area such as an entry-level officer working in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, candidates must obtain a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or similar area.

Requirements for most criminal justice bachelor programs include both a general education core component and the actual criminal justice department requirements. Once the core courses are completed, most students pick a concentration such as counterterrorism or criminal psychology.

Skip to the list of schools

The master's degree in criminal justice:

If an executive level position, in areas such as law or criminology, seems a logical next step, an online master's degree in criminal justice will help those pursuing an advanced degree. Depending on the college or university, students pursuing a criminal justice master degree online may work toward a Master of Science (MSCJ), a Master of Arts (MACJ) in criminal justice, or a Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ). Typically, students are required to have a bachelor's degree before beginning any of these programs. However, to enter certain fields, such as law, students will need additional education, entrance exams (i.e., LSAT), and experience.

Graduate criminal justice degrees offer the competitive edge needed to advance in many careers. These programs combine the fundamental tenants of law and psychology to effectively prepare students in becoming the front line of criminal investigations, understanding the inner workings of the justice system as well as managing criminals and criminal behavior.

The online master of criminal justice programs vary, but most programs offer a core course Criminal-justice-blind-justiceof study, specializations and electives. The core programs include topics such as criminal justice theory and policy, law enforcement, research and criminology. Common graduate concentrations include law, terrorism, forensics, and emergency management.

tbs-seal-wise-choice

30 Notable Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs:

(30 programs at 18 schools; arranged alphabetically. Consult our College Cost Index ($$+) to compare prices.)

Click any name for details Associate Bachelor's Master's Request FREE Information
Arizona State U $+ $$
Boston University $$+ Get FREE info!
Campbellsville U $+
CSU Global $$ $$ Get FREE info!
Colorado Tech U $+ $$ Get FREE info!
Fort Hays State U $+ $+ $+
Hopkinsville CC $
Old Dominion U $+
Onondaga CC $ / $+
Penn State U $$ $$
Portland State U $+ / $$
Rasmussen College $+ $+ Get FREE info!
Saint Leo U $$ $$ $+ Get FREE info!
South University $$ $$
Southern New Hampshire $+ $+ $$ Get FREE info!
UMass--Lowell $$ $$
U of Texas--Brownsville $$
Washington State U $$ $$

1.-2. Arizona State University
Online BS and MA in Criminal Justice

($+--$$)

Bachelor's Master's
Credits required: 120 33
Transferrable credits: 90 maximum Not specified
Program cost: $+ $$

Back to list

3. Boston University
Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice

($$+)

Request FREE Information about
BU's MS in Criminal Justice

Back to list

4. Campbellsville University
Online AS in Criminal Justice

($+)

Back to list

5.-6. Colorado State University Global
Online BS in Criminal Justice and MS in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration

($$)

Bachelor's Master's
Credits required: 120 36
Transferrable credits: 90 9
Program cost: $$ $$

Back to list

7.-8. Colorado Technical University
Online BS and MS in Criminal Justice

($+--$$)

Bachelor's Master's
Credits required: 122 32
Transferrable credits: Up to 75% Up to 50%
Program cost: $+ $$

Back to list

9. Fort Hays State University
Online AS, BA/BS and MPS in Justice Studies and Criminal Justice

($+)

Associate Bachelor's Master's
Credits required: 60 124 30
Program cost: $+ $+ $+

Back to list

 

10. Hopkinsville Community College
Online AAS in Criminal Justice

 

($)

Back to list

11. Old Dominion University—ODU Online
Online BS or BA in Criminal Justice

($+)

Back to list

12. Onondaga Community College
Online AS and AAS in Criminal Justice

($ / $+ non-residents)

Back to list

13.-14. Penn State
Online BS and MPS in Criminal Justice

($$)

Bachelor's Master's
Credits required: 120 33
Program cost: $$ $$

Back to list

15. Portland State University
Online BA and BS in Criminal Justice

($+ / $$ non-residents)

Back to list

16.-17. Rasmussen College
Online AS and BS in Criminal Justice

($+)

Associate Bachelor's
Credits required: 61 120
Program cost: $+ $+

Back to list

18.-20. Saint Leo University
Online AA, BA, and MS in Criminal Justice

($$)

Associate Bachelor's Master's
Credits required: 60 120 36
Program cost: $$ $$ $+

Back to list

21.-22. South University
Online BS and MS in Criminal Justice

($$)

Bachelor's Master's
Credits required: 120 36
Program cost: $$ $$

Back to list

23.-25 Southern New Hampshire University
Online AS, BS, and MS in Justice Studies

($+---$$)

Associate Bachelor's Master's
Credits required: 60 120 36
Transferrable credits: 30 90 9
Program cost: $+ $+ $$

Back to list

26.-27. University of Massachusetts
Online BS and MS in Criminal Justice

($$)

Bachelor's Master's
Credits required: 120 33
Program cost: $$ $$

Back to list

28. University of Texas at Brownsville
Online BS in Criminal Justice

($$)

Back to list

29.-30. Washington State University
Online BS and MS in Criminal Justice

($$)

Bachelor's Master's
Credits required: 124 31
Program cost: $$ $$

Back to list

Take the next step towards your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

Woman working at desk