Best Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

by TBS Staff

Updated September 26, 2022

reviewed by TBS Rankings Team
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Criminal Justice Online Degrees

Online bachelor's in criminal justice programs explore the different policies, practices, and components of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, security, corrections, and the courts.

Some programs offer concentrations in areas like homeland security, juvenile justice, and victim advocacy.

Graduates who earn an online criminal justice bachelor's degree can work as police officers and detectives, probation officers and correctional treatment specialists, and private detectives and investigators. Several criminal justice jobs offer salaries that exceed the national average. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2020, police officers and detectives earned a median salary of $67,290.

The Advantages of a Criminal Justice Education

Criminal justice majors study law enforcement techniques, emergency management strategies, and master the skills needed to work in courts and correctional facilities. An online criminal justice degree also prepares candidates for law school or graduate programs in other criminal justice fields. While some employers, including police departments, hire associate degree-holders, others require further education. For example, most federal law enforcement agencies expect prospective FBI agents, U.S. marshals, and Secret Service agents to hold a bachelor's degree.

A bachelor's degree also leads to greater salary potential. According to PayScale, as of October 2021, professionals with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice earn $68,000 annually, compared to $49,000 for those with an associate degree in criminal justice. Certain high-level positions, such as emergency management director or lawyer, may require candidates to earn a master's degree in criminal justice. The following section examines some career paths and salary opportunities for professionals with a bachelor's in criminal justice.

Average Salary by Degree Level 2021

Associate Degree

$49,000

Bachelor's Degree

$68,000

Featured Online Criminal Justice Programs

Choosing an Online Criminal Justice Degree Program

Concentrations, tuition rates, and graduation requirements all differ from program to program. Prospective students should consider key factors like program costs, transfer policies, and degree length before making a final decision. For example, in-state schools often provide the most affordable option for residents, although some public universities offer reduced tuition rates for out-of-state distance learners. Take your time and be picky as you explore schools, selecting an online criminal justice program that fits your goals, schedule, and budget.

Best Online Criminal Justice Degrees of 2022

#1

Florida International University

School Information
Location Miami, Florida
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Florida International University provides numerous top-tier bachelor's programs. The public college supports 36 online bachelor's degrees from its main campus in Miami, Florida. The bachelor of science in criminal justice prepares remote learners for the demands of the public safety administration field.

The criminal justice degree supports flexible study, meeting the needs of every degree-seeker. Students complete industry-specific classes, with the option to add electives and modify their coursework. Enrollees can customize their learning through electives, minors, and other modifications.

Currently, undergraduate criminal justice students pay $16,529 in tuition. Learners can access numerous funding opportunities through the accredited institution. At the college, degree-seekers receive an average of $8,958 in financial aid.

Florida International University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 39,863

Total Online Programs: 67

Online Bachelor's Programs: 36

Admission Rate: 58%

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#2

The University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Central Florida, a public, four-year college, enables study across 47 online programs. Undergraduates can choose from 19 online bachelor's degrees to pursue. Individuals seeking competitive, customizable study relevant to the public safety administration field will find the school's online bachelor of arts or science in criminal justice an attractive option. Working professionals and busy students will benefit from the program's flexible study options and class customization.

Throughout the program, participants attend industry-relevant lectures while completing criminal justice-specific coursework. These classes equip degree-seekers with knowledge and skills applicable to a post-graduate career. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to individualize their degree by exploring electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

A bachelor's degree connects graduates with numerous job opportunities and a higher earning potential. According to the college, alumni earn a median salary of $39,900 six years after completing their degree. The average undergraduate student pays $11,617 in tuition and fees every year, after aid. Prospective learners can meet with the criminal justice department directly to inquire about admission requirements, application materials, and more.

The University of Central Florida at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 41,097

Total Online Programs: 47

Online Bachelor's Programs: 19

Admission Rate: 44%

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#3

Pennsylvania State University World Campus

School Information
Location University Park, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Pennsylvania State University World Campus, a public, four-year college in University Park, Pennsylvania, supports distance learning across 207 virtual programs. Undergraduates seeking flexible, remote study can choose from one of 67 online bachelor's degrees. Learners looking to advance in the criminal justice field will find the school's bachelor of science in criminal justice an attractive option. Participants in the criminal justice program can complete classes at their own pace, with the option for part-time study.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. This curriculum consists of general education and advanced coursework. Enrollees can modify their degree by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

With a bachelor's degree, graduates increase their job opportunities and earning potential. According to the college, alumni earn a median salary of $43,600 six years after completing their degree. Prospective applicants can meet with the financial aid office to learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements. The school admits 76% of applicants.

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#4

The University of Louisiana Monroe

School Information
Location Monroe, Louisiana
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Louisiana Monroe supports flexible distance learning opportunities across 34 online programs. Undergraduates studying remotely can benefit from pursuing one of 14 online bachelor's degrees. The bachelor of arts in criminal justice is an attractive option for students seeking to advance in the public safety administration field. Working professionals and busy learners will benefit from the program's flexible study options and class customization.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the criminal justice field. This curriculum, which consists of foundational and advanced coursework, equips participants with relevant skills needed to succeed in a criminal justice career. Degree-seekers choose electives, minors, and concentrations to customize their course of study.

A bachelor's degree enables graduates to access higher paying jobs and more employment opportunities. The institution reports a median salary of $38,100 earned by alumni six years after completing their studies. Typically, undergraduate students pay $9,710 in tuition and fees each year. Before applying, prospective applicants should connect with the criminal justice department to learn more about admission requirements and application materials.

The University of Louisiana Monroe at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 3,756

Total Online Programs: 34

Online Bachelor's Programs: 14

Admission Rate: 80%

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#5

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

School Information
Location Natchitoches, Louisiana
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 44%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 82% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Located in Natchitoches, Northwestern State University of Louisiana enables distance learning across 53 virtual programs. Undergraduates can choose from 16 online bachelor's degrees to pursue. Individuals looking for a public safety administration-adjacent career can pursue study through the bachelor of arts in criminal justice at their own pace. The criminal justice program prioritizes flexibility through full- or part-time study options.

Students complete industry-relevant courses throughout their studies, gaining specific knowledge of the criminal justice field. Degree-seekers also take general education classes to develop a strong foundation of communication and critical thinking abilities. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree through electives, minors, and concentrations.

Graduates possessing a bachelor's degree can access more job opportunities and grow their earning potential over time. The institution reports that alumni six years out from their degree earn a median salary of $35,700. The average undergraduate student pays $12,336 in tuition and fees every year, after aid. Learners hoping to gain admission to the criminal justice program should connect with the department directly to discuss admission requirements and application materials.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 8,906

Total Online Programs: 53

Online Bachelor's Programs: 16

Admission Rate: 82%

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#6

Trine University

School Information
Location Angola, Indiana
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 63%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Located in Angola, Indiana, Trine university offers many different program options for degree-seekers of all kinds. A leader in distance education, the institution supports 875 remote learners. For students looking to advance in the criminal justice field, the school's online bachelor of science in criminal justice is a wise choice. The program supports people from all walks of life through flexible enrollment options.

During the program, participants complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the criminal justice field. The program also incorporates general education requirements that strengthen critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

The value of a bachelor's degree is clear: graduates increase their job opportunities and earning potential. The college boasts a median salary of $40,000 for alumni six years after completing their studies. Prospective applicants can meet with the criminal justice department directly to discuss admission requirements, application materials, and other relevant information. The college admits 82% of all applicants.

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#7

Fort Hays State University

School Information
Location Hays, Kansas
Admission Rate 91%
Graduation Rate 43%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fort Hays State University enrolls distance learners in 40 virtual programs. Undergraduates from across the globe can connect with the school through one of its 24 fully online bachelor's degrees. From its main campus in Hays, Kansas, the college supports an online bachelor of arts or science in criminal justice. The criminal justice program supports flexible study for students learning remotely.

Throughout their coursework, participants gain industry-relevant knowledge through advanced courses. Enrollees also gain broader knowledge and skills in general education classes, preparing them for life after their degree. In consultation with their academic advisor, degree-seekers can modify their course load, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

Graduates greatly benefit from their education, gaining access to more job opportunities and a higher earning potential. The institution reports a median salary of $36,800 earned by alumni six years after completing their studies. Typically, undergraduate students pay $12,108 in tuition and fees each year. Prospective learners can explore funding opportunities, eligibility requirements, and other opportunities by connecting with the financial aid office.

Fort Hays State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 8,759

Total Online Programs: 40

Online Bachelor's Programs: 24

Admission Rate: 91%

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#8

Southeastern Oklahoma State University

School Information
Location Durant, Oklahoma
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 35%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University is a public, four-year college offering a variety of competitive bachelor's degrees. The institution prides itself on its leadership in remote learning, offering 13 fully virtual bachelor's programs. Distance learners looking to earn an online degree in public safety administration can enroll in the bachelor of arts in criminal justice.

The criminal justice degree supports flexible study, meeting the needs of every degree-seeker. Participants in the program take advanced criminal justice courses, as well as general education classes. In consultation with their academic advisor, enrollees can modify their course load to suit their needs. 

Criminal justice students can expect to pay $14,880 in tuition. Distance learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs and other forms of aid. Degree-seekers typically receive a financial aid award package amounting to $7,828, on average.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 4,047

Total Online Programs: 25

Online Bachelor's Programs: 13

Admission Rate: 74%

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#9

McNeese State University

School Information
Location Lake Charles, Louisiana
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

McNeese State University supports 4,070 distance learners across 26 fully virtual programs. Undergraduates choose from seven remote bachelor's programs available through the college. Individuals hoping to advance in the public safety administration field can enroll in the college's online bachelor of science in criminal justice. The criminal justice program supports flexible study for enrollees learning remotely.

Throughout their coursework, participants gain industry-relevant knowledge through advanced courses. Enrollees also take general education classes to develop a broad foundation of skills, including communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. In consultation with their academic advisor, learners can customize their studies through electives, minors, and concentration areas.

Graduates greatly benefit from their education, gaining access to more job opportunities and a higher earning potential. The median salary for alumni six years after their degree completion is $36,600, according to the college. When preparing for the costs of education, degree-seekers should know that the average cost of tuition and fees after aid is $11,974. To learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements, applicants should contact the financial aid office.

McNeese State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 4,070

Total Online Programs: 26

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Admission Rate: 81%

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#10

Crown College

School Information
Location Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota
Admission Rate 50%
Graduation Rate 50%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Crown College, a private four-year school in Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota, boasts a robust remote learning community. Undergraduates enrolled from a distance can benefit from studying in one of 10 virtual bachelor's programs. Individuals seeking competitive study in public safety administration in a flexible modality can enroll in the college's online bachelor of science in criminal justice. Participants in the criminal justice program can complete classes at their own pace, with the option for part-time study.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the criminal justice field. The program also incorporates general education requirements that strengthen critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Majors choose electives, minors, and concentrations to customize their course of study.

The benefits of a bachelor's degree are varied, from increased job opportunities to higher earning potential. According to the institution, graduates can earn a median salary of $33,400 six years after finishing their degree. Students interested in learning more about admission requirements and their eligibility for financial aid should connect with the criminal justice department.

Crown College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,030

Total Online Programs: 29

Online Bachelor's Programs: 10

Admission Rate: 50%

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#11

The University of Mary

School Information
Location Bismarck, North Dakota
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Mary, a private four-year school in Bismarck, North Dakota, boasts a robust online learning community. Undergraduates can choose from seven virtual bachelor's programs. For individuals looking to advance in a public safety administration-adjacent career, the online bachelor of science in criminal justice is a wise choice. The criminal justice program offers flexible enrollment options, where degree-seekers can pursue full- or part-time study while modifying classes as they see fit.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the criminal justice field. Participants also complete general education coursework, gaining a broad foundation of skills to aid them in life after graduation. While enrolled, learners can customize their studies by choosing electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

A bachelor's degree greatly increases one's earning potential. The institution reports a median salary of $46,700 earned by graduates six years after completing their studies. Students hoping to gain admission to the criminal justice program should connect with the department directly to discuss admission requirements and application materials.

The University of Mary at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,682

Total Online Programs: 22

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Admission Rate: 74%

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#12

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

School Information
Location Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Admission Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 61%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, a public four-year college, enables study across nine online programs. Of these, three are at the bachelor's level, available to undergraduates. Learners looking for advanced, remote study relevant to the criminal justice field can enroll in the school's online bachelor of applied studies in criminal justice. The program offers flexible study options, where enrollees can pursue full- or part-time study while modifying classes as they see fit.

During the program, participants complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the field. The program curriculum prepares degree-seekers for the demands of the field. Learners can modify their degree by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

With a bachelor's degree, graduates increase their job opportunities and earning potential. The school reports a median salary of $37,900 for alumni six years after completing a bachelor's degree. Undergraduates pay a net price of $11,980 per year at the institution. Before applying, prospective students should connect with the department to learn more about admission requirements and application materials.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,533

Total Online Programs: 9

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Admission Rate: 76%

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#13

Florida Atlantic University

School Information
Location Boca Raton, Florida
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Florida Atlantic University, a public four-year school in Boca Raton, boasts a robust remote learning community. Online students seeking an undergraduate-level education can choose from 11 virtual bachelor's programs. The bachelor of arts in criminal justice is a wise choice for individuals seeking competitive, flexible study applicable to a career in public safety administration. The criminal justice program accommodates full- or part-time study.

Throughout the program, participants attend industry-relevant lectures while completing criminal justice-specific coursework. Leaners also complete general education classes, gaining broad skills for life after graduation. Enrollees can customize their degree through electives, minors, and concentrations.

Graduates greatly benefit from their education, gaining access to more job opportunities and a higher earning potential. The institution reports a median salary of $38,800 earned by alumni six years after completing their studies. The college reports that the average undergraduate pays $9,861 in tuition and fees yearly, after aid. Applicants can meet with the financial aid office to learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid.

Florida Atlantic University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 14,613

Total Online Programs: 29

Online Bachelor's Programs: 11

Admission Rate: 63%

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#14

Middle Georgia State University

School Information
Location Macon, Georgia
Admission Rate 94%
Graduation Rate 23%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Located in Macon, Middle Georgia State University enables distance learning across 19 virtual programs. Undergraduates enrolled remotely can benefit from studying in one of nine online bachelor's programs. Learners hoping to advance in the public safety administration field can enroll in the college's bachelor of science in criminal justice. The criminal justice program is a flexible option for working professionals and busy students.

Throughout the program, participants attend industry-relevant lectures while completing criminal justice-specific coursework. Degree-seekers also complete general education requirements to give them a broad foundation of skills applicable to many disciplines. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

After earning their degree, graduates benefit from greater access to employment opportunities and higher earning potential. Alumni who have completed their degree gain, on average, a median salary of $29,400 after six years. Typically, undergraduate students pay $9,781 in tuition and fees each year. Prospective learners can explore funding opportunities, eligibility requirements, and other opportunities by connecting with the financial aid office.

Middle Georgia State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 4,774

Total Online Programs: 19

Online Bachelor's Programs: 9

Admission Rate: 94%

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#15

Arizona State University

School Information
Location Scottsdale, Arizona
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 4%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Arizona State University supports 44,167 distance learners across 126 fully remote programs. Undergraduate degree-seekers can choose from 54 online bachelor's degree options. The bachelor of science in criminology and criminal justice prioritizes flexibility, making it an attractive option for working professionals and busy students. The criminal justice program supports flexible study for learners around the country.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the criminal justice field. Program participants also take general education classes to give them a broad set of skills applicable to many different fields. Students can modify their degree by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

Graduates easily grow their earning potential with a bachelor's degree. The institution reports that alumni six years out from their degree earn a median salary of $42,200. The average undergraduate pays $14,568 in tuition and fees yearly. To learn more about admission requirements and financial aid opportunities, prospective applicants should contact the criminal justice department.

Arizona State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 44,167

Total Online Programs: 126

Online Bachelor's Programs: 54

Admission Rate: 64%

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#16

Toccoa Falls College

School Information
Location Toccoa Falls, Georgia
Admission Rate 60%
Graduation Rate 46%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Toccoa Falls College, located in Toccoa Falls, Georgia, enables distance learning across 15 virtual programs. Of these, 10 offer an undergraduate-level education. Students seeking competitive, customizable study relevant to the criminal justice field will find the school's online bachelor of science in criminal justice an attractive option. This program offers customization to help learners earn a degree that meets their needs.

Throughout the program, participants attend industry-relevant lectures while completing criminal justice-specific coursework. The program curriculum also incorporates general education classes to give degree-seekers a foundation of broadly applicable skills, like communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Enrollees can customize their studies by working with their academic advisor to choose electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

The benefits of a bachelor's degree are varied, from increased job opportunities to higher earning potential. According to the college, graduates earn a median salary of $28,000 six years after completing their degree. Prospective applicants can meet with the financial aid office to learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements.

Toccoa Falls College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,189

Total Online Programs: 15

Online Bachelor's Programs: 10

Admission Rate: 60%

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#17

Minot State University

School Information
Location Minot, North Dakota
Admission Rate 67%
Graduation Rate 45%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Minot State University, a public four-year institution, offers competitive bachelor's programs. The college boasts 12 fully online bachelor's degree options. Learners seeking to advance in the public safety administration field will benefit from the bachelor of science in criminal justice.

The online criminal justice degree places flexibility at the forefront. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to make adjustments to their plan of study that suit their interests and career goals. Students also have the option to choose a minor and select electives as part of their curriculum.

Currently, undergraduate criminal justice students pay $6,088 in tuition. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers can access external and internal funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. The college reports that learners receive an average of $4,246 in financial aid.

Minot State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,328

Total Online Programs: 24

Online Bachelor's Programs: 12

Admission Rate: 67%

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#18

Chaminade University of Honolulu

School Information
Location Honolulu, Hawaii
Admission Rate 95%
Graduation Rate 59%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Chaminade University of Honolulu supports 1,201 distance learners across 21 fully online programs. Of these, 10 offer an undergraduate-level education. For individuals looking to advance in the public safety administration field, the school's online bachelor of science in criminology and criminal justice is a wise choice. The criminal justice program is a flexible option for working professionals and busy students.

During the criminal justice program, participants complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the criminal justice field. These classes equip students with criminal justice-specific and broad knowledge and skills. Enrollees can customize their studies by working with their academic advisor to choose electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

Graduates easily grow their earning potential with a bachelor's degree. The college notes a median salary of $31,800 for alumni six years after finishing their studies. Prospective applicants can contact the criminal justice program to learn more about admission requirements and financial aid opportunities.

Chaminade University of Honolulu at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,201

Total Online Programs: 21

Online Bachelor's Programs: 10

Admission Rate: 95%

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#19

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville

School Information
Location Platteville, Wisconsin
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 56%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville supports flexible distance learning opportunities across seven online programs. Undergraduates seeking competitive, flexible study applicable to a career in public safety administration can enroll in the bachelor of arts or science in criminal justice. Students in the criminal justice program benefit from flexible study, with the option to enroll full- or part-time.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the criminal justice field. Program participants also attend general education classes, to gain a well-rounded education. Learners can customize their studies by working with their academic advisor to choose electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

After earning their degree, graduates benefit from greater access to employment opportunities and higher earning potential. The institution reports that alumni six years out from their degree earn a median salary of $41,300. The average undergraduate student pays $14,611 in tuition and fees every year, after aid. Degree-seekers can meet with leaders in the criminal justice department to discuss application materials, admission requirements, and other relevant information.

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,475

Total Online Programs: 7

Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Admission Rate: 85%

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#20

Indiana University East

School Information
Location Richmond, Indiana
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 40%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 79% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Learners seeking competitive online study should consider Indiana University East. The institution supports 13 remote bachelor's programs. The bachelor of science in criminal justice is an attractive option for individuals seeking to advance in the criminal justice field.

The program prepares criminal justice students for the demands of the criminal justice field. Majors work with academic advisors to select classes that match their interests and fit their schedule. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to modify their classes to suit career interests.

Undergraduate degree-seekers can expect to pay $19,346 in tuition. Criminal justice students can access scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities while enrolled. Learners can expect to receive a financial aid award package of $8,055, on average.

Indiana University East at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,989

Total Online Programs: 19

Online Bachelor's Programs: 13

Admission Rate: 63%

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Online Bachelor's in Criminal Justice Programs Ranking Guidelines

We selected these online criminal justice programs based on curriculum quality, faculty excellence, rankings, awards, and each school's reputation for providing quality online degrees.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Featured Criminal Justice Programs

Accreditation for Online Criminal Justice Degrees

You should earn your online bachelor's in criminal justice from an accredited institution. Accredited colleges and universities follow the best practices in education, and accredited degrees hold more value on the job market. Independent accrediting agencies evaluate colleges and universities according to their academic quality, student learning outcomes, faculty qualifications, and degree requirements. Accredited institutions must undergo regular reviews to keep their status. The Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognize valid accrediting agencies.

Accreditation benefits students in several ways. Accredited institutions can disburse federal financial aid to students. Credits earned at an accredited institution transfer more easily to other schools. In addition, some professional licenses and certifications require an accredited degree. Accreditation comes in several forms: regional, national, and programmatic.

Accredited colleges and universities follow the best practices in education, and accredited degrees hold more value on the job market.

Regional and national accrediting agencies review entire colleges and universities. Of the two, regional accreditation remains the highest standard. Programmatic accreditation evaluates specialized degree-granting programs, such as business schools, teacher preparation programs, or social work curricula. Criminal justice programs do not typically receive programmatic accreditation, so prospective students should look for a regionally accredited institution. The ED website and the CHEA website maintain extensive databases of accredited schools and programs.

Criminal Justice Concentrations

Criminal justice majors explore fundamental law enforcement principles, legal concepts, and detection methods. Students can also develop a specialty within the field by pursuing a concentration. Concentrations focus on academic tracks that allow candidates to explore areas like forensic science, homeland security, or criminal justice administration in greater depth.

Homeland Security

The homeland security concentration trains students to respond to national security threats like terrorism, natural disasters, and global security issues. Majors explore emergency response management, international policy, and best practices in security. Students on this track often pursue careers in federal agencies or private security agencies.

Careers this concentration prepares for:

Emergency management specialist; customs and border patrol agent; security specialist

Forensic Science

A forensic science specialization trains students to investigate crime scenes and collect evidence. Majors learn to conduct forensic laboratory work, analyze forensic data, and help police officers solve crimes. Candidates in this concentration may need to take additional biology, chemistry, and biochemistry courses.

Careers this concentration prepares for:

Crime scene investigator; police officer; detective

Criminology

Candidates pursuing a criminology concentration study scientific methodologies to better understand criminal behavior. Students learn to solve crimes and understand criminal elements in society. Coursework may also introduce crime prevention strategies and concepts in forensic psychology.

Careers this concentration prepares for:

Police officer; detective; FBI agent

Criminal Justice Administration

This track helps students who want to manage criminal justice institutions. Learners may narrow their criminal justice administration focus further by choosing an emphasis in either law enforcement or corrections. Coursework strengthens leadership and analytical skills.

Careers this concentration prepares for:

Probations administrator; program director; criminal justice coordinator

Cybersecurity

Blending criminal justice with information technology, this concentration introduces computer systems and network protection strategies. Students learn to prevent security breaches, identify hackers and other cybersecurity threats, and build cases against cybercriminals.

Careers this concentration prepares for:

Cybercrime analyst; crime analyst; fraud investigator

How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in Criminal Justice?

Earning an online criminal justice degree typically requires four years of full-time study. Like other bachelor's degree candidates, criminal justice majors usually complete 120 credit hours, including general education classes, major field requirements, and electives. Most bachelor's degrees include 50-60 general education credits in English, history, communications, math, and science. Major coursework includes introductory courses and advanced concentration classes.

Incoming criminal justice majors with an associate degree or prior college credit can often earn their bachelor's degree in as little as one year. Many online programs accept up to 90 transfer credits toward the degree. Some students prefer to study part time and balance school with work or family obligations. Others select accelerated programs to earn their degree in the shortest possible time. Transfer students can request a credit audit from their prospective school to determine how many credits they need for their bachelor's degree.

Earning an online criminal justice degree typically requires four years of full-time study.

Courses in an Online Bachelor's in Criminal Justice Program

Criminal Justice Degree Salary Information

Graduates with an online criminal justice degree work in many different settings, such as police departments, law offices, and correctional facilities. Popular criminal justice degree jobs include police officers, probation officers, and corrections officers. A bachelor's degree also fulfills qualifications for certain emergency management specialist positions, and many federal agencies prefer to hire candidates who hold a degree in criminal justice. The list below includes a few popular career paths for individuals with a criminal justice degree.

Police Officer

Median Salary 2020: $67,290 Projected Growth 2020-2030: 7%

Police officers respond to emergency calls, patrol neighborhoods, and investigate crimes. They also collect case-related evidence, make arrests, and testify in court.

Emergency Management Directors

Median Salary 2020: $76,250 Projected Growth 2020-2030: 6%

Emergency management directors create plans in response to natural disasters and crisis situations. They coordinate with officials during emergencies, lead response teams, and maintain public safety.

Probation Officer

Median Salary 2020: $55,690 Projected Growth 2020-2030: 4%

Also known as community supervision officers, these professionals monitor people on probation. They write reports on probationers' treatment plans, monitor their rehabilitation progress, and maintain communication between clients and corrections personnel.

Correctional Officer

Median Salary 2020: $47,440 Projected Growth 2020-2030: -7%

Correctional officers work in jails and prisons, overseeing individuals awaiting trial or serving time. They supervise inmates, enforce jail rules, and inspect the facilities.

Popular Questions About Criminal Justice Degrees

What Majors Go Well With Criminal Justice?

Psychology, sociology, political science, and information technology are all common secondary subjects for criminal justice students.

Is Criminal Justice a Difficult Major?

Sometimes. As with most degrees, how difficult earning a bachelor's in criminal justice is depends on how well suited you are for the material. Criminal justice degrees often involve a fair enough of reading.

What Is the Highest Paying Job in the Criminal Justice Field?

Criminologist is the highest-paying job in the criminal justice field that does not require a law degree. Judges and lawyers also make high salaries, but those careers require a law degree.

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