Why This Matters

  • PREPARE FOR MORE THAN 20 POSSIBLE CAREERS

    Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can go on to fill a variety of roles, including police officer, intelligence analyst, private investigator, victim’s advocate, and more.

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 37,500 NEW POLICE OFFICERS

    Projected job growth for police officers and detectives is expected to rise 5% by 2028. In addition to having a bachelor’s degree, fluency in another language will increase your chances of employment.

  • INCREASE YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL BY $35,000

    Entry-level criminal justice jobs like security guard that only require a high school diploma have a median annual salary of $28,490. The median annual salary for bachelor’s-level jobs is $63,380.

Our Research

We primarily looked at bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice for this list, although we also included some associate’s and master’s-level programs. Bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice are typically Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degrees. Your current education level and specific career goals will guide which type of program you seek.

All of the programs we reviewed can be completed online. Some of them do offer on-campus classes as well. You can choose the delivery format that works best for your schedule and learning preferences.

We only included programs at schools that are regionally accredited to ensure that they meet the highest standards of quality in post-secondary education.

After narrowing our list of programs, we reviewed them all for flexibility, cost, course strength, reputation, and faculty. Then we calculated an Intelligent Score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 89 hours to write this article
  • 207 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 323 education programs we compared

The Top 70 Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Best Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs
01
Washington State University

intelligent score 99.31

Award Intelligent Pick

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Intelligent Pick

Delivery Format Online

Programs Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department College of Arts and Science

Estimated Cost per Credit $548 per credit

accreditation Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 800-222-4978

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
Colorado State University Global

intelligent score 99.24

Award Best for Emergency Management

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best for Emergency Management

Delivery Format Online

Programs Bachelor of Criminal Justice

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department

Estimated Cost per Credit $350 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commision

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 800-462-7845

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Bachelor of Criminal Justice

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
Northwestern State University of Louisiana

intelligent score 98.5

Award Best for Pre-law and Paralegal Studies

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best for Pre-law and Paralegal Studies

Delivery Format Online

Programs Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department Criminal Justice,History and Social Science

Estimated Cost per Credit $375 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 318-357-6967

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
University of Arkansas at Little Rock

intelligent score 97.39

Award Best Public Research School

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Public Research School

Delivery Format Online

Programs BA in Criminal Justice

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department College of Social Sciences and Communication

Estimated Cost per Credit $280 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commision

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 501-569-3195

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs BA in Criminal Justice

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
Eastern Kentucky University

intelligent score 97.21

Award Best in the South

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the South

Delivery Format Online

Programs Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department College of Justice and Safety

Estimated Cost per Credit $417 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 859-622-9951

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
Ashland University

intelligent score 96.49

Award Best Military Friendly School

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Military Friendly School

Delivery Format Online

Programs Associate Criminal Justice Degree

Required Credits to Graduate 60 credits

Department College of Arts and Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit $370 per credit

accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 419-289-5657

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Associate Criminal Justice Degree

Required Credits to Graduate 60 credits

01
Florida International University

intelligent score 96.19

Award Best Combined Bachelor's/Master's Program

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Combined Bachelor's/Master's Program

Delivery Format Online

Programs Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $228.81 per credit; Out-of-State: $345.87 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 855-450-2096

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
The University of Oklahoma

intelligent score 95.85

Award Best for International Students

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best for International Students

Delivery Format Online

Programs Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $366.85 per credit; Out-of-State: $893.65 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 405) 325-3266

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
Southwestern Assemblies of God University

intelligent score 95.63

Award Best Alumni Network

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Alumni Network

Delivery Format Online

Programs Bachelor's in Criminal Justice

Required Credits to Graduate 127 credits

Department

Estimated Cost per Credit $399 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 888-937-7248

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Bachelor's in Criminal Justice

Required Credits to Graduate 127 credits

01
California State University, San Bernardino

intelligent score 95.09

Award Best Advisors

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Advisors

Delivery Format Online

Programs Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

Department College of Extended and Global Education - Professional and Continuing Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $287 per credit

accreditation WASC Senior College and University Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 909-537-5976

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Required Credits to Graduate 120 credits

01
Best for Prior Learning Credits
University of Missouri-St Louis
01
Best for Cybersecurity Focus
Kean University
01
Best for Social Justice Focus
University System of Georgia
01
Most Innovative Curriculum
University of Northern Iowa
01
Best Tutoring Services
University of Alaska Fairbanks
01
Best for Crime Control Focus
Valdosta State University
01
Best State University
Bemidji State University
01
Most Experienced Faculty
Fort Hays State University
01
Best Scholarship Availability
Northern Kentucky University
01
Most Credits for Experience
University of Arkansas Grantham
01
Best Scholarship Availability
Sam Houston State University
01
Best for Veterans
The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina
01
Best Associate's Degree
Campbellsville University
01
Best Christian University
Liberty University
01
Best in the Northeast
New England Institute of Technology
01
Community Service Focus
University of Louisville
01
Best Blended Program
North Greenville University
01
Most Flexible Admissions
SUNY Delhi
01
Most Balanced Cirriculum
Texas A&M University-Central Texas
01
Best in the Midwest
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
01
Best Student Support Services
Indiana University - Online
01
Interactive Learning Focus
University of Central Florida
01
Best Masters Program
Kent State University
01
Most Affordable
Western Carolina University
01
Best For-Profit University
Columbia Southern University
01
Best Multidisciplinary Curriculum
Indiana State University
01
Best in the Southeast
Old Dominion University
01
Best for Experienced Students
Ohio University
01
Best in the West
Azusa Pacific University
01
Best Community Service Focus
Drury University
01
Best Internship Availability
State University of New York at Oswego
01
Most Transfer-Friendly
University of Massachusetts Lowell
01
Best Value
Southeast Missouri State University
01
Nationally Recognized
University of Cincinnati
01
Best for Multiple Start Dates
Louisiana State University of Alexandria
01
Alumni Recommended
Norwich University
01
Experienced Faculty
Tarleton State University
01
Most Flexible Start Terms
University of Houston-Victoria
01
Best HBCU
Hampton University
01
Student Recommended
Ball State University
01
Best Holistic Approach
Lynn University
01
Multiple Campus Locations
Rutgers University
01
Most Diverse Curriculums
North Carolina Central University
01
Best Student Support Services
Southern Illinois University
01
Best for Transfer Students
Faulkner University
01
Most Specialization Options
CU Online
01
Best Christ-Centered Program
Oakland City University
01
Highly Customizable
Aurora University
01
Best in the Southwest
Arizona State University
01
Most Experienced Faculty
Midway University
01
Best for Working Adults
Stevenson University
01
Best Religious-Affiliated School
Ohio Christian University
01
Best for Accelerated Classes
Concordia University, St. Paul
01
Best Interdisciplinary Curriculum
Limestone University
01
Most Transfer-Friendly
Excelsior College
01
Best Concentration Options
Utica College
01
Best Christ-Centered Curriculum
Crown College
01
Most Flexible Completion Time
University of Mary
01
Best Private Research School
Drexel University
01
Policy-Focused Curriculum
Saint Joseph's College-New York

What You Should Know About This Degree

Criminal justice jobs can be physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. Police officers, FBI agents, and correctional officers often find themselves working in dangerous situations and interacting with violent or vulnerable populations. While criminal justice degree programs help students develop their critical thinking, communication, and perception skills, individuals considering a career in criminal justice should determine if they have the natural aptitudes necessary for succeeding in this field.

Many criminal justice jobs involve working with diverse populations, within the U.S. and in foreign countries. Being fluent in languages besides English can increase your job prospects. Certain jobs, particularly those with government agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), require additional training beyond a degree.

While certain jobs within criminal justice are expected to grow at an average or above average pace in the next decade, the overall job growth outlook for the field is slightly slower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 7 percent decline in correctional officer and bailiff jobs by 2028, thanks to changes in laws and state budgets affecting the number of prisoners and lengths of their sentences. Before enrolling in a program, consider what your career aspirations are and research the job prospects in those specific areas.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Criminal Justice programs:

  • Does this program offer any specializations? Criminal justice is a broad field, and most bachelor’s programs will cover a variety of topics to give students a solid foundation. Through electives, students can concentrate in certain areas of criminal justice, including juvenile justice, crime analysis, cybersecurity, and more. If you have an interest in a specific area of criminal justice, be sure to select a program that offers coursework in that area.
  • Are there any in-person requirements? Even if all of the coursework can be completed online, some programs may have internship or other experiential learning requirements that you must attend in-person. When reviewing the curriculum, check to see what, if any, in-person requirements the program has and where you are expected to complete them.

At this stage, you should look at the admissions requirements and deadlines for the programs to which you plan to apply. Gathering your application materials well ahead of deadlines will help your application process go smoothly. You should also consider your options for funding your degree, including financial aid, scholarships, grants, and, if you are currently employed, tuition assistance from your employer.