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Whether you have a desire for justice or you want to make a difference in your community, earning an online Bachelor’s in criminal justice is a smart choice.

The pay isn’t too shabby, either. When you earn one of these degrees, you’ll enjoy a steady paycheck, good job security, and a variety of job options. No matter where your interests may lie—whether in education, law enforcement, or clerical work—a degree in criminal justice will open the doors to a variety of lucrative careers. 

Plus, you’ll be able to help other people and enjoy a career founded upon the values of honor and integrity. Ready to impact future generations? Here’s what you need to know.

Admissions Requirements

In most cases, online Bachelor’s take a simpler approach to admissions. While you will still be required to submit evidence of an earned GED or high school diploma, you might be able to apply at any time of the year. 

Admissions requirements vary between universities, but usually, you will need to hold a minimum of a 2.5 GPA (at many schools, a 3.0 GPA is required).  You might also need to submit formal transcripts, letters of recommendation, an essay, and ACT or SAT test scores. 

What Are the Best Organizational Leadership Degrees?

Online College Plan uses data from the National Center for Education Statistics to determine the best programs. We factor in how robust the school’s online education is, how well that school delivers on its promises, how affordable the program is, and how selective the school as a whole is. For more information, see our methodology page.

  1. MERIT: 100

    Penn State World Campus offers dozens of online programs for busy working learners. The campus serves a population of students from all over the world, with a variety of intriguing majors such as sociology, psychology, political science, human development and family studies, and even homeland security. However, the criminal justice degree is a classic program with many benefits for busy working adults.

    This degree balances the practical and theoretical aspects of criminal justice as they relate to both juvenile and adult justice. You’ll take courses in criminal justice along with a long list of other general education credits. Choose to enhance your degree with the university’s 18-credit minor in homeland security, and you’ll become even more marketable as a potential employee. 

    The Penn State criminal justice degree is also highly affordable. 120 total credits are required, and with tuition starting at just $576 per credit hour, you really can’t beat the overall value. Significant financial aid opportunities are available, including the Military Grant-in-Aid program that brings tuition rates closer to the Department of Defense cap.

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  2. MERIT: 88.96

    Florida International University has one of the most diverse student populations of all public universities in the country. It’s considered one of the top granters of Bachelor’s degrees to Hispanic undergraduates and as a result, is ranked a Top Performer on Social Mobility by U.S. News & World Report

    The commitment to study success is echoed in all of FIU’s programs, but especially in the Bachelor of Science in criminal justice. The degree addresses the growing emphasis on homeland security and meets the demand for experienced professionals. It’s offered entirely online, where you’ll engage with your peers and learn from world-renowned faculty through some of the most interactive, collaborative technologies.

    120 credit hours are required, with core courses including Comparative Criminal justice Systems, Criminal Justice and the Constitution, and Criminological Theory, just to name a few.

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  3. MERIT: 88.79

    The University of Central Florida has a sprawling footprint, with campuses spread out across the state. UCF has locations in Ocala, South Lake, and Daytona Beach, but it also has a large online campus as well. This is where you will find the 120-credit hour online Bachelor’s in criminal justice.

    Available as both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts, this program prepares students to work within federal, state, county, or local agencies. It is offered by the College of Community Innovation and Education and is perfect for aspiring corrections officers, FBI agents, and law enforcement officers. It draws from related majors in political science and legal studies and incorporates hands-on training along with interactive coursework. 

    It’s highly affordable, too. Ranked one of the best online programs by U.S. News & World Report, it’s also regarded as a top program for veterans due to its affordability and accessibility. Tuition is low, starting at just $179.19 per credit hour for in-state students.

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  4. MERIT: 87.19

    If your drive to earn a Bachelor’s in criminal justice has anything to do with your passion for changing the world, then Liberty University could very well be the best university for you. This school is founded upon a Christian worldview and provides students with a foundational education in the liberal arts. Students here are encouraged to commit to their Chrisitan faith regardless of their program of study.

    This commitment is carried out to the fullest in the Bachelor of Science in criminal justice. A 120-credit hour program, it is available 100% online via eight-week courses. In this program, you can choose from more than half a dozen specialized areas of study. These include (but certainly are not limited to) criminal psychology, crime scene management, public administration, and strategic intelligence.

    The criminal justice program at Liberty is not only convenient and values-oriented, but it’s also affordable. Tuition has not increased in more than four straight years. Plus, all electronic textbooks are provided at no additional cost to you.

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  5. MERIT: 86.11

    With an undergraduate population of nearly 43,000 students, Arizona State University is considered one of the largest universities in the country. Don’t worry though—you won’t feel like just another face in the crowd here. ASU also has some of the best and most attentive faculty members, even when you choose to take your learning online.

    The Bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice at ASU is facilitated by professors who are leading criminal justice professionals. They have experience in gangs, policing, fraud, courts, and corrections. The degree is housed within a school that has consistently ranked within the top five for best criminology schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report

    Here, students are exposed to cutting-edge research as they complete 120 total credit hours of coursework. You’ll take classes in subjects like policing, corrections, and courts and sentencing. An interdisciplinary requirement is also required, which allows students to develop their professional online presence and even explore internships or study abroad opportunities.

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  6. MERIT: 84.07

    If Tallahassee, FL, isn’t your scene, don’t worry—Florida State University has many other locations for you to choose from. You could choose to study at an FSU center in Italy, England, Panama, or even Spain. Plus, there’s a highly-ranked online community you could select, too.

    With dozens of fully online programs available, the online Bachelor’s degree in criminology still manages to stand out above the rest. The degree offers all the prestige of an FSU degree with the convenience of online classes. You’ll receive the same diploma as on-campus students but with no campus visits required. Designed for a nontraditional student, it features classes taught by leading criminology authorities as well as the integration of state-of-the-art technology. 

    You’ll receive personalized guidance through every aspect of the program as you prepare yourself to work in a career like a crime intelligence analyst, corporate security specialist, detective, or private investigator.

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  7. MERIT: 82.99

    Rutgers University-New Brunswick is part of the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference. While its reputation as a “Big Ten” school might lead you to believe that this university focuses all of its attention on athletics, that’s simply not the case. Rutgers also has one of the best reputations for offering accessible and high-quality online education, too.

    A Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice is offered through the School of Arts and Sciences in conjunction with a handful of local community colleges. Originally founded in the 1970s, the degree focuses on the application of critical thinking and the scientific approach to solve problems related to human behavior. As a student in this program, you’ll take core classes like Criminal Procedure, Prisons and Prisoners, and Criminal Justice Research Methods.

    A research-focused program, this degree includes extensive opportunities for internships and volunteer work. In fact, students are currently working at places like the East Brunswick Police Department, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Just to name a few.

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  8. MERIT: 82.90

    Don’t live on campus? No problem. The University of South Florida has dozens of ways to help you get the education you deserve. Not only does the school organize an extensive Commuter Student Network for students who live close to campus, but it also facilitates a vibrant online campus community, too. 

    The Bachelor of Science in applied science at USF has a dynamic concentration in criminal justice. The degree consists of 120 credits hours and serves as a “capstone” degree, providing associates degree holders with an opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s degree (without all the hassle!). You’ll take a variety of classes in topics like detention, corrections, probation and parole, and of course, law enforcement. 

    This concentration prepares students for professional training in one or more specialized areas as well as for graduate work. The degree has no mandated prerequisites and allows candidates to transfer in up to 60 credits from an associate’s degree. You will also be required to complete a final senior capstone before graduation.

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  9. MERIT: 81.05

    Just an hour north of Denver, Colorado State University offers more than 150 degrees in eight colleges and is considered one of the nation’s leading research institutions. Students here work day and night to solve problems related to infectious diseases, environmental science, and even clean energy technologies.

    But the learning doesn’t stop inside the laboratory. Colorado State University is also home to a number of prestigious online degrees, including the online Bachelor’s in criminal justice. This program helps students hone their investigative instincts and develop policies and action plans related to law, crisis response, and more. An accredited program, it consists of 120 total credit hours.

    If you’re a transfer student, this program is perfect for you. You can transfer in up to 90 total credits (or three-quarters of the degree’s requirements!). Course topics include criminology, laws of evidence, and ethics for the criminal justice professional. You’ll even be able to choose from a variety of degree specializations like emergency management criminal forensics, applied social sciences, and more.

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  10. MERIT: 79.77

    The criminal justice program at Washington State University is ranked one of the Best Online Bachelor’s degrees by U.S. News & World Report—and it’s not difficult to understand why. Offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, this program was founded in 1943 and is the second oldest continuous program of its kind in the entire country. 

    This program draws from the experience of a diverse body of faculty at WSU, each of which has a unique blend of experiences from a range of criminal justice agencies. All students are required to take classes like Criminal Justice Management and Introduction to Policing in America before moving onto electives in political science and criminal justice. Graduates have gone on to work in top law enforcement organizations and agencies, becoming leading administrators in Washington courts, corrections facilities, and other industries.

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  11. MERIT: 79.46

    The University of Cincinnati, located in Cincinnati, OH, has a storied past filled with honors and milestones. Not only is this school famous for offering the country’s first Bachelor’s degree in nursing, but it also developed the first live and attenuated polio vaccine in the 1960s. 

    These hallmarks extend beyond the physical campus, too. Online, the University of Cincinnati offers a number of comprehensive, high-quality academic programs. The Bachelor of Science in criminal justice is just one of many. It is offered by the School for Criminal Justice, which is ranked among the top 15 Best Criminal Justice Schools by U.S. News & World Report. The program regularly graduates some of the most well-trained and highly educated criminal justice professionals in the world. 

    While enrolled, you’ll take courses that cover the entire breadth of criminology and criminal justice. You’ll take classes such as American Violence, Policing in America, and Legal Issues in Corrections. To apply, you’ll need to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 along with ACT or SAT test scores.

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  12. MERIT: 79.44

    At Ball State University, education is not just accessible, but it’s also affordable. Here, more than 75% of undergraduate students receive some form of need-based financial aid, with the average scholarship or grant award coming in at more than $6,400. If you’re studying online, those savings make a world of difference.

    You don’t have to sacrifice quality for affordability and convenience here, either. The Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and criminology is available 100% online and is perfect for learners who are juggling other obligations yet still have the drive to earn a degree. The curriculum can be customized with a variety of electives so that you can complete specialties like courts, corrections, victimology, policing, or special populations. 

    This degree has a national reputation with its relevant, demanding curriculum and world-class faculty. It is competitively priced and was one of the first in the country to be accredited by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

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  13. MERIT: 78.45

    There are a ton of one-of-a-kind programs for students to explore at the University of North Texas. From the jazz studies degree to the aviation logistics program, you certainly won’t be bored while studying on-campus in Denton, TX. There are dozens of undergraduate majors to choose from here! You’ll have almost just as many choices if you choose to study online, too.

    The Bachelor of Science in criminal justice consists of 120 total credit hours of study or 40 full classes. You’ll take classes in a wide variety of subjects, including criminology theory. Each course is thoughtfully designed and developed by department faculty who are full-time. The degree carries forth a strong tradition of high-quality instruction and innovation in teaching and learning.  

    You can complete your degree more quickly via flexible transfer credit options in this program. Plus, it’s offered at a well-respected Tier One Carnegie Classification University. This designation is only given to the best research universities in the country, meaning you’re guaranteed to receive an education that will help you meet your goals.

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  14. MERIT: 75.73

    Home to the National Weather Center, the University of Oklahoma’s Norman campus has plenty to offer students. As a large, public research university, it’s’ home to more than 300 student clubs and organizations. Plus, it offers dozens of high-quality programs both on-campus and off. 

    The extended online campus is one of the best, home to a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice that can be completed entirely from afar. In this program, you’ll be required to take four core courses: American Judicial processes, Police and Policing, Theories of Criminal Behavior, and the American Correctional System. You can work with your advisor to choose electives and even a minor in areas like criminal investigation and intelligence analysis or restorative justice to customize your degree.

    A fast-paced program with an accelerated curriculum, the degree is designed for working adults. It includes four concentration areas: administrative leadership, homeland security, investigations and intelligence analysis, and restorative justice. All program content is available via the Canvas course platform and the degree can be completed in as little as 18 months.

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  15. MERIT: 75.03

    With a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Northern Arizona offers one of the best learning environments for students seeking a more close-knit approach to education. The Bachelor of Applied Science in justice studies includes two separate emphasis areas in criminal justice administration and intelligence studies, helping each student build a strong criminal justice foundation. 

    In this program, you’ll learn from top practitioners in the field as you gain first-hand knowledge of areas like juvenile justice, criminal justice leadership, terrorism, and more. 120 units of credit are required, in addition to general education requirements in writing, liberal studies, diversity, and a final capstone.

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  16. MERIT: 74.24

    According to U.S. News & World Report, Sam Houston State University is one of the Top Public Schools in the nation. Renowned for its academic quality, affordability, and accessibility, the university helps keep students on track to graduate with small class sizes and a close-knit student-to-faculty ratio of just 23:1.

    Your education at Sam Houston will be about more than just academics. The College Of Criminal Justice is one of the oldest and most prestigious of its kind, home to state-of-the-art facilities (including a full-service courtroom!) and expert faculty. You’ll enjoy a dynamic learning environment as you complete courses like Child Abuse and Neglect, White Collar Crime, and Victimology. 

    Learning extends outside of the classroom here, too. You can engage in an internship during your senior year to earn course credit. Participating organizations include local police departments as well as larger agencies like the FBI and INTERPOL. 120 total credit hours are required with three separate start dates each year.

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  17. MERIT: 72.83

    If you’re hoping to land a job as soon as you graduate, look no further than Fort Hays State University. This institution offers some of the most career-focused education. In fact, 95% of FHSU students either find a job or are placed in graduate school before they even graduate! 

    The Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at FHSU is not only career-oriented, but it’s offered entirely online. It’s available as a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts, focusing on the core theories in criminal justice. Many students are criminal justice practitioners and veterans working at the state, local, and federal levels. 

    FHSU accepts most prior course credits and even provides job placement assistance. You’ll be a valuable potential employee after finishing your degree here, too. Not only will you take classes covering all aspects of the legal system, from law enforcement to social justice, but you can add on one of six certificates (in topics like corrections or crime mapping and analysis) to further enhance your credentials.

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  18. MERIT: 72.74

    With a small student-to-faculty ratio of just 17:1, the University of Massachusetts Lowell offers a close-knit learning environment that enables students to interact regularly with qualified faculty and a diverse body of peers.

    The Bachelor of Science in criminal justice offers a strong core of criminal justice courses paired with a traditional liberal arts education. You’ll focus on how to keep neighborhoods, people, and countries safe with vital techniques and skills. You can transfer in up to 90 college credits for this program, with online students receiving the same degree as on-campus students. 

    Apply at any time—a variety of scholarships and other financial aid opportunities are available. You will take a variety of classes related to current topics in the field, such as emergency management, terrorism, homeland security, criminal profiling, and several others.

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  19. MERIT: 71.46

    At Eastern Kentucky University, a majority of your classes will be taught by instructors with Ph.D.s. Not only will this level of prestigious education provide you with the skills you need to be successful in your career, but you’ll gain a balanced insight into the inner workings of law enforcement. You’ll take classes in criminal justice ethics, perspectives on crime and delinquency, and crime patterns, just to name a few.

    All of these courses are taught by expert instructors who have keen insights into the world of criminal justice. Classes begin six separate times each year and are offered in accelerated eight-week terms. The university has a generous credit transfer policy and even offers reduced tuition for active-duty military members. You can study from any location at any time and benefit from online tutoring, career services, and personal advising.

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  20. MERIT: 71.29

    Founded originally in 1889 as a one-room schoolhouse with 18 students, Western Carolina University has grown rapidly since its inception. It’s positioned in one of the most scenic valleys in the center of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, but you don’t have to travel all the way to Cullowhee, NC in order to benefit from this school’s dynamic programs. Many are offered entirely online.

    This program offers maximum convenience and affordability. All instructional activities occur online within the Blackboard learning environment. You’ll pay an average of less than $14,000 for this degree, plus you can pursue a degree with a minor from any location. 

    As an online student at Western Carolina University, you can even participate in extracurricular activities. The university is home to the Student Association of Criminal Justice Affairs and Alpha Phi Sigma—the national criminal justice honor society. Participation in these organizations will hone your skills in criminal justice and provide you with extensive new job opportunities, too.

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  21. MERIT: 71.03

    Considered one of the Top Public Schools by U.S. News & World Report, Southeast Missouri State University offers popular majors in areas like agriculture, cybersecurity, and journalism. It’s also home to a thriving online program in criminal justice. 

    The Bachelor of Science in criminal justice offers 100% online classes with tuition rates starting at $300 per credit hour. The degree has excellent career outcomes, too, with 87% of graduates employed or in graduate school upon graduation. The program has two separate tracks: one is a university track for candidates seeking a Bachelor’s degree and the other is a law enforcement academy track for individuals seeking specialized law enforcement training. 

    Courses cover everything from criminology to corrections, with classes offered year-round to reduce the time to a degree. There are even minors available so that you can better position yourself for a rewarding career.

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  22. West Texas A & M
    MERIT: 70.98

    As the northernmost higher education institution in the state, West Texas A&M University has low tuition rates and is one of the most accessible and affordable universities in the region. It offers traditional programs in areas like business and agriculture but also has a booming online criminal justice program. It’s ranked one of the Best Online Programs by U.S. News & World Report

    This degree prepares students for lucrative careers as border patrol agents, investigators, police officers, and many other jobs. All majors are required to complete internships in criminal justice agencies prior to graduation. Available as both a Bachelor of Science (with additional science and math classes) or a Bachelor of Arts (with a foreign language), this program is highly customizable.

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  23. MERIT: 70.75

    Missouri State University-Springfield has more than 100 different Bachelor’s degrees and 300 different campus organizations for students to enjoy. You’ll live and learn both inside the classroom and out—nowhere is that truer than in the Bachelor of Science in criminology and criminal justice.

    In this program, you’ll gain the skills necessary to make the world a safer place. You’ll look at criminal behavior from a variety of perspectives and learn exactly what motivates people to commit crimes. You can customize your degree with a wide variety of electives and you’ll learn from full-time faculty who teach the same curriculum that’s offered on-campus. 

    With tuition that starts at just $3500 per semester, you won’t have to worry about affording your degree, either. Plus, significant scholarships and financial aid are also available to help offset the cost of earning an education.

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  24. MERIT: 70.50

    Originally created as a division of William & Mary, Old Dominion University is one of the top educational institutions in the country. Available as a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts, the online criminal justice program consists of 120 credit hours and is one of the best of its kind. 

    Offering by the College of Arts and Letters, the criminal justice program includes courses taught by a diverse, knowledgeable faculty who specialize in both criminology and criminal justice. You’ll graduate with a keen understanding of the psychological and social causes of criminal behavior. With tuition starting at just $356 per credit hour, the program is highly affordable and features additional discounts for active-duty military students, too.

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  25. Central Methodist University-college Of Graduate And Extended Studies
    MERIT: 69.72

    With an enrollment of just 1,148 undergraduate students, Central Methodist University might be small—but it’s definitely not a school to be missed. If you’re interested in criminal behavior, legal issues and investigation processes, the Central Methodist University criminal justice program might be the right choice for you. 

    Available at several CMU locations as well as online, this degree is available as both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. It includes a variety of hands-on learning opportunities in prisons, courts, and crime science areas, and allows you to utilize your skills across a variety of related areas. 

    Admission to this program is highly selective—you’ll be expected to have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale and 1050 or above on the SAT. You may want to complete college preparatory classes before beginning, too.

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  26. MERIT: 69.56

    Founded in 1969, the University of Alabama Birmingham is located in the heart of Alabama’s largest city. The Bachelor of Science in criminal justice draws from the city’s rich history but offers courses entirely online. The degree provides students with extensive training in criminal justice, criminology, and other vital disciplines. 

    Offering completely online, it offers all the quality of an on-campus program with the flexibility that only an online degree can provide. Scholarships are available, as are internships for motivated students. In the past, interns have worked with more than 50 different state, federal, and local agencies along with private security contractors, organizations, and courts.

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  27. MERIT: 69.24

    Choose to study at the University of Louisville, and you’ll be able to choose a major from over 170 potential areas of study. The criminal justice degree is offered 100% online and consists of 54 credit hours of study. The department regularly receives more than $4.5 million in research grants, making this university one of the best for students interested in expanding their knowledge via hands-on research.

    It’s also affordable. Online tuition starts at just $539 per credit hour. This rate is charged to in-state and out-of-state students alike. As a result, the degree is ranked not only as one of the Best Online Programs in Criminal Justice but also one of the Best Bachelor’s Degrees by U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 rankings.

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  28. MERIT: 67.53

    If you’re looking for a school that offers services like nonremedial tutoring, placement services, and even health services to online students as well as those studying on-campus, look no further than the University of Nebraska Omaha. This school has plenty to offer nontraditional students. 

    The online program in criminology and criminal justice is identical to the program offered on-campus, and can also be completed in a blended format. In this program, students will look at government, societal, and corporate responses to crime at all levels. The curriculum can easily be transformed into an interdisciplinary degree with courses in psychology, sociology, public administration, political science, and more.

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  29. MERIT: 66.75

    Thinking about a graduate degree after you finish up your Bachelor’s? If so, you may want to consider the University of Missouri-St. Louis-UMSL. This school has a highly ranked master’s degree in criminology. 

    Ranked second in the country by the Journal of Criminal Justice, this program has a high level of scholarly research. It is housed within the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice—here, the school also offers a master’s and a doctorate program in criminal justice, too. A total of 37 credit hours are required in addition to the university’s general education requirements. Other core courses include Research Methods, Theories of Crime, and Statistical Analysis in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

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  30. MERIT: 65.96

    Brandman University originally opened its door to deliver high-quality education to the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station—and to this day remains one of the most military-friendly schools around. The online criminal justice program is not only accessible for distance learners, but it’s also affordable. 

    In this program, learners will enhance their skills by looking at the many legal and ethical strategies for solving problems in criminal justice. It’s available as a minor, too, so that you can complement your learning with another area of study. You’ll take core classes in Corrections, Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice, Gangs and Gang Behavior, and Forensics, just to name a few.

    Offered in a hybrid format, this degree is available with tuition starting at just $500 per credit hour.

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What are some jobs for people with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice?

The job opportunities are endless for people who pursue and earn Bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice. A police officer is not your only choice. You’ll be able to select a position that best fits with your personal goals, interests, and characteristics. 

You could work in private security or even as an investigator. You could work as a probation officer helping parolees get back on their feet after being released from correctional facilities. You could also work as a loss prevention manager, a marshall, a special agent, or even a crime analyst.

How much money will I make with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice?

Earn a Bachelor’s in criminal justice, and you’ll enjoy a steady salary that will help you pay the bills. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for police officers is more than $62,000 per year. Work at a higher-level job, such as in a career like an FBI agent, and you can earn upwards of $138,000! 

Not only will this kind of degree help provide for you and your family, but it will also make you eligible for a variety of health and retirement benefits. Most positions in law enforcement make it possible for you to retire after just 20 years of service, and you’ll also receive a healthy benefits package to boot.

Plus, many of these careers offer significant benefits for people who work hard and stay in their jobs for a long period of time. If you earn a degree, you’ll be eligible for more promotions or raises. 

Can I earn a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice entirely online?

Absolutely. In fact, online criminal justice programs are rising in popularity as more students realize the value of going back to school. When you earn an online degree, you’ll benefit from added flexibility and convenience that can only come from the freedom of studying from home. 

Plus, an online degree can often be more affordable. Not only will you not need to pay the costs required to commute to (and potentially live on) campus, but online programs often come with reduced tuition rates and lower expenses for required items like books and other learning materials, too.

Does my program need to be accredited?

Yes. Finding a program that is accredited should be your top priority, and that’s one of the reasons why we only include accredited schools in our Online College Plan roundups. 

There are a few reasons why accreditation is so important. For starters, accreditation indicates a high level of program quality. You’ll also be eligible for federal and state financial aid, which is not the case with programs that are not accredited. If you choose to continue onto graduate-level education, accreditation will be required in order for you to apply for admission. 

Should I pursue a specialization option?

When you’re pursuing a degree in criminal justice, something that is important to consider is whether you want to pursue a specific tract outside of law enforcement. While most criminal justice programs will provide you with adequate preparation for a career as a police officer or detective, you may want to pursue specialty courses if you’re looking for a not-so-traditional line of work. 

For instance, if you want to become a forensic scientist, it will be smart to pursue a double major or concentration in forensics. You might want to get a psychology specialization if you want to work as a counselor, but if you plan on working in a prison setting, a specialization in corrections might be more ideal. 

Most degrees automatically offer students the opportunity to customize their degrees. However, it’s worth looking into whether your college of choice not only offers the specialization you’re interested in but also offers a strong traditional education in criminal justice as well. 

If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out Online Criminal Justice Degrees and Online Degrees for Professionals!