A degree in Criminal Justice prepares you to work for the various levels of government in a wide range of roles. You could also work in the legal field.

Criminal Justice graduates earn between $52,000 and $126,000 a year (Bureau of Labor Statistics) depending on their job.

Courses for an Online Criminal Justice Degree

Courses for an Online Criminal Justice Degree

The courses offered in an online criminal justice program differ depending on the school, educational path, and career goals of the students. However, below are some of the courses you are likely to take during the course of a criminal justice degree program:

  • Criminal Justice— provides a deeper understanding of criminal laws, courtroom procedures, and the criminal process from arrest, detention, and incarceration.
  • Victimology – discusses the experiences of victims as they move through the criminal justice system to give a better understanding of victimization patterns, among others.
  • Ethics and Diversity — discusses the ethical practice of law enforcement, particularly in incorporating cultural awareness in various communities.
  • Terrorism — gives a closer look at the behavior and motivations of terrorist groups as well as the effects of terrorist activities at local and national levels
  • Drugs and Crime — discusses the origins of drug addiction and how it is related to crime. Students also learn and analyze drug policies, drug treatment, and drug prevention programs.

You’ll also take classes specific to your concentration.

Criminal Justice Degree Salary

Criminal Justice Degree Salary

You may be surprised to learn that a criminal justice degree can open up a wide range of employment opportunities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some careers in the criminal justice field include:

Careers Annual Median Salary
Lawyer $126,930
FBI Agent $92,080
Detective and Criminal Investigator $86,940
Arbitrator $66,130
Police Officer $65,540
Forensic Analyst $60,590
Probation Officer $55,690
Private Detective and Investigator $53,320
Paralegal $52,920

While education is the largest factor in determining your starting salary, performance and experience will be what moves you up in your organization.

Questions Related to Earning a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice Online

Here are our answers to a few more questions you might have.

Can You Get a Criminal Justice Degree Online?

Yes, you can earn a Criminal Justice degree online. There’s a good number of colleges and universities across the country offering online criminal justice degrees.

Coursework for these programs is of the same quality as on-campus classes. You will also have the same professional opportunities as those who earn criminal justice degrees on-campus.

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

How long it takes to get a Criminal Justice degree online depends on the level of degree you want to take. You may earn a certificate program in criminal justice, which you can complete in 6 to 12 months. But this may not be enough to land you a job after graduation.

You may also take up an associate degree, which typically takes two years to complete. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice typically take 3-4 years.

As an alternate plan, you could explore programs that offer 4 week online college credit courses, which may help you to finish your degree faster.

How Much Does Criminal Justice Degree Cost?

How much a Criminal Justice degree costs depends on the level of degree you’ll be taking. An associate degree, which appeals to students who want to start a career in criminal justice in the shortest time possible, is the shortest to complete at 2 years on average.

The U.S. Department of Education says the average annual cost for an associate criminal justice degree is $21,141. Expect to spend at least $42,282 to complete this degree. Double that amount for a bachelor degree.

What Is the Best Online College for Criminal Justice?

The best online college for a criminal justice degree is one that is regionally-accredited.

You should also take into consideration other factors in choosing an online college for criminal justice degrees such as tuition fees, faculty longevity and credentials, and overall graduation rate.

What Are the Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs?

You won’t have to pay thousands of dollars in tuition fees to get a criminal justice degree.

There are educational institutions offering affordable online criminal justice degree programs. Some of the most affordable degree programs cost just $200 per credit hour.

Universities Offering Criminal Justice Degrees Online

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers a BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The program is a 120-credit-hour program with a total of 40 classes with each class lasting for 7.5  weeks.

Students who maintain a GPA of 3.40 and higher can apply to the accelerated criminal justice degree program, which can allow them to complete the BS and MA in just 5 years.

  • BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Committee.

Ball State University

Ball State University offers a BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology that has the unique feature of allowing you to customize your degree based on the career path you want to enter.

This program is ideal for persons working in criminology and criminal justice who wish to achieve their degree while juggling family and jobs.

  • BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology

BSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Bellevue University

Bellevue University offers a BS in Criminal Justice and Emergency Management. The degree features a total of 127 credit hours and is offered on campus and online.

This is ideal for people who have deep-rooted values as justice, integrity, and honesty. Students can learn corrections, law enforcement, and court systems.

  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • BS in Emergency Management

Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Bemidji State University

Bemidji State University offers a BS in Criminal Justice, which is provided partly online. The last two years of the BS are provided entirely online. Students pursuing this degree can choose to emphasize in Corrections, Law Enforcement, Victimology, and Tribal Justice.

The program is delivered entirely online, and there is the option to enroll for on-campus classes as well.

  • BS in Criminal Justice

Bemidji State University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Central Methodist University

Central Methodist University offers both a BA & BS in Criminal Justice. This program covers everything from profiling, serial crime, and American society law. Students get the opportunity to build the necessary skills for becoming a professional in the real world.

Courses covered include policing, criminal law, and the entire legal system.

  • BA in Criminal Justice
  • BS in Criminal Justice

CMU is accredited and/or recognized by the Higher Learning Commission.

Colorado State University

Colorado State University offers a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice. This is a 120-credit-hour program that provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to perform in the criminal justice industry.

Students can learn law enforcement, managerial skills, and more to help with the smooth running of industry agencies.

  • Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Colorado State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Crown College

Crown College offers a BS in Criminal Justice as well as a BS in Disaster and Emergency Management. This degree is ideal for anyone who wants to join the growing and exciting field of criminal justice.

The program here is a Christ-centered one with a broad overview of criminal justice, giving students multiple entry points to start their career.

  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • BS in Disaster and Emergency Management

Crown College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University offers both a BA and a BS in Criminal Justice. Students of these programs are provided with a general scope of American crime and the criminal justice system.

Students enrolled in this program prepare for careers in the judicial system, in law enforcement, in corrections, juvenile justice, social services, and more.

  • BA in Criminal Justice
  • BS in Criminal Justice

Dallas Baptist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Drury University

Drury University offers three different options. There is a BS degree in Criminal Justice, one in Emergency Management, and One in Law Enforcement.

Students who are certain about which areas they want to pursue underneath the criminal justice umbrella may find these specific programs of interest. Students who are still unsure may find the Criminal Justice program ideal.

  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • BS in Emergency Management
  • BS in Law Enforcement

Drury University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Granite State College

Granite State College offers an online BS degree in Criminal Justice. The program is designed to prepare students to work in corrections, parole, advocacy, and probation roles, among others.

The program is unique in that it allows students to demonstrate their knowledge level and have this applied to their credit. Students who have work experience or volunteer-based experiences and training can earn credit hours for these.

  • BS in Criminal Justice

Granite State College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Liberty University

Liberty University offers a total of 9 online degrees that can help students prepare for a career in law enforcement, criminal justice, crime scene investigation, criminal psychology, and more.

Each degree program has a specific focus prepare students for particular jobs in a particular niche field of Criminal Justice.

  • BS in Criminal Justice – Business Administration and Management
  • BS in Criminal Justice – Crime Scence Investigation
  • BS in Criminal Justice – Criminal Psychology
  • BS in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security
  • BS in Criminal Justice – Juvenile Justice
  • BS in Criminal Justice – Public Administration
  • BS in Criminal Justice – Strategic Intelligence
  • BS in Law and Policy
  • BS in Law and Policy – Pre-Law

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Regent University

Regent University offers a BS in Criminal Justice along with a BS in Professional Studies with an emphasis. Programs are offered on campus as well as online.

The BS in Criminal Justice has a focus on homeland security, making it a perfect fit for students who want to get into careers in that field.

  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • BS in Professional Studies – Criminal Justice

Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University offers a BA in Criminal Justice and a BA in Homeland Security Studies. They also offer a BS in Criminal Justice and a BS in Homeland Security Studies.

These courses provide students the ability to study at research institutes. The program also allows students to access world-renowned correctional and law enforcement training.

  • BA in Criminal Justice
  • BA in Homeland Security Studies
  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • BS in Homeland Security Studies

Sam Houston State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University offers both a BA in Criminal Justice and a BS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. These programs are suitable for adult learners and persons who have experience in law enforcement.

The program is designed to allow these people the opportunity to step up the career ladder.

  • BA in Criminal Justice
  • BS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Thomas Edison State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida offers a BA and a BS degree in Criminal Justice. The programs are 120-credit-hour programs that are delivered entirely online. The program provides online, interactive coursework as well as hands-on training in some instances.

Students can learn the skills and knowledge they need to enter the various careers in the criminal justice system.

  • BA in Criminal Justice
  • BS in Criminal Justice

The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Mary

The University of Mary offers students a BS in Criminal Justice. The degree is offered entirely online and gives students the ability to take their criminal justice career to the next level. Students are allowed to transfer qualifying credits and can finish the program in as little as two years.

  • BS in Criminal Justice

The University of Mary is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

University of Maryland Global Campus

The University of Maryland Global campus offers a BS in Criminal Justice as well as a BS in Homeland Security. Both these programs are offered entirely online.

The programs give students the skills and knowledge they need to excel in a variety of careers in the field of Criminal Justice.

  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • BS in Homeland Security

UMGC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Massachusetts – Global

The University of Massachusetts Global offers a BA in Criminal Justice. The program is designed to expose students to real-life experiences. The program covers legal strategies, ethical strategies, and knowledge for problem-solving.

This is often a good choice for those interested in being able to fit into a wide variety of justice, court, and law enforcement careers.

  • BA in Criminal Justice

The University of Massachusetts Global is accredited by the WSCUC Senior College and University Commission.

University of Nebraska – Kearney

The University of Nebraska at Kearney campus offers a fully online BS degree in Criminal Justice. The degree is a 120-credit program that provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills for jobs in the criminal justice fields.

The degree is suitable for persons already working in the area as well as is ideal for new high school grads.

  • BS in Criminal Justice

The University of Nebraska at Kearney is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix offers online degrees including a BS in Correctional Program Support Services, a BS in Criminal Justice Administration and a BS in Security Management.

Each program has its definite focus, and as such, these degrees are ideal for students who know for a fact what fields they want to get into after school.

  • BS in Correctional Program Support Services
  • BS in Criminal Justice Administration
  • BS in Security Management

The University of Phoenix is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota offers both a BA and a BS degree in Criminal Justice. The beauty of these programs is that they do not focus only on Criminal Justice

They include course material from other disciplines so that the program prepares students to work in a variety of segments of the criminal justice system.

  • BA in Criminal Justice
  • BS in Criminal Justice

The University of South Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida main campus offers a BA in Criminology along with a BS in Applied Sciences with an emphasis in Criminal Justice.

The degrees are offered partially online as they are completion courses. The BA has an internship program, which, of course, cannot be completed online. The BS program is a capstone program, so students must have an ASC to enroll.

  • BA in Criminology
  • BS in Applied Sciences – Criminal Justice

USF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges.

Washington State University

Washington State University offers a BA in Criminal Justice and Criminology. This program is well suited for those who have a keen interest in criminal behavior and want to make a difference in the ridding society of these plagues.

The BA program accepts students for summer and fall semesters annually.

  • BA in Criminal Justice and Criminology

Washington State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University offers BS degrees in Criminal Justice and Emergency and Disaster Management. This program is one of the largest at WCU.

Graduates have a lot of career opportunity options upon completing this program, and those already working the field can look forward to moving up the career ladder.

  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • BS in Emergency and Disaster Management

Western Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Wilmington University

Wilmington University offers an online BS in Criminal Justice. The program is delivered by experience Criminal Justice instructors and provides relevant training for the field.

The degree is not a “one size fits all option,” with its variety in course content and direction. Students get the opportunity to visit criminal justice agencies and to meet some of the industry practitioners.

  • BS in Criminal Justice

Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Is a Criminal Justice Degree Worth It?

Yes, a Criminal Justice degree is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 3% job growth in protective service occupations over the next 10 years.  Common careers in this sector include paralegal, probation officer, forensic analyst, detective and criminal investigator, and lawyer.

Earning a criminal justice degree is worth the time and effort as you have plenty of employment opportunities to choose from after graduation.

You can work not only for the government but also for private entities. In short, a criminal justice degree can be your ticket to a decent-paying and noble job in the future. Apply to universities and colleges offering online criminal justice programs now.

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