Are you ready to join the ranks of the brave men and women of law enforcement or homeland security? With a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice on your résumé, you’re qualified to become a police officer, detective, probation officer, crime lab analyst, or even join the Secret Service.
More and more law enforcement organizations prefer applicants with a bachelor’s degree, especially for leadership or federal positions. Depending on what you want to do, you can choose to focus on law enforcement, juvenile criminal justice, homeland security, or corrections. You’ll learn all about the inner workings of the criminal justice system, and cover criminological theory, ethical issues, juvenile justice and corrections, and criminal procedure.
In 2015, police officers and detectives made an average of $60,270 per year with a projected job growth of 4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Crime lab analysts (analyze crime scenes and evidence) expect to see a 27% growth rate.
Today, an online criminal justice bachelor’s degree is popular choice for students who are determined to better serve their community, but still need the flexibility of an online program. You can work at your own pace, and take either part-time or full-time while still making time for your life outside of school.
Below, we’ve ranked the top 50 online criminal justice degrees. We’ve reviewed many features (financial aid, graduation rate, loan default rate) to make sure you find the right fit for your future goals in criminal justice.
University of Central Florida
|Value Score 7.71|| |
Founded in 1963, UCF is the second largest university in the nation. The school’s 13 colleges offer 210 degree programs leading to baccalaureate and graduate degrees from UCF’s main campus, satellites throughout Central Florida and online learning. Disciplines range from business, chemistry, and civil engineering to education, film, and gerontology. UCF is a strong research institution with researchers and students working on projects in engineering, the sciences, modeling and simulation, and healthcare, among others.
UCF offers a full portfolio of elearning programs leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees, 2+2 baccalaureate completion programs, and graduate certificates. UCF’s bachelor of arts (BA) and bachelor of science (BS) in criminal justice prepares graduates for positions including in local, state, and federal justice agencies, or for graduate-level work in criminal justice. Areas of study for this online criminal justice bachelor’s degree include prosecution and adjudication, corrections, police and society, prison and jails, and crime in the media.
University of Massachusetts – Lowell
|Value Score 7.16|| |
The UMass–Lowell is a national research university providing an affordable, high-quality education through its more than 100 bachelor’s, 40 master’s, and 30 doctoral degrees. The school focuses on learning through experience as students work side-by-side with world-renowned faculty, alumni, and professionals. In addition to traditional liberal arts areas of study, the institution offers programming in areas such as cheminformatics; bioinformatics; forensic science: chemistry; nanomaterials engineering; and nuclear engineering.
The school notes its award-winning degrees and certificates delivered through distance learning, including a bachelor’s in criminal justice online. The BS in criminal justice gives students a traditional liberal arts education, the criminal justice concentration, and proficiency in a foreign language or completion of four statistics/information technology/data analysis courses. The degree, which can be taken entirely online or in a hybrid online/in-class form, focuses on areas such as violence in America, criminal profiling, criminalistics, hate crimes, and homeland security.
Florida International University
|Value Score 6.85|| |
Designated a top-tier research institution, FIU emphasizes research as a significant component of the university’s mission, in addition to entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity. Located in Miami, FIU’s 190+ bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs range from engineering and business to medicine. The school’s international business program is highly ranked nationally; FIU is also the top college in the nation awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students.
FIU, recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in criminal justice education and offers a number of e-learning programs, including an online bachelor’s criminal justice degree. Its BS in criminal justice prepares students for careers in law enforcement, private security or corrections. Areas of study include criminological theory; global terrorism; criminal justice and the Constitution; and research methods in criminal justice. Each online student is paired with a success coach in order to aid his or her academic achievement.
University of Alaska Fairbanks
|Value Score 6.82|| |
A center of diversity and innovation, UAF is the principal research center for the state’s university system. The institution awards associate, bachelor’s, and graduate degree programs, with general program/studies, biological sciences, petroleum engineering, and mechanical engineering among its top undergraduate programs. Conversely, top graduate programs include fisheries, business administration, and counseling.
UAF offers two bachelor’s in criminal justice online. One is a BA in justice designed for professionals pursuing a career in Alaska or the Pacific Northwest, in which they learn how to solve conflicts concerning federal, state, and Native American issues. Students learn about rural and tribal justice systems as well as restorative justice. The other is UAF’s new bachelor of emergency management, designed for workers in the growing emergency services field. Areas of study include homeland security and emergency management; disaster response operations; hazards risk analysis; leadership in dangerous contexts; and cyber security management.
Fort Hays State University
|Value Score 6.75|| |
With an enrollment of more than 13,000 students, FHSU is a hub of entrepreneurship and innovation located in Hays, Kansas. Through its 28 academic departments, FHSU has a large portfolio of degree programs at the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels, and certificates. In addition to traditional liberal arts offerings, ranging from agriculture and education to geosciences and informatics, FHSU offers pre-professional programs in areas such as law, medicine, engineering, and public administration.
FHSU’s BA and BS in criminal justice focuses on the cause of crime and the response of society. Whether a student wants to become a law enforcement agent or a U.S. Marshal, these interdisciplinary bachelor’s in criminal justice online programs allow students to specialize in law enforcement, corrections, law, and the courts, or a combination thereof. The institution notes that it is very affordable compared to universities in and out of the state.
University of Massachusetts – Amherst
|Value Score 6.70|| |
Founded in 1863 and the largest public research university in New England, UMass Amherst is one of the nation’s top universities. The school, recognized for its academic excellence, research, and community outreach programs, offers a full range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs. Programs of study include traditional liberal arts offerings such as general studies, biology, industrial engineering, chemistry, and science. Among the school’s notables is research in advanced manufacturing, including flexible hybrid electronics.
The institution’s University Without Walls allows students to design an individualized program of study that can be taken 100% online or in a hybrid format, including a criminal justice studies concentration. This program prepares graduates with the skills and credentials for careers in the judiciary, corrections, policing, homeland security, or social services. Areas of study include: criminal forensics, race and policing, serial and mass murder, drugs, and juvenile justice. UMass Amherst is ranked for providing value for its tuition.
University of Memphis
|Value Score 6.70|| |
UofM is a major research institution located in the heart of Tennessee celebrated for academic excellence, intellectual engagement, and diversity. Students come from all around the world to pursue bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees focusing on over 254 areas of study. Pre-professional programs are offered in fields such as dentistry, optometry, medicine, and pharmacy. The university is home to the FedEx Institute of Technology, where renowned researchers work to solve some of the world’s most complex problems.
UofM emphasizes scholarship, research, and community outreach with its bachelor’s in criminal justice online. Areas covered include policing strategies, capital punishment, violence, gangs, corrections, and international crime. The courses in the BA in criminology and justice program are taught by faculty who have attained national recognition for their work and research. Students can take the program 100% online or through a hybrid format.
North Carolina Central University
|Value Score 6.63|| |
NCCU was the first public liberal arts institution for African Americans in the United States. The university has a strong tradition of research and service, preparing students to become leaders. NCCU offers a portfolio of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a Juris Doctor, and a PhD in integrated biosciences. Among NCCU’s highlights are a nationally recognized law school, acclaimed and innovative programs in sciences, business, humanities, the performing arts, and education.
The university’s top three undergraduate degree programs are criminal justice, family and consumer science, and business administration; the top three graduate degree programs are law, library science, and public administration. NCCU offers a nationally ranked online criminal justice bachelor’s degree for quality and value. NCCU’s BS in criminal justice can be taken entirely online and focuses on areas such as: juvenile justice, criminal law, criminal procedure, and ethics and diversity in criminal justice.
Westfield State University
|Value Score 6.63|| |
A part of the Massachusetts public higher education system, Westfield State University works to instill in its students intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, civic engagement, and the adoption of a global perspective. Westfield offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide array of subjects, ranging from English, mathematics, and biology to environmental science and gender studies.
Among notables is being the only public university in New England with a BS in regional planning, high rankings for its online degree programs by U.S. News and World Report, and designation as a “Top Military Friendly College.” The school offers a 100% online BS completion program in criminal justice designed for students, specifically graduates of community colleges in Massachusetts. Among learning objectives: comprehension of qualitative and quantitative social science research; knowledge of due process, equal protection, etc.; and the role of ethics and moral reasoning in criminal justice.
Fayetteville State University
|Value Score 6.63|| |
FSU is part of the University of North Carolina and the oldest historically black institution of higher learning in the state. The university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in areas of study including math, political science, intelligence studies, psychology, and education. Popular degree completion programs are offered, including an RN-BSN, criminal justice, and fire and emergency services.
FSU’s undergraduate online programs are degree completion, thereby students take upper-division (junior- and senior-level) courses online. To enroll in a program, students must have completed all core requirements, or be dually enrolled at a partnering community college. Areas of study include race, class, and gender in criminal justice, criminal justice statistics, police and society, and white-collar crime. FSU’s online bachelor’s criminal justice courses are not self-paced and require the weekly interactions expected of students taking on-campus courses.
Florida State University
|Value Score 6.63|| |
An elite research university, FSU embraces a philosophy of learning rooted in the liberal arts tradition while educating its students in the sciences, technology, humanities, and professions. FSU offers 341 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, specialist, and professional degree programs. It has accredited programs in both law (JD) and medicine (MD). Among its notables is the Office of Critical Thinking Initiatives which uses instructional development, campus-wide programming, and co-curricular engagement to enhance critical thinking skills among students.
The Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 2016, ranked FSU’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice No. 1 “among all criminology and criminal justice program faculties for faculty research.” The school offers a BS in criminology designed for those employed. This online criminal justice bachelor’s degree includes study in media and crime victimization; criminal and delinquent behavior; and law enforcement. FSU is nationally recognized for affordability and high-quality education.
|Value Score 6.57|| |
MC is a co-educational university of liberal arts, sciences, and professional studies. It is a private college recognized for academic excellence and commitment to the teachings of Christ. MC has a catalog of 80 undergraduate options, more than 15 graduate degree programs, and a highly rated law school. In addition to traditional offerings, MC has degree programs in homeland security, kinesiology, and chemical physics.
MC’s BS in administration of justice is an online criminal justice bachelor’s degree program preparing professionals for law enforcement and related careers. Areas of study include: police process, criminal investigation, judicial process, and forensic science. MC also offers an online BS in homeland security that comprehensively covers criminal justice, in addition to electives focusing on homeland security. Areas of focus include: legal aspects of homeland security, domestic and international terrorism, and cyber terrorism.
McNeese State University
|Value Score 6.52|| |
Located in Louisiana, McNeese State University offers a wide range of baccalaureate and graduate curricula instilling academic rigor via a faculty committed to excellence in teaching and research. Students have more than 75 degree programs from which to choose in areas ranging from business, education, and engineering to liberal arts, nursing, and health professions.
The school offers both hybrid and fully online degree programs in areas such as general studies, nursing, psychology, management, and criminal justice. The BS in criminal justice is 100% online and accelerated with two seven-week sessions a regular semester. Students can access assignments when and from wherever they choose. The institution has a 2+2 partnership with Louisiana State University campuses that offer the first two years of the required coursework, and McNeese offers the subsequent two years of studies. The university also accepts college-level credits earned elsewhere.
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
|Value Score 6.44|| |
UTPB pursues a mission of providing quality education to its students through in-person and online learning formats, fostering excellence in teaching and research, and being a vital resource for the intellectual, economic, and technological advancement of the state’s diverse populace.
UTPB offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in hot career fields such as mechanical and petroleum engineering, criminal justice, petroleum technology, and information systems; eight online undergraduate and graduate degree are listed. Among its notables is the state’s first Early College High School serving remote districts with blended online and in-class learning. UTPB also offers online dual credit courses to schools throughout the state. UTPB’s bachelor’s completion degree in criminology and criminal justice is a 100% online program designed for students who have completed two years of undergraduate courses. Areas of study include: crime causation, juvenile justice, law enforcement, courts, and corrections.
Keiser University – Ft Lauderdale
|Value Score 6.43|| |
Keiser University-Fort Lauderdale was founded in 1977 by the Keiser family to further hands-on career education in small classes. Today the institution has campuses throughout Florida and online offering degrees in more than 100 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, specialist, and associate programs of study. Notable is its national recognition for service to veterans and awarding nearly $44 million in scholarships to students.
The school has three online bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice. The BA in criminal justice focuses on areas such as deviant behavior, law enforcement and investigation, victimology, and private security. The BS in cyber forensics/information security is a completion program for graduates of associate of science (AS) programs in computer-related fields; it focuses on areas such as systems analysis, systems design, and cyber crimes. The BA in Homeland Security specializes in areas such as tactical communications, catastrophic event response and infrastructure protection.
SUNY College at Oswego
|Value Score 6.41|| |
Oswego State University of New York is located on a 690-acre campus located in Oswego county. Through the school’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; School of Business; School of Communication, Media and the Arts; and School of Education, SUNY Oswego offers more than 110 programs of study. In addition to traditional offerings there are degree programs in zoology, risk management and insurance, meteorology, and geochemistry.
The school offers a BA in public justice that is available fully online. This online criminal justice bachelor’s degree is focused on issues beyond the criminal justice system with students learning from an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective. Areas of study include administration of justice, corrections, courts and judicial administration, law enforcement, probation, juvenile delinquency, parole, and pre-law. SUNY Oswego is recognized for combining “outstanding academics with affordable cost,” and is recognized among the nation’s Colleges of Distinction.
University of Nebraska at Kearney
|Value Score 6.36|| |
UNK is a premier undergraduate institution fostering excellence in scholarship, graduate education, and public service. The school offers 120 undergraduate, 22 pre-professional, and 27 graduate degree programs. Among its notables is a job placement rate of almost 100% in some areas, including accounting, education, computer science, and industrial technology. UNK participates in the National Student Exchange in which students can attend one of 175 universities or colleges for a semester or a year.
The online BS in criminal justice is a degree completion program designed for students with an associate degree, or those who have completed the required general education courses. Areas of study include correctional services and systems; the police service; sex crimes; minorities in criminal justice; and criminal evidence, procedure, and the courts. The school’s online courses are highly interactive and use the Blackboard course management software, multimedia presentations, streaming video, and supplemental CDs/DVDs.
University of Oklahoma – Norman Campus
|Value Score 6.34|| |
Boasting state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge research, and a culture of innovation, the University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus provides its students with a top notch education that is affordable. Students have 170 degree programs from which they can earn undergraduate and graduate degrees; among the school’s top programs are meteorology, energy business, journalism, health sciences, and dance.
The University of Oklahoma offers an affordable online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice that combines theory and practice to educate and train future law enforcement professionals who are community-builders, analytic thinkers, and problem-solvers. The three areas of focus are restorative justice, corrections management, and police administration. The institution’s academic excellence, financial aid offerings, and tuition and fees make the University of Oklahoma one of the most affordable schools in the Big 12.
Sam Houston State University
|Value Score 6.34|| |
The twelfth largest university in Texas, SHSU provides learning that is high quality, an environment that fosters scholarship, and a community dedicated to service. The school offers traditional undergraduate, graduate and certification programs in numerous fields of study.
SHSU offers two bachelor’s in criminal justice online from the College of Criminal Justice, “one of the oldest and most prestigious programs in the nation.” Among the most popular courses in the BS and BA program are: cyber crime, global terrorism, victimology, and forensic science. Among SHSU’s notables are the top ranking in the state in workplace placement within twelve months of students’ graduation; more than 71% of undergraduate degrees are awarded to “at risk” students; the school is ranked 7th in the nation for African-American graduation rates; and ranked in the top 10 for online learning in the state.
Western Carolina University
|Value Score 6.27|| |
Ranked one of the Top 15 public regional universities in the South, WCU focuses its programming on high-demand degrees in areas such as engineering, science, education, business, and health care. On offer are more than 115 undergraduate majors and concentrations and 60-plus graduate programs with an emphasis on hands-on and applied experience.
One of the largest degree programs at WCU is the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice bachelor’s in criminal justice online. The curriculum is designed from an interdisciplinary social science perspective delving into issues such as crime problems, research methodologies, the justice system and its challenges. Graduates can enter careers in areas such as law enforcement, victim services, institutional corrections, probation, or parole. The school notes that approximately 81% of WCU students enrolled get financial aid such as grants, loans, and scholarships, making this an extremely affordable online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
University of Nebraska at Omaha
|Value Score 6.18|| |
UNO is a premier university and doctoral research institution with a commitment to academic excellence, student success, and local and global engagement. UNO provides students with high-quality undergraduate and graduate programming in more than 200 programs of study. Among its advantages are cutting-edge facilities, emerging research, diversity, and support for military and veteran students.
UNO offers more than 20 100% online and hybrid (online and on-campus) degrees. Among them is the BS in criminology and criminal justice focusing on police and society, criminal court system, criminology, and criminal procedures, etc. UNO notes its affordability given it has the lowest tuition and fees of 10 Eastern Nebraska four-year institutions, making this an affordable online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. If you are a resident or student from Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, or Wisconsin, you may be eligible for reduced out-of-state tuition.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
|Value Score 6.17|| |
A quality education and flexible learning opportunities are on tap at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) where students are prepared to be leaders and innovators in their fields. An institution that is a regional leader in research, technology, and economic development, UALR offers more than 140 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in high demand fields such as nursing, engineering, criminal justice, and education.
UALR offers several degree and certificate programs that can be taken 100% online. Among them is the BA in criminal justice designed for students pursuing careers in law enforcement, corrections, and the court system. Areas of study include the police’s role in society, crime and behaviors, research methods, and an exploration of the correctional system. Regardless of where you live, if you enroll in an approved fully online degree program at UALR, you receive reduced tuition rates, making this an affordable online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
|Value Score 6.17|| |
Established in 1884, NSU of Louisiana’s mission is the acquisition, creation, and dissemination of knowledge through educational programming and research. A full catalog of graduate and undergraduate degrees are offered in areas ranging from business and accounting to sciences and engineering.
In addition to its three main campuses, NSU offers distance learning in a number of areas of study. The BA in criminal justice includes courses in police processes, the adjudication process, police operations, criminalistics, and forensic science. NSU students studying exclusively online are not required to pay out-of-state fees, making this an affordable bachelor’s in criminal justice online degree. Of note is NSU’s ranking as a Top Military Friendly University in addition to being one of the best online schools for Veterans. The school accepts credits transferred from accredited institutions.
Austin Peay State University
|Value Score 6.16|| |
Located in Clarksville, Tennessee, APSU is one of Tennessee’s fastest-growing universities, with classes delivered on a number of campuses and online. APSU offers 56 majors and 63 different concentrations leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Among its programming are 3+1 programs, in which students can complete an undergraduate and graduate degrees in four years.
Of note is the university’s Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts and the Center of Excellence for Field Biology. The school offers online programming in areas such as computer science, political science, and criminal justice. APSU offers an online BS in criminal justice with a concentration in Homeland Security. The program covers constitutional law, cybercrime, crime prevention, domestic terrorism, and international terrorism. APSU also participates in the TN eCampus, which is a consortium of colleges and universities in the state offering more than 500 online programs.
University of Louisiana at Monroe
|Value Score 6.11|| |
ULM’s mission is to provide students with transformative learning that prepares them to compete, succeed, and contribute in a global society. ULM gives students a high-quality educational experience leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees and continuing education in the arts, education, sciences, healthcare, and social sciences.
Through its eULM, which has been ranked the number one online school in the state, students can engage in distance learning in more than 30 degree programs. The fully online bachelor’s in criminal justice prepares graduates for careers as probation officers, forensic science technicians, police officers, or private detectives. Areas of study include the police, criminal law, evidence and procedures, and the management of criminal justice agencies. eULM notes that its online bachelor’s in criminal justice is the oldest of its kind in the state, is affordable, and 88% of program graduates find employment in the field within six months.
|Value Score 6.11|| |
Located in Alabama, Troy University is a comprehensive university with a history of academic excellence in educational programming in the Southeast and nationally, offering a full catalog of associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degrees. Troy places a high value on enrolling home-schooled students and military/veterans. Dual enrollment opportunities are available for high school students in which they can earn college and high school credit simultaneously through Troy’s ACCELERATE virtual learning environment.
One of the largest online programs at Troy is criminal justice, with a bachelor’s offered with two concentrations: digital forensics and homeland security. The digital forensics concentration focuses on areas such as digital forensics, social media investigations, digital evidence, and cyber crime. The Homeland Security concentration focuses on areas such as security operations, terrorism, and international conflicts. Troy notes its affordability given the financial aid opportunities offered, including loans, grants, and scholarships. The TROY Military and Family Scholarship program is available for serving members and their dependents.
Eastern Kentucky University
|Value Score 6.09|| |
Dedicated to providing high-quality education, scholarship and service, EKU’s five colleges offer 108 degree programs in areas such as health care, aviation, business agriculture, and career and technical education. Pre-professional and professional training is also available in various fields.
EKU offers several online degree programs in areas such as general studies, nursing, and emergency medical care. EKU offers a BS in corrections and juvenile justice studies that is 100% online. Areas of study include corrections, juvenile justice and rehabilitation, crime and delinquency, female offenders, and juvenile sex offenders. EKU notes that it’s a national leader in homeland security education and offers a 100% online BS in homeland security for professionals to work in intelligence, infrastructure protection, emergency management, etc. Areas of study include security management, intelligence processes, cybercrime and cyber terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction.
University of Houston – Victoria
|Value Score 6.08|| |
A part of the University of Houston system in Texas, UHV offers 70 bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the arts and sciences; education, health professions; business administration; and human development fields. The programming, high-quality and affordable, is available on the Victoria and Katy campuses and online. Notable programs include bachelor’s degrees in kinesiology, supply chain management, and computer science–gaming and simulation. UHV’s unique graduate programs include economic development and entrepreneurship and computer information systems.
Its catalog of online offerings includes a BS in criminal justice focusing on theory and research and is designed for a range of local and state law enforcement careers. Areas of study include criminology, research methods in criminal justice, ethics of social control, and hate crimes. UHV notes its ranking as one of the most affordable distance learning schools in Texas, making this an affordable online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
West Texas A&M University
|Value Score 6.06|| |
West Texas A&M University is a community of learners pursuing academic excellence, research opportunities, and service. The institution’s undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate degree programs are offered in a multitude of disciplines.
West Texas A&M offers a bachelor’s in criminal justice with an emphasis on administration that is 100% online, focusing on areas such as policing, criminology, corrections, terrorism, racial and cultural minorities, and the judicial process. Hybrid versions, criminal justice-corrections (BA and BS options) and criminal justice-policing (BA and BS options), are also available. A bachelor’s of emergency management administration (BAAS) is also fully online designed to prepare graduates for high-level administration and management careers within emergency services. Areas of study include public personnel administration, risk management, technology for emergency management, and public relations.
University of Louisville
|Value Score 6.05|| |
The U of L is a research university located in Kentucky’s largest metropolitan area. The institution, known for its large statue of The Thinker that sits in front of Grawemeyer Hall, pursues excellence and inclusiveness in educating students at three campuses and online. More than 170 fields of study are available for students seeking associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and first-professional degrees options.
U of L’s BS in criminal justice degree is offered 100% online to prepare graduates for a wide range of careers such as police officers, criminal investigators, corrections officers, and special agents. The program emphasizes theoretical knowledge and applied skills in areas such as law enforcement, criminal behavior, and criminal procedure. If you are are currently employed as a public safety personnel in the Louisville region, you may be eligible to apply for a Blue Coats Scholarship, making this an especially cheap online criminal justice degree for local residents.
|Value Score 6.04|| |
Lewis University is a Catholic and Lasallian institution focuses on a tradition of liberal learning, values, and preparedness for professional work. Its portfolio of 80 undergraduate, 35 graduate, and two doctoral programs can be taken on its Romeoville campus, four satellite campuses, or through distance education
Lewis offers online programming in areas such as aviation and transportation, computer science, and nursing. The online BA in criminal/social justice is an accelerated learning program and one of the largest programs of its kind in the nation. Among the areas of study are criminology/corrections, excessive use of force, domestic violence, and community-oriented policing. Students in this program can enroll in a fast-track master’s program in criminal justice where some credits may count toward undergraduate and graduate requirements. With 97% of the university’s students receiving financial aid, this is an affordable online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
|Value Score 6.03|| |
Virginia-based Liberty University is a liberal arts institution recognized for its world-class education rooted in solid Christian values. The school, with talented faculty and state-of-the-art technology, offers more than 500 programs of study in areas such as education, counseling, religion, aviation, law and cinematic arts. Programs lead to associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degrees, along with professional certifications.
The school enrolls more than 90,000 distance learners with a wide array of online programming in areas such as aeronautics, business, communications, and general studies. Liberty’s BS in criminal justice has seven areas of specialization: business administration and management; criminal psychology; crime scene investigation; homeland security; public administration; strategic intelligence; and juvenile justice. Overall, students learn the inner workings of the criminal justice system and response to different types of crime, as well as develop strong leadership and managerial skills. Liberty University notes that its tuition is among the lowest of top online universities.
|Value Score 6.02|| |
AU is an Ohio-based private liberal arts and sciences institution preparing students for a wide range of careers through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Of note is the Ashland Theological Seminary, a graduate division of the institution focusing on master’s and doctoral degrees in areas such as divinity, ministry, pastor counseling, and chaplaincy.
AU offers undergraduate and graduate online programming in areas such as business, multidisciplinary studies, education, and nursing. The BS in criminal justice program is 100% online and delivered conveniently in eight-week sessions. It focuses on theoretic principles and their practical applications in criminal justice. Areas of study include courts and justice, criminal law, criminology, and criminal procedure. The school’s Graduate, Online, and Adult Center for Academic Support can help students, including distance learners, navigate their academic pathway. AU notes that 96% of graduates are employed or in graduate school; the school is well ranked for value.
University of Central Missouri
|Value Score 6.01|| |
UCM was established in 1872 and now has campuses in Warrensburg, at UCM – Lee’s Summit, and an extended campus offering degrees at other locations. UCM has more than 150 programs of study on offer leading to undergraduate, graduate, and education specialist degrees, as well as certification. Degree offerings focus on hands-on experience and real-world skills in areas as diverse as business, aviation management, cybersecurity, biology, and forensic chemistry. Of note are study abroad opportunities in more than 60 countries.
UCM delivers two BS degrees in criminal justice and crisis and disaster management that are 100% online. The criminal justice major focuses on areas such as policing, courts, corrections, and juvenile justice. The crisis and disaster management major is a program to train emergency management professionals; students may concentrate in emergency management, hazardous materials, or business continuity. Overall areas of focus are preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery.
|Value Score 5.93|| |
Anderson University is recognized as a top university in the South academically and for graduates who leave college with lower educational debt than many in the region. AU offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees on campus and online with 36 majors, 38 concentrations, and 25 minors.
Distance learning options at AU add value through convenience and flexibility. Areas of study range from business administration, Christian studies, RN to BSN, and liberal studies. AU offers bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice with several areas of specialization, all delivered 100% online. Areas of specialization are: criminal justice with either law enforcement or homeland security/emergency preparedness tracks; and emergency services management with either homeland security operations and administration or whole community tracks. Traditional financial aid options are available for this affordable online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
University of the Cumberlands
|Value Score 5.89|| |
For more than 125 years, UC has been providing students with a world-class liberal arts education rooted in Christian principles. The university offers 40 majors and minors leading to baccalaureate and graduate degrees, in addition to pre-professional programs in areas such as dentistry, engineering, law, and medicine. Doctoral degrees are awarded in areas such as education, leadership, and psychology.
The portfolio of undergraduate degrees delivered online include elementary education, business, and human services. The BS in criminal justice educates students about the criminal justice system in response to deviant behavior, how cultural factors impact the criminal justice system, qualitative and quantitative methods of research, and writing applicable to the field. UC notes that its tuition accommodates most budgets without compromising educational quality. Traditional financial aid options such as grants, loans, and scholarships are available.
Central Washington University
|Value Score 5.89|| |
Located in the historic town of Ellensburg, in the heart of Washington State, CWU offers more than 135 majors leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the arts, sciences, business, and technology, among others. CWU is nationally and/or regionally recognized for programs in geology, paramedicine, physics, music, and education. CWU students get an education that is both theoretic and hands-on, with students working with faculty to conduct and publish research.
CWU is a regional leader in high-quality and affordable online education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Among online programs are degrees in paramedicine, psychology, sociology, and information technology. The fully online BA in law and justice prepares students for careers in law enforcement, corrections, paralegal professions, or graduate school. Areas of study include administration of criminal justice, ethics, diversity and conflict in criminal justice, and community and social justice.
Saint Leo University
|Value Score 5.88|| |
One of the top-ranked universities in Florida, Saint Leo University was established in 1889 by the Order of Saint Benedict of Florida. Saint Leo offers more than 40 undergraduate academic programs and graduate degrees. Notably, Saint Leo University is in the nation’s top 10 institutions providing higher education to the U.S. military, and is one of 10 schools approved by the U.S. Coast Guard to participate in its new Maritime Law Enforcement College Partnership Program.
Among Saint Leo’s online offerings is the online BA in criminal justice — criminalistics for students interested in studying forensic science in the law enforcement field. Areas of study include crime scene investigation, forensic science, criminal identification, and evidence collection and preservation. Also available online is a BA in criminal justice — homeland security, exploring topics such as the Middle East, terrorism, counter-terrorism, and terrorist organizations.
SUNY College of Technology at Canton
|Value Score 5.86|| |
SUNY College of Technology at Canton, located in New York State, provides students with accessible, affordable, high-quality applied educational programs preparing them for a global and technological economy. Associate, bachelor’s, and certification programs are offered in a wide array of fields ranging from architecture and healthcare to manufacturing and engineering technology.
SUNY Canton offer 10 online programs and more than 400 courses. Among them is a bachelor’s in criminal justice: law enforcement leadership for students seeking to become ranking police officers. Students learn leadership, managerial, and fiscal skills, study with law enforcement professionals, and may attend a law enforcement academy in their eighth semester. Also available entirely online is a homeland security bachelor’s degree program for students with an associate degree. Areas of study include terrorism; intelligence analysis and investigation; and ethical, Constitutional, and civil liberty issues. About 85% of students receive financial aid, making either program an affordable online bachelor’s in criminal justice.
Pennsylvania State University
|Value Score 5.86|| |
Nationally known for academic rigor and as a top-ranked institution, Penn State University offers students career-focused programs taught by highly respected faculty members to address the needs of industry. The institution’s World Campus opened in 1998 and now offers more than 125 degree and certificate programs online in areas of study such as business, engineering, technology, education, and health care. The global learning community includes students from 50 states and 60 countries. Among the World Campus’s features are online student support services to address the needs of distance learners.
The 100% online programs include the BS in criminal justice, preparing graduates for careers in law and corrections, protective services, and security management. Areas of study include criminology, law and policing, the juvenile justice system, social science research, and alternatives to incarceration. The school’s Military Grant-in-Aid helps make this online criminal justice bachelor’s degree more affordable to military students and their spouses.
Southern University and A&M College
|Value Score 5.86|| |
Southern University and A & M College is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctorate, and professional degree programs in a comprehensive range of fields. It is part of the only historically black Land Grant university system in the nation.
The school is known for its College of Engineering, which is a top producer of African-American undergraduate degree-holders in engineering; the College of Business, from which graduates go on to work at top corporations in the world; and research, which has resulted in applications in deep space, food preservation, and high-speed information networks. The school offers a 100% online BS in criminal justice with areas of study including policing, corrections, applied criminal theory, criminal law, and victimology. The program addresses topics related to the challenges the police, courts, and corrections face in contemporary society. The program also develops students’ critical thinking, communication, research methods, data analysis, and computer technology skills.
Chaminade University of Honolulu
|Value Score 5.84|| |
Holding true to the Marianist tradition, Chaminade University of Honolulu provides students with a high-quality liberal arts education that prepares them for professional careers and instills in them a spirit of service and ethics. Students learn critical thinking and problem-solving in more than 25 undergraduate and graduate programs, including areas such as arts and humanities, behavioral sciences, business and communication, and the sciences.
Students seeking to become criminology and criminal justice professionals can enroll in the 100% online bachelor’s in criminal justice, which provides a foundation in criminal law, evidence, and legal procedures. The degree program qualifies graduates for entry-level careers in administration, public safety, probation, and corrections. Areas of study include criminal investigations, supervision and management, juvenile justice, and corrections. The school offers programs designed for military personnel and family members at military bases and online. In addition to traditional financial aid options, there’s a discounted military tuition rate.
|Value Score 5.82|| |
Thomas University, in Thomasville, Georgia, serves the educational needs of residents of south Georgia and north Florida, and provides online and satellite programs in Tallahassee and across Georgia. Students have access to a quality education and dynamic learning environment when enrolled in any of the institution’s 43 programs of study leading to associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. The catalog of course offerings includes the fields of healthcare, business, sciences, the arts, and human services. Professional certifications are available in nursing and education.
Online programming includes the online bachelor’s in criminal justice taught by law enforcement practitioners. Areas of study include criminal law, deviance and crime, evidence, terrorism, and Constitutional law. Thomas University’s online learning is delivered via the Blackboard learning management system. Online learners get the educational and technological support they need for academic success via the school’s Dynamic Learning Environments office.
Wichita State University
|Value Score 5.82|| |
Located in Kansas, Wichita State University’s educational curriculum combines tradition with innovation as students engage in experiential learning. The university, with a vision to be a model for applied learning and research, offers educational programming leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees in areas such as the arts, sciences, business, and education. Notable programming includes aging studies, aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, and pre-professional degrees in a number of areas.
Wichita State Online has nationally ranked programs in areas such as aging studies and RN to BSN. The school’s 100% online bachelor of arts field major degree allows students to build a liberal arts degree program with an emphasis in criminal justice. Areas of study include victims in criminal justice, combatting human trafficking, homeland security, and cold case investigations. Wichita State University is the most affordable research institution in the state, making this a comparably affordable online criminal justice bachelor’s degree.
Northern Kentucky University
|Value Score 5.81|| |
A growing metropolitan university with a student body of about 15,000, NKU provides educational programming that is innovative and student-centered. NKU’s portfolio of programs include 78 bachelor’s and 23 graduate degree programs. Its most popular bachelor’s degree programs are organizational leadership, elementary education, communications, and accounting. NKU notes that the institution is nationally recognized for its first-year programs working to make the transition to college life easier for freshmen.
NKU’s online learning options are designed for the learner juggling many responsibilities. Undergraduate and graduate programs include an RN to BSN, business informatics, organizational leadership and integrative studies. The BA in criminal justice gives students an understanding of the criminal justice processes, theories about crime and punishment, ethics, and social science research methods. Upper-level courses include ethics in criminal justice, rights of the convicted, police in the community, and race, gender, and crime.
University of Wisconsin – Platteville
|Value Score 5.80|| |
W-Platteville provides students with academic studies that use a hands-on approach to foster intellectual rigor, ethics, and global citizenry. The school offers 41 undergraduate majors, 17 pre-professional programs, and three graduate programs in areas such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; business; education; and agriculture. Of note is W-Platteville’s collaborative degree programs in which the university collaborates with other institutions locally, nationally, and abroad to provide students with more educational opportunities.
The school’s distance learning options includes the 100% online BS in criminal justice preparing professionals in law enforcement, the courts, prosecution and defense, and corrections. Core courses include studies in criminal law, juvenile justice, corrections, and police-community relations. A master’s degree in criminal justice is also available 100% online. W-Platteville is an institution recognized nationally for academic excellence and affordability.
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
|Value Score 5.80|| |
Originally founded in 1887 to educate American Indian teachers, UNCP is now a master’s degree-granting university that is part of the University of North Carolina system. The university has 41 undergraduate and 17 graduate degree programs in addition to a certification program. Along with traditional liberal arts degree offerings, notable minors include jazz studies, applied gerontology, American Indian studies, and terrorism studies.
The school’s online options includes the 100% online bachelor’s in criminal justice degree, which prepares students for careers in law enforcement, corrections, criminal investigations, and delinquency prevention. UNCP is recognized as one of the most affordable universities in the nation and provides value through its quality of teaching. The payoff is real: within a year of graduating, 90% of UNCP’s graduates are working or in grad school.
Remington College – Heathrow
|Value Score 5.79|| |
With a number of campuses throughout the South, Ohio, and Hawaii, Remington College is a career training school with diploma, associate, and bachelor’s degree programs suited to the needs of students seeking its hallmark Real Skills for the Real World. Remington College-Heathrow Campus’s online degree programs range from paralegal studies to business and health information management.
Courses in the 100% online bachelor’s in criminal justice are taught by instructors with real-world experience. The program, delivered in six thirteen-week quarters, covers issues such as corrections practices, investigative methods, narcotics, and crime intelligence. In addition to the financial aid options available, this cheap online criminal justice degree can be completed in 18 months for those holding an associate degree. Further, there is a freeze on tuition while a student is continuously enrolled in a program of study.
Tarleton State University
|Value Score 5.77|| |
Tarleton State University is a member of the Texas A&M University System, providing students with an A&M degree combined with Tarleton’s personalized learning, history, and tradition. Tarleton offers 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees in areas such as business, agricultural and environmental science, liberal and fine arts, and education.
E-learning at Tarleton is designed for the busy learner; students may take classes entirely online or through a blended format, in which classes are taken online and face-to-face at any of the school’s four campus locations. Areas of study include psychology, veterinary technology, applied science, and information systems. The 100% online bachelor of applied arts and science (BAAS) degree in criminal justice administration blends academic knowledge with applied experience, preparing graduates for careers as paralegals, police officers, security consultants, and in parole.
Southeast Missouri State University
|Value Score 5.76|| |
Founded in 1873, Southeast Missouri State University is considered one of the most affordable and rigorous universities in the Midwest. Groundbreaking academics and personalized support are what students can expect in the university’s more than 200 areas of study, including more than 20 nationally and internationally accredited programs. Notably, Southeast boasts 100%
job placement for graduates in programs of study such as cybersecurity and physics.
A leader in online programming in the state, Southeast offers undergraduate, graduate, and certification programs that are 100% online. The BS in criminal justice, which is nationally ranked, includes studies in police operations, criminalistics, community-based corrections, and victimology. The BS in emergency preparedness trains profession for work in areas such as emergency management, humanitarian organizations, public safety, and homeland security. Areas of study include risk assessment, hazardous materials, collective behavior, and school and campus safety.