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20 Best Online Degrees in Criminal Justice for 2018

20 Best Online Degrees in Criminal Justice for 2018

Believe it or not, cities, counties, states, and the country itself aren’t served and protected by superheroes but by ordinary folks like you and me who decide to pursue an extraordinary career in criminal justice. 

Criminal justice can include any number of occupations, from a parole officer to a member of a SWAT team to working for the Department of Homeland Security.

What kind of online criminal justice degree should you get?

There are several paths to a career in criminal justice, but the best way to get your career started is with a bachelor’s degree in criminology or criminal justice. Traditionally this is done through an on-campus program at a school that features a department that specializes in the field.
But as online programs have grown and flourished in recent years, online bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice as well as bachelor’s completion programs have become more common. For a list of the best online colleges and universities in the country, see our ranking, “Best Online Colleges and Universities.”

How much money do people make with an online criminal justice degree?

The criminal justice field is diverse, and compensation will depend not only on the part of the country to happen to live in—police officers in Duluth, Minnesota, will not make the same amount as police officers of equal rank in New York—but also the particular field you happen to choose.
Let’s say you are interested in police and detective work, however, which is a common occupation for criminal justice majors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for police officers and detectives is just over $60,000, or approximately $30 per hour. The growth outlook is slower at 4 percent, but there are still plenty of jobs available.

What can you do with an online degree in criminal justice?

In addition to traditional police and detective work, however, the criminal justice field now includes a wide array of career possibilities. One consideration you’ll want to bear in mind is whether you’re interested in the private or public sector. Those interested in the private sector will likely want to consider careers in private security.
Those interested in working in the public sector, however, will have many more options. Some careers in the public sector include: probation officer, forensic scientist, correctional officer, fish and game warden, security guard, state trooper, crime scene investigator, F.B.I. agent, C.I.A. agent, immigration and customs enforcement agent, D.E.A. agent, Secret Service agent, and U.S. Marshal.

What are the requirements for an online degree in criminal justice?

Unlike graduate programs in criminal justice, students interested in an online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice will not need any prerequisites beyond the typical undergraduate admissions criteria. Once in the program, however, requirements will vary from school to school. Some schools will offer criminal justice programs as part of a liberal arts major, while other schools will have a curriculum that is more specific.
Other schools will have opportunities to specialize in a particular area of criminal justice, such as forensics. If you happen to know what area of specialization you are interested in, keep an eye out for these schools so that you can get on the fast track to your career. If you are unsure what area of specialization is best for you, you might do well to consider a program that will expose you to as many of the subdisciplines as possible.

What are the best online criminal justice degrees?

We’ve compiled a list of the top 50 online bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice with your needs in mind. Here’s how we did it. First, it’s important to identify and get into the best school you can. So we started things off by taking an objective look at the best schools in the country as measured by reputation and return on investment. We also factored in the cost of attendance because, let’s be honest, money doesn’t grow on trees!
Our data for this ranking was drawn from a variety of public sources, such as U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, PayScale.com, and the U.S. Census. The end result, we think, is a list of schools that not only represent the best education you can get and a good return on investment but also one that will fit your budget . . .
. . . as a real-life superhero!

1

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 100.00

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $13,007

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
Arizona State University, a leader and innovator in online education in a number of areas, offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The program offers training in the policies and practices of criminal justice system components, including law enforcement, corrections, and the courts. The program helps develop the research, analytical, and communications skills required for working in complex criminal justice occupations.
Features
The program faculty consists of professors who are leaders in their field as well as criminal justice professionals with expertise in policing, gangs, fraud, corrections, and courts. Graduates of the program will be well poised to enter careers in the criminal justice system and corporate security at a time when the industry is experiencing steady job growth. Many students continue their education and pursue advanced degrees in law, criminology and criminal justice, or other social science disciplines.
Notables
The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, which offers the degree, has received national recognition from the likes of U.S. News and World Report. The faculty is likewise involved in national-level pursuits in the field, and they are at the forefront of research. ASU also has an online graduate program, which has been named by U.S. News and World Reports as one of the top five degrees in the nation for three years running.

2

DREXEL UNIVERSITY

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 99.99

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $39,021

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
Drexel University, no stranger to rankings of best online programs, offers an online bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice that both covers the field broadly and also prepares students with a solid foundation in other disciplines. While some programs prepare students particularly for careers in law enforcement, Drexel’s program seeks to prepare its students for a range of professional positions. Students will be exposed to coursework in criminology, the study of crime and criminal behavior, as well as an understanding of the history, structure, administration, policies, and procedures of the agencies of crime control and criminal justice, including law enforcement, corrections, and the judiciary.
Features
The program includes coursework in sociology, psychology, legal studies, political science, information science, chemistry, bioscience and biotechnology, and computer science, including the computer-based skills, technological expertise, and biochemical/biotechnological knowledge that are increasingly important to the operation of the agencies of the modern criminal justice system. Students can complete the program fully online, on campus, or in a blended format.
Notables
Graduates of the program pursue careers in criminal justice, private security, or the legal profession, while some pursue graduate study in criminal justice or associated disciplines, including forensic science and computer science. This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. Students can also transfer up to 135 quarter credits (equivalent to 90 semester credits) from any accredited institution of higher learning as long as the grade is a C or better.

3

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 91.90

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $17,815

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
Washington State University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal justice through its Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. It features a policy-focused curriculum that provides students with the broad exposure in the social sciences preferred by governmental and private agencies. WSU’s program prepares students for positions in the criminal justice system (e.g., law enforcement, courts, corrections, probation and parole, and juvenile justice), other government agencies (e.g., policy and planning, crime research, and investigation), and private sector organizations.
Features
Students in WSU’s program can expect to grow as critical thinkers, creative evaluators, ethical actors, and effective communicators concerning matters of crime and administration of justice at the local, state, national, and international levels, and the program’s curriculum is developed according to Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences standards. Many students from WSU’s program proceed to graduate programs in Criminal Justice or related fields.
Notables
WSU also offers a minor in Criminal Justice, which is designed to introduce students to the various components and activities of our system of justice, such as the police, courts, corrections, and juvenile justice. A minor in criminal justice will be useful to any student desiring knowledge of how our American system of justice works. The minor in Criminal Justice requires 18 credits of course work in criminal justice. Half of the courses must be taken at the 300-400 level and taken in residence at WSU or through WSU-approved education abroad or educational exchange courses.

4

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 91.52

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $11,398

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
The University of South Florida offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Criminology through its College of Health and Human Sciences. The program provides students with in-depth exposure to a wide array of issues and professions within the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, detention, the judiciary, corrections, juvenile justice, and probation and parole.
Features
The program concentrates on achieving balance in the above aspects of the system from the perspective of the criminal justice professional, the offender, the victim, and society. The curriculum is designed to prepare students to either enter the profession after graduation or pursue additional graduate work in Criminology, Criminal Justice, or a related field, such as law, political science, or public policy.
Notables
The degree requires 120 credit hours to complete, and students can complete their degree entirely online. The 30 of the 36 hours required for the major must be completed through USF, but students can transfer up to half of their credits from another institution. Coursework in the program includes Survey of Criminal Behavior, Theories of Criminal Behavior, Research Methods, and a Seminar in Criminology.

5

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 90.60

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $15,533

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
The University of Central Florida’s Department of Criminal Justice offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. It provides excellence in teaching, research and service. The faculty has an abiding interest in its students, both graduate and undergraduate, and the department seeks to balance learning, service, and critical inquiry. The department also conducts quality research and pursues local, state and federal funding to advance knowledge in the discipline.
Features
The undergraduate curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for positions in the field
of criminal justice in local, county, state, and federal justice agencies. Students are also prepared to pursue careers in private security organizations and related fields, and students who are interested in graduate work in criminal justice and related fields can expect to be well prepared as well.
Notables
The curriculum offers extensive coursework in the field, including Careers in Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice System, Crime in America, Research Methods in Criminal Justice, Data Analysis for Criminal Justice, Police and Society, Prosecution and Adjudication, Corrections and Penology, and a capstone course in Criminal Justice Ethics.

6

UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 90.59

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $19,978

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
The University of Cincinnati offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice that provides students with an understanding of criminal offending and the criminal justice process. It offers training not only in responding to criminal behavior but also understanding the roots of criminal behavior. The program is thus interdisciplinary in nature. Cincinatti’s program will be of particular interest to those interested in matters of criminal justice, crime prevention, child behavioral problems, adolescent delinquency, or effective intervention.
Features
Graduates from the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program pursue careers in law enforcement, corrections and supervision, security, and safety in both the public and private sectors. Private companies require the services of graduates to keep property secure and people safe, or to conduct private investigations. Graduates interested in public careers can be found in police and sheriff’s departments, state police and prison systems, and with the federal prison system, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security.
Notables
Students from Cincinnati’s program can also pursue graduate work. Additional, nontraditional careers some graduates pursue include work in national forests as park rangers, fish and game wardens, or in airports as air marshals. In whichever setting graduates find themselves, the University of Cincinnati Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice ensures they are well prepared to enforce laws and keep people and property safe.

7

BEMIDJI STATE UNIVERSITY

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 90.15

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $14,334

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minnesota, offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in addition to an on-campus degree in the same field. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in a wide variety of areas in the criminal justice field, including peace officers, youth counselors, lawyers, probation officers, law enforcement, and more. The degree is offered within a liberal arts framework to develop the knowledge, values, and ethical consciousness that are essential for becoming successful managers and leaders in the field.
Features
Graduates of the program are equipped with knowledge about the nature and causes of crime and delinquency, understanding of the law, law enforcement, corrections, courts, and victims and victim services in American society. Students will be prepared to serve in both the private and public sectors through a combination of course work, internships, and special research projects.
Notables
The degree is also appropriate for students who choose to pursue advanced study in criminal justice or law. For students who are interested in the criminal justice field but committed to another major area of study already, the Bemidji State also offers two minor areas of study, in Criminal Justice and Fraud Examination. Additionally, majors can focus their study further with an emphasis in Law enforcement, Corrections, Victimology, or Tribal Justice.

8

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST LOUIS

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 88.97

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $8,774

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
The University of Missouri St. Louis, part of the University of Missouri system, is nationally recognized for excellence, including being ranked in the top five in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. UMSL offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice, which prepares students for careers in corrections counseling, juvenile justice, probations and parole, or victim advocacy. Others work in law enforcement or private security or investigation in businesses.
Features
The curriculum is interdisciplinary in nature and includes coursework in criminology, social science, law, public administration, and corrections. It provides students not only with practical knowledge but also training in the theories, assumptions, values, and processes of the system of justice. Many pre-law students choose criminology and criminal justice as an undergraduate major, and the program offers an internship program for college credit.
Notables
UMSL enjoys a number of strategic partnerships with public agencies that form an integral part of helping students arrive at a career decision. Stated outcomes of the program include the ability to develop critical thinking skills through the application of criminological theory and social science research methods, develop fundamental understanding of interdisciplinary underpinnings of criminology and criminal justice issues and policies, and acquire knowledge about the structure and functioning of the fundamental institutions that are part of criminal justice systems.

9

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 88.78

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $12,966

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
Florida International University is a leader in online education, so it is little wonder that they offer an excellent program in criminal justice in addition to their many other online offerings. FIU offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice through its Department of Criminal Justice to meet the growing demand for criminal justice and security professionals, particularly in Homeland Security.
Features
The Department of Criminal Justice is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the field, and graduates enjoy an excellent job placement record in a wide variety of fields, including law enforcement and corrections in local, state, and federal agencies, such as the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, Homeland Security, Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Marshals. Some graduates also pursue careers in the private sector, for instance, in private security for both individuals and businesses.
Notables
Some of the particular areas of strength of the program include training in criminological theory, the criminal justice system, the constitution, terrorism, and public policy. The Criminal Justice also prepares students well for advanced studies in law and legal studies and those interested in attending law school. The program prides itself on offering training that is both theoretical and practical and on its placement record.

10

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 86.60

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $34,934

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
Loyola University Chicago, a well-respected private institution in the Windy City, has increased its online offerings in recent years and features an online Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology. The program introduces students to all aspects of the nation’s complex criminal justice system while also giving them a strong background in the liberal arts.
Features
Students in the major are required to complete 36 credit hours in criminal justice and criminology courses beyond the core Loyola requirements. This includes the following eight required courses: Introduction to Criminal Justice (prerequisite for all other criminal justice courses), Theories of Criminal Behavior, Criminal Courts, Policing, Corrections, Research Methods, Criminal Law or Criminal Procedure, and a Capstone Course or Capstone Experience Internship.
Notables
Other opportunities for students interested in Criminal Justice and Criminology at Loyola include a minor in criminal justice and criminology, which requires six courses totaling 18 credit hours, as well as a combined BS/MA program. The combined program is open for students who have maintained a 3.5 GPA and are in their junior year. Students eligible for this program can complete up to twelve of the 30 hours required for the MA degree during the senior year of the undergraduate degree.

11

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY SAN BERNARDINO

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 86.43

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $6,444

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
California State University San Bernardino offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice through its College of Extended Learning in partnership with the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences. San Bernardino’s program is a degree completion program rather than a full degree program, which will be exactly what some students are looking for in their search for the online program that is right for their needs.
Features
San Bernardino’s curriculum is developed by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and it introduces students to broad training in the field. San Bernardino’s faculty is well respected and publish actively in their areas of expertise. Courses are taught by tenured faculty, and the program is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Notables
San Bernardino’s program requires the completion of two prerequisite courses—Introduction to the Criminal Justice System and Introduction to Criminal Law—six core courses, and nine elective courses for a total of 21 four-unit courses. Multiple career opportunities await San Bernardino graduates; examples of occupations include working as a police officer, probation officer, correctional officer, immigration and customs enforcement agent, U.S. postal inspector, parole agent, fish and game warden, or court clerk.

12

COLUMBIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 86.27

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $10,287

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
Columbia Southern University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration. It provides training in the theoretical foundations, knowledge, skills, and practices of criminal justice administration common to law enforcement, courts, and corrections. It is an appropriate program for both newcomers to the field and experienced professionals who are looking to complete their degree.
Features
Students in Columbia Southern’s program will learn to make rational decisions and informed responses to the daily challenges one faces in law enforcement, courts, and corrections operations. Additionally, the program prepares students for entrance into concentrated areas of criminal justice in master degree programs or related disciplines. This program promotes a commitment to continued scholarship and service among graduates as future and continuing members of law enforcement, courts, and corrections initiatives in a manner that remains conducive to enhancing professionalism in a diverse community.
Notables
Stated goals of the program include students’ ability to evaluate the impact of theories in a diverse society; assess the interrelationship among courts, corrections, and law enforcement; analyze the influences of laws on the criminal justice system; and assess the impact of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights on laws. Coursework in the program includes Criminal Investigation, Criminal Evidence and Legal Issues, Constitutional Law for Criminal Justice, Management and Supervision in Criminal Justice, and Criminal Justice Organization and Administration.

13

WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 85.84

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $13,646

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
Western Carolina University features an online bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice through its Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Not only is it one of the top programs on our list, but it is also one of the largest degree programs at WCU. WCU’s program is interested not only in the practice of criminal justice but also in understanding the causes of crime (criminology) itself, which is fundamental to assessing systems for responding to crime and delinquency (criminal/juvenile justice systems).
Features
Interdisciplinary sensibilities are central to WCU’s program, and students will be exposed to a thorough foundation in the social sciences. Students will acquire an extensive appreciation for the crime problem, legal issues, research methodologies, knowledge of criminological topics, the justice system, and challenges faced in a diverse democratic society. Graduates of the program are involved in careers in law, law enforcement, victim services, probation, parole, institutional corrections, research and higher education.
Notables
Many WCU grads pursue further education at the graduate level. The majority of WCU grads who attend law school majored in criminal justice, and many of graduates attend topic graduate programs in criminology/criminal justice, such as Florida State and the University of Cincinnati. The program also places an emphasis on research and communication skills, which are crucial to a successful career in the field.

14

SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 85.58

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $12,365

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
Sam Houston State offers an online Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in both Criminal Justice and Victim Studies through its Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. Sam Houston’s College of Criminal Justice is one of the oldest and most well-respected in the country. The program provides a highly collegial learning environment, expert faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities, including a full service courtroom.
Features
The degree is a full four-year degree that can be completed fully online under flexible terms. The program offers training across many academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology, political science. Students in the Bachelor of Arts program are also required to complete additional hours in a foreign language, which will be beneficial to those serving in large and diverse metropolitan areas or internationally.
Notables
Coursework in Sam Houston’s program includes classes such as Cyber Crime, Global Terrorism, Forensic Science, Victimology, Violent Offenders, Child Abuse and Neglect, White Collar Crime, and Criminal Investigation. The College of Criminal Justice also offers an internship program for seniors to earn course credit while gaining hands-on experience and networking opportunities with organizations such as INTERPOL, the FBI, local police departments, and many more.

15

NORTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 85.19

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $11,567

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
Northwestern State University’s Department of Criminal Justice, History, and Social Sciences offers a wide array of programs in the field, from certificate programs to graduate degrees, including the areas of Criminal Justice, Unified Public Safety Administration, Homeland Security, History, Pre-Law and Paralegal Studies, as well as Global Security and Intelligence. Northwestern offers at least two options for students interested in online education in criminal justice.
Features
The online bachelor’s program in Criminal Justice covers all the necessary topics in the field as well as sociology, psychology, and political science. Additionally, each spring the Criminal Justice program sponsors a Job Fair where representatives from various Criminal Justice agencies and occupations from a number of different states set up booths and interview students for possible employment. The department also offers a Bachelor of Science in Unified Public Safety Administration, which prepares students specifically for careers in homeland security and cybercrime.
Notables
The B.S. in UPSA prepares students with advanced interpersonal and analytical skills, and contemporary, state-of-the-art perspectives on the scientific, social, and informational concentrations involved in efficient and effective intelligence gathering, policing, fire services and emergency medical services, correctional analysis, hazardous materials handling, emergency management, proactive planning, security services, and other public safety arenas. Available areas of concentration include Fire and Emergency Medical Service Administration, Law Enforcement Administration, Emergency Management Administration, Public Facilities Management.

16

LIMESTONE COLLEGE

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 84.00

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $23,468

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
Limestone College features an online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice that seeks to prepare students for immediate starts in entry-level and middle management positions. The field of criminal justice is constantly changing, particularly technologically, and the Limestone program prepares students to meet these challenges.
Features
Limestone’s program is interdisciplinary in nature, and it will introduce students to the many issues involved in law enforcement, judicial courts, and correctional systems within political structures. Attention is also given to legal, social, managerial, and administrative issues. Students will learn both practical and theoretical applications to components of the criminal justice system, emphasizing the decision-making process and consequences inherent with legal and social influences.
Notables
The majority of Limestone graduates enter the workforce in any number of capacities. Examples include working as a corrections officer, detective, FBI agent, security guard, parole officer, police officer, park ranger, security officer and manager, private investigator, fraud investigator, or insurance investigator. Some Limestone students also attend graduate school criminal justice or related fields.

17

THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 83.61

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $16,249

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
Louisville features an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree that can be completed either as a fully online degree or as a degree completion program. Students in the program will be prepared for either entry into the workforce or for graduate work in the field. The program emphasizes both theoretical training in criminal justice as well as the extensive array of applied skills necessary to succeed in the field.
Features
The entire criminal justice process is covered in the program, including both juvenile and adult justice and the many legal issues and responsibilities unique to each field. Students will be trained not just in theory and practice but also in how to apply one to the other in actual criminal justice situations. Students will be able to understand, identify, and apply legal issues relative to the criminal justice system and justice administration.
Notables
To graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, students must complete a minimum of 121 credits. Applicants to the program normally have an associate degree or equivalent credits already earned from a regionally accredited institution. Graduates of the program hold positions as police officers, special agents, criminal investigators, corrections officers, probation and parole officers, correctional treatment specialists, criminal records managers, court referral officers, court managers, security specialists, crime prevention officers, victim advocates, juvenile service workers, and criminal justice planners.

18

PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY-WORLD CAMPUS

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 82.05

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $23,129

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
No list of list of online undergraduate degrees would be complete without an appearance by Penn State’s World Campus, which remains an industry pacesetter in both quality and affordability. Its Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice is no exception. The program is open to students who are just starting their criminology degree, those who have already completed criminal justice credits or an associate degree, or have experience in the field they would like to build on.
Features
Graduates of Penn State’s program work in a range of fields, including protective services, law and corrections, crime-related prevention and support, security management, and court administration. Students who are currently involved in a career in criminal justice will find much in their coursework that is immediately applicable to their positions. Students who are interested in additional study at the graduate level will be well prepared to do so upon graduation also.
Notables
Penn State’s program in criminal justice boasts certification by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) for academic certification standards. This certification underscores the high praise that the online program receives for quality criminal justice instruction. Students can thus be confident that this program is respected and renowned throughout the industry and can translate into employment opportunities.

19

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 81.95

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $24,794

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
Liberty University, another online degree powerhouse, offers perhaps the widest range of programs for students interested in online education in criminal justice. Its online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice offers concentrations in the areas of Business Administration and Management, Crime Scene Investigation, Criminal Psychology, Homeland Security, Juvenile Justice, Public Administration, and Strategic Intelligence Studies.
Features
Liberty’s program is designed to help students build strong leadership and managerial skills to qualify for future promotional opportunities and certifications through the development of excellent oral and written communication skills necessary to effectively communicate in both professional and personal environments. Students will be equipped to discern the unique characteristics that differentiate substantive and procedural criminal law, as well as the interplay between the two.
Notables
Liberty’s program equips students to understand and appreciate the internal workings of the criminal justice system and its response to different types of crime. Students will also learn to identify the constitutional, procedural, and organizational differences of the federal criminal justice and representative systems. The program is available fully online and requires 120 total hours. 30 hours must be taken through Liberty, and up to 90 may be transferred from another institution.

20

ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY

COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 81.95

AVERAGE NET PRICE: $35,275

SCHOOL WEBSITE

Overview
Roger Williams University offers an online Bachelor of Science program in Criminal Justice that is highly interdisciplinary in nature. The program combines courses in policing, corrections and procedure with studies in the social sciences to introduce students to the theory and practice of criminal law and the moral complexity of the criminal justice system. Students will be introduced to both theoretical and practical issues.
Features
RWU faculty boast extensive experience in the profession and seek to prepare students for successful careers in law enforcement, counseling, and probation or to advance into graduate study or law school. Special emphasis is placed on the United States criminal justice system in particular. Students will take 11 required criminal justice courses, 3 additional criminal justice electives, 8 required courses from other departments, and a sufficient number of electives to total at least 120 credit hours.
Notables
The goals of the program include providing a professional education combined with an integrated liberal arts curriculum that teaches critical thought, analytical reasoning, and scholarly writing; preparing students who wish to pursue careers which include federal, state, and municipal law enforcement, professional human services, including counseling, probation and parole, corrections, and the legal profession; and providing students the opportunity to develop intellectual skills that will enable them to pursue lifelong learning.

source : https://www.collegechoice.net/rankings/online-criminal-justice-degree/

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