10 Fastest Criminal Justice Degree Online Master’s Programs 2024

Author: Adam Birch
Reviewed By: Melissa Anderson, MS.Ed.
Reading Level: Grade 9
Reading Time: 6 minutes, 12 seconds
Original Publication Date: December 2016
Updates: 2

Key Takeaways:

  • Our #1 ranked school for a fastest criminal justice master’s degree online is the University of the Cumberlands, followed by Wilmington University.
  • The fastest online master’s in criminal justice programs prioritize affordability and flexibility for working professionals.
  • All listed programs are offered by accredited public and private non-profit universities, ensuring reputable and quality education.

This is a ranking of the 10 best value accelerated online master’s in criminal justice and criminology degrees. Criminal justice is a broad field that includes every law enforcement agency in the United States, corrections, and the judicial system. Many positions within these fields can benefit from a criminal justice degree, from parole officer to federal agent, private detective to court officials. There is also a research and academic side to criminal justice. People in these roles strive to better understand the nature of crime and justice in order to improve our criminal justice system.

Featured Programs

Criminal justice is a demanding field, and often doesn’t give professionals the time necessary to earn a degree through traditional means. The accelerated online master’s in criminal justice degrees ranked here provide flexible, convenient, quality solutions for professionals seeking to advance their career through education. All of the programs ranked here are non-profit public and private universities and are regionally accredited. More information on the sources used in this article can be found at the bottom of the page.

Methodology

The ranking methodology used here is simple. All degrees included can be completed at a faster than average pace, and they are ranked according to their affordability.

Fastest Criminal Justice Degree Online Master’s Programs

#10. Western Kentucky University

Master of Arts in Criminology Online

Tuition: $12,140

Students in this online master of arts in criminology can complete the program in one year or less. On-demand courses allow students to start any class at any time providing complete flexibility. Students will take courses like criminology and law, deviant behavior, comparative criminology, environmental criminology, and race, class, and crime.

Pros:

  • Nationally ranked public school
  • High acceptance rate

Cons:

  • Less diverse

#9. University of North Alabama

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Tuition: $8,910

Full-time students can complete this accelerated online master of science in criminal justice program in just one year. Students will study courses like forensic investigation, psychological dimensions of criminal justice practice, criminological theory, contemporary issues in juvenile justice, and contemporary issues in law enforcement. The program features 21 credits of electives, allowing students a high degree of customization.

Pros:

  • Top-ranked regional university
  • Accelerated format

Cons:

  • Lower graduation rate
  • Less diverse

#8. Angelo State University

Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Website

Tuition: $4,181

The online MS in criminal justice program at Angelo State University can be completed in just 18 months. Students in this program will take courses like criminal justice theory, legal aspects of the criminal justice system, critical analysis of justice administration, and research methods in security studies. Courses are delivered in both 8-week and 16-week formats.

Pros:

  • Accelerated format
  • Nationally ranked online criminal justice program
  • Small class sizes

Cons:

  • Limited tech support

#7. Texas A&M University Commerce

Master of Science in Applied Criminology

Website

Tuition: $3,630

The online master of science in applied criminology at Texas A&M at Commerce features five week courses taken one at a time that allow the students to complete the program in just 18 months. Some of the courses available in this program are seminar in policing and law enforcement, issues in criminal law and the courts, and criminal justice planning and evaluation.

Pros:

  • Accelerated format
  • Nationally ranked online criminal justice program
  • Smaller class sizes
  • 24/7 tech support

Cons:

  • More competitive

#6. Faulkner University

Online Master of Justice Administration

Website

Tuition: $15,125

Faulkner’s accelerated online master of justice administration can be completed in just 14 months taking only one course at a time. Enrollment is year-round and rotations start every six weeks. Students will take courses like justice writing, law and justice, administration of justice, policing in America, comparative criminal justice, courts, and ethics.

Pros:

  • Nationally ranked graduate school of criminal law
  • Accelerated format
  • Small class sizes

Cons:

  • More competitive
  • Low graduation rate

#5. Missouri State University

Online Master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Website

Tuition: $6,264

The standard online master’s in criminology and criminal justice program at Missouri State takes two years but can be accelerated by ambitious students who want to cut the time down to 12-18 months. Graduates from this program have earned jobs with federal, state, and local law enforcement, county jails, juvenile justice organizations, child victim advocacy groups, and homeland security.

Pros:

  • Nationally ranked online criminal justice programs
  • Accelerated format
  • Small class sizes

Cons:

  • Less diverse
  • Limited tech support

#4. Colorado State University Global Campus

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration

Website

Tuition: $9,000

Graduates from Colorado State University’s online master’s in criminal justice program have earned jobs as forensic investigator, private detective, loss prevention agent, legal investigator, and detective sergeant. This program offers specializations in accounting, business intelligence, fraud management, finance, human resources, information technology, and international management.

Pros:

  • Diverse curriculum
  • 24/7 tech support

Cons:

  • Less diverse

#3. Concordia University–Saint Paul

Online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

Website

Tuition: $8,550

Some of the careers open to graduates from this accelerated online master’s in criminal justice include forensic psychology, criminal sociology, corrections supervisor, criminal profiler, police and detective supervisor, and forensic examiner. The program can be completed in just 21 months taking one seven-week course at a time, or half that speed by doubling up on courses.

Pros:

  • Accelerated format
  • Nationally ranked online criminal justice program
  • High graduation rate

Cons:

  • Limited tech support

#2. Wilmington University

Online Master of Science in Justice Administration

Website

Tuition: $9,432

While this online master of science in the administration of justice is designed to be completed in two years, students meeting certain requirements can qualify for an accelerated program. Students will take courses like violent crime, mental health and the law, addiction studies, therapeutic strategies for criminal justice offenders, and contemporary issues in homeland security.

Pros:

  • Nationally ranked university
  • Small class sizes

Cons:

  • Low graduation rate

#1. University of the Cumberlands

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Administration

Website

Tuition: $4,260

The online accelerated master’s in criminal justice administration at the University of the Cumberlands can be completed in just 18 months. Students will take courses like criminological theories in justice administration, statistical applications in justice administration, human resource management, legal issues in justice administration, family violence, and sex crimes: myths and motives.

Pros:

  • Accelerated format
  • High acceptance rate

Cons:

  • Low graduation rate
  • Larger class sizes
  • Less diverse

Sources

All information in this article was drawn either directly from each school’s website or from the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator database.

CVO Staff

This concludes our ranking of the 10 best value accelerated online master’s in criminal justice and criminology degrees.