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PhD in Criminal Justice Online Programs

The following schools offer highly convenient paths to further your criminal justice career through an online PhD in criminal justice. While only five primarily online PhD in criminal justice degrees are currently being offered, watch for more to come.


Although we ranked programs in order of affordability (the #1 spot being the most affordable), take the time to note the special features of each program from a value angle in terms of your own career objectives. You will want to make sure that the nature of a given program will be highly relevant to the criminal justice area in which you wish to work.

Note that financial figures (taken from each school’s website) are presented for comparative purposes at time of publication but may vary according to your situation. Always check for financial aid opportunities as well as acceptance of transfer credit, which could reduce your overall tuition considerably. Classroom materials such as textbooks may be extra.

5. Northcentral University

San Diego, CA

Online PhD in Business Administration: Criminal Justice

Northcentral University is offering a 100% online PhD in criminal justice as part of their business administration doctorate.


If you desire to land a leadership-level position in criminal justice, law enforcement, corrections, private consulting, or teaching, Northcentral could be a great option for your online PhD. It offers an online PhD in business administration that has a specialization in criminal justice. A standout feature of Northcentral is its 1:1 student to faculty ratio. Class size is one, so you get personalized attention from your professor-mentors online, all of whom have doctorates in the field. Founded in 1996, Northcentral educates over 10,000 students online every year.

Tuition and fees are estimated at $68,190 for the entire program.

4. Capella University

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Online PhD in Criminal Justice

Capella University online PhD in Criminal Justice

Integrate research and career advancement with Capella’s PhD in criminal justice online.


Capella’s PhD in criminal justice online will not only allow you to learn from seasoned experts in the field, but also to get to know yourself and your leadership style better. A nice advantage of this program is that you can start your dissertation work immediately so that the connection between your research and professional career is established from the start. Learning mediums for this online PhD in criminal justice include 10 week-long courses, three residencies, comprehensive exams, and the dissertation. Courses will include criminal justice theory, analysis of crime data, and criminal justice policy and administration.

Tuition and fees for the entire program are estimated at $66,240 (96 credits at $690 per credit).

3. Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Online PhD in Criminal Justice

Nova Southeastern University online PhD in criminal justice

Expand your career possibilities with a high quality and convenient PhD in criminal justice online from Nova Southeastern University.


Want to head into a higher management, research, or academic role in the criminal justice field? The 60-credit PhD criminal justice online from Nova Southeastern includes core courses, concentration area courses, and a dissertation. Core courses (33 credits) include titles like Theories of Crime, The Police and Society, and Applied Statistics. Concentration area courses (15 credits) can focus on Organizational Leadership, Behavioral Sciences, or Juvenile Justice. For the dissertation, you will take 12 credits and can plan to complete the whole program in 2.5 years if you take two courses every semester, three semesters per year.

Total program tuition and fees estimate is $65,400 for a student taking three classes per term for eight terms. This assumes $1040 tuition per credit hour, student services fee of $350 per term, and a $25 registration fee per term.

2. Colorado Technical University Online

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Doctor of Management: Criminal Justice

Colorado Technical University online PhD in Criminal Justice

CTU offers a PhD in criminal justice online through its doctor of management online program.


The criminal justice aspect of this online doctoral degree is offered as a concentration within the doctor of management online program. If you have a criminal justice background by virtue of professional experience or academic study, this could be your best opportunity to hone your criminal justice leadership skills in the context of best management practices. With this online PhD, learning opportunities come in the form of courses, mentoring, actions research, practical projects, and doctoral symposia.  The 96 credits can be completed in just three years. Note that CTU also offers a homeland security concentration within the online doctor of management degree.

Total tuition and fees for the program are estimated at $61,608.

1. Walden University

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Online PhD in Criminal Justice

Walden University online PhD in criminal Justice

Walden University’s PhD in criminal justice online will help you think about criminal justice policies in light of greater social justice and change.


This online PhD in criminal justice is the most affordable in our ranking. The program is ideal for those wanting to improve their professional leadership skills or begin teaching criminal justice. At the end of this online PhD you will be able to confidently answer questions such as “What are the root causes of crime?” “How can scholarly research help advance criminal justice?” and “How can the criminal justice system bring about social transformation in a more positive way?” Four academic residencies are required at important junctures in this 53-month program. Two different tracks cater to students’ needs based on whether one has a master’s degree in criminal justice or not.

Total program tuition and fees are estimated at $55,210.

This concludes our affordability ranking of online PhD in criminal justice degree programs.

CVO Staff
February 2017

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