Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Programs 2024

Online Criminal Justice Degrees

In this ranking, we examine the best value colleges for online criminal justice programs.

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects slow growth for police officers and law enforcement agents in the coming years, other careers in law enforcement such as those for forensic science technicians are growing faster than average. A bachelor’s in criminal justice can open doors to many different types of careers and job opportunities.

You might think that a criminal justice degree is a very specific college major. Most students believe this type of degree grants students only limited flexibility to work in careers related to law enforcement and security. But you would be mistaken! Online criminal justice degrees tend to be especially broad in scope. Relevant coursework that is also geared for virtual delivery must focus on the many theories and concepts of criminology. This often means that the curriculum includes classes in psychology, sociology, culture, community relationships, law, terrorism, homeland security, emergency management, and plenty of others! We focused on net price and graduation rate in this online criminal justice program ranking. Still, these schools qualify as “best value” for many more reasons as well. Read below to see how earning your B.S. or B.A. in criminal justice could also mean learning a new language, studying real-world cases, or even testing your skills in a high-profile internship assignment.

Featured Programs

Criminal Justice Online Degree Offerings

30. Fayetteville State University

Online BS Completion Program in Criminal Justice


Fayetteville State University - logo

Fayetteville State University’s online criminal justice degree program is accredited by the Academy of Criminal Justice Science. It offers an affordable and convenient way for students to complete their degree. Using the Blackboard Academic Suite online, Fayetteville grants students access to syllabi, readings, notes, course discussion and more—all from home. Only upper-level coursework is available online for college credit. This includes electives such as:

  • Policy and Society
  • White Collar Crime
  • Legal Studies
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Criminal Justice Statistics

This makes the online criminal justice program particularly beneficial for international students, transfer students, or continuing learners who have met the prerequisites elsewhere. Eligible students are encouraged to apply for federal student aid.
Tuition: $5,379

29. Tarleton State University

Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Criminal Justice Administration Online


Tarleton State University- logo

The criminal justice system is an enormous field of great importance to social wellbeing. At Tarleton State University, students may pursue the Online Bachelor’s of Applied Arts and Sciences in Criminal Justice Administration program. The bachelor’s in criminal justice program provides students with a hands-on, comprehensive introduction to the field. It relies on law enforcement training approved by criminal justice agencies such as the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE), the US Military, and the Federal Government. In addition to academy training, Tarleton’s criminal justice program also allows students to customize their education. They can do so by accepting up to 33 hours of external college credit for outside training from approved institutions. Internships with local and state police departments and the district attorney’s office may also be available. All of this makes Tarleton one of the best criminal justice schools available online. Qualified students are encouraged to apply for financial aid.
Tuition: $7,790

28. Mississippi College

Online Homeland Security Degree


Mississippi College - logo

Both domestic and foreign terrorism are looming threats to the security of the United States and its allies. This modern form of warfare calls for a new kind of “police” force. With an online Homeland Security degree from Mississippi College, you can join the ranks of anti-terrorist workers around the country. These are law enforcement officers and criminal justice professionals in the criminal justice system who serve to protect our country from indiscriminate violence. The curriculum for the online criminal justice program is designed to accommodate working professionals as well as veterans and parents. Distance learning makes it easy to schedule classes at your own pace and on your own time. And as a “distinctly Christian” school, Mississippi has a proud tradition of moral, ethical leaders into the fields of:

  • law enforcement
  • legal studies
  • emergency management
  • intelligence analysis

Tuition: $20,364

27. Oakland City University

Online Criminal Justice, B.S.


Oakland City University- logo

At Oakland City University, working professionals and students of faith can build new skills for a meaningful career in criminal justice or the correctional system. The bachelor’s in criminal justice features:

  • 100% online coursework (facilitated by an OCU-provided iPad Mini)
  • 5-week long, single-subject classes

This makes it easy to balance a full workload and family with your studies. OCU even accepts previous professional experience and prior coursework towards the completion of credit hours. Thus, students can graduate with a criminal justice degree online in just 18 months. They can go on to pursue various criminal justice jobs such as:

  • police officers
  • probation officers
  • parole officers
  • forensic science technicians

Tuition: $25,740

26. University of Louisiana at Monroe

Online BA in Criminal Justice


University of Louisiana- Monroe - logo

Chartered in 1970, the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s online criminal justice degree program is one of the oldest in the state. It also boasts a proven record of success. Specifically, the online bachelor’s in criminal justice program has a nearly 90% graduate placement rate in the field after six months, according to the school’s labor statistics. For ULM graduates with a BA in Criminal Justice, it’s not uncommon to enter a career in:

  • police work
  • crime scene investigation
  • legal studies
  • fraud investigation

Plus, 40% of the school’s criminal justice graduates go on to pursue master’s degrees in advanced criminology to continue their higher education and professional growth.
Net Price: $9,058

25. McNeese State University

Online Baccalaureate Degree in Criminal Justice


McNeese State University - logo

McNeese State University combines resources with Louisiana State University-Eunice and Southwest Louisiana Technical Community College. It offers all four years of its accelerated online criminal justice degree curriculum entirely through digital media. LSU-E and SOWELA provide the first two years of general education classes and prerequisite courses for the online program.

McNeese provides the remaining upper level curriculum requirements. What’s more, the online criminal justice degree is structured such that you can take just two courses at a time (in 7-week sessions, twice per semester). This format lets online students speed up their studies without feeling overwhelmed by mountains of homework. A high school diploma and ACT score may be required for admission.
Tuition: $8,380

24. University of Nebraska at Omaha

Online Criminology and Criminal Justice Degree


University of Nebraska - Omaha - logo

Are you looking to pick up where you left off in college after starting a career or raising a family? The University of Nebraska Omaha’s Division of Continuing Studies provides a great opportunity to complete your online criminal justice degree. It offers a bachelor’s in criminal justice with a specialization in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Students at Omaha can earn a Bachelor of General Studies degree that incorporates all the tenets of a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Science.

The program includes criminal justice internships at the U.S. Marshall’s Service and the Douglas Country Sheriff’s Department. There are expert faculty and coursework in criminal procedure and research. This criminal justice program provides students with everything they need to start a career in criminal justice without ever “going” to class to attend on-campus programs.
Net Price: $8,136

23. University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice/Master in Criminal Justice Online


University of Massachusetts- Lowell logo

The University of Massachusetts-Lowell offers a practical, marketable criminal justice program online. This allows criminal justice majors to study remotely without sacrificing a comprehensive college education. The curriculum for the criminal justice program combines 36-48 credits of professional coursework with a robust liberal arts core. Thus, criminal justice students at UMass get a broad knowledge base that they can use in numerous careers as civilian professionals in the criminal justice field.

UMass also boosts criminal justice students’ career eligibility by calling for them to complete a “professional skills” component. These additional courses cover everything from foreign language to statistics and data analysis. These can enhance your knowledge and your resume in a valuable way. Students with transfer credits are welcome to apply to the online program.
Tuition: $15,698

22. Mercer University

Bachelor’s Degree in Public Safety Leadership Online


Mercer University - logo

What’s the difference between getting a bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Leadership from Mercer University and any other cheap criminal justice degree completed online? First of all, where many other criminal justice majors focus on the crime itself, Mercer prioritizes emergency response and safety. These components of the criminal justice program are important for addressing terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

Secondly, Mercer leverages the power of service learning to help students interested in the field gain actual hands-on experience. There is experiential learning in:

  • fire protection
  • corrections
  • emergency medical services

These can transition seamlessly into a meaningful career with various criminal justice agencies. And thanks to its focus on leadership and administrative skills, Mercer’s bachelor’s in criminal justice also qualifies students for work in the growing field of emergency management. Admission requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent.
Tuition: $38,746

21. Drury University

Online Associate Degree/Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice


Drury University - logo

Drury University’s cheap online criminal justice degree program combines the fields of:

  • psychology
  • sociology
  • government

The curriculum for this bachelor’s in criminal justice helps students develop an understanding of criminal behavior on the levels of:

  • individual
  • societal
  • institutional

This broad perspective on the issue of crime prepares students for many vital careers in public service. Career opportunities include:

  • law enforcement
  • crime analysis
  • criminal investigation
  • legal assistance
  • juvenile justice
  • substance abuse and mental health counseling
  • social services
  • humanitarian work

Drury’s criminal justice program also incorporates required technology coursework for:

  • PCs
  • Macs
  • general software studies

This prepares adult learners for the conditions of the modern workplace. Prospective students are encouraged to apply for financial aid. Transfer credits may be accepted.
Tuition: $32,430

20. Florida Gulf Coast University

Online Criminal Justice (B.S.)


Florida Gulf Coast University - logo

Criminal justice is much more than the sum of its parts. It encompasses not just the offender and the courts, but also:

  • the victims
  • the correctional system
  • society at large

Florida Gulf Coast University’s bachelor’s in criminal justice gives students real world experience resulting in a balanced perspective on criminal justice. The curriculum includes a rigorous liberal arts core and an extensive overview of:

  • law enforcement
  • crime analysis
  • forensic psychology
  • sociology
  • constitutional law
  • the legal system

The program prepares students for professional work in every capacity of the criminal justice system. It also poises them for graduate education and research in the field. Students with an AA or AS from a Florida public community college can also complete their Bachelor of Science by taking higher-level courses online at FGCU.
Tuition: $6,118

19. Aurora University

Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice (BA)


Aurora University - logo

A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is a great way to start a career in one of the most vital sectors of public service. At Aurora University, working students with related experience can earn their bachelor’s in criminal justice degree at an accelerated rate completely online. This is provided they have at least two years of professional/military experience or comparable “adult responsibilities.”

The school will accept previous coursework from most regionally accredited colleges or universities. They also have convenient 5- and 8-week course modules and an accommodating transfer policy. Aurora’s online programs makes it easy to take the first steps towards your new career without foregoing the one you already have.
Tuition: $26,760

18. Central Washington University

Bachelor’s Degree in Law and Justice (BA)


Central Washington University - logo

Whether you are looking to pursue careers in law enforcement or for a practical pathway to law school, the bachelor’s degree in Law and Justice program at Central Washington University is a step in the right direction. In this accredited online criminal justice degree, CWU combines a pragmatic and disciplined approach to criminal behavior and criminal justice. Plus, the humanistic, liberal arts and social sciences emphasis will provide a well-rounded education and prepare students for further legal studies. Sample online courses for this criminal justice program include:

  • Crime in America
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Legal Research
  • Introduction to Civil Practice

CWU’s bachelor’s in criminal justice offers students the best of both worlds and the freedom of choice once they graduate. Financial aid is available for eligible students attending online programs such as this one. Standardized test scores may be required for admission.
Tuition: $8,685

17. University of Maine at Fort Kent

Bachelor’s Degree in Public Safety Administration Online


University of Maine - Fort Kent- logo

Public safety administration is a discipline expansive and important. It’s almost easier to describe it by what it isn’t than by what it is. University of Maine at Fort Kent’s online bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Administration has a 30 credit-hour core devoted to “identifying, investigating, and understanding public safety issues.” And unlike a typical criminal justice degree, it also devotes a significant part of the curriculum to liberal arts and management coursework. This prepares students for leadership in a variety of public capacities. The program is committed to creating responsible leaders who foster positive community relationships. This makes UMFK’s public safety administration program at least as valuable as even the best criminal justice degree online.
Tuition: $8,505

16. University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Bachelor and Master of Science in Criminal Justice Online


University of Wisconsin- Platteville- logo

Criminal justice comprises disciplines as diverse and challenging as:

  • law
  • psychology
  • community relations
  • investigation
  • research

The University of Wisconsin Platteville’s affordable online criminal justice degree program offers interdisciplinary coursework and real-world experience to explore the way these disciplines actually interact in the field. Core courses for this bachelor’s in criminal justice program include:

  • Correctional Philosophy
  • The Police Function
  • Criminal Investigation

Criminal justice students at UWP develop pragmatic and unintuitive insights into the psychology of crime. They also come to understand the functions and effect of the legal apparatus as well as their own role in this system before they even graduate from their online programs.
Tuition: $7,844

15. The University of Texas at El Paso

Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice (BA)


University of Texas at El Paso - logo

The demand for accountability and visibility in law enforcement and the justice system has grown. As a result, there is a greater need for qualified and credentialed professionals. They need theoretical and practical knowledge in the field. The expansion of the University of Texas at El Paso’s Department of Criminal Justice is a testament to the increasing need for such individuals. It has addednew full-time faculty and a new, fully-online BA in Criminal Justice program. UTEP is poised to meet the needs of not only the variety of agencies in their unique border location, but agencies around the state and country as well. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Texas at El Paso among the best national universities in the country.
Tuition: $9,744

14. University of Central Missouri

Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Online


University of Central Missouri - logo

Many prospective students fail to consider the age of a school’s program when deciding where to go to college. Still, there are certain benefits that only develop through long-term growth, such as:

  • faculty experience
  • alumni networks
  • professional networks
  • institutional resources

The University of Central Missouri is home to one of the oldest criminal justice departments in the country. So, students can now access all these advantages online via the Office of Extended Studies and Distance Learning and its bachelor’s in criminal justice program. This is true whether you are looking to start a career in:

  • law enforcement
  • corrections
  • or pursue graduate studies.

UCM offers one of the best criminal justice programs online for ensuring your long-term growth.
Tuition: $9,071

13. North Carolina Central University

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Online Completion Program


North Carolina Central University - logo

North Carolina Central University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Online Completion Program is for students simply looking earn a baccalaureate diploma as well as those trying to advance in their field. Either way, this program is a great opportunity to gain tangible experience. Criminal justice students at NCCU can choose from four professionally oriented concentrations:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Corrections Officers
  • Homeland Security
  • Juvenile Justice

These bachelor’s in criminal justice concentrations build on the core criminal justice curriculum. Yet, they keep enough flexibility that you can combine courses from many specializations or branch out to other subjects. North Carolina Central University is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Tuition: $6,644

12. University of Nebraska at Kearney

Online Criminal Justice Bachelor of Science Degree Completion Program


University of Nebraska- Kearney - logo

The University of Nebraska at Kearney has partnered with the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. It provides a collaborative criminal justice degree offered completely online. While UNK actually grants the degree, UNO and UNL provide more course offerings and student resources. This makes this affordable online criminal justice degree uniquely versatile and accessible. It features the same faculty and courses available on-campus.

Plus, internship opportunities are available for distance learners pursuing a bachelor’s in criminal justice. There’s no doubt this program is one of the best resources for working students looking to start a career in public service. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Nebraska at Kearney among the top 5 best value schools nationwide.
Tuition: $7,986

11. University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

Online Criminal Justice Major


University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh- logo

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh boasts one of the most affordable and convenient programs for working and/or continuing students. This comprehensive program emphasizes:

  • writing composition
  • research methods
  • data analysis
  • critical thinking

Major-specific topics include:

  • Legal Ethics
  • Human Trafficking
  • Court Administration
  • Policy Formations
  • Crime Theory
  • Forensic Psychology

Students may also choose from an array of elective courses. The full curriculum provides students with a complete picture of all aspects of the local, state, and federal justice systems. This is strictly a bachelor’s in criminal justice degree completion program, though. Students must have a relevant associate degree or equivalent work experience to enroll. Test scores may also be required for admission.
Tuition: $7,733

10. Sam Houston State University

Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Online


Sam Houston State University - logo

The College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University recently celebrating its 50th anniversary. It’s one of the oldest of its kind in the country. And it has all the resources to show for it! Students can select from two online criminal justice degrees:

  • an online Bachelor of Science
  • a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice/Criminology

The former requires more hours of social science:

  • psychology
  • sociology
  • political science, etc.

The latter includes more foreign language classes. Sam Houston is also highly regarded for its prestigious internships for seniors graduating with a bachelor’s in criminal justice. Participating law enforcement agencies providing academy training include:

  • the FBI
  • local police departments.

Sam Houston State holds institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Tuition: $8,960

9. Florida International University

Online Bachelor of Criminal Justice


Florida International University- logo

The online criminal justice degree program at Florida International University offers a comprehensive course of study in the discipline in a fully digital format. Coursework for the bachelor’s in criminal justice program is diverse and extensive, including courses such as:

  • Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
  • Criminological Theory
  • Criminal Justice and Public Policy

FIU prepares students for a range of careers and law enforcement positions that await them after graduation. This program is ideal for students who have already earned an Associate of Arts degree at a Florida Community College. These students are able to forego general education prerequisites and begin their higher-level professional coursework immediately. FIU is among the top 40 most innovative schools in the nation, according to US News & World Report.
Tuition: $6,565

8. Westfield State University

Criminal Justice (B.S.), Online Completion


Westfield State University - logo

The online completion Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice is designed for graduates of Massachusetts Community Colleges. It’s a great opportunity to earn your qualifications in a high-demand field on your own time. Students who have fulfilled all the requirements for the “Mass transfer compact” can finish the junior and senior years of their bachelor’s degree entirely online.

Non-graduates have the option to take online criminal justice classes at WSU while simultaneously completing their remaining coursework at another institution. Besides traditional 15-week fall and summer semesters, students may also take advantage of two accelerated 6-week summer semesters and a 2-week winter semester. This actually makes it possible for a full-time student to complete the required courses in fewer than two years!
Tuition: $11,139

7. SUNY College at Oswego

Public Justice: Online Degree


SUNY Oswego - logo

Whether you’re already working in the human services industry or want to begin a career in the field, an online public justice degree from SUNY College at Oswego makes it easy to accomplish your goals. This program combines coursework in the public justice system with complementary research in:

  • sociology
  • anthropology
  • psychology

Thus, SUNY Oswego prepares students for a career in anything from law and courts to counseling and corrections and even security management. The program is particularly helpful for veterans. They benefit from the convenience of flexible online scheduling and coursework. There’s also a military-friendly credit policy that will grant up to 30 hours of course credit for experience in the armed services.
Tuition: $8,769

6. Washington State University

Online Criminal Justice Undergraduate Degree


Washington State University - logo

Founded in 1943, Washington State University’s criminal justice department is the second oldest in the nation. Students of this reputable higher education program also enjoy access to distinguished faculty. Many are highly respected in their field. The school also boasts an impressive alumni network. Graduates can count themselves among criminal justice professionals, including diverse populations of sworn and civilian professionals. These include national leaders in law enforcement as well as successful judges and attorneys working in the court system.
Tuition: $12,417

5. University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

Online Bachelor of Criminal Justice


University of Oklahoma - logo

At the University of Oklahoma-Norman, students have the rare opportunity to complete all 120 credit hours of their criminal justice degree online. This comprehensive program prepares students for the multitude of roles that criminal justice professionals must play in their careers:

  • community-builder
  • analytical thinker
  • public relations expert
  • problem solver

Accelerated, eight-week terms will allow you to complete the entire bachelor’s degree program in as few as 18 months. The program’s flexibility also enables students to take four, five, or more years to earn their degree. Plus, experienced academic advisors can assist in creating a customized academic plan that suits your specific needs.
Tuition: $12,012

4. Western Carolina University

Criminal Justice Online Program


Western Carolina University - logo

Western Carolina University is a leader in providing affordable higher education in an intuitive and convenient digital format. But the benefits of attending WCU reach far beyond the ability to save time and money. Through student organizations like Alpha Phi Sigma (the National Criminal Justice Honor Society) and the Student Association of Criminal Justice Affairs (SACJA), online learners have the unique opportunity to network with:

  • classmates
  • alumni
  • professionals

They may even acquire internship opportunities for various career paths. WCU will grant up to 12 hours of course credit for these internships. As a student, This makes it possible for you, as a student, to:

  • earn new skills
  • boost your resume
  • gain ground on your career outlook in the criminal justice system

Tuition: $4,367

3. United Tribes Technical College

Online Criminal Justice Degree (Associate Degree)


United Tribes Technical College - logo

In the field of criminal justice and legal studies, it takes more than a handshake to get your foot in the door. From law enforcement and justice studies to private security management, most career paths require:

  • employment experience
  • background checks
  • a college degree

Working and/or geographically remote students can easily earn all the college credit and qualifications they need to start a career in this challenging field. UTTC is an institutional participant in the North Dakota Interactive Video Network (IVN). UTTC provides state-of-the-art video conferencing services. This allows students and professors to interact in real-time for class discussions and lectures. It’s an important level of engagement that is missing in many criminal justice programs.
Tuition: $4,252

2. Humphreys University

Online BS in Criminal Justice/Associate Degree in Criminal Justice


Hunphreys University- logo

Humphreys College regularly tops our lists for the best online bachelor’s degree programs. The school’s affordable online criminal justice degree is no exception. What makes it so great? Affordable tuition. Strong graduation rates.

Humphreys earns accolades for its highly regarded professional faculty, many of whom are either working in the field or are recently retired. An impressive array of professional concentrations that focus on essential industry subfields are available, including:

  • Corrections
  • Justice Studies
  • Probation
  • Leadership
  • Human Resources
  • The Court System

The school also provides online students with coveted internships at the local, state, and federal levels of law enforcement. Taken together, all these elements make Humphreys a top choice for distance learners looking for entry-level jobs in:

  • law enforcement
  • correctional facilities
  • the private security sector

Federal student aid may be available to offset the cost of the degree.
Tuition: $14,580

1. University of Central Florida

Online Criminal Justice B.A./B.S.


University of Central Florida - logo

At the University of Central Florida, criminal justice students don’t have to choose whether they want to go into law enforcement or pursue graduate education—at least not right away. Required coursework for this criminal justice bachelor’s degree incudes:

  • Data Analysis for Criminal Justice
  • Crime in America
  • Police and Society
  • Corrections and Penology

This comprehensive online criminal justice degree covers everything from the most theoretical and abstract conceptual topics to the most practical and tangible aspects of the field. UCF also provides academic advisors who can help develop personalized curriculum and graduation plans for each student. This ensures that online learners have every opportunity to find career opportunities in any number of criminal justice occupations and institutions, including:

  • human services
  • forensic science
  • child welfare
  • legal studies
  • the federal court system

A high school diploma or equivalent is required for admission.
Tuition: $6,368

See our methodology page for more information about how we calculated this ranking.


By CVO Staff

This concludes our ranking of the best value colleges for online criminal justice programs.