30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs at Private Colleges

Learn about the cheapest criminal justice degree online programs at private colleges.

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Crime trends fluctuate from year to year. But one thing is stable. There is, and always will be, demand for a criminal justice system.

Are you interested in a career in criminology? Want to fight crime by joining the FBI or DEA? Ever thought about police work or criminal law? If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider online criminal justice degrees and how they can launch your dream career.
 
If you want to save money while earning your degree, look for affordable schools and online programs. Read on to find the criminal justice degree online cost and which schools offer the best bang for your buck.

Ranking Cheap Colleges for Criminal Justice

We started our search for the cheapest online criminal justice degree programs by looking at 122 schools. These are private, non-profit schools listed by NCES College Navigator. We then narrowed the number of schools by the following criteria:

  • Accreditation
  • Affordability
  • Rankings with U.S. News and World Report

We chose the top 30 most affordable schools. These schools offer undergraduate tuition that’s less than $25,000/year. We ranked the selected online programs by raw affordability.

 

30 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice: Private Non-Profit Colleges

Below are our resulting selections for the 30 most affordable online bachelor’s in criminal justice degree programs at private, non-profit colleges and universities.

#30 – Crown College

Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $24,700

A logo of Crown College for our Ranking of the Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Programs
Crown College offers a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Crown College is an affordable school for a criminal justice degree. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Since the school is a Christian college, it offers studies through a Christian view

The criminal justice program also offers small class sizes and access to faculty mentorship. You take part in workshops and class discussions. You also get individualized attention through online student support from your professors.

In this program, you take classes like:

  • Criminal justice ethics
  • Introduction to corrections
  • Juvenile justice

Classes move at a fast pace. You can earn your degree in less than four years with transfer credits. But your pace depends on your schedule.

The accredited school ranks with major publications like U.S. News. Its most recent rankings include #119-#157 in best regional schools in the Midwest.

#29 – Campbellsville University

Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Campbellsville, Kentucky

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $24,596

A logo of Campbellsville University for our ranking of cheap online criminal justice degrees
Campbellsville creates criminal justice professionals through its online program.

Campbellsville University is a good school for a degree in criminal justice. It offers a Bachelor of Science degree in this discipline that you can complete online.

The four-year program gives you the skills you need to work in the criminal system. You explore areas such as:

  • Criminological theory
  • Intro to the criminal system
  • Methods of research
  • Social statistics

Each class you take runs for eight weeks. You’re required to complete at least 120 total credit hours. But you have the freedom to choose which classes you take. Many of these credits come from electives.

The accredited school ranks with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school ranks #98 in best regional universities in the South.

#28 – Bluefield College

Online BA or BS in Criminal Justice

Bluefield, Virginia

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $24,380

An image of Bluefield College for our ranking of 30 cheapest online criminal justice programs
Criminal justice students find degree options at Bluefield College.

Bluefield College is a great school for a criminal justice degree. It offers BA and BS in Criminal Justice degrees online.

The programs prepare you for careers in the field through general education courses and instruction. You also get to complete an internship in the field. Your classes include:

  • Corrections
  • Criminal investigations and procedure
  • Psychology of criminal behavior
  • Theories in social deviance

The skills you learn help you approach your career through a Christian perspective.

The school ranks with major publications like U.S. News. Its most recent rankings include #71-#93 in best regional colleges in the South.

#27 – Hampton University

Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Hampton, Virginia

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $24,242

A logo of Hampton University for our ranking of 30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs
Hampton University offers an affordable online bachelor’s in criminal justice degree.

You find Hampton University listed among cheap online colleges for criminal justice. It offers a BS in Criminal Justice degree.

The program prepares you with knowledge needed for jobs in corrections and law enforcement practices. It also prepares you with professional skills for entry-level work.

It is a multidisciplinary program that requires 120 credit hours. You take courses that cover topics like:

  • Criminalistics of cybercrime
  • Issues in law enforcement agencies
  • Race and ethnic relations
  • Victimology

The schools ranks with U.S. News, but not only for its online degree programs. Its rankings include #202 in best national schools. It also ranks #4 in top HBCUs in the U.S.

#26 – Kentucky Wesleyan College

Online BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology

Owensboro, Kentucky

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $24,050

A logo of Kentucky Wesleyan for our ranking of 30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs
Affordable online criminal justice programs at Kentucky Wesleyan.

Kentucky Wesleyan College is a good school for an online criminal justice degree. It’s also a good school for a criminology degree. It offers Bachelor of Sciences degrees in both programs.

You study criminal behavior and the social justice systems. You also learn about the critical issues in policing.

Your courses cover topics such as:

  • Criminal law
  • Research in criminal justice
  • Statistics in the behavioral sciences

KWC ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Current rankings include #21 in best regional colleges in the South. It also ranks #30 in top performers on social mobility.

#25 – Limestone University

Online BS in Criminal Justice

Gaffney, South Carolina

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $23,900

A logo of Limestone University for our ranking of online criminal justice programs
Want to work in the criminal justice field? Limestone offers criminal justice programs.
Limestone College offers one of the cheapest online criminal justice degree programs. The BS in criminal justice prepares online students for careers in the field.
 
In this program, you explore different criminal law topics. You study theories of criminal justice and learn how to put those theories into practice. You also learn about juvenile justice. 
 
The program helps you understand what it takes to become an FBI officer or police officer. You also learn about the role of a security agent. 
Limestone offers generous federal student aid and financial aid awards. These help you save money while going to school. The college also ranks with major publications like U.S. News. 
 
The most recent rankings include:
  • #53 in best regional colleges in the South
  • #44 in top performers on social mobility

#24 – Chaminade University

Online BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Honolulu, Hawaii

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $23,310

A logo of Chaminade University for our ranking of the 30 cheapest online criminal justice programs
Chaminade offers online programs for those interested in criminal justice.

Cheap criminal justice colleges include Chaminade University. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree.

The program prepares online students for careers in police work and public safety. You take courses that cover many different topics related to the field. Classes include:

  • Behavioral sciences statistics
  • Contemporary issues
  • Law enforcement
  • Research methods

These courses can also help prepare you for law or grad school.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #25 in best regional universities. It also ranks #21 in best value schools.

#23 – University of the Cumberlands

Online Bachelor in Criminal Justice

Williamsburg, Kentucky

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $23,000

A logo of University of the Cumberlands for our ranking on 30 cheapest online criminal justice programs
Learn about the criminal procedure in University of Cumberlands’ criminal justice degree.

University of the Cumberlands is an affordable school for a criminal justice degree. It offers an undergraduate degree that students can earn online. The program also offers different concentration areas such as:

  • Chaplain and prison ministries
  • Criminal profiling
  • Forensics
  • Law enforcement management

But at the core of the program, you study many topics related to the field. You learn about homeland security and ethics. You also learn about civil liberties, corrections, and policing. When you graduate, you qualify for entry-level jobs in juvenile justice. You can also work in law enforcement and policing. You might even qualify for jobs such as correctional treatment specialists.

The school ranks with U.S. News as a top national university.

#22 – Aurora University

Online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Aurora, Illinois

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $22,830

A logo of Aurora University for our ranking of 30 cheapest online criminal justice programs
Aurora University prepares students for careers in criminal justice.

Aurora University is a good school for a criminal justice degree. It offers a BA in criminal justice degree program.

The program teaches online students about correctional services and policing in America. It also prepares you for work in criminal law and the justice system. You learn different research methods. You also learn how to put these methods into practice as you conduct your own research project.

Each class you take runs eight weeks in length. While the classes move at a fast pace, the program takes four years to complete.

The school ranks with U.S. News as a top university. These rankings include:

  • #299-#391 in best national universities
  • #66 in top performers on social mobility

#21 – Shorter University

Online BS in Criminal Justice

Rome, Georgia

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $21,730

A logo of Shorter University for our ranking of 30 cheapest online criminal justice programs
Online classes at Shorter University prepare you for careers in criminal justice.

Shorter University is an affordable school for an online criminal justice degree. It offers a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice.

The program lays a foundation for online students seeking career entry into law enforcement and police work. It also helps them learn about correctional and judicial systems.

You take courses that cover topics such as:

  • Ethics in justice
  • Police systems
  • Theories in criminal justice

U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #80 in best regional universities in the South. It also ranks #94 in top performers on social mobility.

#20 – Liberty University

Online BS in Criminal Justice

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $21,292

A logo of Liberty University for our ranking of 30 cheapest online criminal justice programs
Liberty University offers affordable criminal justice programs.

Liberty University is a Christian school that offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree. You can complete this bachelor’s degree online. You can also specialize your degree to fit with your career goals.

The program offers nine specializations. You can focus your studies in areas like:

  • Corrections and human services
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Criminal psychology
  • Homeland security

But no matter which specialization you choose, your courses lay a foundation for work in the field. You study legal and ethical issues in juvenile justice. You also cover topics in public administration.

The accredited school ranks with U.S. News and World Report. Current rankings include #299-#391 in best national universities.

#19 – Concordia University

Online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $21,250

A logo of Concordia for our ranking of 30 cheapest online criminal justice programs
Criminal justice opens doors for jobs – Concordia University.

Concordia University is an affordable college for a criminal justice degree. It offers a BA in Criminal Justice degree program with prep for DEA, fraud, and police work.

If you’re interested in becoming a criminal justice professional, this program can help. You complete online courses in subjects relevant to fieldwork. Your courses cover topics like:

  • Diversity in justice
  • Philosophy of values and ethics
  • Troubled youth in justice systems

Each course runs seven weeks in length, making your studies move along in a fast pace. Industry professionals teach most classes. You learn from experienced people who’ve worked in the field.

The school ranks with U.S. News. Its current rankings include #88 in best regional universities in the Midwest. It also ranks #102 in top performers on social mobility.

#18 – Columbia College

Online BA or BS in Criminal Justice Administration

Columbia, Missouri

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $20,936

Columbia College - Online Criminal Justice
You can study criminal justice online at Columbia College–one of our cheapest online criminal justice programs.

Columbia College is a great school for a criminal justice program. It offers a path for online students to become criminal justice professionals. Career paths include:

  • Correctional treatment specialists
  • Criminal investigators
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Police officers
  • Probation officers
  • Security managers

You can even pursue law school with this accredited degree.

The program teaches you how justice works. Your courses cover topics about ethics and morality as it relates to the field. You also learn about different procedures and laws. When you complete the criminal justice program, you can step right into a related career.

The school ranks with U.S. News. Current rankings include #119-#157 in top regional universities in the Midwest.

#17 – Ashland University

Online BS in Criminal Justice

Ashland, Ohio

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $20,392

A logo of Ashland University for our ranking of 30 cheapest online criminal justice programs
Learn about the criminal justice process through the fully online program at Ashland.

At Ashland University, you can get a BS in Criminal Justice degree. The fully online program follows five different tracks that you choose depending on your interest and career goals. These tracks include:

  • Correctional administration
  • Criminology and research
  • Generalist
  • Law enforcement administration
  • Legal studies

Criminal justice majors take many foundational classes. They prepare you for different careers, such as policing and criminal law. Courses cover topics in ethics and theories. They also cover niche areas like terrorism and homeland security.

The school ranks with U.S. News. Its recent rankings include #54 in best regional universities in the Midwest. It also ranks #29 in best value schools due to its federal financial aid programs.

#16 – Faulkner University

Online BS in Criminal Justice

Montgomery, Alabama

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $20,130

A logo of Faulkner University for our ranking of 30 cheapest online criminal justice programs
An affordable school for online classes and a CrimJ degree – Faulkner University.

Faulkner University is a great school for an online degree. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program.

The program prepares online students for careers in corrections, law, and private security. You learn how to examine criminal behavior. You also conduct research using different techniques and methods.

You must complete 122 college credit hours. This includes studies in Christian literacy and communication theory. You also complete general requirements, such as math, science, and writing.

The accredited school ranks with major publications. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #104-#137 in best regional universities in the South. It also ranks #132 in top performers on social mobility.

#15 – Keiser University

Online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $21,008

A logo of Keiser University for our ranking of 30 cheapest online criminal justice programs
Aspiring criminal investigators can earn a degree in CrimJ at Keiser.

Keiser University is a good school for online criminal justice programs. It offers a BA in Criminal Justice degree.

In this program, you learn different research techniques. You also learn how to communicate and write for the field. Your classes cover industry-related topics such as:

  • Deviant behavior
  • Forensics
  • Investigation
  • Private security
  • Victimology

The courses also teach you how different laws impact the justice system. These courses help you develop knowledge needed for a job in law or justice.

The school ranks with U.S. News. Its current rankings include #299-#391 in best national universities. It also ranks #5 in top performers on social mobility.

#14 – Judson College

Online BA or BS in Criminal Justice

Marion, Alabama

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $17,376

A logo of Judson College for our ranking of 30 cheapest criminal justice programs
Earn an affordable degree in CrimJ at Judson College.

Judson College is a good school for criminal justice programs. It offers both BA and BS degrees online.

Criminal justice careers tend to fall along three tracks.

  • Academic professions
  • Law enforcement professions
  • Legal professions

At Judson, you can choose which path you want to follow. Your classes give you a solid foundation in the causes of crime and the justice system. From there, you can build on your knowledge through special studies courses. You can also complete a criminal justice internship or independent study.

The school ranks with U.S. News as a top liberal arts college. Rankings include #168-#222 in national liberal arts colleges. They also include #215 in top social mobility.

#13 – Thomas University

Online Bachelor in Criminal Justice

Thomasville, Georgia

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,940

A logo of Thomas University for our ranking of 30 cheapest online criminal justice programs
Criminal justice coursework online at Thomas University.

Thomas University is a good college for aspiring criminal justice professionals. It offers an undergrad CrimJ degree.

The four-year program helps you understand how the system responds to different types of crime. It also teaches you about constitutional law systems.

Your classes cover topics like:

  • Corrections in America
  • Criminal procedure
  • Juvenile justice
  • Standards and practices

Lastly, the school ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university. Its rankings include #104-#137 in best regional universities in the South. It also ranks #134 in social mobility. TU offers one of the cheapest online bachelors degree criminal justice programs on our list.

#12 – Central Christian College

Online BS in Criminal Justice

McPherson, Kansas

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,850

A logo of Central Christian College for our ranking of 30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Programs
Central Christian offers criminal justice degrees for online learners.

Central Christian College is a good school for criminal justice students. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice online degree.

You take fast-paced courses that run for six weeks. You also take one class at a time.

You take courses such as:

  • Criminology
  • Crisis management
  • Terrorism and counterterrorism
  • Victimology

If you want to earn your degree faster, you can. You can get transfer credits approved from accredited schools.

Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the school as a top college. CCC’s most recent rankings include #58-#76 in best regional colleges in the Midwest. It also ranks #61 in top performers on social mobility.

#11 – City University of Seattle

Online BS in Criminal Justice

Seattle, Washington

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,748

A logo of City U of Seattle for our ranking of 30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Programs
A diverse student body at CityU of Seattle.

City University of Seattle is an affordable school for criminal justice students. It offers a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

If you’re interested in the juvenile justice system and want to learn how it works, this program helps. You take classes that cover many different topics related to the field. These include:

  • Criminal investigation
  • Criminal procedural law
  • Justice and ethics
  • Management and leadership
  • Planning and policy analysis

The program also offers three pathways to the degree. You get to focus on different areas of interest. These areas are corporate security and investigation, cyber forensic investigation, and justice administration.

#10 – Claflin University

Online Bachelor in Criminal Justice

Orangeburg, South Carolina

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,158

A logo of Claflin University for our ranking of 30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Programs
Claflin is an affordable school for criminal justice studies.

Claflin University offers online programs for students interested in becoming police officers and law enforcement officers. These programs are also for those who want to work in the criminal justice field. It has an online degree in criminal justice.

The program gives you a liberal arts online education. It also provides an overview of six major fields in criminal justice. You learn what it’s like to work in the field by taking classes and completing projects.

Your courses cover topics such as:

  • Correctional systems
  • Criminal law
  • Criminology
  • Judicial administration
  • Supervision and leadership

You also complete a set of research classes. These classes teach you different research methods. They also teach you how to apply social statistics to your research and analysis.

The school ranks with U.S. News and World Report. Its rankings include #7 in best regional colleges in the South. It also ranks #10 in top historically Black colleges.

#9 – Hodges University

Online BS in Legal Studies

Naples, Florida

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $13,700

A logo of Hodges University for our ranking of 30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Programs
Earn an online degree in criminal justice at Hodges University.

Hodges University is a good school of online programs related to criminal justice. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies degree.

In this program, you take many pre law courses. These courses prepare you for graduate or law school. Some of the courses you take cover topics like:

  • Criminal investigation
  • Professionalism and ethics
  • Victims of crime
  • White collar crime

Monthly course start dates make it easy to enroll. You can also attend full- or part-time, depending on your schedule. If you enroll full-time, you can finish your degree in 3.5 years.

The school ranks #104-#137 in best regional schools in the South by U.S. News. It also ranks #6 for social mobility.

#8 – Brandman University (UMass Global)

Online BA in Criminal Justice

Irvine, California

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,300

A logo of UMass Global for our ranking of 30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Programs
Affordable criminal justice programs – UMass Global.

Brandman University has one of the cheapest criminal justice degree programs. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree.

The program is for those committed to law enforcement or administration in the field. It gives you the knowledge you need to land an entry-level job within criminal justice systems and criminal justice agencies.

You learn about the foundations of law. You also learn how management works in related organizations. Some courses you take include:

  • Police and society
  • Social research design
  • Social theory

You can also specialize your degree by picking up a concentration. Focus areas include corrections, leadership, and homeland security.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #122 in best bachelor’s online programs.

#7 – Florida Institute of Technology

Online BA in Applied Psychology – Forensic Psychology

Melbourne, Florida

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,240

A logo of Florida Tech for our ranking of 30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Programs
Florida Tech offers online programs in criminal justice.

Florida Institute of Technology is a good school for online criminal justice programs. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology.

This program teaches you about the psychological aspects of human behavior. It also teaches you how behavior applies to legal environments. Your studies help prepare you for jobs as police officers or other criminal justice jobs.

Your coursework is similar to the criminal justice curriculum studies in other programs. You take classes such as:

  • Integrated theories of crime
  • Multicultural issues
  • Personal and professional development
  • Social psychology
  • Victim studies and advocacy

U.S. News ranks Florida Institute of Technology #202 in best national universities.

Other Florida schools for a degree completion program include Florida International University.

#6 – Franklin University

Online BS in Criminal Justice Administration

Columbus, Ohio

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,881

A logo of Franklin University for our ranking of 30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Programs
Get a criminal justice online degree at Franklin University.

Franklin University is an affordable school for online criminal justice degrees. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration.

This program equips you to launch a career in the field. You learn what it means to protect and serve the interest of social order. You also learn how to keep the public safe.

You take courses that cover topics such as:

  • Criminology theory and crime control
  • Ethical decision making
  • Juvenile justice and corrections

You can also specialize your studies with a focus area. There are five focus areas to choose from. They include:

  • Corrections
  • Homeland security
  • Law enforcement
  • Public administration
  • Special populations

Students complete 120 credit hours to earn the degree. But once you have it, you’re ready for many different criminal justice careers.

#5 – Averett University

Online BS in Sociology and Criminal Justice

Danville, Virginia

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,325

A logo of Averett University for our ranking of 30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Programs
Online learners can get an associate degree or bachelor’s in CrimJ at Averett.

Averett University is a good school for criminal justice programs. It prepares students to work in victim advocacy or criminal justice policy. It also prepares you for jobs in criminal justice leadership.

In the BS program, you learn how to serve the community through law. You also learn how to serve through police work and social services.

You take courses such as:

  • Police in America
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Research methods
  • The US criminal court system

U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #21 in best regional colleges in the South. It also ranks #12 in best value schools.

#4 – Indiana Wesleyan University

Online BS in Criminal Justice

Marion, Indiana

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,791

A logo of Indiana Wesleyan for our ranking of 30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Programs
Learn about the judicial process in the online criminal justice program at IWU.

Indiana Wesleyan University offers online learning in criminal justice. You can earn a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree.

The program prepares you for a career of service. It also teaches you about ethics and integrity as you embark on a service career.

You learn about tactics and theories that relate to the field. You also learn how to advocate for victims. Your courses cover topics such as:

  • Court procedures
  • Ethics in criminal justice system
  • Probation and parole
  • Restorative justice
  • Victimology

IWU ranks with U.S. News. Its recent rankings include #19 in best regional universities in the Midwest. It also ranks #64 in best value schools.

#3 – Bellevue University

Online BS in Criminal Justice

Bellevue, Nebraska

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,365

A logo of Bellevue University for our ranking of 30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Programs
Affordable online programs – Bellevue University.

Looking for the cheapest online masters degree in criminal justice? How about a bachelor degree? Bellevue University has options. It offers an online BS in Criminal Justice degree.

The program prepares you for criminal justice jobs in many different areas of justice administration and crime management. You take courses that cover topics like:

  • Crime and justice in America
  • Crime theory and causes
  • Criminal courts and social policy
  • Ethics and values
  • Punishment and criminal sanctions

You’re required to complete 127 credit hours, but 40 credits in the major. Once you finish your online education, you’re ready for a job. You can get done sooner with transfer credits. But you’ll need to submit official transcripts from accredited schools that show you’ve completed some general education courses.

Lastly, the school ranks with U.S. News and World Report. Its rankings include #119-#157 in best regional schools in the Midwest. It also ranks #131 in top performers on social mobility.

#2 – Amridge University

Online BS in Criminal Justice

Montgomery, Alabama

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,180

A logo of Amridge University for our ranking of 30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Programs
Earn an affordable criminal justice degree at Amridge University.

Amridge University is an affordable school for a criminal justice degree. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree.

The criminal justice program prepares you for work in the criminal justice field. You learn about criminal justice sciences. You also learn how to handle criminal investigations.

Your courses cover topics like:

  • Criminal evidence
  • Criminal procedures
  • Interview and interrogation
  • Psychological profiling
  • Public safety and security

The program also teaches you about constitutional law.

Criminal justice graduates land many different jobs, from police officers to probation officers. But to graduate, you must complete 128 semester hours. You must take at least forty semester hours at Amridge.

#1 – Central Methodist University

Online BA and BS in Criminal Justice

Fayette, Missouri

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,400

A logo of CMU for our ranking of 30 Cheapest Online Criminal Justice Programs
#1 most affordable criminal justice program – Central Methodist University.

Central Methodist University is the most affordable school on our list for a criminal justice degree. It offers both BA and BS programs.

The program helps you gain the skills needed for careers in law and criminal justice. It also prepares you for law enforcement roles.

You learn about the legal system and court proceedings. You also study forensic science and corrections management. Your studies give you knowledge in different areas so that you qualify for different jobs.

Your courses cover topics such as:

  • Criminal procedures
  • Research design
  • Social deviance

The school ranks with U.S. News and World Report. Its most recent rankings include #40 in best regional colleges in the Midwest. It also ranks #51 in top performers on social mobility.

___________

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a cheap online criminal justice degree worth it?

An affordable criminal justice degree can open doors for jobs in three law sectors. These include:

  • Corrections
  • Courts
  • Law enforcement

Like any online learning degree, it requires time and money. You should look at your personal circumstances when considering a degree. Below are both benefits and drawbacks to consider.

Potential Pros

Criminal justice degrees can be versatile. They help you find work in different areas of law. Since some programs offer concentrations, you can specialize your studies in different areas. Popular concentrations include:

  • Administration
  • Cybersecurity
  • Management

Another benefit of this degree is career advancement. While most law enforcement jobs don’t ask for a bachelor’s degree, they do need a degree for promotion. This means that with a degree, you might be in line for a promotion even if you don’t have fifteen years of work experience.

Potential Cons

If your goal is to go to law school, other majors can give you more relevant skills. Historically, graduates of economics and philosophy programs score higher on the LSAT. But if you don’t plan to pursue a law degree, you can find work in related fields.

Another potential downside of this major is that labor markets report criminal justice majors see higher unemployment rates than other majors. But rates change from year-to-year, so it’s important to look at the different rates for different majors. One year the rate might be high, while the next it’s low. 

How much money can you make with an online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice?

Police officers and detectives make $66,000/year on average. But some of the highest paid officers see over $105,000/year. You need education and experience to earn high wages. But where do you start? The first step in earning good wages is to search for the right online criminal justice programs.

Most criminal justice organizations want a high school diploma and a degree from a traditional or online program. Online bachelor’s programs prepare you for management and administration jobs in criminal justice. They also accept transfer credits so you can get started on your career faster. But with an online degree (bachelor), you will qualify for higher paying jobs.

Once you have an entry-level job, experience will help you advance. But advancement requires a degree. A criminal justice degree online can help you earn higher wages. In these programs, you take online classes in administration. You also take management classes that help you know how to lead teams or groups of people.

Advancement is possible in law enforcement and security work in different sectors. There are three top paying industries for this kind of work.

  • Federal government
  • Local government
  • State government

The average pay for police and detectives in federal government jobs is $93,970/year. Local government pays $72,280/year. State government jobs have an average of about $64,000/year.

What is the job outlook with a criminal justice online degree?

Armed with a degree in criminal justice, your ability to find work improves. According to labor statistics, police and detectives should see a 7% job growth over the next 10 years. Growth remains stable but can rise or fall. Why?

Crime rates fluctuate yearly. People continue to push for public safety. While funding also fluctuates, a desire for public safety can result in hiring more police officers, probation officers, and other personnel. This means that with a high school diploma and associate degree or a bachelor degree, you will see good job prospects over the next decade.

You find good job prospects at law enforcement agencies, as they hire regularly.

What classes do you take in a criminal justice degree online program?

Planning to enroll in a criminal justice degree online program? In this program, you will learn about the different issues that drive crime. You will also learn about the judicial process and court system. Undergraduate students cover the three pillars of crime and justice.

  • Corrections
  • Courts
  • Law enforcement

You also earn college credit in general education courses. Here are the classes you will take while you complete your distance education.

  • Constitutional law

In a bachelor’s in criminal justice program, you cover the rights of citizens. You get a deeper look at the Constitution and how it impacts criminal procedures. You also learn about the entire legal system.

  • Corrections

In this course, you study the history of corrections. You also learn about modern practices in the U.S. correctional system. You take a look at prison life through the eyes of the incarcerated. You also learn about capital punishment and juvenile justice. You discuss important issues that corrections facilities face. You also take a look at different philosophies and beliefs.

  • Courts

The criminal court links law enforcement and corrections. So, it’s important to learn about the criminal court system. In courts classes, you learn about legal procedures. You also cover the rules governing police investigations. You cover rules and processes from apprehension to sentencing.

  • Criminal investigation

This class introduces students to crime scene investigations. You learn about the different tools and methods used. You also cover investigation practices and procedures.

  • Diversity and ethics

Some criminal justice programs offer diversity as a separate class. Others weave ethics and diversity through their courses. A stand-alone course teaches you about cultural diversity. It also teaches you about the norms in the criminal justice system. You learn how to apply ethical considerations to the decision-making process.

BDP Staff

June 2022

Related:

30 Most Affordable Bachelor’s in Homeland Security

Ultimate Guide to Criminal Justice Degrees and Careers

What Degree Do You Need to be a FBI Agent?

This concludes our list of the 30 affordable online criminal justice degree programs.

Brenda Rufener
Author

Julie McCaulley
Expert

Carrie Sealey-Morris
Editor-in-Chief