Top 30 Best Criminal Justice Degree Online Programs (Bachelor’s) 2018

Best Degree Programs - Top Online Bachelors Degrees 2016
Click here for high resolution badge.

In this article, we profile the 30 best online criminal justice degree programs at some of the top-ranked institutions.

An online bachelor’s in criminal justice can open the door to entry-level employment in corrections, law enforcement, or the court system. Programs are available at public and private colleges and universities, and are designed to prepare students for long-term careers as criminal justice professionals. Some programs even prepare students for law school or enrollment in a graduate criminal justice degree program.

Methodology

We examined approximately 120 top institutions that offered at least one online bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice, criminology, or related discipline. From our list, we reviewed institution rankings from major publications like Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, and U.S. News and World Report. We selected the most affordable schools based on NCES College Navigator’s published undergraduate tuition rate. The school with the most affordable tuition is ranked #1 on our list.

Below are the resulting selections for our top 30 best online bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice.

#30 – University of the Cumberlands

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Williamsburg, Kentucky

Website
University of the Cumberlands - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $21,000

The University of the Cumberlands offers an online BS in criminal justice degree program that is designed to help prepare students for careers in corrections and various criminal justice fields. The program is entirely online and set up for adult learners who have transferrable credits. Students may transfer up to 90 hours worth of college credit, which helps decrease the required completion time for the degree. Classes focus on cultural factors that impact consumers of the criminal justice system, critical skills needed to work with deviant populations, and roles society and law enforcement play in response to deviant behavior. University of the Cumberlands is regionally ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 87th best regional university in the South. Other rankings include #164 out of 1,200 for best online bachelor’s programs and #17 for best online graduate criminal justice programs, for those who choose to continue their education.

#29 – Saint Leo University

Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Online

Saint Leo, Florida

Website
Saint Leo University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $20,830

The School of Education and Social Service at Saint Leo University offers an accredited online bachelor’s in criminal justice degree program that is designed to prepare students for graduate school or careers in criminal justice administration and leadership. Required courses include criminal behavior, criminal procedure, ethics, police organization and administration, substantive criminal law, and the law and the legal system. The program adheres to Saint Leo’s Catholic tradition, following the criminal justice model that recognizes dignity, value, and the gifts of all people. Saint Leo is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 71st best regional university in the South. The online bachelor’s programs rank #43 out of approximately 1,200.

#28 – Concordia University

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Website
Concordia - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $20,750

Concordia University offers an accredited online bachelor’s in criminal justice program designed for professionals who want to improve their skill sets and advance their careers. The program is offered entirely online and provides an opportunity for busy students to balance school with work and life obligations. Required courses include contemporary issues in criminal justice, criminal justice portfolio, diversity in criminal justice, inside the criminal mind, philosophy of value and ethics, and systems thinking in criminal justice. Concordia is a regionally ranked institution, according to major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 99th best regional university in the Midwest. Other rankings include #79 for best online bachelor’s programs and #36 for best online graduate criminal justice programs.

#27 – Liberty University

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website
Liberty University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $20,109

Liberty University offers an accredited online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with seven available areas of specialization. Students may specialize their criminal justice studies in business administration and management, criminal psychology, crime scene investigation, homeland security, juvenile justice, public administration, and strategic intelligence. Required courses include criminal justice research and writing, introduction to criminal justice, judicial process, juvenile justice, and terrorism. U.S. News and World Report ranks Liberty University as the 80th best regional university in the South. The online bachelor’s programs rank #100 out of 1,200 and the online graduate criminal justice program ranks #35.

#26 – Faulkner University

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Montgomery, Alabama

Website
Faulkner University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $19,280

Faulkner University offers an online bachelor’s in criminal justice degree that is designed for pre-law students and those wanting to pursue careers in corrections, law enforcement, or private security. Required courses include criminal law, criminology, juvenile justice, and special issues in criminal justice. Students may select between a fully online program and hybrid learning. Six and eight-week modules are available, depending on the course. Faulkner is regionally ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 54th best regional college in the South. The online bachelor’s programs rank #209 out of approximately 1,200, and the online graduate criminal justice program ranks #10 in the country.

#25 – Monroe College

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Bronx, New York

Website
Monroe College - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $14,148

Monroe College is a proprietary school found in the early 1990s. The school offers various online degree programs at the undergraduate level. For those interested in a pre-law program or preparation for a career in law enforcement, an online bachelor’s in criminal justice is available. The program provides an in-depth study of issues and trends seen in today’s criminal justice system. All classes are administered online, with the exception of required fieldwork in a criminal justice facility located near the student’s geographic location. Monroe is a regionally ranked institution by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. The school’s online bachelor’s degree programs rank #120 out of 1,200 similar programs. For those interested in ongoing education, the online graduate criminal justice program ranks #24.

#24 – Herzing University

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Madison, Wisconsin

Website
Herzing University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $13,090

Herzing University is a private, non-profit school that offers an online bachelor’s in criminal justice degree program. Courses are administered entirely online with flexible schedule options. The program is designed for working students who desire the balance between education and work-life obligations. Required courses include criminal law, criminal psychology, ethics in law enforcement, evidence forensics, juvenile justice, and law enforcement security. Two areas of specialization are available to those who want to focus their studies on a particular area of interest. These specializations include homeland security and supervision and management. According to U.S. News and World Report, Herzing’s online bachelor’s programs rank #79 out of 1,200.

#23 – Washington State University

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Pullman, Washington

Website
Washington State University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $11,967

Washington State University’s affordable online bachelor’s in criminal justice degree program is designed for busy students who want to balance work and life obligations with higher education. WSU’s criminal justice program was founded in the 1940s and is one of the oldest criminal justice programs in the nation. Course requirements include crime control policies, criminal law, criminal procedure, introduction to criminological theory, and introduction to the administration of criminal justice. WSU is a nationally ranked institution according to Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 140th best national university and the 71st top public school. The online bachelor’s programs rank #34 out of 1,200.

#22 – Colorado Technical University

Online BS in Criminal Justice

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Website
Colorado Tech University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $11,656

Colorado Technical University offers an affordable online bachelor’s in criminal justice degree program designed for busy students who require flexible learning. The program is set up to prepare students to work in professional criminal justice settings and leadership positions. Aside from the general concentration, students may focus their studies in cybercrime and security, forensic investigation, homeland security and emergency management, or human services. Colorado Tech’s online bachelor’s programs are ranked #63 out of 1,200 in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges. The school’s online graduate criminal justice program ranks #23 in the nation.

#21 – University of Cincinnati

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Cincinnati, Ohio

Website
University of Cincinnati - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $11,000

The College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services at University of Cincinnati offers an affordable online criminal justice program. Core classes include introduction to courts, introduction to criminal justice, and introduction to criminology. Additional courses may include corrections in America, juvenile justice system, legal issues in corrections, politics of criminal justice, and women and crime. The University of Cincinnati is a nationally ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report lists the school as the 140th best national university in the country. Additional rankings include #195 out of 1,200 for best online bachelor’s programs and #14 for best online graduate criminal justice programs.

#20 – University of Louisville

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Louisville, Kentucky

Website
University of Louisville - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $10,744

The University of Louisville offers an affordable online bachelor’s in criminal justice degree program that is designed for students who want flexible learning options. Students must complete a minimum of 50 hours at the 300-course level. Core requirements include corrections in the United States, crime and justice in the nation, and law enforcement. 300-level courses include topics in criminal behavior, criminal procedure, quantitative analysis, and research design. Opportunities to join national and professional organizations are available to online students. In fact, many students become active members in the American Society of Criminology and the Kentucky Association of Chief’s Police. The university is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 168th best national institution in the country.

#19 – Arizona State University

Online BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Tempe, Arizona

Website
Arizona State University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $10,158

Arizona State University offers an affordable online BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree program. The program is designed to provide flexible online options for busy adult students who want to advance in law enforcement, corrections, or criminal justice positions. Courses include community relations in the justice system, criminal justice crime control policies and practices, introduction to criminal justice, introduction to policing, juvenile justice, substantive criminal law, and white-collar crime. ASU is a nationally ranked institution, according to Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 129th best national university. The online bachelor’s programs rank #11 out of approximately 1,200, and the online graduate criminal justice program ranks #2 in the country.

#18 – California University of Pennsylvania

Online BS in Criminal Justice: Homeland and International Security

California, Pennsylvania

Website
California University of PA - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $9,936

California University of Pennsylvania offers an affordable online BS in criminal justice degree program that may be completed in as little as 16 months. Specialized courses include criminal intelligence analysis, executive protection, international security, and military criminal justice. Classes are taught by distinguished faculty members who have received academic credentials and recognitions. Some classes are taught by Fulbright recipients and former authors or retired military personnel. The university has received regional rankings, according to U.S. News and World Report. The school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #111 out of 1,200 and the online graduate criminal justice program ranks #37 in the nation.

#17 – Western Kentucky University

Online Bachelor’s in Criminology

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Website
Western Kentucky University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $9,482

Western Kentucky University offers an online bachelor’s degree in criminology program that is designed to prepare students for work in corrections, criminal justice, law enforcement, and probation. Graduates of the program have entered management roles in various criminal justice settings or gone on to law school. Core requirements include criminology, introduction to criminal justice, juvenile delinquency, social deviance, and strategies of social research. Approved electives may include constitutional law, introduction to law enforcement, and political terrorism. The university is regionally ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 31st best regional institution in the South. The school also offers the 3rd best online bachelor’s program and the 12th best online graduate criminal justice program in the nation.

#16 – University of Colorado

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Denver, Colorado

Website
University of Colorado - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $8,692

The University of Colorado’s CU Online offers an affordable online criminal justice bachelor’s degree that is designed for students who need to balance and maintain personal, work, and school responsibilities. Students may elect to focus their studies on specific areas of interest like corrections, courts and pre-law, juvenile justice, law enforcement, or victim services. Online criminal justice courses include criminology and criminal justice overview, domestic violence and crime, special topics in criminal justice, and statistics for criminal justice. UC-Denver is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 199th best national university. Also of interest is the online graduate criminal justice program, which ranks #12 in the nation.

#15 – Colorado State University Global Campus

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Greenwood Village, Colorado

Website
Colorado State University Global Campus - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $8,400

Colorado State University’s Global Campus offers an affordable online bachelor’s in criminal justice degree program that is designed for students who enjoy research and investigating problems. Classes are delivered entirely online, and students may work at their own pace. Required courses include criminal justice and the constitution, ethics for the criminal justice professional, fundamentals of law, laws of evidence, and research methods for the criminal justice professional. Colorado State is a nationally ranked institution according to Forbes and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 127th best national university and the 61st top public institution. The online bachelor’s programs rank #86 out of 1,200.

#14 – Columbia College

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Administration

Columbia, Missouri

Website
Columbia College - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $8,240

Columbia College offers an online bachelor’s in criminal justice administration program that is designed to prepare students for entry-level careers in the field, or provide opportunities for promotion into leadership roles and graduate school. Core classes include corrections and penology, cultural diversity in criminal justice, introduction to criminal justice administration, management of criminal justice agencies, and police in a democratic society. Columbia College’s bachelor’s degree programs are ranked by U.S. News and World Report in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges. Out of approximately 1,200 programs, Columbia’s online bachelor’s programs rank #106. The school’s online graduate criminal justice program ranks #6 in the nation.

#13 – Portland State University

Online Bachelor’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Portland, Oregon

Website
Portland State University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $8,034

Portland State University offers an affordable online bachelor’s degree program in criminology and criminal justice that is designed for working adults who want to excel in their criminal justice career path. Core coursework includes crime analysis, crime control strategies, criminal law and reasoning, criminology and criminal justice, and punishment and corrections. The program emphasizes the use of contemporary tools such as crime mapping and evidence-based crime control. Portland State is a nationally ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges ranks the university as the 16th most innovative school. The online bachelor’s degree programs received tier 2 recognition in previous years.

#12 – Sam Houston State University

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Huntsville, Texas

Website
Sam Houston State University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $7,618

Sam Houston State University’s College of Criminal Justice offers an online criminal justice degree that is designed for students who require flexible schedules to accommodate family and career obligations. According to the program’s website, popular courses include criminal investigation, cyber crime, forensic science, global terrorism, victimology, violent offenders, and white-collar crime. Program length is 120 credit hours with an internship requirement that may be satisfied during the student’s senior year. Sam Houston State is a nationally ranked institution. The school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #72 out of 1,200 in the 2016 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges. The online graduate criminal justice program ranks #3 in the nation.

#11 – University of Wisconsin

Online BS in Criminal Justice

Platteville, Wisconsin

Website
University of Wisconsin - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $7,488

The University of Wisconsin offers an affordable online BS in criminal justice program that is designed to fit the busy lifestyles of working adults. Courses are delivered entirely online with semester-based schedules that may be cultivated to fit busy schedules. Online courses include correctional philosophy, criminal investigation, introduction to criminal justice, juvenile justice, patterns of criminal and delinquent behavior, and police administration. The University of Wisconsin is regionally ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 83rd best regional university in the Midwest and the 26th top public school. The online bachelor’s programs rank #49 out of approximately 1,200.

#10 – Southeast Missouri State University

Online BS in Criminal Justice

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Website
Southeast Missouri State University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $6,990

Southeast Missouri State University offers an online bachelor’s in criminal justice that is both accredited and affordable. The online degree program requires a total of 45 hours with 30 hours of core courses and 15 hours of electives. Students are required to choose one elective category to focus their studies. Three elective categories include corrections, criminology, and law enforcement. Core courses include criminal law, crisis management and conflict resolution, issues in justice administration, and statistics for social scientists. U.S. News and World Report ranks Southeast Missouri State as the 92nd best regional university in the Midwest. Additional rankings include #30 for top public schools, #58 for best online bachelor’s programs, and #24 for best online graduate criminal justice programs.

#9 – University of Nebraska – Omaha

Online BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Omaha, Nebraska

Website
University of Nebraska Omaha - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $6,898

The University of Nebraska at Omaha offers an affordable online BS in criminology and criminal justice degree program that is focused on preparing students for careers in the criminal justice and corrections fields. Required courses include criminal court system, police and society, research methods of criminal justice, and survey of criminal justice. Students must also take a minimum of three credit hours of statistics and eighteen hours of a concentration area. In some instances, a minor may satisfy the concentration area requirement. The University of Nebraska is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report. The online bachelor’s programs rank #17 out of 1,200, and the online graduate criminal justice program ranks #18.

#8 – University of Nebraska – Kearney

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Kearney, Nebraska

Website
University of Nebraska Kearney - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $6,711

The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers an online bachelor’s in criminal justice degree program that is designed for working students with an associate’s degree who want to pursue advanced skills in criminology. The program offers an intensive internship near the student’s geographic location. There is no need to travel to satisfy degree requirements. Courses include correctional services and systems, criminal evidence and the procedure of courts, criminal justice research methods, introduction to criminal justice, and theories of crime and criminal law. The Kearney campus ranks #46 among the best regional universities in the Midwest, according to U.S. News and World Report.

#7 – California State University

Online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

San Bernardino, California

Website
California State University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $6,577

California State University offers an accredited online BA in criminal justice that is designed to fit the needs of working students. Prior to enrollment in the program, students must have completed two introductory criminal justice classes. These include criminal law and introduction to the criminal justice system. Required core courses include correctional theory and institutions, integrative studies in criminal justice, statistics in criminal justice, and theories of crime and delinquency. California State is a regionally ranked public university. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 69th best regional university in the West. For students planning to enroll in graduate school, U.S. News ranks the university’s online graduate criminal justice program #27 in the nation.

#6 – Florida International University

Online BS in Criminal Justice

Miami, Florida

Website
Florida International University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $6,556

The School of International and Public Affairs offers an accredited online BS in criminal justice degree program that is designed to accommodate working and busy students. According to the program website, every online student at the undergraduate level is paired with a success coach who assists students with courses, schedule accommodation, and career or graduate school planning. The program requires 24 total credits of core courses, which include comparative criminal justice systems, criminal justice and public policy, and criminological theory. The school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #100 out of 1,200, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges. The online graduate criminal justice program ranks #21 in the nation.

#5 – Florida State University

Online Bachelor’s in Criminology

Tallahassee, Florida

Website
Florida State University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $6,507

Florida State University offers an affordable online criminology degree program that follows the same pattern as the on-campus criminology program. Classes are taught by distinguished faculty members who routinely teach on campus. The program is designed to prepare students for graduate school or entry-level employment in various related fields. To graduate, students must complete a total of 36 semester hours in criminology and satisfy the oral competency requirement. Florida State University is nationally ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News lists the institution as the 96th best national university and the 43rd top public school.

#4 – University of Central Florida

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Orlando, Florida

Website
University of Central Florida - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $6,368

The University of Central Florida’s College of Health and Public Affairs offers an affordable online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice that is designed for working students. Curriculum is designed to prepare students for graduate school or positions in the criminal justice field. Core classes include crime in America, criminal justice systems, data analysis for criminal justice, police and society, prosecution and adjudication, and research methods in criminal justice. Online electives may include such topics as crime and place, criminal sentencing, cultural diversity and criminal justice, drugs and crime, and risk management in criminal justice and private security. The University of Central Florida is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 168th best national university. The school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #20 out of 1,200 and the online graduate criminal justice program ranks #21.

#3 – University of Alaska

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Fairbanks, Alaska

Website
University of Alaska - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $5,674

The University of Alaska’s Justice Department offers an affordable online bachelor’s in criminal justice program that covers the fundamentals of corrections, courts, law, and policing. Students gain skills and understanding through online courses designed to prepare them with exposure to addictive processes, criminology, procedural law, and research related to criminal justice. Courses include ethics and justice, introduction to addictive processes, introduction to justice, police problems, and rural justice in Alaska. The university is ranked as the 522nd best global university, according to U.S. News and World Report. Also ranked are the online programs. In fact, U.S. News lists the online bachelor’s programs #164 out of 1,200.

#2 – Fayetteville State University

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Website
Fayetteville State University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $4,885

Fayetteville State University offers an affordable online criminal justice degree program designed to prepare students for employment in various criminal justice settings. Major courses offered online include criminal justice research, criminological theory, and seminars in criminal justice. Online electives include criminal law, prisons and society, special problems in criminal justice criminology, and white-collar crime. Fayetteville State is a regionally ranked institution, according to U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 84th best regional university in the South. The school’s online graduate criminal justice program ranks #33 in the nation.

#1 – Fort Hays State University

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Hays, Kansas

Website
Fort Hays State University - 30 Online Bachelor's Criminal Justice
Undergraduate tuition: $4,654

Fort Hays State University offers an online bachelor’s in criminal justice degree program that is designed to prepare students to enter various careers related to criminal justice, court administration, or government agencies. The program is also designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter Fort Hays’ master’s degree program in criminal justice. Course requirements include criminology, introduction to criminal justice, justice in the information age, police systems and practices, and workshops in justice studies. Fort Hays State’s online bachelor’s programs are ranked #24 out of 1,200 by U.S. News and World Report.

May 2016