2022 Best Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs
Earning a bachelor's degree in criminal justice can open many doors. While some criminal justice majors find rewarding careers in law enforcement and corrections, others may choose to go into politics or law or work with people who have previously been incarcerated. Those passionate about criminal justice reform may want to pursue a career in policy advocacy or the nonprofit sector. These career options typically involve respectable salaries. For example, the expected median annual salaries for police officers and detectives — one potential career path — is $66,020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2022 Best Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs
|Rank||School||Salary Score||Median Starting Salary|
|# 1||Union Institute & University||$114,947|
|# 2||Fisher College||97||$73,807|
|# 3||Reinhardt University||92||$56,089|
|# 4||Wayland Baptist University||92||$55,876|
|# 5||Central Christian College of Kansas||92||$54,338|
|# 6||National University||92||$53,819|
|# 7||Columbia Southern University||91||$52,800|
|# 8||Herzing University||91||$52,717|
|# 9||Waldorf University||90||$50,817|
|# 10||Southwestern College - KS||90||$50,283|
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2022 Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's Degrees
#1 Union Institute & University
Union Institute & University (UI&U) is a small, private institution that offers a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice Management requiring 120 credits. The curriculum covers criminal justice management and criminal justice management information systems. Some core classes include Applied Ethics, Supervision in the Criminal Justice Field, and Criminal Justice Management and Administration. To graduate, students must complete all the criminal justice core classes as well as general education courses. Finishing this degree can take as little as eight months or four years. There are two optional concentrations: Homeland Security and Forensic Science. Students take the same amount of credits for both concentrations, but depending on their interests, students can take different classes. Graduates may pursue careers as police officers, public safety officers, and firefighters, to name a few.
At UI&U, students use CampusWeb to access their classes, which are completely online. Additionally, students have email, phone, and live chat options for technical support.
#2 Fisher College
Fisher College (FC) is a small, private institution that offers a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice requiring 120 credits. The curriculum trains students in ethics, the criminal justice system, law enforcement, and criminal court processes. Some classes include Criminal Justice Research Methods, Ethics and the Criminal Justice System, and Corrections in America. To graduate, students must complete all core classes, general education classes, and an internship, which can take up to four years with a full-time schedule.
At FC, students use Blackboard Collaborate to access their coursework digitally. Students can choose whether to access it fully online or attend classes in person.
#3 Reinhardt University
Reinhardt University (RU) is a small, private institution that offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice requiring 120 credits. The curriculum covers everything from criminal evidence to current trends in law enforcement and victimology. Some core classes include Introduction to Forensic Science, Fraud Investigation, and Managing Criminal Justice Organizations. To graduate, students must fulfill all class requirements, including those required for the criminal justice major and general education courses. It can take up to four years for a student to graduate if they are going to school full time. Graduates may go on to pursue careers in cybersecurity or law, including roles like lawyers or judges.
#4 Wayland Baptist University
Wayland Baptist University (WBU) is a small, private institution that offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration requiring 124 credit hours. Students can choose from a forensics specialization or one in law enforcement, legal studies, or special victims and investigations. In general, the curriculum trains students in the administration of justice and criminal law issues. A couple of core classes include Interview and Interrogation and Forensic Psychology. To graduate, students must complete all coursework requirements, which takes approximately four years. Graduates may pursue a variety of career pathways that could lead to roles such as detectives, deputy marshals, or investigators.
At WBU, students use Blackboard to complete their fully online coursework.
#5 Central Christian College of Kansas
Central Christian College of Kansas (CCK) is a small, private institution associated with the Free Methodist denomination. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice requiring 120 credits. The curriculum provides students with a more in-depth understanding of issues, such as terrorism and police administration. Some core classes include Patrol Operations, Corrections, and Sociology. To graduate, students must complete core classes, electives, and general education classes. It can take up to four years for a full-time student to finish their bachelor's degree. Some career opportunities for graduates include private investigators, staff attorneys, and crime scene investigators.
At CCK, students use Canvas, a popular digital learning platform, to access their fully online coursework and share in group discussions.
#6 National University
National University (NU) Is a medium-sized, private institution that offers a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice Administration requiring 180 credit hours. The curriculum explores a range of topics, such as the principles of investigation and criminal law. Some core classes for this major include Criminology, Criminal Intelligence, Violence and Society, Ethics, and the Criminal Justice System. To graduate, students must complete 180 credits, including both credits for the major and general education classes as well as a senior project, which can take up to four years with a full-time schedule. Graduates may go on to become police officers, security guards, or forensic scientists.
At NU, students use Packback to access their learning materials, which are entirely online.
#7 Columbia Southern University
Columbia Southern University (CSU) is a large-sized, private institution that offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice Administration that requires 120 hours. The curriculum is designed to teach students about criminology, management, security, and the theories and practices behind corrections. Some core classes for this major are Criminology, Victimology, Police and Community Relations, and Criminal Justice Organization and Administration. To graduate, students must complete all class requirements as well as a senior capstone project.
At CSU, students use Blackboard to access their fully online coursework.
#8 Herzing University
Herzing University (HU) is a small, private institution that offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice that requires 120 credits. There are two optional concentrations offered with this online degree: (1) Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and (2) Concentration in Management and Leadership. The curriculum discusses forensics, criminology, and law enforcement. Some core classes for this major include Criminal Law, Law Enforcement Security, Evidence Forensics, and Criminal Psychology. To graduate, students must complete all required classes, which include electives and general education coursework. In addition, a criminal justice capstone project or internship is also required for graduation. It can take students up to two and a half years or 32 months to finish this degree. Graduates may become crime scene investigators, detectives, or correctional officers.
At HU, students use Canvas, a digital learning platform, to access their coursework virtually.
#9 Waldorf University
Waldorf University (WU) is a small, private institution that offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice requiring 120 credit hours. There are five different concentrations available for the student to choose from: (1) Cybersecurity, (2) Forensic Mental Health, (3) Forensic Psychology, (4) Homeland Security, and (5) Public Relations. The curriculum aims to impart students with knowledge about the theories and practices behind law enforcement, victimology, mental health, and crime. Some core classes include Judicial Process, Criminal Law and Diversity, and Ethics in Criminal Justice. To graduate, students must complete the core curriculum as well as classes that pertain to their chosen concentration and electives. This program takes four years for full-time students to complete. Graduates may become law enforcement officials and correctional officers.
At WU, students use Blackboard to complete their online coursework.
#10 Southwestern College - KS
Southwestern College (SC) is a small-sized, private institution that offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Security Management, each requiring 124 credit hours. The curriculum for the former introduces topics that range from criminal law and policing to contemporary issues in the field of criminal justice. For example, some classes in the criminal justice concentration include Cybercrime and Criminal Investigations. The security management degree, on the other hand, covers project management, physical security systems, and emergency planning.
To graduate from either degree, students must complete concentration coursework, general education classes, and a senior capstone. It takes approximately four years for full-time students to finish. Those graduating with a criminal justice degree may choose to follow career pathways to become state troopers, FBI agents, or corrections officers, to name a few possibilities. Security management alumni may go on to become air marshals, emergency management directors, or computer forensic investigators.
At SC, students use Blackboard to access their fully online coursework.