#1 American Public University System
American Public University System (APUS) is a private set of institutions offering a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. This degree has two law enforcement concentrations: (1) Organizational Law Enforcement and (2) Maritime Law Enforcement. This degree requires 120 credit hours, which full-time students can complete in around four years. All applicants are accepted into APUS, with 18% graduating with degrees in hand.
APUS students use MyClassroom as their primary learning management system (LMS), where they can complete courses online. The core curriculum for this program teaches students about the various components of law enforcement, from the different jurisdictions and how they interact with one another to explorations of criminal behavior and crime causation. Among the required classes are Criminology, U.S. Law Enforcement, and Constitutional Law. Students are also required to complete a senior seminar in criminal justice. Career opportunities may be available at local, state, and federal agencies as well as corrections facilities and the military.
#2 Bellevue University
Bellevue University is a private institution with a Bachelor of Science in Intelligence and Security Studies requiring 127 credit hours. Students studying full time are likely to complete the degree in around four years. Bellevue accepts 100% of its applicants, with half of its enrolled students graduating.
Bellevue uses Blackboard as its LMS to deliver online coursework. This software allows students to finish their degrees completely online and on a schedule that meets their needs. The curriculum takes a broad look at security topics, both nationally and on a global scale, along with close examinations of the functions of intelligence agencies. Required classes include Foundations in Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Rogue Leaders and Outlaw States, and Radical Religion and Political Extremism. Students often graduate feeling prepared for entry-level roles in homeland security, civilian law enforcement, and government agencies.
#3 Metropolitan State University
Metropolitan State University (Metro State) is a public university offering a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement for Licensed Peace Officers that requires 120 credit hours. This program contains three tracks, depending on how much education or experience a student holds in law enforcement. Typically, students complete this program in around four years while studying at a full-time pace. The acceptance rate at Metro State is 62%, with 57% of students obtaining degrees.
At Metro State, students use the LMS Brightspace for their remote courses, which can be completed 100% online, with courses delivered synchronously and asynchronously. The curriculum explores the legal and ethical principles of policing, criminology theories, and the importance of personnel diversity and community interactions. Required classes include Criminology and Public Policy, Diversity in Criminal Justice, and Ethics and Professionalism in Criminal Justice. For the capstone project, students may choose between an internship or a research project. Graduates may explore roles as law enforcement officers.
#4 Purdue Global
Purdue Global is a public institution with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement requiring 180 credits. The average completion time for this degree is four years for full-time students. Purdue accepts 100% of its applicants while maintaining a 30% graduation rate.
Purdue students use Brightspace as its LMS software that allows students to complete all their courses online. The program offers flexible start dates as well, so students can coordinate courses with their current schedules. The core curriculum for this program teaches students the skills needed to advance their current law enforcement career or seek entry-level positions in the field. This is done by developing an understanding of the philosophy and development of the U.S. criminal justice system. Here are three examples of required courses: Criminal Procedure, Applied Criminal Justice Ethics, and Managing Criminal Justice Organizations. Students must also complete a bachelor's capstone in criminal justice. Career opportunities for graduates include roles in law enforcement and private security.
#5 Southern New Hampshire University Online
Southern New Hampshire University Online (SNHU) is a private university offering a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Police Administration and Operations. In order to earn this degree, students must complete 120 credit hours, which is typically done within four years. SNHU's acceptance rate is 94%, with 40% of students graduating.
Online students at SNHU use Brightspace to complete their coursework. Through this LMS, classes are delivered online in a flexible format. The criminal justice curriculum teaches students crime analysis techniques, best practices for community policing, and how to communicate in a professional law enforcement environment. There are a number of required courses, such as Crime Analysis and Effective Police Service, Crisis Intervention for Police, and Leadership and Management in Criminal Justice Organizations. Students are also required to complete 150 internship hours. Graduates may find employment as correction officers, probation officers, and police detectives.
#6 Bemidji State University
Bemidji State University (BSU) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree with four emphases: corrections, police science, tribal justice, and victimology. Students take 120 credits in classes such as Criminal Justice and Society, Research Methods and Statistics for Criminal Justice, Judicial Process, Criminology and Delinquency, and Criminal Law. BSU students can also complete an internship as part of their program, although it is not a requirement. Criminal justice majors at BSU can go on to work as corrections or probation officers, police officers, sheriff's deputies, and other positions after graduation. BSU is a public university in Minnesota with a 75% acceptance rate. More than half of students at BSU take some online classes, and 29% are enrolled completely online.
#7 University of Colorado Denver
The University of Colorado - Denver, a public university, offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with three tracks designed to prepare students for careers in law enforcement, victim advocacy, or the general criminal justice system. Students will take classes in criminal justice theory, technology and criminal justice, corrections, courts, and law enforcement to gain a comprehensive understanding of how the criminal justice system works. The program requires 120 credit hours and is designed to take four years of full-time study to complete. Students will also spend one semester at an internship to gain hands-on experience in the field. CU Denver has a 48% graduation rate for first-time, full-time students and a 72% acceptance rate.
#8 Park University
Park University (PU) is a private institution based in Parkville, Missouri, with a long-standing relationship with the military. PU offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration with concentrations in corrections, law enforcement, and security. The program focuses on various aspects of the criminal justice system through core classes in criminal law, criminology, criminal procedure, administration, and research. Students need to complete 120 credit hours, including an internship, a senior writing project, and a senior seminar, to graduate. PU serves a high rate of online students, with 68% of undergraduates attending fully online. The school has a graduation rate of 24%, which is likely lower than other schools due to its open admissions policy.
#9 Western Illinois University
The online Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration from Western Illinois University (WIU) is designed to give a foundational understanding of the criminal justice system, criminal law and procedure, ethics in criminal justice, and research standards within the field. Students take 120 credits in classes such as Crime Scene Investigation, Juvenile Justice, Quantitative Techniques for Criminal Justice, and Diversity, Ethics, and Professionalism in Criminal Justice. The program also requires that students complete an internship, a comprehensive exam, and a foreign language or global issues class to graduate.
WIU places student interns at more than 1,400 agency partners across the country, and graduates of the program have gone onto work for federal agencies, local and federal correctional institutions, state police departments, and sheriff's offices. The public university has a 72% acceptance rate and a 51% graduation rate. About one in five students is enrolled fully online, while 63% are enrolled in some online and some in-person classes.
#10 Ashland University
Ashland University (AU), a private university located in the heart of Ohio, offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Students take core classes in ethics, research methods, criminology, and victimology to gain the necessary skills for a variety of careers in the field. The program offers five tracks: general criminal justice, law enforcement administration, correctional administration, criminology and research, and legal studies. Students also have the opportunity to participate in advanced research or a field internship to gain hands-on experience. Courses begin every eight weeks and are accessible 24/7. Graduates may find positions in local, state, or federal law enforcement, corrections, forensics, probation and parole, security, or cybersecurity. AU has a 70% acceptance rate and a 68% graduation rate.
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