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2023 Most Affordable Online Criminology Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 11/16/2022
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An online bachelor's degree in criminology blends both practical skills in solving crimes and a theoretical understanding of criminal behavior. Criminology students explore the social and historical aspects of crime, along with the techniques used during investigations.  There are a wide range of occupations that graduates can pursue, including law-related positions, like prosecutor or defense attorney, and investigative field roles, like police officer or detective. 

For students who want to narrow their field of study, there are similar degrees to criminology that are more specific, such as a bachelor's degree in law enforcement and homeland security.  The list below details degrees in the field of criminology, with some programs including criminal justice options. View our methodology for details about rankings or learn more about us. You can also check out our overall list of the most affordable online degrees for some inspiration.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 University of West Georgia Carrollton (GA) $5,464
# 2 #2 Georgia Southern University Statesboro (GA) $6,169
# 3 #3 Arkansas State University Jonesboro (AR) $7,740
# 4 #4 Louisiana State University - Alexandria Alexandria (LA) $8,000
# 5 #5 Missouri State University Springfield (MO) $8,130
# 6 #6 University of Idaho Moscow (ID) $8,340
# 7 #7 SUNY College of Technology at Canton Canton (NY) $8,480
# 8 #8 Southern New Hampshire University Online Manchester (NH) $9,600
# 9 #9 Southern Illinois University - Carbondale Carbondale (IL) $9,645
# 10 #10 Colorado State University Global Greenwood Village (CO) $10,500
#1
#1

University of West Georgia

Carrollton (GA)
Annual Tuition: $5,464
Annual Tuition: $5,464
Annual Tuition: $5,464

The University of West Georgia (UWG) is a public institution with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology. This degree requires 120 credit hours which is generally completed in four years on a full-time study schedule. UWG has an acceptance rate of 78%, with a 47% graduation rate.

Students at UWG use Curriculog as their primary learning management system. This allows students to complete their degree 100% online. The curriculum teaches students to have a critical examination of crime and aims to develop communication and analytical skills in investigations. UWG also offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, which assists students with analyzing complex criminal issues and promotes social change. Required classes for both programs include Criminal Law, Corrections, and Criminal Procedure. A senior capstone project is also required. Graduates of these programs may go on to explore careers as police officers and criminal prosecutors.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Average SATs: 920 -1080
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,350
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,295
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#2
#2

Georgia Southern University

Statesboro (GA)
Annual Tuition: $6,169
Annual Tuition: $6,169
Annual Tuition: $6,169

Georgia Southern University (Georgia Southern) is a public university with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology requiring 124 credit hours. Generally, students complete this degree in four years while studying at a full-time pace. The acceptance rate at Georgia Southern is 91%, with 51% of students finishing their degrees.

Georgia Southern's learning management system is a branded version of Brightspace, which they call Folio. Coursework can be completed online and on a flexible schedule. The curriculum looks at the processes of the criminal justice system, alongside investigative procedures and criminal behavior. Core classes include Legal Processes, Ethics in Criminal Justice, and Victimology. A capstone course is also required, which features a seminar, research project, and internship. Alumni are eligible to explore careers as probation officers, criminal investigators, and caseworkers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Average SATs: 1050 -1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,088
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,619
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#3
#3

Arkansas State University

Jonesboro (AR)
Annual Tuition: $7,740
Annual Tuition: $7,740
Annual Tuition: $7,740

Arkansas State University (ASU) is a public institution offering a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, which requires 120 credit hours. Most students complete this degree in four years while studying full time. ASU has an acceptance rate of 67%, along with a 51% graduation rate.

ASU uses Canvas' cloud-based learning management system for online students. This degree in particular can be finished 100% online. During the course of the criminology program, students study crime from a macro-level as well as the roles that society, psychology, and biology play in criminal behavior. Some core classes for this major include Social Statistics, Institutional Corrections, and Police and Society. Additionally, students are required to complete a senior capstone project. ASU also offers an online Bachelor of General Studies - Criminology, which teaches a more general understanding of criminal behavior, investigation, and crime prevention — leaving more room for students to explore other paths. Graduates of both programs can explore careers as criminal investigators, recruiters, and police officers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Average SATs: 1013 -1220
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,064
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 3,414
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#4
#4
Annual Tuition: $8,000
Annual Tuition: $8,000
Annual Tuition: $8,000

Louisiana State University - Alexandria (LSU) is a public university with an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice requiring 120 credit hours. Typically, students complete this distance learning program in four years if they maintain a full-time schedule. LSU has an acceptance rate of 64%, while 31% of students graduate with a degree.

Moodle is LSU's learning management system, where students can complete their coursework 100% online, including the bachelor's in criminal justice. The curriculum blends both theory and practice, teaching students to solve issues and work alongside teams, community members, and citizens. Required coursework includes Corrections Process, Juvenile Delinquency, and Criminology. Graduates are likely to find roles in the private security sector, juvenile justice system, and law enforcement agencies.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Average SATs: 940 -1050
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,035
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#5
#5

Missouri State University

Springfield (MO)
Annual Tuition: $8,130
Annual Tuition: $8,130
Annual Tuition: $8,130

Missouri State University (MSU) is a public institution with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice, which requires 120 credits. This may take students four years to complete if studying on a full-time schedule. The acceptance rate at MSU is 87%, and they have a graduate rate of 57%.

The learning management system at MSU is Blackboard. Here, students can complete their degrees 100% online. The criminology major curriculum aims to instill strong problem-solving and communication skills alongside an examination of criminal behavior, including terrorism, local crime, and human trafficking. Required coursework includes Policing, Criminal Law and the Courts, and Juvenile Justice. Students must also complete a "Public Affairs Capstone Experience." Possible career paths after graduation include FBI agent, victim advocate, and immigration officer.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Average SATs: 1040 -1240
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,048
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,332
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#6
#6

University of Idaho

Moscow (ID)
Annual Tuition: $8,340
Annual Tuition: $8,340
Annual Tuition: $8,340

The University of Idaho (UI) is a public university with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology requiring 120 credit hours. This online degree in criminology is offered on a four-year completion track for full-time students. UI has an acceptance rate of 74%, with a 59% graduation rate.

Canvas is the main learning management system for UI students, allowing them to complete this degree completely online. The bachelor's in criminology curriculum covers criminal behavior and its effects on society, methods for crime control, and social experiences as they relate to the various types of criminality. Required courses include Gender and Crime, Inequalities in the Justice System, and Social Data Analysis. Students are required to complete a capstone on justice policy issues and on-site experience through a senior practicum. Graduates may pursue careers as police supervisors, fraud examiners, and fire inspectors.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Average SATs: 1010 -1240
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 431
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 590
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
#7
#7
Annual Tuition: $8,480
Annual Tuition: $8,480
Annual Tuition: $8,480

SUNY College of Technology at Canton (SUNY Canton) is a public institution with a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Criminology requiring 122 credit hours. This generally takes students four years to complete on a full-time schedule. SUNY Canton has an 83% acceptance rate, with 48% of students graduating with a degree.

At SUNY Canton, students use Blackboard for online learning, and they can study their courses on a flexible schedule. Some of the core classes include Forensics; Criminology; and Alcohol, Drugs, and Society. A senior capstone project is also required, which revolves around criminal policy. Overall, the curriculum for a criminology degree prepares students with the research and investigatory skills to become professionals in the criminal justice system. Alumni are prepared to enter careers in criminal justice courtrooms, rehabilitation facilities, and social service agencies.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Average SATs: 920 -1110
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 922
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
#8
#8
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600

Southern New Hampshire University Online (SNHU) is a private university offering a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. This online degree requires 120 credits, which full-time students generally complete in four years. Students can choose from eight concentrations associated with this degree, such as Corrections, Cybercrime, Homeland Security, and Security Management. The acceptance rate at SNHU is 94%, with 40% of students graduating.

SNHU students use Brightspace as their digital learning platform to access coursework, which students can work through at a flexible and asynchronous pace. The curriculum explores criminology theories and teaches skills in communication and decision-making. Required courses include Policing in the United States, Technology in Criminal Justice, and The United States Judicial System. Graduates of this degree often take on career opportunities in corrections, crime analysis, and security management.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 77%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 86,849
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 19,526
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
#9
#9
Annual Tuition: $9,645
Annual Tuition: $9,645
Annual Tuition: $9,645

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale (SIU) is a public university offering a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice. There are 120 credits required for graduation, which may take up to four years to finish. SIU's acceptance rate is 92%, and it has a 53% graduation rate.

SIU uses Desire2Learn as its primary learning management system. This platform allows students to study entirely online and asynchronously. This degree aims to prepare students for professional work in a variety of criminal- and justice-related institutions by utilizing experienced instructors. Core classes include Introduction to Criminal Law, Criminal Justice Statistics, and Criminological Theory. Supervised field experience is also required to graduate. Alumni can explore career options in juvenile and community correction centers, private security firms, and criminal research organizations.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Average SATs: 1030 -1250
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,534
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 552
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#10
#10

Colorado State University Global

Greenwood Village (CO)
Annual Tuition: $10,500
Annual Tuition: $10,500
Annual Tuition: $10,500

Colorado State University Global (CSU Global) is a public institution with two degrees offering concentrations in Criminology: (1) a Bachelor of Science in Human Services and (2) Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Each degree requires 120 credits, which are typically completed within four years on a full-time study schedule. CSU Global has a 98% acceptance rate, with 46% of students graduating across the board.

Students at CSU Global use Canvas to access their coursework, which can be taken 100% online and asynchronously. The curriculum for the criminology concentration focuses on the functions of the criminal justice and legal systems, alongside crime prevention and public safety. Core classes include Juvenile Justice, Corrections, and Victimology. Career opportunities for graduates can be found in public safety agencies, social welfare offices, and law firms.

  • Average SATs: 950 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 8,114
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 4,556
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

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