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2023 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degrees in Law Enforcement

By the OnlineU team | Updated 11/4/2022
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More than a handful of schools offer affordable bachelor's degrees in law enforcement, which can make it difficult to narrow down your options. Fortunately, all the schools we profiled help students learn the basics of our criminal justice system, as well as everything it takes to begin a rewarding career as a law enforcement officer. 

In addition to learning about the available online degrees in law enforcement, you can also investigate other affordable degrees in related fields, such as criminology and homeland security. Read on to learn about the best and most affordable online colleges for law enforcement and related industries. 

Also, 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 Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus Portales (NM) $6,624
# 2 #2 Metropolitan State University Saint Paul (MN) $8,281
# 3 #3 SUNY College of Technology at Canton Canton (NY) $8,480
# 4 #4 Bemidji State University Bemidji (MN) $8,690
# 5 #5 Western Illinois University Macomb (IL) $9,238
# 6 #6 Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau (MO) $9,525
# 7 (tie) #7 (tie) Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches (LA) $9,600
# 7 (tie) #7 (tie) Southern New Hampshire University Online Manchester (NH) $9,600
# 9 #9 University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Whitewater (WI) $10,056
# 10 #10 American Public University System Charles Town (WV) $11,150
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $6,624
Annual Tuition: $6,624
Annual Tuition: $6,624

Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus (ENMU) is a public institution of higher education that offers an exciting program for future law enforcement professionals — a Bachelor of Science or Arts in Criminal Justice. This program is offered both online and on-campus, and it requires 120 credit hours and four years of full-time study. The acceptance rate at this school is 51%, while 44% of first-time ENMU students ultimately earn their chosen degrees.

ENMU offers all its learning materials on a digital platform called Canvas, meaning students use this platform to access their course materials, listen to webinar lectures, and take exams. Students will also use a platform called Mediasite to listen to live lectures and interact with other online students. This major aims to prepare students for a career in law enforcement, including corrections, the court system, or in victim advocacy. Core courses required for this degree include English, Criminology, Criminal Justice Research, and more.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Average SATs: 900 -1110
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,514
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 917
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#2
#2
Annual Tuition: $8,281
Annual Tuition: $8,281
Annual Tuition: $8,281

Metropolitan State University (Metro State) is another public institution of higher education that offers a robust learning program for future law enforcement professionals. The school's Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement - Licensed Peace Officers is for students who currently work as peace officers but want to upgrade their associate degree to a bachelor's degree. Other bachelor's degrees in law enforcement from this school are for police officers who have an associate degree but want to pursue a four-year degree while continuing to work. Either way, this program requires two years of full-time study after earning a two-year degree, and it can be completed entirely online. The acceptance rate at Metro State is currently 62%, and 57% of students graduate.

The Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement - Licensed Peace Officers from this school helps students learn about modern law enforcement and criminological theories while teaching them how to apply concepts of diversity to their work. Students who take online courses at Metro State do so through Brightspace, which is the school's chosen learning management system.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 86%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,352
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 165
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#3
#3
Annual Tuition: $8,480
Annual Tuition: $8,480
Annual Tuition: $8,480

SUNY College of Technology at Canton (SUNY Canton) is a public institution that's part of the State University of New York college system. Within the realm of law enforcement, the school offers a Bachelor of Technology in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement Leadership that can be pursued entirely online. This program requires 122 credit hours in total, although two-year criminal justice students who want to continue their education can also transfer credits and finish a four-year degree with this program. The acceptance rate at SUNY Canton is 83%, and 48% of first-time students graduate with their degrees.

Brightspace is SUNY Canton's learning management system, which means students use this platform to access their courses and assignments, participate in online classes, and take online exams. This program's courses are offered on an asynchronous basis, meaning students can learn and complete their studies around their own schedule. Courses offered in this degree program focus on criminal justice and business, and the core curriculum covers topics like criminal procedure, professional ethics, and sociology.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Average SATs: 920 -1110
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 922
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
#4
#4
Annual Tuition: $8,690
Annual Tuition: $8,690
Annual Tuition: $8,690

Bemidji State University (Bemidji State) is a public university with its own online program for law enforcement. The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement is available with several emphases to choose from, including corrections, law enforcement, or tribal justice. This four-year degree requires 120 credit hours from start to finish, and the curriculum can vary depending on the emphasis chosen. However, the core courses required for this degree program include Criminal Law, Social Psychology, and Forensic Victimology, to name a few.

The acceptance rate at Bemidji State is currently at 69%, and 50% of students graduate. Most online classes at Bemidji State use D2L Brightspace as their learning management system, which means students will use this platform to access their coursework and assignments. Graduates of this degree program can go on to pursue careers within any component of the criminal justice system, including in law enforcement or corrections.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 998
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 345
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $9,238
Annual Tuition: $9,238
Annual Tuition: $9,238

Western Illinois University (WIU) is a public institution of higher education that has its own online Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, which requires 120 credit hours and four years of full-time study. This program is offered in an entirely virtual format, and students can choose to minor in related fields, like corrections or homeland security. The acceptance rate at WIU is 67%, and 57% of students attending for the first time end up graduating.

At WIU, online courses are offered through D2L Brightspace and are available for students on an asynchronous basis. This means students can take courses on their own time and schedule, even while working full time. Some core classes for this program include Criminal Procedure, Diversity and Ethics, and Sociology.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 88%
  • Average SATs: 950 -1150
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 589
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 472
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#6
#6
Annual Tuition: $9,525
Annual Tuition: $9,525
Annual Tuition: $9,525

Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) is a public college that offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement Academy that can be completed entirely online and from home. This degree requires 120 credit hours for completion, which typically requires four years of full-time study. Core curriculum required for this degree includes courses like Criminal Law and Juvenile Justice as well as Criminalistics and Racial and Ethnic Relations.

According to the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard, 93% of students who apply are accepted to this school, and 49% graduate with a degree. This school also uses Canvas to facilitate its online programming for students who learn remotely, although the school also uses Moodle for some components of its online courses. Graduates of this degree program can go on to begin careers as police officers, correctional officers, probation officers, or DEA agents.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,223
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 481
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#7
#7
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600

Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU) is another public institution that offers a dynamic degree program for online students who want to begin a career in law enforcement. The school's Bachelor of Science in Unified Public Safety Administration - Law Enforcement Administration requires 120 credit hours and four years of full-time study. Approximately 95% of students who apply to NSU are accepted into the school, and 40% of first-time students graduate with a degree.

Students who choose this online program learn how public safety and law enforcement work hand-in-hand and how various aspects of the criminal justice system are being improved to enhance social justice and outcomes for citizens from all backgrounds and walks of life. Alumni can find work as police officers or correctional officers, as well as in other public safety arenas.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Average SATs: 1010 -1210
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,643
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 896
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#7
#7
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600

Southern New Hampshire University Online (SNHU) offers a few different online bachelor's programs that can lead to a career in law enforcement. This includes the school's Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Police Administration and Operations, as well as the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentrations available: Corrections, Cybercrime, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, or several other available options. Overall, the acceptance rate at SNHU is 94%, according to College Scorecard, while 40% of first-time students actually graduate.

Available degree programs in this field of study take 120 credit hours and four years to complete in most cases, yet online courses can be taken at any time and on an asynchronous basis. Courses may include options like Policing in the United States, Problem Solving for Criminal Justice Professionals, and Technology in Criminal Justice. Like other online colleges that offer a similar degree, SNHU offers its web-based courses through Brightspace.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 77%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 86,849
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 19,526
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
#9
#9
Annual Tuition: $10,056
Annual Tuition: $10,056
Annual Tuition: $10,056

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater (UW-Whitewater) — a public institution of higher education — offers a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences - Law Enforcement with a focus on criminology. This degree program requires 120 credit hours and four years of study, and it provides a thorough overview of topics like business, English, ethics, and human cultures, along with criminology. Students can also get credit for prior learning with this program or an internship while they pursue their degree.

At UW-Whitewater, students access their fully remote courses using Canvas. They also use this platform to listen in on recorded or live lectures and to complete any required exams. Core curriculum for this degree includes classes like Global Studies, Human Cultures, and Writing. The acceptance rate for UW-Whitewater is 80%, and 64% of first-time students graduate with a degree.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 76%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 504
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 862
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#10
#10
Annual Tuition: $11,150
Annual Tuition: $11,150
Annual Tuition: $11,150

American Public University (APU) — which is part of the American Public University System — is a public university that lets students begin learning with no entrance exams and a $0 application fee. This school also offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice - Organizational Law Enforcement Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice - Maritime Law Enforcement, both of which can be completed 100% online and around the student's other responsibilities. This degree program requires 120 credit hours to complete, although students can transfer up to 90 credits from other schools before they begin. From start to finish, new students can expect to spend four years studying full time before they can graduate.

College Scorecard data shows that the acceptance rate at APU is 100%, although only 18% of first-time students graduate with their degrees. General education courses for this degree include Arts and Humanities, Communication, and History, among other subjects. Students must also take 45 semester hours of general electives to graduate.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 37,335
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 7,914
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

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