Top 8 Online Bachelor of Criminal Justice Degrees of 2017

Top Online SchoolsMost people choose to pursue a career in criminal justice out of a desire to help keep their communities safe. And with the continued growth of nearly every aspect of the criminal justice system, employment opportunities continue to grow as well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects in criminal justice related fields range from favorable to excellent.

Value of a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice

Graduates from the top accredited online criminal justice programs will be in an excellent position to take advantage of the growing demand for trained officers. A bachelor’s degree is increasingly a prerequisite for entrance into policing, investigations, corrections, law, social work and other criminal justice related fields. Anyone interested in doing graduate level work in any of these areas will need a bachelor’s degree as well.

Advantages of an Accredited Online Criminal Justice Degree

criminal justice degrees are among the most popular online. Prospective students seeking an accredited online criminology or criminal justice degree now have several high quality choices for their education. In fact, many of the very best criminal justice programs in the country are now offered online. Among the many advantages of earning a degree from a top online criminal justice program is that student’s can maintain their employment and/or family responsibilities while earning their degree. Many of the best online criminal justice degree programs don’t require any campus visits.

How We Rank the Best Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

The criminal justice programs offered online vary in terms of quality, name recognition, and value. To help someone looking for a quality, accredited online criminology or criminal justice degree program, we’ve put together this ranking of what we consider to be the very best online schools offering criminology or criminal justice degree programs in 2017. Our rankings of the top online schools offering criminology or criminal justice degrees are based on publicly available data evaluated according to several different criteria, including reputation, accreditation, student satisfaction, ratio of students to instructors, and tuition. You can read more about our rankings philosophy and find a list of our other top college and degree rankings on our rankings page.

Top 8 Online Bachelor of Criminology & Criminal Justice Degree Programs

#1. Kaplan University

EvaluationAt Kaplan University, we are constantly searching for ways to help students seek a brighter future, and that includes making sure our tuition costs are as low as possible.

Program: At Kaplan a BS in Criminal Justice will give you the keys to a career in fields from homeland security to the security of your local neighborhoods, schools, and businesses, public safety is a top concern in today’s society. Numerous career paths exist for people who want to take an active role in making their own community a better, safer place.Whether you are seeking entry-level employment in the field of criminal justice or want to advance your current career in law enforcement or private security, earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice may help you achieve your goal.

Regional Accreditation: Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Click here to learn more about online degrees at Kaplan University

#2. Capella University

EvaluationCapella’s competency-based curriculum delivers both foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you’re learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals..

Program: As a recognized institution, with partnerships from top-tier criminal justice organizations, you’ll earn the respected credentials to match your experience and open up a wide variety of public and private sector career opportunities for your future with a bachelor’s in criminal justice. This program is recognized by:

The FBI National Academy
International Association of Emergency Managers
United States Secret Service
National Sheriffs’ Association

Regional Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission.
Click here to learn more about online degrees at Capella University

#3. Walden University

EvaluationWalden University is a global leader in student-centered online education.

Program: Walden University’s BS in Criminal Justice program is designed to help you gain the skills and knowledge you need to prepare for a career in law enforcement, the justice system, corrections, homeland security, and social services—and to change your world and the world of those around you.

The program blends contemporary theory on the nature, extent, and cause of crime with the study of national and international criminal justice practices. Your learning is supported through coursework and a final capstone project. Plus, in this online criminal justice degree program, you will use the latest interactive media, including lifelike, computer-generated scenarios from crime scenes.

Regional Accreditation: Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of The North Central Association

Click here to learn more about online degrees at Walden University

#4. Saint Leo University Online

EvaluationA private university with over 100 years of higher education rooted in the Catholic tradition, Saint Leo offers a top-notch online criminal justice bachelor’s.

Program: A 123 credit hour Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Criminal Justice. Specializations available in Criminalistics (using forensic science to analyze and interpret evidence) and Homeland Security. Program offers field education placements and possible employment with agencies like the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Customs, and Drug Enforcement Administration, among others. 100% online. No campus visit required, though graduates are invited to on-campus graduation ceremony.

Regional Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Click here to learn more about online degrees at Saint Leo University

#5. Colorado Technical University

EvaluationU.S. News and World Report has ranked degrees at Colorado Technical University among the Best Online Programs for 2017.

Program:The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) degree program is designed for criminal justice professionals seeking to begin or advance a career in the law enforcement, corrections, or judicial fields. The curriculum serves as strong preparation for students interested in serving the diverse needs of the criminal justice system. It provides a solid foundation in the administration of justice, corrections, criminological theory, law adjudication, and law enforcement. The program emphasizes the development of communication skills and professional skills along with the technical knowledge that will prepare students for positions of responsibility and leadership within the criminal justice community.

Regional Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association
Click here to learn more about online degrees at Colorado Technical University

#6. Ohio Christian University

EvaluationOhio Christian University’s instructors combine academic credentials with professional experience, giving you the advantage of practical knowledge that can be applied to your career or ministry even before you complete your degree.

Program: This program seeks to equip the student for a fulfilling career with a foundational understanding of human behavior within criminal, transformative, and restorative justice systems. Students will be prepared to serve society as ethical, caring, service- minded individuals. A major in Criminal Justice opens the door to many jobs in law enforcement, corrections, court-related positions, and security.

Regional Accreditation: Ohio Christian University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, and the Association for Biblical Higher Education. OCU is also authorized by the Ohio Board of Regents to offer associates, bachelors, and masters degree programs.

Regional Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Click here to learn more about online degrees at Ohio Christian University

#7. Herzing University

EvaluationHerzing University has once again been recognized by U.S. News and World Report for providing top-ranked online bachelor’s programs for 2017.

Program: This degree completion program allows students to more easily transfer a large number of college credits they have earned previously. While it does not include a minor or concentration, the curriculum does feature all core and elective Criminal Justice courses

Regional Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission; Herzing is also a member of the North Central Association

Click here to learn more about online degrees at Herzing University

#8. American InterContinental University

EvaluationAt AIU, the Serious U, classes are taught by industry specialists who bring their real-world perspective to the classroom and will work with you one-on-one when you need it.

Program: At AIU, you can earn 36 college credits for your law enforcement training and save up to 20% on an online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice to keep your career moving forward. If you have a strong desire to help other people and defend the law, AIU’s specialized degrees in criminal justice are worth investigating. Whether you’re interested in corrections, crisis management or forensics, a criminal justice degree can help you reach your career goals. You can transfer in up to 75% of your qualifying credits, allowing you to save up to 75% on tuition and earn your bachelor’s degree in as little as 9 months.

Regional Accreditation: American InterContinental University® is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Click here to learn more about online degrees at American Intercontinental University



To determine the best online Bachelor of Criminal Justice degrees, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 8 best online Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.

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