Most 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 2016. 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 10 Online Bachelor of Criminology & Criminal Justice Degree Programs
#1. Post University
Evaluation – Post University has a rich history of providing students with the skills they need to compete in the global marketplace.
Program: The field of criminal justice is as rewarding as it is demanding. You’re ready for the challenges, and you want to serve the public and uphold the integrity of the law. Our B.S. in Criminal Justice program prepares you for a career in public, private, and not-for-profit sectors in law enforcement, security management, and public and private investigation. At Post University our faculty of seasoned professionals brings years of experience in the criminal justice field to the classroom. You’ll also learn from guest lecturers and associate faculty, who include practicing attorneys, judges, government officials, and forensic scientists.
Regional Accreditation: Post University is licensed by the Connecticut Office of Financial and Academic Affairs for Higher Education.
Evaluation – At 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.
Evaluation – At 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).
Evaluation – Ohio 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.
Evaluation – University College (UC) offers students from all walk of life affordable, online academic programs that integrate faith and knowledge. Built upon a broad foundation of liberal arts and a Christian worldview, UC strives to educate the whole person, giving meaning and purpose to the skills and knowledge they gain through their studies — preparing them to make a difference in the world.
Program: A successful criminal justice career requires a broad knowledge base for the major elements of police work, criminal law and procedure, risk analysis and response, and investigative processes and procedure. The online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice at University College equips learners with professional knowledge and practical skills in criminal justice while integrating a Christian worldview. Students who major in criminal justice learn about the field from both an academic and professional perspective, addressing topics from a theoretical as well as a practitioner viewpoint. With the opportunity to specialize in their field, students are able to pursue personal or specific career interests by choosing an emphasis area.
Regional Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Evaluation – Herzing University has once again been recognized by U.S. News and World Report for providing top-ranked online bachelor’s programs for 2015.
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
Evaluation – U.S. News and World Report has ranked degrees at Colorado Technical University among the Best Online Programs for 2015.
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
Evaluation – DeVry University partners with business and technology industry leaders to design programs that provide real-world knowledge. You’ll also have the option of earning your degree faster through our accelerated programs-a year-round intensive structure.
Program:Law enforcement, corrections, and other criminal justice professionals face challenges every day, from imminent physical danger to issues of politics, ethics, and personal judgment. The growing demands of this challenging profession make a Justice Administration bachelor’s degree imperative for success in the field. When you earn your bachelor’s degree in Justice Administration from DeVry University, choosing from four career-specific specializations, you’ll gain the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to carry out the duties of a professional in corrections, digital forensics, emergency management, homeland security studies or policing and take advantage of Justice Administration career opportunities in these fields.
Regional Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
Click here to learn more about online degrees at Devry University
Evaluation – Capella’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
Evaluation – Kaplan University is an accredited, leading provider of online higher education, offering more than 180 programs in a variety of fields.
Program: The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice is designed to provide you with a solid foundation in criminal justice and a broad liberal arts education to help prepare you for a new career or advancement within the field.* The Web-based baccalaureate program is taught by faculty who bring years of experience in the criminal justice field and help you build your professional skills and knowledge in many areas, including these areas of specialization: crime scene investigation, forensic psychology, homeland security, juvenile justice, and law enforcement.
Regional Accreditation: Kaplan University is regionally accredited; see www. kaplanuniversity. edu/about/accreditation-licensing.aspx for details.Click here to learn more about online degrees at Devry University
Evaluation – A 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.