Discover the Best Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Explore our comprehensive rankings and career paths in criminal justice to find your path to success.

Associate Degree Rankings

Start your journey with top-rated Associate programs in Criminal Justice.

Associate Degree

Bachelor's Degree Rankings

Discover leading Bachelor's programs in Criminal Justice

Bachelor's Degree

Master's Degree Rankings

Advance your career with top Master's degrees in Criminal Justice

Master's Degree

Explore Modern Career Paths in Criminal Justice

Discover the most in-demand carers in Criminal Justice.

Examine, evaluate, and investigate eligibility for or conformity with laws and regulations governing contract compliance of licenses and permits, and perform other compliance and enforcement inspection and analysis activities not classified elsewhere.

DEA Agent

Hot Career

Conduct investigations related to suspected violations of federal, state, or local laws to prevent or solve crimes.

Plan and direct disaster response or crisis management activities, provide disaster preparedness training, and prepare emergency plans and procedures for natural (e.g., hurricanes, floods, earthquakes), wartime, or technological (e.g., nuclear power plant emergencies or hazardous materials spills) disasters or hostage situations.

FBI Agent

Hot Career

Conduct investigations related to suspected violations of federal, state, or local laws to prevent or solve crimes.

Enforce or ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing financial and securities institutions and financial and real estate transactions. May examine, verify, or authenticate records.

Collect, identify, classify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation. May testify as expert witnesses on evidence or crime laboratory techniques. May serve as specialists in area of expertise, such as ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, or biochemistry.


Hot Career

Assist lawyers by investigating facts, preparing legal documents, or researching legal precedent. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.

Police Officer

Hot Career

Maintain order and protect life and property by enforcing local, tribal, state, or federal laws and ordinances. Perform a combination of the following duties: patrol a specific area; direct traffic; issue traffic summonses; investigate accidents; apprehend and arrest suspects, or serve legal processes of courts. Includes police officers working at educational institutions.

Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.

Discover Criminal Justice Resources

Quickly navigate to essential information pages regarding online Criminal Justice programs.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Discover typical costs of attendance and financial aid options when pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Admission and Requirements

Discover what it takes to get into the top ranked schools for Criminal Justice.

Admission and Requirements


Learn more about how online Criminal Justice programs are accredited and what it means for you.



Answers to common questions about obtaining an online degree in Criminal Justice.


Top Career Paths by Salary for Criminal Justice in 2024

CareerAnnual Median SalaryHourly Median Salary

Data sourced From O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Brief Overview of Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Pursuing an online Criminal Justice degree can be a strategic move if you're looking to enter or advance in the field of law enforcement, corrections, or legal studies. Online programs offer a unique blend of convenience and flexibility, allowing you to balance your studies with work or other commitments. Let's dive into what these programs entail and why they might be the right choice for you.

Why Choose an Online Criminal Justice Degree?

  • Flexibility: Online programs typically offer asynchronous courses, meaning you can log in and complete coursework at times that fit your schedule.
  • Diverse Specializations: Many online criminal justice programs provide concentrations such as forensic psychology, cybercrime, or homeland security.
  • Career Advancement: Earning your degree online can help you qualify for higher positions and potentially increase your earning potential.
  • Accessibility: With no geographic limitations, you can choose from a wider range of schools and programs that might not be available in your area.

What to Expect from Online Criminal Justice Programs

Online criminal justice degree programs vary in length and structure, but they generally cover:

  • Core Curriculum: A foundation in criminal law, ethics, public policy, and the U.S. justice system.
  • Elective Courses: Opportunities to tailor your education to your career goals.
  • Practical Experience: Some programs may include internships or capstone projects to apply learning in real-world scenarios.

Key Features of Top Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

When evaluating the best programs, our proprietary algorithm considers several factors:

  • Affordability: Programs that offer financial aid options, competitive tuition rates, and value for money.
  • Program Outcomes: The success rate of graduates in terms of employment and career progression.
  • Accessibility: How easy it is to access course materials, interact with faculty, and receive academic support.
  • Student Support Services: The availability of resources such as academic advising, career services, and technical support.
  • Accreditation: Recognition from authoritative bodies like the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS).
  • Flexibility: The variety of course schedules, part-time options, and the ability to complete coursework at your own pace.
  • Program Reputation: The standing of the program among employers, alumni, and within the academic community.

Accreditation Matters

Accreditation is crucial for ensuring that your degree is respected by employers and qualifies you for professional certifications. Always verify that an online criminal justice program is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency. You can check the accreditation status of institutions through the U.S. Department of Education website.

Choosing the right online Criminal Justice degree program involves careful consideration of your personal needs and career goals. With our ranking algorithm, we aim to make the selection process easier for you by highlighting programs that stand out in critical areas essential for student success.

Typical Tasks for Careers in Criminal Justice

  • Administer systems and programs to reduce loss, maintain inventory control, or increase safety.

  • Advise licensees or other individuals or groups concerning licensing, permit, or passport regulations.

  • Apply mathematical or statistical techniques to address practical issues in finance, such as derivative valuation, securities trading, risk management, or financial market regulation.

  • Assess clients' cognitive abilities and physical and emotional needs to determine appropriate interventions.

  • Assess individuals' degree of drug dependency by collecting and analyzing urine samples.

  • Check passengers' tickets to ensure that they are valid, and to determine whether passengers have designations that require special handling, such as providing photo identification.

Online Criminal Justice Degree Program FAQs

What are the prerequisites for enrolling in an online criminal justice degree program?

Before enrolling in an online criminal justice degree program, prospective students typically need to meet certain requirements, such as:

  • A high school diploma or GED equivalent
  • Minimum GPA as specified by the program
  • SAT or ACT scores if required, especially for bachelor's programs
  • Completion of any required prerequisite courses for advanced programs
  • Sufficient English language proficiency

How long does it take to complete an online criminal justice degree?

The duration of online criminal justice programs can vary:

  • Associate degrees generally take two years to complete.
  • Bachelor's degrees typically require four years of full-time study.
  • Master's degrees can be completed in one to two years, depending on the program's intensity and the student's pace.
  • Doctoral programs may take three to seven years to complete, including dissertation work.

Remember, part-time enrollment or accelerated tracks can alter these timelines.

What kind of careers can I pursue with an online criminal justice degree?

An online criminal justice degree opens doors to various career paths, including:

  • Law enforcement (e.g., police officer, federal agent)
  • Corrections (e.g., correctional officer, probation officer)
  • Legal professions (e.g., paralegal, legal assistant)
  • Private security (e.g., security manager, private investigator)
  • Public service (e.g., policy analyst, emergency management)

Are online criminal justice degree programs accredited?

Accreditation is crucial for ensuring the quality of your education. Look for programs accredited by recognized agencies such as:

  • The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS)
  • The Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Regional accrediting bodies (e.g., Middle States Commission on Higher Education)

Can I transfer credits from another institution into an online criminal justice degree program?

Many online programs accept transfer credits. However, policies differ, so it's important to:

  • Verify that your previous institution is regionally or nationally accredited.
  • Check the program's specific transfer policies.
  • Confirm that your previously taken courses align with the curriculum of the program you're considering.

What kind of support services are available to students in online criminal justice programs?

Online students often have access to a variety of support services:

  • Academic advising
  • Career services and job placement assistance
  • Online libraries and research resources
  • Technical support for online learning platforms
  • Counseling and wellness services

How do I know if an online criminal justice degree program is reputable?

To evaluate a program's reputation, consider the following factors:

  • Accreditation status from recognized agencies
  • Graduation and job placement rates
  • Faculty credentials and experience
  • Student reviews and testimonials
  • Recognition by industry publications and associations

What is the cost of an online criminal justice degree program?

The cost can vary widely based on factors like institution type and program length. Typically:

  • Community colleges might offer lower tuition rates for associate degrees.
  • Public universities may have different rates for in-state versus out-of-state students.
  • Private institutions often have higher tuition fees.

It's essential to also factor in additional costs such as books, technology fees, and any on-campus residency requirements. Always explore financial aid options such as scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs.

Remember that our proprietary algorithm takes affordability into account when ranking programs, helping you find a quality education that fits your budget.

Technologies and Skills Used for Careers in Criminal Justice

Analytical or scientific software

  • ACT WorkKeys
  • Counseling software

Business intelligence and data analysis software

  • TIBCO Spotfire
  • Tableau

Basic Skills

  • Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
  • Talking to others

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