Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees 2022

An online criminal justice degree can lead to new and exciting career opportunities. Here, we list the top online criminal justice programs.

Updated September 1, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees 2022

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Degrees in the Criminal Justice Field

Many schools offer online criminal justice degrees. Professionals in the criminal justice field use strategic thinking and observational skills to solve crimes and oversee justice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for protective service occupations to grow 8% from 2020-2030.

A bachelor's degree in criminal justice prepares graduates to enter this growing field. This page lists the most affordable criminal justice degrees online, including costs and common classes.

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Best Online Criminal Justice Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Questions About Criminal Justice Degrees


What jobs can you get with a criminal justice degree?

Criminal justice careers include police officer, detective, and correctional officer. Some degree-holders continue their education and become lawyers.

What's the difference between criminal justice and criminology?

Criminal justice focuses on the law enforcement system. Criminology explores criminals' sociological and psychological behaviors. Criminologists seek to understand the cause of criminal actions.

What do you study in criminal justice?

Learners study the inner workings of the U.S. justice system. Enrollees learn best practices for preventing crime. They also study laws, theories, and ethics.

Why Get a Degree in Criminal Justice?

Earning a criminal justice degree can lead to fulfilling criminal justice careers. Workers provide vital services and prevent potential tragedies. A criminal justice degree can also help professionals increase their earning potential.

Students can often work part-time or full-time while pursuing an online criminal justice degree. Asynchronous classes let students watch recorded lectures anytime. Some schools may charge less for online programs.

How Much Does a Criminal Justice Degree Cost?

An online bachelor's degree costs an average of $51,091, according to EducationData.org. However, costs vary by school and learners' residency status. Students attending public in-state schools usually pay the most affordable tuition. Learners earning a degree from an out-of-state or private school may spend much more.

Students who pursue an online criminal justice degree can save money by not commuting. They can also enroll in the most affordable program without relocating.

Additional Online Student Fees

Online learners should budget for extra expenses. Some schools charge technology fees for tech support and virtual classroom platforms. Schools may also charge graduation fees.

Online students may need to buy a new computer or upgrade their internet. They also need to buy supplies and books. Buying used books or renting them can save money. Criminal justice degree-seekers may need to pay for tools like fingerprint-dusting kits for fieldwork.

How Much Do Criminal Justice Graduates Make?

Salaries vary depending on workers' experience, geographic location, and employer. For example, Californian detectives and criminal investigators earn a mean wage of $111,480. The same professionals in Florida only earn $80,360.

Criminal justice graduates can also work as police officers. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $67,290. Correctional officers make a median of $47,440 per year.

Courses in Criminal Justice

Most criminal justice bachelor's programs require 120 credits. Full-time learners can earn the degree in four years. Students with transfer credits or an associate degree may complete the program in two years.

Degree-seekers study the laws and theories that guide criminal justice. Many classes require course discussions. Students learn how to prevent and respond to crimes. Some programs let students choose a minor or concentration. Options may include forensic psychology and criminology.

See below for three common criminal justice classes. Keep in mind that classes vary by program.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Top Online Criminal Justice Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Career and Salary Outlook for Criminal Justice Students

An online criminal justice degree prepares learners for various careers. Learners can choose a program that aligns with their desired career. For example, aspiring investigators should look for a program that offers a minor in detective work.

In this section, we highlight three potential criminal justice careers. Click the embedded links in the chart for more information.

Police officers patrol areas and arrest people who commit criminal behavior. They also respond to calls, issue citations, and make traffic stops. Some police officers provide protective services. Detectives inspect crime scenes and observe suspects' activities. Both police and detectives create reports of their observations and findings.

The government hires most detectives. However, detectives may also work for individuals or companies. These professionals provide supplemental work for criminal investigations. In some situations, private investigators look into financial or personal matters for clients.

These professionals work with people in custody, on parole, or on probation. They evaluate the best course for rehabilitation. Probation officers visit clients and record their progress. They also connect inmates with services like career counseling.


Salary Potential and Growth Rate
Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2020-2030)
Police and Detectives $67,290 7%
Private Detective and Investigators $53,320 13%
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists $55,690 4%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Online Criminal Justice Colleges 2022

#1

The University of Central Missouri

School Information
Location Warrensburg, Missouri
Admission Rate 65%
Graduation Rate 51%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Located in Warrensburg, the University of Central Missouri delivers 21 online programs, including six bachelor's degree. Students interested in criminal justice can pursue the bachelor of science in criminal justice and criminology in a flexible online format. Busy learners balancing academics with personal obligations often benefit from the online criminal justice program's flexible scheduling and enrollment options.

Learners pursuing the online criminal justice bachelor's degree take general education courses, along with core and upper-division major classes. The school requires at least 120 credits for the bachelor's degree. The program features rigorous coursework fostering specialized and transferable criminal justice skills.

Learners can access support services including academic advising, tutoring, and career services. Undergraduates and alumni can explore their professional options with the help of faculty advisors and career counselors. The school's financial aid counselors support online students as they search for funding options.

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#2

Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix

School Information
Location Phoenix, Arizona
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 58%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix is a public institution that delivers academic programs at its campus and in a flexible online format. Online enrollees can pursue the institution's online bachelor of science in criminology and criminal justice to qualify for positions in criminal justice after graduation.

The criminal justice program requires at least 120 credits. To complete the online bachelor's program, students fulfill requirements including core major classes, upper-division coursework, and general education classes. Faculty mentors help learners customize the program based on their professional goals. Internship opportunities allow participants to gain professional experience, which they can add to their resume.

Degree-seekers with financial need can apply for federal aid, including grants and loans. Students at the school pay an average of $579 per credit for bachelor's programs, which generally require about 120 credits. The school reports that 98% of its student body receives financial aid to fund their education. An admissions advisor can provide specific application details, including requirements and deadlines.

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#3

The University of Louisville

School Information
Location Louisville, Kentucky
Admission Rate 69%
Graduation Rate 59%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Degrees at the University of Louisville prepare enrollees for new career opportunities and advancement. Those interested in further schooling or career advancement complete this criminal justice bachelor's degree. Some programs offer a hybrid format with in-person sessions.

Bachelor's degree-seekers can enroll in the bachelor of science in criminal justice online. Degree-seekers watch lectures and complete assignments at convenient times. Distance learners prefer small classes for individualized instruction. The school may allow enrollees to earn credit for internships and service-learning experiences. Program participants can join student organizations to network with peers and access professional development opportunities.

The University of Louisville by the Numbers:

Average Price Per Credit: $553

Undergrad Tuition Rate: $11,732 per year in-state, $27,758 per year out-of-state

Average Price After Financial Aid: $17,490

Percent of Applicants Admitted: 69%

Percentage of Learners Receiving Aid: 98%

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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#4

Washington State University

School Information
Location Pullman, Washington
Admission Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 60%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 21% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Washington State University's online bachelor of arts in criminal justice and criminology is ideal for learners interested in criminal justice careers. The public institution delivers 407 programs, including 54 online programs for distance students. Working professionals often pursue one of the school's 20 online bachelor's programs.

The virtual classroom environment helps learners gain important technology skills. Core classes help students in the criminal justice program develop transferable skills and prepare for advanced coursework. General education requirements help degree-seekers develop and strengthen important skills, such as critical thinking and communication. In-person internships provide opportunities for undergraduates to gain practical experience.

Learners enrolled in the school's online programs can access support services such as academic advising and career counseling. Students with financial need can submit the FAFSA to qualify for federal grants and loans. The school's dedicated financial aid counselors work with degree-seekers as they locate and apply for educational funding.

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#5

East Central University

School Information
Location Ada, Oklahoma
Admission Rate 59%
Graduation Rate 37%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Based in Ada, Oklahoma, East Central University educates degree-seekers through in-person and flexible online programs. The public institution offers 13 online programs, including six online bachelor's programs. The bachelor of arts in criminal justice policy features a curriculum designed to prepare degree-seekers for criminal justice careers.

Working professionals who enroll in the online criminal justice program can complete academic requirements around their schedule. The criminal justice program takes place in a virtual classroom environment. The program's online format allows students to view lectures and participate in discussions virtually. Full-time undergraduate degree-seekers typically require four years to complete the 120-credit bachelor's program.

At the accredited institution, distance learners can submit the FAFSA and use federal student aid programs to pay for school. The school charges an average per-credit tuition rate of $413 for its 120-credit bachelor's programs. Financial aid counselors help students locate and apply for scholarships, grants, and loans. According to the school, 88% of enrollees receive some form of financial aid.

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#6

Lynn University

School Information
Location Boca Raton, Florida
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 51%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Lynn University leads in online learning programs. At the school, 1,505 students earn their degrees virtually. Among the options the institution delivers remotely is the bachelor of arts in criminal justice. 

The criminal justice program's flexible learning format allows learners to work full time while earning their degree. Professionals with a bachelor's degree often benefit from increased earning potential and career opportunities. The bachelor's program usually requires about four years for first-time undergraduate students.

Lynn University Numbers:

Student Graduation Rate: 51%

Students Awarded Financial Aid: 99%

Students Awarded Loans: 33%

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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#7

Averett University

School Information
Location Danville, Virginia
Admission Rate 24%
Graduation Rate 100%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Averett University offers a top-ranked online bachelor of science in sociology and criminal justice program. At the private institution, located in Danville, Virginia, undergraduates enroll in on-campus and online programs. The flexible learning format appeals to busy students balancing school with other responsibilities.

The online bachelor's program includes general education classes, electives, and advanced criminal justice courses. Participants work closely with faculty mentors and academic advisors to design a custom degree plan based on their career goals. The school's online services, including tutoring, financial aid advising, and career counseling, help distance learners complete the program.

Thanks to the school's accreditation, enrollees can submit the FAFSA and use financial aid like the Pell Grant to pay for their degree. Students work with the school's financial aid office to identify scholarships and grants to pay for their degree.

Averett University-Non-Traditional Programs Numbers:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 14

Online Bachelor's Programs: 12

Number of Online Students: 469

Student Admission Rate: 24%

Graduation Rate: 100%

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

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#8

The University of Massachusetts Lowell

School Information
Location Lowell, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 66%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students can pursue 188 programs from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, a public institution. The academic bachelor's programs feature online and in-person learning formats. Undergraduate students can pursue the school's online criminal justice degree to prepare for careers in the field.

The online bachelor of science in criminal justice offers a flexible route to a college degree. During general education classes, students develop transferable skills such as critical thinking and communication. Hands-on experiential learning opportunities allow degree-seekers to apply field-specific knowledge and skills. Faculty mentors and academic advisors help undergraduates customize the program based on their professional goals.

Online learners at the institution pay affordable tuition rates and can apply for institutional funding to further reduce the financial burden of earning a degree. The school's financial aid counselors help students secure funding through scholarship and grant programs.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell Numbers:

Number of Online Students: 5,831

Rate of Acceptance: 73%

Total Bachelor's Programs: 46

Online Bachelor's Programs: 11

Offers Transfer Credits: No

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#9

Utah Valley University

School Information
Location Orem, Utah
Graduation Rate 32%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Utah Valley University is a public institution based in Orem, Utah. Degree-seekers can study in person or in a distance learning format. The school's academic offerings include 21 online programs, nine of which are bachelor's-level options. Online learners can enroll in the online bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from the institution.

The school requires at least 120 credits for the bachelor's degree in criminal justice. The online degree features core courses, general education requirements, and upper-division classes. Distance learners meet with academic advisors to create a custom degree plan based on their interests and career goals. Internship opportunities help students gain hands-on experience.

Enrollees with financial need can fund their education through federal grants and loans. According to the school, 74% of the student body receives financial aid to fund their undergraduate education. For exact application deadlines and requirements, prospective applicants can speak with an admissions advisor.

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#10

The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina

School Information
Location Charleston, South Carolina
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 74%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

With a main campus in Charleston, The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina is a public institution. The school's academic offerings include 14 online programs. The online bachelor of arts in criminal justice features a curriculum designed to prepare learners for criminal justice careers.

Degree-seekers in the criminal justice program complete core classes and specialized courses in the field. Upper-division requirements help learners develop and strengthen important skills, such as critical thinking and communication. Those enrolled full time typically need four years to graduate from the 120-credit bachelor's program.

The school offers support services, including academic advising and career counseling, for online and on-campus students. Enrollees at the accredited institution can receive federal financial aid, such as the Pell Grant.

The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina  Numbers:

Percent of Applicants Admitted: 75%

Total Programs: 84

Total Bachelor's Programs: 28

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Transfer Credits Accepted: No

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#11

Trine University - TrineOnline

School Information
Location Fort Wayne, Indiana
Admission Rate 24%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Learners at TrineOnline at Trine University can pursue an online bachelor of science in criminal justice. Busy students often benefit from the online program's scheduling flexibility to complete academic requirements around their schedule. After earning their bachelor's degree, graduates often pursue entry-level criminal justice careers.

Degree-seekers in the criminal justice program gain transferable skills and prepare for positions in the field during core coursework and upper-level classes. The curriculum features major classes, general education courses, and electives. Program participants gain transferable critical thinking and communication skills, which apply to careers in a variety of fields. Learners consult with faculty mentors to select classes aligning with their interests and career goals.

The private institution's academic offerings include 24 online and on-campus programs. The school delivers 14 online bachelor's programs, which provide scheduling flexibility for busy degree-seekers. Students can use federal financial aid programs like the Pell Grant to cover their expenses.

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#12

Point University

School Information
Location West Point, Georgia
Admission Rate 29%
Graduation Rate 28%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

With a main campus in West Point, Georgia, Point University is a private institution. In addition to on-campus offerings, the school delivers 37 online programs. Individuals interested in criminal justice careers can enroll in the institution's online bachelor of science in criminal justice.

The online criminal justice program uses a rigorous curriculum that includes core and advanced coursework. Undergraduates gain transferable skills while completing upper-division coursework. Degree-seekers enrolled full time typically require four years to complete the online bachelor's program.

To help learners succeed academically and professionally, the school provides a variety of support services, such as academic advising and career counseling. Enrollees with financial need can submit the FAFSA to apply for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs.

Point University Facts:

Rate of Acceptance: 29%

Total Programs: 58

Total Bachelor's Programs: 35

Online Bachelor's Programs: 14

Applies Transfer Credits: No

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#13

Stevenson University

School Information
Location Stevenson, Maryland
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Stevenson University delivers 42 online and on-campus programs. At the school, 1,982 degree-seekers enroll in online programs. The bachelor's in criminal justice prepares graduates for career advancement or for further schooling.  

Most undergraduate students complete the online bachelor of science in criminal justice program in about four years. The flexible learning format allows learners to maintain full-time employment while completing their studies. Bachelor's degree-holders often benefit from increased earning potential and career opportunities.

Stevenson University at a Glance:

Students Awarded Financial Aid: 99%

Percentage of Students Receiving Loans: 60%

Percent of Applicants Accepted: 81%

Transfer Credits Counted: No

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

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#14

Excelsior College

School Information
Location Albany, New York
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The bachelor of science in criminal justice program at Excelsior College is one of the top-ranked online programs in the field. The private institution offers traditional programs at its Albany, New York, campus and a variety of online bachelor's programs. The flexible learning format makes it easier for students to balance school with work or other responsibilities.

The online bachelor's program uses a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes foundational and advanced criminal justice skills. Students work closely with faculty mentors and academic advisors to individualize their degree based on their interests and career goals. The school supports distance learners with academic services and career counseling.

Thanks to the institution's accreditation, online degree-seekers qualify for federal financial aid programs like the Pell Grant. Undergraduates also pay for their degree with scholarships, state grants, and student loans.

Excelsior College Fast Facts:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 54

Online Bachelor's Programs: 54

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

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#15

Middle Tennessee State University

School Information
Location Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Admission Rate 94%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Middle Tennessee State University is a public institution delivering academic programs from its campus in Murfreesboro. The school offers both on-campus and online programs. Among the school's 137 available programs are 11 online options for distance learners. Online degree-seekers can enroll in the virtual bachelor of science in criminal justice administration from the institution.

The school requires at least 120 credits for the bachelor's degree in criminal justice. Students in the online bachelor's program complete general education requirements and field-specific classes. Enrollees consult with faculty mentors to select classes aligning with their interests and career goals. Internship opportunities help participants prepare to impress employers after graduation.

Learners at the accredited institution can qualify for federal grants and loans. Of the school's undergraduates, 96% fund their education through financial aid. Admissions advisors help individuals understand the application requirements for their prospective program.

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AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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