Top Online Schools for Criminal Justice

Did you know you can attain a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice partially — or fully — online? Whether you consider a BA or BS, a Criminal Justice degree can help you launch a career in law enforcement, public policy, or numerous other fields. Best Colleges is a longtime leader in covering online colleges and universities, and our program rankings are trusted across industries. In this article, we give you a snapshot of the career track and earnings potential of a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, and compare the Top 3 online programs head-to-head.

In today’s digital age, pursuing a degree in criminal justice has become more accessible than ever before, thanks to the rise of top online schools offering comprehensive programs. Whether you’re a working professional looking to advance your career or a recent high school graduate eager to start your journey in the field of criminal justice, online education can provide you with flexible and high-quality learning opportunities. In this article, we’ll explore the top online schools for criminal justice, giving you insights into their programs and what sets them apart.


The field of criminal justice is dynamic and essential to maintaining law and order in society. With the convenience of online education, aspiring criminal justice professionals can now earn their degrees without the constraints of a traditional classroom setting. Here, we will explore the advantages of choosing online education for criminal justice and present a list of some of the top online schools in this field.

Why Choose Online Education for Criminal Justice?

Online education offers several compelling reasons for individuals interested in pursuing a degree in criminal justice:

  • Flexibility: Online programs allow you to balance your studies with work, family, and other commitments.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Online courses often cost less than traditional on-campus programs, saving you money on commuting and housing expenses.
  • Diverse Specializations: Online schools offer a wide range of specializations within the criminal justice field, allowing you to tailor your education to your career goals.
  • Access to Expert Faculty: Renowned professors and industry experts often teach online courses, providing valuable insights into the criminal justice system.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Criminal Justice School

Selecting the right online school is crucial for your academic and career success. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Accreditation: Ensure the school is accredited by a recognized agency to guarantee the quality of education.
  • Program Offerings: Evaluate the available programs and their alignment with your career goals.
  • Tuition and Financial Aid: Research tuition costs and explore scholarship and financial aid options.
  • Student Support Services: Check if the school provides academic advising, career services, and technical support.
  • Class Format: Understand the online learning format, including the use of video lectures, discussion boards, and virtual classrooms.

Top Online Schools for Criminal Justice

Now, let’s delve into some of the top online schools offering exceptional criminal justice programs:

University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC)

UMGC offers a highly regarded online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program. Students benefit from a curriculum that covers a wide range of topics, including law enforcement, corrections, and criminology. The school’s strong emphasis on practical skills prepares graduates for various careers in criminal justice.

Arizona State University (ASU)

ASU’s online Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice is known for its innovation and excellence. Students have access to a variety of cutting-edge resources, including the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety, enhancing their learning experience.

Penn State World Campus

Penn State World Campus provides an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice that combines theory and real-world application. Students have the opportunity to engage in research projects and internships, gaining valuable hands-on experience.

Florida State University (FSU)

FSU offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice program that focuses on understanding the root causes of crime and delinquency. The school’s strong faculty and research opportunities make it a top choice for aspiring criminal justice professionals.

Northeastern University

Northeastern’s online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program stands out for its experiential learning opportunities. Students can participate in co-op programs, gaining practical experience in criminal justice agencies.

Benefits of Online Criminal Justice Programs

Online criminal justice programs offer several advantages:

  • Flexibility: Study at your own pace and on your schedule.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with peers and professionals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Career Advancement: Enhance your career prospects with a relevant degree.
  • Personalized Learning: Tailor your coursework to your interests and career goals.
  • Accessible Resources: Access course materials and resources 24/7.

How to Succeed in an Online Criminal Justice Program

To excel in an online criminal justice program, consider these tips:

  • Stay Organized: Create a study schedule and stick to it.
  • Participate Actively: Engage in class discussions and ask questions.
  • Seek Support: Utilize academic advising and support services.
  • Network: Connect with fellow students and professors.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest developments in the field.

Career Opportunities in Criminal Justice

A degree in criminal justice opens doors to a wide range of career opportunities, including:

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Probation Officer
  • Paralegal
  • Corrections Officer
  • Forensic Analyst
  • Security Manager
  • Crime Analyst

The field continues to evolve, offering diverse and rewarding paths for professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the admission requirements for online criminal justice programs?

Admission requirements vary by school but generally include a high school diploma or equivalent.

Can I work while pursuing an online criminal justice degree?

Yes, online programs offer flexibility, allowing you to work while studying.

Are online criminal justice degrees recognized by employers?

Yes, accredited online degrees are widely recognized by employers in the criminal justice field.

What specializations are available in online criminal justice programs?

Specializations may include criminology, law enforcement, cybersecurity, and more.

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

The duration varies, but a bachelor’s degree typically takes four years of full-time study.

The Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (Bachelors) 2023.


Choosing one of the top online schools for criminal justice can be a significant step toward a rewarding career in this dynamic field. Online education provides the flexibility and resources needed to excel in your studies and pursue your passion for justice. Explore your options, consider your goals, and embark on a journey that can make a meaningful difference in society.

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