Top 5 Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs (Bachelor’s)
Are you a professional within the law enforcement field, looking to advance your career into administration or other higher-up positions? Are you a recent high school graduate, looking to put the love of your community and fellow community members to good use? Are you already working and having trouble fitting these kinds of advancements into your busy life? Then look no further, because these colleges have the program for you.
The following list was developed using Wikipedia’s list of accredited online colleges, College Navigator, The Best Schools, The Open Education Database (OEDb), CriminalJusticeDegree.net and research of each individual school’s online programs and offered degrees. After creating a list of all major schools offering online programs in criminal justice, we sorted the list by the average net cost of undergraduate tuition, as reported by College Navigator, and chose the top 50. These schools are ranked according to the net cost, from highest to lowest. The “Unique Courses” sections list a few examples of the many courses offered within each college’s program.
Ranking the Top Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs
5. Columbia Southern University in Orange Beach, Ala.
B.S. Criminal Justice Administration Online
Net Price: $10,032
Overview: At Columbia Southern University, the criminal justice administration degree program is fully-online and able to prepare entry-level and seasoned professionals from diverse backgrounds in the theoretical foundations, knowledge, skills and practices of criminal justice and corrections. The education provided by this program enables students to develop rational decisions and informed responses to real-life events one may face in a career in law enforcement, courts and corrections operations. Graduates of this program will be able to evaluate the impact of criminal justice theories and practices, examine the interrelationship amongst courts, corrections and law enforcement, and much more.
Columbia Southern University is an accredited member of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
Unique Courses: Probation and Parole, Introduction to Court Security and Workplace Security
4. University of North Carolina in Pembroke, N.C.
B.A. or B.I.S. in Criminal Justice Online
Overview: UNC Pembroke offers a BA in criminal justice and a BIS in criminal justice, completely online. Within the BIS, students can choose among the three concentrations offered to enhance specific knowledge and skills, which are applied information technology, forensics and sociology. The BIS prepares graduates for careers in traditional policing, courts, corrections jobs in the public sector and a wide variety of private sector jobs. The BA degree in criminal justice is offered through the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, in which many courses allow students to test classroom learning through experience in their communities. These majors provide students with an overall understanding of the organization and administration of the American Criminal Justice system.
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Unique Courses: Gender Studies, Substance Abuse and Community Development
3. University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, Md.
B.S. in Criminal Justice Online
Net Price: $9,489
Overview: UMUC offers both a major and minor for criminal justice online. This program helps students understand the nature of crime and the personnel, institutions and processes that prevent or respond to crime. This program introduces students to both theory and practice within the criminal justice system, and its curriculum covers crime, criminal behavior, law enforcement, courts, corrections, security and investigation. It will prepare students to enter into a variety of criminal justice professions or to further their study in a graduate program.
TBS featured UMUC on their top 20 lists of colleges with the best online criminal justice programs in the No. 17 spot. UMUC is also regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Unique Courses: Criminal Investigation, Crime Scene Investigation and Issues in Criminal Justice
2. Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas
B.A. or B.S. in Criminal Justice Online
Net Price: $8,744
Overview: At Texas Woman’s University, 100 percent of the criminal justice bachelor’s degree program can be completed online. This program offers students a broad general education with an emphasis on the social sciences, as well as opportunities for real-world work experience through internships. Graduates of this program are able to enter into careers within local, state and federal government agencies, private businesses and organizations, police agencies, law practices, investigation bureaus and more.
Texas Woman’s University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees.
Unique Courses: Theories of Crime & Deviance, Crime in America and Topics in Urban Sociology
1. Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches, La.
B.A. in Criminal Justice Online
Net Price: $7,950
Overview: At Northwestern State University of Louisiana, the baccalaureate program provides a full complement of criminal justice courses in the online criminal justice degree program. Students in this program will take additional courses in subjects like sociology, psychology and political science. The current degree plan for this program consists of 120 credit hours, total.
Northwestern was awarded twice for being among the top military-friendly universities in 2015. The school is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award Associate, Baccalaureate, Master’s, and Specialist’s degrees.
Unique Courses: Adjudication Process, Analysis of Police Operations and Criminal Evidence & Procedure