Top Online Criminal Justice Colleges

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Find the best schools to earn your criminal justice degree online, and learn more about what these institutions and programs offer.


Our 2016 criminal justice rankings showcase the colleges offering the best online undergraduate criminal justice programs this year. We based our calculations on the quantifiable factors that we believe contribute to the ideal online learning experience: program cost; student-to-faculty ratio; and institutional financial aid, acceptance, retention, graduation, default, and default rate. Learn more

Top Online Criminal Justice Colleges


Judson University


About the Program

Judson University’s criminal justice program is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement or who want to advance an established criminal justice career to a management level. The Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Management places an emphasis on leading and motivating people from a biblical perspective, providing service in an environment of shrinking budgets, and developing community-oriented strategies. Managerial leadership concepts that go beyond law enforcement are also taught.

Course content is structured and designed by law enforcement professionals. The program consists of 46 hours of core curriculum required to earn the degree. Students are prepared for an array of possible careers, including:

  • Police Officer or Sergeant
  • Detective
  • Security Manager
  • Correctional Officer

Online Experience

Judson University delivers online courses through the Blackboard learning management system, which provides students access to blogs, wikis, forums, and other learning materials and assessments. Students also have access to Mahara, an open-source learning management software that combines an ePortfolio with a social networking system. IT support is available through an online portal, as well as via Twitter.

$510 per credit hour online
1151 N State St
Elgin, IL 60123-1498
(847) 628-2500
Program Page

Norwich University


About the Program

Norwich University’s online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice is a degree completion program that addresses the role of military and civilian law enforcement as they pertain to public safety. Norwich is ranked in the top 100 Regional Universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report for undergraduate degrees in 2015 and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. The university has been affiliated with the U.S. military for nearly 200 year and is recognized by the Military Friendly Schools Academic Advisory Board.

Students are offered opportunities to incorporate their professional experiences into their course of study and may be able to transfer up to 84 credits into the program. Online degree completion requires 63 credits, which can be taken over five trimesters, each of which is divided into two eight-week sessions. Full-time students can complete their degree in as little as two years.

Online Experience

Norwich University uses the Moodle online learning platform to provide an environment that promotes engagement in class discussions, networking, peer support, and one-on-one contact with faculty and staff. Assignment due dates are fixed from the beginning of a course. Students should plan to spend an average of 20 hours per week on coursework. Online resources are accessible at anytime, and a 24/7 access and technical support crew is available to help with the online learning platform.

$375 per credit hour online
158 Harmon Drive
Northfield, VT 05663-1035
(802) 485-2000
Program Page

Ashland University


About the Program

Ashland University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree designed for the full-time professional. Ashland is recognized as a Yellow Ribbon school, which offers eligible veterans complete coverage of tuition and fees. The program is competitively priced, and all students receive a Google Chromebook and supplementary texts in eBook form as part of tuition costs.

Curriculum is designed by law enforcement professionals and offered in the areas of criminal behavior, forensic science, sociology, and others. Each course lasts five weeks, and students may take one course at a time to help balance career and family commitments. Students complete 13 courses during the program.

Online Experience

Ashland delivers online courses through the ANGEL learning management system suite, which offers content sharing, communication, and collaboration with instructors and peers, and performance feedback. Some courses may require synchronous (live) class sessions, but much of the content and resources are provided in an asynchronous fashion and is available at anytime. Online courses begin ten times throughout the year, providing students with a flexible schedule in individual course completion.

$395 per credit hour online
401 College Avenue
Ashland, OH 44805
(800) 882-1548
Program Page

Dallas Baptist University


About the Program

Dallas Baptist University offers an online Bachelor of Arts and Sciences Degree in Criminal Justice in a Christian-based environment. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Completion of the program requires field-based service-learning participation, and 30 of the last 36 credits earned must come from DBU. Students must complete the following degree requirements:

  • Minimum 42 upper-level credit hours
  • Minimum of 12 credit hours in major in residence at DBU, 9 of which are upper-level
  • Minimum of 120 hours to graduate
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0 to graduate

An inverted degree program offers the option to waive the 42 upper-level credit hours for students who have completed at least 24 hours of technical or occupational studies in a specific concentration. Additional college credit may be earned through test scores or military or corporate training.

Online Experience

DBU uses the Blackboard learning management system to deliver its online courses. Most classes meet multiple times each week, and many instructors require weekly participation in threaded discussions, as well as collaborative learning. All courses are asynchronous, and students can log in at anytime. Set dates or time ranges are provided for assignments and final assessments. Online courses are taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus.

$775 per credit hour online
3000 Mountain Creek Parkway
Dallas, TX 75211-9299
(214) 333-7100
Program Page

Bay Path College


About the Program

Bay Path University offers a criminal justice degree through the American Women’s College Online, a not-for-profit that has specialized in women’s education for 117 years. The university is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The degree offers five different associated majors:

  • Counterterrorism and Homeland Security
  • Emergency Management
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Criminal Justice Studies
  • Rehabilitation and Victim Advocacy

Each major offers an array of possible career paths. The program is structured into six 6-week sessions per year, allowing students to complete degree requirements in one to three years. Students may transfer up to 90 credits and may also earn additional credit based on professional experience.

Online Experience

Bay Path’s courses are offered through SOUL (Social Online Universal Learning). The platform includes the unique application of KnowledgePath, a responsive learning tool that adapts to learners’ specific needs; it can suggest moving ahead or reviewing specific course information. Online students also have access to Academic Resource Collection (ARC), which provides articles and videos to support each course. Interactive features are being added soon to allow students to collaborate during a course.

$400 per credit hour online
588 Longmeadow Street
Longmeadow, MA 01106
(413) 565-1000
Program Page

Viterbo University


About the Program

Viterbo University’s online Criminal Justice Administration Bachelor of Science Degree is designed for students who are looking to make a career change or who are interested in advancing in criminal justice and law enforcement. The university is a Catholic, liberal arts institution that is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission North Central Association.

Courses cover a range of areas, including but not limited to:

  • Criminology
  • Sociology
  • The American judicial system
  • Investigative techniques

The degree prepares professionals for leadership positions in federal, state, and municipal agencies, as well as other security organizations.

A minimum of 120 credits is required for graduation. Students who transfer an associate degree, or 60 or more credits, can complete the degree requirements in two years. The program offers entry six times during the year, and classes may be taken on a full- or part-time basis. Online classes are structured in eight-week terms. Students should expect to spend 15 to 20 hours of study time each week per class.

Online Experience

Viterbo uses the Moodle learning management system to deliver online course content, with access to video sessions, assignments, discussion forums, and assessments. Students are also given free access to Office 365 ProPlus, which includes the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, Outlook, and more. An IT Helpdesk is available online, and online tutoring support is available 24/7.

$430 per credit hour online
900 Viterbo Drive
La Crosse, WI 54601-8804
(608) 796-3000
Program Page

Cedar Crest College


About the Program

Cedar Crest College’s online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program is designed for working professionals. Cedar Crest is a small, private college that provides a modernized criminal justice program, with emphasis on the origins of the field as well as on the emerging issues and developments influencing society today.

The accredited degree is completed with one of the following elective packages:

  • Criminal Behavior and Deviance
  • Law Enforcement Management

The criminal justice curriculum is behavior-based and prepares leaders for prevention of criminal acts. At least 30 credits are needed to earn a bachelor’s degree, and students should contact the university for specific program information. Transfer credits are accepted for coursework completed at a regionally-accredited institution in the U.S., but does not apply to any Applied Associate degree. Credit may also be earned for life and work experience.

Online Experience

Online courses are offered through Cedar Crest Online, which includes a free mobile app. Students have access to video lectures, assignments, and forums that allow them to interact with instructors and peers in real-time. IT help is available through online tutorials, and a helpdesk can be contacted via email or phone.

$486 per credit hour online
100 College Drive
Allentown, PA 18104-6196
(610) 606-4666
Program Page

DeSales University


About the Program

According to DeSales University, their online degree in criminal justice is “so flexible, it should be criminal.” DeSales is private Catholic university accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The Criminal Justice program consists of 40 courses that earn students the 120 credits required for graduation. DeSales accepts up to 75 transfer credits for previous academic coursework and professional experience. Required classes include:

  • Major-oriented subjects, such as Criminology, Corrections, and Sociology
  • Models of Thinking
  • Cultural Literacy
  • Christian Values and Theology

Online Experience

Online courses are delivered through the Blackboard learning environment, which has replaced the ANGEL learning management system. Through Blackboard, students have access to course content and videos, an interactive discussion board, and an assignment tracking tool. Students enrolled in distance education are required to use an assigned DeSales University email, and they may take synchronous and asynchronous classes.

$459 per credit hour online
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034-9568
(610) 282-1100
Program Page

Drexel University


About the Program

Drexel University offers an accredited online Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Justice Studies. The degree is supported by a liberal arts foundation and offers in-depth coursework critical to 21st-century law enforcement, including classes in:

  • Criminal Procedure
  • Race, Crime, and Justice
  • Sentencing: The History, Necessity and Morality of Punishment in America

The program, which is only available on a part-time basis, is fully online and can be completed at a student’s own pace. Students must earn 183 credits to graduate. Admissions requires a minimum of 24 previous college credits, and students can transfer up to 90 credits from an accredited school. Drexel is military-friendly and is part of the Yellow Ribbon Program; eligible veterans are able to receive a tuition-free education through this program.

Online Experience

Drexel uses the Blackboard learning management system to deliver online courses. Through this platform, students can access video lectures, discussion boards, wikis, blog pages, and course materials at anytime. Drexel offers students a comprehensive list of learning tutorials for most of Blackboard’s features, and additional IT support is available via email.

$457 per credit hour online
3141 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 895-2000
Program Page

Monroe College


About the Program

The accredited Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree at Monroe College is offered online. The program covers modern issues in the criminal justice system, and students have opportunities to participate in fieldwork at an approved facility. Graduates are prepared for a number of careers, including but not limited to:

  • Policeman
  • FBI Agent
  • Security Manager
  • Corrections Officer
  • Criminal Court Officer
  • Detention Facility Coordinator

Students are required to complete 120 credits, composed of major-related coursework and general education classes, to earn their degree. The program is designed to be completed within four years.

Online Experience

Monroe College uses the Blackboard learning management system to deliver online courses, which are designed to be in sync with those offered on campus. Students have access to course materials and activities, discussion boards, live chat sessions, and assignments through this platform. Instructors are available for additional interaction during set office hours, while online students have 24/7 access to one-on-one assistance in Monroe’s on-campus Learning Resource Centers. Distance learners may also use the college’s online tutoring services.

$552 per credit hour online
2501 Jerome Avenue
Bronx, NY 10468
(718) 933-6700
Program Page

Additional Schools

RankSchoolStudent to
Faculty Ratio
Aid Rate

Aurora University


New England Institute of Technology


Greenville College


King University


Rosemont College


University of Louisville


Concordia University - Saint Paul


Barton College


Buena Vista University


Gardner-Webb University


St. Edward's University


Loyola University Chicago


Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale


Hampton University


Crown College


Roger Williams University


Aspen University


Olivet Nazarene University


Midland University


Anderson University


Robert Morris University


La Roche College


Chestnut Hill College


Western Carolina University


University of Central Florida


Cumberland University


Liberty University


University of South Carolina - Columbia


Washington State University


St. John’s University


Texas A&M University


California Baptist University


Pennsylvania State University


Indiana Wesleyan University


Point Park University


Muskingum University


Texas Wesleyan University


Buffalo State SUNY


University of Oklahoma


Central Christian College of Kansas


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