The growing field of Criminal Justice offers plenty of career opportunities for those interested in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement matters. With the right education one is more likely to get a better career or advance in their studies.
A Criminal Justice Bachelors Degree online may present more opportunities than you can imagine. The colleges and universities below may help you pick the right online Criminal Justice bachelor degree program:
Penn State University
Washington State University
More bachelor degree level criminal justice schools:
American Public University System
American InterContinental University Online
Colorado State University Global Campus
Eastern Kentucky University
Florida International University
Florida Tech University Online
Fort Hays State University
Grand Canyon University
Indiana Business College
Mountain State University
National American University
Portland State University
Post University Online
Saint Leo University
University of Arkansas at Little Rock – UALR
University of Flordia – Fire & Emergency Services (highly recommended)
University of Maryland University College – UMUC
University of Phoenix
Upper Iowa University
The list of schools will be updated as more online colleges and universities emerge.
I go to Florida Tech for Associates in Criminal Justice. Great school and great instructors! I haven’t been to school in 10 years. They make it clear and understandable so you grasp it and challenge you until you do so. After my Associates in Criminal Justice is finished, I will continue for my Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice at Florida Tech. God Bless!
I have seen nothing but bad reviews for Florida Tech…. I was really into that school before I seen the reviews. I already have my Associates and now looking to continue my Bachelors. Why do you think people leave bad reviews for the school? It was on more than one website also.
I am attending Cal State Long Beach….majoring in Criminal Justice and Chicano/Latinos Studies..my question is: who gets higher consideration, someone who has a Cal state Long Beach criminal justice degree or someone from westwood college?
I would imagine Cal State, hands down, but other factors may play a role. Is your question based on your personal experience?
Two western New England schools worth looking:
1) Western New England College – Springfield, MA
– This is a traditional, private college that boasts excellent professors. This school is not cheap.
2) Westfield State College – Westfield, MA
– A traditional State school with a strong reputation in New England for Criminal Justice.
I covered Westfield State College in my Best Criminal Justice Schools in Massachusetts article.
I didn’t know much about Western New England College, but I have heard good things. I’ll copy your comment to that post so those searching for schools in Mass. can benefit. Thanks for sharing.
I was wondering what would be a great minor to take since i’ll be taking bachelors in criminal justice down in San Jose State University. Also would it be any different if i get my associate degree in community college first then transfer to a four-year? And would i have to start out my career by being a cop?
p.s i’m planning to join the F.B.I
In my opinion, getting an associates at a CC and then going to a 4-year school to finish is just fine. Just make sure that both institutions are regionally accredited.
You don’t have to start out by being a police officer. The FBI hires college graduates with a Bachelor’s or a graduate degree.
No it would be best to work on your BS of Criminal Justice with South University on line & complete the degree on line in 3 years. If you go to a campus it will take you 4 years verses doing it all on line in 3 which South University offers as long as you are in the U.S.A
I really need help… i work full time and cant afford to go to campus, i need an online school that i can get my bachelors in criminal justice, i want to work in a juvenile hall please help
i also live in california and know they have different laws than other states so i need one that will be accepted in california
Jo- I work full time and getting my bs in criminal justice at National University. It’s all online, the class are accelerated and are only one month long, you can complete your degree in 18 months (which is 18 classes). its a little pricey $1500.00 a class. but its well worth it in the end because you can still work full time. these classes are geared towards working professionals :)
hope this helps.
yes, you can do that by the internet on line at south university and in your free time you can work on it as well as long as you log in and log a certain number of hrs each week….Its a good program you can finish your b.s of Criminal justice in 3 years verses going to a campus and doing the same thing in 4 years… I suggest that you get you a Straight Talk cell phone with key board and screen.. The plan has unlimited,talk,unlimited text,unlimited internet, it cost 45 bucks a month no contract… but the ph cost 199.00 buts it wort it sing that you will pay 139.00 average for the same plan with verizon wireless.. good luck
As long as its regionally credited, many of the online BA programs are great. If you are going to work for Juv Hall and/or any gov’t agency, look into a Perkins Federal Student Loan and and into the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. If you work for 10 years in that field & make continuous payments over that time, the remaining balance will be forgiven….ie.just making the interest payments on a $25000 loan for 120 payments and after 10 years, the $25000 is forgiven…….
I currently attend Westwood College Online pursuing my degree in Criminal Justice. I am becoming wary of continuing my education there because the school has come under a lot of fire lately. I am thinking about going to a community college and transferring out to a university to finish my education. I would like your opinion on whether or not I should remain at Westwood College Online or go elsewhere. I would like to use my degree when I graduate, but I am unsure that Westwood College Online will enable me to do that.
Let me say it succinctly: Elsewhere!
Make sure that the next school you go to is regionally accredited and that you don’t spend the next 40 years paying it off. Look at community colleges and state universities. Many have programs online, too.
First, I want to say that your blog is wonderful. I’ve been considering heading back to school and finally getting my bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, but not having any time to venture out to a brick and mortar school I’ve decided online would be best. I’ve researched many schools that offer online degrees and one that really caught my attention and that I hadn’t read anything negative about was Saint Leo. What do you think of them? Any other recommendations for schools that offer online degrees? Any help you can offer would be appreciated.
Keep up the great work you’re doing with this blog! It’s truly appreciated! :)
Saint Leo is just OK in my opinion. I would recommend schools like Penn State University, Northeastern University, and Washington State University to name a few. Or, perhaps your State University system (it just may have that program online). Also see my recent article on the best criminal justice schools in America to find some great universities with online criminal justice degree programs.
i need help!
im very interesting into going to criminal justice. i will be getting my associates this may and want to keep going to get the bachelors. but, what jobs is there for this field??? i mean i heard a lot of negative things, that there’s no jobs etc. that you need to be strong or things like that. give me info please???
Nonsense! Of course there are great criminal justice jobs in the criminal justice system. Women are recruited in great numbers and there’s plenty of work, despite the economic downturn (not always near you, but in proximity or next county or state over).
Know that getting a Criminal Justice degree is related to Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System as a whole. So this won’t be preparation for teaching or administrative positions. In most cases, those who seek such degrees work directly (police officers) or in a supporting capacity (dispatchers) in the law enforcement field – unless you have an advanced degree like a Master’s or a PhD.
In many cases you won’t need a degree to start your career, but will need either an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s several years after you get hired on. Some positions may not require a degree at all.
I’m considering two on-line schools to obtain my BS:
American Military University
Cal State Long Beach
The obvious choice is the CalState, but wanted input on AMU which is by the way regionally and nationally accredited. They have courses starting every month. I just don’t want to worry about waiting a semester or so for a course to be offered at CalState. Also, AMU has a book grant which covers for the cost of your books.
Any input, greatly appreciated.
From my personal experience, steer clear of AMU. Their financial aid office tried to coerce me into giving them personal information that they said was federal law (in which case it was not) in order for them to provide me with a loan I refused in the first place. They’re shady at best and their programs aren’t even regionally accredited. Check DANTES’ Catalog (www.dantescatalogs.com) and you’ll see for yourself. As for CSULB, they’re a Cal State school and they’re all good ones especially Long Beach.
Joyce, I only have a slight correction to Michael’s response. AMU is regionally accredited as you stated in your original post. I personally have not had to deal with their financial aid department, nor have the few people I know who have gone through them due to military benefits. Since I am fortunate enough to know at least one person who has gone to each school you are considering, each one has nothing but good things to say about both Cal State Long Beach and AMU. Long Beach will obviously look much prettier on a resume, but if you need to do online then AMU will do fine.
i am at west wood college as we speak now majoring in CJ i am in my early 4o’s and time is a precious commodity to me so the 3 year BS is what is so attractive. i plan to go directly into the work force afterward i know for a fact that there are some entry level positions which i am ok with. my question is is WW a legitimate college because they have the commercials with success stories of real past students so does that mean the degree is real or what please respond. time is running out thank you
Westwood College has been receiving some heat lately, but that includes many for-profit colleges in the Nation. Also, the school is not regionally accredited which is a big minus for me. Don’t let the commercials cloud your judgment. Tons of money is spent into the advertising budget of many for-profit schools. If you throw enough money at anything it’s bound to be ostensibly successful and in your best interest.
I’m now attending the University of Phoenix online, working on my B.S. in criminal justice / Administration, is this a good school to attend my B.S. and I would like to work for the FBI as well
I attend Hodges University and I love it! I am a legal studies major with a minor in criminal justice and I must say the work is challenging and rigorous. They are regionally accredited and are apart of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. I am glad I chose them and not a nationally accredited school! ;)
Well is all cool but ill still be looking for more:)
I must congratulate you and thank you for having such an informative and helpful web blog! I am seeking some advice and I would really appreciate any advice you are able to provide. I am a senior in college and I would like to be part of the criminal justice field. I can’t put my finger on a specific career but what I do know is that I truly enjoy helping people. I have grown to realize that I enjoy helping people that need advice, want to better themselves from a situation, and even help motivate others to believe in themselves and overcome obstacles. I am very proficient in the reading writing and speaking of the Spanish language and would love to apply it as well thus broadening the audience. If you have any advice I would really appreciate it!
Have you ever considered looking into being a Social Worker or a Psychologist? Perhaps, that’s where you can start your search.
First, let me say your site is very informative & helpful. Thank you for taking the time and effort to present it.
Maybe you can help me as well, I have 3 years of education in Elementary Ed, but never finished my degree. I’m 44 years old and interested in finishing, but am particularly interested in CJ with maybe a minor in Psychology or Juvenile Justice in order to work as either a juvenile social worker or at DJJ or probation counselor etc. I need an online degree and would really like to transfer as many credits as possible (I have 114). Can you recommend a southern accredited online degree program that fits my needs?????? Thanks for any help you can offer!
That’s a tough one. I’m not sure which school, and it doesn’t matter if it’s from the southern region, will accept that many credits. Most schools will accept an equivalent of an Associate’s degree or will give you credit for electives you would have to take. Some of the popular (not necessarily recommended) online schools may accept more credits. Many schools have a rigid core curriculum, and unless the credit is transferred from an esteemed college or university, they won’t even consider the transfer request. I sure hope that you want to transfer credits from a regionally accredited institution into another regionally accredited institution.
Thanks for your time! I’m sixteen and finishing up high school…I know I want to go into Criminal Justice and I had planned to go to a community college for two years then transfer to a university to get my BA. Then I read your post about how online college works great for Criminal Justice. So my question is: should I continue with my original plan, should i go to the community college then to an online one or go straight to an online college?
Or is there not a big difference between online and traditional college?
I can’t decide that for you, only you can. However, there are great schools online that you can start your degree program at and finish in as little as 2.5 – 3 years (highly accelerated). In my situation, back when I should have gone to a community college and transfer, I didn’t. I think, if financially and mentally you would be okay doing online coursework, then why not. Just pick a reputable (NOT popular or most advertised) school for your studies — regionally accredited schools is a must in my book.
Consider all options; finances, time, academic abilities, and more before making your choice. If you pick some good schools, reply to this thread and I’ll let you know my “2 cents” — Good luck.
Well, I’ve been looking into online schools and my two preferences so far are Baker College and California Coast University…both are affordable and both are regionally accredited. The student reviews of CCU are great but not very good for Baker College. If you could give me some thought on these schools that would be great!
CCU is not regionally accredited. I checked at like 5 places, including (probably) the same review site you saw the reviews on. I usually go to the school first to find out what their accreditation status is. That’s usually the best place to look. So, neither are good in my book.
Have you considered the State University System in your state? Other more reputable schools? Other schools with regional accreditation? — Yes, it may cost you more, but you’ll have less grief later, a quality education under your belt, and other rewards that may not seem lucid at the moment. Academic institutions are very picky when transferring credit or using an obtained degree to forgo taking unnecessary classes. Employers tend to be more picky, too; especially those providing quality career options.
Alright I’ll look into it…thank you so much!
Great website… I am the Director of the Criminal Justice Department at the University of the Cumberlands. We are located in Southern Kentucky and we have around 3000 students. We are currently designing an online Masters in Criminal Justice program, and hope to have it running by spring of 2012. Our next venture is to offer an online Bachelors Degree in CJ, but that may take a year or two. We currently offer one to two online CJ classes a semester, but primarily we offer the traditional on campus classes.
Students may be unfamiliar with the rigorous requirements to gain or maintain accreditation with the Commission on Colleges. The amount of work that goes into this process takes months and even years for schools to acquire the accreditation, and constantly work to maintain it due to the fact they reevaluate your program every few years. That being said, I am constantly looking for feedback from potential students and graduates who can articulate what they are looking for in an Online CJ program.
Until we offer the Online degree, I can honestly say that Tiffin University has a great program, and for your Masters program, Norwich University has an outstanding Criminal Justice program that is far superior to BU’s Masters (had to get that jab in)…
I appreciate you taking the time to read this. If anyone has any comments or questions about our program, feel free to go to our website and find my contact info. I would also be glad to speak with anyone about Norwich Universities Criminal justice Masters Program.
It’s important that you choose the right program that suits your needs, whether you are a senior in high school, a current student looking to transfer, or a working adult returning to school. There are a lot of schools that will take your money and offer you a degree in 1 to 2 years, that won’t be worth the paper it’s written on. Just because they offer financial aid or take the GI Bill, doesn’t mean it is regionally accredited and will guarantee you a high paying job after you drop 50 to 100 grand and your credits wont transfer. Take your time, and don’t fall for some of the high pressure tactics that some schools are using for recruitment.
If there is a program that will fit a potential student, or one of my students needs better than my schools, than I will not hesitate referring them to that program. Again, feel free to email me with any questions or comments, and for those of you who can’t get into Norwich’s Masters program, you can always fall back on BU’s program….I hear its pretty good…
Good try. I love BU for it’s great program and it’s academic excellence that’s so engrained within it’s core! But, despite our differences, we can both agree that “we” need to take time and do due diligence when it comes to picking the right program and school for “our” needs.
I do share the notion that Norwich has one of the better and well-rounded programs. However, I would consider Norwich University’s online Master’s in Criminal Justice after University of Cincinnati, Michigan State University, and yes, Boston University. I also was contacted about University of California – Irvine — Master’s degree in Criminology, Law and Society: it has a big Criminal Justice portion.
Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the blog. Just so the readers know, University of the Cumberlands is regionally accredited? Yes?
I graduated from Missouri Southern State University with a bachelors in Criminal Justice and associates in law enforcement. It’s been almost a year since I graduated, and still haven’t found a job yet. Do you have any suggestions? It’s been difficult being a young female in this field because I don’t have previous experience other than banking jobs. I don’t want to be a cop; I’m more interested in investigative type positions. Would it help if I went for my masters? Thanks.
by investigative I feel most people mean “like a detective”, for which police officer experience is often required. Please see the different investigative careers in the “Careers” section of the site (top navigation). There are also those that deal with evidence collection, processing, and testing… often considered investigative. Look into forensic careers under the same section of the site.
The University of West Georgia is now offering an online Bachelors Degree in Criminology. For more information, please visit http://criminology.westga.edu/index_153.php or contact Sharron Edwards at 678-839-5199.
Hi, I recently finish Triton College major criminal justice with AA degree and I will like to go for Bachelors in CJ but I don’t know which school to choose. I also got admitted to GSU that offers classes at Triton College but I really don’t know if this is a good school for me. In the future I will like to work with abused children and I am still confused if CJ is the right major for me. Please help me pick the right school. Thanks!
Im in the same boat as you but i just graduated from everest college. i want to continue for y bachelors but i’m confused if cj is right for me if i want to work with children? please help!
Argosy vs. UC Irvine
which school would be better to attend in order to obtain my bachelor degree in criminal justice??
UC Irvine… hands down… no comparison
Do you know anything about Champlain College’s Criminal Justice program? I like the way it reads, but I can’t find any reviews of it and I’m not sure how much esteem its Criminal Justice program has. Also, is it worth doing a criminal justice degree (with internship) in a rural state?
My sister is 21 and she is finishing her CJ Associate Degree in community college this semester. She don’t know what to do next. She work in medical office right now and have no experience with criminal justice work as of now. She is a very good student and I don;t want her to waist this two years of education. I really want to help her. I have no idea what advise to give her. She is afraid that she wont find a job in criminal justice etc. Should she go for Bachelors degree or find a job first or else? Please give me some advise. Thank you
Hi I have my Associate degree but i am planning on going back to school asap to get my Bachelors. What school would be best for me ? and to transfer over my credits. Also i want to finish my degree asap
Hi, I am close to finishing my Masters in CRIJ. I am also finding it very difficult to find a job in this field. I have applied to several positions, but everyone is looking for experience. I thought that when I completed my BS that would be sufficient, but a professor at the University where I attended said that nowadays everyone has a BS and a MS would be better. Well now I will have my MS, but everyone is still asking for experience. What are we suppose to do without employment when are student loans need to be paid?
Im currently attending HCC in Florida for my associates in criminal justice and plan to transfer to a school in MA, I like Northeastern I know the area too. Now, I’m confused whether my community college will prepare me well and what classes should I be taking? I want to work for the FBI, either CSI or Lab work I know if i do criminology it would be more of the law stuff, not the hands on active career I desire… counselors don’t really do much it’s like I have to tell them what I have to do in order for them to tell me what to do… depends on the person I get and the mood they’re in! BTW this blog is very helpful, someone at school recommended it!
I just signed up for Argosy online program for BS in criminal justice. Did I mess up? I was pathetically sucked in by the admissions counselor before even researching in depth. Everything I have researched says they are Regionally accredited so that’s good but they have a terrible reputation. Will employer’s turn there heads when they see a degree from argosy? Should I quit before I get to far into the program and find a respected online Criminal Justice program?
I attend Molloy College and am thinking in majoring in Criminal justice, I was thinking in becoming an ICE agent but am undecided, I also was looking into working in the CSI field but i dont know, i want to know in your opinion what is the easiest CJ job and hardest? or what Jobs in CJ are common and not so common.
Thanks for any advise you have
Thank you so much for this website. I have been on this site for over an hour now reading all your articles and comments and they have been really helpful in clearing up a lot of questions I had.
Here is another question, which I hope you will be able to answer for me. I am currently working on my A.A. in Spanish and completing my major prep classes for criminal justice so that I can transfer to UCI and obtain a B.A. in Criminology, Law and Society (as they don’t have an actual Criminal Justice degree). My other option would be to transfer to Cal State Long Beach, which offers a B.S. in Criminal Justice. (1) Which of these two institutions would you suggest more? One has a B.S. over a B.A. but one is UC rather than a Cal State. (2) Once there, would it be better to minor in Spanish with a Criminal Justice major or chose a different minor since I am already obtaining an A.A. in Spanish at community college before I transfer?
Thank you very much for your answer in advance.
If by UCI you mean University of California Irvine, then I would have a preference towards UCI. I think it’s a great institution in California and has one of the best graduate Criminology programs in the country. As for the second point, it’s entirely up to you. However, if you want to venture out and see what else is out there, than I would lead with the second part of question #2. Good luck.
Can you tell us anything about the criminal justice program at Chico State in California? Also, what about Sacramento State? Our son has been accepted to both and he’s trying to decide, taking everything, including program and housing, into consideration. Thanks!
It is important to note that for those students transferring from a NJ county college with their associates, the maximum credits you may transfer to a state college or university in NJ is 66. There is an agreement that if you have an associate’s degree from a NJ county college, you will automatically be admitted to a state school. Before getting my associates, I attended a four year university. Because of the 66 credit transfer limit, some of my credits didn’t transfer to a NJ state school.
Thanks for the heads-up
What career would be ideal for a degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Italian?
How reputable is Liberty University’s online criminal justice program?
This is a good site for general information for CJ. I agree that RA is best if you’re young. You’ll have more time to work off the college debt and have more options in the CJ field. That said, I think there’s a place for NA schools as well. Especially if they are ACE evaluated. If you are an older student of CJ you can’t run up college debt and expect to pay it off in your senior years. Most of the NA schools cost less per credit hr. than RA and some like Penn Foster have no debt to pay off upon graduation. Also most jobs with the federal government just require that the school is approved by the U.S. Dept of Education (which NA DETC is). Most states are the same way but do your due diligence of course. Just some food for thought.
College age student of mine is in criminal justice program at Seattle University currently. Contemplating switching from Seattle University to California Baptist next year. How do the programs compare?
He is also continuing his Spanish language studies.
It’s hard to gauge something like that in terms of the program itself. There just aren’t enough [published] data points for that. And, I’m not familiar with these schools myself.
This is where I would put one university against the other and compare their overall academic strength. I would start at places like US News, The Princeton Review, Kiplinger, etc. etc. Then, I would inquire about their programmatic strengths with agencies that might potentially hire graduates from both schools.
I am about to finish high school and really looking into getting a degree in criminal justice. I want to go to Florida International University, do you think that would be a good school to go to?
It’s a good school overall. I am not super familiar with the CJ program itself.
I am currently a junior in high school, and I would really like to pursue a job in criminal justice, I would really love to be a Crime Scene Investigator and would like to know What degrees I should get, if I should go to a CC nearby first and then do classes online. And I would also like to know where in Virginia there are CSI jobs. Please respond. Thanks.
So I’ll put it out there….I’m looking for the best school for me….I’m 36, haven’t been in school for quite a few years, have my AS in CRim Justice and changed majors 1/2 way thru (BA Bus Mgmt) …..I’m looking to obtain my BA/BS in Crim Justice for the resume but kids/full time job keeps me busy…..looking for an program that is full time dad/detective friendly…..the faster, the easier, the better……but regionally accredited.
Let me qualify that….the work doesn’t bother me, just had a difficult time grasping univ of phx with group projects, posting 4-7 times per week…..anyone know of programs that I can do you own work at my own weird work times(ie 0200am) and not worry about normal peoples schedules?
First of all, I want to thank you for all the work you have put into this informative site. I has helped me narrow down schools that I am looking at. I saw your article regarding brick and mortar vs online law school. Is that a good article to apply towards Criminal Justice degrees as well?
Not quite. You can certainly obtain a great education at a quality brick and mortar college or university that offers criminal justice degree programs online. I can’t say that for a law degree.
I’m 26 years old. A single father and I work full-time as a Correctional Officer. I’m looking to go back to school and have recently been looking for a good online school. Lately, I’ve been leaning heavily toward Liberty University because they offer a 25% tuition discount if you currently work in law enforcement and a lot of websites have ranked them in the top 10 or top 20 online criminal justice degrees in the country. It’s very affordable and fits into my budget much easier than most schools.
I understand that Liberty University isn’t the Harvard University of online Criminal Justice degrees, but what is your personal opinion of LU. My future plans are as follows: I plan to stick with the county I’m currently employed by at least until I finish my degrees. (I currently have none and plan to at least obtain a bachelor’s) Once I receive my degree, I may simply apply for the city in which I live (compared to County it’s about a 10,000/year pay increase) or stick around county and try for a detective position, or even a detective position with city. I would like to set myself up to where if I decided to go to law school eventually, I could go fairly easily. So, I’m looking for a reputable institution, which is affordable, provides a top-notch education, and will prepare me for whatever I decide to do in the future.
I have 2 years before my son starts school, and I really want to finish my degree before he ends up finishing his and if I don’t do it now, I never will. Cost is a factor, to an extent. At this point, I have a GED and, therefore, have some trouble with getting into schools like Arizona State or Penn State, etc, until I recieve, at least, my AA. Your input would be greatly appreciated.