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Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Our directory contains all the best nationally accredited online Criminal Justice degree programs (at least as many as we could find, after looking through the websites of over 1,800 schools). The flexibility offered by distance learning programs can be very attractive to people who need to hold down a part or full time job while going back to school for their degree.

According to a recent study done for the US Department of Education, students who do part or all of their coursework online perform slightly better than students who do all their work in a face to face classroom setting.

How to Choose Online Colleges for Criminal Justice

As a rule, you should try to contact multiple schools when you're looking for programs. Like with many other things, the way to find the best online criminal justice degree program is to spend some time shopping around. There are very meaningful differences between the programs in terms of cost, admissions requirements, and other characteristics. The types of online criminal justice degrees are listed below:

Criminal justice courses can also vary, depending on the degree level and focus of your studies. When you compare bachelor's and graduate degree options, you will see how many areas of specialty there are. Whether you want to focus on law enforcement, work as an attorney, be forensic scientist or detective, there are programs that match your interest. There are many ways to begin your criminology career path!

What do Online Criminal Justice Programs Consist of?

All online degree programs are not created equal. When you speak to schools, make sure to get information on how many times you will have to come to campus each month/semester/etc. Most criminal justice programs described as "online" require you to come to campus at a few points during the year. Some programs do offer 100% online classes, and you can earn your degree without ever showing up in person. Make sure to check the policy for the colleges you are interested in.

Typically, the practical piece of your criminology education will take place in your home community. This may involve contacting your local law enforcement office to set up an internship. You could also contact local lawyers to shadow depending on where you want your career to go.

When you compare online degrees, ask how you can transition to a career after your program is over. Many online schools understand the need to have career resources that compete with local colleges to attract students. Graduate students tend to need less help than bachelor's or associate degree students. That's because they already have a job in the field, and know exactly how they want to advance.

Online Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice

Let's say you're just starting to weigh your options. If you don't have any college education, you can start focusing on law enforcement as early as your associate degree. With an associate degree, you might be able to get an entry-level job in the field.

There are many benefits to earning your associate degree. First of all, by taking basic courses in psychology, mathematics, and other relevant electives and prerequisites for bachelor's programs, you can be off to a head start when you go on to earn you bachelor's. When you contact criminal justice degree schools about associate programs, discuss your career ambitions. This will give you the chance to talk about the long-term plan for your education.

Your online criminal justice courses might include core topics such as:

  • Ethics
  • Introduction to criminal justice
  • Judicial administration
  • Juvenile justice system
  • Correctional systems
  • Information technology
  • Security

Online Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice

Earning your bachelor's degree by completing a criminal justice program can qualify you for many different careers in the field. The criminal justice classes in a bachelor's program are geared to students who want to have criminal justice jobs:

In fact, if you look to the left, you can see a huge list of criminology specialties. You can qualify for many of them with a bachelor's level education, while others require graduate degrees in criminal justice.

Online Graduate Degrees in Criminal Justice

Students who want to become psychologists, counselors, lawyers, judges, or have other high-level careers need to review schools that offer master's and doctorate level programs. Believe it or not, there are many online options for working professionals. Most graduate programs are designed for busy adults, since they make up the bulk of the applicants.

Graduate programs may focus on ways you can use theory and research to make improvements in the criminal justice field. A master's or doctorate degree in criminal justice may give you the knowledge and credibility to change policy, lead law enforcement organizations, or work as a judge, prosecutor or district attorney.

Ready to learn more about online criminal justice programs?

Use our simple search tools to view your education options right now!

Featured Online Programs:

Online programs may not be available in all states

Traditional On Campus Programs:

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