Below is a list of all of the Online Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice Programs we could find, from over 1,800 schools across the US.
Many people already have ideas about the criminal justice system based on their favorite legal dramas or even reality TV shows. Still, the actual criminal justice system is often far different from how it is portrayed on these shows. Earning a bachelor degree in criminal justice online can be the first step to understanding true criminal justice careers and opportunities. Once available primarily on college campuses, students can now enroll in online criminal justice Bachelor degree programs.
Featured Online Programs:
Online programs may not be available in all states
Traditional On Campus Programs:
Here, we speak with Matthew Petz, Dean of the School of Justice Studies, at Rasmussen College, about the Online Bachelor Degree program.
Attend a top online Bachelor's in Criminal Justice program at your convenience
Traditional campus-based schools, like Penn State, that are home to highly ranked criminal justice degree programs, now offer bachelor's degrees in criminal justice online. Because many of these online criminal justice degree programs are associated with physical campuses, and are in many cases taught by the same professors who teach these courses offline, the degree programs tend to mirror the structure and the pace of the traditional college experience. Courses are on semester, or quarter systems, depending on the individual school's structure. Classes at an online college for criminal justice may use a mix of video lectures and online educational platforms like Blackboard and Moodle that are designed to foster discussion via bulletin boards and chats. The asynchronous or not in real-time structure of the programs allow for flexibility - students can log in just as easily at 3 am as at 3 pm to complete coursework, making it easier to schedule studying around other commitments. Even so, these online classes are not any easier than offline courses - they require as much work and if students aren't as good at self-teaching, they may find the programs tough. Ideal candidates for an online Bachelor's in criminal justice program are students who are extremely disciplined.
Decide on an online criminal justice Bachelor degree program
A Bachelor degree in criminal justice online can result in Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Applied Science degrees. The Bachelor of Arts is based more in liberal arts and social sciences. The Bachelor of Science has a stronger emphasis on science practice. No matter which you choose, the program will likely take four years of full-time study to complete. The degree will train you in both the theory and practice of criminal justice, with a goal of giving you a thorough theoretical grounding in the field along with an introduction to research methods.
The admissions process for an online criminal justice degree program mirrors that of an offline Bachelor's in criminal justice program. Generally, a high school diploma or a GED is required as are scores from the ACT or SAT. Some criminal justice programs have a one or two week campus seminar requirement, while others are exclusively online.
Online Criminal Justice Degree Requirements
For busy professionals who want to work in law enforcement or a criminal justice occupation, online learning can be a lifesaver. Fortunately, online learning can be just as effective as classroom learning. And, there are many criminal justice Bachelor’s degree online options.
So, what do you need in order to qualify for an online program?
You will find that many online programs, at public and private universities, will require students to:
- Submit high school transcripts (with a minimum GPA requirement)
- Provide college transcripts (if a previous college was attended)
- Some will require letters of recommendation
- Complete application and pay fees
Some schools may ask that you write a personal essay about your goals in the field of Criminal Justice. However, that may be more common in competitive or graduate level programs.
Just make sure that any online program you choose is accredited through the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). You should also make sure that any online program you choose is also taught by experienced professionals.
Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Courses & Curriculum
Once you enter your online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice program, your focus and commitment to learning will be the key to success. Online learning takes a little extra self-motivation than reporting to campus. Thankfully, there are many online tools that help students and their peers and professors stay connected. You will participate in scheduled discussions, watch video lectures, and keep track of all your course materials on your computer or tablet. Many of these components of online education have been so effective, that even campus degrees use them to some extent.
Your classes at a online college for criminal justice should mirror the courses you would take at a campus classroom.
Here are some of the foundational courses you may take in a criminal justice Bachelors degree online:
- Introduction to law & policing
- Ethics in criminal justice
- Juvenile justice
- Law & society
Your courses should be geared to give you a strong foundation in Criminal Justice, while introducing you to key concepts that are important, such as:
- Domestic violence
- Research & writing
- Criminal justice system
- Policy development
- And many others
Some programs will even include capstone projects at the end, so you can apply your learning in a real situation.
While becoming a criminal justice major may be the key to your education, minors and specializations can round out this portion of your resume.
When you compare online criminal justice degree programs, look for schools that offer minors or concentrations, such as:
- Forensic psychology
- Homeland security
- Law enforcement
- Crime scene investigation
- Cyber crime
- Security studies
These minors will give you additional skills that can help you fit right into specialized careers. For instance, a crime scene investigation concentration may have classes that teach you about fingerprint analysis, behavior theory, and advanced crime scene techniques. Meanwhile, a cyber crime minor would help you understand the concepts involved with computer related criminal activity. And a homeland security minor would focus on topics in keeping the country safe from threats, such as terrorism.
Graduating From An Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Program
Preparing for graduation from an online college for criminal justice is a lot like a traditional campus program. When you reach your final year, make sure you have a meeting with your career advisor. This is when you want to plan out your post-graduation strategy for entering the workforce. Maybe this means entering the police academy, or applying to a graduate program. Or, you could find yourself preparing for the job interview you have been daydreaming four years about.
How to Choose a Reputable Online Criminal Justice Program
There are several things you can do to ensure you choose a reputable online program.
Use this as a quick checklist:
- Accreditation that meets your state standards
- Financial aid options (this will signify that the Government trusts the school with loans)
- Instructors with professional experience
- Student testimonials
- Check LinkedIn for graduates, professors and school administrators
- Do a Google search to see if the school or program has been in the news
- Ask to see the graduation and career placement rate for the school and program
Once you find the right online program, it’s up to you to be diligent about succeeding. Don’t let a feeling of separation or distance keep you from taking your online criminal justice Bachelor degree seriously. The idea of online education is to make learning easier, while achieving the same learning and career outcomes.
If you want to learn more about Bachelor degree in criminal justice online programs, use our search tools to get started. Or, take a look at our helpful articles and information about other types of criminal justice degree programs. One thing is for sure, with the growth and effectiveness of criminal justice Bachelor’s degree online programs, students have more education options than ever to choose from!
Please feel free to contact the schools using the links below. You should try to contact multiple schools to get a good range of programs to compare, since they often differ widely in terms of tuition, admissions requirements, and even how truly "online" they are. We tried to restrict this list to the criminal justice Bachelor’s degree online programs that appeared to be all, or nearly all, online, but it’s still best to confirm the details directly with the schools.
Learn about sub-fields of criminal justice
A solid criminal justice Bachelor's degree online curriculum gives students a broad overview of the field, covering aspects of criminology, the legal field, policing, incarceration and administration. Further, your degree program will discuss alternatives to the prison system, for example rehabilitation or community service programs. After this broad criminal justice major overview, you will likely choose a specialization. Specializations within online Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice could include:
- Corrections, prepares students for roles within the prison system such as corrections or parole officers.
- Legal processes, prepares students for careers in legal research and administration.
- Loss Prevention, prepares students for work in private security.
As the above suggests, there are a wide variety of jobs related to crime protection, prevention, and the law that you can pursue with a degree from an online college for criminal justice. Not only can students go into policing jobs on both the local and state level, a bachelor's degree in criminal justice opens up opportunities within the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Marshal's Office, and the Department of Homeland Security. Outside of policing fields, criminal justice graduates might also work providing support for abused women and children, in drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs and in halfway houses. Some graduates also go on to further study in master's programs, doctoral programs or even law schools.
Find out more about the field of criminal justice
If you have decided to pursue your bachelor's in criminal justice major online, you may want to consult some of the following resources. The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) website (http://www.justice.gov/careers/student-opportunities.html) provides a comprehensive overview of careers in criminal justice. The National Museum of Crime and Punishment's CSI and Forensic blog (http://www.crimemuseum.org/blog/) is an interesting read for students considering an online Bachelor's degree in criminal justice. The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) (http://www.acjs.org/pubs/167_664_2906.cfm) focuses on the promotion of professionalism and scholarly research within the field of criminal justice.
Please feel free to contact the schools using the links below. You should try to contact multiple schools to get a good range of programs to compare, since they often differ widely in terms of tuition, admissions requirements, and even how truly "online" they are. We tried to restrict this list to the programs that appeared to be all, or nearly all, online, but it’s still best to confirm the details directly with the schools.