Top 10 Online Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Programs


The criminal justice system affects society in many ways; whether by being pulled over by a police officer for speeding on the highway or just having to stand in the courtroom as a juror. Each individual will probably come in contact with some form of criminal justice personnel in some time in their life. Even when a person votes for certain laws and legislations to be passed, the individual is making a stand for criminal justice to be upheld. The laws that are voted and passed into action through the legal and justice system, affects how police officers, crime scene investigators, and even legal attorneys conduct their research and establish rules. Having a career in the criminal justice field comes with many challenges, yet can also provide an array of benefits. The online Criminal Justice Bachelor’s degree program provides plenty of insight and direction to achieve success with the field. Here are the top ten BS in Criminal Justice degree programs for 2020.

1. Bellevue University   

The BS in Criminal Justice at Bellevue University offers students an accelerated degree program that has top-notch faculty that prepares working adults with real-world experiences and solutions in the field of criminal justice. The University offers both a Traditional and Cohort learning format for students to receive their online criminal justice degree. Course areas discussed in the program will cover Contemporary social issues, Criminal behavior, Legal and ethical principles, Strategic management, and Policy development. Once graduated, Students will have the skills needed to enter a professional career in criminal justice or to advance your career in the field. Graduates of the BS in Criminal Justice degree at Bellevue will learn to assess criminal justice operations to effectively address crime and social problems, analyze trends to address the needs of the criminal justice system, and examine theoretical constructs of criminal behavior to provide strategies that impact crime and social problems. The full BS degree program is 127 credits, with forty required core credits. Military discounts are available.

Program Duration: 127 credits, two-year program.

2. Indiana Tech   

The BS in Criminal Justice at Indiana Tech provides students with faculty experts that are currently working in the field and can bring an accurate look on how criminal justice is affecting the world as we see it now. By doing so, the program provides real life experiences and firsthand knowledge of criminal justice jobs.   The online criminal justice bachelor degree provides two main concentrations within the program. They are the BSCJ in Administration and BSCJ in Rehabilitation Services. Classes are five-week courses and available online or on campus. Weekends and evening courses are also available. Many students in the BSCJ program minor in psychology, which will prepare the student in developing skills for career paths in correctional institutions, rehabilitative services, or profiling. Courses in the BS in Criminal justice program include criminal investigation, police work, corrections, juvenile justice, police operations, crime scene analysis, criminal profiling and law. 

Program Duration: total-121 credits, 51 credits of core criminal justice classes. four-year plan.

3. Arizona State University   

Arizona State University’s BS in Criminology and Justice prepares students for an exciting career in the criminal justice field; offering ways to explore the impact of crime and provide approaches that best reduce problems that evolve at the local, state, and federal level. Students in the BS in criminology and justice program will learn about policies and practices of criminal justice system components, law enforcement involvement, corrections, and courtroom settings. Knowledge needed for the program includes analytical and communications skills and the ability to research information pertaining to criminal actions. The faculty members are from the top schools in the nation, bringing tremendous insight and expert knowledge of the criminal justice industry. The online criminal justice degree is also an accelerated program option for students who want to advance in the program and get a fast start in job opportunities within the field. To be eligible for the accelerated BS in CJ degree, students must hold at least a 3.4 GPA or higher. To apply, students must first complete ninety credits of the undergraduate program. The accelerated program in criminal justice at ASU will allow the student to finish both the BS and MA in criminal justice within five years.  

Program Duration: Total classes: 40, Weeks per class: 7.5, Total credit hours: 120

4. Washington State University Global Campus    

The BA in Criminal Justice at Washington State University Global Campus offers a fully online, comprehensive program. The program prepares students with strong leadership skills for employment positions at the local, state, and federal levels in the criminal justice field. The core principles of the online criminal justice bachelors degree program will cover problem-driven research courses and provide real world experience to apply to career positions after graduation Students will also learn critical thinking skills and practical knowledge to advance in the criminal justice field.  Founded in 1943, WSU’s criminal justice program is the second oldest continuous criminal justice program in the nation. WSU’s online criminal justice degree was rated number one in the nation for Online Criminal Justice Degrees. Graduates find career opportunities in areas such as crime analysis, community corrections, victim advocacy, child protective services, border security, cyber-crime prevention, security/loss prevention and court administration. WSU’s BS in Criminal Justice is 120 semester credits, including 40 upper level courses. Some transfer credits are accepted. 

Program Duration: 120 credits, transfer credits accepted. 

5. University of Oklahoma   

The University of Oklahoma’s BS in Criminal Justice offers a degree in solid understanding of law enforcement issues and several concentrations to choose from. The areas of interest include Homeland Security, Restorative Justice, Administrative Leadership, or Investigations and Intelligence Analysis. The online criminal justice degree is 120 credits, with forty credits of core coursework included. Some transfer credits are available to eligible students. Courses in the program will cover deviance and social control, statistics in criminal justice, ethics, drugs and society, comparative justice systems, introduction to forensic science. Students will learn strong leadership and conflict resolution skills. All undergraduates in the program must keep a 2.0 GPA or higher to complete the program. The BS in criminal justice at University of Oklahoma is among the Top 10 Best Online Colleges for 2020 by U.S. News & World Report.

Program Duration: 120 credits, 40 core credits.

6. Florida State University   

The BS in Criminology at Florida State University offers undergraduate students with an online degree that builds on skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and gives students an excellent foundation of knowledge in pursuing a career in law. The online criminal justice bachelor degree program is perfectly designed for working professionals in the criminal justice field and provides flexibility in coursework, affordability in tuition costs, and earn the same diploma as on-campus students, all without having to visit the main campus. In addition, there are several start dates available to online students of the BS in criminal justice program. Some of the requirements to be eligible for the program are that students must keep a GPA of 2.0 or higher throughout the program, complete a total of 36 semester hours in criminology, and completion of the oral competency requirement. 

Program Duration: varies, 36-52 credits, depending on concentration. 18-24 months.

7. Penn State World Campus   

Penn State World Campus has an online criminal justice degree program, designed for students in the criminology field and has received an associates degree in criminology or related courses. The online format program allows students to work and study at their own pace and still find time for family obligations. The program will also help advance in the criminal career fields, such as protective services, law and corrections, crime-related prevention and support, security management, court administration, and social services.Courses in the BS in criminal justice program include criminology, law, policing, and corrections in America, ethics in criminal justice, security and police administration, alternatives to incarceration, and aspects of the juvenile justice system. Areas of social services will cover sociology and psychology as well. The total program is 120 credits in length and can be completed in less than two years (with an associates degree in criminology). Penn State World Campus is nationally recognized as an accredited college throughout the school of justice field.  

Program Duration: 120 Credits, two to three years. 

8. Florida International University   

The BS in Criminal Justice at Florida International University offers an online option that provides teaching experts in shaping the future of the criminal justice field. The state of the art curriculum instructs students in areas that will impact their professional career path and assist them in obtaining promotions within the criminal justice industry. Courses include Introduction to Criminal Justice, Criminological Theory, Research Methods and Analysis, Professional Development in Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice and the Constitution, and a senior capstone in Criminal Justice. Undergraduate students must keep a 2.0 GPA to maintain in the online Criminal Justice degree program. An internship is recommended and encouraged for all students to take in the program.  The internship will provide practical instruction and knowledge for professional experiences to last a lifetime. Florida International University’s student body is diverse and delivers higher education to over 50,000 students.The college is one of the top ten largest universities in the nation and graduated more than 200,000 alumni in thirty-three countries. 

Program Duration: 120 credits, 18 core credits. 

9. CSU GLobal

CSU Global provides a fully online Bachelors in criminal justice to undergraduates interested in the criminal justice career path. The BCJ is 120 credits and can be completed in as little as two years. Courses of interest may include Applying Leadership Principles, Introduction to Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement and American Policing, Criminology, and Research Methods for the Criminal Justice Professional, and Laws of Evidence. Practical knowledge of law enforcement and the legal system will also be discussed. Undergraduates will learn to make informed decisions, how to run an effective criminal justice system, and develop a complex understanding of the ethical issues and controversial policies facing criminal justice organizations and personnel. In addition, students will get a complete overview of the theories and practices of law enforcement. CSU Global will accept up to ninety credits from other accredited colleges and universities to help students obtain a BCJ degree more efficiently. CSU Global BSJ degree ranks at #1 on the online course report.

Program Duration: 120 credits, 15 degree specialization credits. up to 90 transfer credits accepted.

10. University of Central Florida   

The University of Central Florida’s BA or BS in Criminal Justice offers undergraduate students a completely online option, with some elective exceptions. The online criminal justice degree has no admission requirements and the course program is a policy-based curriculum drawing from the social sciences of the industry. The curriculum also touches on sociology, psychology, and political science related to criminal justice. The BCJ program also prepares each student for graduate school within the criminal justice and legal system field. Students need to hold a “C” average in all classes and keep a 2.0 GPA to stay in the program. Some transfer credits are accepted from other accredited colleges and universities. Graduates of the BCJ program at UCF will find employment within areas of Probation centers, Parole facilities, Corrections, Profiling, and Law enforcement. The bachelors in criminal justice at UCF will help assist graduates in positions for both private and public sectors and at the local, state, and federal levels of government. 

Program Duration: 120 credits, two years.

Career opportunities in the Criminal Justice field with an Online Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Program.

Career opportunities in the Criminal Justice field.

There are a wide range of career opportunities for someone who has obtained an educational degree of the bachelors in criminal justice. For instance, some may find employment with law enforcement and become either a police officer or homicide detective for their local or county office. For students interested in criminal forensics, becoming a crime scene investigator or forensic analyst may be their calling. On the other hand, those who find the need to assist individuals through social services may find employment as child welfare caseworker, social services case manager, or victim advocate. The list of job positions in the criminal justice field is endless. By choosing from the top schools offering the BS in criminal justice program, more opportunities and higher salaries may be available. Some career paths in the criminal justice industry will require additional work experience and/or a masters degree in criminal justice to increase job performance and pay.