Updated December 6, 2022

Does watching "Judge Judy," or "Legally Blonde," make you feel like Rocky running up the stairs to the Philadelphia Museum of Art? If you're not sure where to begin, but know you want to study Criminal Justice, then Best Value Schools' list of the 35 Best Online Bachelor's in Criminal Justice can help you pick ...

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Does watching "Judge Judy," or "Legally Blonde," make you feel like Rocky running up the stairs to the Philadelphia Museum of Art? If you're not sure where to begin, but know you want to study Criminal Justice, then Best Value Schools' list of the 35 Best Online Bachelor's in Criminal Justice can help you pick the online degree that's right for you.

The following list of online Bachelor degrees have been ranked based on alumni reviews, affordability; faculty ratings and expertise; completion timelines, and quality of education. Many online schools, such as the colleges we've listed for you, also provide professional certifications for current criminal justice professionals who want to step up their qualifications.

Professionals with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice often go on to work as law enforcement officers, parole officers, security guards, or social workers. Other students with the same degree can apply to law school later on, and find work as lawyers, judges, politicians, or even working within the FBI.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job opportunities for Criminal Justice majors is expected to grow in the next ten years. This is especially true for the states of North Carolina, New York, Texas, Florida, and California - where professionals in 2017 made an average annual income of $69,408.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the Best 35 Online Bachelors in Criminal Justice to pick the best online program that's right for you!

Ranking Factors

Best Value Schools publishes college degree rankings with the belief of how one's higher education should be, both, affordable and an investment of continued value for the students who pursue them. The staff of BVScollects data from reputable sources in order to calculate Net Price and the short and long-term value of every ranked degree. Collected data is simplified into weighted categories before scoring, and then scaled through a BVS Score up to 100. The weighted categories are:

  • Degree Investment Return (25%)
  • Student & Alumni Evaluation (25%)
  • Cost Value (25%)
  • Matriculation (10%)
  • Academic Success (15%)

No matter what degree you decide on, we hope our research and support has made the selection process easier. There are numerous resources BVS utilizes to collect information on degrees, and we encourage you to check them out for yourself!

Check out our methodology to see how we determined each score.

#1 Arizona State University Tempe, AZ
#2 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
#3 Florida International University Miami, FL
#4 Washington State University Pullman, WA
#5 University of Massachusetts - Lowell Lowell, MA
#6 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
#7 Sam Houston State University Orlando, FL
#8 Fort Hays State University Miami, FL
#9 Liberty University Pullman, WA
#10 University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Cincinnati, OH

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

  1. Arizona State University

    Tempe, AZ



    Arizona State University ranks at the #1 spot for best online BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice. ASU's online degree programs have a standing, peak-ranking reputation amongst college ratings, research institutions, and faculty leadership. Recent faculty fellows have been associated with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Psychological Association.

    Students admitted into ASU's BSCCJ are required to complete about 120 credit hours and maintain a major and cumulative GPA of 2.0. ASU offers 40 different CJ courses and each are nearly eight weeks-long. Online students are also able to complete their degree through a "fast track," if they wish to graduate more quickly. Required courses include Courts and Sentencing, Community Justice, and Literacy and Critical Inquiry.

    According to ASU's website, recent online graduates have found work in the criminal justice field as crime scene investigators, criminal justice professors, and social workers.

  2. University of Central Florida

    Orlando, FL



    University of Central Florida provides an online BA, or BS in Criminal Justice where students will be educated on leadership in the professional world of criminal justice. Certificate programs are also available for specializations involving Crime in America, Police in Society, Data Analytics for Criminal Justice, and Prosecution and Adjudication. Students who are interested in continuing their education past a BS can also apply to UCF's Master's of Science in Criminal Justice.

    What allows UCF to rank higher than others, however, also involves the respected reputation of UCF faculty and their presence in the community. UCF recently made online headlines when Professor Gene Paoline, of UCF's College of CJ, received his Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology Division of Policing. In addition, UCF was also ranked at #16 for Best Online Bachelor's Programs 2018 by U.S. News and World Report.

  3. Florida International University

    Miami, FL



    Florida International University offers a BS in Criminal Justice through its School of International and Public Affairs. FIU provides an online opportunity to immerse students into the theories and practices such as: criminal justice, criminology, the U.S. constitution, and public policy. Overall, FIU's BSCJ requires the completion of 120 credits and requires courses such as Measurement and Analysis in Criminal Justice, or Global Terrorism.

    Every FIU student is paired with an online success coach, or mentor, throughout their education. In addition, FIU awards high achieving students with the opportunity to join the Honors College and seek out internships through FIU's connected network. Students who are interested in pursuing law school have found success through FIU through their advanced courses in legal studies.

  4. Washington State University

    Pullman, WA



    Washington State University offers online students an opportunity to earn a BS in Criminal Justice at one of the oldest criminal justice programs in the United States. WSU was founded in 1943 and has continued to uphold high standards of education as an accredited university through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    WSU's BSCJ requires courses such as Crime Control Policies, Criminal Law, and Criminal Procedure. Students are also able to incorporate electives such as Criminal Law, Multicultural Society, and Violence Toward Women into their undergraduate curriculum.

    Internships taken at WSU also count toward college credits towards finishing a BSCJ at WSU. Students are given virtual mentors and able to chat with professors online for extra assistance. Prospective WSU students with a 3.5 GPA or higher or who are ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class are guaranteed admission into WSU.

  5. University of Massachusetts - Lowell

    Lowell, MA



    The University of Massachusetts - Lowell hosts an opportunity for online students to earn their BS in Criminal Justice. A 2.5 cumulative GPA is required for graduation and students must complete a minimum of 36 criminal justice credits during the program.

    Required courses include Introduction to Policing, Criminology, and Criminal Law. A large range of topics can be studied as electives such as Violence in America, Criminal Profiling, Hate Crime, and Child Maltreatment. There are also options for students to continue their education with additional CJ certifications or earning an MS in Criminal Justice.

  6. University of Nebraska at Kearney

    Kearney, NE



    The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers a top-rated BS in Criminal Justice with a traditional 120 credit undergraduate curriculum. The Department of Criminal Justice at UNK offers either a CJ Comprehensive degree or a CJ Major.

    The difference between either option is how the CJ Comprehensive allows Criminal Justice majors to expand the amount of major-specific coursework they can take for their degree; while CJ Majors are required to choose a secondary major and incorporate a more diverse curriculum into their BS.

    UNK stands out amongst other U.S. universities with similar programs thanks to the state of Nebraska, where current law enforcement officers are given a reduced tuition cost to complete their Bachelor's degree. According to UNK's website, past BSCJ graduates have been employed at the Nebraska State Patrol and National Security Agency.

  7. Sam Houston State University

    Orlando, FL



    Similarly to the previous ranking, Fort Hays, Sam Houston State University offers both a BS and BA in Criminal Justice. SHSU's most popular classes include Global Terrorism, Violent Offenders, and White Collar Crime. In order to graduate from SHSU, students are expected to complete an internship with major criminal justice agencies such as the FBI, INTERPOL, and local police departments.

    Advanced classes include: Global Terrorism, Cyber Crime, Violent Offenders, and Victimology. Criminal justice internships are also offered within the university to work for departments such Classes begin every fall, spring, and summer. Online enrollment is available for U.S. and international students at any location they wish.

  8. Fort Hays State University

    Miami, FL



    Fort Hays State University offers, both, a BA or BS in Criminal Justice while offering beneficial certificates to students hoping to work professionally within the criminal justice industry. Required courses include Introduction to Criminal Justice and Criminology.

    FHS's BA/BS degree provides certification in Victim Advocacy, Law Enforcement, Corrections, Laws and the Courts, and Justice Networking. Each certification acts as a degree minor, although they do not act alone as individual programs. Each certification requires 12 credit hours and provides 6 - 12 different 3-credit courses per category.

  9. Liberty University

    Pullman, WA



    Liberty University offers an online BS in Criminal Justice for students who are focused on developing strong leadership within professional judiciary agencies later on. LU's Criminal Justice degree requires students to graduate with 120 credits where up to 75 percent of credits can be transferred from a different university. Each online class is eight weeks long and students typically graduate within four years.

    LU offers specializations such as Criminal Psychology, Homeland Security, and Strategic Intelligence. According to LU's website, recent BSCJ graduates are now employed as criminal psychologists, caseworkers, police detectives, and law enforcement officers.

  10. University of Oklahoma Norman Campus

    Cincinnati, OH



    The University of Oklahoma Norman offers a nationally-ranked BS in Criminal Justice for online students interested in graduating with an accelerated track. UO's four required courses are: Police and Policing, American Judicial Processes, the American Correctional System, and Theories of Criminal Behavior.

    Although UO's accelerated BS is completable within 18 months, most students graduate in 2 - 3 years. The 18 month achievement is possible due to the length of OU's online classes, which are only eight weeks long, or half of a semester. Students can enroll in classes held at different times in the semester in order to take a larger course load each semester, although, OU advises students to plan ahead with an advisor before doing so.

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