The Criminal Justice Field is projected to grow over the next decade with expanding careers at the federal, state, county, local, and private-sector level. For those with an interest in safety and security as well as in public service, a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice may be a good fit. Both a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice can lead to careers in law enforcement, corrections, the legal field, or probation and parole among many others, or to further graduate study in a criminal justice related field. Below is a list of schools that offer an online bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice taking only cost into consideration. These are the cheapest online bachelor programs in Criminal Justice. Program tuition does not include fees — check with the institution for a complete list of costs. Our data was taken from the university websites.
#1. Fort Hays State University
As the third largest university in the Kansas State system, Fort Hays State University (FHSU) enrolls nearly 6,000 students in online degree programs each year ranging from certificate programs to doctoral degrees. FHSU offers both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies. Both degrees are interdisciplinary and designed for students interested in entering the criminal justice field or for professionals who want to further their career in the field. General education requirements make up 55 credits while the Criminal Justice Major Core and Major Electives make up 21 credits each. The Bachelor of Arts degree includes 17 credits in free electives and 10 credits in a foreign language while the Bachelor of Science degree offers 27 credits of free electives. Both degrees allow students to specialize in law enforcement, corrections, or law and the courts, or a combination of specialties and require 124 credits for graduation.
Accreditation: Fort Hays State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $25,698
#2. West Virginia State University
West Virginia State University (WVSU) is a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) that was founded in 1890 as one of 19 land-grant educational institutions in the country. Now a diverse university that reflects the nation as a whole, WVSU is dedicated to increasing access to higher education through online degree programs. WVSU’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice is one of four undergraduate degrees offered entirely online. Students typically complete this 120-credit degree in 2 – 4 years depending on how many credits are transferred at the beginning of the program. Core courses include Juvenile Justice, Police and Society, Victimology, Race and Gender Issues, and Statistics for Professional Studies. Four certificates are available within the major – Generalist, Law Enforcement, Corrections, and Investigation. Students choose four courses within the Certificate program of choice in addition to the 51 credits required within the Criminal Justice core.
Accreditation: West Virginia State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Tuition: $28,700
#3. Louisiana State University – Alexandria
Part of Louisiana’s university system, Louisiana State University of Alexandria (LSUA) enrolled its first students in 1960 offering only associate degrees. Since then, LSUA has grown to offer both associate and baccalaureate degrees in a variety of disciplines, including an entirely online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree. LSUA offers multiple start-dates throughout the year with 7-week courses. Foundation courses include Ethical Leadership in Criminal Justice, Juvenile Delinquency, Police Process, Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology, and Constitutional Law and Criminal Justice. Available electives include Developmental Psychology, Bioethics, Aging in American Society, Stress Management, Survey of Forensic Science, and Corrections within the Community. 120 credits are required for graduation.
Accreditation: Louisiana State University – Alexandria is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $29,928
#4. Peru State College
Founded in 1865, Peru State College is a public educational institution located in Peru, Nebraska. Peru State offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree with three areas of concentration to choose from – Administration, Counseling, and Law and Society. Based on an interdisciplinary social science curriculum, this degree emphasizes the development of practical skills and knowledge for professional careers in the criminal justice field. Core courses include Survey of Criminal Justice, Policing, Community-Based Corrections, Criminal Procedures and the Courts, Victimology, and Juvenile Delinquency. In addition, students choose eight courses within their area of concentration. The Administration focus includes courses such as Organizational Ethics, Human Resources Management, and Supervisory Skills and Practices; the Counseling concentration includes courses such as Child Abuse and Neglect Detection, Analysis of Evil, Abnormal Psychology, and Diversity Issues in Counseling; the Law and Society concentration includes courses such as Legal Environment and Contract Law, American National Government, Public Administration, and Criminal Law. Courses are taught in either 8-week or 16-week terms with 120 credits required for graduation.
Accreditation: Peru State College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Tuition: $31,200
#5. American Public University
American Public University (APU) is an entirely online university with nearly 100,000 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs. With the average age of students at 33 and 88% working adults, APU makes classes accessible with monthly start dates and the choice between 8-week or 16-week sessions. APU offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, both of which require 121 credits for completion. The Bachelor of Science degree focuses in-depth on forensic science and how it is applied to crime, police investigation, and the court process including legal and ethical issues within these areas. Courses focus on criminology, criminal justice application, evidence types and investigative techniques, firearms forensic investigations, and the pathology of death investigations. The Bachelor of Arts degree prepares students for careers in a wide range of criminal justice professions building a strong base of knowledge and skills in the areas of criminology, law, investigations, law enforcement, and community relations. Courses include Criminal Justice Administration, Ethics in Criminal Justice, Constitutional Law, and the Criminal Legal Process. There are three available areas of concentration: General, Maritime Law Enforcement, and Organizational Law Enforcement Leadership.
Accreditation: American Public University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Tuition: $32,670
#6. Columbia College
Columbia College is a private liberal arts and sciences college located in Columbia, Missouri that offers online degree programs with six sessions throughout the year giving students the choice between 8-week and 16-week courses. Their online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree prepares students for entry-level work in the criminal justice field or for further advancement in careers within the field. Columbia’s Criminal Justice degree is an interdisciplinary program with Core courses including Criminal Law, Police in a Democratic Society, Juvenile Justice System and Procedures, Ethics and Morality in Criminal Justice, and Criminal Procedures. The required Research Methods course along with 3 of the 6 elective credits may be taken within the fields of Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, or Human Services. The degree requires 120 credits for completion. Before graduation all students must complete an Integrative Seminar and a comprehensive exit interview.
Accreditation: Columbia College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Tuition: $34,800
#7. William Peace University
Located in Raleigh, NC, William Peace University is a small liberal arts university that offers 26 undergraduate degrees on campus and six degrees online. WPU’s online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree develops students’ analytical skills in the area of crime and criminal behavior as well as in the areas of law and law enforcement with a focus on experiential learning. With over 150 years in downtown Raleigh, the state’s capital, WPU’s faculty and advisers provide students with direct networking connections and opportunities within the criminal justice field. Requiring 120 credits for graduation, this interdisciplinary degree gives students the ability to focus their degree with 18 Core credits, 18 Core electives, and 35 general elective credits required. Core courses include Introduction to Public Administration, Abnormal Psychology, and Law and the Legal System while Core electives include Personality Psychology, Forensic Anthropology, American Ethnic Relations, and Violence in the Family. A senior Capstone course in criminal justice is required in the final year.
Accreditation: William Peace University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $35,400
#8. York College
York College, based in York, Nebraska, is a small liberal arts Christian college founded by the United Brethren Church in 1890. In 2010 York added online degree programs and has a total enrollment of 500 students each year. York’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree prepares graduates for careers in law enforcement, corrections, or federal, state, and local court, or for further graduate study in the area of criminal justice, law, criminology, or research. Core courses include Survey of Corrections, Evidence, Criminal Law, Probation, Pardon, and Parole, and Family and Societal Violence. 32 credits in elective courses complete this 120 credit degree program.
Accreditation: York College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $36,000
#9. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University is a non-profit university with nearly 64,000 students enrolled each year, the majority of which pursue online degrees in over 200 programs. SNHU’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree prepares graduates for entry into or advancement in a career within the criminal justice field. Curriculum emphasizes relevant, first-hand experience that the faculty bring to each course and give students the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained in the classroom through real-world simulations with experienced faculty. Core courses include American Politics, Ethics and the Criminal Justice Leader, Judicial Administration, Criminal Law, and International Criminal Justice. Students choose four courses within Core electives including Psychopaths, Sociopaths, and Serial Killers, Effective Patrol and Community Policing, Emergency and Disaster Management, and Forensic Psychology. Or, students may choose one of six available concentrations: Corrections, Criminology, Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism, Human Services, Legal Studies and Advocacy, Police Administration and Operations. For each of these concentrations four courses are required in lieu of the four general elective courses. In addition, 24 open electives are available for the general degree as well as for each of the concentrations. 120 credits are required for degree completion.
Accreditation: Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $38,400
#10. Wichita State University
A public research university based in Wichita, KS, Wichita State University (WSU) offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees including three entirely online bachelor degrees. WSU’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree develops students’ perspective and knowledge of policies and practices of the criminal justice system including law enforcement, corrections, and the courts. Graduates are prepared for entry-level careers in the field or for further graduate study in criminal justice, law, or another social science field. Core courses include Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Crime Causation and Criminal Justice Policy, and Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice. There are a wide variety of elective courses available including Community-Based Corrections, Special Investigations, Special Populations in CJ System, Crime Prevention, Profiling, and Criminal Justice and Crime in Film. This online degree runs on a semester schedule in conjunction with the broader WSU programs – students may begin the program in the Fall, Spring, or Summer sessions. 124 credits are required for degree completion.
Accreditation: Wichita State University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $39,071