Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees

A ranking of the most affordable online criminal justice degree programs. Programs ranked by affordability, flexibility, and academic quality.

Updated August 17, 2022

Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Are you ready to find your fit?

Jobs in the broad field of criminal justice are never far from the headlines of the news or the plot lines of TV shows and movies.

And it’s true that people come to this field from a wide range of interests or legal studies backgrounds. Maybe you grew up watching police procedurals like NCIS or Law and Order, and you find the excitement and challenge of police work a compelling and attractive feature of the career.

What kind of criminal justice degree should you get?

Maybe you’ve seen the many recent news stories about the relationship between the police and minority communities, and you want to make a difference for the better in your own city.  Maybe you’re already a serving police officer, correctional officer, or sheriff’s deputy ready to take on a leadership role within your current department.

Or, maybe, like many people involved in this field, police work is a long and proud family tradition. Regardless of how you first developed your interest, though, investigating your educational options in criminal justice is the next step in turning your career goals into reality.

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How much money does one make with a degree in criminal justice?

According to Payscale.com, the average salaries for people in law enforcement vary widely based on the employer and the level of responsibility. Some examples are:

  • FBI Agent: $63,233
  • Police or Sheriff’s Patrol Officer: $49,824
  • Police Detective: $59,560
  • First-Line Supervisor/Manager of Correctional Operations: $42,833
  • Correctional Officer/Jailer: $33,369

What can you do with an online bachelor's in criminal justice?

Additionally, many of the career benefits of police work, typically including generous pension packages, are not reflected in salary reports. And the greatest benefit of all, knowing that you’re serving your neighbors and working for the common good, is intangible. Indeed, there are many ways to serve and protect. From TSA to police officer, probation specialist to detective, you will find this degree serves you throughout your life and career.

While not all police departments and correctional institutions require a bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions, having one will make you a more attractive candidate. And some positions, including those in federal law enforcement (FBI Special Agent, U.S. Marshal, etc.) require a college degree for all applicants.

What are the requirements for an online bachelor's in criminal justice?

These 10 programs offer full undergraduate degrees. First you will be required to complete two years of general education coursework (in English, science, math, etc). But once those are done and out of the way you will jump into the criminal justice major. This will include taking such introductory classes as:

  • Criminology
  • Courts and Law
  • Police and Society
  • Juvenile Detention

After finishing your core criminal justice classes you can further explore the complex world of criminal justice by taking a number of electives, in everything from transnational crime to the death penalty. And you can gain hands-on experience through internships or field practicums. Some schools even require it (we’ve been sure to note which).

What are the most affordable online bachelor's in criminal justice?

We’ve ranked the most affordable online bachelor’s degree programs for those who would like to prepare for a law enforcement career while keeping your current job - and for current officers who want to add to your qualifications without leaving the organization you’re serving now. One final note: many of these programs have extra admissions requirements such as successfully passing a background check, so be sure to look into those stipulations before you apply and contact the program you’re applying to if you have any questions.

One final note: many of these programs have extra admissions requirements such as successfully passing a background check, so be sure to look into those stipulations before you apply and contact the program you’re applying to if you have any questions.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

#1 Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Baker College

  • Owosso, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The bachelor's in criminal justice degree at Baker College, a private institution, stands out for its academic quality. The school, located in Owosso, Michigan, offers both in-person and online classes. The school sets high academic standards while offering flexible course options.

Students earn a bachelor of science in criminal justice studies after taking criminal justice and general education courses. Humanities, math, and natural sciences courses, which make up the general education curriculum, strengthen critical thinking and communication skills. The criminal justice curriculum covers theoretical and practical approaches to the field, preparing graduates for entry-level roles in diverse industries.

Baker College at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 73%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 7-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 39

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 19

Undergrad Tuition In State: $9,720

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,720

Graduation Rate: 18%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $27,600

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,720
Out-of-state
$9,720
Retention Rate
49%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
7,606
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Rasmussen University–Bloomington Campus

  • Bloomington, MN
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The bachelor's in criminal justice program at Rasmussen University–Bloomington Campus ranks high among programs of its type. A criminal justice degree prepares students for careers in diverse fields. After earning a bachelor's degree, graduates can also continue their education by applying to master's or doctoral programs.

The bachelor's curriculum includes introductory and upper-division criminal justice classes. Undergraduates complete general education courses that strengthen communication, writing, and critical thinking skills. Enrollees gain a well-rounded education by declaring a minor or second major.

The school's student services help incoming degree candidates make connections on campus and thrive in their program. For example, financial aid counselors recommend scholarships while academic advisors suggest course options.

Rasmussen University–Bloomington Campus at a Glance:

Location: Bloomington, Minnesota

Type of School: Public

Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
Not provided
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Colorado State University Global

  • Aurora, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online

Colorado State University Global offers 15 bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor of science in criminal justice program that prioritizes flexibility. The criminal justice degree builds the knowledge and skills required for a variety of entry-level and mid-level careers. After earning a bachelor's degree, graduates can also apply to master's programs to open up additional career opportunities.

The bachelor's curriculum introduces core criminal justice topics and methods. Undergraduates also gain communication, writing, and critical thinking skills in general education courses. Students gain interdisciplinary skills by declaring a minor or second major.

The school's student services help incoming degree candidates thrive in their bachelor's program. For example, career counselors help learners identify strengths and plan for the job market.

Colorado State University Global at a Glance:

Location: Aurora, Colorado

Type of School: Public

Admissions Rate: 99%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 15

Undergrad Tuition In State: $8,400

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,400

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,400
Out-of-state
$8,400
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
99%
Students Enrolled
12,670
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Baker University

  • Baldwin City, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The criminal justice degree at Baker University, a private institution, ranks among the best programs of its kind. Degree-seekers take classes in person on the Baldwin City, Kansas, campus and online. Undergraduates benefit from flexible course options and comprehensive college support services.

The bachelor of science in criminal justice curriculum combines upper-division criminal justice classes with general education courses. Social sciences, STEM, and humanities classes meet the general education graduation requirements. Within the major, learners take upper-division courses that provide an advanced understanding of criminal justice, preparing graduates for the job market.

Baker University at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 88%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 42

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $29,300

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $29,300

Graduation Rate: 64%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $48,500

Average Tuition
In-state
$29,300
Out-of-state
$29,300
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
2,595
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Liberty University

  • Lynchburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Liberty University, a private institution, offers a top-ranking criminal justice program. Degree-seekers enroll in online classes and take in-person courses on the Lynchburg campus. Undergraduates benefit from the school's support services, which include academic and career advising.

The bachelor of science in criminal justice curriculum combines upper-division criminal justice classes with general education courses. Humanities, math, and natural sciences courses, which make up the general education curriculum, strengthen critical thinking and communication skills. Criminal justice major courses introduce major theoretical and practical approaches to the field, preparing program graduates to enter the workforce or pursue further education.

Liberty University at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 51%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 91

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 30

Undergrad Tuition In State: $15,417

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $15,417

Graduation Rate: 47%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $35,800

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,417
Out-of-state
$15,417
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
85,586
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Regent University

  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Regent University offers 37 bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor of science in criminal justice program that prioritizes flexibility. With a degree in criminal justice, students bring the knowledge and skills required for careers in diverse industries. After completing a bachelor's degree, graduates can also apply to master's programs to continue their education.

The bachelor's curriculum introduces major principles and practices in criminal justice. Undergraduates also strengthen analytical and critical thinking skills during general education classes. Learners gain a well-rounded education by declaring a minor or second major.

Incoming degree candidates benefit from strong college support when they enroll at the school. For example, career counselors recommend job training workshops and offer career assessments.

Regent University at a Glance:

Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia

Type of School: Private

Admissions Rate: 86%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 32

Undergrad Tuition In State: $17,220

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $17,220

Average Tuition
In-state
$17,220
Out-of-state
$17,220
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
10,365
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees

New England College

  • Henniker, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

New England College offers a bachelor of arts in criminal justice degree as one of its 64 bachelor's programs. The criminal justice degree prepares students for a variety of career paths in many different industries. A bachelor's degree also prepares graduates for master's and doctoral programs.

The bachelor's curriculum covers foundational concepts and methods in criminal justice. Undergraduates also take general education courses, which strengthen communication, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Declaring a minor or double majoring helps students stand out on the job market.

Incoming degree candidates benefit from student services, which provide support for first-year learners. For example, career counselors work with enrollees to determine their professional goals and create a plan to reach them.

New England College at a Glance:

Location: Henniker, New Hampshire

Type of School: Private

Admissions Rate: 100%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 18

Undergrad Tuition In State: $24,555

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $24,555

Average Tuition
In-state
$24,555
Out-of-state
$24,555
Retention Rate
58%
Admission Rate
100%
Students Enrolled
3,527
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
61% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#8 Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Ohio Christian University

  • Circleville, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The criminal justice program at Ohio Christian University, a private institution, enrolls degree-seekers with flexible options. From its campus in Circleville, the school offers both in-person and online enrollment options. The school's flexible course options and comprehensive support services appeal to many undergraduates.

The bachelor of arts in criminal justice program requires general education and major courses that build key knowledge and skills. The general education curriculum strengthens communication and critical thinking skills through coursework in diverse academic fields. Upper-division criminal justice classes cover theoretical and practical topics, preparing graduates for entry-level careers or further education.

Ohio Christian University at a Glance:

Student-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 22

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 11

Undergrad Tuition In State: $13,533

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $13,533

Graduation Rate: 32%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $32,600

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,533
Out-of-state
$13,533
Retention Rate
61%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,843
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
84% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Azusa Pacific University

  • Azusa, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Azusa Pacific University offers 46 bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor of arts in criminal justice program that prioritizes flexibility. Students enter the workforce prepared for diverse career paths with their criminal justice degree. A bachelor's degree also leads to higher education opportunities, including master's and doctoral programs.

The bachelor's curriculum includes foundational and advanced courses in criminal justice. Undergraduates also complete general education requirements, which strengthen analytical and critical thinking skills. Learners can explore other interests by choosing a minor or a second major.

Incoming degree candidates benefit from the school's strong student services support. For example, academic advisors work with students to transfer credits into the school and select courses.

Azusa Pacific University at a Glance:

Location: Azusa, California

Type of School: Private

Admissions Rate: 67%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $39,640

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $39,640

Average Tuition
In-state
$39,640
Out-of-state
$39,640
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
9,297
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#10 Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Saint Leo University

  • Saint Leo, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Saint Leo University offers 46 bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor of arts in criminal justice program that stands out for its quality. This criminal justice degree incorporates knowledge and skills that prepare students for many career paths. A bachelor's degree also prepares graduates for master's and doctoral programs.

The bachelor's curriculum introduces major principles and practices in criminal justice. Undergraduates also complete general education requirements, which strengthen analytical and critical thinking skills. Learners can gain interdisciplinary training by choosing a minor or second major.

The school's student services help incoming degree candidates integrate into the larger campus community. For example, financial aid counselors recommend scholarships while academic advisors suggest course options.

Saint Leo University at a Glance:

Location: Saint Leo, Florida

Type of School: Private

Admissions Rate: 72%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 22

Undergrad Tuition In State: $23,100

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $23,100

Average Tuition
In-state
$23,100
Out-of-state
$23,100
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
10,912
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
72% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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