Most Affordable Online Master’s In Criminal Justice Degrees

A ranking of the most affordable online master's in criminal justice degrees. Programs ranked by affordability, flexibility, and academic quality.

Most Affordable Online Master’s In 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.

Many different things draw people to criminal justice. Some grow up watching police-centric television like NCIS, Criminal Minds, or The Wire, and find themselves drawn to the work. Others find the idea of solving crimes appealing, and some possess a strong sense of justice that naturally draws them to the work.

What kind of Master's in Criminal Justice degree should you get?

Whether you’re concerned about the relationship between the police and minority communities and you want to make a difference for the better in your own city. Or you came to police work because of a long and proud family tradition, one of these degrees will help you succeed throughout your career in criminal justice.

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How much money can you make with a Master's in Criminal Justice?

A master’s degree in criminal justice can really enhance your salary potential. And, according to Payscale.com, salaries for graduates of these programs can increase significantly depending on your level of experience:

  • 1-4 years experience: $47,740
  • 5-9 years experience: $65,000
  • 10-19 years experience: $80,000
  • 20+ years experience: $108,000

Many benefits of working in criminal justice, both tangible and intangible, do not enter into salary reports. Those in criminal justice often receive generous pension packages, but for many, the idea of serving one's neighbors or contributing to a greater cause than oneself is a benefit unto itself.

What can you do with a degree in criminal justice?

Regardless of how you came to your career, if you’re a serving police officer, correctional officer, sheriff’s deputy, or other criminal justice professional, you may be ready to take on a leadership role within your current department. Investigating your educational options for a master’s degree in criminal justice is the next step in turning your career goals into reality. Graduates from the programs below have gone on to become:

  • Police Officers
  • FBI Agents
  • Investigative Specialists
  • And more

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

We’ve ranked the most affordable online master’s degree programs for those who would like to prepare for a leadership role in law enforcement, corrections, human services, and related fields while keeping your current job.  With these programs, you can add to your qualifications without leaving the organization you’re serving now. Each one is regionally accredited - the highest level of accreditation for academic excellence.

With these programs, you can add to your qualifications without leaving the organization you’re serving now. Each one is regionally accredited - the highest level of accreditation for academic excellence.

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Master's in Criminal Justice

See our rankings methodology page.

#1

University of North Texas

School Information
Location Denton, Texas
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 56%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students can pursue a top-ranking online master of science in criminal justice at the University of North Texas. The program equips enrollees with advanced training valued by employers in their profession. Master's graduates can also go on to pursue a Ph.D.

Many degree-seekers appreciate the program's convenient online format. Students can juggle their various responsibilities thanks to this program's flexibility. Whether they study in person or online, degree candidates work with faculty who serve as mentors.

The department can provide more information, although application requirements include a bachelor’s degree and transcripts. The school accepts around 74% of all who apply. This number varies between programs. Once accepted, enrollees can explore financial aid options to help pay for tuition. Texas students pay about $5,900 per year.

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#2

University of the Cumberlands

School Information
Location Williamsburg, Kentucky
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 91% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A private college located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands has a lot to offer. Degree-seekers interested in graduate programs they can pursue from a distance can choose from 25 master's degrees available online. Among these is the master's in criminal justice administration.

Graduate students can use online education such as this program to accomplish a goal that may otherwise seem unachievable because of logistical issues. Caretakers, workers, and other busy enrollees may find it easy to work this master’s degree into their schedules. The program provides a rigorous education that does not sacrifice strong preparation for career advancement.

The school admits about 80% of applicants each year, but this rate may vary across programs. For consideration, degree-seekers need a bachelor's degree unless otherwise stated. To learn more, contact the program about application requirements.

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#3

Lamar University

School Information
Location Beaumont, Texas
Admission Rate 84%
Graduation Rate 34%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 73% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Lamar University offers several quality online graduate programs. Learners with a bachelor's in criminal justice may find the master's in criminal justice especially appealing. The program blends academic rigor with a flexible and affordable online course delivery.

Degree-seekers benefit from an 18-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Students complete a rigorous curriculum delivered by criminal justice experts. Graduates leave the program equipped for more advanced career opportunities and the option to pursue a doctoral program.

Texas students pay a yearly average of $6,324 while those living elsewhere pay $13,920. The financial aid department can explore aid with degree-seekers. Funding options may include scholarships and grants. The comprehensive suite of financial aid options also include students loans, which about 43% of the school’s enrollees use to fund some or all of their education.

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#4

Sam Houston State University

School Information
Location Huntsville, Texas
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 54%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A public college located in Huntsville, Texas, Sam Houston State University has a lot to offer. Degree-seekers who need flexibility are drawn to the institution because of 27 master's degrees available online. The master of science in criminal justice is a good option for corrections learners who want advanced degrees.

The program's adaptability appeals to learners who need flexibility. Students can watch video recordings and complete coursework in the evenings, weekends, and at other convenient times that the program allows. Strong career preparation is a key program feature. The program does not sacrifice rigor for convenience.

The admittance rate is 83% per year overall, but applicants may be accepted at varying rates for different programs. For consideration, degree-seekers usually need the requisite background like a bachelor’s in the major or a related field. To learn more, contact the program about application requirements.

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#5

Saint Cloud State University

School Information
Location Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Admission Rate 90%
Graduation Rate 48%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Saint Cloud State University is home to rigorous graduate programs, some available online. The master's in criminal justice may appeal to graduates with a bachelor’s in the field. The program provides the rigorous education expected from a graduate program using a flexible online format.

Degree candidates benefit from a 20-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Learners complete a rigorous curriculum delivered by criminal justice experts. The training enrollees receive is an important step for career advancement or a doctoral degree in this field and related ones.

Tuition costs $7,460 annually for Minnesota residents and $11,334 for those living out of state. Many degree-seekers reduce this bill with grants and scholarships from the school and third parties. The comprehensive suite of financial aid options also include students loans, which about 40% of the school’s enrollees use to fund some or all of their education.

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#6

Texas A&M International University

School Information
Location Laredo, Texas
Admission Rate 54%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Criminal justice students can pursue a highly ranking online master of science in criminal justice. The program goes much deeper in training highly skilled workers in the field compared to a bachelor's. If they choose, master's graduates can also pursue a doctorate later on.

A big draw to this program is the convenient online format. Students may want an advanced degree but have other concerns such as caregiving and employment. This flexible program supports those endeavors. Enrollees move through the program with faculty support, assistance such as career advising, and the ability to tailor the educational experience to their career aspirations.

The application requirements for this program include a bachelor’s degree and transcripts, but the department can provide more information. The admission rate is an average of 54% of applicants. Popular funding streams for qualifying students include loans and scholarships. Tuition costs Texas students about $3,350 per year.

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#7

Concordia University-Saint Paul

School Information
Location Saint Paul, Minnesota
Admission Rate 98%
Graduation Rate 51%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Prospective graduate students can earn a master's in criminal justice leadership at Concordia University-Saint Paul, an institution known for developing flexible graduate programs. This degree is among the 20 online master's degrees delivered from the Saint Paul, Minnesota, campus. This adaptable program opens up access to full-time workers and others with scheduling challenges preventing in-person graduate education.

A bachelor’s in the major is a typical requirement for many master’s programs, but criteria vary depending on the degree. Enrollees receive advanced training that prepares them for leadership roles and other higher-level opportunities. This credential lays the foundation for a doctorate or other terminal degree.

Competitive tuition rates are a key selling point at this school, which charges $8,550 per year. Learners can use resources at the financial aid department to determine if they qualify for financial aid like grants and scholarships. Loans offer a viable option to help fund students’ tuition bill.

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#8

University of North Alabama

School Information
Location Florence, Alabama
Admission Rate 89%
Graduation Rate 49%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

University of North Alabama’s online graduate programs emphasize quality and affordability. The master of science in criminal justice is one of those degrees, designed for degree-holders with a bachelor’s in criminal justice or a related field. This program emphasizes rigorous academics and a flexible learning format.

Learners benefit from a 16-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Enrollees receive individualized attention, more room to collaborate, and faculty mentorship opportunities. The curriculum is steeped in advanced theoretical concepts and practices in criminal justice. This degree positions graduates for career advancement and higher-paying jobs.

Alabama students pay a yearly average of $6,660, while those elsewhere pay $13,320. The financial aid department can explore aid with degree-seekers. Funding options may include scholarships and grants. About 51% of enrollees take out student loans, so there are plenty of ways to fund this degree.

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#9

Saint Leo University

School Information
Location Saint Leo, Florida
Admission Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 49%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 72% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Earning a graduate degree is achievable at Saint Leo University because of an institutional emphasis on flexibility. The master of science in criminal justice is one of the top-ranked programs that attracts remote learners. Degree-seekers can choose from 27 online master's programs at the Saint Leo, Florida, school. This adaptable program opens up access to full-time workers and others with scheduling challenges preventing in-person graduate education.

Applicants usually need a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in the same field or a related one. Enrollees receive the advanced education necessary to prepare for mid- to senior-level positions. This credential lays the foundation for a doctorate or other terminal degree.

Annual tuition costs $7,296. Many learners receive grants and scholarships, both from the school and outside sources, to help finance their degrees. Students can also help pay for a graduate degree with federal loans.

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#10

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

From the Lynchburg, Virginia, campus, Liberty University is a private college with graduate programs in different fields. Offering a total of 67 remote master's degrees, the institution is a leader in online graduate education. Learners interested in criminal justice can pursue a master of science in criminal justic.

The program's adaptability is a big draw for students with hectic schedules. Busy enrollees may have access to recorded videos that facilitates anytime viewing. Learners can also complete their assignments within a reasonable timeframe as faculty allow. The institution boasts deep experience providing rigorous degrees that emphasize both quality and flexible learning.

Applicants receive admittance at a rate of 51% per year, but some programs may vary. Master's degree-seekers usually need a bachelor's degree in the same or a similar field in order to receive consideration. They may also need to submit official transcripts and recommendation letters, which the department outlines in its admissions policy.

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