Best Online Criminology Degrees

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Are you a creative problem-solver with an interest in public safety? One of the Best Online Bachelor’s in Criminology may be for you.

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Criminology degrees help you understand the complex factors that contribute to crime and criminal behavior. You’ll also learn about criminal justice institutions and various responses to crime. The degree can prepare you for careers in investigation, law enforcement, corrections, social services, and more.

With an increased demand for security, criminology is a growing field. You’ll help maintain the balance between public safety and personal freedom. The best part is that you don’t have to put your life on hold to earn a criminology degree. With these flexible online programs, you can find work-life balance while starting or advancing your career.

Top 10 Best Online Criminology Degrees

#1 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
#2 University of Nebraska Omaha Omaha, NE
#3 University of South Florida-Main Campus Tampa, FL
#4 The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX
#5 Regis University Denver, CO
#6 University of West Georgia Carrollton, GA
#7 Washington State University Pullman, WA
#8 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Saint Mary of the Woods, IN
#9 Ball State University Muncie, IN
#10 Indiana State University Terre Haute, IN
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What kind of online bachelor’s degree in criminology should you get?

A general bachelor’s degree will suffice for most entry-level careers in the criminology and criminal justice field. However, some programs offer concentrations or specializations. These may include criminal forensics, cybercrime, juvenile justice, or homeland security. If you have clear career objectives, you may wish to pursue a specialized degree.

Criminology degrees are available in person and online. Online courses allow you to customize your schedule and attend classes anywhere at almost any time. If you’re seeking an online degree but unsure if criminology is for you, read our list of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.

How much money do people make with an online bachelor’s degree in criminology?

Your salary will depend on what career path you choose to pursue. Below, we’ve listed just a few potential careers and their median salaries, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Law enforcement officer- $62,960
  • Detectives and criminal investigators- $79,970
  • Probation officer/correctional treatment specialist- $51,410
  • Correctional officer- $43,510
  • Social worker- $47,980

Most of these careers are projected to grow at an average or faster than average rate. Public safety will always be of vital importance, giving you job security. With a master’s degree, you can earn more or advance to a leadership position. But whatever criminology career you choose, a bachelor’s degree is a key first step.

What can you do with an online bachelor’s degree in criminology?

A criminology degree opens a wide range of career possibilities. You can pursue policing or law enforcement, courts or community correction, corporate security, and crime scene investigation. You may also become a victim’s advocate, a social worker, or an institutional counselor.

A bachelor’s degree in criminology also provides an excellent foundation for graduate studies or law school. This can lead to supervisory or management positions, a law career, or even work in academia.

Criminology covers a broad spectrum. This includes crime prevention, analysis, response, and treatment/rehabilitation. As you pursue your degree, you may discover which stage or aspect of criminology most interests you.

What are the requirements for an online bachelor’s degree in criminology?

Requirements vary according to the program you choose. Some requirements are identical to typical college application requirements: transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, etc. Other online criminology programs are meant for students who already hold an AA degree. For some, you’ll need to be a working professional in a relevant field.

Although many of these programs recommend internships, they are typically not required. You may be expected to complete a capstone course, final exam, or final paper. In most cases, you will need to maintain at least a 2.0 in all major coursework.

What are the best online bachelor’s degrees in criminology?

In this guide, we’ve listed the best online bachelor’s degrees in criminology. Of course, you may be wondering how we define “best.” We evaluate factors like school reputation, tuition, and overall return on investment. The programs on this list will give you the best education and best career outcomes for your hard-earned money.

To verify that our information is accurate, we gather data from reputable sources like:

  • Princeton Review
  • U.S. News and World Report
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • PayScale
  • Official college and university websites

Whatever your aspirations in the wide world of criminology, these degree programs can help you achieve them.


See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Florida State University

    Tallahassee, FL




    Florida State University is a large public university in Tallahassee, Florida. It was founded in 1851 and has an enrollment of 41,900. Designated a preeminent research university, FSU has a rising reputation for innovation and discovery. It’s ranked one of the nation’s top public universities by both Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. Florida State offers over 350 degree programs, including an online B.S. in Criminology.

    Program Features

    Florida State’s Bachelor of Science in Criminology provides a broad foundation in criminal justice and criminology. It also enhances students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students earn the same prestigious degree as on-campus students. The program dedicated 36 semester hours purely to criminology courses, including:

    • Introduction to Criminal Justice
    • Victimology
    • Criminal and Delinquent Behavior
    • Minorities, Crime, and Social Policy
    • Crime Detection and Investigation


    To graduate, students must maintain a 2.0 GPA and receive no more than two grades below a C- in Criminology coursework. They must also complete either a minor or an internship. Graduates attend law school or work as crime intelligence analysts, detectives, corporate security specialists, child welfare caseworkers, victim advocates, private investigators, and more.

  2. University of Nebraska Omaha

    Omaha, NE




    Founded in 1908, the University of Nebraska Omaha is a public research university with over 15,000 students. The university offers unique research and hands-on experiences across six colleges. UNO’s online bachelor’s degree programs are ranked some of the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. One of these programs is a B.S. in Criminology.

    Program Features

    UNO’s Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice is a 120-credit program. Students must complete the pre-criminology and criminal justice curriculum with a GPA of 2.5 or better before advancing to the upper division criminology and criminal justice program. In this program, you can expect to take courses such as:

    • Survey of Criminal Justice
    • Police and Society
    • Criminal Court System
    • Criminology
    • Criminal Procedure


    Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better to graduate. Participation in an internship program is strongly encouraged, but not required. Students may earn up to six hours of internship credit.

  3. University of South Florida-Main Campus

    Tampa, FL




    The University of South Florida is a public research university in Tampa, Florida. It enrolls 50,755 students. Founded in 1956, the young university has rapidly gained a prestigious reputation with numerous rankings in both Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. The university is comprised of 14 colleges offering over 180 academic programs. This includes a fully online B.A. in Criminology.

    Program Features

    The Bachelor of Arts in Criminology provides students with a solid foundation in the issues, methodology, and theories of criminology. It also creates opportunities to apply these new skills. The program provides balanced, in-depth exposure to the judiciary system, law enforcement, detention, corrections, probation, and parole. Students take courses like:

    • Theories of Criminal Behavior
    • Patterns of Criminal Behavior
    • Miscarriages of Justice
    • Forensic Psychology
    • Criminal Investigation


    USF’s online Criminology program is designed for students who have already earned an AA. The program can be completed in two years, and students may receive credit for an optional internship. The program prepares graduates for law school or careers in law enforcement, social services, or the administrative side of criminal justice and criminology.

  4. The University of Texas at Arlington

    Arlington, TX




    With an enrollment of almost 42,000 students, the University of Texas at Arlington is a large public research university. UT Arlington is ranked one of the “Best in the West” by the Princeton Review. The university was founded in 1895 and is rooted in the values of excellence, ingenuity, and diversity. A research pioneer and educational leader, UT Arlington offers an online Bachelor in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

    Program Features

    UT Arlington’s online Bachelor in Criminology and Criminal Justice is designed for students who have completed their first two years of undergraduate courses. Students complete 66 credit hours of upper level courses to earn the degree. The wide ranges of courses prepares students for criminology and law enforcement professions. These courses include:

    • Race, Crime, and Justice
    • The American Judicial System
    • Institutional Corrections
    • Principles of Law Enforcement Supervision
    • Violent Crime and Offenders


    Students must earn grades of C or better in all required major courses. To remain in the program, they must maintain a 2.5 GPA in major coursework. Courses are taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus criminology and criminal justices courses.

  5. Regis University

    Denver, CO




    Known as Colorado’s Jesuit university, Regis University is consistently ranked as one of the top colleges in Denver, Colorado. The school is shaped by Jesuit, Catholic traditions but welcomes students of all faiths. Students are united by a common purpose of creating a better society. Regis is ranked a top-tier Western university by U.S. News and World Report. Regis University offers an online B.S. in Criminology.

    Program Features

    The Bachelor of Science in Criminology program is designed for adults with some undergraduate credit and relevant work experience. RU’s curriculum provides a look at crime as a social phenomenon, including the political, environmental, and social factors that drive crime. The degree offers insights into the criminal mind, as well as the causes and impact of criminal behavior. Courses include:

    • Crime Analysis
    • Victimology
    • Criminal Deviance
    • Professional Ethics in Criminology
    • Criminal Profiling


    Students may be able to translate prior work experience into college credit for this program. Graduates work in law enforcement, counseling, border patrol, crime prevention, juvenile delinquency, domestic violence casework, victim advocacy, private and industry security, and more.

  6. University of West Georgia

    Carrollton, GA




    Located in Carrollton, Georgia, the University of West Georgia is a public university enrolling 13,733 students. UWG was founded in 1906 and achieved university status in 1996. It’s recognized as one of the nation’s top public colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Princeton Review also honors UWG as a Best Regional College. Students choose from 87 fields of study. The university offers a fully online B.S. in Criminology.

    Program Features

    UWG’s Bachelor of Science in Criminology program teaches students to critically examine crime and justice issues. It also develops students’ analytical and communication skills. The 120-credit program focuses on both criminal justice systems and crime. You can expect courses such as:

    • Introduction to Law Enforcement
    • Juvenile Delinquency
    • Criminal Procedure
    • Criminological Theory
    • Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice


    The degree can be completed in just three years. Students may begin the program during any semester. No visits to campus are required; orientation may be completed online. Students take a senior capstone course and may complete a thesis and/or internship.

  7. Washington State University

    Pullman, WA




    Washington State is a public research university located in Pullman, Washington. The university was founded in 1809 and strives to make higher education both achievable and affordable. WSU is civic-minded and aims to spark creativity and discovery among its students. One of the nation’s top research universities, WSU offers over 250 majors and degree programs. Students may complete an online B.S. in Criminal Justice.

    Program Features

    Washington State’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice blends real-world expertise and problem-driven research. Students are prepared to serve as leaders in private, state, and federal law enforcement. Degree requirements include core courses, courses on criminal justice institutions, research methods and quantitative analysis courses, and criminal justice and political science electives. Students take courses like:

    • Introduction to Criminological Theory
    • Crime Control Policies
    • Issues in the Administration of Criminal Justice
    • Introduction to Policing in America
    • Criminal Procedure


    Founded in 1943, WSU’s criminal justice program is the second oldest program of its kind in the nation. Students may choose to complete a criminal justice internship for elective credit. Many graduates attend law school, work in corporate security, or hold top positions in law enforcement organizations.

  8. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

    Saint Mary of the Woods, IN




    A Catholic liberal arts college, Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods is located in St. Mary’s, Indiana. It was founded in 1840 and is Indiana’s oldest Catholic university. SMWC unites virtue and knowledge, empowering students to attain their goals. It’s consistently named one of the Midwest’s best baccalaureate colleges by U.S. News and World Report. SMWC offers campus and distance learning opportunities, including a B.S. in Criminology.

    Program Features

    The Bachelor of Science in Criminology is available both online and on campus. The program develops students’ understanding of crime and criminal behavior through critical reading, writing, and research. Students complete 24 credits of core criminology courses, in addition to 12 hours in a psychology or sociology concentration. Courses include:

    • Introduction to Criminal Justice Systems
    • Criminal Interviewing and Investigation
    • Juvenile Justice
    • Criminal Law and Procedure
    • Ethical and Legal Issues in the Helping Professions


    Students are required to complete fieldwork in criminal justice through hands-on training and/or original research in criminology. Concentration hours can be customized to fit a student’s particular area of interest (with approval from an academic advisor). Students graduate with a strong foundation in both criminology and liberal arts.

  9. Ball State University

    Muncie, IN




    Ball State is a public research university in Muncie, Indiana. It also has satellite facilities in Fishers and Indianapolis. Founded in 1918 as a small teacher’s college, Ball State currently enrolls more than 22,500 students. It has been ranked as one of the Midwest’s top universities by Princeton Review for over a decade. Ball State offers about 190 undergraduate degree options, including a fully online bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and Criminology.

    Program Features

    Ball State’s Bachelor in Criminal Justice and Criminology program is highly customizable. Students can shape their electives around careers in policing, courts, victimology, special populations, or corrections. The curriculum is identical to the curriculum taught on campus and includes courses like:

    • Race, Gender, and Crime
    • Research Methods in Criminal Justice
    • Criminal Law
    • Decision-Making and Ethics in Criminal Justice
    • Criminal Evidence and Procedure


    The criminal justice and criminology program culminates in a capstone experience. As in all Ball State bachelor’s degree programs, students must take a writing proficiency exam when they are halfway through the degree.

  10. Indiana State University

    Terre Haute, IN




    Based in Terre Haute, Indiana, Indiana State University is a public university that was founded in 1865. Princeton Review has ranked the university among the best in the Midwest for 14 years in a row. ISU enrolls more than 13,700 students and boasts a 94 percent placement rate. In addition, Indiana State offers more than 100 undergraduate degrees. One of these degrees is an online B.S. in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

    Program Features

    The online Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice explores the theoretical and applied aspects of criminal behavior, criminal law, the criminal justice system, and criminal justice administration. Students also develop a solid foundation in critical thinking and communication skills. Courses include:

    • Criminology
    • Introduction to Corrections
    • Victimology
    • Dynamics of Criminal and Delinquent Behavior
    • Criminal Law and Procedure.


    All students are required to complete an internship with a criminal justice agency. Graduates work for the FBI, Secret Service, United States Marshals Service, NCIS, ICE, TSA, Border Patrol and other Homeland Security agencies, the National Institute of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

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