There were a number of factors taken into consideration in compiling this Top 25 list. Foremost, each school must be accredited by its respective regional accreditation agency. Accreditation is an official endorsement of quality, much like how a diploma is an official endorsement of a graduate’s knowledge. Accreditation agencies in the United States analyze colleges in a peer reviewed system, and schools which meet specific criteria for academic excellence then become accredited. It is the school’s responsibility to apply for accreditation. Therefore, they are also responsible for ensuring their own quality.

Other sources of rankings were U.S. News & World Report, Forbes magazine, the Princeton Review, as well as various websites including thebestschools.org, collegeview.com and nonprofitcollegesonline.com. Regardless of which college or university you chose, they all offer an outstanding online education in the arena of Criminal Justice. And this is a vast arena ranging from computer forensics criminologists to U.S. Marshals. Similarly, the salaries are as expansive as the field of criminology. One may earn from $30,000 to over $100,000 depending on one’s expertise, experience and degree advancement in Criminal Justice. For example, the national average for a Police Officer is $47,166, according to PayScale.com. However, the national range spans from $31,554 to $81,946 depending on the previously stated factors, as well as one’s rank/leadership position within the respective law enforcement agency.

1. Washington State University

Washington State University’s (WSU) Online criminal justice program combines problem-driven research and real-world expertise to prepare students to be leaders in state, federal and private law enforcement. This program, founded in 1943, is part of the school’s Global Campus 1890 land-grant mission of expanding access to education. The Global Campus online criminal justice program has also been ranked in the nation’s top 10 by Create a Career, Best Colleges and The Best Schools. This accolade is attained by the expert faculty which includes consultants for the American Bar Association and the directors of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. The faculty’s strong professional affiliations and commitment have allowed the criminal justice program to attain the nation’s ninth highest graduation rate and 12th highest retention rate.

WSU’s criminal justice program was founded in 1943 and is the second oldest continuous criminal justice program in the nation. The online courses are taught by the same permanent faculty and advanced doctoral candidates that also teach on WSU’s main campus, located in Pullman, Washington. The similarity is evident in the graduation diplomas which read exactly as an on-campus graduation diploma. All undergraduates must complete the University Common Requirements (UCORE), as well as the College of Arts and Sciences graduation requirements.

Tuition: $543 Washington resident; $570 non-resident

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

2. Arizona State University

The Princeton Review ranks ASU one of the country’s top universities for undergraduate education in its 2015 edition of “The Best 379 Colleges.” It ranks #97 in the world by the Center for World University Rankings and #55 in the U.S.. U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs lists ASU #8 overall for undergraduate online programs. Five online graduate degree programs also rank among the nation’s best, including criminal justice, #2; business, #3; engineering, #14; education, #23; and nursing, #74.

The Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice is offered in person or online. ASU’s criminal justice curriculum taught online is the same as the one taught on campus. The study of criminology and criminal justice involves the analyses of theories, laws, policies and practices associated with criminal and delinquent behavior, as well as the government’s response to criminal violations. This program provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of crime and criminal justice that is based in social sciences and focuses on the policies and practices of criminal justice system components, such as law enforcement, corrections and the courts.

Tuition: $490 per credit hour

Accreditation: North Central Association Higher Learning Commission since 1931

3. Sam Houston State University

The College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University is a top criminal justice college and continues to set the national standard for the study of criminal justice in higher education. Since 1963, the college, located in Huntsville, Texas, has been at the forefront of both criminal justice research and criminal justice sciences. This school is one of the largest and oldest criminal justice programs in the nation. In 1970, the College became one of the first programs in the U.S. to offer the Ph.D. in criminal justice and is the first in the State of Texas to offer the Masters of Science in Forensic Science. Students will benefit from a close-knit learning environment led by an expert faculty with members specializing in criminology, law, psychology, criminal justice, sociology, history, and political science. Also, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university as one of the Best Online Criminal Justice Programs in 2015.

Our online criminal justice degrees and programs include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

For both Criminal Justice and Victim Studies, the BS requires additional hours of a social science (e.g., psychology, sociology, political science, etc.) whereas the BA requires additional hours of a foreign language (e.g., Spanish, French, American Sign, etc.).

Tuition: $1,258.50 (3 hours)

Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

4. Penn State World Campus

For more than 100 years, Penn State has been delivering education at a distance, beginning with our correspondence courses in 1892. It has also been honored with the U.S.News & World Report for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.  Ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide, Penn State offers a wide range of bachelor’s degrees designed to equip learners with the knowledge and skills needed for career success. It has also been honored with the U.S.News & World Report for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, as well as ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide.

The Penn State World Campus online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program, which has its academic home at Penn State in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It is the first online program in the nation to be awarded certification through the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. This certification underscores the high praise that the online program receives for quality criminal justice instruction. , Penn State offers a wide range of bachelor’s degrees designed to equip learners with the knowledge and skills needed for career success. The programs are taught by the same Penn State faculty who teach on campus. Students are fully supported with academic advising, technical support, a world-class library and career counseling.

The 120 credit hour course work covers:

  • Criminology
  • Introduction to law, policing, and corrections in America
  • Ethics in criminal justice
  • Security and police administration
  • Alternatives to incarceration
  • Aspects of the juvenile justice system
  • Concepts of social science research

Tuition: $535 per credit hour (for fewer than 12 credits per semester)

Accreditation: The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

5. University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida (UCF), founded in 1963, is the second-largest university in the nation. Located in, Orlando, Florida, UCF and its 12 colleges provide opportunities to 61,000 students, offering 210 degree programs from UCF’s main campus, hospitality campus, health sciences campus and its 10 regional locations. UCF was ranked as the nation’s No. 3 “Up-and-Coming” university in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. Last year, Kiplinger’s and The Princeton Review ranked UCF as one of the nation’s best values for a college education.

The Criminal Justice undergraduate program offers both a Bachelor of Arts degree and the Bachelor of Science degree. The difference between the B.A. degree and the B.S. degree is that students who select the B.A. option must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to one year at college level. High school language will fulfill the B.S. language requirement.  Both programs provide a comprehensive core course structure, combined with a rich variety of upper-division electives to provide an excellent knowledge base in the field of Criminal Justice. The curriculum is designed (1) to prepare graduates for positions in the field of criminal justice in local, county, state and federal justice agencies, private security organizations, and related fields; and (2) to prepare students for graduate work in criminal justice or related disciplines.

Tuition: $212.28 per credit hour (in and out-of-state)

Accreditation: The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

6. Limestone College

Limestone College was founded in 1845 by Dr. Thomas Curtis and his son, Dr. William Curtis, both esteemed British scholars. Located in Gaffney, South Carolina, it is the third-oldest college in the state. The college is a Christian non-denominational college. Its programs lead to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Social Work, Associate of Arts, Associate of Science and Master of Business Administration degree. Limestone College began providing online courses in 1997 and now offers 5 majors at the Associate’s Degree level and 19 majors at the Bachelor’s Degree level. It has been ranked #125 on the U.S. News & World Report Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

Limestone College’s online B.A. in Criminal Justice prepares students to work in entry or mid-level positions in the criminal justice field, or to continue their education in a related graduate program. After completing the school’s basic core requirements, students will take coursework in not only criminal justice, but also in psychology, sociology, political science, social work, and business administration. Course offerings for the Criminal Justice major include Investigative Methodology in Criminal Justice, American Court Systems and Practices, Constitutional Law, Ethics in Criminal Justice, Principles of Law Enforcement, and more.

Tuition: $1224 per course (3 semester hours); $648 per course (3 semester hours) for Active Military

Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

7. University of Louisville

On April 3, 1798, eight men declared their intention to establish the Jefferson Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and called upon their fellow citizens to join them in pledging funds for land, buildings, and teachers. Occurring a few weeks after the Kentucky legislature had chartered this academy and several others in the new state, this event marked the beginning of an advanced level of education for the young people of a frontier settlement barely two decades old. Near the end of the eighteenth century these early Louisvillians took the first steps on a journey that would link them with succeeding generations to the modern University of Louisville in the twenty-first century. The school’s ranking in the 2015 edition of U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges for National Universities is #161.

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (Justice Administration) degree offers an ideal way to finish your bachelor’s degree online. The criminal justice degree online offers core competencies that are extended across the curriculum. Integrated into each course is a working knowledge of the entire criminal justice process (adult and juvenile) and the issues surrounding each portion of the process, the ability to make linkage between theory and policy development in the criminal justice system. Students are also taught the ability to understand, identify, and apply legal issues relative to the criminal justice system and justice administration.

Tuition: $497/credit hour

Accreditation: The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

8. Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Northwestern State University (NSU) of Louisiana was established in 1884 as the Louisiana State Normal School and was the first school in Louisiana to offer programs in nursing and business education. NSU is now a four-year public university primarily located in Natchitoches, Louisiana and offers 34 accredited online degrees. Their online bachelor’s programs were ranked 57th and the online graduate program in education was also ranked. The school has also been recognized by Military Advanced Education as a Top Military Friendly University in 2015.

The Department of Criminal Justice at Northwestern State University is dedicated to the education of students for the professional, leadership, academic, and research careers in the challenging fields of criminal justice, public safety, homeland security, and public service. NSU offers an online Bachelor of Arts  in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Unified Public Safety Administration (UPSA). The former consists of a full complement of Criminal Justice courses, plus additional course work in Sociology, Psychology, and Political Science. The latter degree program (UPSA) has three concentrations: Fire and Emergency Medical Service Administration, Law Enforcement Administration and Emergency Management Administration. Both programs will help graduates prepare for entry into federal, state and local agencies.

Tuition: $325 per credit hour to 12 hours, then $100 per hour thereafter

Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

9. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University is a public institution located in Hays, Kansas. The university consists of approximately 11,000 students, over half of which are online. Founded in 1902 and originally located on the grounds of a retired military outpost, Fort Hays State University moved to its current location in 1904. Fast forward to the present when FHSU offers numerous online degree programs through their Virtual College. The school’s Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs are ranked #16 in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report on Best Online Programs.

The Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies are interdisciplinary programs that focus on the cause of crime and society’s response to crime. The five standard specializations are Victim Advocacy, Law Enforcement, Corrections, Justice Networking, and Law and the Courts. FHSU graduates are uniquely qualified and prepared to enter one of the many careers related to criminal justice, including state and federal special agents, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals, and Customs Agents. Graduates may also seek employment as court administrators, security officers, correction officers and probation officers.

Tuition: $194.14 per credit hour

Accreditation: The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

10. Bemidji State University

Located on the shores of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University of Minnesota was founded in 1919 when it began with 38 students. BSU now hosts more than 5,300 undergraduate and graduate students. They offer baccalaureate degrees in a wide range of fields, master degrees in the arts and sciences and a variety of online learning options. Several of their degree programs and research activities are unique in the state.The school is renowned for its Bachelor in Fine Arts (BFA) in professional and creative writing – the only one in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.  Bemidji State was recently ranked #92 in the Midwest category for Best Regional Universities by US News & World Report.

This school offers the Criminal Justice Bachelor of Science and Associate of Science major courses online with an emphasis in one of four areas: Law Enforcement with Internship, Corrections with Internship, Criminal Justice with Internship and Criminal Justice (non-internship). The degree in criminal justice is a generalist degree that prepares students for careers in law enforcement, corrections, and other public and private agencies concerned with the prevention and investigation of crime.

Tuition: $257.35 per credit

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities

11. Troy University

Located in Troy, Alabama, Troy University was founded in 1887 with the purpose of training new teachers. The school was given its current name in 1967 upon achieving university status, and is also known as Alabama’s International University due to its overwhelming success in attracting students from around the world. These students can receive a quality online education with eTroy. Students must have a high school degree or its equivalent to be admitted to a bachelor’s degree program.

Troy considers itself a practitioner centered school, understanding that criminal justice is a professional discipline, i.e., most Criminal Justice graduates move from university to the profession. eTroy offers a Bachelor of Science with Criminal Justice as the major with two concentrations: Digital Forensics and Homeland Security. Along with the major, the school also offers minors in Homeland Security, Digital Forensics, Legal Studies and Cybersecurity. Their Criminal Justice Major is a total of 36 hours wherein students are encouraged to take two semesters of Spanish or another foreign language. The two concentrations of Digital Forensics and Homeland Security are each 12 hours.

Tuition: $338 per credit hour; $250 for Active Duty Military

Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

12. Florida International University

Florida International University (FIU) is located in Greater Miami, Florida. Classified as a research university with high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation, FIU is the youngest university to be granted a Phi Beta Kappa chapter by the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the country’s oldest academic honor society. The school has been considered a “Best Value” in higher education, ranking their students among the least indebted college students in the nation (U.S. News & World Report). Additional accolades include: #1 in the nation in awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students.

FIU Online has a fully online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. FIU’s Department of Criminal Justice is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the field of criminal justice education. Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice online program prepares students to learn about the procedures of the criminal justice system. Particularly, the Criminal Justice online program reviews criminological theory, the criminal justice system, the constitution, terrorism and public policy. A total of 120 credits are required for the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Students must complete all University Core Curriculum, University, and College of Arts and Science requirements.

Tuition: $215.94 per credit hour (in-state); $333 (out-of-state)

Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

13. Liberty University

Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University was founded as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971 by the Reverend Jerry Falwell. It has long been considered a Christian academic community, the institution’s stated intention being the development of both the intellectual and spiritual nature. Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s largest private, nonprofit online university. More than 95,000 students around the world enjoy the same quality education as Liberty’s residential students with the added flexibility of online classes. Offering more than 250 distance learning degrees from the certificate to the doctoral level, Liberty Online is training students as Champions for Christ through online education.

Liberty Online’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program can equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to achieve your professional goals. Law enforcement officials who can document successful completion from an accredited police academy may be eligible to earn credit hours toward their degree. The 120 hour degree program offers these specialties:

  • Business Administration and Management
  • Criminal Psychology
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Homeland Security
  • Public Administration
  • Strategic Intelligence
  • Juvenile Justice

Tuition: $360 per credit hour

Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

14. University of Massachusetts Lowell

The University of Massachusetts Lowell, also known as UMass Lowell, was founded in 1972 as the product of the merging of two institutions charted in the late 1890’s: Lowell State College and Lowell Technical Institute. The university is renowned for its science and engineering programs, and in 2013 the online campus was ranked sixth in the nation in the “Guide to Online Schools.” The school states that it is committed to providing you with high-quality, affordable online programs that make earning your degree more convenient than ever before. Students may enroll in online degree prograams in areas such as Information Technology, Engineering Technology, Liberal Arts, Psychology, Criminal Justice, Management, Education, Science and Healthcare.

UMass Lowell’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice offers a strong concentration in professional courses while simultaneously assuring the student a traditional, well-rounded liberal arts education.  Criminal Justice (CJ) Majors need a minimum of 36 CJ credits as well as General Education courses that are designed to provide students with a foundation that prepares them for continued work within their major and minor fields. Students must complete the Required Criminal Justice Courses from the curriculum, six Criminal Justice electives, six additional courses in CJ and Social Sciences, plus six free electives for their remaining total 120 credits.

Tuition: $370 per hour

Accreditation: The New England Association of Colleges and Schools

15. Colorado State University-Global

Colorado State University’s global campus, known as CSU-Global, is a non-profit, online, public university. Founded in 2007 as part of the Colorado State University system, CSU – Global is a separate and distinct institution headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado. It was designed specifically for adult students who are unable to travel to a traditional campus. As part of their continuing efforts to provide innovative solutions that meet the needs of today’s global learners, CSU-Global has established an Advisory Council. The Council serves to expand the university’s intellectual capacity and provide different perspectives on the execution of CSU-Global’s mission.

CSU-Global’s online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and law enforcement administration is designed to provide you with a practical knowledge of the law enforcement field. The program consists of 10 three-credit core courses as part of a full 120-credit bachelor’s degree. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a practical knowledge of the law enforcement field. The program consists of 10 three-credit core courses as part of a full 120-credit bachelor’s degree. All courses are taught by qualified instructors with current industry experience. The instructors hold advanced degrees in their fields, and are specially trained to teach online, so students can think more critically about how the subject matter applies to real-world situations.

Tuition: $350 per credit hour

Accreditation: The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

16. Columbia College of Missouri

Columbia College of Missouri is a private, nonsectarian liberal arts school located in Columbia, Missouri. Founded as Christian Female College in 1851, it was the first female college west of the Mississippi River to be chartered by a state legislature. The school changed its name to Columbia College of Missouri in 1970 after becoming fully co-educational. In 2009, Columbia College was recognized for its high standard of academic excellence and positive student feedback by being named a “Best Midwestern College” by the Princeton Review.

The Online Criminal Justice Administration Program is designed to permit the pursuit of different professional career goals while integrating the general study of criminal justice and law with other relevant disciplines. A degree in criminal justice administration prepares students for entry-level employment in the field, for promotion and leadership roles and for graduate study. Two baccalaureate degrees are offered in Criminal Justice Administration: the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science. For students currently working in the criminal justice field the BA is recommended. For those desiring to enter the field, the BS degree is recommended; the BS degree offers practicum and internship experiences that add to the student’s understanding of the criminal justice career area.

Tuition: $275 per credit hour; $250 Active Military

Accreditation: The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

17. Portland State University

Portland State University (PSU) was founded in 1946 and is a public university located in downtown Portland. In 2012, the university was ranked in the top fifteen percentile for undergraduate programs of American Universities by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report ranks Portland State among the top 10 “up and coming universities.” PSU’s faculty is drawn from academic programs around the world, these professors bring with them a rich diversity of culture and background, and a commitment to Portland State’s unique approach to education.

Their online Criminal Justice Bachelor’s degree is designed for working adults who seek to move ahead in their careers. The online degree emphasizes the theory and practice that’s making a real difference in the field and in the community. In Criminology & Criminal Justice (CCJ), you can complete your PSU bachelor’s degree or post-baccalaureate certificate fully online. There are no required visits to campus and no requirements to “attend” online courses during specific hours. In addition to meeting the general University degree requirements, students who major in CCJ must complete core and elective courses. In consultation with a CCJ advisor, students can transfer up to 20 credits from a regionally accredited college or university toward the CCJ major requirements. Students who minor in CCJ must complete core and elective CCJ courses.

Tuition: $150 per credit hour resident; $505/hour non-resident

Accreditation: The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

18. Park University

Based in Parkville, Missouri, Park University was founded in 1875 as Park College and obtained university status in 2000. In 1996 the school began offering online courses, and is now recognized as a distinguished institution for those pursuing both traditional and distance education. Park University established the Military Degree Completion Program in the 1960’s and is currently recognized as one of top military-friendly colleges and universities in the nation. For 2014, Park’s online bachelor degree programs was ranked No. 164 in the country and Park’s online graduate business programs was ranked No. 122 in their respective categories. Nearly 1,000 distance education programs were a part of the rankings. Park University was ranked No. 10 in the nation for the quality of its online programs in 2013.

The criminal justice administration program is part of Park University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students study all segments of the criminal justice system, from law enforcement, through courts, to corrections. The program has areas of concentration in law enforcement, corrections, and security, lead by experienced professionals. Also offered are experiential opportunities in all areas through internships and special topics courses. Only the Bachelor of Science degree is available through the School of Online Learning which consists of 8 week programs.

Tuition: $369 per credit hour

Accreditation: The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

19. Bellevue University

When Bill Brooks met with his fellow members of the Bellevue, Nebraska, Chamber of Commerce in June 1965, the No. 1 agenda item was discussion of creating a new college in Bellevue. From those humble beginnings, Bellevue College –Bellevue University since 1994 – was born.  More recently, Bellevue has been ranked 18th in best online bachelor’s degrees by the U.S. News 2014 Top Online Education Program Rankings. Nearly 1000 schools participated in the study. It is ranked #1 in 2015 Top Military Friendly Online Colleges from the evaluation of over 400 online accredited schools.

The Bellevue University Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree is designed to develop an in depth knowledge of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, corrections and the courts. This accelerated Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice degree can be taken online, or in-class. The curriculum emphasizes contemporary social issues, criminal behavior analysis, legal and ethical principles, strategic management, and policy development. Students will apply critical thinking to key issues, to case studies involving ethical dilemmas, and examine criminal data, associated procedural laws, and public policy. Upon completion, graduates will also be expected to master essential writing and communication skills, and the production of structured projects and analyses.

Tuition: $395 per credit hour; $250 for Active Duty Military

Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission through the U.S. Department of Education

20. University of Toledo

The University of Toledo is one of 14 state universities in Ohio. We were established in 1872 and became a member of the state university system in 1967. The University of Toledo and the Medical University of Ohio merged July 2006 to form the third-largest public university operating budget in the state. The University was recently listed in “100 Best Colleges for African-American Students.” The school has one of the largest distance-learning programs in the nation. Their College of Law has again been listed as a Best Law School by Princeton Review.

The Criminal Justice program was established in 1976 at The University of Toledo.  It was designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn about crime, offenders, victims, policing, criminal investigation, law, social justice, corrections, current policies, and other criminal justice issues through teaching, research and service. Students can earn a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in criminal justice at The University of Toledo online, live or in a hybrid format.  The Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice requires a minimum of 124 hours to be completed.  The Criminal Justice program at The University of Toledo also includes undergraduate minors in criminal justice and in forensic science investigation.

Tuition: $335.49 per hour

Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission

21. Southern New Hampshire University

Founded in 1933 as the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Service, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit university located between Manchester and Hookset, New Hampshire. The state granted the college its charter in 1963, and the first baccalaureate degrees were awarded in 1966. This learning institution is a private, non-profit school with approximately 35, 000 students enrolled online or double the number of 17,000 reported in 2012.

According to SNHU, no other online criminal justice degree program emphasizes firsthand, relevant experience like the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program at their school. With faculty members that work closely with their students to offer professional insights and firsthand experience in the real world. Their innovative bachelor’s degree program that empowers you to pursue or advance your career in a wide array of jobs, from law enforcement and homeland security to corrections systems, security and gaming surveillance, and social and community service. SNHU offers this online bachelor’s degree in these concentrations:

  • Criminal Justice/Criminology
  • Criminal Justice/Homeland Security & Counter-terrorism
  • Criminal Justice/Legal Studies & Advocacy
  • Criminal Justice/Police Administration & Operations

Tuition: $320 per credit hour; $243/hour (Maine residents only; $225 Active Duty Military

Accreditation: The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., (NEASC)

22. Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University (NAU) is headquartered in Flagstaff, Arizona, and was founded as the Northern Arizona Normal School in 1899. offers nearly 150 programs leading to bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees through its main campus, as well as dozens of satellite campuses. Northern Arizona University offers a host of online classes and programs through NAU-Extended Campuses. Students can pursue a variety of bachelor’s degree programs such as criminal justice, respiratory care, and parks and recreation management. NAU-Extended Campuses offers most courses in an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete coursework on their schedule. U.S. News & World Report ranked Northern Arizona University #104 in its list of Best Business Schools and #105 in its list of Best Education Schools in the 2015 edition of Best Colleges.

The undergraduate degree programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJ) combine foundational knowledge of criminal justice with a critical understanding of its institutions, processes and operations. CCJ students learn how social forces influence lawmaking, approaches to criminal justice, perceptions and experiences of justice. CCJ students develop a firm understanding of the cultural, political, economic and moral complexities surrounding the creation and enforcement of law, and are prepared to become practitioners, advocates and defenders of social justice.

Tuition: $376 per credit hour

Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

23. Drexel University

Drexel University was founded in 1891 as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry and has three campuses in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and one in Sacramento, California. In 1970 the school obtained university status. This school has offered online courses since 1996 and is recognized as one of the nation’s pioneers in distance learning. Their online programs offer nine bachelor’s degrees in the fields of business administration, criminology, computing and security technology, and psychology. Additionally, there are about 60 master’s degree programs ranging from communication to systems engineering to cybersecurity. U.S. News & World Report ranked Drexel University #95 in National Universities in the 2015 edition of Best Colleges.

Drexel’s accredited online Criminal Justice program gives students a strong background in criminology, the study of crime and criminal behavior, as well as an understanding of the history, structure, administration, policies, and procedures of the agencies of crime control and criminal justice, including law enforcement, corrections, and the judiciary. The curriculum draws on the strengths of a range of many programs from philosophy to sociology, psychology, legal studies, political science, information science, chemistry, bioscience and biotechnology, and computer science.

Tuition: $457 per credit

Accreditation: The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

24. Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University (ODU) is located in Norfolk, Virginia. Established in 1930 as the College of William and Mary, the school acquired university status and its current name in 1969. ODU enrolls approximately 24,000 through on-campus and online programs, and is recognized as a national leader in distance learning. U.S. News & World Report ranked Old Dominion University #70 among Best Education Schools. Forbes ranked Old Dominion University #191 in Research Universities.

Criminal Justice students will learn from a diverse group of ODU faculty members specializing in criminology and criminal justice who write and lecture on a multitude of topics. In the online Criminal Justice degree program, you’ll take a variety of courses on the administration of criminal justice, plus courses on the social and psychological causes of criminal behavior. To earn this degree from ODU, students must complete at least 30 credit hours with the school. This Bachelor’s degree requires 120 total credit hours.

Tuition: $316 per credit hour (in-state); $345 (out-state)

Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

25. Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University (UIU) is a private, not-for-profit university located in Fayette, Iowa. The school enrolls 900 on-campus students, but has approximately 5,000 additional distance learning students. UIU’s distance education program includes an online campus, 15 centers in the U.S., and centers in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. Online students can pursue associate’s degrees in criminal justice, general business, liberal arts, and psychology, as well as more than 20 bachelor’s degrees in nursing, public administration, communication, and more. U.S. News & World Report ranked Upper Iowa University #109 in Regional Universities (Midwest) in its 2015 edition of Best Colleges.

Upper Iowa University’s B.S. in Criminal Justice is offered online and may be completed in one of two ways: as a traditional interactive online degree program with weekly deadlines, or as a self-paced program. Students either go on to study criminal justice at a higher academic or professional level, or pursue a host of different career positions after graduation, including that of a detective, police officer, insurance investigator, state trooper, private investigator, corporate criminal investigator, and more.

Tuition: $405 per credit hour Online Program; $325 per hour Self-Paced Program

Accreditation: The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools


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