Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees in 2022

Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees in 2022
Imed Bouchrika, Phd by Imed Bouchrika, Phd
Chief Data Scientist & Head of Content

A common question is, can you get a criminal justice degree online? An online criminal justice degree can be your ticket to a high-paying, rewarding, and satisfying job. In fact, several guides have been written recently, including some of the best online bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice for 2022.

One has to consider in-state or out-of-state fees as the main cost of tuition, although most universities have gone either fully online or hybrid mode (online and face-to-face classes) with most of their degree programs. Most have already adopted one tuition fee for everyone for online classes and their entire programs of study.

Please note that financial aid and military assistance can still reduce the total fees—please ask your target program if they have these or other forms of financial assistance. If you or your spouse are employed by the United States law enforcement agencies or some other government agencies, you may also be eligible for financial assistance.

Below are choice picks of the most affordable online criminal justice degrees, indicating their tuition, credit requirements and a brief description of the institution for your reference.

Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees Table of Contents

  1. What Is Criminal Justice?
  2. List of Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees
  3. Subject Matter Coverage in Online Criminal Justice Degrees
  4. Future Careers in Criminal Justice

What Is Criminal Justice?

Criminal justice is the “interdisciplinary academic study of the police, criminal courts, correctional institutions (e.g., prisons), and juvenile justice agencies, as well as of the agents who operate within these institutions” (Bernard, 2019). It is different from criminal law, which is the study of behaviors and acts that are punishable under the law, including definitions of new or emergent crimes or crime types. It differs from criminology, which is the study of the causes, history, prevention, and correction of crimes.

Source: Buehler, 2021

List of the Most Affordable Online Criminal Justice Degrees

The following is a list of the most affordable online criminal justice degrees in 2022.

1. University of North Carolina at Pembroke

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree enables students to study theories of crime, delinquency, the courts, corrections, law enforcement, and law administration and have opportunities to participate in internships to apply the skills and knowledge they obtain from their general courses.

Location: Pembroke, North Carolina
Program: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $41.67 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

2. Fayetteville State University

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree from Fayetteville State University equips students in the various fields of law enforcement, criminal justice, criminological theory, and criminal justice ethics. Several elective courses can also be chosen on such timely issues and subjects such as drugs and crime, police and society, white collar crime, and comparative criminal justice.

Location: Fayetteville, North Carolina
Program: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $41.67 per credit hour
Total Credits: 75

3. Tarleton State University

Tarleton State University

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree from Tarleton State University prepares students for careers in law enforcement, law, graduate school, private contractors, and so on. Modern subjects include cybersecurity, racial profiling, comparative criminal justice, family violence, human trafficking, and juvenile justice. Their teachers are all experienced police officers and correctional staff with a high degree of expertise.

Location: Stephenville, Texas
Program: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $100 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

4. Eastern New Mexico University – Main Campus

Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus

Eastern New Mexico University’s Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree are suitable for students who would like to work for law enforcement at the local, state, or federal level, in the court/judicial system, probation, in crime victim advocacy, and related career fields. Students get real-world experience through actual practical internships.

Location: Portales, New Mexico
Program: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $102.25 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

5. Fort Valley State University

Fort Valley State University

Fort Valley State University’s Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program is good for students who would like to pursue careers in law enforcement, corrections, the court system, government agencies, and federal agencies, among many others. Practical experience may be obtained through internships in diverse areas such as the state capitol, government agencies, prisons, public defender’s offices, police departments, law offices, and courts, to name a few.

Location: Fort Valley, Georgia
Program: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $169.33 per credit hour
Total Credits: 122

6. Clayton State University

Clayton State University

Clayton State University’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Administrative Management – Criminal Justice degree is suitable for students who are ore geared towards the management and administrative side jobs, with an emphasis on criminal justice; two other tracks are offered aside from the Applied Criminal Justice track—Organizational Leadership, and General Studies.

Location: Morrow, Georgia
Program: Bachelor of Applied Science in Administrative Management – Criminal Justice
Tuition: $169.33 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

7. Georgia Southwestern State University

Georgia Southwestern State University

Georgia Southwestern State University’s Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies – Justice Studies degree is for students who plan to work in the criminal justice system at the municipal, state, and federal levels of law enforcement, in corrections, and juvenile justice, among others. Two areas of concentration are the General Criminal Justice Degree and the Law Enforcement Concentration area, differing in select courses.

Location: Americus, Georgia
Program: Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies – Justice Studies
Tuition: $169.33 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

8. California Coast University

California Coast University

California Coast University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree is a more general degree with basic core courses and diverse electives that include Medical Law and Ethics, Psychology of Gender, and Personality Theories, among several others. Jobs in law enforcement and corrections are suitable for degree holders of this program.

Location: Santa Ana, California
Program: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $170 per credit hour
Total Credits: 126

9. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University’s Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice are two degree tracks that students from either field can take. The Bachelor of Arts requires an additional 10 credit hours of language subjects, while the Bachelor of Science does not. Twenty-one hours of the student’s degree program can be tailored around one’s specific interests and career objectives.

Location: Hays, Kansas
Program: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $181.46 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

10. Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice curriculum utilizes the interdependence of theory and practice to address real world problems. The program teachers are all experts in their respective fields. Undergraduate students are expected to achieve mastery of fundamental academic competencies and basic expertise in criminal justice.

Location: Cullowhee, North Carolina
Program: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Administration of Justice
Tuition: $181.91 per credit hour
Total Credits: 122

11. Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology program prepares students for careers in law enforcement, homeland security, probation and parole, victim advocacy, corrections, law, and digital forensics, among others. Two tracks offered are the Criminal Justice and Criminology Degree Emphasis and Cybercrime Degree Emphasis.

Location: Statesboro, Georgia
Program: Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology
Tuition: $182.13 per credit hour
Total Credits: 124

12. Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University’s B.S. Degree with a Major in Criminal Justice prepares students for jobs in local, county, state, and federal criminal justice agencies, in private security companies, and in graduate education, for example, law school. Course topics include cybercrime, forensic criminology, sex crimes, terrorism, white collar crime, and organized crime, among others. Course electives can also be chosen for minoring in other related fields.

Location: Valdosta, Georgia
Program: B.S. Degree with a Major in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $182.13 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

13. Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree prepares students for careers in law enforcement, victim services, private security, corrections, and court administration, among others, including graduate school or law school. Its Double Owl Pathways allow students to take graduate courses to fulfill some of the BS in Criminal Justice degree requirements while earning graduate credits, a track towards higher education pathways.

Location: Kennesaw, Georgia
Program: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $185.4 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

14. University of the Cumberlands

University of the Cumberlands

The University of the Cumberlands’ Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice prepares students for careers as police officers, FBI agents, border patrol agents, federal Air Marshals, DEA agents, and various law enforcement and judicial system positions, or to pursue graduate studies.

Location: Williamsburg, Kentucky
Program: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $199 per credit hour
Total Credits: 36

15. University Of Texas Permian Basin

University Of Texas Permian Basin

The University Of Texas Permian Basin BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies degree prepares students for positions such as child protective services investigator, correctional officer, crime scene investigator, forensic science technician, police officer, probation officer, and state trooper, among others.

Location: Odessa, Texas
Program: BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies
Tuition: $219.22 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

16. Wichita State University

Wichita State University

Wichita State University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree, together with the Law Enforcement Training Center allows students to do internships, co-op positions, and applied learning opportunities. Students are prepared for employment in local, state, and federal law enforcement, juvenile justice, courts and correctional agencies, and private security firms, among others.

Location: Wichita, Kansas
Program: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $228.09 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

17. Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University’s B.S. Criminal Justice Administration degree prepares students for careers in law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Some of its program electives include Juvenile Delinquency, Probation and Parole, Race and Ethnic Relations, Typology of Terrorism, Cybersecurity Management, and Critical Infrastructure Protection.

Location: Orange Beach, Alabama
Program: B.S. Criminal Justice Administration
Tuition: $245 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

18. Amridge University

Amridge University

Amridge University’s BS in Criminal Justice degree prepares students for positions in organizations providing public safety agencies and law enforcement services, and other organizations such as community non-profit organizations and church organizations, juvenile or adult detention centers, and private organizations.

Location: Montgomery, Alabama
Program: BS in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $250 per credit hour
Total Credits: 128

19. American Public University

American Public University

American Public University’s Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree allows study flexibility as the courses start monthly. Four concentrations are offered, one of which is to be chosen by the student: Entrepreneurship, General, Organizational Law Enforcement Leadership, and Maritime Law Enforcement (15 semester hours each). Elective credits can be applied toward a minor or certificate in an unrelated field.

Location: Charles Town, WV
Program: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $285 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

20. Metropolitan State University

Metropolitan State University

Metropolitan State University’s Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree prepares students for employment in a wide range of criminal justice careers. Student’s experience service learning classes and do internships. A choice of doing a Criminal Justice Capstone Internship or Criminal Justice Capstone Research is given in the last semester as the final capstone course.

Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Program: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $285.70 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

21. Louisiana State University-Alexandria

Louisiana State University-Alexandria

Louisiana State University-Alexandria’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree prepares students for careers in such agencies as the Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS), Capital Police, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Marshal Service, Interpol, and various state and local law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. Elective courses can be tailored to the student’s interests and career goals.

Location: Alexandria, Louisiana
Program: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $288 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

22. Lamar University

Lamar University

Lamar University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree allows law enforcement professionals to complete their degrees quickly through accelerated courses and Police Training Academy credit (TCOLE credit) for academic credit. Students can look forward to careers in national security, forensics, law, and law enforcement administration.

Location: Beaumont, Texas
Program: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $296 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

23. Ohio University – Main Campus

Ohio University - Main Campus

Ohio University’s Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree prepares students for careers in parole and probation, forensic science, adult and juvenile corrections, law enforcement administration, and police administration. The degree is suitable for students who have already completed an applied associate degree in a related area of criminal justice.

Location: Athens, Ohio
Program: Bachelor of Criminal Justice
Tuition: $304 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

24. Minot State University

Minot State University

Minot State University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice prepares students for various careers in law enforcement and the justice system. There are four minor tracks: Police Management and Investigations minor, Law and Legal Studies minor, Offenders, Risk Assessment and Corrections minor, and Criminal Justice minor. It also offers one concentration, the Criminal Justice Research and Policy Evaluation Concentration.

Location: Minot, North Dakota
Program: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $340.14 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120-122

25. Abraham Lincoln University

Abraham Lincoln University

The Abraham Lincoln University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice prepares students for positions in law enforcement, criminal investigation, and criminal justice management and administration. 15 elective courses may be chosen by the student to allow for various study tracks.

Location: Los Angeles, California
Program: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $360 per credit hour
Total Credits: 120

Affordable online criminal justice degrees

Subject Matter Coverage in Online Criminal Justice Degrees

In alphabetical order, the following are specific subjects or courses that are usually offered in criminal justice degrees. Note that this is not an exhaustive list and may also change due to the changing nature of crime and the justice system.

• American Constitutional Law
• Campus Crime
• Child Abuse and Neglect
• Child Abuse Investigation
• Civil Liberties
• Constitutional Law
• Corporate Crime and Deviance
• Corrections
• Corrections and Community Corrections
• Corrections and Incarceration
• Corrections Process
• Courts and Judicial Systems
• Crime Causation and Criminal Justice Policy
• Crime Prevention
• Criminal Behavior
• Criminal Investigation
• Criminal Justice
• Criminal Justice Administration
• Criminal Law
• Criminal Legal Process
• Criminal Procedures
• Criminal Victimization
• Criminalistics
• Criminology Juvenile Justice
• Critical Infrastructure Protection
• Cybercrime
• Cybersecurity Management
• Digital and Cybercrime
• Domestic Violence
• Drugs and Behavior
• Drugs and Society
• Ethical Issues Confronting Criminal Justice Professionals
• Ethical Leadership in Criminal Justice
• Ethics in Criminal Justice
• Forensic Criminology
• Forensic Science
• Gender, Race & Inequality in Criminal Justice
• Geographic Information Systems and Criminal Justice
• Homeland Security
• Inequalities, Crime, and Justice
• Institutional Corrections
• International Crime
• Interview and Interrogation
• Juvenile Delinquency
• Juvenile Delinquency and Justice
• Juvenile Justice
• Juvenile Justice and Probation
• Juvenile Justice Systems
• Legal Analysis
• Minorities, Crime, and Social Policy
• Multiculturalism in Criminal Justice
• Municipal, State, and Federal Law Enforcement
• Offender Risk Assessment and Typology
• Organization of Law Enforcement Systems
• Organized Crime
• Police Administration
• Police Practices and Problems
• Probation and Parole
• Procedures in the Justice System
• Punishment and Society
• Race and Ethnic Relations
• Sex Crimes
• State and Federal Law Enforcement Initiatives
• Structure of the American Court System
• Technology and Criminal Justice
• Terrorism
• The Criminal Court System
• The Judicial Process
• Typology of Terrorism
• Victim Advocacy
• Victimology
• White Collar Crime

Future Careers in Criminal Justice

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, police and detective jobs are projected to grow 7% from 2020 to 2030, on average, in order to replace workers who move to different occupations or retire (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020).

Source: Buehler, 2021

Neuroscience is increasingly been tapped as the next tool to enhance criminal justice efforts, and it is coming of age. The journal Annual Review of Criminology states that “The criminal justice system acts directly on bodies, but fundamentally it cares about minds. As neuroscience progresses, it will increasingly be able to probe the objective, physical organ of the brain and reveal secrets from the subjective mind. This is already beginning to affect the criminal justice system, a trend that will only increase” (Greely and Farahany, 2019).

Careers in criminal justice and criminology will always be in demand in this fast-changing world with future increases in human trafficking, sexual and gender crimes, child abuse, violence against minorities, domestic violence, and challenges involving national security, organized crime, cybercrime, and international crime, among many others.

The Future of Crime and Crimefighting

Criminal justice is integral to the governing and survival of all democratic societies. Its three arms of law enforcement, the court system, and corrections are a tightly-knit triumvirate, but they are not infallible. They are also subject to abuse and a limited reach in implementing the law in certain circumstances. Furthermore, the definitions of crime and criminal behavior are constantly evolving, especially in the areas of cybercrime and international crime.

It is of paramount importance for criminal justice to evolve to catch up with rapid changes in all areas of crime and crimefighting.  Criminal justice alone will not be able to solve all of society’s ills. It also has to partner with criminology, the study of  crime and criminal behavior.

Criminology draws from the fields of anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics and socio-economics, statistics, and neuroscience. Coupling criminology with criminal justice would be the way to move forward in the ever-complex world of crime and crimefighting, allowing preventive interventions to be mixed with corrective interventions.

 

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