What’s the Best Criminal Justice Degree Program for Me?

You may ask yourself whether education for a criminal justice career can be obtained online or on campus, especially if you already have a job or a family or other time constraints. Online courses are more flexible, and you can finalize your degree at your convenience. But, the answer to whether you need to attend classes on campus or online varies, depending upon the criminal justice job you desire.The educational process for some criminal justice jobs can be lengthy, as many jobs require a four-year bachelor’s degree and some demand a master’s and even a doctoral degree with a focus in law and criminal justice. While some careers, such as a police officer, may ask only for a high school education, advancement in a job like this may come only if you expand your college education.

Other jobs, such as an FBI or CIA agent, demand more education in courses that are not readily available online such as forensic sciences. These courses are more hands-on in their educational processes, and it would be difficult to learn these skills without attending classes at a bricks-and-mortar college.

If you have financial or time constraints, one solution would be to take your preliminary courses through online courses. The first two years of your education often can be achieved this way. Once you have obtained the groundwork courses, you then can apply to a college to finalize your bachelor’s or master’s degree on campus.

Many bachelor’s degrees can be obtained online, however, especially if you want to pursue a degree in law, psychology, social work or other major that does not require hands-on learning. Languages and other criminal justice career requirements also can be learned online. Additionally, once you begin your career, ongoing education often can be found through online offerings. In other cases where you need to learn skills that can only be absorbed in a crime lab or on the scene of a crime, you may discover that a campus environment is best for this training.

Finally, if you decide to become a government agent, your final education will take place in Quantico, Virginia or Glynco, Georgia. You won’t be able to avoid this part of your education, and there is no possible way to complete this skill set online.

Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Liberty University
BS in Criminal Justice

Liberty University — Liberty University is an online university that prepares students for success in their careers following graduation. Liberty University offers two programs in the field, a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminal Justice, and a B.S. In Multidisciplinary Studies - Criminal Justice.
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Purdue University
AS in Criminal Justice
BS in Criminal Justice
MS in Criminal Justice

Purdue University — Purdue University is one of the largest accredited online colleges, and it offers a wide range of degree programs in the field of criminal justice. These programs include associates, bachelors, and masters in criminal justice, with possible specialties (depending on degree level) in Computer Crime, Law Enforcement, Corrections, Law, and Global Issues.
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American InterContinental University
BSCJ in Generalist
BSCJ in Law Enforcement
BSCJ in Case Mgmt and Corrections

American InterContinental University — American InterContinental University online is one of the most popular online universities for students interested in a criminal justice career. Degree programs at AIU include an BS in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice (Law Enforcement), and B.S. in Criminal Justice (Case Management and Corrections).
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Saint Leo University
AA in Criminal Justice
BA in Criminal Justice
BACJ in Criminalistics
MS in Criminal Justice
MSCJ in Forensic Science

Saint Leo University — For years, Saint Leo University has helped students across the county obtain Criminal Justice degrees through online programs. These programs cut many of the costs associated with campus programs and have the added benefit of being accessible from any computer. SLU has several degrees available including an Associates, Bachelors, and Masters in Criminal Justice as well as specialized programs for BACJ in Criminalistics and MSCJ in Forensic Science.
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