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Quick Facts: Criminal Justice Industry

Median Pay:   $53,130 per year | $26 per hour
Entry-Level Education:   Bachelor's degree

Criminal Justice Occupations:

  • Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists$49,060
  • Criminal justice and law enforcement teachers, postsecondary$57,200

Online Bachelor of Criminal Justice Degrees

Thanks in large part to the ubiquitous crime and legal shows on television, criminal justice is one of the most popular degree programs in recent years. In order to secure a job in the field after graduation, earning a full four-year bachelor's degree is often the best course of action.

If you are ready to embark on the path to a career in criminal justice, this guide can help you know the process of picking a college, applying, meeting the prerequisites and knowing what to expect while enrolled as well as after graduation.

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Compare These Top-Rated Accredited Colleges For Online Bachelor of Criminal Justice Degrees...

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
Daymar College , Clarksville
  • Providing exceptional career training since 1963.
  • Presents numerous scholarships opportunities for eligible students.
  • Offers programs in business, health care, technology and design, and more.
  • Has 13 campuses across Ohio and Kentucky, as well as online options.
  • Lets graduates use lifelong learning credit to return and review or audit any previously taken course for free.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
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Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
4 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked one of the Best for Vets schools in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
  • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
  • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
  • Provides IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
  • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
4 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in 2015 by the U.S. News & World Report.
  • Admits students throughout the year with quarterly start dates in January, April, July, and September.
  • Provides faculty-monitored internships or job-related assignments.
  • Offers associate and bachelor degree programs in business, design, health, plus certificate programs in practical nurse, medical assistant, and more.
  • Preparing students for professional and personal success since 1931.
  • More than $64 million in Berkeley College grants and scholarships provided during the 2015-2016 award year
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Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
South College , Online (campus option available)

At South College we welcome students from all different stages of life and career.  Whether you are pursing a degree for the first time, going back to school as an adult learner, or furthering your career with an advanced degree, our faculty and staff will partner with you to give your dreams direction.

Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
Keiser University Campus , Port Saint Lucie
  • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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    1 Program(s) Found

    An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs.

    • Online Courses
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    4 Program(s) Found
    • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
    • Designated as a 2015Military Friendy School by Victory Media.
    • Listed amongst the Best for Vets Colleges by Military Times 2 years in a row
    • Offers a network of technologically advanced campuses and online degree programs designed to provide a unique higher education.
    • 5 campuses located across Colorado.
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    Good for Working Adults
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    2 Program(s) Found
    ECPI University , Virginia Beach

    Making the decision to earn your degree and pursue your career goals could be the best decision you ever make. Enroll at ECPI University and you’ll join a collaborative and fostering learning environment, surrounded by faculty and staff who are there to support you through the entire process.


    What sets ECPI University apart? Just ask the employers who hire our graduates. Since 1966, more than 3,800 employers have looked to ECPI for talented professionals who are capable of entering the workplace and doing the job right on the very first day. That’s because our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of today’s highly-specialized job market.

    Good for Working Adults
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Accelerated Programs
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    1 Program(s) Found

    National Louis University is one of the oldest and most progressive universities in Chicago. We offer more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs through two colleges: the National College of Education and the College of Professional Studies and Advancement.

    • Online Courses

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    Picking the Right School For Your Degree

    The first step will be determining which college is the right place for you to earn your degree. Obviously, it should be a college that offers a bachelor's in criminal justice, which not all schools do.

    If you are a busy student, a parent or someone who plans to work and study at the same time, you might also want to find a degree program that is offered by an accredited online college so that you can fit education into your busy schedule. Factors like competitiveness and ranking may also be calculated into your decision-making process.

    Meeting College Prerequisites

    Before applying, you need to be sure that you can meet the prerequisites for the college of your choosing. Typically, colleges will expect applicants to their bachelor's programs to have a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, be able to submit transcripts from their high school education and have taken either the ACT or the SAT with satisfactory scores.

    Applying for Admission

    If you meet the prerequisites, then you can follow through with your formal application to the degree program. For most online programs, applications are also submitted online.

    The application might include personal information about yourself, previous educational accomplishments, references from teachers or employers in your life or even a written essay or portfolio revealing why you are interested in a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.

    Earning Your Online Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice

    Once you've applied and been accepted to an online bachelor's degree in criminal justice, you will spend roughly four years completing the core and elective courses that make up the degree.

    While the specifics vary from school to school, the main subjects you can expect to study will include criminology, constitutional law, corrections, public administration and the legal system.

    After Graduation: What to Expect

    With your diploma in hand, there are a variety of career opportunities that are open to graduates. Some of the most popular positions taken by criminal justice graduates include probation officer, correctional officer, criminal investigator, police officer or corrections case manager.

    If you want to dive into the exciting world of criminal justice, you might want to first complete all of these steps to earn your online bachelor's degree.