24 Cheapest Criminal Justice Degree in 2020 - Best Value Schools

    24 Cheapest Criminal Justice Degree in 2020

    December 11, 2020 | Staff Writers

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    Are you looking for the lowest cost accredited schools to earn your criminal justice degree? We have found 25 schools with Tuition (Per Year) under $10,000 — and sometimes much less than $10,000 a year. All of the schools we list here are fully accredited, and all of them offer online options for earning your degree from anywhere in the United States.

    So let’s dive in and go to our list of the 25 cheapest criminal justice degree programs that can give you the certification you need for promotions in your law enforcement career.

    Rank School Location
    1Metropolitan State UniversitySaint Paul, Minnesota
    2California Coast UniversitySanta Ana, California
    3Fort Valley State University (University of Georgia System)Fort Valley, Georgia
    4Clayton State UniversityMorrow, Georgia
    5Western Carolina UniversityCullowhee, North Carolina

    24 Cheapest Criminal Justice Degree

    1

    Metropolitan State University

    • Saint Paul, Minnesota
    • Graduation Rate: 48%

    Metropolitan State University in St. Paul Minnesota offers the USA’s cheapest criminal justice degree, but the university maintains the same standards for its inexpensive online BA in Criminal Justice program that it does for on-campus students. Criminal justice undergrads learn from professionals who work in the criminal justice system, along with researchers who address the most important unanswered questions in the field. Metropolitan State University’s criminal justice program offers online, on-campus, and hybrid classes, along with opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom through service clubs and internships.

    Tuition (Per Year): $4,037
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
    Acceptance Rate: 56%
    Visit School Website
    2

    California Coast University

    • Santa Ana, California

    California Coast University offers the second-cheapest criminal justice degree, but it has a feature that other online criminal justice programs do not. California Coast University allows its students to pay their tuition bills at no interest for $100 or $125 a month, after making a down payment of either $500 (for the $100 monthly repayment rate) or $300 (for the $125 monthly repayment rate). California Coast University offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in criminal justice that are fully accredited and recognized by major employers everywhere..

    Tuition (Per Year): $4,725 (Many students qualify for a 10% tuition discount. Students who have worked in law enforcement may be able to get up to 18 hours of credit in criminal justice electives, for no tuition, based on their experience.)
    School Type: For-Profit
    School Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
    Acceptance Rate: Not published
    Visit School Website
    3

    Fort Valley State University (University of Georgia System)

    • Fort Valley, Georgia
    • Graduation Rate: 23%

    Criminal justice students at Fort Valley State University can take classes in person or entirely online. There are two years of mostly core courses that apply to nearly all undergraduate degrees. Then students take theory of criminal behavior, American criminal procedure, alternatives to incarceration and other criminal justice courses for the 30 hours required for their major. If you pursue your degree full time, the degree program gives you a relatively light second semester your senior year so you will have more time for your job search.

    Tuition (Per Year): $4,770 while you are taking core courses (30 semester hours a year at $159 a semester hour), possibly increasing to $5,970 when you are taking just courses in your major (30 semester hours at $199 a semester hour).
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
    Acceptance Rate: 44%
    Visit School Website
    4

    Clayton State University

    • Morrow, Georgia
    • Graduation Rate: 49%

    Undergraduate criminal justice students at Clayton State University get a well-rounded liberal arts education to help them go farther with the full load of criminal justice courses they take for their degrees. Students complete courses in Criminology, Corrections, Survey of Criminal Law and Procedures, Law Enforcement, and the Research Methods course along with an off-campus internship, but also courses in communication, English, political science, and psychology

    The program outcomes at Clayton State are a good example of what all accredited criminal justice programs expect of their undergraduate students:

    Outcome 1: Describe the varying responsibilities and administrative competencies of each component of the criminal justice system.

    Outcome 2: Demonstrate the major theoretical perspectives in the criminology and criminal justice fields, as well as identify the social policy implications of these perspectives.

    Outcome 3: Illustrate how gender, race, ethnicity, age and social class contribute to varying experiences in the criminal justice system.

    Outcome 4: Demonstrate the ability to summarize and discuss in written and oral form academic journal articles.

    Outcome 5: Analyze and interpret the kinds of data commonly found in the criminal justice field.

    Outcome 6: Critically evaluate existing or proposed criminal justice policies and practices.

    Outcome 7: Apply material learned in criminal justice classes to real life experiences gained by working in a criminal justice or related organization.

    Tuition (Per Year): $5,490
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
    Acceptance Rate: 42%
    Visit School Website
    5

    Western Carolina University

    • Cullowhee, North Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 56%

    The criminal justice program at Western Carolina University is one of the school’s most popular programs. Many graduates of the program go on to great graduate programs in criminal justice, like those at the University of Cincinnati and Florida State University. Western Carolina University’s criminal justice program also has a track for students aiming for careers in emergency and disaster management services, focused on the skills for solving real-world problems with cutting-edge technique.

    Tuition (Per Year): $5,670
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
    Acceptance Rate: 39%
    Visit School Website

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    6

    Georgia Southern University

    • Statesboro, Georgia
    • Graduation Rate: 46%

    Georgia Southern offers degrees in criminal justice through its department of criminal justice and criminology. The department emphasizes effective communications skills. Students are expected to become skilled writers who can clearly convey important facts for trial and parole hearings. The department makes sure that students can understand criminal justice issues from diverse points of view so they can represent their agencies effectively. The department offers an online certificate in cybercrime studies and an online master’s programs for students looking to continue to advance their careers.

    Tuition (Per Year): $5,766
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
    Acceptance Rate: 68%
    Visit School Website
    7

    Georgia Highlands College

    • Rome, Georgia
    • Graduation Rate: 16%

    Georgia Southern offers a BA program in criminal justice both in-person and online and a BS program in criminal justice entirely online. Students work in criminal justice agencies when they graduate, although some go on to law school.

    Tuition (Per Year): $5,970
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
    Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
    Visit School Website
    8

    Georgia Southwestern State University

    • Americus, Georgia
    • Graduation Rate: 31%

    Georgia Southwestern University offers criminal justice studies through the University of Georgia’s emajor system. There are both a BS in criminal justice program and a certificate program that verifies your progress toward better professional credentials in criminal justice. The university helps students obtain federally guaranteed loans for tuition and other costs as necessary.

    Tuition (Per Year): $5,970
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
    Acceptance Rate: 67%
    Visit School Website
    9

    University of the Cumberlands

    • Williamsburg, Kentucky
    • Graduation Rate: 78%

    The University of the Cumberlands online undergraduate criminal justice program is intended for future law enforcement officers, border patrol officers, FBI agents, federal marshalls, ATF agents, DEA agents, customs patrol agents, police officers, and deputy sheriffs. If you problems getting good scores on your SATs, the university may be able to admit you through its test-optional admission process.

    Tuition (Per Year): $5,970
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
    Acceptance Rate: 74%
    Visit School Website
    10

    Tarleton State University

    • Stephenville, Texas
    • Graduation Rate: 43%

    Part of the Texas A & M University system, Tarleton State University offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in crime analysis as well as bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in criminal justice.

    The Bachelor of Criminal Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration is designed for working professionals who pursue their degrees parttime. These students can get up to 33 hours of credit toward their degrees from their professional training or from military service. Most students in this program are seeking to get a promotion in their agency or to move to a different agency into a higher-level job.

    The traditional Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice at Tarleton is more theory-intensive and prepares students for graduate study in criminal justice if they wish. Students will have opportunities to engage with people who are working as police officers, as probation officers, as district attorneys and district judges. They will also have opportunities to work with full-time faculty who are experts in cybercrime, mediation and arbitration, and racial profiling.

    Tuition (Per Year): $6,044
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
    Acceptance Rate: 50%
    Visit School Website
    11

    Valdosta State University

    • Valdosta, Georgia
    • Graduation Rate: 36%

    Valdosta State University offers both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science programs in criminal justice online. Online students can take coursework in cybercrimes, sex crimes, organized crime, white collar crime, and terrorism for law enforcement jobs in their field of specialization. The department sponsors annual trips to Asia, Europe, and Australia for their comparative justice systems class.

    Tuition (Per Year): $6,060
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
    Acceptance Rate: 74%
    Visit School Website
    12

    Kennesaw State University

    • Kennesaw, Georgia
    • Graduation Rate: 41%

    Kennesaw State University offers both BS and MS degrees in criminal justice. Their BS degree program is offered online for working professionals. The university’s Double Owl program allows students to fulfill BS requirements with courses that will also count toward their master’s degrees.

    Tuition (Per Year): $6,180
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
    Acceptance Rate: 61%
    Visit School Website
    13

    Fort Hays State University

    • Hays, Kansas
    • Graduation Rate: 71%

    The Fort Hays State University online criminal justice program challenges students to understand the principles behind the investigation, prosecution, and resolution of their cases so they can interact more successful with attorneys representing the agencies they serve. Students will be expected to show critical thinking skills and to express themselves clearly orally and in writing. The university expects its students to become leaders in law enforcement with reputations for integrity.

    Tuition (Per Year): $6,560
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
    Acceptance Rate: 89%
    Visit School Website
    14

    Wichita State University

    • Wichita, Kansas
    • Graduation Rate: 55%

    Wichita State offers degrees in criminal justice, forensic science, and homeland security. The university has been offering studies in police science since 1934, so it has deep connections to law enforcement agencies, news organizations, and criminal justice professionals all over the world to give students numerous networking and internship possibilities. It’s a great school for students who want to combine criminal justice with journalism or criminal justice with medical technology, although these double majors will require some work on campus.

    Tuition (Per Year): $6,708
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
    Acceptance Rate: 94%
    Visit School Website
    15

    Columbia Southern University

    • Orange Beach, Alabama
    • Graduation Rate: 42%

    Columbia Southern University offers students opportunities to pursue a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice supplemented by coursework in homeland security or fire science. Students develop an understanding of constitutional and criminal law in addition to criminal science so they can make lawful and informed decisions in their professional careers. This program offers BS degrees in criminal justice or in criminal justice with an emphasis on arson cases, as well as a certificate program you can use to demonstrate your progress toward your career credentials.

    Tuition (Per Year): $6,900
    School Type: For-Profit
    School Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
    Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
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    16

    University of North Carolina at Pembroke

    • Pembroke, North Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 36%

    The University of North Carolina at Pembroke offers criminal justice degrees through its Sociology and Criminal Justice Department. Elective courses give students a background in addiction issues that they can use their law enforcement careers. It’s also possible to combine studies of criminal justice with studies in medical sociology and community development.

    Tuition (Per Year): $6,977
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
    Acceptance Rate: 81%
    Visit School Website
    17

    Ohio University (Athens, Ohio Campus)

    • Athens, Ohio
    • Graduation Rate: 62%

    Do you already have an associate degree in criminal justice? Then you can earn your Bachelor of Criminal Justice online at Ohio University! The Bachelor of Criminal Justice at Ohio University is designed to help students qualify for careers as police officers and court reports and in probation and parole, forensic science, adult and juvenile corrections, and law enforcement administration. The program can be completed online in as little as four semesters or at your own pace.

    Tuition (Per Year): $7,290
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
    Acceptance Rate: 74%. You need 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours from an accredited university with a 2.0 GPA to apply to this program.
    Visit School Website
    18

    Lamar University

    • Beaumont, Texas
    • Graduation Rate: 32%

    Part of the Texas State University system, Lamar University in Beaumont offers BS and MS degrees in criminal justice as well as an MBA in criminal justice management.The university offers multiple internship experiences for real-world exposure to the criminal justice system, as well as 8-week and 15-week courses with multiple start dates every year.

    Tuition (Per Year): $8,190 (at $273 per semester hour)
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
    Acceptance Rate: 82%
    Visit School Website
    19

    Eastern New Mexico University (Portales Campus)

    • Portales, New Mexico
    • Graduation Rate: 36%

    Eastern New Mexico University offers online undergraduate studies in criminal justice both through online capture (view the video on your own schedule) and synchronous instruction (you have to be online when the class is held). Students who have issues with English language mastery are offered online tutoring and special library access. Many students are offered scholarships.

    Tuition (Per Year): $7,492
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
    Acceptance Rate: 60%
    Visit School Website
    20

    Abraham Lincoln University

    • Los Angeles, California

    Students at Abraham Lincoln University have opportunities to study community policing, fingerprint analysis, crime scene investigation, homicide investigation, kinesic interviewing, arson investigation, white collar crime, cybercrime, and much more. Discounted tuition rates may be available for active military service members.

    Tuition (Per Year): $7,500
    School Type: For-Profit
    School Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
    Acceptance Rate: Not published
    Visit School Website
    21

    Louisiana State University (Alexandria Campus)

    • Alexandria, Louisiana
    • Graduation Rate: 23%

    Fascinated by crime? Earn an online bachelor’s degree in criminology from Louisiana State University. Graduates of the LSU criminology program have become law enforcement officers, lawyers, victim advocates, and judges.

    Tuition (Per Year): $7,500
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
    Acceptance Rate: 31%
    Visit School Website
    22

    Minot State University

    • Minot, North Dakota
    • Graduation Rate: 41%

    Minot State University offers substantial discounts on tuition costs to any student who has served two years or more working for a law enforcement agency. Their programs are specifically tailored to members of the Air Force who have associate degrees from Air University, allowing completion of a degree with no more than 60 semester hours of upper division credit. And an automatic four-year scholarship award is available to selected incoming freshmen.

    Tuition (Per Year): $7,500
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
    Acceptance Rate: 69%
    Visit School Website
    23

    Fayetteville State University

    • Fayetteville, North Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 57%

    The Crime and Justice program at Fayetteville State University was the first in North Carolina to be accredited by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. There are approximately 350 students in the university’s criminal justice programs, making it one of the most popular majors on campus, and giving students many networking opportunities.

    Tuition (Per Year): $7,556
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
    Acceptance Rate: 68%
    Visit School Website
    24

    Arkansas State University

    • Jonesboro, Arkansas
    • Graduation Rate: 45%

    Arkansas State University offers 100-percent online access to courses you can take on your own schedule. Financial aid is available.

    Tuition (Per Year): $7,740
    School Type: Public (part of state university system)
    School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
    Acceptance Rate: 66%
    Visit School Website

    We have made an effort to make sure we are giving you the very latest information about each school, but schools raise tuition, add majors, discontinue majors, and change their admission policies. We appreciate your updates of this information.

    We’d also love to know about your personal experiences.

    Have you graduated from one of these programs? Is there a great program we need to know more about? We welcome your comments below, and invite any updates on the information we provide for each school.

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