Working in criminal justice requires having the skills, knowledge and education to perform the important duties of the profession. Prospective students interested in criminal justice often complete one of the fastest online criminal justice degree programs. Many people already working in the field obtain a criminal justice degree to expand their potential career opportunities, while other graduates start working in the field immediately after earning an associate’s degree.
Table of contents
- How can I get my Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree Fast?
- How Fast Can You Earn a Criminal Justice Degree?
- Is an Accelerated Criminal Justice Degree Cheaper Than a Traditional Degree?
- Accelerated Criminal Justice Degree Programs Overview
- Here are the Fastest Criminal Justice Degrees Online!
- Benefits of an Accelerated Online Criminal Justice Degree Program
- What Courses Will I Take In an Accelerated Criminal Justice Degree Program?
- What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree?
- What Is The Average Salary for Criminal Justice Degree Graduates?
- Job Outlook for Accelerated Criminal Justice Degree Graduates
- Job Outlook for Accelerated Criminal Justice Degree Graduates
Some schools offer opportunities for students to receive credit for life learning or offer other options to reduce the time that it takes to earn an online criminal justice degree.
How can I get my Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree Fast?
Many people are looking to gain a criminal law degree in a quick and easy manner. Often times these individuals will turn to obtaining an online criminal justice degree so they can work and earn their degree at the same time. Those looking to obtain their degree as fast as possible should attend an accelerated criminal justice degree program. These accelerated programs offer a full degree at an accelerated pace. This allows students to graduate faster than most students in nonaccelerated programs. Accelerated criminal justice degree programs are perfect for individuals that are highly motivated and have no problems learning at a faster pace than normal.
To provide even more flexibility, individuals interested in earning a degree as fast as possible should look to attend an online criminal justice program. By attending an online accelerated program, students will be able to work at their own pace whenever and wherever they’d like.
How Fast Can You Earn a Criminal Justice Degree?
How fast you can get your Criminal Justice degree depends partially on which program you choose but also whether you have any prior experience or prior learning that can be applied. Most of the online degree programs on this list can be completed in 18-24 months, although some can take up to 4 years if you do not have transfer credits or prior work experience.
Is an Accelerated Criminal Justice Degree Cheaper Than a Traditional Degree?
Typically an accelerated degree will be cheaper than a traditional degree as you’re enrolled for less time. The less time you spend enrolled in classes, the less tuition you have to pay. Many programs also allow you to transfer credits from other programs or earn credit through prior experience, which further lessens the cost. Online criminal justice degrees are also generally cheaper as the institution has fewer upfront costs for students that won’t be attending class on campus.
Tuition rate shown for accelerated criminal justice degrees covers only the cost of per-credit instruction. It does not include mandatory fees, course materials, or other expenses. The tuition rate is for resident students. Some schools charge a different rate for non-resident students, while other schools charge a flat rate for online students.
Accelerated Criminal Justice Degree Programs Overview
Accelerated criminal justice degree programs provide students with the opportunity to earn their degree at a faster pace. Program length tends to depend on the degree level that a student is looking to earn:
Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degrees – typically require around 120 credit hours. Accelerated programs offer 8-week courses, instead of the traditional 16 weeks. This allows students the option to potentially earn their degree in half the time of a traditional degree. Programs may also be customized to fit student goals.
Criminal Justice Master’s Degrees – can be completed in 12 months. Master’s degrees can customized to fit student goals and adjusted for students to work at their own pace.
|1||University of Oklahoma||Norman, Oklahoma|
|2||Lamar University||Beaumont, Texas|
|3||Faulkner University||Montgomery, Alabama|
|4||University of Texas Rio Grande Valley||Edinburg, Texas|
|5||King University||Bristol, Tennessee|
Here are the Fastest Criminal Justice Degrees Online!
University of Oklahoma
The accelerated Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree at the University of Oklahoma is one of the top online criminal justice degree programs in the nation. The program is fast-paced, and designed to accommodate working adults. The online format and eight-week-long courses give students the flexibility to adjust their courses to fit their schedule. Students are assigned an academic advisor upon admission to the program, which further helps students hone their path to their degree. Students choose from four concentration areas: Homeland Security, Administrative Leadership, Restorative Justice, or Investigations and Intelligence Analysis. The program consists of 120 credit hours and can be completed in as few as 18 months, but most students complete their bachelor’s degree in two to three years.
The online Criminal Justice programs at Lamar University help students gain an in-depth understanding of theoretical foundations of crime control, criminal justice policies and systems in the United States. The 120 credit hour Bachelor’s Degree curriculum includes courses on criminology, interpersonal effectiveness, correctional counseling, correctional systems, and the juvenile justice system. LU will accept up to 90 transferred credits from other institutions. Graduates are qualified for jobs in law enforcement administration, national security, forensics, and law. There is also a nationally-ranked online Master’s in Criminal Justice offered if you wish to continue your studies.
Start your path to success or expand your current criminal justice knowledge and skills when you earn an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree at Faulkner University. This program is for students who have prior higher education experience, and students typically transfer in previously-earned credits. Students must be at least 23 years old and have 66 credit hours of core curriculum coursework to be accepted.
The online degree program is made of 54 credits and is scheduled into six modules of eight weeks. Courses cover multiple aspects of the criminal justice system including criminal behavior analysis, juvenile justice, terrorism, and interview and interrogation. This program can be completed in one year.
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley provides criminal justice professionals with the opportunity to advance their knowledge, skills, and career options with the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Accelerated Online program. The curriculum of the 36-credit hour program enhances the competencies of each student in theories, principles and concepts in criminal justice, and prepares students for administrative and management positions in criminal justice organizations and agencies. It also prepares professionals for working in positions that require a graduate degree. Students also have the opportunity to prepare for education beyond the master’s degree in this accelerated program.
Some courses include Criminal Justice Organizations: Theory and Behavior, Advanced Criminology, Criminal Justice Policy Analysis, and Policing in a Democracy.
The comprehensive curriculum featured in the online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree at King University prepares graduates for management positions in law enforcement, corrections, or other areas of criminal justice. The program places a unique emphasis on restorative justice, and helps students develop the in-demand skills required for a successful criminal justice career. The online degree program requires 48 credit hours of major coursework and can be completed in as few as 16 months. To graduate, students must have completed a total of 124 credit hours which can include transferred credits.
Central Community College
The Associate of Applied Science Criminal Justice online degree offered by Central Community College provides students with the fundamental skills necessary for a successful criminal justice career. Take courses in criminal law, juvenile justice, forensic science, report writing, and additional classes for a total of 62 required credit hours. This program is one the cheapest per credit hour, and provides an excellent entrance in the world of criminal justice.
University of the Cumberlands
The University of the Cumberlands offers an accelerated online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree. The online accelerated program provides the solid foundation for graduates who want to further their career opportunities and earn a better salary. Take your career to the next level as you complete courses that potentially leads to a career in law enforcement or corrections. Gain the knowledge to work for state or federal agencies such as a federal air marshal or customs enforcement officer. While 120 credits are required, they offer free transfer of credits from other universities which can lower that requirement dramatically.
Sinclair College offers an Associate of Applied Science online Criminal Justice program. Students choose a concentration in Law Enforcement or Corrections, although only the Criminal Justice program is available in an accelerated format. Gain an understanding of the role that criminal justice professionals have in their communities, or around the world. Students build communications skills, knowledge of investigation and procedures, critical thinking skills, and proficient use of technology. The accelerated program can be completed in as few as 15 months.
Truckee Meadows Community College
Truckee Meadows Community College offers Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science online Criminal Justice programs. Some students complete the TMCC program and immediately start working in the profession, while other graduates transfer their credits to continue their criminal justice education in a Bachelor’s degree program.
Learn about constitutional law, criminal law, criminal investigations, trial and procedures, and ethics in criminal justice.
Thomas Edison State University
The online Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice program at Thomas Edison State University meets the mid-career needs of adults that want to work in law enforcement, corrections, security or emergency response careers. Students take courses in verbal and written communication skills, human cultures, corrections, criminology, law enforcement and juvenile delinquency. Students that want to advance their criminal justice career potential have the option of earning a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, or a Master’s degree in Homeland Security or Cybersecurity.
The school offers several paths to shorten the time that it takes to complete the degree. Earn credits through the Credit-by Exam program, through portfolio assessment, or military training.
Active duty military personnel receive a tuition discount.
The Master of Science with a Criminal Justice Major degree at Trine University is a newly updated program that focuses on crisis intervention and child welfare and the family.
The program prepares students to work in the criminal justice system through extensive coursework in criminology, how law enforcement responds to crisis situations, psychopathology and other courses. New classes start every eight weeks.
Fort Hays State University
Fort Hays State University offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science online Criminal Justice programs. The primary difference between the two programs is that the Bachelor of Arts requires 10 credits of a foreign language, while the Bachelor of Science does not.
Throughout the online criminal justice degree, students will complete courses in criminal justice research, digital and cybercrime, security administration, and serial predators, among others.
The school accepts previous credit, which reduces the time to complete the program.
Georgia Highlands College
The online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program at Georgia Highlands College is one of the newer criminal justice degree programs on this list, and is offered in accelerated eight-week terms. The school explains that participation in the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) may be awarded credits that apply to the program, up to a maximum of 30 hours. Students also have the opportunity to potentially apply Credits for Prior Learning to degree requirements, shortening the time to program completion.
The online criminal justice degree program prepares graduates to enter into a career or expand their current career opportunities at the local, state, or federal level of law enforcement or corrections. The program can be completed in as few as two years.
Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University offers online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice programs that provides a solid foundation for working in the profession. There are two concentrations available in addition to the general track: Criminal Psychology and Forensic Psychology, although the Forensic Psychology path is not accelerated. Gain knowledge and skills necessary to work in both the adult and juvenile justice system as you progress through core courses and courses in corrections management, private and industrial security, forensic science, and criminal justice administration.
Students with military or law enforcement experience can earn credits through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).
Florida International University
Florida International University offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree. Completing the program prepares graduates to work in academia, to pursue a doctorate degree, or to work at a criminal justice agency.
Students that have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.2 GPA in upper division coursework are eligible to apply to the program.
Norwich University offers a 100 percent online Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree that provides an in-depth exploration of criminal behavior at the global level. Learn the knowledge, skills, and strategies to protect citizens and allies from harm through the extensive resources provided by the school in areas such as law enforcement, corrections, cybercrime, international law, terrorism, and criminological theory. The school also offers an online bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice.
There is a one-week residency that serves as a culminating experience. The university covers the cost of all meals and accommodations on the Vermont campus during the residency experience.
University of Cincinnati
Earn a Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree at the University of Cincinnati by completing just 33 credit hours of online courses. Many students earn their bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at the school and then pursue the master’s degree, while other students transfer undergraduate credits to the school.
Gain the skills to advance your career through interdisciplinary study through experience-based learning, best practice approaches, and by learning how to apply other skills to real-world situations in criminal justice.
Students choose from three concentrations, which includes Law Enforcement and Crime Prevention, Corrections and Offender Behavior, or the Analysis of Criminal Behavior concentration.
Johnson & Wales University
The Online Accelerated Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice at Johnson & Wales University provides the opportunity for students to expand their career and assume leadership positions in criminal justice. Online academic advisors work one-on-one with students to help ensure their success in online learning.
Students have the opportunity to work on their master’s degree while completing their bachelor’s degree program.
Albertus Magnus College
Albertus Magnus College offers a comprehensive online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program that can be completed as quickly as 18 months. Students gain an understanding of the criminal justice system, rooted deeply in sociology and a person-centered focus. Learn the importance of demonstrating effective and respectful interaction with citizens while completing courses in deviance and criminology, contemporary issues in criminal justice, research methods and other courses.
Some students continue their education by earning a master’s degree in criminal justice at the school.
DeSales University offers several tracks in its online accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree. The school focuses on providing students with instruction grounded in practical applications so that graduates are able to immediately apply their knowledge and skills. Transfer credits or receive credits through the prior learning assessment.
The Monroe College School of Criminal Justice features a variety of criminal justice programs that appeals to every level of criminal justice professional, and offers Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s level online degree programs. Gain real-world knowledge and skills in law enforcement, corrections and the court system. Criminal justice students have the opportunity to join the 18-month PASS program to prepare for a job in law enforcement. Online students have the same access to support and professional connections that are provided to students completing the traditional degree program.
Utica College offers five specializations in its Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program. Gain a solid foundation in the processes, issues, and issues related to crime and justice. The school offers five optional specializations, including Cyber Criminology and Policy, Legal Issues in Criminal Justice, and White-Collar Crime; and students can become CipherTrace Certified Examiners (CTCE) to investigate cryptocurrency.
Shorten the length of time to complete the program with transfer credits.
St. Joseph’s University
Complete the application file for the St. Joseph’s University Online Master’s in Criminal Justice degree within 20 days and pay no application fee. The program is designed for working criminal justice professionals and to create scholars in the field.
Learn administrative strategies, the latest trends in criminal justice, theory and research, and ethics in criminal justice and other knowledge and skills to become a leader in your field. There are five concentrations, including a general track, intelligence and crime analysis, behavior management, federal law enforcement, and the homeland security track.
Earn an accelerated online Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree at Lewis University, and gain an advanced understanding of management theory, and the administration of criminal justice agencies. Expand your knowledge and skills related to the importance of effectively communicating with other agencies, protecting communities, and the importance of safeguarding human rights.
Benefits of an Accelerated Online Criminal Justice Degree Program
Obviously the biggest benefit of an accelerated criminal justice degree is that you complete the degree program faster and can be earning money in your chosen field fast. The coursework is condensed, so you’ll get just as much of an education as a traditional program, just in less time. Another benefit is that you don’t have to relocate for an online degree, and can attend whichever program fits you best from wherever you’re located–no packing or relocating necessary!
What Courses Will I Take In an Accelerated Criminal Justice Degree Program?
Generally, criminal justice programs include courses on: the psychology of criminal behavior, investigation, court systems, juvenile justice, ethics, American judicial processes, and criminal procedures. Generally these programs also seek to develop leadership and conflict resolution skills, and instill an understanding of the American judicial system and it’s major elements.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree?
When you think “criminal justice,” the first job that comes to mind is probably in law enforcement but there are a wide range of jobs you can pursue with a degree in criminal justice. These include: Crime Scene Analyst, Court Advocate, Investigative Analyst, Computer Forensics Investigator, Conservation Warden, Investigative Reporter, Criminal Psychologist, and Victim Advocate. If it touches the criminal justice system, then it’s a job you can get with a criminal justice degree.
What Is The Average Salary for Criminal Justice Degree Graduates?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice is $53,000*. This median wage increases if postsecondary degrees are included, to an average of $82,430**.
Job Outlook for Accelerated Criminal Justice Degree Graduates
Employment in legal occupations is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030 and will result in about 116,600 new jobs, which is average for all occupations during this period**.
The Department of Homeland Security explains that the agency ‘hires thousands of people every year in a vast array of different occupations,’ providing exceptional career opportunities for graduates.
Completing one of the fastest criminal justice degree online programs helps you quickly achieve your career goals and start enacting plans for your future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists private detectives and investigators, police and detectives, probation officers and correctional specialists as careers with anticipated significant job growth over the next several years.
Job Outlook for Accelerated Criminal Justice Degree Graduates
Private detectives, retail store detectives, law enforcement officers, probation or parole officers are examples of criminal justice jobs that are typically available at the local or the state level. Examples of other career positions include corrections officers, crime scene investigators, forensics specialists, and corporate security professionals. Many criminal justice professionals work at the federal or international level, including homeland security officials, federal investigators, international crime specialists, and secret service specialists.
The Department of Homeland Security explains that the agency ‘hires thousands of people every year in a vast array of different occupations,’ potentially providing exceptional career opportunities for online criminal justice program graduates.
Completing one of the fastest criminal justice degree online programs helps you achieve your career goals and plan for your future at an accelerated pace. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists private detectives and investigators, police and detectives, probation officers and correctional specialists as careers with anticipated significant job growth over the next several years.
The tuition rate for accelerated criminal justice degrees covers only the cost of per credit instruction. It does not cover the cost of mandatory fees, course materials or other expenses. The tuition rate is for resident students. Some schools charge a different rate for non-resident students, while other schools charge online students the same tuition rate as resident students.
We reviewed and ranked schools with the online criminal justice programs. We manually researched each of these programs, and included information provided directly by the school’s website. Each school was assigned a unique score based on program length and tuition and ranked based on these factors. The school with the lower tuition rate received the higher ranking in case of a tie. Every listed school is properly accredited and provides a minimum of an online associate’s degree in criminal justice. We did not include certificate programs in this list of ranked criminal justice programs.
We always strive to do our best to be honest, fair and accurate in our rankings. No school can pay us to receive a higher ranking. Sponsored schools are listed separately from ranked schools and programs, and clearly labeled as SPONSORED schools.
Please contact us if you would like for us to include your school in our rankings, or if you would like to update the information for your school.