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Best 20 Online Associate in Criminal Justice in 2021

June 9, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Earning an associate degree in Criminal Justice online can open up a number of career opportunities. There’s a significant amount of convenience and flexibility when you choose to take courses online. With so many schools around the nation that offer their degrees online, it’s critical to do your research.

Career Options for a Degree in Criminal Justice

Once you have an associate degree in Criminal Justice, you’re able to work in various positions within the law enforcement industry. You may decide to work in such careers as:

  • Law enforcement
  • Forensic science
  • Parole officer

You may choose to work within local law enforcement agencies, work for private agencies, or even work for the federal government – such as the FBI or Homeland Security.

While you can find various opportunities with a two-year associate degree, you may also want to continue your education to receive a bachelor’s or master’s degree once you get situated into a career.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a police officer or detective can expect to earn a median salary of $65,170 per year. The job outlook is growing faster than average, too, ensuring there are opportunities for you upon graduation.

We’ve identified the top 20 schools that offer an online associate in Criminal Justice. You can look at the cost of tuition as well as the total enrollment to help you decide if it’s the right school for you. Plus, it’s a chance to learn more about what makes each school unique.

Best 20 Schools for an Online Associate Degree in Criminal Justice

1. Volunteer State Community College

At Volunteer State Community College, students can earn a degree in Criminal Justice. The online courses are available through the Social Science and Education Division. The classes include the latest technology and instruction and the sizes are kept small to allow for maximum interaction between students. It is possible to earn an AA or an AS depending on career options. There’s also the possibility of earning a Criminal Justice Technical Certificate.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $4037
  • Total Enrollment: 9156

2. Monroe Community College

Within the Department of Law at Monroe Community College, students can earn an AS in Criminal Justice. 100% of the program can be completed online. Students have the ability to work after earning the degree or transferring the credits to a four-year university. Courses focus on such things as forensic science, investigation, criminal and constitutional law, and crime scene management. An internship component can also make it easier for students to find jobs in public or private agencies following graduation.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $4959
  • Total Enrollment: 17,699

3. Tidewater Community College

Tidewater Community College offers students a chance to enroll in the Criminal Justice program. There are various specializations, including forensic science, homeland security, and public law. Online courses make it easy to earn an associate degree. Small class sizes also provide a more hands-on learning environment. Students can also get a certificate in just two semesters to get a promotion or career advancement for those who are already active in the industry.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $5299
  • Total Enrollment: 34,000

4. Middlesex Community College

The Criminal Justice program at Middlesex Community College is offered online and on-campus. There are two areas of emphasis for students to choose from law enforcement or transfer option. A variety of courses are offered, including service-learning for students to gain experience by working in the community. Students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree will also cover such topics as victimology, corrections, and juvenile justice. General education courses will also be available.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $4730
  • Total Enrollment: 9712

5. Prince George’s Community College

Students who graduate from the program at Prince George’s Community College will be able to apply basic theories of the U.S. criminal justice system, police operations, community-oriented policing, and critical thinking skills that are needed for ethical decision-making. This 60-credit degree program prepares students to directly enter the workforce in law enforcement or other related fields. Students can complete the program 100 percent online.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $3,746
  • Total Enrollment: 33,280

6. Genesee Community College

At Genesee Community College, students can choose to earn an AS or an AAS in Criminal Justice. Both programs can be completed entirely online to offer flexibility. Students will have transfer opportunities to seek out a four-year degree. There are career opportunities provided at the college, too. Students will learn more about the criminal justice system throughout the various courses while learning how to play a vital role in maintaining the safety of citizens.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $4460
  • Total Enrollment: 7365

7. Bossier Parish Community College

Online learning is prevalent throughout Bossier Parish Community College. Students can earn their associate degree entirely online. An Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice is available, which takes two years to complete. There is also an accelerated format for students to consider, which only takes 12 months. Either way, the courses provide a significant amount of hands-on learning so that students have a strong foundation in the criminal justice system. Students can choose to earn a general degree or seek out a concentration in Medicolegal Death Investigation.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $4079
  • Total Enrollment: 6537

8. Erie Community College

Erie Community College is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. An Associate of Science in Criminal Justice can be earned entirely online or by taking some courses at the Erie campus. A total of 61 credits are required to earn the AS. Students will obtain a broad education with an emphasis in criminal law. Students can take a reduced course load, transfer into the Law Enforcement AAS program, or transfer to a four-year college. The same faculty that teaches on-campus teach online to ensure the same level of learning is provided.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $5408
  • Total Enrollment: 15,084

9. San Antonio College

San Antonio College offers a variety of online degrees, including an associate degree in criminal justice. Throughout the Alamo Colleges District, online learning has grown tremendously to use the latest technology and offer a comprehensive online education. The AAS degree offers a significant amount of flexibility for students who wish to attend school part-time or full-time. The college offers career placement services and can help students who wish to transfer to a four-year university.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $5824
  • Total Enrollment: 25,269

10. Eastern Oklahoma State College

At Eastern Oklahoma State College, students can attend a program for Criminal Justice. The program is housed within the Behavioral and Social Sciences Department. Students can choose to earn an AS or an AS with a COP option. The school offers both scholarship opportunities and career opportunities. The entire program is available 100% online, though it is also possible to take a hybrid program with face-to-face instruction.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $4224
  • Total Enrollment: 1541

11. Indiana Wesleyan University

The Associate of Science degree program in Criminal Justice at Indiana Wesleyan University is offered in an online format. For students who want to participate in a hybrid program, courses are also available on campuses in Indiana and Kentucky. The full program consists of 60 credit hours spread out across courses in liberal arts and criminal justice.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $9791
  • Total Enrollment: 13,802

12. Herkimer County College

Herkimer County College is part of the SUNY school system. It’s possible to earn an online Associate in Criminal Justice. The program is a total of 64 credit hours, and students can choose to attend part-time or full-time. Students will take courses in private security, criminal justice, and criminology. Students will also take general education courses in math and social science, to name a few.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $4980
  • Total Enrollment: 3774

13. Jefferson Community College

Jefferson Community College offers an AS in Criminal Justice. The courses can be taken entirely online, providing convenience and flexibility. Students will learn about leadership, communication, and skill-building. The degree can be used in areas of law enforcement, government, and the military. The full program is 63 credit hours spread out across liberal arts, criminal justice, computer science, and physical education.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $5067
  • Total Enrollment: 3632

14. Iowa Central Community College

At Iowa Central Community College, students can earn an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice. The degree program consists of a minimum of 67 credit hours and the courses can be taken online or within several campus locations. Students will have access to the indoor simulated firearms range in order to get hands-on experience and learn more about weapons systems. Students who have already graduated from a law enforcement academy can also earn credit toward the degree program.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $5580
  • Total Enrollment: 6204

15. McHenry County College

An AAS in Criminal Justice is available at McHenry County College. Students can take all of the courses online, making it easy to establish a foundation that focuses on such things as social services, corrections, probation, and parole. Various Associate in Applied Science programs are available, including an option in Corrections, Computer Forensics, and Law Enforcement/Security. A total of 63 credit hours are needed to graduate, which is typically completed in four semesters.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $10,701
  • Total Enrollment: 7104

16. Bethel University

At Bethel University, students can earn an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice. Students will learn the theory and concepts of criminal justice to make it easier to advance down various career paths. The 60-credit hour program includes 30 hours focused on general education and the other 30 focused on the criminal justice major. All of the courses can be taken online or on the campus in Tennessee.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $15,764
  • Total Enrollment: 6500

17. White Mountains Community College

There is an Associate in Science degree program at White Mountains Community College that focuses on Criminal Justice/Homeland Security. The courses can be taken online on a full-time or part-time basis. Students will take courses that will help with career opportunities in corrections, law enforcement, forensics, and more throughout the criminal justice system. Additionally, general education requirements will be met, making it easy to transfer to a four-year college if desired.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $7344
  • Total Enrollment: 699

18. Maranatha Baptist University

At Maranatha Baptist University, students can pursue an AS in Criminal Justice. The program is versatile enough to be taken completely online. A diverse selection of courses is available to help students learn more about both forensic science and law enforcement. All of the courses will be taught with a Christian focus to help students with their studies and to strengthen their faith. The school also provides a wide array of services to help students seek service hours during the school year and employment following graduation.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $14260
  • Total Enrollment: 962

19. Central Christian College of Kansas

Students at Central Christian College of Kansas will be able to pursue an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice. The courses are available 100% online, and students can choose to take only one course at a time to go at a pace that is comfortable. It is possible to transfer college credits in to speed up the time to earn a degree. The AA degree program leads to many career opportunities, and the courses are taught by real-world criminal justice experts.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $20,450
  • Total Enrollment: 1154

20. Santa Barbara Business College

Students at Santa Barbara Business College can earn an associate degree in Criminal Justice. Students will learn such skills as criminal law, crime scene investigation, victimology, and more. There are opportunities to take all of the courses online or at the Ventura campus. Either way, students will earn an AA with the help of hands-on training. The college also offers career planning assistance and job-placement services.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $14,435
  • Total Enrollment: 272

Our Ranking Methodology

We’ve ranked the top 20 schools by choosing schools all across the nation that offer associate degrees for Criminal Justice online. We, then, use two criteria to establish the rank: the cost of tuition and the total enrollment.

The in-state undergraduate rates are used to determine the cost of tuition. The schools with a lower cost of attendance are given a higher score. We, then, use the total student enrollment at the school. The schools with higher enrollment numbers are given a higher score as they demonstrate popularity as well as the availability of various programs.

Once each school has a score for both tuition and attendance, we add them together in order to rank them from 1 to 20, with 1 being considered the best of the offerings.

Notice an Error?

Our goal is to provide the most up-to-date information possible. If you work for a school and notice an error in any of our ranking data, please let us know. We’ll make the corrections and adjust the ranking of the schools, if necessary.

When you’re prepared to study Criminal Justice, let us find an online program that works well for you and your goals.

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