Online Criminal Justice Degrees

For better or for worse, demand for criminal justice professionals is on the rise. Increased crime prevention, stricter sentencing, and domestic security concerns are driving the need for trained criminal investigators, law enforcement officers, legal personnel, and corrections officers. This is good news for anyone interested in a career promoting justice and public safety. However, competition for higher positions can be keen, and it's important to have the right training.

An associate or bachelor degree in criminal justice provides an essential foundation for careers in law enforcement, the judicial system, or corrections. Criminal justice students study crime control and prevention in an interdisciplinary context, combining legal studies, sociology, public administration, forensic science, and psychology. The program offers training in crime scene investigation, crime prevention, legal prosecution, and criminal rehabilitation.

Graduates of criminal justice degree programs go on to careers as police officers, detectives, security personnel, criminal investigators, probation officers, legal prosecutors, bailiffs, FBI agents, and more. Many criminal justice professionals work in the public sector, at the local, state, or federal level.

Salaries vary widely across the criminal justice field. Police and patrol officers earned a median salary of $45,210 in 2004, with supervisors averaging $64,430. Detectives and criminal investigators earned a median of $53,990. Correctional officers make about $33,699, and the average probation officer takes home $39,600. On the legal side, paralegals average just under $40,000; lawyers and judges make significantly more.

Opportunities are strong across the criminal justice field--an associate or bachelor degree in criminal justice will position you to take advantage of them.

Criminal Justice Schools

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  • Within 6 months of graduation, over 90% of new graduates land jobs in their fields of study.
  • Offers an $18k College Completer Scholarship for transferring students who meet requirements.
  • All professors hold advanced degrees, many with MBAs and PhDs.
  • Classes start every 8 weeks, and curriculum is updated regularly with input from industry leaders.
  • More than 85% of students receive financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants.
  • Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC/NCA).
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  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • In a 2013 survey, 83% of students said they would recommend the university to others.
  • Most degree-seeking online and campus-based students are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
  • Average class sizes is 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Founded in 1937 in Davenport, Iowa as the American Institute of Commerce (AIC).
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  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2007.
  • 100% online university, offering 40+ targeted degree and certificate programs.
  • Features frequent course starts, convenient eight-week classes, and possible credit transferability for prior coursework and training.
  • Offers several institutional scholarships and other financial aid opportunities to students who qualify.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Training Council (DETC).
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Capella University

• 95% alumni satisfaction rate.

• Currently holds more than 500 professional alliances, including 19 of the top Fortune 100 companies.

• Potential students may preview a free, one-week mini course to get an accurate impression of the student experience.

• Courses are taught by expert faculty, with 86% of professors possessing a doctoral degree.

• Offers credit for prior experience and learning, as well as scholarships, accelerated programs, and several other ways to help reduce tuition costs.

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  • According to a Walden-sponsored study, 88.2% of graduates are very satisfied or satisfied with their education and more than 85% of students are likely or very likely to recommend the school to others.
  • In that same study, 88% of graduates said their education helped them enhance their professional performance.
  • Students can save 15% on tuition over the lifetime of their program if they are active-duty military, a veteran, or an employee of the Veteran’s Administration.
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