50 Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs 2017

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Criminal justice is a field that is rapidly evolving. Obtaining a top-ranked Master in Criminal Justice or a related degree will prepare criminal justice professionals in the legal, sociological, psychological, and administrative aspects of effective law enforcement leadership. Such a degree will help policy makers and law enforcement professionals advance into higher paying leadership positions. Furthermore, this advanced degree in criminal justice will prepare and qualify educators for teaching in colleges and universities. Whether you are looking to advance your career or launch into a new one, our Smart Choice ranking of schools with online graduate criminal justice degree programs will help you make a smart choice about which program is right for you.

How We Selected the Smart Choice Schools for Online Criminal Justice Degrees

In developing our Smart Choice ranking of the best online graduate criminal justice programs we only considered universities listed in the National Center for Education Statistics database and online graduate programs that are regionally accredited. Qualifying criminal justice programs were then evaluated and ranked based on publicly available information on academic quality, flexibility, accessibility, affordability, return on investment, and awards & recognition. We believe all of the top online criminal justice programs included in the ranking are a smart choice because they offer marketable, high-quality, affordable, accredited criminal justice degrees online that increase potential earnings. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with a helpful tool on your quest to find an online graduate program in criminal justice that fits your budget, your schedule, and your professional aspirations.

#50. Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Josephs U

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Built upon a foundation of the Jesuit tradition, Saint Joseph’s University is a Catholic university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Over 9,000 students are enrolled in programs at the university. Accreditation is provided by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 

Program Details: Saint Joseph’s offers an online Master of Science in Criminal Justice. This 30-credit program has four available concentrations: Behavior Analysis, Federal Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, and Intelligence and Crime Analysis. The courses are facilitated by academically qualified working criminal justice professionals to ensure that the content is exceptional and relevant. Tuition for the online M.S. in Criminal Justice is $813 per credit ($24,390 total tuition). 

Notable Recognition: GetEducated.com places SJU #23 on their list titled the Best Online Master Criminal Justice in terms of affordability. 

Admissions Website

#49. Missouri Baptist University

Missouri Baptist

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Missouri Baptist University is a private evangelical Christian university located in St. Louis, Missouri. The university has approximately 5,350 students enrolled. Accreditation is provided by The Higher Learning Commission, A Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The university offers an online blended criminal justice program on the undergraduate level and two completely online programs on the graduate level. Missouri Baptist’s M.S. in Science in Corporate Security Leadership and the M.S. in Criminal Justice are 36-hour degrees that can be completed 100% online. The M.S. in Criminal Justice has a modified, accelerated cohort system. Thus students can take courses whenever their schedule allows, or complete all requirements within a year. The tuition of the M.S. in Criminal Justice is $560 per credit ($20,160 total).

Admissions Website 

#48. Western Oregon University

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Originally established in 1856 as Monmouth University, Western Oregon University is a public liberal arts college located in Monmouth, Oregon. Approximately 6,200 students are enrolled in the university. Accreditation is provided by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Program Details: Western Oregon offers an online B.A./B.S. in Criminal Justice as well as an online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. Students can complete the 45 quarter credit M.A. program in as few as two years if they attend full-time. Students must either complete a master’s thesis, a professional project, or comprehensive exams in order to graduate from the program. Tuition for the online M.A. program is $371 per credit ($16,695 total). 

Notable Recognition: GetEducated.com considers WOU a good value. The school is ranked #11 on the list for top online graduate criminal justice programs in terms of affordability.

 Admissions Website

#47. Trine University

Trine U

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For 130 years Trine University, formerly known as Tri-State University, has been offering higher education for students wanting a private school with premier value. The university is in Angola, Indiana and has nearly 1,900 students enrolled. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation. 

Program Details: Trine University offers online criminal justice programs on the undergraduate and graduate level. The Master of Science with a major in Criminal Justice program is an accelerated one-year program that is 36-credits in length. Students must complete six credits per eight week term in order to finish in a year. The degree has four available concentrations: Emergency Management, Forensic Psychology, Law, and Public Administration. Tuition for the program is $480 per credit ($17,280 total). Students may be subject to additional fees.

Notable Recognition: The university is a member of the American Criminal Justice Association-Lambda Alpha Epsilon.

Admissions Website

#46. Bowling Green State University

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Bowling Green State University sits on a 1,338 acre residential campus is in the town Bowling Green, Ohio. The school also has an extension in Huron. Approximately 20,000 students are enrolled in the university. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: Bowling Green has an online Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The program consists of 11 courses (33-credit). One class is delivered approximately every seven weeks with a one week break in between classes. Students can complete the degree in two years if they take a course every seven weeks. Admission for the program is rolling. Tuition is $424 per credit ($13,992 total).

Notable Recognition: U.S. News and World Report ranks BGSU #17 on the list for top online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#45. Capella University

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Capella University is a for-profit institution that was founded in 1993 out of a desire to make competitive education accessible to working adults. The school has a headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has approximately 34,000 students enrolled. Capella is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The university has a variety of online undergraduate and graduate programs in the field of criminal justice. The online graduate programs include a Master of Science in Public Safety and Doctor of Philosophy in Public Safety. Both the M.S. program and the PhD program offer concentrations in Criminal Justice and Emergency Management. The M.S. program The M.S. program is 48 quarter credits and costs $488 per credit ($23,424 total). The PhD program is 120 quarter credits and costs $4,698 per quarter.

Notable Recognition: GetEducated.com puts Capella #22 on the list for affordable online graduate criminal justice programs. 

Admissions Website

#44. Kent State University

Kent State

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Kent State University is a public research university located in Kent, Ohio. The university also has several regional campus and academic centers. Nearly 27,500 students are enrolled in the university. KSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.

Program Details: The university has a 33-hour Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice that is facilitated through online courses. The program has four concentrations: Corrections, Global Security, Policing, and Victimology. Technology support is available 24/7 including on holidays. Standardized tests are not required for admittance to the program. Tution for the program is $650 per credit ($21,450 total).

Notable Recognition: Kent State is a member of the American Criminal Justice Association-Lambda Alpha Epsilon.

Admissions Website

#43. Saint Leo University

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With over 16,000 students enrolled from all 50 states and from more than 60 countries, Saint Leo University is a private Roman Catholic liberal arts university. The university is located in Saint Leo, Florida. Accreditation is provided by the  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Details: The university offers a variety of online criminal justice programs: an A.A. in Criminal Justice, a B.A. in Criminal Justice, an M.S. in Criminal Justice, and a certificate program.Student enrolled in the 36-credit M.S. program can work towards a general degree or specialize in Corrections, Critical Incident Management, Forensic Science, or Legal Studies. All Saint Leo University students have access to free online tutoring which is available 24/7. Tuition for online M.S. in Criminal Justice is $470 per credit ($16,920 for 36-credits) regardless of specialization.

Notable Recognition: The university is a member of the American Criminal Justice Association-Lambda Alpha Epsilon.

Admissions Website

#42. University of North Georgia

University of north Georgia

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The University of North Georgia is Georgia’s seventh-largest public university with approximately 16,000 students enrolled. The school has four Georgia campuses in the towns of Oconee, Gainesville, Dahlonega, and Cumming. Though UNG is one of only six federally designated senior military colleges in the nation, military enlistment is not required. Accreditation is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Details: The university offers a 100% online Master of Science with a major in Criminal Justice program that is 36-credits long. The program is designed for practitioners looking for professional advancement. Students may apply for admission and begin studies in the program during fall, spring or summer semesters. Students must begin graduate studies within one year of acceptance to the program.Tuition for the online M.S. program is $3,984.00 per semester when students are taking 12-credits in the semester.

Admissions Website

#41. Troy University

Troy

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Troy University is a comprehensive public university that is located in the town of Troy, Alabama. Approximately 20,500 students are enrolled in the school. Accreditation is provided by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Details: Troy University offers three online degrees in criminal justice: an Associate of Science in General Education with a specialization in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The M.S. program is 30-credits for the non-thesis option (only on-campus students can complete the 36-credit thesis option). The courses are primarily asynchronous which allows for maximum flexibility. Tuition for online graduate courses at Troy is $488 per credit ($14,640 for 30-credits).

Notable Recognition: The university is ranked #8 on GetEducated.com’s list for affordable online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#40. University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida

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With nearly 60,000 students enrolled, the University of Central Florida is one of the nation’s largest universities. UCF is located in Orlando, Florida and is a member institution of the State University System of Florida. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: The University of Central Florida has an online B.A./B.S. in Criminal Justice as well as an online M.S. in Criminal Justice. The Master of Science program has two tracks but only the 36-credit professional track is available 100% online. This track is designed for students who plan to jump straight into the field of criminal justice. While all classes are available online, not every class is available each semester. Thus, students must plan accordingly. Tuition and fees for the online M.S. program is $368.65 per credit for residents of Florida ($13,271.40 total) and $1,194.05 per credit for non-residents ($42,985.80 total)

Notable Recognition: The university is a member of the American Criminal Justice Association-Lambda Alpha Epsilon.

Admissions Website

#39. University of Houston – Downtown

U Houston Downtown

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The University of Houston-Downtown is a comprehensive four-year university located in downtown Houston, Texas. The school is a member of the University of Houston System but is an independent university. Nearly 14,000 students are enrolled in the school. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges provides accreditation.

Program Details: U of H – Downtown offers an online B.S. in Criminal Justice and an online M.S. in Criminal Justice. The M.S. degree is a 36-credit program including the program capstone course. Courses are offered in five eight-week blocks per year. Motivated students can complete the degree in as few as 14 months. The estimated annual tuition for students taking nine or more hours per semester is $5,756 for residents of Texas and $11,372 for non-residents.

Admissions Website

#38. Texas A&M International University

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Located on the U.S./Mexico border in the town of Laredo, Texas, Texas A&M International University is a public university with nearly 7,500 students enrolled. According to the school website, the school “is located at an enviable crossroads of international business and life and its history hallmarked by seven sovereign flags.” As a member of the Texas A&M University System, accreditation is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: Texas A&M International offers an online Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The focus of the studies is on both administration and criminal theory. The faculty is comprised of active scholars who are well known in the field of criminal justice. There are two tracks in this program: thesis and non-thesis. Tuition for graduate students at the university is dependent upon residency and the number of hours a student takes at a time.

Notable Recognition: The university is ranked #35 by U.S. News and World Report on the list for top online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#37. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays University

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Fort Hays State University is a public university located in Hays, Kansas. Nearly 13,500 students are enrolled in the university. Accreditation is provided by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the school is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The university offers an online Master of Professional Studies with a concentration in Criminal Justice as well as a concentration in Cybersecurity. Fort Hays’ online MPS is a 30 hour program. Each student must pass the program’s comprehensive exams in order to graduate. Students must also complete an internship or a project. Tuition is $251.38 per credit ($7,541 total). 

Notable Recognition: Fort Hays is ranked #1 on GetEducated.com’s list for most affordable online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#36. Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire

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Situated on a beautiful 300-acre campus in Manchester, New Hampshire, Southern New Hampshire University is a private nonprofit university. Over 28,000 students are enrolled in the university. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) provides accreditation for all degrees granted at SNHU.

Program Details: Southern New Hampshire University offers a 36-credit Master of Science in Justice Studies that is 100% online. The program has three concentrations: Cybersecurity, Public Administration, and Terrorism and Homeland Security. Students can take two 10-week courses at a time and finish the program in as few as 15 months. Courses are taught by academically qualified practitioners who use their real world experience to insure relevancy. The school does not require standardized tests for admission. Tuition for the M.S. in Justice Studies is $627 per credit ($22,572 total tuition).

Admissions Website

#35. Colorado Technical University

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Colorado Technical University is a for-profit university with campuses in Colorado Springs and Aurora. Founded in 1965, the university was originally established as electronic training center. Since that time CTU has grown into a competitive university offering a breadth of degree options. Accreditation is provided by the Higher Learning Commission. CTU is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The university offers an online M.S. in Criminal Justice, an online M.S. in Cybersecurity Policy, and an online M.S. in Homeland Security. The 48 quarter credit Criminal Justice degree has an optional concentration in Homeland Security. The 52 quarter credit Homeland Security program provides optional concentrations in Cybersecurity Policy and Emergency Management and Public Health. Colorado Tech provides online students with 24/7 tech support. Tuition for online graduate courses is $585 per credit ($28,080 for 48-credits).

Notable Recognition: U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #22 on the list for top online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#34. National University

National University

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Since 1971, National University has provided quality education that is accessible. This private non-profit university has over 18,000 students enrolled. The school operates out of campuses throughout California and Nevada as well as several online centers in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia. Accreditation is provided by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Program Details: National University’s online Master of Criminal Justice focuses on theoretical and applied models of criminal justice administration as well as research methods. Students must complete 54 quarter credits in order to receive a Master of Criminal Justice. Up to 13.5 approved quarter credits may be transferred into the program. Tuition is $394 per credit ($21,276 for 54 credits).

Notable Recognition: The university is ranked #19 on GetEducated.com’s list for most affordable online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#33. Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky

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Eastern Kentucky University is a research university with over 16,000 students enrolled. The school has a main campus in Richmond, Kentucky and extension campuses throughout Kentucky in Corbin, Danville, Hazard, Lancaster, Manchester, and Somerset. The Southern Association of Schools and Colleges – Commission on Colleges provides accreditation. 

Program Details: The university offers an online M.S. in Adult Juvenile Community & Corrections Leadership (AJCCL), an online M.S. in Criminal Justice, an online M.S. in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management (SSEM). The Criminal Justice program is 36-credits. The AJCCL program is 30-credits. The SSEM program offers a handful of specializations including but not limited to Homeland Security and Occupational Safety. Tuition for online graduate programs at EKU is $485 per credit ($17,460 for 36 hours). 

Notable Recognition: GetEducated.com lists Eastern Kentucky #13 on the list for affordable online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#32. Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Indiana University of Penn

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Sitting on 374 acres in the town of Indiana, Pennsylvania, Indiana University of Pennsylvania is a public university with nearly 15,000 students. The university also has affiliate campuses are located in Northpointe and Punxsutawney. Accreditation is provided by the Middle States Association Commission on Higher Education.

Program Details: Indiana University of Pennsylvania offers a Master of Arts in Criminology completely online. The degree is 30-credits long and can be completed in two years. Students enter in the fall with a cohort comprised of 25 students. With the cohort, students complete two courses each semester over four semesters, and two five-week courses in the summer sessions between the first two years. Tuition for the degree is $454.00 per credit for residents of Pennsylvania ($13,620 total tuition) and $522.10 per credit for non-residents ($15,633 total tuition). Online students are subject to additional fees.

Notable Recognition: IUP is ranked #10 by U.S. News and World Report on the list for top online graduate criminal justice degrees.

Admissions Website

#31. University of South Dakota

South Dakota

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The University of South Dakota’s main campus  is located in the small town of Vermillion, South Dakota. There are additional centers in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Pierre, and Sioux City, Iowa. The school has approximately 10,200 students enrolled. Accreditation is provided by The Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. 

Program Details: The university offers an online Masters of Science in Administration with a Criminal Justice specialization. The degree is 36-credits, offers core classes in general administration, and a handful of classes specific to law enforcement and criminal law. Tuition for online graduate courses is $414.85 per credit ($14,934.60 total).

Notable Recognition: USD is ranked #10 on GetEducated.com’s list of quality online graduate criminal justice programs that are also affordable.

Admissions Website

#30. Monroe College

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Originally founded as a business school in the year of 1933, Monroe College is a co-eduational, for-profit college in New York. The school offers an assortment of programs out of campuses in The Bronx, New Rochelle, Queens, and St. Lucia as well as online. Over 7,000 students enrolled in programs. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education provides accreditation.

Program Details: The online Master of Science in Criminal Justice is taught out of Monroe’s King Graduate School. This 36-credit degree has two specializations: human services or urban crime policy. Most students finish the program in two years. Online courses at Monroe follow the same schedule as on-campus courses. This makes it easy for local students to take a combination of online and on-campus courses. Tuition for the online M.S. in Criminal Justice totals $27,504.

Notable Recognition: U.S. News and World Report places the school #11 on the list for top online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#29. Indiana State University

Indiana State

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Located in Terre Haute, Indiana, Indiana State University is a public university. Nearly 12,500 students enrolled in the school. The school is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: Indiana State has two online graduate degrees in the field of criminal justice: an M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice and an M.S. in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The M.A. degree is 33-credits and crafted for students who intend to proceed a doctorate in criminology upon completion. The program emphasizes research. The M.S. is 36-credits and is created for students who either intend for the degree to be their terminal degree or for students  who plan to attend law school. Indiana residents pay $380 per credit. Non-residents pay $475 per credit. International students pay $747 per credit. 

Notable Recognition: GetEducated.com places Indiana State University on the Best Online Master Criminal Justice list. The program is #18 on the list in terms of affordability.

Admissions Website

#28. University of Phoenix

Phoenix

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The University of Phoenix is a for-profit university that has campuses in over 35 states as well as an extensive list of online programs. The headquarters for the online campus is in Phoenix, Arizona. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission which is a member of the North Central Association.

Program Details: The 37-credit Master of Science in Administration of Justice and Security at University of Phoenix focuses on cultivating administrative and leadership skills. Most of the faculty facilitating classes are academically qualified professionals who hold leadership positions in the criminal justice sector. Thus, students will be taught by professors who know how to apply theories to real life situations. Tuition is $740 per credit for the program ($27,380 total).

Notable Recognition: The University of Phoenix is ranked #29 on GetEducated.com’s list for affordable, yet quality online graduate degrees in criminal justice.

Admissions Website

#27. Regis University

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Regis University is a private, Jesuit Roman Catholic university with a main campus in Denver, Colorado. The school has extension campuses in a couple of locations in Denver as well as in Broomfield, Colorado Springs, Loveland, and Thornton. Nearly 10,000 students are enrolled in the university. Regis is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: Regis offers three online criminology programs: a Criminology Graduate Certificate,  a B.S. Degree in Criminology, and a M.S. Degree in Criminology. The M.S. program in Criminology is 36 total credits with three optional focuses: Leadership, Human Behavior, and Cybercrime/terrorism. The degree can be achieved in-class, 100% online, or a combination of the two. Tuition is $550 per credit ($19,800 for 36-credits).

Notable Recognition: The university is ranked #18 on GetEducated.com’s list titled Best Online Master Criminal Justice which ranks quality online programs based on affordability.

 Admissions Website

#26. University of New Haven

New Haven

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The University of New Haven is a private university that is located on the Long Island Sound in the town of West Haven, Connecticut. Approximately 6,500 students are enrolled in the school. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) provides accreditation for all degrees granted at UNH.

Program Details: The university has an online M.S. in Criminal Justice and an online M.S. in Emergency Management. Both degrees are 36-credits, 100% online, and offer 8-week long classes. Students can complete the programs in two years. While the degrees have overlap, the Emergency Management degree includes training in effective responses to natural disasters. The programs do not require standardize test scores for admittance. Tuition is $824 per credit ($29,664 total).

Notable Recognition: U.S. News and World Report ranks the university #28 on the list for top online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#25. Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston

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In the east Texas town of Huntsville sits Sam Houston State University. The university was founded in 1879 and has over 19,000 students enrolled. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Program Details: Sam Houston has one of the largest criminal justice programs in the United States. Through the College of Criminal Justice, the university offers several online graduate programs in the field of criminal justice: a Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management, an M.S. in Homeland Security Studies, an M.S. in Criminal Justice, an M.S. in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management, an M.S. in Victim Services Management, and an M.S. in Digital Forensics. These M.S. degrees are 36-credits in length. Tuition and fees are $432 – $456 per credit ($15,552 – $16,416 for a 36 hour degree).

Notable Recognition: The U.S. News and World Report ranks the online graduate criminal justice programs  #5.

Admissions Website

#24. University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati

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The University of Cincinnati is a comprehensive research university with a main campus in Cincinnati, Ohio. The school part of the University System of Ohio. The Higher Learning Commission provides accreditation for the university.

Program Details: UC offers an online Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The degree is comprised of 11 courses. Each course lasts seven weeks long. Full-time students can take two courses at a time and finish in as little as one year. Students can earn a general degree or choose among the following specializations: Analysis of Criminal Behavior, Law Enforcement and Crime Prevention, and Corrections and Offender Rehabilitation. Tuition costs $710 per credit ($23,430 total) for Ohio residents and $725 for non-residents ($23,925 total).

Notable Recognition: GetEducated.com ranks the University of Cincinnati #32 on the list of affordable online graduate criminal justice programs that are good quality. Furthermore, the school is ranked #27 on U.S. News and World Report’s list for top online graduate criminal justice degrees.

Admissions Website 

#23. University of the Cumberlands

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Affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the University of the Cumberlands is a private liberal arts university in Williamsburg, Kentucky. Nearly 5,000 students are enrolled in the university. The  Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: The University of the Cumberlands has a B.S. in Criminal Justice and an M.S. in Criminal Justice that are both 100% online. The M.S. in Criminal Justice is a 31-credit program with a number of specializations like Law Enforcement, Corrections, Homeland Security, and Juvenile Justice.  Classes are scheduled in eight-week sessions with two bi-term sessions offered each semester. Full-time degree candidates normally take two classes per bi-term and can finish the program in 18 months. Tuition and fees for the entire online M.S. in Criminal Justice total $9,271.

Notable Recognition: The university is #2 on GetEducated.com’s list for most affordable online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#22. University of Colorado Denver

UC Denver

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The University of Colorado Denver is a public research university. It is one of three schools in the University of Colorado system. Over 18,000 students are enrolled in the university. The school is accredited by the The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: There are two online criminal justice degrees offered out of the university’s School of Public Affairs: a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a Master of Criminal Justice. The MCJ program is a minimum of 36 semester hours. Students who enter into the program with no professional experience in the field of criminal justice are required to complete a 3 credit hour internship with local, state, or federal justice departments. The program concludes with either a 3-6 credit hour thesis, or a 3 credit hour field based final capstone project.

Notable Recognition: CU Denver is ranked #9 on U.S. News and World Report’s list for best online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website 

#21. UMass Online 

UMass Amherst

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With a flagship campus in Amherst, Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts is a public research and land-grant university. The university also has three additional traditional university campuses in Boston, Darmouth, and Lowell and a medical school. UMass Online combines resources from these award winning campuses to offer high quality online degrees. New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) provides accreditation for all degrees granted at UMass. 

Program Details: UMass Online offers over 10 online programs in criminal justice. The school has three online graduate degrees in the field of criminal justice and security: a M.A. in Criminal Justice (33-credits), an M.A. in Security Studies: Homeland Defense Concentration (30-credits), and an M.S. in Security Studies: Cyber Security Concentration (30-credits). All three programs are 100% online and are offered out of the Lowell campus. Tution for the three degrees is $535-$545 per credit.

Notable Recognition: UMass-Lowell is ranked #14 on GetEducated.com’s list for most affordable online graduate criminal justice programs.

Program Website

#20. Florida State University 

 

Florida State

 

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Florida State University is a public research university with a campus in the state of Florida’s capital city, Tallahassee. The school has nearly 41,000 students enrolled. The Commision on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: Florida State offers two online criminal justice degrees: a Master of Science in Criminology and a Bachelor of Science in Criminology. The M.S. program is 36-credits. Classes are 100% online and offered in an asynchronous manner. Students who take two classes a semester can expect to graduate in two years. Many of the online professors are the same award-winning professors who teach teach face-to-face courses. Tuition for graduate courses at Florida State is $479.32 per credit for residents of Florida and $1110.72 per credit for non-residents. Distance learning students pay additional fees.

Notable Recognition: The online criminal justice program at FSU is ranked #6 by the Open Education Database. U.S. News and World Report ranks the online graduate criminal justice program  #7.

Admissions Website 

#19. University of Louisville

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The University of Louisville is a public research university with a commitment to the liberal arts and sciences. The university is located in Louisville, Kentucky and has over 22,000 students enrolled. The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: The university offers two online degrees in criminal justice: a Bachelor of Science in Justice Administration  and a Master of Science in Justice Administration/Criminal Justice. The M.S. program is comprised of 12 courses (36-credits). While the M.S. program is 100% online, students living near the campus can take courses on-campus if they desire. UL offers a block-format option in which students take only one class every 6-week term. The block-format allows students the ability to effectively finish the program within two years. Tuition for the online M.S. program is $693 per credit ($24,948 total).

Notable Recognition: The U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Louisville #28 on the list for top online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website 

#18. Western Kentucky University

 

Western Kentucky U

 

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Founded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1906, Western Kentucky University is a public university in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Nearly 20,500 are enrolled in the university. Accreditation is provided by accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Details: Western Kentucky has a 33-credit Master of Arts in Criminology is available completely online. According to the school’s website, “ The program explores major correlates of crime, delinquency, and deviance, and examines societal responses to crime and delinquency.” While all of the courses required are offered online, many are offered in the “on-demand” format. Students can start on-demand classes any day of the year ang go at their own pace to finish. Online graduate students can expect to pay $618 per credit ($20,394 total) regardless of residence.

Notable Recognition: GetEducated.com ranks WKU #16 on the list for most affordable online criminal justice master’s degrees. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #11 on the list for top online graduate programs in criminal justice.

Admissions Website 

#17. California State University, San Bernardino

UC San Bern

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As the name indicates, Cal State, San Bernardino is in the town of San Bernardino, California and is a member of the California State University system. Over 18,000 students are enrolled in the university. Western Association of Schools and Colleges provides accreditation.

Program Details: Cal State, San Bernardino offers an online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. The main difference from the online degree and the on-campus degree is that online students are not allowed to enroll in the thesis option. The degree is 45 quarter credits. GRE and MAT scores are not required for admittance.

Notable Recognition: The U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #20 on the list for top online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#16. Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville

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Established in 1867 as the Howard School for the education of African Americans, Fayetteville State University has grown to be one of the most diverse universities in the nation. The school has over 6,300 student enrolled. The campus is located in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: Fayetteville State University has an online completion program for their B.S. in Criminal Justice as well as an M.S. in Criminal Justice that is 100% online. The M.S. program is 33-credits long and has a thesis option and a non-thesis option. The program is designed to help people advance their career in the field of criminal justice as well as help students prepare for a doctoral degree in the field. Tution for the online M.S. program is $169.32 per credit ($5,587.56 total) for residents of North Carolina and $701.11 per credit ($25,239.96 total) for non-residents.

Notable Recognition: FSU is accredited by the prestigious Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). The school is also ranked #30 on the U.S. News and World Report’s list for top online graduate criminal justice degrees.

Admissions Website

#15. American Public University

 

American Public U

 

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American Public University was is a private for-profit university that was initially founded to provide military personnel access to high quality education remotely. The university has been providing distance education since 1991 and operates out of the headquarters in Charles Town, West Virginia. The student body is comprised of 41% civilians and 59% military personnel/veterans. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. 

Program Details: APU offers over a dozen online degree programs that are related to the field of criminal justice and homeland security. The M.A. in Criminal Justice, M.A. in Emergency and Disaster Management, M.A. in Homeland Security, and M.A. in Legal Studies are entirely online and offered in an asynchronous format. Many of the online graduate programs in this field are designed to last 2 years and cost $11,700 total.

Notable Recognition: The university is ranked #4 on GetEducated.com’s list for affordable online graduate criminal justice degrees.

Admissions Website

#14. Washington State University

Washington State University

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Washington State University is a public research university located in the eastern Washington town of Pullman, Washington. The university also has extension campuses in Spokane, Vancouver, Richland, and has an extensive online offering. Nearly 28,000 students are enrolled in school at the main campus. Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities provides accreditation.

Program Details: The university offers an online Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. Washington State University’s criminal justice program is the second oldest continuous criminal justice program in the nation. WSU’s online criminal justice master’s classes are taught by the same award-winning criminal justice faculty who teach in the tradition program. The online graduate program combines 27 graded credits with 4 credits that are used for the development and defense of the writing portfolio for a total of 31-credits.Tuition for students taking 10 or fewer credits in a term is $587 per credit. Students taking 10-18 credits in a term pay $5,868 total tuition during that term.

Notable Recognition: The online criminal justice program at WSU is ranked #10 by the Open Education Database.

Admissions Website 

#13. University of Central Missouri

University of Central Missouri

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Positioned 35 miles east of the suburbs of Kansas City, the University of Central Missouri is comprehensive university in Warrensburg, Missouri. Approximately 12,500 students are enrolled in the university. The university is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. 

Program Details: The University of Central Missouri offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and an online Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The online M.S. program is a 36-credit program. Online courses follow the same schedule as on-campus classes. Technology support is available 24/7 for online students. Online graduate courses cost $350.50 per credit hour ($12,618 for 36-credits).

Notable Recognition: GetEducated.com ranks the school #6 on the list titled Best Online Master Criminal Justice. The ranking measures affordability of quality programs.

Admissions Website

#12. University of Oklahoma

Oklahoma University

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Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. The university has over 27,000 students enrolled. The Higher Learning Commission provides accreditation.

Program Details: The College of Liberal Studies at the University of Oklahoma houses a Master of Science in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Both programs are offered 100% online. The M.S. program is 33-credits and has three application deadlines per year: July 1, December 1, and May 1. Students must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in order to graduate from the program. Tuition and fees for the M.S. program total  $329.85 per credit for residents of Oklahoma ($10,885.05 total) and $853.85 per credit for non-residents ($28,177.05 total).

Notable Recognition:  The online criminal justice programs at OU is ranked #2 by the Open Education Database.

Admissions Website

#11. University of California, Irvine

UC Irvine

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A member of the University of California system, UC Irvine is a public research university located in Irvine, California. Around 29,000 students are enrolled in the university. Accreditation is provided by Senior Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. 

Program Details: UC Irvine has an online Master of Advanced Study (MAS) degree in Criminology, Law & Society. The program has an interdisciplinary approach and emphasizes both theoretical and practical applications. The degree is 52 quarter credits and can be finished in two years. Although the program is online, students are required to take a five day accelerated introductory course at the beginning of their studies. Projected total tuition for the program is $24,834.

Notable Recognition: The U.S. News and World Report ranks UC Irvine #1 on the list for top online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#10. Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Missouri

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Sitting near the banks of the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Southeast Missouri State University’s has around 12,000 students enrolled. The university also has regional campuses located in Sikeston, Malden, Kennett and Perryville. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation. 

Program Details: Southeast Missouri State University has two online degrees in criminal justice: a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The M.S. program is a 36-credit program. The university partners with Missouri Southern State University to facilitate this online graduate degree. Online classes are offered by faculty from both universities in a fixed rotation covering six consecutive academic terms: four semesters and two summer terms. Students in the online M.S. program pay $292 per credit regardless of residence ($10,512 total).

Notable Recognition: The school is ranked #15 on U.S. News and World Report’s list for best online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website 

#9. Bellevue University

bellevue

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Bellevue University is a private, not-for-profit university that has been providing quality education since 1966. The university primary emphasizes adult education and has a headquarters in Bellevue, Nebraska. Nearly 10,000 students are enrolled. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: Bellevue offers the following online graduate degrees in the field of criminal justice: an M.S. in Emergency Management, an M.S. in International Security and Intelligence Studies, an M.S. in Justice Administration and Crime Management, and an M.S. in Security Management. Standardized test scores are not required for admittance. Each degree listed is 36-credits and $515 per credit ($18,540 total).

Notable Recognition: GetEducated.com ranks Bellevue #26 on the list for most affordable online criminal justice master’s degrees. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #33 on the list for top online graduate programs in criminal justice.

Admissions Website 

#8. Tiffin University

Tiffin

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With a main campus in Tiffin, Ohio, Tiffin University offers courses at several regional campuses throughout the state as well as online. The school is a private, not-for-profit university with nearly 5,000 students enrolled. The Higher Learning Commission provides accreditation. The school is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: Tiffin has a 30-credit Master of Science in Criminal Justice that is offered via online studies. The program has four available concentrations: Crime Analysis, Criminal Behavior, Justice Administration, and Homeland Security Administration. There is no thesis or comprehensive exam required for graduation from the online M.S. in Criminal Justice, however the Crime Analysis concentration requires the completion of a capstone project and the Justice Administration concentration requires the completion of an analysis and design project. Tuition is $700 per credit ($21,000 for 30-credits).

Notable Recognition: GetEducated.com places Tiffin #20 on the list for quality online graduate criminal justice programs that are affordable. The school is also ranked #6 on U.S. News and World Report’s list for top online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#7. Michigan State University

Michigan State

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Originally established as an agricultural school in 1855, Michigan State University is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan. With nearly 50,000 students enrolled, the university has grown to be one of the largest universities in the nation. MSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: Michigan State has been offering an online Master of Science in Criminal Justice since 1998. Though the degree is 100% online, the courses are taught by the same faculty as the on-campus program. This 30-credit program takes most students anywhere from 18 months to three years to complete. Up to nine applicable graduate credits may be transferred into the program. Tuition is $675 per credit for residents and non-residents of Michigan ($20,250 for 30 credits).

Notable Recognition: The U.S. News and World Report ranks MSU #26 on the list for top online graduate degrees in criminal justice. GetEducated.com lists the school as #17 on the list for most affordable online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#6. New Mexico State University

New_Mexico_State_University_Goddard_Hall

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New Mexico State University has a main campus in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The school has four additional campuses, a satellite center in Albuquerque, and a presence in all of New Mexico’s 33 counties. New Mexico State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: NMSU offers an online Bachelor of Criminal Justice completion program as well as an online Master of Criminal Justice. The MCJ program is anywhere from 27-39 hours depending on the student’s desired outcome. Tuition and fees for the online graduate program are approximately $3,543.00 per semester for residents of New Mexico who are taking 15 credits. The rate for a non-resident in the same situation is approximately $10,584.00.

Notable Recognition: GetEducated.com ranks New Mexico State #3 on the list for most affordable online criminal justice graduate degrees.

Admissions Website

#5. Pennsylvania State University

Penn_state_university_house

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Founded in 1855, Pennsylvania State University is located in University Park, PA. The university is regularly ranked highly on lists for online degrees. Nearly 14,000 students are enrolled in online degree programs at the school. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education provides accreditation. 

Program Details: The university offers a numerous online undergraduate programs that focus on subjects of criminology, homeland security, policy, and law. Penn State also offers an online Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security that is 33-credits. Students can choose to get a general degree or focus on Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense, Geospatial Intelligence, Information Security and Forensics, or Public Health Preparedness. Tution for the graduate program is $784–$854 per credit ($25,872 – $28,182 total). 

Notable Recognition: Penn State is ranked #25 on GetEducated.com’s list of affordable online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#4. Boston University

Boston_University_School_of_Education,_Boston_MA

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With roots in the United Methodist Church, Boston University was established in 1839. This private research university is now considered nonsectarian. The school is located in Boston, Massachusetts and has over 32,000 students enrolled. Accreditation is provided by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Program Details: Boston University has an online Master of Criminal Justice that consists of 10 courses that are four credits each. Students take only one seven-week long class at a time to maximize efficiency. The entire program can be completed in approximately two years. This program has rolling admissions so students can apply at anytime to be admitted. Tuition and fees are $860 per credit hour ($34,400 for 40 credit hours).

Notable Recognition: The U.S. News and World Report ranks BU #2 on the list for top online graduate degrees in criminal justice. GetEducated.com lists the school as #31 on the list for most affordable online graduate criminal justice programs.

Admissions Website

#3. Columbia College

Columbia College

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Columbia College has 36 campuses nationwide and a main campus in Columbia, Missouri. This nonsectarian co-educational private college has more than 29,000 students enrolled annually. Accreditation is provided by the Higher Learning Commission and the school is a member of the North Central Association.

Program Details: The college has a variety of online programs that emphasize criminal justice such as an Associate in Criminal Justice Administration, a B.A. in Criminal Justice Administration, a Master’s in Criminal Justice, and a Crime Scene Investigation Certificate. The M.S. program is 36-credits and 100% online. Students can choose to specialize in Correction Administration or Law Enforcement Administration. Tuition is $350 per credit ($12,600 total tuition).

Notable Recognition: The university is ranked #5 on GetEducated.com’s list for affordable online graduate degrees in criminal justice. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #8 on the list for best online graduate programs in criminal justice.

Admissions Website 

#2. University of Wisconsin – Platteville

University of Wisconsin Platteville

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University of Wisconsin–Platteville is a public university located in Platteville, Wisconsin. Just under 9,000 students are enrolled in the school. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.

Program Details: UW – Platteville has offered effective distance education for 35 years. The university offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and an online  Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The M.S. program is 30-credits, is offered 100% online, and requires no GRE or GMAT for admittance. Students can choose to specialize in Criminal Justice Theory, Criminal Justice Management, or Victim and Offender Services. Tuition per credit is $630 regardless of residence ($18,900 for 30-credits).

Notable Recognition: The online graduate program in criminal justice is ranked #15 on GetEducated.com’s list for affordable online master’s degrees in criminal justice. U.S. News and World Report ranks the online graduate criminal justice program at UW – Platteville #15.

Admissions Website

#1. Arizona State University

Arizona State U

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With a main campus in Tempe, Arizona, Arizona State University has nearly 50,000 students enrolled. The public research university also offers degrees from several extension campuses and online. ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

Program Details: Arizona State offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice & Criminology and a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, both of which are administered online. The school also offers an online undergraduate certificate in Homeland Security and an online graduate certificate in Law Enforcement Administration. The M.A. program is a 33 hour degree that can be finished in as few as 18 months. GRE scores are not required for admittance. The program costs $482 per credit ($15,906 total).

Notable Recognition: Open Education Database ranks ASU’s online criminal justice program #5. U.S. News and World Review ranks the school #2 on the list for top online graduate Criminal Justice programs.

Admissions Website

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