2019 Best Online Colleges for Criminology Degrees

Quick Facts
Accreditation: Institutional
Degree Levels: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
Avg Tuition: $24,658
Avg Salary: $66,925

Online criminology degrees are available at 68 accredited online colleges and universities at a variety of degree levels. Students can pursue online associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, or certificate degrees in criminology. In addition to a comprehensive list of all available accredited online criminology degrees, we provide a list of the best online colleges for criminology degrees based on affordability and alumni salaries provided by PayScale.

Accreditation is an important factor to take into account when selecting an online criminology degree. There is no predominant accrediting agency for criminology programs. Therefore, students should prioritize regional accreditation when pursuing online degrees. This will help to ensure the quality of the education as well as the students' eligibility for federal financial aid.

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Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Criminology Degrees (68)

Partner School
Partner School
Full List Accreditation Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
Full List (68)
Adams State University HLC $20,456 50% (2 reviews)
29 Programs, 1 in Criminology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology - Criminology
Arkansas State University HLC $14,778 50% (4 reviews)
59 Programs, 2 in Criminology (view all)
  • BA in Criminology
  • Bachelor of General Studies - Criminology
Ashford University WASC WSCUC $10,632 - $13,400 67% (646 reviews)
212 Programs, 1 in Criminology (view all)
  • Doctor of Psychology - Criminology and Justice Studies Specialization
Ball State University HLC $25,942 100% (4 reviews)
160 Programs, 2 in Criminology (view all)
  • Associate Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology
Buena Vista University HLC $32,854 100% (2 reviews)
34 Programs, 1 in Criminology (view all)
  • Bachelor Degree Completion in Criminology and Criminal Justice
California University of Pennsylvania MSCHE $15,326 80% (15 reviews)
108 Programs, 3 in Criminology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Applied Criminology
  • Graduate Certificate in Behavioral Crime Analysis
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies: Applied Criminology
Chaminade University of Honolulu WASC WSCUC $24,514 100% (1 review)
32 Programs, 2 in Criminology (view all)
  • Associate of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Chicago School of Professional Psychology Online HLC $13,530 0% (3 reviews)
45 Programs, 1 in Criminology (view all)
  • B.S. Criminal Psychology
Colorado Christian University HLC $30,370 60% (10 reviews)
104 Programs, 1 in Criminology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Cyber Criminology
Colorado State University Global Campus HLC $9,000 55% (60 reviews)
219 Programs, 2 in Criminology (view all)
  • BS - Criminal Justice - Criminology
  • BS - Human Services - Criminology
Concordia University - Texas SACS COC $30,600 100% (1 review)
21 Programs, 3 in Criminology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice & Criminology - Homeland Security
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice & Criminology - Management of Law Enforcement
CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice MSCHE $14,460 Add Review
25 Programs, 1 in Criminology (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice: Criminology and Deviance
Delta State University SACS COC $6,859 0% (2 reviews)
36 Programs, 1 in Criminology (view all)
  • Master of Science in Social Justice & Criminology
Drexel University MSCHE $52,002 60% (5 reviews)
320 Programs, 1 in Criminology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Justice Studies
Drury University HLC $27,015 Add Review
29 Programs, 1 in Criminology (view all)
  • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
Florida State University SACS COC $18,786 100% (3 reviews)
55 Programs, 4 in Criminology (view all)
  • BS in Criminology
  • BS in Public Safety and Security - Crime Scene Investigation
  • BS in Public Safety and Security - Law Enforcement Intelligence
  • Specialized Studies in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Gannon University MSCHE $30,932 Add Review
14 Programs, 1 in Criminology (view all)
  • MS in Criminalistics
The George Washington University MSCHE $53,518 75% (4 reviews)
134 Programs, 1 in Criminology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Forensic Investigations
Indiana State University HLC $19,452 88% (8 reviews)
79 Programs, 7 in Criminology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybercriminology and Security Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybercriminology and Security Studies - Cybercrime
  • Bachelor of Science in Intelligence Analysis
IUPUI HLC $29,806 100% (1 review)
83 Programs, 1 in Criminology (view all)
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Public Safety
Kent State University at Kent HLC $18,544 100% (1 review)
111 Programs, 5 in Criminology (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice - Corrections
  • Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice - Global Security
  • Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice - Policing
Kentucky Wesleyan College SACS COC $25,070 100% (1 review)
6 Programs, 1 in Criminology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice & Criminology
Lee University SACS COC $16,730 100% (1 review)
43 Programs, 2 in Criminology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice - Criminology & Juvenile
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Criminology & Juvenile
Loyola University New Orleans SACS COC $39,492 Add Review
49 Programs, 3 in Criminology (view all)
  • Associate of Arts in Criminology & Justice
  • Bachelor of Criminology & Justice
  • Master of Criminology & Justice
Maryville University HLC $28,470 7% (14 reviews)
116 Programs, 1 in Criminology (view all)
  • BA in Sociology - Criminology
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2019 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Criminology Degrees

Criminology-Top Online Colleges-2019-Badge

This list has the best colleges offering online bachelor's degrees in criminology, with Chaminade University of Honolulu topping the list with a tuition of $25,374 and an average alumni mid-career salary of $96,000. University of Missouri at Saint Louis ranks #2, costing $29,769 per year and with an average salary of $71,900. Southern Illinois University - Carbondale ranks 10th on the list, with an annual tuition of $11,815 and an average alumni salary of $52,100.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about SR Education Group.

Rank School Annual Tuition Median Salary
#1 #1 $25,374 $96,000
#2 #2 $29,769 $71,900
#3 #3 $19,383 $66,700
#4 #4 $23,580 $63,300
#5 #5 $14,070 $60,600
#6 #6 $29,348 $61,600
#7 #7 $17,324 $56,500
#8 #8 $12,900 $55,200
#9 #9 $14,080 $54,200
#10 #10 $11,815 $52,100
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo.

2019 Online Colleges in Criminology Ranking Details

  • Annual Tuition: $25,374
  • Median Salary: $96,000
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Chaminade University of Honolulu offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree. Students in this program can take courses in Criminal Justice Systems, Foundations in Criminology, Behavioral Sciences Statistics, Seminar in Criminal Justice Agencies, Juvenile Deviancy and Juvenile Justice, and more. Graduates from this program transition into careers as FBI Agents, INS Agents, Secret Service Members, Corrections Officers, and Crime Scene Investigators. In order to graduate, students need to complete 120 credit hours and maintain a 2.0 GPA throughout their academic career.

  • Annual Tuition: $29,769
  • Median Salary: $71,900
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The University of Missouri at Saint Louis currently offers distance learners a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Graduates from this program must complete 121 credit hours and the current rate of tuition is $349.70 per credit for in-state tuition and $930.00 per credit for out-of-state tuition. Courses in this major include Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice, Gender, Crime, and Justice, Violence Against Women, and Race, Crime, and Justice, along with many other interesting courses.

  • Annual Tuition: $19,383
  • Median Salary: $66,700
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The University of North Carolina at Wilmington's Bachelor of Arts in Criminology degree can be taken entirely online by interested distance learners who are accepted into the program. Some electives included in this degree are Collective Violence, Victimology, White Collar Crime, Police in Society, Criminal Law, and Criminal Procedure. Students have three options when choosing their major within the Criminology degree: Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Public Criminology, allowing students to find a concentration that best suits their interests and career path.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $23,580
  • Median Salary: $63,300
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Portland State University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Criminology & Criminal Justice. This degree can be taken 75% or 100% online and requires that students must complete 68 total credit hours, which usually takes students two years to finish. Courses currently offered in this program include Policing in America, Punishment and Corrections, American Courts, Theories of Crime, and many more. In order to be accepted into the program, students must have 30 semester hours of transferable college work, a GPA of 2.25, and have completed WR 121.

  • Annual Tuition: $14,070
  • Median Salary: $60,600
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Potential criminal justice majors should consider Ball State University's Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology, which can be earned completely online. Courses in this major include Decision Making and Ethics in Criminal Justice, Elementary Macroeconomics, Family Relations, and Introduction to Geographical Information Systems. Graduates from this program have gone on to careers in a number of fields, including probation officers, institutional counselors, correctional officers, and victim or witness advocates, along with a number of other jobs.

  • Annual Tuition: $29,348
  • Median Salary: $61,600
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The University of Texas at Arlington is currently offering an online Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Criminology and Criminal Justice that might interest many online learners. Students in this program can take courses in Juvenile Delinquency and Justice, Correctional Casework and Counseling, Ethics in Criminal Justice, and Legal Aspects of Evidence. This degree requires that students complete a total of 79 credits; 42 from general course requirements and 10 credits from electives, among other required courses.

  • Annual Tuition: $17,324
  • Median Salary: $56,500
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The University of South Florida-Main Campus offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology that can be completed entirely online. Some courses in this degree are Patterns of Criminal Behavior, Miscarriages of Justice, Forensic Psychology, and Abnormal Behavior. Currently, tuition rates are set at $211.19 per credit hour for in-state residents and $585.01 per credit hour for out-of-state residents. In order for students to graduate, they must complete 120 credit hours and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $12,900
  • Median Salary: $55,200
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The University of Nebraska at Omaha offers two degrees in criminology: a Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies - Criminology and Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice. In order to graduate from these programs, students must complete 120 credit hours. Required courses in the programs include Police and Society, Criminal Court System, Survey of Corrections, and Survey of Criminal Justice, among others. Many graduates go on to work in agencies like the U.S. Secret Service, the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, and the Omaha Police Department.

  • Annual Tuition: $14,080
  • Median Salary: $54,200
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The University of Mount Olive, located in Mount Olive, NC, offers online learners a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice & Criminology degree. Courses included in this major include Constitutional Law & Criminal Procedure, Juvenile Justice & Delinquency, Law Enforcement, Court Systems and Process, and Punishment & Corrections. To graduate with this degree students must complete 126 total credit hours; 46 from general education credit hours and 41 from general elective credit hours, among other courses.

  • Annual Tuition: $11,815
  • Median Salary: $52,100
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The University of Memphis currently offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice that can be taken completely online. Students must complete 120 credit hours in order to graduate, with 36 hours coming from courses within the major. Courses in this degree include Introduction to Police, Introduction to Courts, Criminology, Oral Communication, and Ethical Dilemmas, among many other interesting courses. There is also an honors program available to students who have completed at least 55 credit hours with a 3.25 GPA or higher.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Criminology Degree Overview & Career Information

Online criminology degrees are available at the associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate levels. Earning an online associate degree will take students approximately two years to complete, after which they can then apply for some entry-level positions or move on to further their education by seeking a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree is usually the minimum amount of education required by most employers. This level of degree can be completed in four years of study. Graduate degrees are also available in the field of criminology. Individuals can graduate with their master's degree in just two years. Upon graduation they will be prepared to hold senior positions. Seeking a doctorate degree is the best route for professionals who wish to teach criminology at the college level, and will typically take students five to seven years to complete. Lastly, there are also certificate programs for those who don't want or need to commit to earning a full degree. This will open the doors for entry-level positions in criminology. It is also a way for already working professionals to seek further knowledge in the industry. Certificate degrees can be earned in a year or less.

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Online Associate Degrees in Criminology

Students can earn their online associate degrees in criminology in two years at a community college or university. The program usually consists of 60 credit hours of study. This level of program will equip students with the knowledge and skills that will allow them to pursue some jobs within the criminal justice field, such as a police or correctional officer, or other entry-level work. An online associate degree typically consists of general education courses and major-specific courses, such as criminology, classical social theory, introduction to crime analysis, introduction to constitutional law, social problems, and fundamentals of psychological profiling. Admission requirements for first time students include a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Applicants who have received prior education at the post-secondary level will need to submit their college transcripts.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees in Criminology

Individuals who seek an online bachelor's degree in criminology may find work in a variety of careers, including as a detective, police officer, caseworker, crime intelligence analyst, and corrections officer. An online bachelor's degree can be completed in four years and typically consists of 120 credit hours. Courses that students will take include criminal law, abnormal psychology, introduction to corrections, sociology of crime and violence, research methods for criminal justice, legal traditions, and data analysis in criminal justice. Some programs also offer internship opportunities for interested students. Applicants who are applying for a bachelor's program as a first time student will need to present their high school transcripts or GED certificates. Individuals interested in pursuing their bachelor's degrees online can find programs at various universities and colleges around the country.

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Online Master's in Criminology

Students enrolled in online master's degree programs in criminology will further develop their industry skills and understanding that will allow them to move into higher positions within the field. Depending on the student's academic schedule a master's degree program can be completed in two years or less and consists of 30 to 36 credit hours of coursework. The criminology curriculum is made up of classes like quantitative research methods, advanced social statistics, evidence-based crime prevention, family violence, criminology in practice, crime and popular culture, and adult corrections. Some programs will also require that participating students complete a thesis prior to graduation. Upon graduation, individuals may find work in a variety of settings, such as with law enforcement at all levels of government, consulting agencies, research organizations, investigation groups, and more. They will also be prepared for doctoral studies. In order to be admitted to an online master's program, an applicant will need to have a bachelor's degree, letters of reference, and GRE test scores.

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Online Doctoral Degrees in Criminology

An online doctoral degree in criminology allows students to take part in independent research, and prepares them to enter senior positions within the field, teach at the university level, or enter a research-based career upon graduating. The number of credit hours needed to graduate will differ depending on the program and the applicant's educational background but typically, a doctoral program will take five to seven years to complete. Students will participate in courses such as research methods in criminology, survey of criminological theories, data analysis in criminology, prospectus development, and professional development in criminology. All students must also complete a dissertation and successfully defend it. This is usually the last step students will take before graduation. PhD admission requirements include a bachelor's degree, a letter of intent, and three letters of recommendation. To remain competitive among other applicants individuals should also have high GRE scores. Online PhD programs can be found at the university level.

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Online Certificates in Criminology

Online certificate degrees are available for individuals who wish to seek an education in criminology but don't want to commit to a full degree program. This level of online degree may prepare graduates for entry-level positions in criminal justice, and may help current professionals find more job opportunities. Students can graduate with their certificates often in just a year or less. Admission to an online undergraduate certificate program usually only requires a high school diploma or GED. There are also online graduate certificates available for students who have completed a bachelor's or master's degree in a different area and want to enter the criminology field, or who have a degree in a related field but need to add to their education. Throughout their year of study, students will participate in coursework including introduction to criminal justice, the victim and the justice system, the American legal tradition, forensic psychology, and sociology of crime and violence. Online certificate programs in criminology are available at colleges and universities.

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The Importance of an Accredited Online Criminology Degree

Accreditation is an important aspect of postsecondary education, and students should take the accreditation status of the school they wish to attend into consideration. If a school is regionally accredited, it means that an independent, outside organization has evaluated the school and determined that it meets certain quality standards in the areas of academics, teacher quality, and more. Attending an accredited institution gives students the confidence that they are receiving an education that is going to adequately prepare them for their future career upon graduation. Accreditation also plays a role in the hiring process, as many employers prefer to hire candidates who have accredited educational backgrounds. Also, most colleges and universities will only accept transfer credits from other accredited schools. Thus, students who may transfer their credits or attend graduate school in the future will need to consider this. Lastly, students who are in need of federal financial assistance will not have the option of attending a non-accredited program because only accredited institutions have access to federal aid.

Careers in Criminology

There are several different career options within the field of criminology. One career choice for individuals with online criminology degrees is to work as a criminologist. Criminologists research crimes, study criminals, and try to figure out reasons why people commit crimes and how to prevent them in the future. They also work on trying to come up with ways to rehabilitate criminals back into society. On a daily basis a criminologist will conduct research and draw up reports that will aid in analyzing research. Individuals who are interested in this career path should pursue a bachelor's degree in order to adequately prepare themselves for the position. A master's degree can help them advance in their career.

There are other career options available to those with an online degree in criminology as well. They may also find jobs in social work, as correctional officers, in teaching, or in research. Individuals who wish to teach at the university level or conduct independent research may need to earn a master's or doctoral degree. Jobs can also be found as a police officer, medical examiner, FBI agent, or other law enforcement official. Another area prospective criminologists might find interesting is forensic criminology, which involves using scientific methods and principles and applying them to the study of crimes, criminals, and the criminal justice system as a whole. 

References

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