Individuals pursuing criminal justice degree online programs receive the knowledge and experience they need to be successful in this growing career path. The field of criminal justice is broad, offering online students the education they need to pursue careers as police officers, corporate security specialists, criminologists, crime scene investigators, corrections officers, Homeland Security agents, and CIA agents, among others. Students in criminal justice degree online programs can earn Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate degrees in this field, although the Bachelor's degrees are most popular. An online criminal justice degree can take up to four to five years to complete, and the median cost per credit is $365. Students pursuing a Bachelor's degree in this area can greatly benefit from the flexibility and affordability of criminal justice degree online programs. The top three criminal justice degrees online are offered by Washington State University, Arizona State University, and Sam Houston State University.
With a degree in criminal justice comes a surprising number of benefits. From now till 2026, those interested in working as a police officer or detective will be happy to know that the demand for police jobs is growing up to 7%. Expected job growth for parole officers and security guards is at 6%. The field of crime scene investigation is expected to grow up to 17%. On average, a police officer can earn an average of $62,960 per year. The average salary for fraud investigators is slightly higher at around $64,690. Of course, if you really want to make some bank, a CIA agent will make between $74K and $137K on average. A criminal justice degree is the first step to a potentially rewarding and lucrative career depending on how you use it. With that said, let's take a look at the top universities for earning your criminal justice degree where you'll have the best chance of success in your field.
The criminal justice degree online program at Washington State University is known as one of the best in the nation. This program is part of their global campus, providing online students with access to career consultants and exclusive networking opportunities. The online courses are taught by permanent faculty members, who also teach on the WSU main campus. Global campus students have as much, if not more, contact with professors. Global Campus graduates endure the same rigorous standards of educational excellence as traditional students, and the diplomas of online students have the same appearance as traditional students. Faculty include directors of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and consultants for the American Bar Association, as well as specialists in corrections. Tuition for the Washington State University criminal justice degree online program is $570 per credit, which is steep but definitely worth the money.
Arizona State University is the second most popular criminal justice degree online program. Like WSU, the same faculty teach the online and on-campus classes, including lecturers, adjunct faculty, and full-time professors. This criminal justice online degree program also utilizes graduate students as online Teaching Assistants to facilitate lively discussions and student interaction. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of both the full-time student and the full time working professional. ASU also provides career services, which include the development of resumes and cover letters, career fairs, mock interviews, and online resources for employment. The Bachelor's degree offered by Arizona State University combines criminal justice with criminology, providing students the chance to focus on both disciplines. Tuition for the Arizona State University criminal justice degree online program is $480 per credit for both in-state and out-of-state students.
Sam Houston State University is the third most popular criminal justice degree online program. Sam Houston State University has the best Criminal Justice program in the state of Texas, with students attending from all over the world. Online and on-campus classes have the same permanent and adjunct faculty, many of whom have worked in the field of criminal justice. The Correctional Management Institute of Texas and the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas are housed on the campus, providing a wide variety of classes and seminars that cannot be found in other programs. Because the alumni base is so large, graduates have endless networking and career opportunities. Tuition for the Sam Houston State University criminal justice degree online program is $384 per credit for both in-state and out-of-state students, making it the best value for the money.