The 20 Best Online Criminal Justice Associate Degree Programs
An online Criminal Justice associate degree prepares you for careers in a wide array of criminal justice fields. A two-year associate’s degree can help you launch, in a short time, a new criminal justice career. Moreover, an associate degree in criminal justice lays the groundwork for more advanced study in that area at the bachelor’s and master’s level (with still greater career options and rewards).
A criminal justice associate’s degree program prepares students for numerous careers in the criminal justice sector such as police officer, private investigator, homeland security officer, bailiff, victim advocate, prison guard, court administrator and more.
We selected the top online Criminal Justice Associate degree programs based on program quality, courses offered, awards, rankings, faculty, academic standing, reputation, including the school’s reputation for effectively providing online degree programs.
Featured Online Programs
The Top Online Criminal Justice Associate Degree Programs
1. Indiana Wesleyan University
Indiana Wesleyan University is a private, evangelical Christian, liberal arts university located in Marion, Indiana. Founded in 1920, the school officially connects itself with the Wesleyan Church and aims to “change the world by developing student in character, scholarship, and leadership.”
With nearly 16,000 students, Indiana Wesleyan is the largest private university in the state of Indiana. The school divides students amongst the five schools: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Adult and Professional Studies, Graduate School, the School of Nursing, and the Wesleyan Seminary.
The university provides more than 80 undergraduate majors, as well as several professional programs, master’s degrees and associates degrees; Indiana Wesleyan University offers many of these degrees online.
The online Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice is well suited for students seeking to become a police officer, homeland security officer, crime scene investigator, private detective, or security guard. The 63-unit program has a mix of liberal arts and criminal justice courses focused on communication skills, problem solving, and the increasingly important homeland security.
Courses such as criminology, psychology, corrections, and crises intervention provide a wide base of knowledge and prepare students for the workforce.
Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
2. Florida Tech Online
Florida Tech Online is an offshoot of the Florida Institute of Technology. The Florida Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Melbourne, Florida. Founded as Brevard Engineering in 1958, the university has since changed its name but not its concentration. Florida Tech focuses primarily on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The university has nearly 9,000 students divvied up across the five colleges: College of Engineering, College of Sciences, College of Aeronautics, College of Psychology and Liberal Arts, and the College of Business.
The 20-month online Associates of Criminal Justice program attracts people planning to pursue careers as police officers, court administrators, private security officers, crime scene investigators, youth advocates, and probation officers. The program specifically focuses on the practical application of computer skills, crime trend and statistical analysis, critical thinking, and problem solving.
Classes such as introduction to law and the legal systems, correctional systems, and criminology give students a firm criminal justice basis for a future as a professional or for students continuing their education with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Florida Institute of Technology is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
3. Liberty University Online
Liberty University Online is a major portion of Liberty University, a private Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. The university has an impressive online student body of 90,000 students.
Pastor Jerry Falwell founded the university. Liberty University has an affiliation with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia. The school, a Christian academic community boasts “training champions for Christ since 1971.” All academics focus on both intellectual and spiritual development and thus curriculum for all degrees require students to complete religious based coursework. Liberty University currently offers over 350 programs for students to select from
The 60-credit hour Criminal Justice Associate online degree aimed at working adults, is also set up to allow students who intend to continue their education to seamlessly transition into a bachelor’s program. The program specifically prepares students for work in administration, casework, corrections, counseling, juvenile justice, social services and victim advocacy.
Liberty University is regionally accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
4. Campbellsville University
Campbellsville University, a private, Christian university located in Campbellsville, Kentucky has an affiliation with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Despite its affiliations, Campbellsville welcomes students from all faiths and does not integrate religious coursework into their core curriculum.
Established in 1906, the school is relatively small with just 3,200 students. In spite of its small stature, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate programs, 17 master’s degrees, 5 postgraduate degrees, and 8 professional degrees.
The online Associate’s in Criminal Justice 60-unit program includes 30 general education units and 30 criminal justice units. The program covers parole, probation, psychology, public operations and procedures, court processes, criminal investigation, court procedures, and criminal law, laying a strong, wide criminal justice base for careen advancement. Students can start the program at any time during the year.
Campbellsville University is regionally accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
5. Post University
Established in 1890, Post University is a small for-profit, university located in Waterbury, Connecticut. Since its inception, the university has grown and changed as the needs of its students have changed. The university has numerous distance learning programs. The University offers the courses six times a year in eight-week units.
The 60-semester unit Criminal Justice Associate program, one of the most flexible in the country, has six major electives, allowing students to fine tune their education based on their intended post-graduation profession. The program covers subjects such as forensic science, law enforcement, criminal investigation, corporate security and the department of corrections. The online criminal justice degree program thoroughly reviews the criminal justice system. The university encourages students to obtain an internship to gain experience.
Post University is regionally accredited by The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).
6. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University is a non-profit university located near Manchester, New Hampshire. The university has three separate schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, and the School of Education. Southern New Hampshire University offers over 100 undergraduate majors, 40 graduate programs, and a multitude of certificate programs.
The Associate in Criminal Justice degree online falls under the School of Arts and Sciences as part of the justice studies department. The program prepares students for careers in law, business security, terrorism prevention, court administration, corrections, dispute resolution, and victim advocacy.
The 60-unit Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice has a mix of theory and applied skills including public speaking, legal traditions, and American policing. The program allows students to select specific classes based on their career goals.
Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).
7. Bay State College
Founded in 1946, Bay State College is a for-profit school located in the Back Bay in Boston, Massachusetts. The college has an on-campus enrollment of 1,200 students. The college’s small size allows it to maintain a 25 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio and an average class size of just 18 students.
Currently, the college offers majors in areas such as business administration, criminal justice, early childhood education, entertainment management, fashion design, fashion merchandising, health studies, hospitality management, medical assisting, nursing, physical therapy, and retail business management.
The two-year, online Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice emphasizes oral communication, writing skills, analysis, and computer literacy. The program covers applying ethic and legal standards during the decision making process, working in groups to define and identify legal issues, applying legal rules and procedures.
The online Criminal Justice degree attracts people perusing careers as a crime lab technician, public dispatcher, court stenographer, probation officer, paralegal, loss prevention officer, private investigator, protective service worker, or security guard.
Bay State College is regionally accredited by The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).
8. Saint Leo University Online
Saint Leo University Online is a subsidiary of Saint Leo University. Saint Leo University is a private, non-profit Roman Catholic liberal arts university of the Benedictine order. Established in 1889, the school is officially the oldest Catholic university in the United States and amongst the five largest Catholic higher education entities in the country.
The university has 17 physical educational centers in seven states including some several military bases plus a distance learning program. The distance learning program, one of the oldest in the country, began in 1973 as a way to extend educational opportunities to military members. Since then, the distance learning program has gone digital.
The online associate in criminal justice degree includes 60 units and comprehensively covers a mix of liberal arts core curriculum, religion, and criminal justice courses. Some important topics including the criminal justice system, criminal investigation, criminal procedure, crime scene investigation, criminal justice ethics , and homeland security.
Saint Leo University is regionally accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
9. Kaplan University
Established in 1937, Kaplan University, a for-profit university has 10 campuses across Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland and Wisconsin. Kaplan University also provides a variety of online degrees. The school’s core values include integrity, knowledge, support, opportunity, and results. Students near one of the physical campuses have an option to participate in a blended program that mixes online and on-campus classes.
The online criminal justice associate degree includes 90-quarter units and takes anywhere from one year to two years to complete depending on the student’s course load. The curriculum has a mix of liberal arts course work and a wide base of knowledge in specialized criminal justice revolving around criminology, criminal investigations criminal law, domestic and international terrorism, and counter-terror measures. Kaplan University provides multiple start dates per semester, which allows students to begin at any time of the year.
Kaplan University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
10. Colorado Christian University
Colorado Christina University is a private interdenominational Christian liberal arts university located in Lakewood, Colorado. Founded in 1914 as the Denver Bible University, the school has approximately 5,000 students. The school’s overall goal as an educational institute is to “cultivate knowledge and love of God in Christ-centered community of learners and scholars with an enduring commitment to the integration of exemplary academics, spiritual formation, and engagement with the world.”
Students in the Colorado Christian’s online 60-semester unit Criminal Justice Associate program take the program over 18 months in five-week units, one class at a time, allowing students to focus on a single class. The program reviews the criminal justice practice in the United States. The online Criminal Justice degree provides focus areas including criminal justice, criminal courts, criminal justice ethics, criminology, corrections and juvenile justice. The university specifically formulated the program for people looking for careers in law enforcement, paralegal, transportation security, private security, and computer forensics.
Faculty members teaching classes have hands-on experience in a related field. Additionally, students and professors look through a Christian perspective on important topics such as sin, free will, human nature and redemption.
Colorado Christian University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
11. Columbia College
Columbia College, a private coeducational liberal arts college, has its main campus in Columbia, Missouri. Established in 1851, Columbia College, affiliated with the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ and originally founded as the Christian Female College, became coed in 1970. The college has 34 campuses across the United States and provides an array of online programs. The college has ties with United States military bases to allow member of the active military to receive an education.
The 60-unit Criminal Justice Associate’s degree program prepares students for entry-level positions in corrections, court bases agencies, and law enforcement. The program can help professionals looking for advancement or promotion opportunities.
The program has three available paths: criminal justice administration, forensic sciences, and human services. The Associate in Criminal Justice degree program covers subjects such as police in a democratic society, judicial process, juvenile delinquency, drug abuse and crime control, criminal law, criminal procedures, laws of criminal evidence and more.
Columbia College is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
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13. Rasmussen College
Founded in 1900, Rasmussen College is a private, for-profit college with headquarters in Bloomington, Minnesota. The college has 24 total campuses across six states. The college currently offers over 80 programs spread across the six educational schools, including programs such as health sciences, business, nursing, technology and design, business, and justice studies.
The online associate’s degree in criminal justice program includes 91-quarter units. The program reviews the theory and practice of criminal justice procedures, leadership strategies and research methods. The program reviews criminal justice issues in law enforcement, corrections, security, domestic violence as well as juvenile justice.
The Criminal Justice Associate degree program includes classes such as domestic violence, applied criminal procedures, and drugs as a crime. Future police officers also receive an extensive general education to round out their knowledge base and provide them skills commonly required in the work place such as written communication and public speaking.
Rasmussen College is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
14. Hodges University
Founded in 1990, Hodges University is a non-profit university located in Naples, Florida. The university has four separate schools: Business, Allied Health, Professional Studies, and Technology. Across those schools, the university offers graduate and undergraduate degrees.
The 60 unit, 20-month online Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice program, based on discipline and liberal arts, is specifically for people interested in federal, state, and local law enforcement careers as well as jobs in the judiciary system, corrections, forensics science, and private security.
The program draws upon the expertise of judges, law enforcement officers, corrections personnel, probation and parole officers as well as practicing lawyers. The program provides a solid foundation in criminology, corrections, law enforcement, crimes and delinquency, courts and criminal procedure and forensics.
Hodges University is regionally accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
15. National American University
National American University, a for-profit technical and professional school with numerous campuses, offers a variety of online undergraduate degree programs and a small number of diploma programs.
The online Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice degree program reviews the criminal justice system’s operations and issues. Students learn to apply legal principles to the courts, police, and correctional components of the criminal justice system.
The online Associate’s in Criminal Justice degree program provides courses such as Criminological Theory, Professionalism and Ethics in Criminal Justice, Criminal Law, U.S. Courts, and Constitutional Law in Criminal Justice.
The degree prepares students for a variety of entry-level jobs in the criminal justice field.
National American University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
16. Strayer University
Strayer University, a private, for-profit university, established in 1892, operates out of 100 campuses across 24 states in addition to the school’s online platform. The university offers associate’s, undergraduate, and graduate degree in business administration, accounting, criminal justice, education, health services administration, information technology, public administration and more.
Strayer University’s online criminal justice associate degree focuses on criminal theory, law, ethics, procedures, and how law enforcement and the court system work together to prevent and respond to crime. The program reviews juvenile delinquency and justice; society, law and government; and ethics and leadership in criminal justice.
Students enrolled full-time can complete the 90-quarter unit program in less than two years. The online Criminal Justice degree prepares students for jobs as a law enforcement officer, security guard, private investigator, court administrative staff member, and many other related jobs.
Strayer University is regionally accredited by The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).
17. Columbia Southern University
Columbia Southern University is a private, online university founded in 1993. Based out of Orange Beach, Alabama, the university offers graduate and undergraduate programs in business administration, information technology, criminal justice, human resource management, organizational leadership, occupational safety, and health and fire sciences.
The Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice program includes 60 semester units and takes approximately three years to complete. The degree is a mix of theoretical foundations, knowledge, skills and criminal justice practices. The online criminal justice degree covers subjects such as theory and practice of law enforcement, juvenile delinquency, theory and practice of corrections, judicial process, criminal law, and criminology.
Columbia Southern University is nationally accredited by The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).
18. Grantham University
Founded in 1951, Grantham University, a for-profit university located in Kansas City, Missouri includes four schools: Business, Arts and Sciences, Nursing and Allied Health, and Engineering and Computer Science. The university provides an array of degree programs.
The 62 semester units Associate of Criminal Justice program prepares students for detection, apprehension, detention, persecution, criminal procedure, and much more. Courses in humanities, communications, theory, and practical law enforcement prepare students for the rigors of work in the criminal justice sector. The Associate in Criminal Justice degree online covers subjects such as law enforcement, investigations, corrections, police systems and practices and juvenile justice.
Grantham University is nationally accredited by The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).
19. Remington College
Remington College, a non-profit college headquartered in Heathrow, Florida, founded in 1985, includes 19 colleges across the United State, some of which have actually been in operation since the 1940’s. Remington currently awards degrees in business, criminal justice, electronics, graphic arts, information technology, beauty and fitness, and health sciences.
The Criminal Justice Associate’s online degree program provides a review of the criminal justice system. The program covers subjects such as criminology, constitutional law, correctional systems and law enforcement operations. The online criminal justice degree provides a well-rounded mix of sociology, psychology, criminal law, forensics, and theory to prepare students for the many common and uncommon scenarios faced on the job in a criminal justice career. Students can complete the degree in as little as 18 months.
Remington College is nationally accredited by The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
20. Anthem College Online
Established in 2003, Anthem College currently offers degrees in accounting, information technology, business management, criminal justice, health information management, medical assisting, medical office administration, paralegal and more.
The online Associate in Criminal Justice degree gives students the knowledge and practical skills required for an entry-level criminal justice job. Students learn the basics of criminology. They receive training in investigative techniques.
The program covers the fundamentals of criminal law, juvenile delinquency, and police-community relations. Through the study of psychology, criminology, communication, government, and criminal law coursework, students prepare for a rigorous and fast-paced work environment.
Anthem College is accredited by The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.
- The 20 Best Online Criminal Justice Associate Degree Programs | The Best Schools. [online] The Best Schools. Available at: http://www.thebestschools.org/rankings/top-20-online-criminal-justice-associate-degree-programs/.
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