Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree Program

A degree program in criminal justice can prepare you to work with police departments, corrections institutions, crime labs or law firms. This program can familiarize you with laws and ethics surrounding the investigation, prosecution and treatment of crimes and criminals. Read on for more information about online availability and possible careers for graduates. Schools offering Criminal Justice degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree Program?

Criminal justice bachelor's degree programs typically take four years to complete and may result in a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Science in Applied Science degree, depending on the school. There are also degree-completion programs, which consist entirely of upper-level courses and take two years to finish. For admission to a degree-completion program, you're generally required to hold an associate's degree or have completed two years of postsecondary study.

Typical courses in these undergraduate programs include criminal law, criminal justice research, corrections, court procedures, evidence, policing, delinquency and rehabilitation. Some programs require you to serve an internship at a school-approved facility. You may also have the opportunity to specialize in a certain area of criminal justice, such as courts and corrections, crime and procedures, loss prevention, forensics or law enforcement.

Common Courses Loss prevention, crime and procedures, forensics, law enforcement, courts and corrections
Other Requirements Varies, depending upon the program; an internship may be required for graduation
Online Availability Degree programs are available fully online and in hybrid formats
Possible Careers Federal agent, parole officer, police officer, correctional treatment specialist
Median Salary (2018)$63,380 (Police and Detectives)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)7% growth (Police and Detectives)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Are Online Programs Available?

There are an abundance of opportunities for you to pursue a degree entirely or partially online, in a blended or hybrid program. Hybrid or blended programs entail some in-person requirements, such as internships, orientation meetings or seminars.

What Can I Do with this Degree?

After completing a criminal justice bachelor's degree program, you may qualify for a variety of careers related to crime prevention, law enforcement and the legal system. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you may qualify for a position with a local or state agency as a law enforcement officer with just 1-2 years of postsecondary study or an associate's degree; however, the BLS also makes it clear that you may have a better chance for employment if you hold a bachelor's degree ( If you're looking for a position with a federal law enforcement agency or as a probation officer, parole officer or correctional treatment specialist, a bachelor's degree is usually the minimum educational requirement.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools