Potential Avg. Salary

$79,620 Based on the latest government data.* See the Best Ways to get there →

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With a bachelor of science in criminal justice, you’ll have the advanced qualifications needed to take senior-level positions in law enforcement offices. Students study the law, criminal justice, sociology, and criminology topics, which help them prepare for working as detectives, crime scene investigators, prison administrators, and more. It’s also a good starting point for a career as a defense lawyer or prosecutor.

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What is a Degree in Criminal Justice What is a Degree in Criminal Justice


Law enforcement officials—police officers, detectives, crime scene investigators, and police chiefs—must all complete police academy, but most also have college degrees as well. While police officers commonly pursue associate’s degrees, those who aspire to get promoted into more senior-level positions often hold bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice. Studying for a bachelor of science in criminal justice provides you with the education you need to enforce law effectively and ethically.

By studying criminology, law, sociology, and psychology in a criminal justice program, you’ll have the education needed to understand criminal motivations, to investigate crime scenes effectively and in detail, and to manage a police office and force that is effective and ethical. Additionally, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is often a great starting point for aspiring lawyers who are interested in criminal law. By pursuing a law degree after graduation, you can find work as a defense attorney or prosecutor.

What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Criminal Justice?

  • Introduction to Corrections
  • Domestic Violence
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Criminal Justice Crime Control Policies and Practices
  • Courts and Sentencing
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Introduction to Policing
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Crime

How hard is it to get a Job with a Degree in Criminal Justice

It is an unfortunate reality that crime is always a concern in communities across the U.S. and world. However, because crime is always occurring, there is always a demand for police officers to stop in-progress crimes, protect the public and their possessions, and catch criminals who’ve committed crimes. Additionally, there is a need for effective detectives, crime scene investigators, and law enforcement leaders to manage police staffs and prisons and ensure an effective police force.

How Long does it take to Get

A bachelors in Criminal Justice will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at OnlineDegree.com that could transfer to universities in the US.

*All salary and growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at BLS.gov for a Police Detective

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What Will a bachelors Cost? What Will a bachelors Cost?

The cost of a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice will vary depending on what school you decide to attend, whether you live in-state or out of state, if the program is online, and what scholarships are available.

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Things That Can Affect Cost

  • If You Live In-State or Out-of-State from the University
  • The University You Choose
  • Online Courses vs. Traditional Classroom
  • Taking Courses That Could Earn Credit Towards Your University to Save Money
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How to save time and money How to save time and money

Would you pay 50k a year in tuition and assume student debt to your eyeballs if you didn't need to? Of course not. Do you need to take off work for 4 to 5 years to get the degree you need? Probably not. Huge amounts of student debt can be a heavy burden many years after graduating. Below are some things you can do to speed up the time frame and save money, while maintaining your current job or lifestyle.

Take Free Courses At OnlineDegree.com

This could save you a bundle on tuition and time…all from home on your computer! When you take free courses at OnlineDegree.com, you could complete your entire freshman year of college tuition free and be that much closer towards your degree. No applications, no entrance exams, no interviews. Register in 60 seconds, and start taking classes today! Learn How →

Opt For Online Courses

By choosing an online university program you can potentially save a ton of money. The schedules are usually more flexible so you can keep your current job and lifestyle. Plus, you don't have to move to a new place and assume the additional student housing and living expenses.

Get Scholarships and Discounts

We’ve organized discounts and scholarships at accredited universities across the country. These could make you instantly eligible to save thousands of dollars by registering for free at OnlineDegree.com, and get you the best tuition possible for a major in Criminal Justice or related Legal & Law degree.

Earn an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice First

To enter police academy, you don’t need a bachelor’s degree. You just need an associate’s degree and to be at least 21-years old. By earning an associate’s degree first, you can enter police academy and begin earning professional experience as a police officer while you pursue your bachelor’s degree. Best of all, the credits you earn in an associate’s degree program usually transfer to reduce the number of classes you have to take to complete your bachelor’s degree program.

Best Careers for Criminal Justice Degrees Best Careers for Criminal Justice Degrees

A bachelor of science in criminal justice prepares you for a variety of careers in the law enforcement industry. Graduates work as police officers and have the credentials needed to earn promotions into detective, police captain, and police chief roles later in their careers. A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is also a great degree to earn for aspiring defense attorneys, prosecutors, and district attorneys.

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Can I get accepted for a Degree in Criminal Justice? Can I get accepted for a Degree in Criminal Justice?

Yes! There’s A Right Fit For Everyone. We’ll Help You Find It.

Every university has different requirements for admittance, but there are certain things that can help determine your chances to get that Bachelors. No matter what though, there is a right fit for everyone!

  • Universities will have different acceptance rates based on various factors. Try our acceptance calculator to estimate where you might get accepted
  • At many universities, transfer students have higher rates of acceptance vs freshman enrolling out of high school. That means earning units at a community college or through OnlineDegree.com can potentially increase your odds of getting into the school you want.


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Can Help, But Not Required

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