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Fastest Criminal Justice Degree Online

In the rapidly evolving field of criminal justice, the demand for skilled professionals is at an all-time high. Whether you’re aspiring to enter law enforcement, corrections, forensic science, or legal studies, obtaining a Criminal Justice Degree swiftly can set you on the path to a rewarding career. This article delves into the fastest online Criminal Justice Degree programs, offering a blend of quality, flexibility, and speed, designed to meet the needs of both aspiring professionals and those seeking to advance their careers.

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Accelerated Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Accelerated online programs in Criminal Justice are structured to reduce the time it takes to earn your degree without compromising the quality of education. These programs utilize an intensive curriculum that covers topics such as criminology, law enforcement, the judicial process, corrections, and forensic science, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the field.

Benefits of Earning Your Criminal Justice Degree Online

The primary advantage of pursuing your degree online is flexibility. Online programs cater to working professionals and individuals with personal commitments, allowing for study at one’s own pace and schedule. Additionally, online learning platforms offer interactive and engaging materials, including case studies, simulations, and virtual classrooms, enhancing the learning experience.

Choosing the Right Online Criminal Justice Program

When selecting an online Criminal Justice program, it’s crucial to consider factors such as accreditation, faculty expertise, curriculum relevance, and graduate outcomes. Accredited programs meet stringent standards for quality and rigor, ensuring that your education is respected and recognized by employers and professional organizations.

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Career Opportunities with a Criminal Justice Degree

A degree in Criminal Justice opens doors to a wide array of career paths. Graduates can pursue roles in law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, legal firms, forensic laboratories, and private security companies. Additionally, a Criminal Justice degree lays the groundwork for further study and specialization in areas such as forensic psychology, criminal law, and public administration.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Online Criminal Justice Students

Understanding the financial aspect of pursuing a degree is essential. Many online programs offer financial aid options, including scholarships, grants, and loans, to assist students in funding their education. Exploring these options can significantly reduce the financial burden and make your educational goals more attainable.

The Impact of Technology on Criminal Justice Education

The integration of technology into criminal justice education has revolutionized how subjects are taught and learned. Online programs leverage the latest in digital tools and resources, from crime scene simulation software to legal databases, providing students with a rich and immersive learning experience that mirrors real-world scenarios.

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Student Support Services in Online Criminal Justice Programs

Top online Criminal Justice programs offer comprehensive support services to ensure student success. These services include academic advising, career counseling, tutoring, and technical support, all designed to provide students with the resources they need to excel in their studies and beyond.

The Future of Criminal Justice Education

As the criminal justice field continues to evolve, so too does the education landscape. Online programs are at the forefront of this transformation, offering innovative curricula that reflect the latest trends and developments in the field. By choosing an online Criminal Justice degree, you’re not only preparing for a career in a dynamic and impactful field but also positioning yourself as a forward-thinking professional ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

RANKING THE BEST ACCELERATED ONLINE CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEGREE PROGRAMS

Working adults who want to enhance their careers want to do it quickly, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing quality for speed. Bachelor’s Degree Center’s analytics team knows that, and that’s why the BDC ranking of the fastest online criminal justice programs just starts with speed. Programs are also ranked according to five key factors:

1. UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA

When you’re planning to obtain a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice online, you may want to consider the program at the University of Oklahoma. The accelerated criminal justice degree online from the university allows students to finish their degree in 18 months or at a pace that fits their goals. 

The program offers eight-week courses that give students the opportunity to finish a bachelor’s degree at a fast pace. Students can also transfer credits to speed up the process.

A key way the University of Oklahoma stands apart from other programs is the focus on law enforcement and related skills. The program teaches students the basics of forensic science as it applies to investigations, as well as the way the justice system works and different types of crimes. 

By providing students with a strong foundation, it prepares students for the challenges of working in law enforcement careers.

What We Like: The University of Oklahoma is one of the top ten online programs for criminal justice according to U.S. News and World Reports.

Degree: BS in Criminal Justice

2. BALL STATE UNIVERSITY

When you are looking for an accelerated online criminal justice degree that fits your personal schedule, the BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology at Ball State University may help with your goals. The accelerated program allows you to transfer the majority of your credits and still complete the online degree program. 

You only need to finish the last 30 credits at the university to obtain your bachelor’s degree. As an accelerated program, it also offers fast-paced classes.

Ball State University is recognized by U.S. News and World Reports as one of the best schools for its online criminal justice degree program. The program provides students with the strong foundation they need to take on a career in law enforcement or a related career path. 

It also ensures that students are prepared for the rigors of their careers and have the ability to keep up in a fast-paced work environment.

What We Like: Ball State University offers credit for military service and allows students to get credit for classes by taking appropriate exams.

Degree: BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology

3. NORWICH UNIVERSITY

Norwich University offers an accelerated criminal justice degree online that allows students to focus on their career objectives. The online degree program provides a robust curriculum that teaches leadership skills, ethics, and data analysis as it applies to the criminal justice field. It also prepares students to understand different aspects of the law to handle the challenges of working in law enforcement or a similar role.

Norwich University allows students to transfer up to 90 credits into the online degree program. That allows students to finish up their degrees at a fast pace and continue into a long-term career. Students can finish the degree program in 18 months or as it fits their schedule. The flexible program ensures that students are able to focus on their goals.

What We Like: Norwich University offers multiple start dates for the online criminal justice degree program to fit the needs of working adults.

Degree: BS in Criminal Justice

4. DESALES UNIVERSITY

DeSales University offers an accelerated online criminal justice degree program that fits the needs of working adults. The program offers different tracks to help students focus on a specific career objective. That allows students to gain the specialized skills that fit their industries and the situation at their jobs. It also gives students a chance to adjust to a new job.

A key way DeSales University differs from other programs is the flexibility of the online degree program. Students can work around their schedules while completing a degree. It also offers accelerated courses on-campus through a night and weekend program. The options allow students to find a strategy that works for their long-term goals and situation.

What We Like: DeSales University offers personal advising to students in the online criminal justice program to help students narrow down their options and select the right courses for their goals.

Degree: BA in Criminal Justice

5. KING UNIVERSITY (TN)

King University offers an online BS in Criminal Justice degree program with an accelerated format that helps students reach their goals. The online degree program allows students to finish the degree within 16 months due to the short five-week courses. When students are taking full-time courses, they are able to finish their degrees at a fast pace and move forward with long-term plans for a career.

The way King University stands apart from other programs is the focus on a comprehensive understanding of the American justice system. The program gives students a strong foundation in criminal procedures and criminal law to prepare students for the challenges of working in law enforcement, parole officers, or other civil servant roles.

What We Like: King University in Tennessee is a Yellow Ribbon School and is a military-friendly school that works with the GI Bill to help veterans, active-duty members of the military, and their family members.

Degree: BS in Criminal Justice

6. TROY UNIVERSITY

The accelerated online criminal justice program at Troy University is a good option for students who want to complete their degree at a fast pace. The online program allows students to transfer up to 75 percent of their credits. That allows students to finish their degrees at a fast pace and move forward into a new career.

Troy University differs from other programs by focusing on flexibility and access to educational opportunities. The online degree program allows students to work at their own pace. It gives students the ability to work from any location and ensures that students are able to access course materials when they are ready for the classes. It also focuses on providing a strong foundation in criminal procedures to give students the skills they need to work in law enforcement.

What We Like: Students in the criminal justice degree program at Troy University can complete a certification in cybersecurity to enhance their skills and options for a career.

Degree: BS in Criminal Justice

7. UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA

When you’re looking for an accelerated online program in criminal justice, you want to consider the BS in Criminal Justice from the University of West Georgia. The online degree program allows students to transfer up to 90 credits, which reduces the time you spend working on your classes. It allows students to work at their own pace and is designed around the needs of working adults.

The University of West Georgia offers a flexible solution for students who want to study criminal justice. The degree program allows students to work online or on-campus. That means students can work at their own pace and complete their degree when it fits their situation. 

When students do not transfer credits, it is possible to finish the degree within three years when taking a full-time schedule. Transferring credits may cut back on the time required to finish the degree.

What We Like: The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission of Colleges for its online degree programs.

Degree: BS in Criminal Justice

8. SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE UNIVERSITY

Southern New Hampshire University offers an accelerated bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice. The online degree program allows students to transfer up to 90 credits into the program to cut back on the amount of time required to finish a degree. 

The school also offers a simple application process that allows students to complete the application online and then the school obtains records of a student’s transcripts from other institutions in the United States for transfer credits.

Southern New Hampshire University stands apart by focusing on a user-friendly experience for students. It makes the application process and transfer process simple by focusing on a single application. It does not require the complexity of providing a variety of documents to the school. That allows students to easily start working on their degrees.

What We Like: Students with experience in law enforcement may qualify for credits based on their experience and work.

Degree: BS in Criminal Justice

9. MONROE COLLEGE

The online criminal justice degree program from Monroe College offers accelerated options to move forward with a career. The degree program ensures that students are able to focus on their long-term goals and move into an exciting career in the criminal justice system. It gives students a strong foundation to help build on their career and develop the skills they need for their goals.

Monroe College allows students to transfer up to 90 credits into the online degree program. That allows students to finish their degree in a short amount of time and start working in their careers. The ability to transfer credits into the program ensures that students do not waste time when they have already finished some education in other programs.

What We Like: Monroe College offers a Police Academy Scholars program, or PASS program, that prepares students studying in criminal justice for the challenges of the police academy.

Degree: BS in Criminal Justice

10. LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY — ALEXANDRIA

Louisiana State University — Alexandria offers an accelerated criminal justice degree online that allows students to transfer credits into the program with ease. The program allows students to transfer a variety of credits, so the exact amount of time required to complete the program may vary. Students can transfer the majority of their credits into the program and still finish a degree at the university.

LSU Alexandria stands out from other programs by offering multiple start dates for the online degree program in criminal justice. Students can start working on their degree at multiple times throughout the year, which gives students greater flexibility to work around a job or personal obligations. The start dates for the degree program occur at different points throughout the year, so students can select a date that works around their needs.

What We Like: Students can get up to 15 credits for the degree when they have completed the 320-hour basic training course through the Police Academy.

Degree: BS in Criminal Justice

Data Sources:

  • Cost — current IPEDS data
  • Employment — current IPEDS data
  • Graduation Rate — current IPEDS data
  • Reputation — Niche Score
  • Salary Potential — Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, Payscale data

HOW CAN I GET MY CRIMINAL JUSTICE BACHELOR’S DEGREE FAST?

A lot of people want to earn their criminal justice degrees quickly. Thankfully, you have several options to get your degree fast. First, you can get an accelerated degree. There are pros and cons to these programs. 

On the one hand, you will have to do twice the amount of work in a short period of time. Some students experience a lot of stress in accelerated degree programs. However, you’ll also graduate sooner than your peers in non-accelerated programs.

Criminal justice and criminology professionals who want to advance in their careers might find an accelerated online program right up their alley. Accelerated programs have the same material and requirements as their non-accelerated counterparts. 

The only difference is that accelerated programs take less time to complete. With an accelerated degree, you can start focusing solely on your career faster than if you choose the non-accelerated option. You can earn an accelerated criminal justice degree online or on campus. As a matter of fact, a lot of these programs are available online.

If an accelerated program seems like too much pressure, you do have other options to speed up your degree process. A few schools also let you “test out” of the subjects that you already understand. Many BA degrees require a language class, for example, but if you can demonstrate proficiency in a second language, you may be able to forgo that class. 

When you research your school options, ask about ways to speed up your degree. Many school advisors would be happy to work with you.

You may also use elective choices and coursework to specialize in areas like:

  • Juvenile Delinquency or Juvenile Justice
  • Private Security
  • Crime Analysis
  • Victimology
  • Public Policy
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Cybercrime
  • Research Methods
  • Criminological Theory
  • Homeland Security
  • Federal Law Enforcement
  • Criminal Behavior

Police officers are not the only criminal justice professionals; the field of criminal justice is huge, with many specializations.

DO I NEED A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE TO WORK IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE?

You don’t need a 4‑year degree to work in criminal justice. As a matter of fact, the criminal justice field is full of people with all educational levels. You’ll work with people who have everything from certificates to Masters degrees. 

You’ll definitely find criminal justice bachelor degree jobs when you start searching, but you’ll also find criminal justice associate degree jobs. 2‑year criminal justice degree jobs include corrections officer, security guard, criminal investigator, and more. You won’t find a shortage when you’re ready to start your career.

That said, some people do choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree instead. 2‑year criminal justice degree jobs can be very fulfilling. However, some people don’t want to be limited to criminal justice Associate degree jobs. 

With a 4 year degree, you have all of the job possibilities listed above, but you’ll also have the possibility of criminal justice bachelor’s degree jobs. Those jobs include private detective, crime scene investigator, forensics investigator, and several others. A bachelor’s degree can also help you get promotions and earn a higher salary.

If you’re interested in an online bachelor, consider your options carefully. Learn about:

  • financial aid options
  • accreditation
  • tuition rate
  • core courses

and other details. Online courses are not easier; for some students, online learning is actually harder, because online students have to be self-motivated. Criminology and criminal justice careers can start with just a high school diploma or an associate degree from a community college, but a bachelor of science in criminal justice or a master of science can make a big difference.

SHOULD I GET AN ACCELERATED CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEGREE TO WORK IN LAW ENFORCEMENT?

While you don’t technically need a degree for a criminal justice career, a degree certainly wouldn’t hurt. As a matter of fact, a degree can help you earn more money. Thankfully, the best colleges for criminal justice and law enforcement tend to be reasonably priced, career-focused schools. Many of these colleges have great online programs, so take some time to look for the best online colleges for law enforcement.

Online education will give you lots of flexibility. While you’re looking, keep in mind that other good degrees for law enforcement include: 

  • Criminal Justice
  • Cybersecurity
  • Public Administration
  • Criminology

SHOULD I CHOOSE A BA OR BS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE?

Should you get a BA or BS degree? Is criminal justice a BA or BS degree? A lot of students ask that question. As a matter of fact, it’s both. You can get either a BA or a BS in criminal justice. How do you choose? It depends on you and your goals. 

BS degrees tend to be more specialized than their BA counterparts. They often require fewer core classes than BA degrees do. For example, while many BA programs have a language requirement, most BS programs do not.

A BS program is a great choice if you want a specific law enforcement career. BA programs, on the other hand, tend to be more broad. They appeal to students who want to get a well-rounded education. A BA will work well for you if you want a broader career if your career involves a lot of research, or if you want a job that involves working with people. 

Conclusion

Earning a Criminal Justice Degree online offers an unparalleled combination of flexibility, quality, and speed, making it an ideal choice for those eager to embark on a career in this exciting field. By selecting an accredited program that aligns with your career goals and taking advantage of the resources available, you can achieve your educational and professional objectives more swiftly than you might have thought possible.

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