Online Criminal Justice Degrees and Certificate Programs

Looking for a criminal justice program that targets your career goals?

As one of the largest providers of public safety programs in the United States, we offer online degrees and certificates that can prepare you for roles in criminal investigations, police departments, sheriff’s departments, law enforcement offices, juvenile detention facilities, court systems, private-sector and corporate security, government and private detection or investigation.

Learn from practicing professionals with extensive experience in criminal justice and gain the credentials, industry certifications, and experience you need to succeed. All classes are 100% online, so it’s easy to create a study schedule that fits your lifestyle.

See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

Request Information
Complete this form to receive the Purdue Global program guide.
Select a Degree Level Select a Program

Online Criminal Justice Programs

Our society needs men and women who are willing to protect and serve the civilian population. Beyond delivering justice to those who have been accused of committing crimes, criminal justice also entails taking strategic actions to reduce and prevent crimes from occurring, with the goal of achieving a safer society.

Develop knowledge in criminology, criminal investigation, criminal law, domestic and international terrorism, and counterterrorism. You'll also gain the skills to launch your career in law enforcement, adult and juvenile corrections, and more.

    COURSE EFFORT
    15–18 hrs/week
    CREDITS REQUIRED
    90
    AVERAGE TIME TO COMPLETE
    2 years

    Learn about the U.S. criminal justice system, applied research methods and techniques used in the field and different types of criminal offenses. You'll also explore national law enforcement reform initiatives, diversity and inclusivity and more.

    • Business Foundations
    • Crime Scene Investigation
    • Forensic Psychology
    • Homeland Security
    • Juvenile Justice
    • Law Enforcement
    • Socially Responsible Leadership
    COURSE EFFORT
    15–18 hrs/week
    CREDITS REQUIRED
    180
    AVERAGE TIME TO COMPLETE
    4 years

    Earn the same Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree, but faster and for less tuition. If you have previous college credit or experience in the field and are motivated to learn independently, ExcelTrack ® could be for you.

      COURSE EFFORT
      You Control Your Pace
      CREDITS REQUIRED
      180
      COURSE LENGTH
      10-Week Terms

      This program will advance your skills with a strong focus on organizational behavior, management, and leadership of human resources and design and structural processes in criminal justice organization.

        COURSE EFFORT
        15 hrs/week
        CREDITS REQUIRED
        55
        AVERAGE TIME TO COMPLETE
        1.5 years

        Online Crime Scene Technician Programs

        Law enforcement agencies rely on crime scene technicians to analyze evidence that will stand up in a court of law. Technicians are well-versed in analytical procedures, as well as documentation, collection, and preservation processes that are employed to handle crime scene evidence.

        Study analytical procedures used by crime scene technicians, including documentation, collection, and evidence preservation processes. You'll also learn to apply ethical investigative methods and prepare written reports detailing crime scenes.

          COURSE EFFORT
          15–18 hrs/week
          CREDITS REQUIRED
          41
          AVERAGE TIME TO COMPLETE
          11 months

          Online Homeland Security and Emergency Management Programs

          Society needs men and women who are driven to provide safety at local and national levels, and who are willing to lead others to do the same. In addition to providing safety and guidance to citizens during crises and day-to-day life, you’ll protect critical infrastructures and deal with issues such as border security, cyberattacks, terrorist activity, financial crimes, and more.

          This program advances your leadership skills and focuses on the legal, social, business, economic, and political aspects of the industry. You'll study a range of topics, including economics and resource availability, regulation and law, and more.

            COURSE EFFORT
            15 hrs/week
            CREDITS REQUIRED
            55
            AVERAGE TIME TO COMPLETE
            1.5 years

            Online Management and Supervision in Criminal Justice Programs

            Law enforcement agencies and criminal justice organizations are in need of strong leaders who can manage and supervise their essential workforce. In addition to managing and supervising officers and personnel, they provide motivation and support within their organizations to accomplish goals and missions, manage conflicts, and evaluate employee performance.

            This program will develop your managerial and supervisory skills in criminal justice. You'll examine management theories and functions central to criminal justice organizations and how human and organizational behavior affect organizational outcomes.

              COURSE EFFORT
              15–18 hrs/week
              CREDITS REQUIRED
              36
              AVERAGE TIME TO COMPLETE
              8 months

              Criminal Justice Micro-Credentials

              Diversity Micro-Credential

              Analyze the various impacts of culture, race, gender, and ethnicity in the workplace and address communication challenges in a diverse society.

              Law Enforcement Micro-Credentials

              Explore the basic framework of law enforcement and how it can affect positive change in society. Choose a micro-credential in Law Enforcement’s Role in Society and Social Change or Leading Law Enforcement Reform.

              Admissions Requirements and Resources

              To get started as a Purdue Global student, you must meet certain academic requirements and complete an enrollment application. Here’s what you'll need to begin:

              For Undergraduate Programs and Certificates:

              • You must be a high school graduate, possess a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or other equivalency diploma. If you are a high school senior eligible to apply, you must submit proof of high school graduation.

              For Graduate Programs and Certificates:

              • A bachelor's degree is required to enroll in a master's degree or graduate certificate program. You will need to provide an official transcript that shows completion of the required degree from an accredited institution, though an unofficial copy may be provided during the application process.

              Want to Know If Online Learning Is Right for You Before You Enroll?

              Watch a virtual campus tour to learn more about the online experience.

              white calculator on dark background

              Understanding Your Investment

              How long? How much? These are important questions! Try our online Calculator to estimate when you'll finish and see how your prior credits and experience can save you time and money.

              Hand over checklist icon

              Ready to Enroll?

              Purdue Global makes the process easy. You can apply online today (self-guided) or contact us to walk you through the process.

              Upcoming Start Dates

              We offer rolling start dates throughout the year. Choose the one that works best for your schedule.
              file with download symbol

              Which Program Is Right for You?

              Discover your interests and set your goals for success. Take our Career Assessment to chart your ideal path.

              laptop with number 3 icon

              Take 3 Weeks to Get to Know Us

              Start an undergraduate program with no financial obligation and no cost to apply.

              Resources Related to Studying Criminal Justice

              To help you in your criminal justice career goals and options, we have the news and resources you need.

              Those who choose a career in the protective services tend to possess a deep and abiding sense of justice and community responsibility. Many jobs in criminal justice maintain public safety by protecting citizens and property.

              Criminal justice degree programs can prepare you for a variety of positions, including those in the courts, corrections offices and law enforcement.

              Criminal Justice Programs

              To explore all the benefits of earning your associate or bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Purdue Global.

              Military Training

              If you have military training, Purdue Global offers online criminal justice degree programs that are articulated to specific occupations. Find out how much of your training counts as credit.

              Dedicated Faculty Offer Rich Experience

              Purdue Global faculty members share knowledge gained through the powerful combination of higher learning and real-world industry experience.

              Frequently Asked Questions

              • Yes, you can earn a criminal justice degree online. There are several different types of online criminal justice degrees available through Purdue Global. Our online criminal justice programs include:

                • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
                • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
                • ExcelTrack™ Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
                • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
                • Crime Scene Technician Certificate
                • Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
                • Management and Supervision Certificate in Criminal Justice
              • There is a wide variety of jobs you can get with a criminal justice degree. Check out our degree programs below for examples of potential career opportunities.

                Master of Science in Criminal Justice

                • First-line supervisors of police and detectives
                • Correctional officers and jailers
                • Detectives and criminal investigators
                • Police and sheriff’s patrol officers
                • Transit and railroad police

                Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

                • First-line supervisors of police and detectives
                • Correctional officers and jailers
                • Detectives and criminal investigators
                • Police and sheriff’s patrol officers
                • Transit and railroad police

                ExcelTrack Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

                • First-line supervisors of police and detectives
                • Correctional officers and jailers
                • Detectives and criminal investigators
                • Police and sheriff’s patrol officers
                • Transit and railroad police

                Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice

                • Security managers
                • Loss prevention managers
                • Detectives and criminal investigators
                • Police and sheriff's patrol officers

                Crime Scene Technician Certificate

                • Forensic science technicians
                • Correctional officers and jailers
                • Detectives and criminal investigators

                Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

                • Emergency management directors
                • First-line supervisors of police and detectives
                • Detectives and criminal investigators

                Management and Supervision Certificate in Criminal Justice

                • First-line supervisors of correctional officers
                • First-line supervisors of police and detectives

                See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

              • Times may vary depending on several factors, such as whether you’re taking classes on a full-time or part-time schedule. For an estimated average completion time, check out our degree program offerings below:

                Master of Science in Criminal Justice
                Average Completion: 1.5 years of full-time study

                Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
                Average Completion: 4 years of full-time study

                Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
                Average Completion: 2 years of full-time study

                Crime Scene Technician Certificate
                Average Completion: 11 months of full-time study

                Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
                Average Completion: 1.5 years of full-time study

                Management and Supervision Certificate in Criminal Justice
                Average Completion: 8 months of full-time study

                See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

              NOTES AND CONDITIONS

              Average Completion Time: Completion time based on a full-time schedule. Programs will take longer for part-time students to complete.

              Employment and Career Advancement: Purdue Global does not guarantee employment placement or career advancement. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience and opportunities for employment.

              ExcelTrack® Degree Pace: ExcelTrack® is designed to advance your progress based on existing knowledge; however, degree pace and time and cost savings will vary by individual. Students must enroll in a minimum number of credits per term to remain eligible for financial aid. Refer to the Financial Information section of the University Catalog for additional information.

              Largest Providers of Public Safety Programs: Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), 2021–2022 Total Degrees and Certificates Conferred, First Major, Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting, and Related Protective Services, https://nces.ed.gov/IPEDS. Based on total number of degrees and certificates granted by Purdue Global compared to other degree-granting institutions.

              Law Enforcement Jobs: Local, state, and federal law enforcement jobs may require additional training or education including additional state-approved higher education beyond the Purdue Global degree. This program was not designed to meet any specific state’s requirements, and Purdue Global makes no representations or warranties as to whether the degree or any individual courses meet such requirements. Refer to the University Catalog for additional information. Graduates of Purdue Global criminal justice programs are not eligible to attend police academies in Minnesota.