Online Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice

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Program at a Glance
  • Customize your degree by choosing from five concentrations.
  • An internship option allows you to gain real-world experience while earning your degree.
  • Shorten your path to a master’s degree with the accelerated bachelor’s to master’s option.
  • This program is eligible for the Tuition Cap, which ensures you pay a fixed amount for your education.
COURSE EFFORT 15–18 Hours per Week
COURSE LENGTH 10 Weeks
CREDITS REQUIRED 180
TUITION CAP MAX COST $45,000
How Do I Get Started?

We offer multiple start dates to give you flexibility in your education, life, and work schedules.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Overview

Whether you are seeking entry-level employment in the criminal justice field or want to advance your current career in law enforcement or private security, Purdue Global’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice can help you pursue your goals and stay ahead of the competition.

This comprehensive criminal justice bachelor’s degree program combines professional skills training with courses designed to help you develop a strong foundation of criminal justice knowledge. Focus on the philosophy and development of the U.S. criminal justice system, applied research methods and techniques used in the field, the development of criminal law, and different types of criminal offenses.

Degree Concentrations

Choose from five criminal justice concentrations to customize your degree:

  • Crime scene investigation: Focus on techniques for locating, collecting, and analyzing crime scene evidence.
  • Forensic psychology: Study psychology within the context of the criminal justice system.
  • Homeland security: Examine the origins of terrorism, response methods to weapons of mass destruction and other disaster incidents, crisis negotiation, and conflict resolution.
  • Juvenile justice: Explore the unique needs of youth in today's justice system.
  • Law enforcement: Focus on landmark Supreme Court cases and how the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights apply in criminal law.

See the University Catalog for policy and degree plan information specific to this program.

Our Tuition Cap Lowers the Cost of Your Education

Know exactly how much your education will cost when you enroll and save 33% off the total cost of your tuition.

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Distinguished. Experienced. Committed.

As one of the largest providers of public safety programs in the United States, we’ve supported the career and educational advancement of many dedicated criminal justice professionals like yourself. You’ll join a wide network of students, alumni, faculty, and employers.*

Purdue University Global Is Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission

This accreditation covers all academic programs, all regional locations, and all programs provided via distance education. For more information, please visit HLCommission.org or call 800-621-7440.

Career Opportunities

Criminal justice careers are projected to grow through 2026; however, as the field becomes more competitive, employers may increasingly look for educated, qualified individuals. For police and detective positions, applicants with a bachelor’s degree and law enforcement experience are expected to have the best opportunities.

With a criminal justice degree, you may qualify for employment or advancement opportunities related to:

  • Cybercrime counterterrorism
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Detention
  • Fraud investigation
  • Homeland security
  • Juvenile justice and detention
  • Law enforcement
  • Parole and probation
  • Prisons
  • Private investigations
  • Public safety 

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.

Accelerated Master’s Degree Options

You can work toward a Purdue Global master’s degree in public administration, human services, legal studies, or psychology while you earn your bachelor’s degree. Complete both your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in less time and at a lower cost than completing both programs separately.


For details and eligibility requirements, speak to an Advisor.

Use Your Law Enforcement Certification to Earn Credit

If you are a certified sworn law enforcement officer who has completed National Peace Officer Standard Training, your accomplishments may qualify you to receive 25 credits toward your bachelor’s degree.§

In your first course, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your degree plan with a faculty member to align your degree path with your career outcomes.

You will also complete a capstone project and apply the concepts studied online to real-world criminal justice scenarios.

Sample Courses
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Applied Criminal Justice Ethics
  • Managing Criminal Justice Organizations
  • Computers, Technology, and Criminal Justice Information Systems
See All Criminal Justice Courses

Customize your criminal justice bachelor’s degree and develop specialized skills by focusing your electives in one of the following concentration areas:

  • Crime scene investigation
  • Forensic psychology
  • Homeland security
  • Juvenile justice
  • Law enforcement
Credit Breakdown
  • Core Credits33
  • Major Credits88
  • Elective Credits59
  • Total Credits180

Ways to Save

  • Tuition Cap

    Save on Tuition With Purdue Global's Tuition Cap

    Pay a fixed amount for your undergraduate degree. Never owe more, even if you repeat a course. Available for select programs.

    How It Works

  • Financial Aid

    Learn How to Apply For and Receive Financial Aid

    Title IV federal financial aid is available for many of our degree programs. Get answers to common financial aid questions, learn about federal student aid, and get the facts about military Shopping Sheets.

    Financial Aid FAQ

  • Prior Work Experience

    Leverage Your Skills to Earn Your Degree Faster

    Discover pathways to earn undergraduate credit for your life and professional career experiences.

    Your Experience Counts

  • Transfer Credits

    Finish What You Started

    Earn credit for prior coursework completed at eligible institutions, including community colleges.

    Save Time and Money on Your Degree

  • Grants

    Determine Your Eligibility for Federal Grants

    Learn about federal financial grants and loan programs that may be available to Purdue Global students.

    Federal and State Grants

  • Prior Military Experience

    Graduate Sooner With Your Military Experience

    We offer college-level credit for ACE-evaluated military training and CLEP and DANTES examinations.

    Credit for Military Training

Program Cost Estimator

Calculate your estimated tuition and ways to save.

Tuition Cap

$45,000maximum cost of attendance
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View Tuition Cap FAQs. The Purdue Global Tuition Cap may not be used in conjunction with any Purdue Global tuition reductions, including military spouse reductions. Military servicemembers and veterans are not eligible for the Purdue Global Tuition Cap.

Get to Know Our Faculty

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

View Criminal Justice and Fire Science Faculty Directory
97% Faculty members who have advanced degrees
45% Faculty members who hold a doctorate
218 Faculty publications in 2017–2018
Nearly 87,000 Professional development hours logged by faculty in 2017–2018

Statistics include all Purdue Global faculty members and are not school or program-specific calculations. Purdue Global Office of Reporting and Analysis and Center for Teaching and Learning. 2017–2018 academic year. Note: all figures include data prior to the March 2018 purchase of Kaplan University by Purdue University and subsequent creation of Purdue University Global.

School Brochure

Download our brochure to learn more about our criminal justice programs and the benefits of earning your degree at Purdue Global.

View Brochure
NOTES AND CONDITIONS

*Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), 2016-2017 Total Degrees and Certificates Conferred, First Major, Criminal Justice and Corrections, and Fire Protection, nces.ed.gov/IPEDS. Based on total number of degrees and certificates granted by Kaplan University compared to other Title IV institutions. Note: these data were reported prior to the March 2018 purchase of Kaplan University by Purdue University and subsequent creation of Purdue University Global.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Protective Service Occupations, www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/home.htm, and Police and Detectives, www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.

§Students must currently be a certified law enforcement officer or a federal agent (FBI, DEA, ATF, etc.), or must have been certified in either of these roles within 24 months of their enrollment date. Purdue Global does not guarantee transferability of credit. See the University Catalog for the Prior Learning Assessment policy.