Online Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice

Additional academy training and education not provided by Purdue Global may be required for law enforcement positions.

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Ready to learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice?

Program at a Glance
  • Enroll in a program that meets the educational and training expectations of public safety and community leaders.
  • Customize your degree by choosing from five concentrations.
  • Shorten your path to a master’s degree with the accelerated bachelor’s to master’s option.
COURSE EFFORT 15–18 Hours per Week
COURSE LENGTH 10-Week Terms
CREDITS REQUIRED 180
COST PER CREDIT $371
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.
  • Learn about national law enforcement reform initiatives, and explore diversity and inclusivity to help you understand and address the needs of your community.
  • Participate in an optional internship to gain real-world experience while earning your degree.

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.

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.*

Military Transfer Credit

Servicemembers and veterans can earn a degree faster with our PME2Degree® program. Use our Military Credit Calculator to see how much of your training counts as credit.

How Many Credits Have You Earned?

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

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, criminal justice careers are projected to grow through 2028; 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, and public safety.

Top 5 Skills Employers Are Looking for:

  1. Active Listening
  2. Critical Thinking
  3. Speaking
  4. Monitoring
  5. Social Perceptiveness

Top Jobs With This Degree

Labor market, salary, and projected growth information are supplied by Emsi. Average salary range is based on national data. Projected growth represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018–2030) at the state level and is based on your geographic location. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience, and opportunities for employment. Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment placement, salary level, or career advancement.

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.

Reach Your Career Goals Sooner

Use Your Law Enforcement Certification to Earn Credit

If you are a certified law enforcement officer who has completed the national Peace Officer Standard Training (POST), your accomplishments may qualify you to receive 25 credits toward your bachelor’s degree.

Accelerated Master's Degree Options

You can work toward a Purdue Global master’s degree in public administration, educational psychology, 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.

Accelerate Your Career With ExcelTrack™

Forget what you know about earning a degree. ExcelTrack™ is personalized learning that gives you more control over your education, getting you to the same degree faster and for less money.

View ExcelTrack™ Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

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
  • Diversity and Inclusivity in Public Safety
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 Credits45
  • Major Credits94
  • Elective Credits41
  • Total Credits180

Ways to Save

Program Cost Estimator

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Tuition does not include University fees and associated program fees. View tuition and fee information or contact an Admissions Advisor for more information.

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
grad hat icon 97% Faculty members who have advanced degrees
diploma icon 45% Faculty members who hold a doctorate
tablet icon 231 Faculty publications in 2017–2018
student at desk icon More Than 50,000 Professional development hours logged by faculty in 2018–2019

Statistics include all Purdue Global faculty members and are not school or program-specific calculations. Source: Purdue Global Office of Reporting and Analysis, August 2019. 2018–2019 academic year.

Program Brochure

Download our brochure to learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and the benefits of earning your degree at Purdue Global.

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NOTES AND CONDITIONS

*Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), 2016-2017 Total Degrees and Certificates Conferred, First Major, Legal Professions and Studies, 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.

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.