Top Online Masters of Criminal Justice Degree Programs

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Today more than ever, nations across the globe are in need of a strong, honest criminal justice system, made up of individuals who are well educated and intelligent and prepared to take on the complex task of upholding and enforcing the law. The criminal justice system needs individuals who have a strong understanding of the role and ethical place of the law within society. With more educated officers, social workers, lawyers, detectives, and other agents of the law, there would be less violence and more peace and progress. This need for more rational and informed people makes today the perfect time to continue one’s education in criminal justice in one of these top masters programs!

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the job rate increase for criminal justice positions is right around 6-11% which is normal to above average. The field is quite broad, and students can focus in one area or be well-informed in a myriad of criminal justice disciplines upon entering the work force.

Methodology for this article includes 100% online availability, accreditation, program depth and rigor, devotion of faculty and staff, and course flexibility. OnlineSchoolsCenter.com does not believe in ranking schools in order of best to worst, or vice versa, as all institutions on our lists are unique in their own ways.

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
In this masters program at a strong state university, the professors are well-known for their work in criminal justice. It has been ranked as one of the best programs in the country by many U.S.NewsandWorldReport.com and other sources. Students in this program graduate with a firm grasp on the law and criminal behavior.

Campus Location: Tallahassee, FL

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $479.32 per credit hour—in-state tuition
  • $1,110.72 per credit hour—out-of-state tuition

Financial Aid: Federal and institutional loans, grants, scholarships, and work study.

Acceptance Rate: 44%

Admission Considerations:
All students applying to this graduate program must provide proof of a bachelors degree from an accredited institution, and they must submit GRE scores, a current resume, a 300-500 word personal statement on reasons for applying to the program, and international students must submit TOEFL scores.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Race, Ethnicity, Crime, and Social Justice
  • Prevention and Treatment of Crime and Delinquency
  • Victimology

Course Flexibility:
Online coursework allows students the freedom to complete their degree at their own pace, while also continuing a career and personal life. FLSU is a nationally renowned university and classes are thorough and challenging, and well-versed professor provide an excellent education for online students.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

LOYLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS

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Program Standouts:
This impressive online program is consistently updating coursework to provide accurate and relevant information to its students. Faculty have built a program that will prepare students for the technologically advanced and complex system in which they wish to dedicate their lives.

Campus Location: New Orleans, LA

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $818 per credit hour—tuition
  • $448 per semester (full time), $224 per semester (part time)—general fees
  • $224 per semester (full time), $122.50 per semester (full time)—information technology fee

Financial Aid: Grants, scholarships, loans, student work opportunities

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Admission Considerations:
Students must provide proof of academic achievement at an accredited institution, GRE test results, transcripts from all institutions attended, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and all applicants must complete a formal interview.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation
  • Selected Problems in Criminology
  • Seminar in Criminal Justice

Course Flexibility:
Classes are available year round, as are night classes. Online classes at the university will prepare students for the vigorous life as an upholder of the criminal justice system.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI

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Program Standouts:
Ranked as one of the best programs in the country, not only by U.S.NewsandWorldReport.com, but also by students and faculty. This online criminal justice masters program has the #1 most published authors according to the Journal of Criminal Justice. Concentration areas allow students with careers to focus on a new area of interest, or develop stronger practices in their current position in criminal justice.

Campus Location: Cincinnati, OH

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $724 per credit hour—part-time tuition—in-state
  • $7,234 per term—full-time tuition—in-state
  • $1,311 per credit hour—part-time tuition—out-of-state
  • $13,105 per term—full-time tuition—out-of-state

Financial Aid: State, federal, and institutional loans, scholarships, grants, and work-study.

Acceptance Rate: 72.7%

Admission Considerations:
Students who qualify for the program with a grade point average between 2.5 and 3.5 do not have to submit GRE scores, however those who do not qualify must submit a score of at least 1,000. Students must also submit at least one letter of recommendation and must hold a bachelors degree from a regionally accredited university.

Program Options:

  • General Track
  • Analysis of Criminal Behavior
  • Law Enforcement and Crime Prevention
  • Corrections and Offender Rehabilitation

Course Flexibility:
This strong online program allows students to earn a degree in as little as two years. Those interested in an interesting array of concentration areas will find a challenging curriculum that can be completed on a personal schedule.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
Bowling Green State University offers a masters degree that is ranked as one of the top in the nation by reputable sources. It gives students a solid foundation in the understanding of law enforcement and practices, and graduates are ready to re-enter the field and apply what they have learned to a new position, or continue their education with a doctorate.

Campus Location: Bowling Green, OH

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $1229 per credit hour—tuition and fees—in-state tuition
  • $1259 per credit hour—tuition and fees—out-of-state tuition

Financial Aid: Institutional and federal grants, loans, scholarships, and student employment opportunities.

Acceptance Rate: 72.5%

Admission Considerations:
Students who meet one of the following criteria are not required to submit GRE scores: GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate study; overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75; 2.5 GPA in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate study AND 5 or more years of work; experience in the criminal justice field; 3.0 GPA in 9 hours of graduate credit. All applicants must submit a personal letter of application no more than 750 words and two letters of recommendation.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • The Organization & Management of Justice
  • The Nature of Crime
  • Seminar in Contemporary Policing

Course Flexibility:
This program can be completed within as little as two years, taking two courses every seven weeks. Graduates from this institution are highly satisfied and the faculty have built the online program from the ground up, making it the strong contender it is among other programs in criminal justice.

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REGIS UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
In this online program, students are satisfied because of the highly diligent professors and advisors who are constantly available to help form an individual’s program into exactly what it is they are trying to accomplish with their education. Students learn how to understand, predict and prevent crime in a multi-tracked program that focuses on leadership, human behavior, or cybercrime/terrorism.

Campus Location: Denver, CO

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $550 per credit hour—tuition
  • $115 per credit hour—prior learning assessment fee

Financial Aid: Scholarship awards and grants, full scholarship and competitive awards, military benefits, tuition reimbursement, student employment, and financing options.

Acceptance Rate: 76%

Admission Considerations:
Two professional letters of recommendation, two admissions essays on reasons for applying, a current resume, transcripts from all institutions attended, and a faculty interview must be submitted and completed in order for students to be considered for admission to Regis University.

Program Options:

  • Leadership Focus
  • Human Behavior Focus
  • Cybercrime/Terrorism Focus

Course Flexibility:
Students have submitted glowing recommendations about the program, particular faculty, and courses in this online program. Graduates have then gone on to contribute important and ethically focused work to the many fields of criminal justice. Regis University students contribute to the need for intelligent and morally sound upholders of the law.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

ST. JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
The faculty who make up this program were hand picked from the field of criminal justice to offer first hand experience and information to students who seek to improve their ethical understanding of the career and its implications.

Campus Location: Philadelphia, PA

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Tuition and Fees:

  • $853 per credit hour—tuition
  • $100 per course—educational field experience fee
  • $260 per course—electron microscopy fee

Financial Aid: Federal and state subsidized and unsubsidized loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study.

Acceptance Rate: 79%

Admission Considerations:
All students must submit sealed transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions, two letters of recommendation, a personal essay, a completed SJU application, a current resume, and international students must complete a special portion of the application.

Program Options:

  • Behavior Analysis
  • Federal Law Enforcement
  • Homeland Security
  • Intelligence and Crime Analysis

Course Flexibility:
Interested applicants are welcome to “Test Flight” the curriculum here! All students can complete this entire masters program from the comfort of their home, at their own pace, without setting foot on campus. This method of delivery allows students to apply knowledge learned in the program to a current position.

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MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
This online criminal justice program was the first online program ever to be offered by Michigan State University. With several areas of focus, such as the international focus, students can learn to apply their knowledge, not only to the American criminal enforcement system, but their knowledge will be applicable in other nations as well, making MSU graduates highly reputable.

Campus Location: East Lansing, MI

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $671.75 per credit hour—in-state tuition
  • $688 per credit hour—special programs fees
  • $1,319.75 per credit hour—international and out-of-state tuition

Financial Aid: Scholarships and Grants, student and parent loans, work-study, education saving plans, education tax credits, Veterans’ benefits, resident assistantships, graduate fellowships, and tuition reimbursement.

Acceptance Rate: 66.1%

Admission Considerations:
Students must complete the Michigan State University application process online and then must submit by Feb 1—three letters of recommendation, one set of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions, and GRE scores (waived for students with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher). Strong applicants will have experience in the field.

Program Options:

  • General Track
  • Security Management
  • International Focus

Course Flexibility:
In this completely online program, students can complete their degree in as little as one and a half years, or can take up to three years, depending on their availability. The same faculty teaches the online courses as the on-campus courses, so students are receiving the exact same information as students who are choosing a slower, more involved method of curriculum delivery.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
This online program is well-built for students who currently occupy a career in the fields of criminology, those seeking to enter the field, and students with an active interest in the subject matter, it is far-reaching in it’s breadth of knowledge and graduates are well-versed in first-hand experience with actual criminal justice agencies.

Campus Location: Pullman, WA

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Tuition and Fees:

  • $509 per credit hour—tuition
  • varied course fees

Financial Aid: Unsubsidized loans, scholarships, assistantships, and work-study.

Acceptance Rate: 80.9%

Admission Considerations:
Students must submit a letter of intent outlining goals and aspirations within the program, as well as official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and TOEFL scores from international students.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Drugs, Addiction, and Crime
  • Police and Society
  • Criminal Justice: Processes and Institutions

Course Flexibility:
Online coursework at WSU is taught by the same faculty as on-campus programs. Students are receiving the same information and have just as much connection with their professors in their own home as the do in the classroom. Before teaching, many faculty members were in the field of criminal justice for many years and can offer first-hand experience.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK

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Program Standouts:
CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice keeps its curriculum relevant and current to the needs of the system. “John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a preeminent national and international leader in justice education.” As technology advances and levels of security become outdated, CUNY keeps classes and research programs up to date and relevant to the needs of the industry.

Campus Location: New York, NY

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Tuition and Fees:

  • $5,065 per semester—full time tuition—in-state
  • $425 per credit—part time tuition—in-state
  • $780 per credit—full and part time tuition—out-of-state
  • $125 per semester—full time technology fee
  • $62.50 per semester—part time technology fee

Financial Aid: Federal loans, grants, and scholarships; fellowships, assistantships, and internships; federal work-study.

Acceptance Rate: 33.9%

Admission Considerations:

Program Options:

  • Safety and Security in the Built Environment
  • Analytical Methods in Protection Management
  • Risk, Threat and Critical Infrastructure

Course Flexibility:
The online masters program offered within CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice is the Master of Security Management which “offers a dynamic online education taught by experts in the security industry. Students will develop an understanding of security theory while acquiring the practical skills needed for a successful career.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
Councilors and advisors help students craft and personalize their degree toward their specific interests. Four specialization areas allow students to focus in a sector of criminal justice that best suits them. With small class sizes and a dedicated faculty, Kent State’s online masters program will suit any working professional.

Campus Location: Kent, OH

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $662 per credit hour—in-state tuition
  • $672 per credit hour—out-of-state tuition

Financial Aid: Scholarships, grants, loans, federal work-study, assistantships, and university awards for merit.

Acceptance Rate: 83.1%

Admission Considerations:
Students must hold a bachelors degree from an accredited institution and it is highly encouraged that students have experience within the field upon applying. GRE scores are not required, however students must submit three letters of recommendation, a letter of intent, and an official transcript.

Program Options:

  • Policing
  • Corrections
  • Global Security
  • Victimology

Course Flexibility:
Built for the working professional, students in this program are encouraged to continue their full-time job while participating in a program that works with individual schedules. Students take one course every seven weeks, allowing them to pay full attention to one area at a time, while also devoting attention to other important career aspects.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

CAPELLA UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
With advances in the field, it is important to maintain a high number of employees and individuals who operate within the boundaries of a strong, ethical, moral understanding of the law. Capella University’s Master of Criminal Justice program teaches students just that—to enforce the law, while operating within the bounds of the law.

Campus Location: Minneapolis, MN

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Tuition and Fees:

  • $504 per credit hour—tuition

Financial Aid: Capella University offers many forms of aid and monetary benefits such as grants, loans, scholarships, and military discounts, but also transfer credits and benefits for experience as an employee; self-assessment tests allow students to initially climb higher in the program and potentially save money.

Acceptance Rate: 68%

Admission Considerations:
Students must: hold a bachelors degree from an accredited institution, submit a transcript with a minimum GPA of 2.3 on a 4.0 scale, submit a $50 application fee. GRE results are not required.

Program Options:

  • Forensics
  • Health Policy and Management
  • Homeland Security
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy Management and Collaborative Governance
  • Public Safety Leadership
  • Nonprofit Management and Leadership

Course Flexibility:
With the huge number of concentration areas in the masters program, students have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the field, and their choices in the job market. Offering 100% online courses, Capella University is dedicated to supplying a high quality, low cost education to students who hold full-time jobs.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

WALDEN UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
Walden University offers exciting opportunities in the academic world of criminal justice. In one of two masters degree programs in criminal justice which then each have more than ten specialization areas, students can locate their area of expertise. Walden University keep their programs well adapted to the needs of an ever-expanding and highly complex field of study.

Campus Location: Naples, FL

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $470 per quarter hour—tuition
  • $120 per quarter hour—technology fee

Financial Aid: Federal and institutional aid, grants, loans, scholarships, fellowships, and military/Veterans’ benefits.

Acceptance Rate: 98%

Admission Considerations:
Students must hold a bachelors degree from an accredited institutions, submit relevant test scores, and complete the online application.

Program Options:

  • General Program
  • Emergency Management
  • Global Leadership
  • Homeland Security Policy and Coordination
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Policy Analysis
  • Public Management and Leadership
  • Self-Designed
  • Terrorism, Mediation, and Peace

Course Flexibility:
Walden University offers two masters programs: Master of Criminal Justice and Master of Criminal Justice and Executive Management. Depending on how high up in the sector of criminal justice a particular individual wishes to climb, students can choose a general or advanced program and then further focus or accelerate their curriculum within their chosen program.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
According to their website, “The MA Criminal Justice allows you to learn directly from professors who are nationally-recognized scholars in their respective fields and from a prestigious group of criminal justice professionals with expertise in policing, gangs, fraud, corrections and courts.” Students in this program can expect to work hard for a degree the prepares them for a broad range of criminal justice sectors.

Campus Location: Tempe, AZ

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $492 per credit hour—tuition

Financial Aid: Scholarships, grants, loans, and federal work-study.

Acceptance Rate: 80.2%

Admission Considerations:
Students must hold a bachelors degree from an accredited institution. GRE scores are not required for application to this program, however students should review the necessary documents by creating a profile here!

Program Options:

  • Criminal Justice Planning and Program Evaluation
  • Applied Data Analysis in Criminal Justice
  • Seminar in Criminology

Course Flexibility:
Offering part-time and full-time methods of delivery, ASU’s online masters of criminal justice degree program is designed to be challenging and demanding while also allowing students to focus their attention more fully to other aspects of their private and professional lives.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

BOSTON UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
Some exciting aspects of Boston University’s online Master in Criminal Justice is the opportunity for students to become involved in BU’s chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma’s National Criminal Justice Honor Society, which has just recently become available online. All faculty members within this department have an extensive background in policing, the judicial system, and corrections.”

Campus Location: Boston, MA

Accreditation: New England Association of Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $800 per credit hour—tuition
  • $60 per credit hour—technology fee
  • $60 per semester—student activity fee

Financial Aid: Scholarships, federal loans, grants, student work opportunities, and tuition benefits.

Acceptance Rate: 34%

Admission Considerations:
Students must complete the online Boston University graduate application, as well as submit three letters of recommendation from past professors, a short personal essay of intent, a current resume, an official transcript, and a nonrefundable $80 fee.

Program Options:

  • General Track
  • Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity

Course Flexibility:

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL MISSOURI

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Program Standouts:
In this outstanding program, faculty members are well-versed and well-published in the field of criminal justice. According to the website, “Created in 1962, the department has become one of the most respected criminal justice programs in the world.”

Campus Location: Warrensburg, MO

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $324.05 per credit hour—tuition

For more information about mandatory and departmental fees, click HERE and enter personal info into the price calculator.

Financial Aid: UCM Foundation scholarships, federal loans, grants, and work-study programs.

Acceptance Rate: 80%

Admission Considerations:
Students must hold a bachelors degree in criminal justice from an accredited institution, with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students with a bachelors degree in something other than criminal justice will be required to take 15 credit hours of background courses in criminal justice. Students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 will be required to submit GRE scores in order to qualify.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Statistics for Criminal Justice
  • The Criminal Justice System
  • Criminal Justice in Group Behavior

Course Flexibility:
Course work emphasizes leading justice system issues including legal aspects; organization, administration, management, and leadership; and information acquisition, analysis and interpretation. Students will be well-prepared to take on positions of leaderships upon graduation from this program. Elective courses allow students to focus their degree in more specific areas of criminal justice.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
Reviewed as one of the best online criminal justice programs in the country, Missouri State University offers a program that can be completed in as little as one and a half years. Designed to enhance skills in leadership and decision making, graduates from this program are well-prepared to take on difficult responsibilities and complex tasks within the field.

Campus Location: Springfield, MO

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $5,500 per semester (based on 18 credit hours)—in-state tuition and fees
  • $10,108 per semester (based on 18 credit hours)—out-of-state tuition and fees
  • $1,000 per semester—supplemental course fees and supplies (estimate)

Financial Aid: Federal loans, institutional scholarships and awards, grants, and work-study.

Acceptance Rate: 84%

Admission Considerations:
Students must hold a bachelors degree in criminal justice from an accredited institution. Those who do not have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher are required to submit GRE scores. Three letters of recommendation as well as an personal essay of intent are required fro consideration.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Life Behind Bars: Got Time?
  • Investigating Motive in Hate Crime and Terrorism
  • Foundations of Homeland Defense and Security

Course Flexibility:
This program is designed to assimilate seamlessly into an individual’s current professional and personal schedule, while also maintaining a strong foundation of academic excellence. With the freedom to complete coursework on personal time, this program allows students to utilize the skills the learn in their program to their path on becoming a leader in the criminal justice system.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

INDIANA STATE UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
A massively popular program and institution with a wait list of applicants seeking a degree, Indiana State University offers a Master of Arts and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice, preparing students for either a path to a doctorate, or to a law degree. Students will graduate with a thorough understanding of the complex system of criminal justice.

Campus Location: Terre Haute, IN

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $8,216.00 per year—in-state tuition
  • $10,270.00 per year—out-of-state tuition
  • $30.00 per course—online education fee

Financial Aid: Many different institutional and federal loan, scholarship, grant, and work-study opportunities, as well as benefits for ROTC and Veterans.

Acceptance Rate: 85%

Admission Considerations:
All students must have maintained a minimum 2.75 GPA in undergraduate work. All applicants must submit an official transcript, a one-two page letter of intent, three letters of recommendation, and international students must submit TOEFL scores. The GRE is not required.

Program Options:

  • Police Problems and Practices
  • Treatment Practices and Techniques in Corrections
  • Law and Society

Course Flexibility:
Both Master of Arts and Master of Science programs allow working criminal justice professionals to obtain the academic credentials they need to move forward in the field of criminology and criminal justice. The different paths give students the opportunity to focus their degree according to their future career goals from an outstanding academic institution.

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BETHEL UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
With small class sizes and attentive professors, students in this online program will benefit from a writing-based, rather than a test-based, curriculum. Upon graduation, students have a competitive edge when applying for management and administrative positions in the courts, corrections, law enforcement, security, and probation and parole systems.

Campus Location: St. Paul, MN

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Tuition and Fees:

  • $695 per credit hour—tuition

Financial Aid: Grants, scholarships, loans, and military benefits.

Acceptance Rate: 80%

Admission Considerations:
Students must complete the Criminal Justice application, submit official transcripts from all academic institutions, three letters of recommendation, a personal essay of intent, and a non-refundable $75 application fee.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Diversity in the Criminal Justice System
  • Administration of Organizations in the Criminal Justice System
  • Statistics in Criminal Justice

Course Flexibility:
This 100% online program allows students the freedom to complete coursework at a pace that best suits their schedule, whether that means taking on more or less coursework at a time. Students and faculty work closely together, and even though it is distance education, peers can stable an academic cyber-community.

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