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Multiple Degree Pathways

Criminal Justice
Online College Programs


May 6th

16-32 Mo.

Program Length






Degree Pathways

Multiple Degree Pathways

Criminal Justice
Online College Programs

Earning a degree in criminal justice online IS possible with Herzing

AccreditationAccredited by the Higher Learning Commission
OptionsAssociate and bachelor’s degree pathways
Transfer creditUp to 90 approved credits
Format100% online classes you can take right at home
PathwaysQualified students can earn dual credit towards a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Social Work (MSW)
QuickPathsTransfer credit, stackable credentials, and adaptive learning technology build a faster pathway to a higher education with Herzing University
Criminologists as Scene of Crime Investigating Behind Yellow Tape
US News Best Online Programs Bachelor's 2024 Badge

Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best online bachelor's programs in 2024

Criminal Justice
US News Best Online Programs Bachelor's 2024 Badge

Overview: Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Criminal Justice degree options include associate and bachelor's programs which prepare you for a variety of careers in the field of criminal justice and public safety. The online degree programs provide students with fundamental knowledge and skills in criminal law, crisis intervention, report writing, ethics in law enforcement, evidence forensics, and much more.

Career-focused curriculum

Discover the crucial knowledge and skills required to succeed in your work and build a foundation for continued career growth.

Flexible schedule

You can take classes during the day or in the evening. We strive to be as flexible as possible for busy non-traditional students.

Virtual services

Access to extensive virtual services, including academic advising, tutoring, support services, technical support and library services.

Lifelong support

We support your ongoing career advancement by providing comprehensive, personalized student services with lifelong career coaching.

Rolling admissions

No application deadlines to worry about. Apply when you’re ready and prepare to get started soon.

Classes Start May 6th

Learn More Today


Follow your career pathway with Herzing

Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree Online

Earn an associate degree in as few as 20 months and get your criminal justice career off to a fast start.

Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree Online

Earn a bachelor's degree in as few as 32 months and build a strong foundation to continue advancing your criminal justice career in the future.


Adapting to change: 2024 curriculum updates

We’ve recently updated our criminal justice curriculum to prioritize the modern interdisciplinary knowledge and skills needed for success in the criminal justice industry in the present and future.

New and refreshed course topics include:

  • Law enforcement security
  • Community health
  • Mental health
  • Community corrections
  • Emergency management
  • Crisis intervention
  • Victimology
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion

BS-CJ curriculumAS-CJ curriculum

Criminal Investigators Discussing Case and Examining Photos

Dual Credit

Save time and money by earning dual credit

Enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and you can take up to 9 credit hours of dual-credit graduate level coursework to use towards a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Social Work (MSW). 

Our goal as a university is to create pathways for you to pursue the career you’ve always wanted and find success in your work. 

U.S. News Best Online Bachelor's Degree Program 2021

Classes Start May 6th

Waived Enrollment Fee


What can I do with a degree in criminal justice?

There are many different career opportunities for graduates of our criminal justice program. Your choices for jobs exist at the federal, state and local levels, as well as private sector organizations.

You may qualify for these types of jobs with a degree in criminal justice, among others:

How do I advance in my career?

Jobs in criminal justice often have multiple levels of rank, and advancement is determined by level of education, length of experience, and on-the-job performance. As most positions are in the public sector, specific levels must be reached before advancement can occur; this may include a minimum exam score, number of years in the position, or the next level of degree in criminal justice.


Frequently Asked Questions

You are typically not required to earn a degree to enroll in police academy and work as a police officer. A high school diploma is often the minimal required formal education, with a required background check. Some agencies may require a bachelor’s degree or a certain number of credit hours, especially at the federal level.

According to a 2017 study from the National Police Foundation, about one third (30.2 percent) of police officers in the U.S. hold a four-year college degree. Just over half (51.8 percent) hold a two-year degree, and 5.4 percent hold a graduate degree.

While you may not need a degree for your first entry-level job as a police officer, if you plan to continue advancing your career in criminal justice, earning an associate or bachelor’s degree is a good idea.

Course subjects and topics in our bachelor’s degree program include:

  • Criminal Investigation, which provides an overview of the investigative process and current issues.
  • Criminal Law, which covers key components of criminal law and its enforcement. It also includes an overview of the criminal law process, defenses, and jurisdiction of the courts. 
  • Ethics in Law Enforcement, which reviews public administration and ethical issues involved with public service.
  • Evidence Forensics, which covers the law model and types and current rules of evidence acquisition.
  • Introduction to Homeland Security, which details the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and its strategies and initiatives, as well as legal issues related to homeland security.
  • Risk Assessment, which helps students learn how to assess and identify threats, analyze targets, and implement approaches to risk assessment.

Yes, you can earn your associate or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice online. Look for a regionally accredited university like Herzing that has a well-rounded curriculum and experienced faculty and staff. Universities that offer student advisors and online support can help prepare you for academic success.

Once you have your associate or bachelor’s degree, you can also pursue additional training or education to help increase your earning potential and further your career.

To determine the best degree option, you must consider your ultimate career goals. A homeland security degree is very focused and may be a good fit if you know you would like to work in that specific field. It offers students a background in national security, including terrorism, counterterrorism, and intelligence.

A degree in criminal justice may be a good fit if you enjoy criminal justice but would like to have more career options. A criminal justice degree provides students knowledge of law enforcement, criminology, law, and community relations. Because it has a wider focus, it can be applied to many different jobs in different sectors.

Herzing University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice may be completed in as few as 32 months. Transfer up to 90 approved credits to get it done even faster. The associate degree path typically takes 20 months to complete.

With year-round learning and opportunity to transfer in prior college credit, Herzing University offers you the opportunity to start quickly and get your career moving.

Yes, absolutely. A degree in criminal justice can help prepare you for a variety of jobs, from law enforcement to public service. The field continues to expand, offering people more career opportunities. In addition, a criminal justice degree provides a strong base of knowledge for future learning, if you choose to pursue additional learning, such as a law degree or a master’s of business administration (MBA) degree.

If you enjoy learning about the law, possess a strong sense of responsibility, and would like to help serve your community, a criminal justice degree may be a great fit. Learn more about our criminal justice degree program today!

Criminology is the study of crime, including its causes, consequences and costs. Criminology students study the behavior patterns, backgrounds, and sociological trends of criminals.

Criminal justice is a social science that seeks to identify and explain criminal behavior, as well as how society deals with crime. Criminal justice majors focus more on the legal and correctional systems, the deterrence of crimes, and ethics codes of behavior. Students in a criminal justice program often study a variety of topics including legal studies, psychology, public administration, and sociology.

Though they are different, both criminologists and criminal justice professionals work in the criminal justice sector to lessen crime and improve society.

There are many benefits to earning a criminal justice degree. One is that you can get a variety of jobs including police officer, public official, or criminal investigator. Some jobs may require more education or experience, but a criminal justice degree can help provide a rich base of knowledge that can prepare you for a well-paying and lengthy career in different sectors.

Another benefit is there is a continued need for criminal justice professionals to help ensure the safety of the nation's citizens.

A third benefit is there are nationwide opportunities, because every city and state has a need for experienced criminal justice professionals in a variety of roles.

With an associate degree in criminal justice, you may be eligible for a variety of jobs, including security guards and first-line supervisors of protective service workers. These jobs are found in a variety of industries, including travel, gambling, and investigation and security services.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), security guards earned an average salary of $36,700 per year ($17.64 per hour).*

With a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, you can be eligible for jobs such as first-line supervisor of correctional officer, first-line supervisor, police officer, or detective. The BLS reports the average wage for detectives and criminal investigators is $91,610 per year ($44.04 per hour).


Program Finder

Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Showing 2 programs for the Online campus

On Campus| Online

This program provides students with comprehensive academic knowledge of criminology, law enforcement, corrections, and the criminal justice system as well as the skills and techniques used in these disciplines. This degree can also provide advancement opportunities for law enforcement personnel requiring a bachelor's degree when applying for or advancing within the profession. (Some states, including but not limited to Minnesota, require additional certification, licensing, and/or training academy completion to be eligible for employment in a law enforcement capacity.)

To learn more about this program, click the Request Info button to the right.

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Accreditation & Disclosures

Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2022 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

Eligible states for enrollment: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, District Of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands.

It’s helpful to attend class with like-minded people who all understand the importance of earning their degree.

Dylan Dabbs

Dylan Dabbs

Legal Studies Program

Madison Campus

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