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24 Most Affordable Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminology Online for 2020

In this article ranking the 24 most affordable Bachelor’s degrees in Criminology Online, we will explore a few degrees like:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Criminology
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminology
  • Online BA in Criminal Justice
  • Online BS in Criminal Justice
  • Online BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology

If you love to solve problems and you have an interest in the criminal justice system, you might like to pursue an affordable online Bachelor’s degree in Criminology. Criminology, a degree mostly based in sociology, will examine the causes and effects that crime has on individuals and society. You’ll get an in-depth look at crime prevention, law enforcement, criminal justice systems, and crime victims. But, if you take the degree online, you won’t have to put your life on hold too. Most of these programs are designed with the adult, non-traditional student in mind. So, you’ll be able to manage your personal/work life and get your degree at the same time–all without breaking the bank. We’ve gathered 24 of the most affordable online Bachelor’s degrees in Criminology; take a look and decide if a low-cost degree in criminology online is in your future!

Rating and Ranking Methodology

To develop this ranking of the top affordable Bachelor’s in Criminology online programs, our editors searched for schools that offered cheap online undergraduate programs in criminology.  To rate and rank these programs, we applied the methodology below using information from Google, the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), Payscale.com, and each program’s website. In cases of a tie, the more affordable school pulled the higher rank. If the information didn’t fit within the parameters, zero points were awarded for that category.

Tuition

  • Net Price Below $10,000: 4 points
  • Net Price Below $15,000: 3 points
  • Net Price Below $18,000: 2 points
  • Net Price Below $20,000: 1 point

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • Less than 20:1: 1 point
  • Less than 15: 1: 2 points
  • Less than 10: 1: 3 points

Return on Investment (ROI) According to Payscale.com

  • Top 500: 1 point
  • Top 300: 2 points
  • Top 150: 3 points

Flexibility of the Program (asynchronous course delivery, hybrid options, part-time/full-time schedule, etc. ) – 1 point per item

Online Student Support Network (faculty mentors/advisors, etc.) — 1 point per item

Concentrations/Specializations – 1 point per item

Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item

“Wow” Factor – 1 point

#24 – California State University-San Bernardino

San Bernardino, California

Online BA in Criminal Justice

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 29 to 1
Points: 5

The low-cost criminology degree online offering at California State University at San Bernardino will result in a BA in Criminal Justice. It is important to note that this online program is a degree completion program, meaning it will consist of your last two years of the major. Major coursework will include classes like Theories of Crime & Delinquency, Hate Crime & Law Policy, Community Corrections, Myth, Metaphor, & Symbol, and Criminal Procedure. CSU San Bernardino is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Net-Price: $8,586

#23 – Dalton State College

Dalton, Georgia

BS in Criminal Justice Online

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 23 to 1
Points: 5

The online affordable criminology degree program at Dalton State College will result in a BS in Criminal Justice online and will focus on providing analytical, communication, and research skills. The program is offered through eMajor, which is a partnership with the University System of Georgia colleges. Sample courses include Intro to Criminal Justice, Intro to Law Enforcement, The Judicial Process, Criminology, Juvenile Delinquency & Justice, and Crime and the Media. The major is also available a minor if interested in that instead. Graduates of the program can begin work in areas of juvenile justice and probation, corrections, or municipal, state, and federal law enforcement. Dalton State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $6,484

#22 – Kentucky Wesleyan College

Owensboro, Kentucky

Online BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1

Points: 6

Kentucky Wesleyan College offers a low-cost online Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice that takes a multidisciplinary approach to the program. Your studies will examine all of the various influences that affect crime, criminals, and law processes. A 20-hour service-learning experience is required of all online students. Coursework in the 120-credit program. includes Critical Issues in Policing, Statistics in the Behavioral Sciences, Criminology, and Juvenile Delinquency. Graduates will be ready for careers as criminologists, probation officers, sheriffs, court clerks, and more. KWC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $26,422

#21 – University of Mount Olive

Mount Olive, North Carolina

Online BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Points: 6

The University of Mount Olive offers a low-cost Bachelor’s degree in Criminology online that will examine both the fields of criminology and criminal justice. The program will seek to examine the criminal justice system as a whole and why people decide to engage in crimes. It will also explore social justice, policy, crime, criminal behaviors, and the administration of criminal justice agencies. You can even earn experiential learning credits for prior knowledge, training, or skills. The University of Mount Olive is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $16,413

#20 – San Diego State University

San Diego, California

Online B.S. in Criminal Justice

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 27 to 1
Points: 6

san-diego-state-university

At San Diego State University, you can earn a cheap Bachelor’s degree in Criminology online. Note that this online criminal justice program is a degree completion program, meaning that you must already have your transferrable general education requirements completed. Students will complete ten 8-week modules with breaks in between, totally about 22 months for completion. Sample coursework includes Criminal Justice and Social Control, Crime, Law, & Justice, Concepts and Issues in Public Administration, and Contemporary Urban Issues. Students must maintain a 2.8 GPA. Graduates of the program will be prepared to continue their education in graduate or law school or can pursue entry-level jobs in fields like law, law enforcement, probation and parole, corrections, or other social service agencies. San Diego State University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Net-Price: $14,568

#19 – Mount Saint Mary’s University

Los Angeles, California

Online Bachelor’s in Criminology

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 9 to 1

Points: 7

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Los Angeles, CA

At Mary Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, you can earn your affordable undergrad degree in Criminology online. The program will address the field of criminology in three ways:

  • human deviant behaviors
  • modes of investigation and punishment
  • the role of crime in society

Though you are an online student, you will still be required to complete an internship. MSMU will help get you set up and matched with the right place, but note that spots could be limited due to the complicated nature of the process. Graduates of the program can pursue dynamic careers in areas like law enforcement, probation, crime, prevention, forensic research, law studies, rehabilitation, programs for at-risk populations, or homeland security. Mount Saint Mary’s University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Net-Price: $29,563

#18 – Coker University

Hartsville, South Carolina

Bachelor’s degree in Criminology Online

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Points: 7

What Coker University says is completely true: as long as people keep breaking the law, the world will need criminologists. So getting your affordable online degree in criminology will be worth it. Students can expect to take core classes like Substance Abuse, Corrections, and White Collar Crime. Graduates will be ready to start careers in fields like Border Patrol Agent, Paralegal, Law Clerk, or Police Officer. The program is available fully online, on-campus, or in a combination of both! Coker University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $18,060

#17 – Missouri State University

Springfield, Missouri

Online BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1

Points: 7

While Missouri State University offers both a BS and a BA in Criminology, only the low-cost BS in Criminology is offered fully online. After completing general education requirements, the major requires 45 credits of criminology coursework. And because the degree is comprehensive, you aren’t required to also earn a minor. The program offers a wide variety of electives, which will enable you to customize your degree to fit your interests. While the net-price tuition comes in just over $15,000, this online program touts a cost of $3,500 per semester. MSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price: $15,783

#16 – University of West Georgia

Carrollton, Georgia

BS in Criminology Online

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1

Points: 7

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Atlanta, GA

The University of West Georgia offers a fully online Bachelor’s degree in Criminology. While there is a required orientation, it can be done virtually if you choose–so there are no on-campus meetings necessary. Graduates will show competency in both criminology and criminal justice through 120-credits. Coursework includes Global Crime and Justice, Victimology, Violent Crime, Crime Prevention, and Prison Law. The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Net-Price: $15,392

#15 – University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

BA in Criminology

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 22 to 1
Points: 7

usf best graduate schools

The University of South Florida offers an affordable criminology degree program online. The program will focus on all of the facets of the criminal justice system, like law enforcement, detention, the judicial system, corrections, and probation, and parole. This particular online program is considered a 2 + 2 program, which means it’s a degree completion program. Students will need an Associate’s degree in a related field to apply. However, if you don’t, don’t worry. You can take the full BA program online, too, from start to finish. All students have access to an academic advisor. USF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
Net-Price: $10,460

#14 – Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville, North Carolina

B.S. in Criminal Justice Online

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1

Points: 7

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Raleigh, North Carolina

A program certified by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), Fayetteville State University offers a low-cost BS in Criminal Justice online. Note this is a degree completion program, meaning before admission, you’ll need 38 credit hours of university core courses and four 200-level required criminal justice courses. Sample major classes include:

  • Victimology
  • Drugs and Crime
  • Media and Crime
  • White Collar Crime
  • Comparative Criminal Justice
  • Sex, Sexuality and the Law
  • Restorative Justice

Graduates will be ready for a dynamic career in the criminal justice field, including options like a police officer, probation officer, juvenile detention officer, correctional officer, FBI agent, crime analyst, DEA agent, and legal researcher. Fayetteville State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $5,685

#13 – St. Joseph’s College-New York

Brooklyn, New York

Online B.S. in Criminal Justice Practice and Policy

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 9 to 1
Points: 8

st-josephs-college

At St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, New York, you can earn a low-cost undergraduate degree in Criminology online that results in a BS in Criminal Justice Practice and Policy. The program is designed as a multi-disciplinary program that will touch on various studies like sociology, political science, psychology, philosophy, forensic bioscience and criminal justice. Coursework includes Evidence-Based Practice and Policy, Crime Analysis and Policy, Court and Civil Liberties, and Race, Class and Gender in Criminal Justice. In this 120-credit hour program, students will be able to utilize a flexible online course delivery method. Admission is rolling. SJC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Net-Price: $16,973

#12 – Western Illinois University

Macomb, Illinois

Online Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
Points: 8

Western Illinois University lives out its mission of “Your potential, our purpose.” WIU’s low-cost Bachelor’s in criminology online takes a different approach, but one that will prepare you to work in the criminal justice field. You’ll earn a BS in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration online, so this degree might be best suited for the student who wants to work in that sector of criminology. Plus, you won’t just learn in a classroom; this program is centered around the real-world application that relies on discussion, doing, and demonstrating. Many related minors are available as well, including Corrections, Legal Studies, Security Administration, Homeland Security, Fire Science, CSI, Fire Administration, and Criminalistics. Graduate opportunities in the field are available as well (with no GRE requirements!). WIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price: $15,808

#11 – Maryville University

Saint Louis, Missouri

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and Criminology

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1

Points: 10

If you’re looking for a cheap online criminology program that doesn’t require standardized tests for admission, then you’ll be excited about the program at Maryville University. With accepted previous credits, you can earn your degree in just two years, as long as you are a full-time student. But for those who have extra life obligations? No worries! The program is also offered on a part-time basis, and you’ll be able to complete it in just 3.5 years. Plus, if you’ve got previous police training, you can earn credit for that, making the process even quicker. Graduates can pursue jobs in fields like law enforcement, corrections, community services, or government. Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price: $26,540

#10 – The University of Texas at El Paso

El Paso, Texas

Online BA in Criminal Justice

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
Points: 10

The University of Texas at El Paso offers a 120-credit affordable Bachelor’s degree in criminology online that will result in an online BA in Criminal Justice. This interdisciplinary program will give students a solid background in the social sciences and provide a flexible online format for non-traditional students. Coursework includes classes like Family Violence, Criminal Justice on the United States-Mexico Border, Immigration Law and Admin, Courts Systems and Practices, and Criminal Procedure. UTEP is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $7,720

#9 – Southern University at New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

Points: 10

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree in New Orleans, LA

Southern University at New Orleans offers a cheap online criminology degree that will result in a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice online. It’s one of the cheapest criminology degrees on this list! In your major courses, you will take classes like:

  • criminal justice and juvenile justice processes
  • criminology
  • law enforcement
  • law adjudication
  • corrections

The program will also address legal and social processes and how they relate to the criminal justice system. In addition, you’ll gain valuable and marketable skills–like critical thinking skills, data analysis skills, technological skills, and communication skills. Lastly–the program will address how to face the issues in the criminology field with proper ethical behavior. SUNO is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $5,976

#8 – Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana

Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology Online

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1

Points: 11

Ball State University touts a different kind of cheap online degree program in criminology. While many programs focus on the available coursework, Ball State’s program focuses on best practices and data-driven decision-making, ethics, and cultural competency courses. Students will take foundational courses:

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Race, Gender, and Crime 
  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • Ethics and Decision Making
  • Criminal Law
  • Evaluation Research in Criminal Justice

All students will have access to an online academic advisor and will be required to complete a capstone course in criminal justice. Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price: $13,642

#7 – Arkansas State University

Jonesboro, Arkansas

BA in Criminology Online

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

Points: 11

At just $249 per credit hour, you earn your affordable online criminology degree at Arkansas State University. You’ll earn a Bachelor of Arts and explore the “underlying sociological factors that lead to delinquent behaviors.” Not only that, you’ll learn strategies to reverse those behaviors. Benefits of the program include individualized attention from your professors, access to your courses 24/7, pay-as-you-go tuition, and several financial aid options available. And with multiple start dates per year, you can get started when you’re ready! ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price: $13,459

#6 – Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, Texas

Online B.A./B.S. in Criminal Justice and Victim Studies

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1
Points: 11

Sam Houston State University’s online degree in criminology will certainly be a good investment. In fact, the school has been ranked as one of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News & World Reports. Through the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, you can choose between an online B.S. and an online B.A. in Criminal Justice and Victim Studies. The BS track will require coursework in the social sciences, like psychology, sociology, political science whereas the BA track will require foreign language courses. No matter what program you choose, you will take many foundational classes in the criminal justice field, including:

  • Cyber Crime
  • Global Terrorism
  • Forensic Science
  • Victimology
  • Violent Offenders
  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • White Collar Crime
  • Criminal Investigation

Students will also be required to take an internship. There are three start dates per year. SHSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $12,516

#5 – University of Nebraska at Omaha

Omaha, Nebraska

Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
Points: 12

With maximum flexibility, students can enroll in the low-cost online criminology degree program at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Coursework includes Criminal Court System, Criminology, Criminal Procedure, Police and Society, and Research Methods. A writing component and a minor/area of concentration are required. In addition, all online students will complete a Senior Assessment. Graduate-level degrees are available for those interested. In fact, the US News and World Report has ranked the school’s graduate criminology programs among the best. UN-Omaha is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price: $12,105

#4 – University of Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky

BS in Criminal Justice Online

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
Points: 14

The University of Louisville offers an online criminology degree program backed by rankings in the U.S. News and World report. Not only are the online Bachelor’s degree programs ranked, but so are the criminal justice programs specifically. Core courses in the 121-credit undergraduate program include:

  • Criminal Procedure
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Criminal Law and Justice
  • Corrections in the United States

Interesting elective options include Sex Crimes, Crimes against the Elderly, Gangs in America, Environmental Crime, and Prisons and Jails in the United States. Students have ample opportunity to get involved through many student organizations, as well as to earn college credit through experience and military training. The University of Louisville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $17,098

#3 – Portland State University

Portland, Oregon

Online Bachelor’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1

Points: 14

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Portland, OR

Portland State University offers an online Bachelor’s degree in Criminology that is designed for the adult, working student. In addition, you’ll be able to add-on various certifications without adding time or money to your degree. Options include specializations in criminal behavior, leadership in criminal justice, or advanced crime analysis. Courses in the major include:

  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Policing in America
  • Punishment and Corrections
  • American Courts
  • Theories of Crime
  • Crime Control Strategies
  • Crime Analysis

Note this program is 2 years and 68 credits in length, which means you’ll need to transfer in with the appropriate credits. Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Net-Price: $13,758

#2 – Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

BS in Criminology Online

Website

Student-Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1

Points: 14

Florida State University

As a student at Florida State University’s affordable online criminology program, you’ll get the prestigious reputation of FSU, but with the flexibility of an online program. In fact, there won’t be any difference between your degree and degrees earned on-campus. Note that this is a degree-completion program, meaning you already need an Associate’s degree or sufficient credits. Then you’ll take 36 credit hours in the field of Criminology. Students can either choose to add-on a minor or complete a full internship in place of the minor. FSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $13,318

#1 – University of Florida-Online

Gainesville, Florida

Online BA in Criminology

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 78 to 1

Points: 14

Through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, students can earn an online affordable Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from the University of Florida Online. The degree will result in a Bachelor of Arts and will examine all facets of criminology and the criminal justice system from a multidisciplinary approach. Core coursework includes classes like Advanced Principles of Criminal Justice, Law and Legal Process, Criminological Theory, and Law and Society. Customize your degree with 6 electives, including options like Media and Crime, Juvenile Justice, or Introduction to Law Enforcement. The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $10,287

What is an affordable Bachelor’s degree in Criminology Online?

Maybe you’ve been into crime shows on TV or maybe you’ve indulged in a few true crime podcasts, and you’re hooked. Did you know that you can make a career out of the “why” behind crime, criminal behavior, the justice system, and the social ramifications of crime?

If this interests you, your first step could be earning an affordable Bachelor’s degree in Criminology.

We know–you want to know the details about a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology, but before we can give you all the information, you’ll need to know a little bit about the field of criminology first. Take a look below to learn more!

What is the study of Criminology?

The study of criminology will be deeply rooted in sociology and will address the “why” behind why crime and criminal behavior exists. In this broad and interdisciplinary field of study, you will also examine how these factors (plus the criminal justice system) relate to human behavior, social environments, and government policy.

In short, a major in criminology will study the larger social context in which the justice system exists–as well as crime as a social phenomenon.

More specifically, you could study topics like:

  • the causes and consequences of criminal behavior
  • the structure and functions of the criminal justice system
  • how societies and individuals react to crimes 
  • the geographical elements related to crime and poverty
  • criminal justice policymaking

If you have no existing college credits and you are a full-time student, you can complete your cheap criminology degree in about 4 years. Other factors could affect that time like if you already have transferrable college credits, if you decide to take your classes on a part-time basis, or if your college gives you credit for prior training, knowledge, or skills.

What concentrations are available in this discipline?

A concentration is a focused area of study within your criminology degree. Typically this means that you will take several courses in a specific area within the larger context of your degree. These classes are usually taken within the Department of your major. Some examples in this field could include the following:

  • Police
  • Corrections
  • Violence
  • Crime & Mental Health
  • Homeland Security
  • Administration
  • Criminal Investigation
  • Law & Justice
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Mental Health
  • Community Corrections
  • Technology and the Criminal Justice System

Some programs don’t offer an area emphasis but instead encourage you to choose a related minor. While a concentration will dive deeper into a sub-field of criminology and will include coursework inside your same department, a minor will branch out just a bit. A minor gives you a complement to your degree outside of your field and will create a multi-disciplinary approach to your education. Possible minors could include:

  • Information Assurance
  • Inequality and Society
  • Health and Society

**Note that options will vary from school to school.

What coursework can I expect to take in my low-cost Criminology degree?

After you complete your general education requirements, you’ll move on to your major coursework. Expect to take classes like:

  • Intro to Criminology
  • Intro to Criminal Justice
  • Advanced Principles of Criminal Justice
  • Law and Legal Process
  • Criminological Theory
  • Law and Society
  • Policing in America
  • Punishment and Corrections
  • American Courts
  • Theories of Crime
  • Crime Control Strategies
  • Crime Analysis
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Criminal Law and Justice
  • Corrections in the United States

How will my online coursework be administered?

This will vary by school, but generally speaking, schools will present online classes in one of two ways:

synchronously: You might recognize this term from the word lip-synching or synchronized swimming. Synchronous classes are exactly as you’d expect–you take your classes ‘in-synch’ with other students, or at the same time. Most times, this also means that you must show up to online classes at a certain time each week. So if you like schedules and accountability, then you’ll like synchronized classes.

asynchronously: On the other hand, if you want to take your classes on your own time, you might enjoy asynchronous classes. This means that you can show up to do your schoolwork whenever it is convenient for you. This method might be best for students who have unpredictable schedules or an abundance of life obligations.

**Make sure to check the details of your program to see which delivery method your online school uses.

How do I get admitted to my low-cost online Bachelor’s in Criminology program?

Before you apply to an online school, you’ll want to first know what you need. For example, if you need to submit SAT or ACT scores, you’ll need to have taken the test prior to the application deadline.

While we can give you some direction, you’ll need to look at each school’s requirements because you can rest assured they will all be different. For example, some schools don’t require standardized test scores, some do, and some make them optional.

Schools may also have varying admission requirements for first-time freshman vs. transfer students

But, typically, you can expect schools to take a look at variables like:

  • your high school GPA
  • your high school courses
  • standardized testing scores (SAT or ACT–schools will have options like a required minimum score, a weighted system, optional test scores, or no test scores)

On your application, you might also need:

  • an entrance essay
  • letters of recommendation

You can access your school’s online application via their website. Be ready to pay a small application fee when you submit.

Affordable Bachelor’s in Criminology Online Degree FAQs:

Q: What is the difference between Criminology and Criminal Justice?

A: The main difference between the two is that criminology studies the anatomy of a crime (causes, consequences, etc) and criminal justice will examine how society deals with crime (like court systems, criminal prosecution, etc.). But because the two fields are so similar, you will see a lot of overlap in studies. You could see a Criminal Justice degree that has coursework in Criminology, and vice versa. You could also earn a Criminal Justice degree and focus your electives studies more on criminology–and still be prepared for the many criminology career opportunities that are available.

Q: How do I know which degree to pursue–Criminology or Criminal Justice?

A: Ultimately, this decision will be up to you. But if you’re interested in the ‘why’ behind criminal behaviors, how crime affects society, or methods of crime prevention, the field of criminology might be for you.

Q: Will I get a BA or BS degree in Criminology online?

A: You might see that on this list, you can earn a BA in Criminology or a BS in Criminology. None is better than the other; it just depends on what kind of general education you prefer. Some programs focus on a liberal arts curriculum (a B.A), and some focus on a Science-based education (a B.S.). You’ll need to decide if you prefer to take more foreign language/liberal arts classes or more math and sciences!

Q: What skills do I need to study Criminology online?

A: Before you jump right into a degree in criminology, take some time to think about your skillset. Are you interested in behavior patterns? Do you have strong communication and observation skills? If you feel lacking, don’t worry. You can learn how to acquire the skills you need through your specific program. A few skills you might need to master in this field are:

  • keen observation skills
  • interest in behavioral patterns 
  • critical thinking skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • written and communication skills

Q: Can I take my low-cost Criminology online program on a part-time basis?

A: The answer to this question is most likely a ‘yes.’ Most schools offer their programs on a part-time basis because they know that not all students can traditionally attend college. It is important to note that taking your program part-time will lengthen the time it takes to earn your degree. 

Q: How long will it take to earn my cheap online degree in Criminology?

A: Typically, when you take your classes on a full-time basis, you can earn your degree in just 4 years. Other factors can affect that number, like if you take your classes part-time or if you enroll in an accelerated program. 

Q: Can I work while I get my affordable undergrad degree in Criminology online?

A: The answer to this question will depend on what you can handle. College takes a lot of effort and time, so it might be wise to start your first semester and gauge your workload before you jump into a job. If you must work, consider a job on campus to cut down on commute time, or a quiet desk job that would allow you to read and study while you work.

Q: How do I know if getting my affordable online degree in Criminology is right for me?

A: This decision will ultimately be up to you, but we sure can help. Take a look at the coursework you’ll take in a Criminology program:

  • Do the classes intrigue you?
  • Will they keep your attention?
  • Do the issues of behavioral patterns, victimology, or the justice system hold your interest?

Next, examine the careers that match the degree, as well as skills you’ll need to be successful:

Do those skills come easy to you? (communication skills, interest in behavioral patterns, problem-solving skills)

Do any of the jobs get you excited? (think about police, corrections, and parole work–or sociologists, criminologists, and private investigators)

Lastly, think long and hard about the field of Criminology.

  • Can you handle talking about tough topics?
  • Do you care about the ‘why’ behind crimes?
  • Do you want to help your community or society, in general, better understand criminal behavior?

If your answer is yes, then you might be on the right track. These are all signs that this profession is right for you!

Q: Will I need any subsequent degrees?

No, you do not need a Master’s degree or doctoral degree in order to get a good job in the criminology field. It is important to note that some careers, however, might require a Master’s degree. So make sure to research your career goals first, so you have an idea of what schooling will be required.

Q: Is it required to send my SAT/ACT scores to the university for admission?

Requirements for standardized testing varies by school. Some schools don’t require them at all, some allow them to be optional, and some have strict guidelines on scores. You’ll want to check the admission requirements of the specific schools you are considering to make sure your scores will cut it. If standardized testing isn’t your thing, check out Maryville University out of St. Louis, Missouri. Their online criminology program does not require SAT or ACT scores for admission.

Affordable Bachelor’s in Criminology Career FAQs:

Q: Is getting an online degree in Criminology worth it?

A: The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t give career statistic information on criminology specifically, but we can take a look at a similar career path, Sociology. Careers in sociology are projected to grow faster than the average, at 9%. In addition, the field of policing and detective work is projected to grow by 5% in the next ten years. Either direction you choose will provide jobs. So yes, we can say getting an online degree in criminology is worth it.

Q: What kind of careers can I pursue with an online degree in Criminology?

A: An online degree in criminology can take you down many paths. Options could include:

  • Criminologist
  • Criminal Sociologist
  • Forensic Psychologist (extra schooling required)
  • Private investigator
  • Police Officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Insurance fraud investigator
  • Security specialist
  • Lawyer (extra schooling required)

Q: If I decide to become a criminologist, what will I do?

A: A criminologists’ job is to help the police force or public officials understand crime better (the patterns, the causes, etc.) so that new policies can be initiated or predictive crime policing can be implemented.

Q: How do I become a criminologist?

A:  A criminologist will work in both the sociology and law enforcement fields. To become a criminologist, you need a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology, and typically you’ll need some higher education too, like a Master’s degree. It is important to note that many employers are requesting a Master’s degree in the field.

Q: What salary can I expect with a degree in Criminology?

A: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics for 2018, here are a few salaries you could expect for careers in the criminology field:

Sociologist: $82,050 per year (Master’s degree needed)

Forensic Science Technician: $58,230 per year

Police and Detectives: $63,380 per year

Criminal Investigator: $85,020

Q: Are there any professional organizations for people in the Criminology field?

A: Yes, there are! Professional organizations, while not mandatory, are wise to be a part of. You’ll be able to network with like-minded peers and stay up to date on current professional practices and relevant research in your field.

There are so many to pick from, depending on your specific profession, from law to corrections to sociology, but check out a sampling below!

GVC Staff

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