As you consider your future career, the 21st-century landscape of educational opportunities offers some of the most accessible online program options. These modern education offerings allow students to select an online degree program from a local vocational or community college or a higher learning institution located across the county.
If a career in criminal justice is a part of your career goals, the good news is that there are many campus-based & online criminal justice degree programs from which to choose. The rising demand for criminal justice professionals can be sourced to an increase in the need for global security. The criminal justice field is evolving and expanding and offers career opportunities in
- Justice administration in the court system
- Law enforcement, and
- Corrections, plus other related fields
Those students who are seriously considering enrolling in an online criminal justice degree program will discover that earning a degree online offers these benefits to students –
- The convenience to study at home, work, or even while commuting to or from work.
- The flexibility to complete coursework around current time commitments.
- A chance to keep one’s work life and personal life in balance
However, if you are researching the available online criminal justice degree programs, be sure your research includes the answers to the following queries before deciding on the program of choice. It is helpful to understand that the value of a degree online can be determined by these factors –
- The online degree’s accreditation status. A degree online can be nationally or regionally accredited, with regional accreditation preferred to national accreditation.
But note, online criminal justice degree programs may also apply for a specialized accreditation status issued by the ACJS – the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. An ACJS degree online is important but is not essential.
- The semester credits are required to complete the criminal justice degree online.
- The program’s degree level
How We Ranked The Top Online Criminal Justice Programs
The Criminal Justice Degree Hub editors found schools offering online Criminal Justice programs. Then we ranked the programs based on cost, reputation, and future salary.
1. Indiana University East
Indiana University’s (IU Online) School of Humanities & Social Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science online degree program in Criminal Justice that is among Indiana’s leading graduate programs in criminal justice. This 120 Online Criminal Justice Degree program from Indiana University offers flexibility and affordability to its graduate students. Students applying for the criminal justice degree online have the option of transferring 90 credit hours if earned from a four-year regionally accredited school or up to 64 credits for an associate degree.
The core curriculum for this criminal justice program includes theories of crime and deviance, police in contemporary society, court & criminal justice, criminal justice management, legal aspects of criminal justice, plus a senior seminar, to name a few. Graduates of Indiana University’s Online Criminal Justice Degree program enter the workforce as police officers, private security officers, court clerks, crime scene investigators, or FBI/Secret Service agents, to name a few.
2. Indiana Wesleyan University
Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU at a Distance) offers a Bachelor of Science online degree completion program in Criminal Justice that requires degree candidates to complete 42 credits units – all online. Students may be required to complete a bridge program if their previous coursework does not meet Indiana Wesleyan University’s requirements for admission. In addition to traditional coursework, this University’s Online Criminal Justice Degree program from Indiana Wesleyan University requires students to complete a criminal justice capstone project to culminate the education experience.
This criminal justice degree online from Indiana Wesleyan University includes these featured classes – court procedures, ethics in criminal justice, probation and parole, criminal justice administration, and constitutional law, to name a few. Students interested in enrolling in this Online Criminal Justice Degree program have six start dates from which to choose throughout the academic year.
3. Indiana State University
Indiana State University (Indiana State at a Distance) offers a Bachelor of Science online degree program in Criminology and Criminal Justice that is ranked among the leading Online Criminal Justice Degree programs available in the marketplace. There are no required campus visits for students enrolled in Indiana State University’s criminal justice degree online. The criminology major from Indiana State University requires students to complete 42 credits from the Criminal Justice curriculum.
Indiana State University’s criminal justice online program includes classes in criminology, introduction to law enforcement, criminal justice report writing, introduction to the court system, criminal law & procedure, the dynamics of criminal and delinquent behavior and ethics in criminal justice, plus a criminal justice or criminology internship, among others. Graduates of Indiana State University’s Online Criminal Justice Degree program find rewarding careers as police administrators, correctional officers, security officers, and police officers, to name a few.
4. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana
Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (IT Online) offers an Associate of Science degree (AS) program in Criminal Justice that is an ideal springboard to a four-year criminal justice degree program. Graduates of Ivy Tech Community College’s Associate of Science degree (AS) program in Criminal Justice can take advantage of Ivy Tech’s transfer agreements with various universities. Ivy Tech University’s Online Criminal Justice Degree program requires students to finish a minimum of 60-semester units over four semesters.
In addition, Ivy Tech offers an Associate of Applied Science in criminal justice, plus several technical certificates in corrections and professionalism in policing and school resource officer training. Featured coursework for this online degree from Ivy Tech includes cultural awareness, criminology, law enforcement, ethics in criminal law, research methods in criminal justice, and the juvenile justice system, to name a few.
5. Vincennes University
Vincennes University (VU Online) offers one of Indiana’s leading Online Criminal Justice Degree programs with its Associate of Science degree program (AS) in criminal justice. This criminal justice degree online from Vincennes University requires degree candidates to complete at least 60-semester units to graduate and is designed for students who wish to pursue their baccalaureate degree after completing this AS program.
The curriculum for Vincennes University’s criminal justice online degree program includes basic police operations, substantive criminal law, ethics and professionalism in criminal justice, criminal minds and deviant behavior, police administration, applied psychology, crime scene investigation, and procedural criminal law, to name a few. Students graduate from Vincennes University and enter the workforce in the fields of law enforcement, corrections, and administration, to name a few. Students have the option of completing related certificates in law enforcement and criminal investigation, among others.
6. Indiana University-Purdue University
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI Online) offers a Master of Science degree (MS) in Criminal Justice & Public Safety that is among Indiana’s leading Online Criminal Justice Degree programs available on the internet. This criminal justice degree online requires the completion of 33 master’s credit units – all online. University-Purdue University-Indianapolis’s criminal justice online degree program offers degree candidates two academic concentrations – public safety or criminal justice.
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis’s featured classes for this criminal justice degree include crime and public policy, data analysis in criminal justice, probation and parole, police in society, violent behavior, sentencing theory and practice, and crisis management of public safety, to name a few. Students graduating from IUPUI’s Online Criminal Justice Degree program find rewarding criminal justice careers in criminal investigation, emergency management, security management, public safety, or law enforcement, to name a few.
7. Trine University
Trine University (Trine Online) offers a Bachelor of Science online degree program in Criminal Justice that is ranked among the top ten for value by BestValueSchools.com. In addition, Trine University offers three academic specializations with its Online Criminal Justice Degree program that include criminal justice professional, Indiana law enforcement, or psychology. This degree online is also offered as a dual degree with a Master of Science in Criminal Justice that saves students both time and money.
Trine University’s criminal justice program requires students to complete a minimum of 120-semester units to meet Trine’s graduate criteria. Coursework featured in this criminal justice program from Trine University includes criminal justice report writing, juvenile delinquency, criminology, state and local government, criminal procedures and evidence, criminal law and justice, and abnormal psychology, plus a capstone and internship in law enforcement, to name a few.
8. Indiana Tech
Indiana Tech’s (Tech Online) College of Arts and Sciences offers one of the state’s leading Online Criminal Justice Degree programs with its Associate of Science degree (AS) in criminal justice. Students enrolled in Indiana Tech’s online degree program in criminal justice are required to complete at least 61 credit units to graduate. This criminal justice degree allows students to explore the criminal justice system at the local and state levels and fulfills new officers’ college education requirements.
Indiana Tech’s degree online in criminal justice includes classes like police in America, laws of evidence, understanding criminal behavior, the American Government, an introduction to the criminal justice system, substantive criminal law, corrections in American, and the basics of criminal investigations, among others. Graduates of this Online Criminal Justice Degree program from Indiana Tech are prepared to further their education at a four-year university or police academy, among others.
9. Ball State University
Ball State University (Ball State Online) offers an Associate of Arts degree (AA) in criminal justice and criminology that is recognized to be one of Indiana’s leading Online Criminal Justice Degree programs. This Associate of Arts degree online prepares students for a baccalaureate degree program. Ball State University’s associated degree offers concentrations in victimology, special populations, policing, corrections, or courts.
This associate of science in criminal justice online degree program requires degree candidates to finish a minimum of 60-semester units to meet Ball State University’s Online Criminal Justice Degree graduation criteria. The featured coursework for Ball State University’s criminal justice online degree program includes criminology, race, gender, and crime, criminal law, ethics in criminal justice, and introduction to the American criminal justice system, among others. Note that Ball State University’s degree online in criminal justice accepts students from all states in the country.
10. Oakland City University
Oakland City University (OCU Online) offers a Bachelor of Science online degree program in Criminal Justice that is considered among Indiana’s most innovative degrees. This Online Criminal Justice Degree program from Oakland City University offers degree candidates two academic concentrations in investigative forensics or general criminal justice. Both concentrations of OCU’s criminal justice degree program require students to complete a minimum of 120 bachelor’s level credits to meet OCU’s graduation requirements.
Core coursework for Oakland City University’s criminal justice degree online includes criminal justice, juvenile justice, criminal procedures, conflict management, ethical issues in criminal justice, conflict management, and law enforcement, to name a few. Graduates of Oakland City University’s Online Criminal Justice Degree program find rewarding careers as a probation officer, private security, arson investigator, crime & intelligence analyst, victim’s advocate, or public policy specialist, to name a few.
How is the Criminal Justice Job Market in Indiana?
The field of criminal justice offers degree holders a variety of employment opportunities. The degree one earns online is only as good as the school and curriculum offered. On the national level, the BLS reports that the criminal justice job market’s anticipated growth is expected to be 7%, which aligns with the national average of all combined occupations.
For those who have earned their online criminal justice degree, career opportunities in Indiana will likely depend on the type of degree, the specializations offered, and the student’s experience.
Additionally, graduates will find that there are various criminal justice jobs in Indiana from which to choose. These criminal justice jobs in Indiana include, in part, the following –
- Police Officers
- Detectives/Criminal Investigators
- Private Investigators
- Fish/Game Wardens
- Correctional Officers
- Transportation Security Scanners
- Security Guards, to name a few
Criminal justice jobs in Indiana are concentrated in the state’s metro areas. In 2020, there were nearly 58,000 employed in criminal justice jobs in Indiana –
In addition – these metropolitan areas offer a variety of criminal justice jobs in Indiana. The largest concentration of jobs in the large metro area include –
- Naperville-Chicago-Elgin – with 100,000+ employed in the protective services
- Indianapolis-Anderson – with 22,980 employed
- Fort Wayne – with more than 3,300 employed
- Evansville, IN-KY – with more than 2,500 employed
How Much Can I Make with a Criminal Justice Degree in Indiana?
The median annual criminal justice salary for those employed in Indiana will vary and be contingent on the specific job and the professional’s experience. The median annual wage for all combined criminal justice jobs in Indiana in 2020 was $ 57,490, equivalent to $23.09/hour.
|Criminal Justice Jobs in Indiana||#Employed||Criminal Justice Salary/Per year||Hourly Criminal Justice Salary/Hour|
|Detectives & Criminal Investigators||840||$ 72,300 per year||$ 29.56 per hour|
|Police or Sheriff||11,860||$ 59,200 per year||$ 28.22 per hour|
|Transportation Security Scanners||390||$ 40,540 per year||$ 19.36 per hour|
|Private Investigators or Detectives||450||$ 40,490 per year||$ 17.59 per hour|
|Correctional Officers/Jailers||7,470||$ 38,040 per year||$ 16,79 per hour|
|Bailiffs||480||$ 37,970 per year||$ 17.95 per hour|
|Security Guards||16,750||$ 32,950 per year||$ 13.82 per hour|
Criminal justice professionals who want to further their careers and increase their compensation often pursue a graduate or doctoral level degree, which is usually available online or through a hybrid program.
Many supervisory or frontline positions in criminal justice complete a graduate degree to seek a leadership position in the criminal justice field.