As you consider your career options in Criminal Justice? One of the most significant benefits to the modern educational landscape is the ease of access with regard to online learning. When deciding which degree online should be chosen, select the degree that supports your intended career path.
If your interest is in a career in criminal justice, in Kansas, the good news is that there are quality on-campus and online criminal justice degree programs across the country. The field of criminal justice is expanding and includes potential jobs in justice administration to the court system, law enforcement, and related fields. The growing demand for criminal justice professionals is driven by a global increase in the need for security.
Students with a serious interest in enrolling in an online criminal justice degree will also find studying online offers these important perks available with an online criminal justice degree program –
- The option to study at home, when convenient for the student
- A flexible schedule to help meet time commitments
- The opportunity to maintain a balanced work-life schedule
However, students who wish to attend a criminal justice degree program should be vigilant to explore and research the online criminal justice degree programs available before making a firm commitment to attend. When researching, the value of a degree online is determined by –
- Its accreditation status. A degree online should be at least regionally accredited by one of the nine government regional accrediting agencies.
But note, Criminal Justice programs may receive a voluntary specialization from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). A degree online accredited by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences is noteworthy but not essential.
- The number of credits to complete the degree online.
- The program’s degree – as a certificate, an associate, or a bachelor’s degree.
In general, the most convenient online criminal justice degree program will allow you to earn the degree without a campus visit and offer asynchronous coursework. However, certain study areas don’t adapt well to an online format.
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. Southwestern College
Southwestern College (SC Online) School of Professional Studies offers a nationally ranked Bachelor of Criminal Justice that can be completed entirely online. Southwestern College’s online criminal justice degree program requires a total of 124-semester units, of which 94 credits may be transferred if eligible. Students enrolled in SC’s criminal justice degree online program have the option of adding a Cybercrime Investigation Certificate credential to their resume.
Graduates of Southwestern College’s criminal justice online degree find rewarding careers as forensics examiners, emergency management coordinators, crime scene investigators, or state troopers, to name a few. The core curriculum for this online criminal justice degree from Southwestern College includes criminology, the juvenile justice system, correctional theory and practice, and ethics in criminal justice, among others. This online degree offers credit for prior college, work or life experience, and military experience.
2. Washburn University
Washburn University’s (WU Online) College of Applied Studies/Department of Criminal Justice & Legal Studies offers a bachelor’s online criminal justice degree program that provides students with four academic paths – law enforcement, corrections, security administration, or forensic investigations. Washburn University’s criminal justice degree online program in corrections prepares students for work in community-based and institutional facilities. The law enforcement major for WU’s criminal justice online degree offers an interdisciplinary approach to the criminal justice system.
Washburn University’s forensic investigations pathway for its criminal justice degree online program prepares students for a career as a forensic investigator. The core curriculum for these criminal justice online degree programs includes diversity in American culture, crime prevention, crime & justice in America, applied criminology, criminal justice research methods, and criminal justice administration, plus a related internship, among others.
3. Wichita State University
Wichita State University (WSU Online) School of Criminal Justice offers three of the leading online criminal justice degree programs with its Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Criminal Justice program, its Bachelor of Science degree (BS)in Homeland Security (HLS), or its Master of Arts (MA) in Criminal Justice. Both the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in criminal justice degree and the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in homeland security require degree candidates to complete a minimum of 120 credit units to meet the university’s graduation criteria.
The graduate criminal justice online degree from Wichita State University requires 36 graduate credit hours. This graduate degree in criminal justice can be finished in only 18 months, including the completion of a thesis. These online criminal justice degree programs from Wichita State University first began as campus-based programs in 1934. As such, Wichita State University’s criminal justice degree programs are the second oldest of criminal justice programs in the United States.
4. Kansas Wesleyan University
Kansas Wesleyan University’s (KWU Distance) center of Public Policy and Safety offers a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) in Criminal Justice that is considered among the leading online criminal justice degree programs in Kansas. The curriculum for Kansas Wesleyan University’s criminal justice online degree program reflects the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences’ standards. Kansas Wesleyan University’s criminal justice degree online offers degree candidates hands-on learning options through internships, community partnerships, and service-learning.
Internship opportunities offered to students enrolled in Kansas Wesleyan University’s criminal justice online degree program include a correctional facility, a sheriff‘s office, community-based agencies, or police departments, among others. In addition, Kansas Wesleyan University’s criminal justice degree offers credit equivalencies for work and/or military experience. These academic criminal justice online degree programs from KWU have some of the lowest tuition costs in the state of Kansas.
5. Fort Hays State University
Fort Hays State University’s (Fort Hays Online) Department of Criminal Justice offers two of the most highly respected and innovative online criminal justice degree programs in Kansas and beyond. Fort Hays State University (FHSU) offers a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree – both entirely online. Each of Fort Hays State University’s criminal justice online degree programs requires the completion of a minimum of 120 bachelor’s credit units to meet program criteria. The fundamental difference between the BA and BS criminal justice degree online programs is that the Bachelor of Arts degree requires ten-semester credits of a foreign language.
The core curriculum for Fort Hays State University’s criminal justice online degree programs includes criminology, ethics in criminal justice, comparative justice systems, and criminal justice research, plus a capstone project in criminal justice’s critical issues. Fort Hays State University’s criminal justice program graduate and find rewarding careers in the fields of protection, security, and government work, to name a few.
6. Emporia State University
Emporia State University’s (ESU Online) offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Applied Sociology with an academic concentration in criminal justice that is one of the leading online criminal justice degree programs available on the marketplace. Emporia State University’s criminal justice online degree master’s degree program is offered in an accelerated format with classes running in 7-week sessions offered six times each academic calendar, in an accelerated format.
Graduates of Emporia State University’s criminal justice degree online program are prepared for rewarding careers in research firms, schools, government agencies, corporations, and law firms, to name a few. Featured classes for this criminal justice, applied-sociology degree from Emporia State University includes community policing, criminal justice organization and management, & crime causation, qualitative research methods, intersectionality and identity, prevention and control, plus two capstone projects, to name a few.
7. Central Christian College of Kansas
Central Christian College of Kansas (Central Christian Online) offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree program in Criminal justice that is among the most innovative and affordable criminal justice online degree programs in the nation, according to BestDegreeProgams.org & Grade reports. Students enrolled in Central Christian College of Kansas’ online criminal justice degree program must complete 120-semester units, of which 21 credits are from the criminal justice core curriculum to meet CCC’s program criteria.
Featured classes for this criminal justice degree include criminology, comparative justice, victimology, juvenile justice, crisis management, and police administration, to name a few. This criminal justice degree online program from Central Christian College of Kansas offers a number of rewarding career options. These career options include a crime scene investigator, a cybersecurity specialist, a forensic scientist, a probation officer, or US Marshall, among many others.
8. Sterling College
Sterling College (Sterling Online) offers a criminal justice administration degree that is among the leading online degree programs available. Sterling College’s online criminal justice degree program has been designed for working law enforcement professionals who want to advance their career in law enforcement or its related fields. This criminal justice degree online program from Sterling College combines the fields of criminal justice and organizational management.
The core curriculum for Sterling College’s online criminal justice degree program includes diversity issues in criminal justice, criminal justice investigation, criminology, victimology, crisis management, the principles of management, business statistics, and a senior seminar, to name a few. Graduates of this criminal justice online degree program from Sterling College find rewarding careers when graduating from this program, such as a US Customs Agent, Patrol Officer, Border Agent, Parole Officer, Police Officer, or FBI Agent, among others.
9. Baker University
Baker University (BU Online) School of Professional and Graduate Studies offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree program in Criminal Justice which is one of the leading criminal justice online degree programs in Kansas and surrounding areas. This online criminal justice degree program requires degree candidates to complete 33 credit units from the criminal justice curriculum. Students explore the theory and practices of the American justice system, the ethics required in the criminal justice system, and an understanding of corrections, the courts, and the police.
Baker University’s Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice includes these classes – criminology, victimology, criminal justice concepts, inequality and crime, law and society, criminal justice ethics, and corrections, to name a few. Degree candidates can complete Baker University’s criminal justice degree online program can be completed in as few as two years.
10. Labette Community College
Labette Community College’s (LCC Online) Department of Criminal Justice offers an Associate in Science (AS) degree in Criminal Justice that has been developed for students who wish to transfer to a four-year university. Labette Community College’s online criminal justice degree program requires students to finish a minimum of 60-semester credits to meet Labette Community College’s graduation requirements.
Labette Community College’s criminal justice degree online program includes these core requirements – ethics in criminal justice, criminal law, introduction to the administration of justice, juveniles in the criminal justice system, and ethics in criminal justice, to name a few. Graduates from Labette Community College’s Associate in Science (AS) degree in Criminal Justice find rewarding work with state, federal, & local government agencies as agents, officers, or detectives or as private investigators or security guards, to name a few.
The Current Status of the Criminal Justice Job Market in Kansas
There are many opportunities for employment in the criminal justice field. According to the United States’ Bureau of Labor Statistics, on a national level, jobs in criminal justice are anticipated to grow at 7% through 030, about equal to the average of all combined US occupations.
The potential career opportunities for those who hold a certificate or online criminal justice degree traditionally depend on the type of chosen degree online and the specialization of the degree, if applicable.
There are many criminal justice jobs in Kansas to choose from for those who wish to work in the field. These criminal justice jobs in Kansas include, in part, the following –
- Correctional Officers
- Detectives/Criminal Investigators
- Fish/Game Wardens
- Private Investigators
- Transportation Security Scanners
- Security Guards, to name a few
Criminal justice jobs in Kansas are primarily concentrated in the state’s metropolitan areas,. In 2020, there were nearly 28,000 employed in criminal justice jobs in Kansas, spread across these metro areas –
- Kansas City – with 21,730 employed in a protective service occupation.
- Wichita – with 5,510 employed.
- Topeka – with 3,000 employed.
- St. Joseph – with 1,220 employed.
- Lawrence – with 800 employed.
- Manhattan – with 670 employed.
In addition –
- Nonmetropolitan criminal justice jobs in Kansas – 8,410 employed throughout the state.
How Much Can I Make with a Criminal Justice Degree in Kansas?
The median annual criminal justice salary for those employed in Kansas varies, depending on the job and the individual’s experience. The median annual wage for all combined criminal justice jobs in Kansas in 2020 was $ 43,820.
|Criminal Justice Job||#Employed||Annual Criminal Justice Salary||Hourly Criminal Justice Salary|
|Correctional Officers/Jailers||3,360||$ 41,080 per year||$ 19.53 per hour|
|Detectives & Criminal Investigators||920||$ 65,100 per year||$ 27.50 per hour|
|Police or Sherriff||5,750||$ 50,100 per year||$ 22.84 per hour|
|Private Investigators or Detectives||110||$ 58,060 per year||$ 27.22 per hour|
|Security Guards||5,450||$ 32,330 per year||$ 14.80 per hour|
|Transportation Security Scanners||130||$ 40,910 per year||$ 19.67 per hour|
|Bailiffs||390||$ 52,360 per year||$ 26.88 per hour|
Criminal Justice professionals with an objective to increase their job responsibilities and compensation may consider furthering their education. Many supervisory or frontline positions in criminal justice complete a graduate degree to seek a leadership position in criminal justice.