A criminal justice degree can help you take your career to new levels. It can open up jobs that you might not have gotten otherwise, and it can help you earn a higher criminal justice salary. And now you have more learning options than ever before.
These days, a lot of students are opting to earn their degrees online. An online criminal justice degree in Maine is just as valid and valuable as an on-campus degree. As long as it comes from an accredited program, an online criminal justice degree comes with the same courses and materials as any other criminal justice degree. In many cases, the courses are taught by the same professors who teach the corresponding courses on campus.
Online degrees come with a lot of advantages. Flexibility may be the biggest one. Not all students are traditional students anymore. A lot of students are adults with jobs, families, and responsibilities. By pursuing a degree online, these adults can still get the education and career training they want. Some online programs even let students learn at their own pace, which creates even more flexibility.
An online criminal justice degree can also make a good choice for students who want more options. Not every student can move close to campus or make a long commute. Without online degree options, these students would have to limit themselves to nearby schools. Online learning provides more options. With online learning, students can take classes from virtually anywhere, even if their school is far away. As long as they have an internet connection, they can earn a degree. That might mean logging into class from home, learning in a coffee shop, or even studying at a park. In any case, online learning takes away a lot of barriers.
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. Husson University
Husson University’s (HU Distance) School of Legal Studies offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) degree program that mandates degree candidates complete at least 121 bachelor’s semester hours to meet the university’s graduation requirements. Husson University’s Online Criminal Justice degree is offered entirely online and offers a strong core of criminal justice, plus a general liberal education. The university also offers a graduate (MS) level criminal justice degree online.
Husson University’s online degree in criminal justice offers students a dual pathway to earn both a BS and Master of Science in Criminal Justice in only five years. The core curriculum offers two academic concentrations in national/corporate security or psychology. Graduates of Husson University’s criminal justice find rewarding careers in law enforcement, the court system, community corrections, criminal justice research, private security, and insurance investigation, to name a few.
2. Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Saint Joseph’s College on Maine (SJC Online) offers a Bachelor of Science, Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) with a criminal justice minor that is ranked among Maine’s most innovative and affordable Online Criminal Justice degree programs. Saint Joseph’s College of Maine is recognized to be the only Catholic higher learning institution located in Maine and a space-grant school. The criminal justice online degree program in interdisciplinary studies from Saint Joseph’s College requires students to complete 18-semester units to complete the minor requirements, which is a part of the required 120 bachelor’s credit units.
The featured coursework from Saint Joseph’s College criminal justice degree online includes criminal justice capstone project plus law and society, critical issues in policing, the principles of sociology, victimology, corrections, and introduction to criminal justice, among others.
3. Thomas College
Thomas College’s (TC Online) Graduate & Professional Studies Division offers two criminal justice online degree programs at the graduate level that can all be completed entirely online. These graduate-level Online Criminal Justice degree programs include a Master of Science in Criminology (MS) in Cybersecurity or Criminology, with coursework delivered in eight-week sessions. US News ranks Thomas College among the leading schools that offer social mobility upward.
Core coursework for Thomas College’s Online Criminal Justice degree programs includes organizational policy, criminological theory, juvenile delinquency, and crime and applied statistical analyses for social scientists, to name a few. Thomas College’s criminal justice degree online program is designed with a career-focused curriculum with a total of 30 master’s level credits required that can be completed in as few as twelve months, with most students completing the degree in 1 to 2 years.
4. York County Community College
York County Community College (YCCC Distance) offers an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) program in Criminal Justice that is among the most innovative of associate Online Criminal Justice degree programs in the state of Maine. This criminal justice online degree program from York County Community College requires students to complete at least sixty credit units to meet York County Community College’s graduation criteria.
York County Community College’s criminal justice degree online program includes ethics & leadership in criminal justice, criminology, victim advocacy, police organizations, and contemporary corrections, to name a few. This Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) program in criminal justice can be completed on a part- or full-time basis, with part-time students finishing in 2+ years. Graduates of York County Community College’s criminal justice online degree program find rewarding careers in the fields of corrections, victim advocacy, security, or law enforcement, among others.
5. Central Maine Community College
Central Maine Community College (CMCC Online) offers one of New England’s leading Online Criminal Justice degree programs with its Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) program in Criminal Justice. Central Maine Community College’s criminal justice degree online program requires 62 to 63-semester credits to meet Central Maine Community College’s graduation requirements. Applicants to this program will be subject to a check of their criminal background.
The classes for Central Maine Community College’s Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) in Criminal Justice program include an introduction to criminal justice, criminal investigation and reports writing, criminology, civil liberties, and criminal law and reporting, plus an optional externship, to name a few. Graduates of this criminal justice degree online program enter the workforce as transportation security officers, correctional officers, forensic science technicians, Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) agents, safety officers, jail transport officers, or security systems, to name a few.
6. The University of Maine at Augusta
The University of Maine (UM Augusta Online) offers two of the most respected leading Online Criminal Justice degree programs in Maine with its Associate of Science (AS) degree in Justice Studies and its Bachelor of Science (BS in Justice Studies, plus ten justice studies post-baccalaureate certificate programs. The University of Maine’s associate of science criminal justice degree online program requires students to complete at least 60 credit hours, whereas the Bachelor of Science program requires a minimum of 121 credit hours.
The University of Maine’s criminal justice online degree programs include core classes like criminal law, foundations of criminal justice, legal research and writing, political and legal thought, and the principles of investigation, plus a senior seminar and a culminating capstone experience. The criminal justice baccalaureate online degree program offers a concentration in criminal justice or pre-law and minors in advocacy, cyber forensics, justice studies, or fraud examination.
7. Beal University
Beal University (Beal Distance) offers three of Bangor’s leading Online Criminal Justice degree programs with its Associate Degree in Addiction Counseling, its Bachelor of Science degree, and an addiction counseling diploma program. The diploma can be completed in fourteen months, while the associate degree requires 20 months. The BS degree can be completed entirely online in 40 months. Note that students who begin in the diploma criminal justice program may transfer to the bachelor’s degree online program within 26 months.
Sample classes for Beal University’s criminal justice online degree program include crisis identification and resolution, group process, ethics and boundaries in addiction counseling, multicultural counseling in addiction, and case management, among others. Graduates of this criminal justice program from Beal University find diverse careers as a psychiatric tech, child/youth provider, addiction counselor, or campus aide, to name a few.
8. The University of Maine
The University of Maine (UM Orono Online) offers Political Science Department offers an interdisciplinary legal studies criminal justice online degree program that is ranked among the leading programs in Maine. Students enrolled in the University of Maine’s Online Criminal Justice degree program must complete at least 18 credit hours (with at least nine credits completed at UMO) from the legal studies curriculum and maintain a minimum grade of C-.
Featured classes for the University of Maine’s criminal justice degree online program include family legal issues, leadership ethics, theories of justice, comparative politics, law and society, international law, sociology of deviance, crime and criminal justice, domestic violence, and a survey of business law, to name a few. The University of Maine’s criminal justice degree online program offers a variety of impressive internship options from which to choose.
9. Eastern Maine Community College
Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC Online) offers one of Maine’s leading Online Criminal Justice degree programs with its Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) program in Criminal Justice (CRJ). This criminal justice degree online program from Eastern Maine Community College requires degree candidates to finish 60 to 61-semester units to meet program graduation requirements. This criminal justice from Eastern Maine Community College prepares students to enter a four-year program, training service program, or one of many varied entry-level positions in criminal justice or related fields.
The featured classes for Eastern Maine Community College’s criminal justice online degree program include an introduction to criminal justice, police operations, criminal law, criminal investigations, American Corrections, ethics for the criminal justice practitioner, and criminalistics, among others. Graduates of Eastern Maine Community College’s criminal justice Associate of Applied Science degree will find career opportunities as a corrections officer, dispatcher, victim advocation, fraud investigator, or loss prevention worker, to name a few.
10. Southern Maine Community College
Southern Maine Community College (SMCCME Distance) offers an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) program in Criminal Justice that is considered among Maine’s leading Online Criminal Justice degree programs. Degree candidates can complete the required 62-semester units in four semesters if studying full-time. It is noted that Southern Maine Community College has partnership transfer agreements with Husson University and the University of Maine for students who want to continue their education and transfer to a four-year degree.
Southern Maine Community College’s criminal justice degree online includes these classes – introduction to criminal justice, police operations, community policing, case preparation, rules of evidence, laws of arrest, search and seizure, and intro to criminology, plus an internship in criminal justice, among others. 92% of the graduates of Southern Maine Community College’s criminal justice program are gainfully employed nine months after they graduate.
How is the Criminal Justice Job Market in Maine?
After earning your degree online, you may find several possible criminal justice jobs in Maine. In the United States as a whole, the criminal justice field is growing at an average rate. Police officer jobs and detective jobs, for example, are expected to grow by about 7%.
Maine in particular is struggling to fill law enforcement jobs at the moment, and many agencies are looking for new hires. Some precincts are offering generous sign-on bonuses as an incentive for people to apply. People with criminal justice degrees may become employed soon after graduation thanks to this need.
Of course, criminal justice jobs in Maine aren’t limited to law enforcement. With a criminal justice degree, a person may become a social worker, a court advocate, or any number of other possibilities. If you have a specific career path in mind, searching for the general criminal justice job market may not give you the full picture. Instead, look up the demand for your intended career.
How Much Can I Make With a Criminal Justice Degree in Maine?
The criminal justice salary question isn’t easy to answer, and that’s because there are so many types of criminal justice jobs. For example, many people with criminal justice degrees become patrol officers. For this group, the average salary in Maine is $56,503. A social worker, meanwhile, will make an average of $49,285.
Because salaries have such a wide range, you’ll find the most accurate information if you have a specific career in mind. If you do have a particular criminal justice career goal, look up the average salary for that job. This way, you can get a good idea of what you can expect to make.
However, keep in mind that a criminal justice salary can vary based on all kinds of factors, even within the same job. One factor is a person’s level of experience. Generally, the longer you work in the criminal justice field, the more money you can expect to earn for your work.
Some criminal justice professionals make higher salaries because of their level of education. A more educated person can use their degree as leverage when negotiating their salary. Furthermore, the highest-paying jobs in the criminal justice field often require a master’s degree. Someone with an associate’s degree will likely have a lower criminal justice salary than someone with a bachelor’s or master’s.
You should also think about job locations when doing salary research. For example, if you get a job in a major city like Portland or Lewiston, you might make a higher salary than you would make in a more rural area. Bigger cities may have bigger budgets for paying their criminal justice employees.