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Criminal Justice Programs in Virginia

The benefits of earning a criminal justice degree online are extensive. With the flexible class schedule, students are able to study when it is convenient. They are able to maintain a solid work schedule as well as finish their studies. Online criminal justice degree programs, in the state of Virginia, offer valuable resources to students who have a full schedule between work and school. They have one on one access to faculty members who are able to help them work through many of the challenges that students face when working and going to school at the same time.

Other benefits of earning a criminal justice degree online include being able to study when it is most convenient. Many students have difficulty learning in a classroom setting. They find it difficult to study with all of the distractions. For students who choose to learn online, they can study in the comfort of their own home in an environment where they can thrive. There is no wasted time driving to and from the campus. Now students can spend that time studying instead of driving. They also have the option to study while they are on vacation or away for the weekend.

How we ranked The Best Online Criminal Justice Programs in Virginia

To rank Virginia’s best online criminal justice programs, Criminal Justice Degree Hub editors focus on trustworthy, accredited schools. We rank programs by practical factors such as tuition rate, student satisfaction, and graduate salary. Data comes from IPEDS and Niche. 

1. Virginia Wesleyan University         

Virginia Wesleyan University (VWU Online) offers a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) program in Criminal Justice online degree that is ranked among Virginia’s most innovative online criminal justice degree programsStudents enrolled in Virginia Wesleyan’s criminal justice degree online must complete 128 undergraduate semester units. Classes for Virginia Wesleyan University’s criminal justice program are all four credits. They include classes in criminal law, criminology, law enforcement, psychology, and the law, and a senior integrative assessment, to name a few.

Virginia Wesleyan University was established in the 1960s as a private university. Virginia Wesleyan University’s urban campus in Virginia Beach and online platform serves about 1,500 undergraduate and post-graduate students each year. VWU is organized into four schools/colleges offering programs in arts/humanities, math/natural sciences, social science, and professional studies. Highlight – The campus of Virginia Wesleyan University is also home to Chesapeake Bay Academy that serves students with disabilities.

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2. Old Dominion University            

Old Dominion University’s (ODU Online) Dept of Sociology & Criminal Justice offers two of Virginia’s best online criminal justice degree programs, its Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice, according to CollegeFactual.com. This online degree in Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University requires the completion of at least 120 bachelor’s level credits, with up to 90 credits eligible for transfer. Classes for this degree online in criminal justice include criminological theory, law and the criminal justice system, and intro to criminology, plus a capstone project, among others.

Old Dominion University was developed as an education extension center in 1930. The school became an independent college in the early 1960s and now operates as a sea and space grant school that serves more than 24,550 students. Highlight – Old Dominion University’s main campus covers more than 225 acres and is a few miles from Norfolk’s downtown district.

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3. Liberty University                

Liberty University’s (LU Online) Helms Government School offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice online degree program that requires students and degree candidates to complete a minimum of 120 undergraduate semester hours. As one of Virginia’s best online criminal justice degree programs, degree candidates can complete this baccalaureate degree in criminal justice in as few as 3.5 years if studying full-time. Classes for Liberty University’s degree online include criminal law, introduction to criminal justice, criminology, and criminal investigation, to name a few.

Liberty University is an evangelical higher education institution founded in the 1970s as a Baptist College. Currently, Liberty University is considered among the largest evangelical schools with a total campus and online enrollment that nears 100,000 students. Highlight – Liberty University offers more than 500 programs, with nearly 300 available online.

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4. Regent University            

Regent University (Regent Distance) offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice online degree program from a university that ranks first in the state for online baccalaureate programs. Students enrolled in Regent University’s online criminal justice degree program are required to finish at least 120 baccalaureate units from three academic concentrations – Homeland Security, Corrections, or Law Enforcement Administration. Core requirements for this criminal justice degree online include criminal investigation, ethics in criminal justice, constitutional law, criminal evidence, comparative criminal justice systems, among others.

Regent University is an interdenominational Christian school that was founded in the late 1970s by Pat Robertson. The university’s suburban campus and online learning platform serve approximately 8,500 students each year. Highlight – Regent University’s campus boasts neo-Georgian architecture and has been ranked among the most beautiful campuses in the southern United States.

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5. East Coast Polytechnic Institute

ECPI University (ECPI Online) offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice online degree program that prepares students for a career in probation/parole, private security, law enforcement, or insurance, among others. This online criminal justice degree program from ECPI University offers classes year-round, which allows students to complete the degree online in only thirty months. Classes for this degree from East Coast Polytechnic Institute include rules of evidence, probation and parole, digital forensic analysis, crime mapping, human trafficking/domestic violence, juvenile justice, and emergency planning, to name a few.

East Coast Polytechnic Institute (ECPI University) is a for-profit school that was established in the mid-1960s. The school’s student enrollment of 10,000 students is served by six colleges, with various campuses through four states and online. Highlight – East Coast Polytechnic Institute began in Norfolk as a computer programming school.

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6. Blue Ridge Community College    

Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC Online) offers one of Virginia’s best two-year online criminal justice degrees with its Associate in Applied Science degree (AAS) program in Administration of Justice. Classes for Blue Ridge Community College’s AAS online degree include juvenile justice, criminal law, court procedure, and evidence, plus corrections & criminology, to name a few. This associated degree online from Blue Ridge Community College is customizable. It prepares students for work as a police officer, deputy court clerk, security officer, state trooper, or loss prevention officer, to name a few.

Blue Ridge Community College (Blue Ridge) was established in the 1960s that is a member of the state’s community college system. Blue Ridge Community College operates two campuses in Weyers Cave and Fishersville, with the main campus in southwestern Virginia’s Appalachian Mountains. These campuses and online platforms serve about 5,000 students each year. Highlight – Blue Ridge Community College is accredited by the SACSCOC.

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7. Bluefield College                

Bluefield College (Bluefield Distance) offers two of the state’s best online criminal justice degree programs. Bachelor of Science degree (BSCJ) or Bachelor of Arts degree (BACJ) in Criminal Justice. This 120-credit online degree in criminal justice from Bluefield College prepares degree candidates for rewarding work as a crime scene investigator, law enforcement officer, parole/probation, or federal agent, to name a few. Classes for this degree online include social research methods, criminal procedure, substantive criminal law, theories in social deviance, and psychology of criminal behavior, to name a few.

Bluefield College (BC) was established as a private college by the Virginia Baptist General Association. The college’s campus (located a few hundred feet from Virginia’s border with West Virginia) in Bluefield and online platform serves about 1,000 students each year. Highlight – Bluefield College is organized into five colleges/schools that offer programs in education, nursing, sciences, professional programs, and arts/letters.

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8. Bryant & Stratton College                     

Bryant & Stratton College (B&S Online) offers an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) in Criminal Justice Studies which is an online degree that is available to students in every state. Bryant & Stratton College’s online criminal justice degree program requires the completion of classes like foundations of criminal law and procedure, exploring criminal behavior, law enforcement, and the multicultural community, plus an internship or capstone, among others. This degree online from Bryant & Stratton College prepares students for a career as a correctional officer, a  juvenile probation officer, and a sheriff or deputy sheriff, among others.

Bryant & Stratton College (BSC) was established in the 1850s as a for-profit college. The school maintains academic campuses and facilities in Virginia, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin that serve about 10,00 students each year. Highlight – Bryant & Stratton College offers programs in business, legal studies, health care, design, education, homeland security, and technology.

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9. DeVry University                 

DeVry University (DU Online) offers one of the most innovative online criminal justice degree programs in Virginia with its bachelor’s degree in Technical Management with a specialization in Criminal Justice. Degree candidates enrolled in DeVry University’s criminal justice online degree complete classes in crime scene investigation, terrorism investigation, criminal law and procedure, and criminal investigation, among others. Students graduate from DeVry University’s degree online to find rewarding work as a detention officer, police officer, private investigator, or public safety officer, to name a few.

DeVry University, headquartered in Illinois, is a for-profit school with campuses in eighteen states that serve more than 18,000 students each year. Highlight – DeVry University, accredited by the HLC, offers graduate and undergraduate programs and certificates in business, health care, liberal arts, accounting, technology, and media arts/technology, among others.

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10. Hampton University            

Hampton University (HU Online) offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice online degree program that is ranked among Virginia’s best and most affordable online criminal justice degree programs. Classes for Hampton University’s interdisciplinary criminal justice degree online includes criminalistics of cybercrime, issues in law enforcement, enforcement and security, terrorism & national security, emergency preparedness, and culture/civilization, victimology, issues in law enforcement, plus a criminal justice internship, to name a few.

Hampton University is recognized as an HBCU school that was founded after the Civil War in 1868. Hampton University also operates as a space-grant higher learning institution with a student enrollment that exceeds 4,550 undergraduate and post-graduate students each year. Highlight – Hampton University is also home to the oldest museum in the state, the Hampton University Museum.

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WHAT ARE THE COMMON CRIMINAL JUSTICE JOBS IN VIRGINIA?

If you are looking to start a Criminal Justice Career in Virginia, here is a list of some of the most common criminal justice jobs in the area:

  • Correctional Officer: One of the top criminal justice jobs in Virginia is that of a correctional officer. This is because, as with most areas, Virginia has its share of prisons and inmates. Those who choose to take on this position are tasked with learning and enforcing the various rules and regulations in relation to being in prison or jail. In addition, they must complete duties such as supervising inmates and more. 
  • Juvenile Center Supervisor: Another common criminal justice job for those who live in Virginia is the position of juvenile center supervisor. Like a corrections officers, those who work in the position of juvenile center supervisor are tasked with learning and enforcing the rules and regulations of juveniles living in a juvenile center. 
  • Probation Officer: Another common job for those who live in Virginia is the position of a probation officer. Those who choose this position are responsible for working with those who are on probation and parole. They are expected to assess their needs and goals and to help them rehabilitate to avoid going to jail or prison in the future. 
  • Pretrial Officer: Lastly, another prevalent criminal justice job in Virginia is that of a pretrial officer. These officers are tasked with working with dependents before their trials. These dependents have typically been charged with federal crimes. Their overall duty is to help the defendants get released while awaiting trial while also helping them stay on the right path and avoiding reoffending while waiting for their trials. 

DO I HAVE TO WORK IN LAW ENFORCEMENT?

If you are wondering whether or not you have to work in law enforcement if you get a criminal justice degree, the answer is no. In fact, as with most degrees, there are a plethora of potential positions for those with criminal justice degrees. For instance, you can take positions that allow you to be a counselor, therapist, or mentor to those who may be suffering from adverse circumstances and acting out because of it. There is also the potential to work as a teacher or professor and help others learn about the laws and the criminal justice system. 

So, while most people with criminal justice degrees may choose to work in law enforcement, it’s not mandatory. 

HOW IS THE JOB MARKET IN VIRGINIA?

If you are curious about the job market in Virginia, there are a few things to consider. For instance, Virginia has a relatively stable job market, as the unemployment rate declined to 5.2%, which is down from the 5.3% it had been previously. However, this is still much higher than the 2.5% unemployment rate the state had in February of 2020. Nevertheless, the number of employed people also fell in Virga by 8,808 people. 

Either way, recent events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, seem to be the biggest influence on the state’s employment rates. So, as time goes on, the state hopes that more and more people will return to the job market and help the employment rates return to their pre-COVID state. 

WHERE ARE THE BEST CITIES FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE JOBS?

If you are looking for criminal justice jobs and are wondering which cities have the most opportunities, some of them are:

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul (Minnesota): Those seeking criminal justice jobs may want to look in Minneapolis. There, they will enjoy an array of job opportunities and high average wages. 
  • Sacramento (California): Many people who are seeking a career in criminal justice settle in Sacramento. There, they enjoy salaries that average above $88,000 per year. 
  • Baltimore (Maryland): The Baltimore area is known for being crime-ridden. This has caused them to reach out to criminal justice workers in mass. 
  • Washington DC Metropolitan Division: Due to ongoing issues with local crime, the DC area is always looking for talented criminal justice majors. 
  • San Bernardino, Riverside, & Ontario (California): San Bernardino is an area that has also been known to be crime-ridden. Therefore, those who work in criminal justice in this area enjoy a high level of job security as well as competitive salaries. 
  • Philadelphia Metropolitan Division (Pennsylvania): The Philadelphia area is known for being an area that is highly revered because it offers higher rates than many southern cities. 
  • Houston Metropolitan Area (Texas): The Texas area often seeks out specialized law enforcement agents. They are known for offering signing bonuses and other benefits. 

Related:

Criminal Justice in Virginia

Top 10 Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs

Top 10 Master’s Level Criminal Justice Jobs

The Ultimate Career Guide for Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Majors

 

Find Your Degree
Criminaljusticedegreehub.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.