5 Best Online Colleges with Online Degrees in Corrections in 2023

While people often pay high respect to doctors, lawyers, armies, and teachers, one crucial profession is that of correctional officers.

Online Degrees in Corrections - fact

Through their reentry services for criminal offenders, corrections officers support people to live law-abiding lives after serving their sentences. They may also supervise prisons and probation boards in the community. By doing these, correctional officers maintain peace and order in society. They also keep the public safe as they pursue careers in correctional facilities, law enforcement, and similar facilities or agencies.

Featured Programs

The Labor Statistics Bureau projects an average of 33,300 annual openings for correctional officers and bailiffs. If you want to be part of this field, enroll in Corrections bachelor’s online degree programs! This profession requires an undergraduate degree at the minimum.

The Lowdown

Corrections are a branch of the criminal justice system that deals with offenders’ punishment, treatment, and rehabilitation. The need for experts specializing in criminal rehabilitation and treatment programs is growing, along with the rising demand for highly skilled people to administer and oversee the country’s jail population.

Undergraduate students, therefore, are taught to learn to deal with probation and correctional cases involving offenders. Bachelor’s degrees in Corrections prepare students for this profession!


A Corrections major becomes capable of handling adversity and processing information quickly. If you believe you have what it takes to succeed in this field, choose the best online Bachelor’s in Corrections degree programs from top colleges and universities!

Simplify the process of choosing the best online program for you! These factors were considered in selecting each of the top online Bachelor’s in Corrections degrees on our list:

  • Offered online, in-person, or blending both learning formats,
  • Features courses such as Ethics in Criminal Justice, Correctional Law, Probation and Parole, Recidivism, Case Management, and Correctional Administration, along with electives that complement the Corrections Studies program,
  • Develop students’ decision-making, communication, leadership, problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills,
  • Taught by Corrections experts and professors who have tenured experience in the field,
  • May use a community-based approach to Capstone projects, emphasizing internship opportunities for students’ hands-on experience,
  • Offers federal financial aid programs, scholarships, loans, grants, military benefits, and other special tuition discounts, 
  • Accredited by regional and programmatic agencies and approved by the US Department of Education, indicating their adherence to the academic standards for teaching Corrections, Law and Order, or Criminal Justice courses.

Explore our ranking process! Check our Methodology page.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Corrections Programs

American Intercontinental University

American Intercontinental University

(Online) Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Corrections & Case Management

Be part of the Corrections industry with a web-based Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Corrections and Case Management specializations degree from American InterContinental University. This online program features Modern Policing, Case Management, Parole, Addiction in Crime, Justice Theory, Criminal Rights, and Incarceration Models as part of the coursework.

Online Corrections and Case Management courses also tackle correctional institutions’ operational processes, administrative methods, and organizational structure.

Students interested in this field also explore the criminal justice system’s functions, how it was created, how it can be applied ethically, and how Corrections reforms have impacted the industry.

What Makes this Program Unique:

The online Corrections degree program is part of AIU’s mobile-friendly education. It offers a practical curriculum, industry-experienced instructors, and engaging Criminal Justice modules based on legislation and current affairs. 

Did You Know?

The AIU Corrections or online Case Management program offers a better understanding of how criminal justice operates, particularly in Corrections, focusing on improving the justice system and making it more humane.

Applicants can qualify for up to 75% credit transfers based on relevant work and military experience.

Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University - Online

Online Bachelor of Science in Corrections & Juvenile Justice Studies

EKU’s online Bachelor of Science in Corrections and Juvenile Justice Studies is aimed at helping offenders rehabilitate and to join the community back. Students are prepared to contribute significantly to prison administration and offender treatment. In addition to providing practical education, EKU’s real-world approach leads to rewarding career opportunities. This online program teaches realistic activities and encounters that can prepare you for real Corrections work settings. 

Eastern Kentucky University offers one of the few degrees offered in the US specifically for adult correctional and juvenile justice. And they are a recognized innovator in criminal justice education. The online juvenile justice and correctional programs offered by EKU could be the first step toward achieving your objectives, whether you wish to start a new job or develop in your existing one.

What Makes this Program Unique:

EKU integrates academic and professional preparation focusing on rehabilitation and evidence-based practices by offering courses on criminal justice, rehabilitation strategies for juveniles, community corrections, ethics, and juvenile justice systems. 

Did You Know?

All active duty service personnel are eligible for reduced tuition at Eastern Kentucky University, which is $250 for undergraduate programs. Students may transfer up to 90 hours of credit from recognized colleges. Please be aware that Eastern Kentucky University is the only place where this degree program can be completed for a minimum of 30 credits. Upon admission to EKU, previously earned credits must be examined for proper articulation.

West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M University

(Online) Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice Administration: Corrections

West Texas A&M University is home to numerous online Criminal Justice programs. The web-based Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration – Specialization in Corrections degree is one of them.

In this Criminal Justice program, graduates acquire knowledge of crime and Criminal Justice policy, law, and Criminal Justice science and the highest academic, professional, and ethical standards in their chosen fields and academic endeavors.

Students can become great candidates to enter the field or promote in their profession. If you’re searching for a more conventional college setting, West Texas A&M University also offers a Policing and Prisons Track in Criminal Justice that combines on-campus and online courses.

What Makes this Program Unique:

Many graduates earning Criminal Justice Administration degrees from West Texas A&M can complete the Corrections program 100% online. Most students also choose this program because of its low cost and flexibility.

Did You Know?

This regionally accredited program is ranked one of the country’s most affordable online Criminal Justice degrees with its proven track record for excellence and ROI. West Texas A&M is also a well-regarded university for its military-friendly programs.

Regent University

Regent University

(Online) Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Corrections

Regent University runs an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Corrections degree program. There is a focus on Criminal Law, Juvenile Justice, The Criminal Justice System, and Criminal Procedure. Students gain a better understanding of juvenile delinquency and how to prevent it.

This online Corrections program prepares students to enter the Law Enforcement industry and join government agencies nationwide. They become exposed to tackling trials, appeals, and sentences for criminal cases.

Students are also taught to think critically and ethically through courses taught from a Christian perspective.

What Makes this Program Unique:

To increase your influence and effectiveness in Corrections, this online degree compares and studies the legal systems of Western and non-Western countries. The program integrates Christian beliefs and principles. The program is facilitated by Virginia Beach professors who hold terminal degrees in their fields.

Did You Know?

Students can find various scholarship opportunities, including academic merit and honors college scholarships, available for online learners at Regent University.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

(Online) Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Emphasis on Corrections

Southern New Hampshire University offers the online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice – Concentration in Corrections. In this program, you’ll examine how to rehabilitate offenders before, during, and after release.

Get ready to go through the following coursework in criminal justice and corrections:

  • The United States Correctional System
  • Correctional Administration
  • Cultural Awareness in Criminal Justice
  • Offender Rehabilitation

The full range of services offered in corrections, including community-based monitoring and the societal causes that contribute to incarceration, are covered in this program. You will experience real problems through simulated settings and work with knowledgeable educators to find solutions.

What Makes this Program Unique:

A Communication Certificate is embedded in this Criminal Justice bachelor’s degree. In it, students develop the skills to communicate clearly when every detail counts! The Certificate, credential-enhancing that it is, is useful when applying for internships and actual work after graduation. Students also receive up to 12 credits for completing a basic police or corrections academy training course.

Did You Know?

SNHU takes pride in its massive network of more than 300,000 students and staff. Its faculty of instructors, including those facilitating the Corrections online bachelor program, offer their expertise based on real-world experience.

The History of Corrections

Before enrolling in an online Bachelor’s in Corrections, it pays to learn how Corrections became an academic discipline leading to a popular profession.

Did you know that the first government-run correctional system was established in 1891 through the Three Prisons Act? Before this, prisoners were kept in military forts and watched over by soldiers. As the prison system grew, so did the need for assigned officers and guards. To this day, this position is a must in correctional facilities; only it necessitates more specialized training.

The initial American correctional facilities’ objectives were to promote reform. However, this objective quickly switched to an emphasis on safety, security, and punishment due to several issues, such as overpopulation and scarce resources. The move from punishment to rehabilitation in the role of the correctional officer during the past few decades has been one of the most important developments.

In the late 19th century, progressive reformers pushed for more restorative approaches to prison reform. Since then, researchers and reform advocates have consistently emphasized the negative outcomes of a harsh punishment system.

Particularly, groups like the American Prison Association (now the American Correctional Association) and the National Conference of Charities and Corrections promoted the justice system to help inmates get ready for a healthy reentry into society. The organizations promoted Corrections as a profession for humanity, justice, and accountability. Workers who seek to improve prisons and the criminal justice system are encouraged to adopt this mentality.

Skills Necessary to Work as a Correctional Officer

Skills Necessary to Work as a Correctional Officer


Would-be correctional officers need to be resilient. They should be able to use failure, setbacks, and mistakes as stepping stones in their learning journey. A leader is only strengthened and able to recover more quickly if they can handle loss or failure properly. Correctional officers shouldn’t succumb to failures and distress.

Communication Skills

Correctional officers should supervise offenders daily. And so, it’s important to have good communication skills. Furthermore, you’ll also have to communicate with your coworkers and others. You should speak confidently to command the prisoners’ respect and attention. They should issue unambiguous directives and instructions to prevent misunderstandings or inappropriate behavior.

Correctional officials should exhibit a composed but commanding demeanor. Another communication skill these cops require when speaking with prisoners is active listening. 


To adapt to changes and new difficulties, correctional officers must have a flexible and fluid attitude cultivated through being receptive to fresh ideas and methods. We have to adjust to new circumstances virtually every day.


Concentrating solely on their profession and responding to problems logically rather than emotionally takes a lot of self-discipline. It is another invaluable trait for officers. They should handle conflicts at a facility professionally if they occur. As a result, you’ll be able to be effective in this role.

Decision-Making Skills

Correctional officers are usually front liners and frequently initiate solutions to issues within a prison. Hence, it is crucial to have good decision-making abilities.

Analytical Skills

Correctional officials should be able to recognize patterns, trends, and bizarre behavior. This way, they can make insightful inferences about data and take appropriate actions based on their findings. Analytical skills are another important skill for correctional officers.


As a public servant, you should be committed to your calling. By demonstrating your dedication to your position, you will gain the team’s respect and inspire your colleagues to take on leadership roles. Work hard each day to stop convicts’ illegal activity, maintain the facility’s security, and ensure the safety of the employees. 

Observational Skills

Correctional officers should be properly informed of all activities on the job. They should watch for unauthorized access, unlawful activity, contraband, and odd conduct. Officers with excellent observational abilities can spot and solve potential problems early. They can protect both themselves and the convict population by acting quickly.


Collaboration and encouragement of colleagues will always be more successful than working alone. Teamwork and camaraderie raise morale at work and will help you to enjoy your job.

Physical Fitness

Lastly, physical fitness is a trait you need to put physical and not mental effort into. Being a correctional officer requires a lot of physical strength and may require the restraint of prisoners. Many correctional officers decide to acquire martial art or other kind of combat. Since you’ll be doing many physical activities, having a well-built physique is important.

Possible Jobs to Get After Graduating from an Online Bachelor's in Corrections

Possible Jobs to Get After Graduating from an Online Bachelor’s in Corrections

Game Warden

Game wardens defend the rights of people, animals, and the environment. They inform the public and uphold the fishing, hunting, and boating legislation. After graduating with a corrections degree, this is a good job to pursue. Depending on the state or office and the degree of the role, a particular game warden job description may exist.

Correctional Case Manager

Correctional case managers assist probationers and convicts with their rehabilitation. They help people find social assistance, halfway houses, drug rehab centers, and career development opportunities. A bachelor’s degree is often required for most jobs, and many case managers have a master’s in social work or a closely related field.

Parole Officer

You can pursue a profession as a parole officer in Corrections. Before release, parole officers work with offenders to establish a plan for how they will find employment and contribute to society. The parole officer also aids in setting up after-release support services for substance misuse or mental health issues. When a felon is freed, the parole officer regularly checks up on them and may do drug tests. Home visits may also ensure that the formerly incarcerated person abides by all release conditions.

Prison Warden

The prison warden is the highest rank a person can have while employed at a correctional facility. Penitentiary management is the responsibility of the prison wardens. The warden needs to receive training on handling crises and keeping things from turning violent.


A detective or criminal investigator collects information and acquires evidence in criminal cases. In some cases, they work undercover while sharing their profession to get official permission to investigate is possible. As part of their duties, they conduct raids, make arrests, interview suspects, review records, and keep an eye on them. 


Bailiffs keep the peace in the courtroom by leading the jurors, witnesses, and defendants to their designated places. They maintain order throughout trials, summon the court to order, and watch over sequestered jurors. Bailiffs are frequently police officers, and those with bachelor’s degrees are paid more and have more responsibility.

Police Officer

Although criminology graduates often take on police officer positions, some Corrections graduates can also pursue this. A police officer is a law enforcement member responsible for keeping the people of a community safe from crime. Responding to incidents, emergencies, accidents and criminal complaints, they patrol a designated area looking for indications of criminal activity. 

Corrections Officer

Corrections officers oversee criminals in detention institutions, ensure that the laws and regulations are followed, keep the peace, and guard detainees according to court orders or criminal law procedures. The majority of prison officers have a bachelor’s degree or professional certification.


To help the parties engaged in a disagreement come to a mutually acceptable resolution outside of court, mediators are responsible for listening to both sides of the argument. They frequently take on significant roles as neutral mediators in civil disputes such as divorces, custody decisions, business and employment problems, and contract disagreements. A mediator can educate the parties involved about laws and legal matters so they can come to a successful settlement.

Private Investigator

Depending on the requirements of their clients, private investigators are charged with looking into a range of complaints and crimes. Businesses and government agencies hire these professionals. Private detectives commonly carry out investigations, such as background checks, searches for missing persons, surveillance, gathering evidence, investigating papers or financial records, and speaking with parties involved. 

Why should anyone pursue an online Bachelor's in Corrections?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should anyone pursue an online Bachelor’s in Corrections?

Closely related to a Criminal Justice degree, a Corrections major is for online students who find it interesting to explore contemporary correctional systems, criminal punishment, inmate rights, and law enforcement, and criminal law in general.

Online Corrections degrees also cover assessment and diagnostic techniques for working with adult and juvenile offenders, gain the ability to apply them, and develop your own diagnostic strategies.

How long does it take to finish an online Bachelor’s in Corrections?

Corrections programs are not all four-year degrees. The number of years required to finish a degree depends on several things. Particularly concerning online programs, students have a lot of flexibility. Students can complete their degree requirements at their own pace through asynchronous delivery formats, working full-time for as little as two years or part-time for five or more years.

On the other hand, accelerated online programs are made available for those who want to expedite graduation. These courses are offered in five- or eight-week terms for students who can handle the fast pace.

What role do Corrections play in the Criminal Justice industry?

Retribution entails making sure that offenders receive fair treatment. Deterrence refers to lowering the possibility that the offender will decide to commit another crime. Incapacitation refers to preventing offenders from committing crimes, and rehabilitation refers to assisting convicts in contributing to society.

In the end, all of these objectives revolve around attempting to keep community safety and reduce crime rates. You should be able to play all these roles as a correctional officer. 

Summary Points

  • Many entry-level jobs in Corrections don’t call for college training and a high school diploma may suffice. However, most towns and government organizations require a bachelor’s degree. An online degree in Corrections officers might open doors to management and supervisory positions that pay more.
  • Bailiff, jail officer, and probation officer are common job routes. In prisons, detention facilities, and other correctional facilities, several administrative and management positions are available. Some industry professionals are trained at recovery facilities to become substance misuse counselors.
  • Working in correctional case management can be a great option if you’re seeking a well-paying position that would enable you to serve others and make a respectable income.

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