10 Best Online Colleges with Online Degrees in Criminology

Written by College Cliffs Team At, our team, comprising seasoned educators and counselors, is committed to supporting students on their journey through graduate studies. Our advisors, holding advanced degrees in diverse fields, provide tailored guidance, current program details, and pragmatic tips on navigating application procedures.

Reviewed by Linda Weems I got started researching colleges and universities about 10 years ago while exploring a second career. While my second career ended up being exactly what I’m doing now, and I didn’t end up going to college, I try to put myself in your shoes every step of the way as I build out College Cliffs as a user-friendly resource for prospective students.

Updated: March 29, 2024, Reading time: 18 minutes

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Everyone dreams of having to live in the safest place on earth. Recent data show 6.53 million crimes—consisting of property crimes, violent crimes, and assault—committed in the United States. Identifying and analyzing crime’s causes can help develop policies and initiatives to reduce crime.

Criminology helps understand criminal mindsets, as well as how they commit crimes and what affects them. And for this very reason, it’s wise to enroll in an online bachelor’s degree in Criminology.

Online Degrees in Criminology - fact

Criminology, not to be confused with a Criminal Justice program, is a broad field that encompasses several academic fields like sociology, psychology, political science, and economics. Criminology students examine the causes of criminal conduct and talk about the criminal justice system, law enforcement, and sociological aspects of crime.

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Criminology online acquire the abilities and information necessary to evaluate and deal with criminal activity. Most of your coursework will involve research, case studies, and analysis.

The Lowdown

Students pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in Criminology will build a solid knowledge base through a multidisciplinary curriculum that emphasizes subjects including criminal behavior, crime analysis, terrorism, cybercrime, racism, and societal violence.

A career in Criminology, which is closely related to the criminal justice field, can be fascinating and fulfilling, but you can always proceed to a graduate degree if you wish.

Students studying criminology have a wide range of professional opportunities at their disposal. Immigration, education, policing, juvenile justice, law enforcement, people protection, community planning, advocacy, consultancy, public administration, and international development are all exciting fields to work in.

The Labor Statistics Bureau foresees a 3% job growth for police and detective opportunities in the next decade.


The study of Criminology explores the causes, perpetrators, and motivations of crime, as well as the impact of crime on individuals and society. If you are looking to pursue this career, let us help you!

Our list consists of top-rated universities and colleges and their undergraduate online programs in Criminology. We picked each of the items on our list based on these criteria:

Visit our Methodology page.

College Cliffs 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.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Criminology

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University

Online Bachelor of Science in Criminology

Arkansas State University offers an Online Bachelor of Arts in Criminology. You need to complete 120 credits in order to graduate from the program. Your transfer credits are evaluated as part of the admissions process, which will enable you to complete your degree more quickly.

This entirely online program explores social research methods, criminal justice systems, and crime prevention tactics in addition to factors that influence delinquent conduct.

Criminology majors look at the science of crime and the underlying causes that encourage its development. On the other hand, studying Criminal Justice entails the study of the consequences of crime or exploring the legal system and the consequences or punishments.

Both fields of study come with similarities since both will expose you to how unfair treatment and other factors contribute to crime and have long-term effects on communities. 

What Makes this Program Unique:

You can combine your Bachelor of Arts in Criminology with another A-State Online degree, such as a BS in Business Administration or a BS in Political Science, Sociology, or Communication Studies.

Did You Know?

If you research sociological theories and practical criminal justice applications, you can find work prospects in both the public and private sectors. 

Carlow University

Carlow University

Online Bachelor of Science in Criminology

Carlow University offers an Online Program for a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology. At Carlow University, you can pursue a criminology major and begin your journey in criminology.

This online degree will equip students with the knowledge and experience necessary to advocate for significant change as they pursue jobs in criminology, health services, or criminal justice.

A multidisciplinary approach is used to study the criminal justice system, including its agencies, laws, policies, and procedures. You will gain job preparation and internship possibilities with the aid of knowledgeable teachers.

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminology program allows students to finish their Criminology coursework online. If you transfer up to 90 credits, you could graduate from Carlow University with as few as 30 credits. The program’s 15 core courses include a variety of themes, including psychology and social justice. 

What Makes this Program Unique:

After finishing Carlow’s online criminology bachelor’s degree program, they will prepare you with the basic information needed to be successful in a range of areas, as well as the advocacy skills essential to promote criminal justice system reform.

Their studies concentrate on criminal offenses, offenders, and victims, as well as the institutions, rules, regulations, and procedures that make up the criminal justice system. With the help of knowledgeable teachers, you will gain practical experience through internships and receive career guidance from professionals. 

Did You Know?

You can take up to 12 credits of graduate-level material while finishing your criminology degree requirements, saving you time and money if you want to pursue a graduate degree in related fields.

Florida State University

Florida State University

Online Bachelor of Science in Criminology

A Bachelor’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University hones your critical thinking and problem-solving skills even more. The program’s outstanding core courses also prepare students for graduate degrees or even law school. If any of these are part of your long-term goals, this degree is well-suited for you. 

This online program was designed exclusively for non-traditional students and gives them the freedom to complete their bachelor’s degree while juggling their hectic schedules.

Whether you want to get promoted or transition to the criminology field, Florida State University’s online criminology degree is worth considering.

What Makes this Program Unique:

You will study online at FSU with instructors who are experts in their fields. You are free to adapt your online curriculum as you see fit.

Additionally, you will have access to cutting-edge technology that is supported and constantly maintained by the university. Students who major in criminology may pursue careers such as detectives, child welfare workers, crime intelligence analysts, or victim advocates.

Did You Know?

Loyola University New Orleans

Loyola University New Orleans

Online Bachelor of Science  – Criminology & Justice

Loyola University New Orleans offers an online program for a Bachelor of Criminology and Justice. This bachelor’s degree can be taken fully online, and it extensively draws on social scientific research. Learn the fundamentals of original research and how to evaluate research produced by agencies.

In order to better comprehend how social institutions affect crime and how they may make the world a better place, enroll in this program, curious and willing to learn.

Research techniques and critical involvement with current criminal justice issues are highlighted in the Department of Criminology & Justice curriculum. 

What Makes this Program Unique:

For students in online criminology at Loyola University, this means adopting an interdisciplinary learning approach. This multidisciplinary approach places a strong emphasis on morals, ethics, the scientific and social sciences, humanities, and the arts.

Did You Know?

The Loyola 100% online criminal justice degree prepares you for advanced studies or for the workforce in a wide range of safe careers.

University of Florida

University of Florida

Online Bachelor of Science in Criminology

The University of Florida claims to offer the most affordably priced online bachelor’s in criminology. This Online Bachelor Criminology Degree provides students with a variety of rewarding criminal justice careers. Students who specialize in criminology have a greater grasp of crime, society’s reaction to it, and the connections between the law and society. 

Studying crime, law, and society requires understanding theoretical and methodological theories of crime.

Through this degree program offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida, students gain a complete understanding of how legal, social, political, historical, and psychological factors affect crime, justice, and judicial processes.

What Makes this Program Unique:

For the UF Online bachelor’s program, an interdisciplinary liberal arts approach. Students who major in criminology at the University of Florida are equipped for employment in juvenile or criminal justice as well as for additional academic studies in law school or graduate school.

Did You Know?

All the skills you’ll earn in their curriculum will prepare students to land jobs such as court clerk, CIA analyst, probation officer, criminal investigator, or substance abuse counselor. With a criminology bachelor’s degree, graduates have a wide range of professional choices.

Indiana State University

Indiana State University

Online Bachelor of Science: Criminology & Criminal Justice

The Online BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Indiana State University offers students theoretical and applied criminology education. Criminal behavior, criminal law administration, and criminal law are all topics that are studied in this online degree program in criminology. 

Through the School of Criminology and Security Studies, internships with criminal justice organizations are a requirement for all students. In this curriculum, students learn the skills necessary to work as police officers, correctional officers, probation officers, and parole officers.

Graduates also make up the professional personnel of courts, legal administration, and other related industries. Working in the private sector is also made possible with a criminology degree. You can work in banks, consultancy firms, insurance companies, and investigation agencies. 

What Makes this Program Unique:

Effective communication techniques, critical thinking techniques, and the training required to become a successful criminal justice practitioner are all covered in this online degree program. Professors in the multidisciplinary field of criminology hold doctorates in sociology, psychology, law, and criminal justice.

Did You Know?

Prosecutors, probation officers, criminal detectives, correctional counselors, therapists, and criminal justice planners are among the other professions held by a number of faculty members. Indiana State University is also home to a chapter of Lambda Alpha Epsilon, a national fraternity for criminal justice professionals.

Portland State University

Portland State University

Online Bachelor of Science in Criminology

Portland State University comes with an online Bachelor’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree. This offers an in-depth study of criminal behavior, justice, and crime prevention. Students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice have the option of studying on campus or fully online.

By earning an online degree, students receive the same faculty and learn the same skills and knowledge to become successful criminal justice professionals. 

Having a basic understanding and fundamental skills in criminology can help you advance your skills as you learn about crime and justice. Depending on your path, your courses may differ. Nevertheless, this online degree requires 180 credits for completion.

What Makes this Program Unique:

Portland State University offers a bachelor’s degree program in criminology, which is one of the first entirely online criminal justice and criminology programs in the United States. It keeps thriving as a result of its dedication to giving all students the resources they require to succeed, regardless of where they reside.

Did You Know?

PSU’s program in criminal justice and criminology cultivate the abilities that employers look for when making hiring and promotion decisions. Numerous job options are available, including those in politics, business, investigation, law enforcement, nonprofit management, and many more.

Applying your knowledge and abilities will help you become a leader in any industry you choose.

Regis University

Regis University

Online Bachelor of Science in Criminology

Regis University offers an Online Bachelor in Criminology Degree program. This offers flexible 100% online, on-campus, and hybrid classes held in 7-week terms. Since classes are small in size, their world-class faculty will give you individualized attention. The first step in minimizing crime is to understand it.

In their online bachelor’s program, they place a strong emphasis on practical case studies. You develop a deeper comprehension of criminal motivations with their criminology courses, and you will be able to offer answers that are relevant to policy.

You’ll get lots of practical experience in the program’s experiential capstone, internship, or research capstone. There are 120 credits for this program.

Few colleges in the nation have as benevolent of a credit transfer policy as Regis University. They want to make sure that your education continues on course so that you can achieve your job goals.

What Makes this Program Unique:

Eighty-one credits can be transferred with this program. Regis University comes with a FastForward program, which allows you to complete both your bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously. They provide choices for dual degree combinations that can speed up and reduce the expense of getting both degrees.

Did You Know?

This program’s scholar-practitioner paradigm sets them apart from other criminal justice and criminology programs. Additionally, their faculty is composed of ex-police chiefs, investigators, and detectives. As criminology professionals of the future, they will be able to benefit from their experience and expertise.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University - Online

Online Bachelor of Science in Criminology

Arizona State University offers the BS in Criminology & Criminal Justice online program that educates students about the impact of crime as well as how to reduce it. You will gain research, analytical, and communication skills as you earn a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice. 

You’ll learn how to conduct appropriate research, formulate theories, examine crime scenes, and write reports. You will also study behavioral science, logic, and psychology. A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice will provide you with the skills and information you need to enter the field with confidence.

What Makes this Program Unique:

In this program, you can discover how to compile pertinent data, formulate theories, investigate crime scenes, and produce reports. Along with criminology courses, you can study psychology, behavioral science, and logic.

Did You Know?

Holders of criminal justice degrees have employment choices in the judiciary, prison system, law enforcement, and case management. The law enforcement public sector includes a variety of jobs, such as court clerks, probation and parole officials, police and detectives, and criminal psychiatrists.

With this degree, you can choose from a huge selection of related employment in the public or private sector.

University of Alabama

The University of Alabama - Online

Online Bachelor of Science  – Criminology/Criminal Justice

You can start your criminal justice career with a Bachelor’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice from The University of Alabama. While pursuing your degree and increasing your career prospects, you can balance your employment and other obligations through this online degree.

By concentrating on the theory and research that are crucial for understanding and combating criminal behavior, broaden your understanding of the legal system. The same faculty members who instruct classes on the UA campus also provide flexible online instruction. 

The BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice curriculum consists of 120 credits. With this degree, you can work in compliance and intelligence analysis, private or corporate security, correctional, legal, and investigative services, or law enforcement.

You will develop your writing and communication skills while learning about the court system through classes in Criminology and Criminal Justice. 

What Makes this Program Unique:

The online learning management system Blackboard allows online students at the University of Alabama to complete their coursework both synchronously and asynchronously.

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminology can learn about crime and the legal system through courses including Juvenile Delinquency, Social Inequality and Crime, and Judicial Process.

Graduates have numerous career options, including criminologists, background investigators, and law enforcement officers.

Did You Know?

To be considered for admission to the BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree program, candidates must submit a comprehensive application for admission as well as transcripts from each college they have previously attended.

If you have more than 24 college-level credits at the time of your application to the university, you must maintain a GPA of 2.0. 

Courses in an Online Bachelor’s in Criminology

Courses in an Online Bachelor’s in Criminology

Introduction to Forensic Psychology

In this course, the theories and methods used in criminal profiling and crime scene investigation are all thoroughly reviewed by students and professors.

Criminology and Public Policy

Students in this course explore the connections between criminology research and the law and policy of the day. Additionally, local, state, and federal regulations may have an effect on crime, affecting both the frequency of crime and how individuals behave.

Policing and Investigative Methods

You’ll gain knowledge of the most recent investigative and impartial policing strategies used by law enforcement. This course provides an overview of sociological research on policing methods and practices.

Introduction to Law

This course introduces you to the legal aspects necessary in criminology fields. In an introductory law course, students are introduced to the relationship between criminology and the legal system.

Students research how laws affect social justice, crime, and the judicial system, as well as the development and history of the American legal system.

Abnormal Psychology

This course introduces the key ideas in psychological and behavioral disorders, such as deviance and anti-social behavior. This is a helpful course for students to understand the reasons and causes behind crimes.

Top Skills Necessary for Criminology Graduates

Top Skills Necessary for Criminology Graduates


Some criminologists may employ cutting-edge technologies to analyze enormous volumes of data, which is why technology is a necessary skill. They should be well-versed in computers and other software. For a profession in criminology, a basic familiarity with computers may be required, while precise technical requirements may vary.


Taking care of your community’s security is a requirement of working in criminal justice. You direct groups of people toward justice or teams working to solve crimes. Strong leadership skills can help you succeed in your role regardless of the sector of the economy you work in.


Good observation skills are essential for criminology specialists. Criminologists may base their conclusions on observations of people’s behavior or other actions. During their schooling, criminalists may learn how to look at data and compile information by noticing minute changes or trivial to complex details.

Active Listening

Effective communication requires active listening. Criminal justice workers must be able to listen to others in order to learn more, comprehend situations, and make proper judgments. 

Possible Jobs for Online Bachelor’s in Criminology Graduates

Possible Jobs for Online Bachelor’s in Criminology Graduates

Private Detective or Investigator

Students with a criminology degree have the choice to work in law enforcement or pursue a career as a private investigator or detective. Private investigators are available to the public to investigate personal, legal, and financial issues. 


Sociologists who specialize in the sociology of crime are known as criminologists. In order to investigate the causes and consequences of crime, researchers might employ both quantitative and qualitative techniques.

Penologists are a typical term for criminologists because they specialize in the study of the criminal justice system.

Forensic Science Technician

Forensic science technicians are responsible for obtaining and evaluating evidence for criminal investigations. Candidates for this position must hold a criminology bachelor’s degree in addition to practical experience in lab work and evidence analysis. 

Law Enforcement Officer

Law enforcement professionals, including police officers and detectives, are tasked with protecting property and solving crimes. It is projected that employment in law enforcement will rise generally over the next ten years.

Law Enforcement Officer

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the salary of a Criminologist?

In criminology, an analyst or scientist specializes in understanding what causes criminal behavior. On the national average, criminologists usually earn $81,173 annually on average.

However, it’s worth noting that a criminologist’s salary may vary based on their location as well as their experience level.

How long does it take to get an online Criminology degree?

Most bachelor’s degree programs normally take four years to complete if you enroll full-time and adhere to a 16-week semester plan. While some online schools offer more accelerated schedules, most follow an 8-week semester.

If you enroll in full-time classes that are offered year-round and have shorter terms, you might finish your degree sooner. It is also worth considering enrolling in accelerated programs that combine both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Is it worth it to study Criminology at the bachelor’s level?

For those who want to work in law enforcement as criminologists or in fields that are related, earning a bachelor’s degree in criminology might be worthwhile.

Students who study criminology are exposed to crime, criminal law, and more, preparing them for a variety of jobs in the criminal justice industry. 

Summary Points

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