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Top 50 Best Value Online Criminal Justice Programs of 2016The criminal justice field is changing; many police departments now require a bachelor’s degree as a basic minimum of education for law enforcement officers, and of course a college education is needed for pretty much any government agency position. But, fortunately, higher education is changing too, making a bachelor’s degree more accessible than ever.

For adult professionals working in the criminal justice field, a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts in criminal justice, criminology, justice studies, or a related discipline is the way to promotion; for young people considering their future, it’s a starting point into a criminal justice career. Today, many accredited, reputable colleges and universities offer fully online bachelor degree programs in criminal justice, and many include in-demand concentrations and specializations such as Homeland Security, Juvenile Justice, and more. For flexibility and convenience, especially working around a law enforcement officer or military service member’s schedule, online is the surest way to go.

Value Colleges is here to direct prospective students to those online degree programs that offer the most bang for the buck – accredited, respected universities and colleges that make an excellent education affordable. All of the schools on the Value Colleges Best Value ranking are accredited and 100% online – no on-campus courses needed.* These include a diverse mixture of large public research universities, small private liberal arts colleges, Christian and Catholic institutions, and everything in between, from around the US.

From our full list of qualifying schools, programs are ranked according to the following data:

Our formula shows prospective students the colleges and universities that find the best combination of reputation, affordability, and future prospects – the Best Value colleges for online Criminal Justice.

* Note that some of the programs on this list are degree-completion programs, and require applicants to have an associate’s degree or equivalent. Others are available online from freshman courses on.

1

University of Nebraska at Kearney

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There’s a good rule of thumb when it comes to online university values: look west. The states of the midwest and west – large, rural, and decentralized – create certain challenges for prospective students when affordable programs are too far to commute. As a result, many midwestern and western states have developed impressively robust online degree programs that are accredited, reputable, and affordable, besides being accessible. The University of Nebraska at Kearney is a model of solid, well-built public online higher education. The UNK Criminal Justice Department offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in collaboration with the Lincoln and Omaha branches of the University of Nebraska. This degree program is open to students who have two years of college courses or an associate’s degree. At a low $257 per credit hour for Nebraska residents, it’s a high-quality, affordable degree in Criminal Justice that shows what a Value College is all about.

2

Central Washington University

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Central Washington University, in Ellensburg, WA, is a public university descended from the Washington State Normal School, a teacher’s college. CWU is proud to be welcoming – they are recognized as one of the most minority and LGBT-friendly universities in the nation. Part of their accessibility is their online education program, which have been widely ranked as one of the most affordable. Washington residents pay $230 per credit, but non-residents in online programs benefit from a waiver – available across the US, though not in every state – that reduces non-resident tuition to the lower resident rate. That makes CWU’s online Bachelor of Arts in Law and Justice a great value all over the nation, landing it squarely in the #2 spot.

3

University of Oklahoma

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The University of Oklahoma, a major research university in Norman, OK, has long been considered one of the top public universities in the US, and has been cited more than once as one of the most technologically advanced publics. OU’s University Outreach division is responsible for online education and other distance, working adult-oriented programs, including an all-online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree. Unlike most programs, which are designed as degree-completion, OU offers a fully online, 120 credit program, so students never have to come to campus. With tuition at $259 per credit – plus online fees – it’s a substantial deal that not all online campuses can offer.

4

University of Central Florida

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From the midwest to the southern Atlantic, the University of Central Florida is a major, space-grant research university, with the largest undergraduate population in the US and recognized status as a top up-and-coming university. UCF has succeeded by making room for everyone, and making a way for students from all over Florida and beyond. One main factor is Online@UCF, their excellent online degree programs administrated by the Center for Distributed Learning. UCF offers a choice between a Bachelor of Arts (including more humanities courses) or a Bachelor of Science (including more math and technical courses) in Criminal Justice from the Department of Criminal Justice. Tuition and fees are an almost unbelievable $212 per credit hour for Florida residents, making UCF one of the cheapest, and best, online Criminal Justice degrees.

5

Drexel University

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Drexel University has become one of the top names in online education for several reasons. One is the simple fact that Drexel started with a recognizable, acclaimed reputation as an innovative and boldly experimental institution, well before there was any internet. Known for their cooperative education program, which pairs students with corporate and business partners for 18 months of their education, Drexel has been at the forefront of practical, experiential education for generations. In addition, Drexel has developed a student support system for online learners that is a model for other institutions, ensuring success for their programs. Drexel’s online Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Justice Studies is available fully online, in a set-your-own-pace arrangement, at $457 per credit hour, though with numerous discounts for partner institutions, military, and others, you may pay much less for a top-notch degree.

6

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

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With more than 40 programs available online, UMass Lowell has made a name for themselves as one of New England’s premiere online educators. With their investments in research and online education, UMass Lowell’s reputation has steadily been rising among college rankings, creeping up alongside other distinguished New England universities (including sister institution UMass Amherst). Lowell offers a newly-developed Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice that can be earned entirely online or in a hybrid online/on-campus format, with no need for transfer credits or an associate’s degree. Excellent student support and reasonable tuition ($370 per credit hour) make UMass Lowell a serious contender.

7

Norwich University

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Norwich University – The Military College of Vermont – is notable as the oldest of the private military colleges in the US, the model for later institutions such as the Citadel and West Point and the birthplace of the ROTC. Norwich offers a highly respected Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree that is ranked as one of the best online degree programs by U.S. News & World Report. Norwich’s online program is designed especially for military and law enforcement personnel who want to increase their credentials and standing by building on their experience with knowledge and theory. Tuition is $375 per credit, but a discounted tuition for active military reduces tuition to $250, a bargain for Norwich’s credibility and reputation.

8

Penn State World Campus

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Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus may be the most recognizable online program from a major public research university. Highly reputable, with the authority of the Penn State brand, Penn State’s World Campus began in 1998, making it a pioneer in the field. Similarly, Penn State’s online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice was the first online criminal justice degree certified by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, a leading scholarly organization. With tuition set at an affordable $535 per credit (full-time) and the ability to start at the beginning of your college career, or transfer credits or an associate’s degree, the Penn State World Campus is still showing other universities how it’s done.

9

Western Carolina University

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Cullowhee, NC, is a beautiful valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains, surrounded by areas for skiing, hiking, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities, but Western Carolina University understands if not everyone who wants to attend can make their way out to the western edge of the state. That’s why Western Carolina offers a growing number of accredited, reputable online degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Admission to the program is selective, and students must have at least a year of work experience in the criminal justice field as well as a completed associate’s degree. But at $147 per credit for NC residents, it would be hard to find a better deal, in the Blue Ridge or anywhere else.

10

Bethel University

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A small, private Christian university in McKenzie, TN, Bethel University has been following the path of many small, Christian universities to survive and grow by branching out into online education. Bethel offers an online degree-completion program designed especially for working professionals in law enforcement, including officers and administrators, who have at least 30 hours of college credit and want to expand their responsibilities and enhance their careers. Bethel sets tuition at $345 per credit hour to keep it available for working adults, making Bethel University’s Criminal Justice bachelor’s degree a top 10 value.

11

Troy University

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Troy University, a mid-sized public university in Troy, AL, is another school that is enjoying a growing profile thanks to online education. While Troy is less known nationally, it is gaining a solid reputation regionally, including the Princeton Review’s survey of southeastern colleges and universities, and its online degree programs are reaching students throughout the area. Troy offers an online bachelor’s degree completion program in Criminal Justice, with possible concentrations in Homeland Security or Digital Forensics. Troy’s program is a professional and technical program, unlike more humanities and liberal arts-based programs, designed to get graduates working in the field for a low tuition rate of $338 per credit (Alabama residents).

12

University of Colorado - Colorado Springs

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Another mid-sized research university, the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs is part of the state university system of Colorado, along with CU Boulder, CU Denver, and others. With the University of Colorado standard, UCCS is a well-ranked, highly diverse regional university with a significant proportion of minority students. The UCCS School of Public Affairs offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree completion program. With tuition at $441 per credit, UCCS keeps their online degree reasonable and accessible to make it a recognizable value.

13

Lamar University

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Lamar University, a public research university in Beaumont, TX, has spent the 20 years since joining the Texas State University System building its reputation from a regional university to a nationally-recognized name in online education. Lamar has been acclaimed for its quality and for its exceptional affordability, with eTuition set at only $208 per credit, one of the lowest rates around. The Center for Military Services ensures that LU Online remains especially accessible for service members. The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program is available in an accelerated 8-week course format or the traditional 15-week schedule for maximum convenience.

14

Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University, an evangelical liberal arts university in Marion, IN, has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years due to their highly ranked adult education and online programs. While IWU has 3,000 traditional residential students, they teach over 12,000 more through their non-traditional means – an extraordinary number. IWU offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice that emphasizes service, ethics, and responsibility. IWU’s online BSCJ is a bridge program, requiring at least 36 hours of credit but not necessarily a completed associate’s degree to begin. Online tuition is $364 per credit, a real value for a degree that is on the rise in reputation.

15

Arizona State University

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Along with Penn State’s World Campus (#8), Arizona State University has defined what online education from a major public research university should look like. ASU offers dozens of highly developed, highly reputable online degree programs in just about every field, making ASU one of the biggest online universities, backed by the Phoenix, AZ university ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the most innovative in the nation. ASU’s Bachelor of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice is available at only $490 per credit, a bargain considering the high job market value of an ASU degree.

16

Louisiana State University of Alexandria

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Because most online learners are working adults who, by necessity, have to pay their own way through college, price is a significant factor in choosing an online degree program, and Louisiana State University of Alexandria has price covered. At only $240 per credit hour, LSU of Alexandria has one of the lowest non-resident online rates around, and one of the lowest rates of debt for graduates. LSUA offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice that can be earned fully online, all 120 credit hours, by Louisiana residents and non-residents alike, making LSUA a real deal great value.

17

University of Central Missouri

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As a regional university, the University of Central Missouri‘s mission is to provide a quality, accessible education to Missouri’s residents. Like other institutions of similar status, UCM has incorporated online education into that mission to widen the number of students they can educate. Another aspect of fulfilling that mission is keeping prices manageable; that’s why an online student can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice for only $265 per credit (for Missouri residents).

18

The University of Texas System

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The University of Texas System offers a uniquely designed Online Consortium linking several institutions in the system to provide an online criminal justice degree. Students can earn 66 credits beyond core courses to complete UT Arlington’s Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, or a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice given by the Permian Basin or Rio Grande Valley branches of the UT system; some courses are also offered by UT El Paso, and Austin Community College feeds directly into the program. This program is designed for ultimate convenience, allowing working law enforcement and justice system professionals to complete their degree and progress in their career.

19

Drury University

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Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a best regional university and a best value, Drury University, a small, private liberal arts university in Springfield, MO, has a well-developed online education program that has been growing since 1999. Drury offers dozens of associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees with excellent student support and a strong reputation. Students may earn a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, or a specialized Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement, along with a Leadership concentration. At an hourly tuition rate of $234, Drury keeps the quality of a small private university as affordable as a large public university.

20

Florida International University

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One of the largest public research universities in the US (with over 54,000 students), Florida International University has long since outgrown its founding as a regional college for south Florida, with an extraordinarily diverse student body and a model online education platform. FIU  offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program. FIU ensures success with ample student support, including appointed success coaches for each student, and tuition for Florida residents is an incredible $215 per credit; however, FIU’s tuition for non-residents is only $333 per credit, less than many online universities’ resident rates! It’s no surprise FIU shows up frequently on best value rankings – it’s a price that’s hard to beat.

21

University of Wisconsin - Platteville

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A small public university in Platteville, WI, the University of Wisconsin – Platteville follows the pattern of small regional universities extending their reach through the internet. UWP has been offering an online degree program in criminal justice since 1999, one of the earliest, and that experience leads directly to excellence. UWP’s Criminal Justice Bachelor of Science is fully online, not degree completion, and tuition and fees are set as an affordable $370 per credit for any student, Wisconsin resident or not, so if your state is approved, you can benefit from this superior deal.

22

Washington State University, Global Campus

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Washington State University knows criminal justice. As the second-oldest criminal justice program in the nation, WSU has been building their expertise and reputation since 1943. As Washington’s only land-grant university, WSU (or Wazzu) has a mission to provide education to as many citizens of Washington as it can, but their respected Global Campus takes that mission a step farther. Tuition rates for Washington residents is only $454 per credit, but for non-residents the cost is only $695 – less than many schools’ resident rates! That means anyone anywhere can get WSU’s online Bachelor in Criminal Justice at an affordable price.

23

Roger Williams University

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Roger William University, a small private liberal arts university in Bristol, RI, was named for Rhode Island founder Roger Williams. While small, like its home state, RWU is important; it offers many degrees not found elsewhere in the state, as well as the only law school in Rhode Island. RWU reaches more students through its online degree programs, including a strong Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program at a cost of $1200 per course, or around $400 per credit hour. It’s a solid value price from a distinguished university.

24

Southern New Hampshire University

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Like Drury (#19) and Roger Williams (#23), Southern New Hampshire University is a small, private liberal arts university that has become best known for its online offerings, including accolades as one of the most innovative universities in the nation and one of the best places to work. SNHU offers hundreds of degrees, certificates, and concentrations, including a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with five possible concentrations: Criminology, Homeland Security & Counterterrorism, Human Services, Legal Studies & Advocacy, and Police Administration & Operations. Tuition rates are kept low at $320 per credit, and only $225 for active duty military.

25

Tarleton State University - Global Campus

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Tarleton State University, a Texas A&M System institution in Stephenville, TX, is known for their agriculture and engineering programs, but their online Global Campus is on the way up, recognized by numerous publications watching online education. Tarleton offers a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree completion program for Criminal Justice Administration that can be completed in less than 2 years (if foundational courses are already done). With base tuition at only $491 per course, Tarleton is an affordable way to finish out a Criminal Justice degree and move forward in your career.

26

University of Louisiana at Monroe (eULM)

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After financial troubles at the beginning of the 21st century, the University of Louisiana at Monroe has come back in a big way, in part by investing in online education. This small public university, part of the University of Louisiana system, has begun getting its name on the charts as a top online school and a top value for working adult students through eULM. ULM offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice that was the first degree of its kind in Louisiana, and can boast both a high success rate placing graduates in professional criminal justice jobs, and a low tuition rate of $375 per credit, with no hidden fees to pump up the price tag.

27

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

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The small Wisconsin town synonymous with overalls is also home to a branch of the University of Wisconsin system. As with other midwestern universities on the Value College ranking, the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh has stretched its arms to welcome many students who could not otherwise attend by adopting online education. Students can earn an online Bachelor of Arts (which requires foreign language courses) or Bachelor of Science (requiring advanced math) degree in Criminal Justice. Unlike degree completion programs, UWO’s Criminal Justice degrees can be earned fully online, from freshman to graduation, at a low cost of $360 per credit, including fees.

28

Montana State University - Northern

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Montana State University – Northern is not a household name by any means; with a rural campus in Big Sky Country (Havre, MT), and a small student body, MSUN has to serve a large area encompassing four Indian reservations and numerous small towns. This little university is making its big job easier by developing online degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice that can be completed entirely online. Lower level courses are $270 per credit for Montana residents; upper division jump to $302, but both are extraordinary values.

29

Stevenson University

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Stevenson University is a small, private university in Baltimore County, Maryland. Like Drexel (#5), Stevenson is known for its cooperative education curriculum, in which all students work and take part in internships, and for the extraordinarily high job placement rate this policy earns them (97% for resident students). In recent years Stevenson has expanded its offerings into adult education, with accelerated degree-completion programs that can be completed online. Stevenson’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program is taught in an 8-week format for flexibility and convenience, and at $495 per credit, makes a private education affordable for working adults.

30

Fort Hays State University

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Fort Hays State University, in Fort Hays, KS, has become one of the best known providers of education for military service members, thanks to their aggressive courting and generous benefits for active military. The Fort Hays Virtual Campus offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies that is especially attractive to servicemen and women, as its curriculum focuses more heavily than other criminal justice programs on federal agency professions such as US Marshall, Secret Service, and Homeland Security. Of course, Fort Hays’ popularity is certainly helped by their very low tuition – $194 per credit.

31

Bemidji State University

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Bemidji State University, a small public university on Lake Bemidji, MI, is known for its writing and social work programs. BSU has a degree completion program they call a 2+2 – taking the first two years of study on campus, or transferring from a community college, and finishing the last two years online through their Extended Learning program. The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree includes concentrations in Law Enforcement or Corrections, including internships, or an option to get just the Criminal Justice degree, with or without an internship.

32

Peru State College

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Peru State College, in Peru, Nebraska – nice try, Nebraska – is a small public college founded as a normal school for teachers. Like any smart small, public college, Peru State is branching out into online education to fill its students’ needs, and they’re doing so with style. Their well-designed website and strong programs are a good sign for Peru State’s future. Peru State offers a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with three possible concentrations: Administration, Counseling, or Law & Society. With tuition at only $246 – with no other hidden fees – Peru State is a value that is going to get a lot of attention.

33

Plymouth State University

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Another teachers’ college turned state university, Plymouth State University (in Plymouth, NH) is known for their commitment to environmental responsibility and as a best place to work. Plymouth offers a fully online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, and their tuition rates are reasonable for New Hampshire residents and non-residents alike: $325 per credit for residents, and only $340 for non-residents. That make PSU a solid value for criminal justice students everywhere.

34

University of Colorado Denver - CU Online

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The University of Colorado Denver was at the very start of online education, launching CU Online in 1996, the first accredited online degree program from a major research university. That pedigree is hard to argue with, since CU Denver has not rested on their laurels and instead built a significant slate of online degrees. Those degrees include the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, administered by the U.S. News & World Report-ranked School of Public Policy. CU Denver also has a special discount plan for non-Colorado residents who take their courses online, bringing it close to the resident tuition: $454 for lower-level, and $467 for upper-level.

35

Saint Leo University

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Saint Leo University is unique among private, Catholic liberal arts universities in its focus on adult and distance education. Saint Leo began providing distance education for military students back in 1973, and that commitment has continued and grown through Saint Leo’s well-established, highly-developed online programs. U.S. News & World Report has recognized Saint Leo as one of the best online providers of bachelor’s education, including the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. Two Criminal Justice concentrations are also available: Criminalistics and Homeland Security. Because of their military mission, Saint Leo’s military tuition is only $250, but at $470 for civilians, Saint Leo is still a strong value for a private Catholic education.

36

Cameron University

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Cameron University is a small, regional university in Lawton, OK, that is progressively growing their online degree offerings – four degrees completely online, and many that are working toward 100% online status. One of their fully online degrees is the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. It’s a young, ambitious program from a university on the move, and at only $186 per credit for Oklahoma residents, it’s a relatively safe investment in the future.

37

Campbell University

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Campbell University is a small liberal arts university in Buies Creek, NC, formerly associated with the Baptist church and retaining its evangelical spirit. Like Indiana Wesleyan (#14), Campbell saw the wisdom of investing in online education early on, beginning with extension classes in 1999 and spinning their online education into its own division in 2004. Campbell offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, as well as a Pre-Law concentration (significant, as Campbell is known for one of the highest-ranked law schools in the region). Campbell is especially accommodating for military students, with tuition rates set at $275 per credit, in keeping with the online program’s origin in military distance education.

38

Eastern Kentucky University

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Eastern Kentucky University, in Richmond, KY, is another long-running military-friendly institution, according to Military Times. EKU Online offers accredited bachelor’s degrees for $400 per credit. Rather than a broad criminal justice degree, EKU offers three unique, specialized online Bachelor of Science degrees in Corrections & Juvenile Justice, Homeland Security, and Police Studies. With these specializations, EKU’s online degrees prepare students for their career in more detailed and in-depth ways, increasing EKU’s value for future criminal justice professionals.

39

University of Toledo

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As a large, public research university in Toledo, OH, the University of Toledo has a lot to offer students in resources and support. UT’s online degree programs provide Success Coaches for all online students, as well as other support such as eTutoring and an eLibrary. Toledo offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice that can be earned entirely online, or with transfer credits. As a public university, tuition for Ohio residents is kept at a reasonable $335 per credit, and UT offers an Out-of-State Scholarship to defray non-resident fees for high-performing students. Student support like that make the University of Toledo a clear value.

40

Wichita State University

A mid-sized public university in Wichita, KS, Wichita State University has an ambitious plan, Innovation University, to expand into a major research university in coming years. Part of that ambitious plan is Wichita State Online, which offers numerous online degree programs for a low $301 per credit (tuition and fees). The School of Community Affairs (SCA) at WSU offers both the Online Bachelor of Science and the Online Master of Arts degrees in the field of Criminal Justice. The choice depends on the future career a student wishes to pursue, from entry-level to advanced leadership roles. With so many options and a low cost, as well as a bright future, Wichita State is an investment worth considering.

41

Northern Kentucky University

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First Eastern Kentucky, now Northern Kentucky University makes the Value Colleges list. A large pubic university in Highland Heights, KY (a suburb of Cincinnati, OH), NKU is known for its College of Law, a distinction that surely informs its criminal justice program. NKU offers a fully online Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at $399 per credit hour. It’s a solid value for Kentucky residents and the greater Cincinnati region.

42

Westfield State University

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Westfield State University has a long history of innovation, experimentation, and excellence, since its founding by famed education theorist Horace Mann. That drive to innovate and create also drives Westfield State’s online education, which has been recognized as one of the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report. WSU offers an online degree completion program specially designed for transfer students from Massachusetts’ Community Colleges (though others can apply) to complete a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. At only $280 per credit, it’s one of the best deals in New England.

43

Southern University and A&M College

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A highly respected and historical HBCU (Historically Black College and University) in Baton Rouge, LA, Southern University and A&M College is a land-grant university with a mission to provide affordable, accessible education across Louisiana. Southern has developed their online degree programs along those lines, building a diverse, practical education strategy that includes a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree.

44

Southwestern College

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Wichita State’s neighbor in Winfield, KS, Southwestern College is a private Methodist school offering accredited, military-friendly online degrees for working adults. With 6-week sessions starting every 8 weeks, Southwestern makes education accommodating for working adults, and at $446 per credit – $250 for active military – it’s affordable too. Southwestern offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice that is open for anyone with at least 6 college credits, so no associate’s degree is needed.

45

DeSales University

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DeSales University, like Saint Leo (#35), is a private Catholic university that is finding a new market for students online. Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top regional university, DeSales offers online degrees through the ACCESS program, with short 6 and 8 week sessions for scheduling flexibility and surprisingly low tuition rates for a private university ($459 per credit). DeSales offers a Criminal Justice bachelor’s degree with specializations in Administration, Intelligence, or Rehabilitation.

46

University of Louisville

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A large, public research university in Louisville, KY, the University of Louisville is best known for its medical research, including the first artificial heart transplant, but UL deserves credit for their growing online degree programs. The University of Louisville offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree completion program oriented toward adults already working in the criminal justice field. UL also offers scholarships to public service personnel in the greater Louisville region for a little extra motivation.

47

University of Nebraska at Omaha

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A large, public research university in Omaha, NE, the University of Nebraska at Omaha has spent most of its existence as a commuter college, but development of the online Distance Education program has brought UNO to U.S. News & World Report’s attention in recent years and opened up a new set of students. UNO offers an online Bachelor of General Studies degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice at only $200 per credit, an amazingly low price.

48

Liberty University

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Perhaps no private, evangelical university – even Campbell (#37) and Indiana Wesleyan (#14) – has made strides into online education as confidently and completely as Liberty University. A relatively young institution, founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell, Liberty has become the largest private, non-profit online school, with over 95,000 students. Students are drawn by Liberty’s affordable tuition ($375 per credit) and strong reputation. Liberty offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree with seven possible concentrations, including Juvenile Justice, Homeland Security, and Criminal Psychology.

49

Missouri Southern State University

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Missouri Southern State University, in Joplin, MO, has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the most affordable online degree providers in the nation, and students in Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Illinois can be eligible for in-state tuition, an unheard-of $177 per credit. At that price, there’s very little excuse for not making the investment in a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration, whether you’re an adult working in the field or a young student choosing a path.

50

Columbia College

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Closing out the top 50 Best Value Criminal Justice Undergraduate ranking with another Missouri value, Columbia College in Columbia MO is a small, private college with a big online presence. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top college in the midwest, Columbia has over 14,000 online students attracted to their affordable tuition and reputable programs. Columbia offers a choice between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration, with the option to add on a Crime Scene Investigation certification or a Legal Studies minor. Providing future career possibilities for a reasonable cost is the definition of a value college, and Columbia College meets those expectations head-on.