Best Online Bachelor’s in Criminology

Make a difference in your community and society by earning one of our 10 best online bachelor’s in criminology degrees. 

It takes a special person to dive deeply into societal structures and ask probing questions relating to how and why crime occurs. An online bachelor’s in criminology will provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to understand why people break laws and create policies to minimize law-breaking in the future. 

There are many subfields of study in criminology, including juvenile justice and homeland security, which means you’ll have the ability to focus your degree on the topics that interest you the most.

What Is an Online Bachelor’s in Criminology? 

Online bachelor’s in criminology focus on the social factors that drive crime. Therefore, many criminology jobs are investigative and research-oriented in nature. This is why many of your classes will involve subjects in the criminal justice field, criminal law, and criminological theory. 

Many people confuse a bachelor’s in criminology with a criminal justice program, but these are distinct degrees with distinct focuses. While a bachelor’s in criminology focuses on the underlying social factors that drive crime, a bachelor’s in criminal justice will focus on the justice system and the procedures in place for detecting, retaining, and reforming criminal activity. 

How Much Can You Earn With an Online Bachelor’s in Criminology?

Individuals that earn a bachelor’s degree in criminology have many choices in careers, as the degree is versatile and can open doors to a wide array of jobs. One of the most popular jobs for people who have earned a criminology degree is a social and community service manager, who can expect to bring home around over $65,000 per year. 

Other graduates become probation officers and correctional treatment specialists, or arbitrators. Probation officers will take home just over $53,000 annually, while an arbitrator will earn around $62,000 yearly. 

What Is Required to Attend an Online Bachelor’s in Criminology Degree Program? 

Recent graduates from high school who have not attended a college in the past will likely be required to submit proof of high school completion as well as SAT or ACT scores. Some schools provide a waiver SAT or ACT for its online students, but you should double-check with an admission advisor of the school. 

While every school may require different admission materials to be submitted for acceptance into its program, many schools request that prospective students submit a completed application package. The package may require the submission of your educational goals, essays on specific topics, and a small application processing fee. 

What Are the Most Affordable Online Colleges?

OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program-specific. For school-wide, OSR uses student satisfaction, admission rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the median debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.

The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.

Now let’s check out the 10 Best Online Bachelor’s in Criminology!

  1. University of West Georgia

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $4,264(in state) / $15,048(out of state)
    • 90 Transferable credit hours into the program
    • Three matriculation dates per year
    • 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission Rate59%
    Programs offered online4

    Program Level

    Median Debt$27,871
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School16.62%
    100%
    OSR Score

    The University of West Georgia offers our top-ranked online bachelor’s in criminology. Students without previous college credits can complete this program in as little as three years, which is a year shorter than many other bachelor programs. To complete the program in three years, students should expect to attend classes year-round. 

  2. University of Florida-Online

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $3,358(in state) / $15,000(out of state)
    • Ranked No. 4 in 2020 among online programs by U.S. News & World Report
    • Ranked No. 2 in 2020 for the best online bachelor’s programs for veterans by U.S. News & World Report
    • Ranked No. 1 as the most affordable online college by Affordable Colleges

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76%
    Admission Rate68%
    Programs offered online12

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School10.79%
    98%
    OSR Score

    UF Online places a special focus on preparing its criminology majors for their future careers. The BA in Criminology requires students to take four core courses in criminal justice and criminology, one law-driven requirement, and six criminology and law elective courses. Transfer students into this program should have at least a 2.5 GPA and have taken Intro to Statistics I. 

  3. Arkansas State University-Main Campus

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,300(in state) / $12,600(out of state)
    • Ranked No. 25 Top Public Schools in the South by U.S. News & World Report
    • Ranked No. 1 Best Online College in Arkansas by BestColleges.com
    • Foreign language requirement for graduation

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission Rate66%
    Programs offered online11

    Program Level

    Median Debt$25,757
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School4.18%
    84%
    OSR Score

    With Arkansas State University, you will have the power to shape your future by combining the BA in Criminology with another BA in either Communication Studies, Political Science, or Sociology. Whether you decide to pursue a dual degree or a stand-alone degree, classes are held in accelerated seven-week intervals. Students have the option to enter the program in the summer, spring, or fall. 

  4. Coker College

    20-Year ROI
    $649,870

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $28,464(in state) / $28,464(out of state)
    • 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio
    • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report
    • Ranked as the top college in South Carolina for value by Washington Monthly

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction77%
    Admission Rate62%
    Programs offered online2

    Program Level

    Median Debt$33,334
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School16.83%
    84%
    OSR Score

    The BA in Criminology from Coker College allows its students to obtain a full understanding of America’s criminal justice system and explores ways to make it better. The school emphasizes three specific areas: substance abuse, corrections, and white-collar crime. You’ll also be mentored by two of the program’s top professors, who will help you gain a deeper understanding of crime and why it happens. 

  5. University of Missouri-St Louis

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $10,275(in state) / $27,327(out of state)
    • 37 credits
    • No. 2 ranked Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice for scholarly research by Journal of Criminal Justice
    • No. 4 Doctorate in Criminology and Criminal Justice by U.S. News & World Report

    School Wide

    Student SatisfactionNot Reported
    Admission Rate76%
    Programs offered online7

    Program Level

    Median Debt$22,147
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School10.96%
    82%
    OSR Score

    The BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice from UM-St. Louis focuses on combining the theory and practice of criminology in a way that’s useful in the real world. However, students are required to complete four criminal justice classes before declaring their major. Many students that decide to pursue this degree continue on to law school.

  6. Indiana State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $8,716(in state) / $19,252(out of state)
    • Ranked among America’s Top Colleges in the Midwest by Forbes
    • Ranked among the Best Regional Colleges by Princeton Review 
    • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73%
    Admission Rate85%
    Programs offered online19

    Program Level

    Median Debt$23,400
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School11.76%
    81%
    OSR Score

    ISU understands the importance of producing well-rounded students, which is why it doesn’t neglect its students’ liberal arts education while they pursue their BS in Criminology. The school even sponsors a chapter of the national criminal justice professional fraternity. You’ll be taught by professors who have experience working in all aspects of the criminal justice system, ranging from police officers to lawyers.  

  7. Missouri State University-Springfield

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,300(in state) / $13,740(out of state)
    • Ranked one of the top ten best universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report
    • One of the best bachelor’s in criminal justice for value by SR Education Group
    • One of the most affordable bachelor’s in criminal justice for value by SR Education Group

    School Wide

    Student SatisfactionNot Reported
    Admission Rate84%
    Programs offered online24

    Program Level

    Median Debt$21,987
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School8.11%
    78%
    OSR Score

    The focus of MSU-Springfield’s BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice is centered on problem-solving and seeking answers to difficult questions. The school also offers an accelerated master’s in criminology, in which students can earn up to 12 credit hours toward their master’s while pursuing their bachelor’s. You’ll also have the option to select between different certificate programs, such as criminal investigation, terrorism and national security, and conservation law enforcement. 

  8. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

    20-Year ROI
    $638,669

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $29,510(in state) / $29,510(out of state)
    • Ranked No. 8 Best Online Criminology Degrees by CollegeChoice
    • Ranked one of the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report
    • No. 46 best regional universities of the midwest by U.S. News & World Report

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction82%
    Admission Rate76%
    Programs offered online27

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School1.40%
    76%
    OSR Score

    The BS in Criminology from SMWC focuses on the social science aspects of criminology as well as the teaching of research skills. When enrolling in this degree option, you will choose a concentration in either psychology or sociology, depending on your particular interests. The main criminology coursework consists of 24 credit hours for a minor in criminology and 36 credit hours for a major. 

  9. University of North Carolina Wilmington

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $4,443(in state) / $18,508(out of state)
    • Over three decades providing a criminal justice degree
    • No. 8 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News & World Report
    • No. 32 Best Public College Values of 2019 by Kiplinger’s

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76%
    Admission Rate67%
    Programs offered online6

    Program Level

    Median Debt$21,423
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School7.44%
    76%
    OSR Score

    With the online BA in Criminology from UNC Wilmington, you can select either a concentration in criminal justice or criminology. The content you will learn while pursuing this degree is the exact same that is taught at the main campus, and is taught by the same instructors as well. Those who transfer to this school with an associate degree can complete the program in as little as two years of study. 

  10. Mount Saint Mary's University

    20-Year ROI
    $1,051,852

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $38,498(in state) / $38,498(out of state)
    • 13.1 undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio
    • 73% student satisfaction
    • No. 2 Best Value Regional University of the West U.S. News & World Report

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73%
    Admission Rate81%
    Programs offered online3

    Program Level

    Median Debt$27,040
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School11.50%
    75%
    OSR Score

    The bachelor’s in criminology offered by MSMU allows students to get their hands dirty through its required internship experience. During the internship, students will gain 100 hours of experience in the justice system, which they can add to their professional portfolio. The practicum experience, also required, is completed during the student’s senior year of study and can open the door to a student’s first job in the field.