Complete List of Accredited Online Criminal Justice Colleges and Universities

Although there are no agencies responsible for providing specialized accreditation to criminal justice programs, it is essential that you attend a school with institutional accreditation.



A wide variety of criminal justice courses are available to those pursuing a degree from the best online criminal justice colleges. These courses make students proficient in criminal investigation, legal research, penology, law and evidence and sociology of deviance.

  • Criminal Investigation: Students learn how to study crime scenes and gather and preserve evidence. Their studies may touch upon criminalistics, crime scene photography, fingerprints and forensics lab procedures.
  • Legal Research: Accredited online criminal justice classes students learn the art of researching legal digests, statutes and law encyclopedias. Students learn to apply this research in the drafting of appellate briefs and memoranda.
  • Penology: Top accredited online criminal justice university students learn how penology covers the moral, social and economic impacts of various methods of punishment. Students develop and defend their own opinions on the roles of deterrence, retribution, reform and rehabilitation.
  • Law and Evidence: Students become versed in the laws of evidence, such as when it can or cannot be used in court. They also learn a range of techniques for acquiring and authenticating evidence, which strengthens their critical thinking skills.
  • Sociology of Deviance: Students in a top accredited online criminal justice school deepen their understanding of criminal motivation. They hone their skills at reading statistics, drawing inferences, comparing data and analyzing specific cases.


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Accredited online criminal justice schools also instill a wealth of skills in critical thinking, perception, persuasion, ethics and quick judgment that students use throughout their lives:

  • Critical Thinking: Rigorous problem solving exercises refine each student’s ability to think with reason and clarity in stressful environments. Students learn to apply scrutiny, objectivity and logic to everyday conflicts as well as professional ones.
  • Perception: The ability to detect clues in a crime scene or inconsistencies in a testimony is an example of how students train their awareness in an accredited online criminal justice program. This training makes them shrewd, inquisitive, detail-oriented members of society.
  • Persuasion: Students planning to work with criminals directly learn how to pacify and negotiate with difficult people. They strengthen their command of language and express themselves with confidence.
  • Ethics: The best accredited online criminal justice universities cater to students interested in upholding order, reducing suffering and defending human rights. They study the role of ethics in law and how they help shape civilization.
  • Quick Judgment: Students learn how to make decisions fast and follow them through with accuracy. This allows them to meet the physical, mental and emotional demands of their job without wasting valuable time and energy.


Because criminal justice is a competitive field with typically modest wages, students are encouraged to earn at least a bachelors degree if they want a wide range of career options. However, the field is broad enough that extensive higher education is not required for a job in criminal justice. Certificates are the only minimum requirement for criminal justice careers, and they can be obtained in as little as ten weeks of training.

An online associates degree in criminal justice from an accredited online criminal justice college can open the doors to the FBI, DEA, ICE and other law enforcement agencies. Sheriffs, corrections officers and game wardens are among the many jobs available. An online bachelors degree in criminal justice allows students to pursue careers as private detectives, probation officers, criminologists or paralegals, while a masters or higher can pave the way to correctional administration, professorships or even government research and policy making.