Best Online Associate in Criminal Justice

Find top-ranked online associate in administration of justice degree programs to help develop students problem-solving skills, refine communication techniques, learn strategies for community engagement, and more.

Best Online Associate in Criminal Justice

Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Justice Degrees

As an associate in the criminal justice or administration of justice, you’ll develop problem-solving skills, refine communication techniques, learn strategies for community engagement, and more.

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This roughly 60-credit degree provides students with the foundational and job-specific knowledge needed to enter the workforce as police officers, security guards, paralegals, victim advocates, and sheriff patrol officers. While students may need to earn higher degrees to advance in some of these careers, an associate degree in the administration of justice is a great way to get your foot in the door.

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This online or in-person degree typically takes about two years to complete, though some schools offer an accelerated option.

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Courses will focus on topics such as criminal thinking, public safety principles, investigative report writing, and community relations.

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Learn more about how to major in criminal justice.

Best Online Associate in Criminal Justice Degree Programs

How do we determine the best online criminal justice associate degree programs?

Pursing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for a inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our methodology here.

25 Best Online Associate in Criminal Justice Degree Programs

  1. #1

    Roger Williams University

    #1987 institution's historical influence
    #741 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    5K

    Bristol, RI

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    Chaminade University of Honolulu

    #3233 institution's historical influence
    #872 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    Honolulu, HI

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Criminology And Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  3. #3

    Blinn College

    #2862 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    9%

    Student body

    16K

    Brenham, TX

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  4. #4

    Lone Star College System

    #2412 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    12%

    Student body

    48K

    The Woodlands, TX

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  5. #5

    Tallahassee Community College

    #3100 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    9K

    Tallahassee, FL

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. #6

    St. Petersburg College

    #2738 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    19K

    Clearwater, FL

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. #7

    Monroe Community College

    #4061 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    10K

    Rochester, NY

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Criminal Justice

    Concentrations

    • Institutional Corrections
    • Required Credits: 60-62
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Hybrid
    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  8. #8

    Albany State University

    #2481 institution's historical influence
    #1300 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    815/16

    Albany, GA

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Associate Of Science

    Concentrations

    • Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #9

    MacCormac College

    #5842 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    <1K

    Chicago, IL

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #10

    Central Texas College

    #4994 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    15%

    Student body

    10K

    Killeen, TX

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Criminal Justice

    Concentrations

    • Corrections Specialization
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  11. #11

    Point University

    #3701 institution's historical influence
    #169 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    35%

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    995/18

    West Point, GA

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Social Science

    Concentrations

    • Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 24 months
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  12. #12

    Community College of Aurora

    #4425 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    4K

    Aurora, CO

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  13. #13

    Northern Michigan University

    #1211 institution's historical influence
    #1215 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/23

    Marquette, MI

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  14. #14

    Madonna University

    #3591 institution's historical influence
    #1209 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/21

    Livonia, MI

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  15. #15

    Community College of Denver

    #3036 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    18%

    Student body

    5K

    Denver, CO

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. #16

    Liberty University

    #976 institution's historical influence
    #116 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    67K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/24

    Lynchburg, VA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 1.5 years
    • Format: Online
  17. #17

    Florida State College at Jacksonville

    #3548 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    17K

    Jacksonville, FL

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  18. #18

    Trinity Valley Community College

    #5454 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    4K

    Athens, TX

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  19. #19

    Southern New Hampshire University

    #1293 institution's historical influence
    #1034 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    78K

    Manchester, NH

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  20. #20

    Campbellsville University

    #3998 institution's historical influence
    #459 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    9K

    Campbellsville, KY

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  21. #21

    Keiser University

    #2767 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    29K

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  22. #22

    University of the Cumberlands

    #3685 institution's historical influence
    #580 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/21

    Williamsburg, KY

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  23. #23

    Franklin Pierce University

    #2100 institution's historical influence
    #925 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    Rindge, NH

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  24. #24

    North Greenville University

    #5498 institution's historical influence
    #194 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/23

    Tigerville, SC

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  25. #25

    Camden County College

    #4797 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    7K

    Blackwood, NJ

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Hybrid

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Online College-Bound Students