Online Bachelor's in Criminal Justice

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Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Online Degree

Put your passion for justice and law into action with Maryville University’s online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice/criminology. Our 100% online coursework combines criminal justice, criminology, psychology, and criminal law, preparing you for cutting-edge careers in law enforcement, criminal courts, and corrections.

Two program tracks let you choose between police academy training and a project-based learning experience combining seminar courses with internship opportunities at social and protective service agencies.

Are you ready to serve your community as you work to advance your career in criminal justice? Find out more and apply today.

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Choose to start in fall, spring, or summer

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Explore financial aid and eligible transfer credit options

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Choose from two tracks – police academy or non-police academy

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Eligible for Early Access – get a head start on your graduate degree

Why earn your online criminal justice/ criminology degree?

Your online criminal justice/criminology degree can open doors to a wide range of careers. Whether you’re looking to get your start in the field, move up the ranks to a leadership role, or break into a new field, our online criminal justice degree will help prepare you for success.

An interdisciplinary curriculum delivered by an industry-experienced faculty will teach you complex theory through carefully crafted core courses and electives you choose based on your interests and goals. On top of that, you may be able to earn credit for police academy training from qualifying institutions. You can also choose to embark on a social science research sequence and internship so you can apply what you’ve learned in practice.

Flexible, affordable — and 100% online


100% online coursework
No campus visits required.


Supportive and attentive guidance
Discuss your goals with dedicated faculty members who can help you connect the curriculum to your career vision.


A respected school
Join Maryville University, which ranks among Forbes’ “America’s Top Colleges” and the best values in private colleges by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.


Simplified admission
No entrance exams or fees to apply.

What can you do with your online criminal justice/criminology degree?

Completing a bachelor’s in criminal justice online is a great path toward advancing your current career or kick-starting your criminal justice career in law enforcement.

As a graduate, you can pursue opportunities to apply your knowledge of criminology, law, and law enforcement in career settings ranging from law enforcement and protection services to private security firms and government agencies.

The possibilities are many — and only limited by your ambition.

Criminal justice/criminology careers

Graduates of our online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice program typically find employment in police departments, community organizations, schools, and more. Individuals may pursue careers including:

Prepare to work in exciting settings, including:

  • Law enforcement
  • Corrections
  • Community service
  • Probation and parole services
  • Government/public sector
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Private enterprise

Criminal justice/criminology median salaries

A bachelor’s in criminal justice online can lead to careers with median salaries such as:

Police officer or detective

$67,290*

Probation officer

$55,690*

Fish and game warden

$58,040*

Border patrol agent

$68,000**

Air marshal

$68,000**

Computer forensic investigator

$65,000**

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020
**PayScale.com, June 2021

What’s the market outlook for online criminal justice/criminology degree graduates?

Criminal justice degree graduates studying rising trends

Employment growth will remain higher than average.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the overall employment of police and detectives — including sheriff’s patrol officers and transit and railroad police — to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Approximately 59,100 new jobs will become available each year over the next decade, many due to the need to replace workers who retire or transfer to different occupations.

young professional graduate of criminal justice degree program

Police officers with bachelor’s degrees earn higher salaries.

Police and detectives earned a median salary of $67,290 in 2020, according to the BLS, with the top 10% earning more than $113,860. Although a bachelor’s degree is not always a prerequisite for employment, salary surveys show that police officers and detectives who have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice/criminology or a related field earn higher annual salaries than those who don’t.

Meeting in workplace

A bachelor’s in criminal justice can help you advance your career.

More than just giving you an edge with hiring managers, an online criminal justice degree can help you advance to senior roles and higher salaries. For example, first-line supervisors of police and detectives earned a median salary of $92,970 in 2020, according to the BLS. Postsecondary criminal justice and law enforcement teachers earned a median salary of $63,560, with the top 10% earning more than $129,820.

Why choose Maryville University’s online criminal justice program?

At Maryville University, we recognize that superior law enforcement starts with a solid foundation of practical knowledge. That’s why our online criminal justice program offers an interdisciplinary approach to help you apply theory to real-world scenarios. You’ll graduate from our program prepared to advance your career in law enforcement or the social sciences or pursue graduate studies.

Our university has been connecting motivated professionals with industry expertise since 1872. Here, 96% of our online bachelor’s graduates find new careers in their chosen field or enroll in advanced education programs within six months of graduation. We’re proud of our reputation for quality academics, accelerated growth, and affordability because it demonstrates our devotion to advancing students like you.

Maryville meets high standards:

Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Forbes America's Top Colleges
Kiplinger Best College Values
Money's Best Colleges

Our students are finding success at Maryville — and so can you.

“It’s really awesome to make a mistake in the classroom with a police officer as your instructor, because they address the mistake, and I’ll learn from them now instead of in the academy or out on the street.

Richard Hinchsliff

“I think the main thing I love about our program is how deeply involved you become in everything, and how interactive it is.”

Jasmine Schmidt

Our faculty members know the law inside and out

Geriann Brandt, Director of Criminal Justice/Criminology, Assistant Professor

Meet Geriann Brandt

Director of the Online Criminal Justice/Criminology Program, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Criminology

A leading educator in criminology, Geriann Brandt has been helping Maryville criminal justice students hone investigative skills for more than 15 years.

  • MA, University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • BA, Maryville University

Professor Brandt began teaching criminal justice courses at Maryville University in 2002, after more than 13 years working in law enforcement. As an officer, she positively impacted her community, and now as an educator, she inspires students to cultivate sharp investigative skills so they can do the same.

Today, she leads our online criminal justice degree program by combining firsthand experience with more than a decade of success teaching students to connect theory to real-life work. It’s why her expertise is in demand as a reviewer of academic texts, including the 2016 edition of Criminal Violence: Patterns, Explanations, and Interventions.

Professor Brandt provides expert career guidance to help you consider what career is best suited for you. She also shares insights from her connections in law enforcement, exemplifying the expert guidance you can receive as a Maryville criminal justice student.

Online criminal justice/criminology degree curriculum

Maryville’s bachelor’s in criminal justice online curriculum is designed to prepare you with a deeper understanding of the law and law enforcement. It includes general education courses, criminal justice/criminology core courses and electives, a social science research sequence, and police academy or internship options.

Students enrolling in the online criminal justice degree program may also be able to obtain credit for successful completion of police academy training through select academies. Alternatively, students may opt for a non-police academy track and, through an internship and seminar courses, complete project-based learning at social and protective service agencies.

Qualified online criminal justice degree program students can satisfy the general education requirement through eligible transfer credits to complete the program sooner.

Criminal Justice/Criminology Core Courses — Enhance your understanding of the dynamics related to criminality, the law, and its enforcement with courses covering criminology theory, criminal law and procedures, police management, multicultural policing, and more.

Criminal Justice/Criminology Elective Courses — Select your electives, depending on your interests, with courses covering topics such as criminal investigations, domestic and international terrorism, and mental illness and society.

Social Science Research Sequence — The social science research sequence includes a series of courses designed to help you gain an interconnected understanding of how to craft research, analyze results, and present findings.

General Education Courses — Broaden your learning with coursework in psychology, biology, English composition, and more.

Double the impact of your online criminal justice degree

At Maryville University, you can get a head start on your graduate degree while earning your online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice/criminology through our Early Access program. With Early Access, you can earn up to 12 credits that count toward your master’s degree and your bachelor’s at the same time. Credits you earn through Early Access are charged at the undergraduate tuition rate, meaning you can save time and money on your graduate education.

To qualify for Early Access, you must be a current Maryville undergraduate student and have completed at least 75 credit hours with a GPA of 3.25 or better. If you qualify and have not yet completed your elective requirements, we invite you to contact your academic advisor to explore Early Access and learn more about some of our exciting online graduate programs.

When you’re ready to go further, consider these online graduate program options:

Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership
Learn to lead through an immersive curriculum that gives you the opportunity to study theory, gain practical experience, and earn relevant professional certifications.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity
A robust curriculum of specialty courses provides the skills and experience you need to be well-versed in both offensive and defensive techniques.

Master of Arts in Management and Leadership
The dynamic, professionally focused program is designed to help you prepare for a senior-level management position in any field you choose.

Frequently Asked Questions

Maryville’s online criminal justice/criminology bachelor’s degree can help you become a capable and qualified criminal justice professional. Graduates can choose from a wide range of career paths and pursue additional education as needed.

Popular careers available to criminal justice graduates include:

  • Police officer or detective
  • Criminal investigator
  • DEA special agent
  • Air marshal
  • Border protection officer
  • Probation or corrections officer
  • Computer forensic investigator

Some criminal justice careers require police academy training (an option through this program), work experience, advanced degrees, or specific certifications. But any way you look at it, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can be a valuable stepping stone in your career.

Find out more about criminal justice careers.


Apply to the online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice program at Maryville University.