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How To Get Online Criminal Justice Associates Degrees

Earning an online criminal justice associate’s degree can be an excellent way to start a career in the criminal justice field. An associate’s degree provides foundational knowledge and skills that can lead to careers in law enforcement, the court system, corrections, security, and more. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get this degree completely online.

An online criminal justice associate’s degree is designed to be completed in two years. It covers topics like the justice system, law enforcement, legal studies, corrections, and security. Students gain both theoretical knowledge and practical skills to prepare for entry-level roles.

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Pursuing this degree online makes it accessible for working professionals or those unable to attend classes on campus. Online programs offer the same curriculum as on-campus options, with added conveniences like flexible scheduling.How To Get Online Criminal Justice Associates Degrees

Read Also: How To Get Criminology and Criminal Justice Online Degrees

This guide will cover:

  • Benefits of an Online Criminal Justice Associate’s Degree
  • Choosing the Right Online Program
  • Admissions Requirements
  • Cost and Financial Aid Options
  • Coursework and Time Commitment
  • Graduation and Career Outlook Romantic Love Messages

Whether you hope to become a police officer, work in the courtroom, or counsel incarcerated individuals, an online criminal justice associate’s degree can start you on that path. Read on to learn how to earn this versatile credential completely online.

Benefits of an Online Criminal Justice Associate’s Degree

Pursuing an associate’s degree in criminal justice online has many advantages:

1. Flexibility

Online programs allow students to complete coursework on their own time. This flexibility helps students balance school with work, family duties, and other commitments. Students can study whenever and wherever is convenient for them.

2. Affordability

Online criminal justice degrees tend to cost less than on-campus programs. Lower tuition makes earning a degree more affordable. Online students also save money on expenses like housing, transportation, and campus fees.105 Good Morning Love Message

3. Career Advancement

An online associate’s degree allows professionals to gain skills and knowledge while working. Police officers, security guards, probation officers, and others can use the degree to qualify for promotions or new roles.

4. Wider School Selection

Studying online opens up program options beyond what local colleges offer. Students can find the ideal match school and degree for their needs and career goals.Information Guide Nigeria

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5. Valuable Skills

Online classes help students build skills in time management, independence, accountability, and effective communication using technology. These abilities translate well to real-world criminal justice careers.

Read Also: 30 Best Master Degrees in Social Work Online 

Choosing the Right Online Program

Many colleges and universities now offer online criminal justice associate’s degree options. Here are tips for finding the best program:

1. Look for Accredited Programs

Only accredited schools meet standards for academic quality set by organizations like the Higher Learning Commission. Graduating from an accredited program is important for earning certification in criminal justice occupations. Make sure your program carries valid accreditation.

2. Compare Curricula

Each school structures its criminal justice curriculum slightly differently. Compare courses offered, areas of focus, opportunities for hands-on learning, and flexibility in requirements. Make sure the curriculum aligns with your interests and goals.

3. Evaluate Faculty Qualifications

Look for faculty who hold graduate degrees in their field and have experience working in criminal justice agencies. Their credentials and background offer valuable perspectives.

4. Consider Campus Resources

While completing coursework online, you still have access to resources like tutoring, advising, libraries, and career services. Evaluate what support is available for online learners.NYSC Portal

5. Confirm Technical Requirements

Online learning relies on technology. Make sure the program’s technical requirements match your computer capabilities and internet access. More rural areas may have limited connectivity.

Read Also: 30 Best Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs

6. Read Reviews

Check online reviews and ratings from current students and graduates. Their honest assessments provide insight into factors like academic quality, cost, advising, technology, and more.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions policies vary between schools, but here are typical requirements:

1. High School Diploma or GED

All students must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for federal financial aid. Programs may require a minimum GPA for admission.

2. Placement Tests

Most schools use SAT, ACT, or placement test scores to assess college readiness in areas like math, reading, and writing. Results help place students in appropriate courses.

3. Transcripts

Applicants must submit high school and any college transcripts to document academic performance and courses completed. Minimum GPAs often range from 2.0-2.5.JAMB Portal

4. Application Form and Fee

Students complete an application form specific to the college. A nonrefundable application fee around $25-$50 is usually required.

5. Letters of Recommendation

Letters from teachers, employers, or other references may be requested assessing the applicant’s skills, character, and work ethic.

Meeting the requirements above makes applicants eligible for admission. Competitive schools may have higher standards and selectivity in their admissions processes.

Read Also: 10 Best 2-year Criminal Justice Degree Online

Cost and Financial Aid Options

Pursuing an associate’s degree online provides savings compared to on-campus attendance. Still, students should understand costs and financial aid options.Fede Valverde’s Golazo equalises for Real Madrid against Real Sociedad

1. Tuition and Fees

Online criminal justice tuition often ranges $150-$400 per credit hour. A 60-credit degree costs between $9,000-$24,000 total. Additional fees apply for technology and resources.

2. Textbooks and Supplies

Textbooks, course software, computer equipment, and other supplies add around $1,500 over the program. Renting used books and sharing some resources can cut costs.

3. Financial Aid

Federal and state financial aid like grants, loans, and scholarships can cover costs for those who qualify. Complete the FAFSA form to determine eligibility. Military/veteran benefits are also available.

4. Payment Plans

Schools offer payment plan options to divide tuition into multiple smaller payments over each semester. This helps manage costs for students.

5. Employer Tuition Assistance

Many employers offer tuition benefits or reimbursement to help employees pay for college. Check with your human resources department about assistance opportunities.

With affordability in mind, review all options to make an online criminal justice degree work within your budget.

Coursework and Time Commitment

While exploring programs, take note of the courses required and time expectations involved:

1. Typical Courses

Core courses in criminal justice programs cover topics like:

More specific electives may also be available. Expect to complete general education requirements as well.

2. Credit Hours

Most associate’s degrees require 60 credit hours, although minimums range from 60-65 credits. Students take 15-18 credits per semester, or 30-36 credits per year.

3. Schedule Options

Online classes may follow different term structures:

  • Traditional semesters in Fall and Spring
  • Accelerated 5-8 week terms
  • Fully asynchronous courses on your own timeline

Programs offer full-time and part-time tracks to accommodate different schedules. Review options for balancing school with work or family life.

Read Also: Fastest Criminal Justice Degree Online

4. Time Commitment

In addition to class time, plan for 20-30 hours of weekly study and assignments per course. Budget extra time for final projects and exams. Organizational skills are key to managing workload.

While online learning allows flexibility, expect to devote as much time as a traditional on-campus program. Stay aware of your schedule and create an effective study routine.

Graduation and Career Outlook

Here’s what to expect after completing your online criminal justice degree:

1. Degree Awarded

Upon successfully finishing all credit and program requirements, students earn an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) in Criminal Justice. Some schools offer more specialized tracks.

2. Graduation Rate

The average graduation rate for online criminal justice associate’s degrees is 40-60%, meaning 4-6 out of 10 students who start the program complete it within 150% normal time. Rates vary among schools.

3. Job Prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for criminal justice roles will grow 7% from 2020-2030, adding over 100,000 new jobs. Police, investigators, corrections workers, and security guards will see the most openings.

4. Continuing Your Education

An associate’s degree provides a solid foundation for entering the field. Many students transfer credits to pursue a bachelor’s degree for additional opportunities. Accelerated online RN to BSN programs are one route to explore.

5. Career Options

With an associate’s degree, graduates qualify for positions such as:

  • Police Officer
  • Corrections Officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Court Clerk
  • Security Guard
  • Loss Prevention Specialist
  • Emergency Dispatcher

A degree can open doors to begin growing your criminal justice career. After gaining experience, more advanced roles become possible down the road.


Earning a criminal justice associate’s degree online makes starting a career in this field achievable and convenient. When researching programs, evaluate the school’s reputation, faculty, curriculum, resources, and accreditation. Submit application materials, explore financial aid, and enrol in courses leading to an AA or AS degree.

With hard work and dedication, students can graduate prepared for roles in law enforcement, courts, corrections, and security. An online criminal justice associate’s degree provides powerful skills, knowledge, and credentials to help begin making an impact in the justice system.


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