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criminal justice administration bachelor's degree

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration

Start your online criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree

Serve your community – and your career – with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration degree. Gain a fundamental understanding of the essential components that make up the American criminal justice system. Learn about criminology, community policing, change management and more. Develop career-relevant skills and prepare for administrative responsibilities in law enforcement, criminal courts and corrections. 

Program Purpose Statement

The University’s Criminal Justice programs are educational degree programs. These programs do not prepare students to become certified peace officers. For those interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement, corrections or as a peace officer with any particular local, state, federal, tribal or international agency, there are numerous additional qualifications (and often disqualifications), depending on the position. Before enrolling in a Criminal Justice program, potential students are highly encouraged to check with the relevant agency for a complete list of position requirements and disqualifications.

Criminal justice program highlights

  • Develop a strong foundation in criminal justice principles, concepts and theories
  • Get credit for what you already know, including military or law enforcement training
  • Learn basic management, administrative and financial skills relative to criminal justice agencies

Transfer credits

Save time and money on your bachelor's degree with eligible transfer credits.

Credits for prior experience

See if your military or law enforcement training may count for up to 30 credits.

Ways to save

Your work, life, and school experiences may give you a head start on your degree.

Ignite Your Passion

Start when you're ready

Courses

Browse courses for a criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree

Education never stands still. That’s why we have advisory councils made up of leaders in their fields. They meet periodically to review industry needs and trends, providing valuable insights that help us keep our programs relevant. Our rigorous criminal justice administration courses provide you with career-relevant skills that’ll help you make an impact on the job and in the communities you serve. 

Skills-aligned program icon

Look for this icon to see which skills you’ll learn in a course.

Criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree requirements

You’ll need 120 credits to complete this online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration degree. Your course schedule may vary based on transferable credits or credits earned through the University’s Prior Learning Assessment.

In your coursework, you’ll learn about public policy, ethical conduct, community policing, conflict resolution, emergency management, organizational communication and more. Our criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree bridges the gap between theory and practical application. 

14 Core Courses

Here’s where you’ll pick up the bulk of your knowledge about the American criminal justice system and how it’s represented in the domains of law enforcement, criminal courts and corrections. You’ll acquire a range of skills in public policy, change management, risk management, diversity awareness and more. 

14 Core Courses

12 Gen Ed Courses

Our general education courses lay the foundation for all our degree programs. Gaining skills like decision making, planning, problem solving, strategic thinking and interpersonal communication will help create well-rounded professionals in the criminal justice field. Plus, these are universally applicable skills. 

12 Gen Ed Courses

14 Elective Courses

Our electives allow you to explore topics of interest to enhance what you’re learning in your criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree. Learn about the mechanics of writing to strengthen your ability to create reports. Or study state and local political processes to understand the relationship among governments. 

14 Elective Courses

Schedule

Your academic counselor will help schedule your courses for an online criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree.

If you’re in Phoenix, this program has a blended option. This means you can start at the Phoenix campus to complete your general education courses, and then transition to online learning for your core program courses. 

Our flexible, blended learning format can be beneficial if you’re uncertain about the online learning environment or you want to further develop your technical/computer skills prior to taking courses fully online.

In the online environment, you’ll take one course, every five weeks, on Blackboard, our learning management system. In a week, you’ll typically write three discussion posts, complete several readings and finish one course assignment. If you meet your specific due dates, you can attend class and work on assignments when it fits your schedule. Learn when and where you want with the flexibility to balance family, work, school and life.  

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration also allows you to complete up to three required courses for a Master of Science in Administration of Justice and Security and a Master of Public Administration while finishing your criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree. 

Skills-aligned program icon

Earn career-relevant skills in weeks – not years.

Learning shouldn’t take years to put into practice. That’s why we’re empowering you to build career-relevant skills with every five- to six-week course.

We’ve worked with the labor market researcher Lightcast to identify in-demand skills for occupations and mapped those to our related associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.

Tuition

Transfer credits

Your previous eligible college credits can save you time and money – helping you to graduate faster. That’s why we’ve accepted transcripts from 5,000+ institutions, so you can apply eligible transfer credits from an institutionally accredited university or college toward a degree of your choice.

Get credit for what you already know. 

Your life experiences can be evaluated for potential college credit for your online criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree. If you have military or law enforcement training, such as Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), Basic Corrections Academy training or Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy training, you can apply to have that experience evaluated for credits.

Save time and money when you transfer in eligible credits toward your degree.

Affordable, fixed tuition

Lock in the peace of mind that comes with fixed, affordable tuition for your online criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree. You’ll enjoy one flat rate from the moment you enroll until the day you graduate from your program. That’s your Tuition Guarantee.

Tuition Guarantee Emblem

University of Phoenix criminal justice administration bachelor's degree vs other universities

Phoenix ASU Online (BAB) Capella DeVry GCU Purdue Global SNHU Strayer
Cost per credit
Cost per credit
Cost per credit
$398
Cost per credit
$563
Cost per credit
$365/415[1]
Cost per credit
$514
Cost per credit
$485
Cost per credit
$371
Cost per credit
$330
Cost per credit
$338.89
Credits per course
Credits per course
Credits per course
3
Credits per course
3
Credits per course
3-6
Credits per course
2-4
Credits per course
4
Credits per course
5-6
Credits per course
3
Credits per course
4.5
Tuition per course
Tuition per course
Tuition per course
$1,194
Tuition per course
$1,698
Tuition per course
$1,095-
$2,490
Tuition per course
$1,028-
$2,056
Tuition per course
$1,940
Tuition per course
$1,855-
$2,226
Tuition per course
$990
Tuition per course
$1,525
Total program length in credits
Total program length in credits
Total program length in credits
120
Total program length in credits
120
Total program length in credits
180
Total program length in credits
124
Total program length in credits
120
Total program length in credits
180
Total program length in credits
120
Total program length in credits
180
Length of course in weeks
Length of course in weeks
Length of course in weeks
5
Length of course in weeks
7.5
Length of course in weeks
10
Length of course in weeks
8
Length of course in weeks
7-8
Length of course in weeks
10
Length of course in weeks
8
Length of course in weeks
11
Fees
Fees
Fees
One fee per course
Fees
Multiple fees
Fees
Multiple fees
Fees
Multiple fees
Fees
Multiple fees
Fees
Multiple fees
Fees
Multiple fees
Fees
Multiple fees
Tuition guarantee
Tuition guarantee
Tuition guarantee
YES
Tuition guarantee
NO
Tuition guarantee
NO
Tuition guarantee
NO
Tuition guarantee
NO
Tuition guarantee
NO
Tuition guarantee
NO
Tuition guarantee
NO

Data pulled on March 26, 2024

[1] $365 per 1000-2000 level credit; $415 per 3000-4000 level credit

Source of data: For each institution, the data are publicly available in multiple locations, including Academic Catalogs, Program pages, Tuition and fees pages, and syllabi. All data are publicly available on the websites. 

Certain licensure programs and coursework in other degree programs may have additional fees. Please check with your advisor or course catalog for additional info.

The Savings Explorer tool can help you find ways to save on your education

Try our Savings Explorer™ tool

Eligible students saved:

$11,000 & 1 year

Students with eligible credits and relevant experience on average saved $11k and 1 year off their undergraduate degree with University of Phoenix.

Try our Savings Explorer™ tool

Eligible students saved:

$11,000 & 1 year

Students with eligible credits and relevant experience on average saved $11k and 1 year off their undergraduate degree with University of Phoenix.

Financial aid

You may have options when it comes to paying for college tuition and expenses, such as federal grants and loans. Our finance advisors can answer your questions about financial aid and can help guide you through the process for your online criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree.

Federal Student Loan Basics

Careers & Outcomes

What can you do with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration?

Discover where your online criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree might take you. Gain the knowledge, skills and abilities to prepare for the next step in your career pursuits. Get ready to tackle administrative responsibilities in law enforcement, criminal courts and corrections. 

A BSCJA can prepare you to be a:

  • Detective Sergeant
  • Detective Supervisor
  • Loss Prevention Manager
  • Patrol Captain
  • Police Captain
  • Police Sergeant
  • Police Shift Commander
  • Sergeant

Top skills learned in this program:

  • Communication

  • Problem Solving

  • Innovation

  • Research

  • Operations

Ready to get started?

Start your application for free or request additional information.

What you’ll learn

When you earn your on-campus or online criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree, you’ll be equipped with a concrete set of skills you can apply on the job. You'll learn how to:

  • Apply administrative practices within the criminal justice system. 
  • Apply professional dispositions and ethical conduct in criminal justice administration.  
  • Analyze procedures within criminal justice programs and public policies.  
  • Integrate research and theories in criminal justice administration.  
  • Evaluate innovative strategies for serving diverse populations within the criminal justice system.

Build your resumé for career enhancement

As a student in our criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree, you’ll learn career-relevant skills, such as public policy, change management, policy research, community policing and criminology. Add these to your resumé in weeks, not years, and apply them in your current role, or use them to help build your career. 

Admissions

Apply for free – no application fee, no obligation.

Starting your degree is a big decision — and we want you to feel great about it. That’s why we remove obstacles from your application.

  • No SAT/ACT required 
  • No essay required 
  • No cost, risk-free trial for eligible students
  • We’ll request transcripts at no cost to you, when possible, and we accept eligible credits from over 5,000 accredited institutions.

Receive 1-on-1 support

You have a support team of real people you can lean on. And our academic counselors, who are with you every step of the way, have earned a 5-star rating from 90% of our surveyed students.[1] Start a conversation with an enrollment representative today.

[1] Transactional Survey, August 2021-22 (18,645 respondents)

Gabriel G., Enrollment Representative

Call or chat with us 7 days a week.

G. Galindo - Enrollment Representative

Gabriel G., Enrollment Rep

Receive 1-on-1 support

You have a support team of real people you can lean on. And our academic counselors, who are with you every step of the way, have earned a 5-star rating from 85% of our surveyed students.[1]

[1] Transactional Survey, September 2022-August 2023 (23,739 respondents)

Start a conversation with an enrollment representative today.

Call us at 844-937-8679 or chat with us 7 days a week.

Student Experience

An education that fits your busy life

Balancing family, work and school

Work toward your degree without giving up what matters most. Start your degree year-round and take one class at a time.

Online learning

Enroll in online classes and attend class whenever it fits your life, day or night, as you complete your criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree.

Computer requirements for courses

Many course assignments will require you to use a computer to complete and submit your assignment. 

Phoenix provides support and resources for busy students

Faculty Spotlight

Criminal justice administration professionals dedicated to you 

Your success is a top priority for our faculty members. They bring an average of 28+ years of experience and hands-on perspective to the classroom. You’ll gain criminal justice administration insight from experienced professionals who have served as chiefs of police, captains, lieutenants, wardens, judges and detectives. They contribute valuable, relevant and timely expertise in class and help bridge the gap between academics and industry knowledge.

Doris Savron

As a faculty member, I'm on your team. I'm your coach and your cheerleader.

Doris Savron
Vice Provost of Colleges, University of Phoenix

As a faculty member, I'm on your team. I'm your coach and your cheerleader.

Accreditation

Count on the quality of your education

University of Phoenix has been continually accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), hlcommission.org, since 1978.

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Frequently asked questions about the criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree

Criminal justice administration is a field of study focused on the essential components comprising the American criminal justice system. In our online criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree, you’ll learn basic management, administrative and financial skills relative to criminal justice agencies. 

Your coursework will include topics like ethics in criminal justice, theories of criminology and victimology, organizational behavior and management, interagency communication, grant writing and funding, mental health services and intervention. You’ll also develop career-relevant skills such as conflict resolution, change management, organizational communications and budgeting to help with on-the-job responsibilities. 

At University of Phoenix, we offer three different bachelor’s degrees in a criminal justice-related field. These include the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration, the Bachelor of Science in Correctional Program Support Services and the Bachelor of Science in Public Administration

At University of Phoenix, the program length for a criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree is four years and 120 credits. But your time to completion could be longer or shorter and will depend on various factors, including but not limited to, any transfer credits you have, whether you remain continuously enrolled, whether you retake courses and other factors.

Students can save time and money with eligible transfer credits and relevant life experience. We look at all your experience — everything from life experience to past jobs — to help you earn the college credits you deserve. 

Our Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration prepares you for a range of administrative responsibilities in law enforcement, criminal courts and corrections. You may be able to seek positions such as a detective sergeant, detective supervisor, loss prevention manager, patrol captain, police captain or police sergeant. 

Our criminal justice administration bachelor’s degree includes a course on ethics in criminal justice. This course explores the ethical standards and codes of professional responsibility in criminal justice professions. Students will examine the interrelated nature of ethics, morality, legal responsibility and social issues in criminal justice settings, and develop career-relevant skills in social issues, ethical conduct and professional responsibility. 

While widely available, not all programs are available to residents of all states. Please check with a University Enrollment Representative.