Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Finish Your Degree at ECU

Bring Your Criminal Justice Career Into Focus

Criminal justice professionals don’t just work—they serve. At ECU, we prepare you to advance your career and your impact with a flexible online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice program that fits into your life.

We’re dedicated to helping you finish your degree with hands-on learning opportunities that tackle key issues such as injustice and inequity in the criminal justice system. You’ll gain the skills today’s employers need to cultivate a safer and stronger society for everyone, all while making a monumental leap in your own career.

Are you ready to complete your degree? It’s time to experience ECU.

a nurse smiles in a hallway

What You’ll Learn

ECU’s online BS in Criminal Justice is designed to give you a real-world skill set that leads to employment. During your time in the program, you’ll engage with key topics such as:

  • Applying evidence-based research into practice
  • Crime and criminality
  • Correctional systems
  • Principles of criminal law
  • Race, gender, and special populations in the criminal justice system
  • Issues and problems in criminal justice

Career Outcomes With a Criminal Justice Degree

A BS in Criminal Justice can prepare you for various career outcomes and advancement opportunities. Our graduates go on to work in positions such as:*

Criminal Intelligence Analyst

Average Annual Salary: $77,345

Police Officer

Average Annual Salary: $60,505

Crime Scene Investigator

Median Annual Salary: $52,245

Criminal Investigator

Average Annual Salary: $66,976

Paralegal

Average Annual Salary: $52,947

*Salary data provided by Payscale

Curriculum & Courses

Criminal justice is a widely applicable and important major that requires strong communication and people skills, which we foster in our curriculum. The BS degree requires 120 total credit hours.

Keep in mind that as a degree completion program, we accept transfer credits, which may significantly reduce your required hours to graduate. The required criminal justice courses include the following:

Intro Courses (from general education requirements) – 9 credit hours

POLS 1010 - National Government
PSYC 1000 - Introductory Psychology
SOCI 2110 - Introduction to Sociology

Required Core Criminal Justice Courses - 18 credit hours

CRIM 1000 - Introduction to Criminal Justice
CRIM 2004 - Crime and Criminality
CRIM 3700 - Race, Gender, and Special Populations
CRIM 3800 - Research Methods in Criminal Justice
CRIM 3900 - Introductory Statistics for Criminal Justice
CRIM 4500 - Issues and Problems in Criminal Justice*

Justice System Courses - 6 credit hours

CRIM 2009 - Correctional Systems
CRIM 2012 - Police and Society
CRIM 3007 - Criminal Investigation
CRIM 3112 - Advanced Seminar in Law Enforcement
CRIM 3200 - Juvenile Justice System
CRIM 3503 - Courts and Judicial Process
CRIM 3620 - Homeland Security
CRIM 4006 - Community Corrections

Writing Intensive Course - 3 credit hours

CRIM 3501 - Criminal Procedure
CRIM 3502 - Legal Aspects of Corrections
CRIM 4300 - Criminal Justice Administration and Management

Criminology Courses - 6 credit hours

CRIM 3003 - Drugs and Crime
CRIM 3400 - Introduction to Victimology
CRIM 3525 - Media and Crime
CRIM 3605 - White-Collar Crime
CRIM 4005 - Organized Crime
CRIM 4615 - Terrorism and Criminal Justice
CRIM 4620 - Transnational and Global Crime
CRIM 4625 - Crime and Health

Elective Courses (above 2999) – 18 credit hours

(Eligible course lists to be provided)

Major Hours Required - 51

General Electives and/or Minor Hours Required – 29

*CRIM 4500 and 4990 is only offered to students in their graduating semester

Testimonial image
“Our mission is to educate the next generation of criminal justice leaders. We look at the roles our students are pursuing, then give them the tools they need to be successful in the workforce.”
– Dr Heidi S. Bonner, Criminal Justice and Criminology Department Chair

Tuition and Financial Aid

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$375 per credit hour

Core Credits Icon

120 credit hours*

*Transfer credits may reduce number of hours

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Financial aid assistance available

ECU online program tuition for in-state students is just $375 per credit hour, with a $17 per credit hour technology fee, making the total per credit hour rate $392. For out-of-state students, the tuition is $450 per credit hour and the technology fee is $17 per credit. With transfer credits and financial aid, your bachelor’s degree is within reach.

Learn More
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Experienced Faculty

Expert faculty with proven experience in the field pass on real-world knowledge that can be immediately applied in your career.

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Create Your Own Path

Our highly customizable curriculum allows you to choose classes that pique your interest and align with your career goals.

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Transfer-Friendly

You can transfer credits from coursework you’ve already completed and fast-track your path to a criminal justice degree.

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Beyond Academics

Our focus on individualized attention, student support, and career services ensures that you leave not only with academic proficiency but the tools for advancement.

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Top Ranked

ECU was ranked in the top 10 of America’s Top Online Colleges 2023 by Newsweek, meaning that you’ll graduate with a degree respected by employers nationwide.

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Community Connection

ECU is more than a university—it’s a community. Even as an online student, you’ll benefit from a powerful network of peers and faculty who truly care about your success.

The next class start date is approaching. Don’t wait to apply!

Optional Minors and Internships to Focus on Your Learning

The BS in Criminal Justice offers two optional minors, Criminal Law and Legal Process & Criminology, so you can tailor your degree to your career goals. Plus, you’ll have the option to engage in an internship or field experience of your choosing to earn credit and expand your resume.

Admissions

Online undergraduate students are required to have a minimum of 24 hours of transferable credits for admission. Students are evaluated under the transfer applicant criteria below:

  • A minimum of 24 hours of transferable college-level coursework (complete or in progress).

    • Only courses with a grade of “C” or higher from regionally accredited institutions are eligible to transfer and can be used to gain admission.
    • Students under the age of 21 will also be expected to meet NC High School Minimum Course Requirements and are required to submit a final high school transcript.
  • A minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA for all college-level coursework attempted.
Undergraduate Students Application Materials
  • A completed online application.
  • All official transcripts from each college, technical institute, or university attended, if applicable. Send transcripts to:

    Office of Undergraduate Admissions
    Mail Stop 517
    East Carolina University
    Greenville, NC 27858-435

    We also accept electronic transcripts from most transcript services. Please request to have them sent directly to transfer@ecu.edu .
Residency Determination

The Residency Determination Service (RDS) has been established by the North Carolina State Legislature as the centralized service for determining residency for students. If you are a student applying for admission and claiming in-state residency for tuition purposes, you must visit NCresidency.org NCresidency.org to verify your residency.

If you’ve already completed the residency verification process and obtained your Residency Certification Number (RCN), you can enter your RCN when filling out our application. If you do not already have your RCN, you may submit your application and then come back and enter your RCN once you have it.

For more information, visit the Office of the Registrar’s Residency page , or contact RDS at 1-844-319-3640 or rdsinfo@ncresidency.org .

Students on campus

About ECU Online

ECU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) and was the first university in North Carolina to offer online degrees. We’ve continued to enhance the online experience ever since. As an established institution in North Carolina, we pride ourselves on offering a student-first, community-centric experience that empowers graduates to complete their online degrees from a reputable institution that employers recognize.

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