Learn what it takes to become a Criminologist. Explore detailed listings of online Criminology schools to find the one that best meets your needs.

Interested in establishing a prosperous career in criminology? Discover the tools, skills, positions, and specializations available.

Educate yourself about what a Criminologist actually does. Learn about the day to day life of a Criminologist and the skills, knowledge and abilities necessary to succeed in the field of Criminology.

Salary information and future outlook for court reporter professionals may range by region and state by state. Find information on the highs, lows, and averages of criminologist salaries.

Online Criminology Degree

What is criminology?

Criminology is the study of crime and criminal behavior, including the nature, extent, and causes of crime in a given society or population. It is the behavioral science aspect of criminal investigation that seeks to answer the who, what, where, when, and why of a crime.

What should I look for in an online criminology school?

The best online criminology schools should either possess regional or national accreditation from an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, you can often recognize top online criminology schools based on:

  • The school’s name and status
  • The school’s history
  • Teacher credentials
  • Alumni network
In choosing the best online criminology school for you, you should consider the following factors:

  • Admission requirements
  • Residency requirements
  • Class and teaching style
  • Testing methods used
  • Course content and presentation
  • Program length
  • Class size
  • Student-teacher interaction
  • Technology use
  • Tuition and financial aid
  • Transferability of credits
  • Availability of a dedicated administration team and resources

What levels of online criminology programs are available?

The following levels of criminology degree online programs are available:

  • Online Criminology Certificate Programs
  • Online Associates in Criminology
  • Online Bachelor in Criminology
  • Online Masters in Criminology
  • Online PhD in Criminology

How long does it take to get an online criminology degree?

The amount of time it takes a student to earn an accredited online criminology degree depends on the level of criminology degree being pursued and the pace of the student.

Typically, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Online Criminology Certification Programs – 6 months to 1 year
  • Online Criminology Associates Degree – 2 years
  • Online Criminology Bachelor Degree – 4 years
  • Online Criminology Masters – 2 years
  • Online Criminology PhD – 2 to 5 years

What are some examples of online criminology courses?

A prospective criminologist in an online criminology degree program will be required to take basic courses in psychology, criminal justice, sociology, and computer science. Some courses that could be required include the following:

  • Criminology and Social Control
    This introductory course covers the nature, causes, and typologies of crime and offenders; victim impact; systems of social control; and policies and practices of social control.
  • Criminal Law
    Students in this course focus on the concepts and processes of criminal law, including criminal procedures, prosecution, defense, and court procedures.
  • Courts and Judicial Process
    This course analyzes the components of the judicial system, including structure, function, and processes; and issues related to the judicial process in a diverse society.
  • Computer Forensics
    Legal, ethical, and policy implications of monitoring and forensic techniques are discussed as students analyze information systems and learn to detect illegal activities.
  • The Criminal Mind
    Criminal behavior is explored as students look at theories and research on cognitive, behavioral, and psychological explanations for criminal behavior and how these apply to interaction with offenders.

What areas of criminology specialization are available?

Criminology can be broken down into areas of specialization as criminology professionals become concentrated on certain areas of crime. Some specializations that could be found would include the following:

  • Computer Information Systems and Security
  • Crime and Criminals
  • Criminal Justice Management and Administration
  • Homeland Security
  • Human Services and Criminal Justice

What can I do with a criminology degree?

Criminologists have a variety of criminology jobs, depending upon degree level and area of interest. Criminologists with the best online criminology degrees can research, teach, and evaluate in criminology professions, including the following:

  • Professor of Legal Studies
  • Federal Justice Advisor
  • Forensic Science Technician
  • Criminal Justice Research Officer
  • Private Consultant
  • Medical Examiner

What is a criminologist?

Criminologists with accredited online criminology degrees are basically profilers who look at patterns in thoughts, behaviors, and criminal circumstances to create a more comprehensive picture from the pieces provided.

What does a criminologist do?

Criminologists from the best online criminology degree programs will analyze crime, criminals, and patterns in order to create both complex and simple profiles designed to capture criminals. Criminologists work to prevent crime by identifying behaviors that increase risk of criminal action. Employees in a criminology profession also analyze the criminal justice system in order to identify patterns in laws and how they are broken.

How much does a criminologist earn?

Criminologists who graduate from top online criminology schools can earn between $36,328 and $47,978 with a bachelor’s degree, and can expect income and professional status to increase with graduate degrees. Growth in career opportunities for criminologists is about 20% through the year 2018. This higher than average growth is due to the increased need to prevent crime and catch criminals and minimize harm to society.

How do I become a criminologist?

Each accredited online criminology school has requirements for how to become a criminologist, so it is important to check with your chosen institution. In general, a criminologist needs to have at least a bachelor’s degree in criminology or criminal justice, with preference given to those who continue with a master’s or PhD in criminal justice. In addition to coursework, most popular online criminology degrees include internships or other means of direct criminal justice work. Employment and advancement in a criminology profession will be aided with experience in the criminal justice field or scientific research.

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Additional Resources

  • North Carolina State University

    Open to all, North Carolina State University’s website features a series of helpful pages titled “What can I do with a major in…?” Its criminology page discusses the courses, skills, internship and work opportunities, and specializations of a degree in criminology.

  • Florida State University: Criminology

    Florida State University has a file available that gives a lengthy list of potential careers that a student with a criminology degree may pursue. The file also provides links to other resourceful sites.

  • University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

    For anyone curious about the internship opportunities for criminology students, the University of South Florida provides a comprehensive list of various businesses and organizations that offer work for students. The website also links to criminology degree information.

  • Penn State College of Liberal Arts

    This comprehensive document prepared by Pennsylvania State College explores different careers and graduate degrees within criminology and criminal justice, and is an excellent resource for students pursuing careers or advanced degrees.