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Best Criminal Justice Schools in Georgia: Online/Campus

Explore the best criminal justice degree and certificate programs available in Georgia and find the one that’s right for you.

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11/29/2023

Service to others is what a career in criminal justice is all about. And one of the great things about the criminal justice field is that you can choose from so many career paths. From corrections and law enforcement to forensic investigation and courtroom administration, the list goes on and on. Whatever path appeals to you the most, you’re going to need a formal education, such as the kind you can get with a degree or certificate from a criminal justice school in Georgia.

This guide introduces you to the full range of degree and certificate programs available from the best criminal justice schools in Georgia. Most importantly, we’ll explore who each type of program is designed for and how to pick the one that best suits your individual academic needs and career goals. So, if you’re ready to take the next – or maybe the first – step in your criminal justice career, keep reading to discover how you can get a degree or certificate from one of the top criminal justice programs in Georgia for 2024.

Highlighting the Top Georgia Colleges for Criminal Justice in 2024

Start your search with a look at some of the very best Georgia colleges with criminal justice programs. We’ve surveyed all of the schools offering criminal justice degrees and certificates and identified three that offer an exemplary mix of student-friendly elements, including proper accreditation, affordability, financial aid assistance, quality academics and faculty, and access to student support services.

Once you’ve read the spotlights, you’ll have a solid idea of what to expect from the criminal justice program in Georgia that you ultimately choose. These spotlights will also provide you with a preview of our full rankings of Georgia criminal justice schools. Those are coming soon, so don’t forget to check back.

Georgia Southern University

The University System of Georgia offers Georgia residents access to one of the finest and most extensive selections of public colleges and universities in the nation, with many schools offering criminal justice degree and certificate programs. A prime example is Georgia Southern University (GSU), which offers several undergraduate and graduate options through its Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. These include a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology that can be completed both online and in person on either GSU’s Statesboro or Armstrong (Savannah) campus (the specific campus depends on your specialization). GSU’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology is also available both online and on campus. Students currently employed in the law enforcement field also have the option of the Executive Master’s in Criminal Justice (EMCJ) program. The EMCJ program features a unique part-time hybrid format in which students complete three course modules each semester (two three-week-long online modules and a single one-week-long module attended in-person on the school’s Armstrong campus).

Program Highlights:

BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology

  • Credits: 124
  • Length: 4 years
  • Cost: $182.13/credit in-state and out-of-state (online)|$182.13/credit in-state (on-campus)| $642.73/credit out-of-state (on-campus)
  • Delivery: Online; On-Campus; Full-Time
  • Specialization: Criminal Justice and Criminology; Cybercrime

MS in Criminal Justice and Criminology

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $358/credit in-state and out-of-state (online)|$277/credit in-state (on-campus) |$1,105/credit out-of-state (on-campus)
  • Delivery: Online; On-Campus; Part-Time; Full-Time
  • Specializations: Criminal Justice; Criminology; Cybercrime

Executive Master of Criminal Justice (EMCJ)

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $277/credit in-state | $1,105/credit out-of-state
  • Delivery: Hybrid; Part-Time
  • Specializations: None

Graduate Certificate in Cybercrime

  • Credits: 12
  • Length: As little as one semester
  • Cost: $358/credit
  • Delivery: Online; Part-Time
  • Specializations: None

Georgia State University

Located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia State University is one of only four research universities in the University System of Georgia and one of the largest (by population) and most diverse universities in the nation. Housed in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State offers four degree options in the field of criminal justice and criminology—one bachelor’s, two master’s, and a doctorate. The PhD in Criminal Justice & Criminology program is one of only two doctoral level criminal justice degree programs available in Georgia. Offered exclusively on the school’s campus, the PhD program provides students with the core research and teaching skills needed to take on top-level academic and research roles at universities and with policy think tanks. Georgia State’s MIS in Criminal Justice Administration is a unique degree program combining coursework in criminal justice and criminology with public management principles and practices.

Program Highlights:

BS in Criminal Justice

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: As few as 4 years
  • Cost: $298.27/credit in-state | $932.87/credit out-of-state
  • Delivery: Online; On-Campus; Part-Time; Full-Time
  • Specializations: None

MS in Criminal Justice

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: As few as 2 years
  • Cost: $398/credit in-state | $1,259/credit out-of-state
  • Delivery: On-Campus; Part-Time; Full-Time
  • Specializations: None

MIS in Criminal Justice Administration

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: As few as 2 years
  • Cost: $398/credit in-state | $1,259/credit out-of-state
  • Delivery: Online; Full-Time; Part-Time
  • Specializations: None

PhD in Criminal Justice & Criminology

  • Credits: 54 (beyond the master’s degree)
  • Length: Varies (depending on dissertation completion pace)
  • Cost: $398/credit in-state | $1,259/credit out-of-state
  • Delivery: On-Campus
  • Specializations: None

University of North Georgia

The University of North Georgia (UNG) is the state’s other school offering a doctorate degree in the criminal justice field. The PhD in Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Intelligence is designed to provide graduates with the critical research, investigative, and operational skills required to meet the intelligence needs of federal, state, and local governments, as well as private corporations engaged in the business of intelligence. The program is delivered 100% online in an asynchronous format with no campus visits required.

UNG’s Criminal Justice Program also offers both a fully online criminal justice master’s and, most notably, a bachelor’s program with four specialized options. Bachelor’s students attend classes on UNG’s Dahlonega Campus. All criminal justice bachelor’s students participate in a 12-credit internship experience. Students commonly complete their internships with sheriff’s and police departments, as well as at corrections facilities, attorney’s offices, courts, and even with the FBI.

Program Highlights:

BS in Criminal Justice

MS in Criminal Justice

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $303/credit
  • Delivery: Online; Part-Time; Full-Time
  • Specializations: None

PhD in Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Intelligence

  • Credits: 54 (past the master’s degree)
  • Length: Varies (depending on dissertation completion pace)
  • Cost: $303/credit
  • Delivery: Online; Part-Time; Full-Time
  • Specialization: Intelligence

Georgia’s Best Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Online college programs provide an excellent alternative to traditional on-campus ones, particularly for working professionals who consider study convenience and flexibility a top priority. The good news is that there are lots of quality and affordable online criminal justice degrees in Georgia. Not all online programs are the same, however. Each comes with its own mix of completion times, program structures (full-time, part-time, fully or partially online, etc.) and content delivery methods (synchronous or asynchronous).

To help you figure out the mixture that’s right for you, here’s a look at three of the top schools currently offering online criminal justice programs in Georgia. And be sure to check out our guide to the top online criminal justice degrees to learn more about what these degrees have to offer and to explore programs available in other states.

Georgia Southwestern State University

Georgia Southwestern (GSW) State University is a University System of Georgia public institution offering a full range of undergraduate and graduate degrees online and on campus in Americus, Georgia. GSW offers two highly affordable undergraduate criminal justice options through its Department of Psychology and Sociology, both of which can be completed entirely online. Its Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree is offered in partnership with the University System of Georgia as part of the system’s eMajor program, which features a number of fully online degrees. A key benefit to eMajor programs is that all coursework is delivered in an asynchronous format that allows students to attend to their studies at any time. Another important benefit is that students with POST training typically receive course credits for prior learning, thus saving them time and money in earning their degree. Bachelor’s students also have the option of choosing a concentration in either law enforcement or social justice.

GSW also offers a fully online 18-credit undergraduate Criminal Justice Certificate that provides students with a foundational understanding of the “purpose, function, and operation” of the criminal justice system.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: About 4 years
  • Cost: $169.33/credit
  • Delivery: Online; Part-Time; Full-Time
  • Specializations: Law Enforcement; Social Justice

Criminal Justice Undergraduate Certificate

  • Credits: 18
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $169.33/credit
  • Delivery: Online; Part-Time; Full-Time
  • Specializations: None

Northern Georgia Technical College

The importance of the role state and technical colleges in Georgia play in the education and training of criminal justice professionals can hardly be overstated. Many Georgia state and technical colleges offer criminal justice associate degree and nondegree undergraduate options designed specifically to provide students with the most time- and cost-efficient means to launching their careers. There’s likely no better example of such a school than Northern Georgia Technical College. Along with its Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology, Northern Georgia Tech’s Criminal Justice Department offers a Criminal Justice Technology Diploma and four certificate options, all of which feature core criminal justice coursework delivered online in an asynchronous format. As a result, students in the certificate programs complete all required coursework online. Associate degree and diploma students may be able to complete all requirements online as well, depending on their choices of noncriminal justice courses and if they opt to complete an in-person internship/externship experience.

Program Highlights:

AAS in Criminal Justice Technology

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 5 semesters
  • Cost: $100/credit in-state | $200/credit out-of-state | $400/credit international students
  • Delivery: Online; Hybrid
  • Specializations: None

Criminal Justice Technology Diploma

  • Credits: 48
  • Length: 4 semesters
  • Cost: $100/credit in-state | $200/credit out-of-state | $400/credit international students
  • Delivery: Online; Hybrid
  • Specializations: None

Criminal Justice Specialist Certificate

  • Credits: 15
  • Length: 2 semesters
  • Cost: $100/credit in-state | $200/credit out-of-state | $400/credit international students
  • Delivery: Online
  • Specializations: None

Criminal Justice Fundamentals Certificate

  • Credits: 12
  • Length: 1 semester
  • Cost: $100/credit in-state | $200/credit out-of-state | $400