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Best Criminal Justice Schools in Indiana: Online/Campus

The right degree can propel or jumpstart your criminal justice career. To get you started on the search, we’ve compiled the best criminal justice schools in the state of Indiana.

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Angela Myers
Written By

Angela Myers

Updated

11/29/2023

What do a criminal psychiatrist in Indianapolis, an attorney at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Solicitor’s Office, and a Deputy Chief Counsel with the Indiana Department of Child Services all have in common? They all completed a criminal justice program from an Indiana university.

A criminal justice degree is an ideal option for anyone looking to serve their community. But while this degree can launch or accelerate your career, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact criminal justice degree that is right for you. To help, we researched the best criminal justice schools in Indiana and compiled them into a list in this guide for you. The guide includes the best on-campus and online criminal justice degrees in Indiana, as well as an insight into what degree type and delivery format are suited for your learning style and career goals.

2024’s Best Colleges in Indiana for Criminal Justice

The difficult part about researching criminal justice programs is knowing which ones check all the boxes in terms of education quality and cost. To facilitate this, we researched and compared the popular criminal justice schools in Indiana. The three below stood out in terms of curriculum, cost, and career opportunities upon graduating.

While these three schools stood out, there are plenty of great criminal justice programs in Indiana. So, check in later for a full college ranking.

Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University is one of the premier criminal justice schools in Indiana, and most of their criminal justice programs are hosted through their Bloomington campus. Their Bloomington campus offers criminal justice degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level. They also offer the only criminal justice PhD program in the state at the time of writing this guide. In all programs, students explore the intersection of justice, law, and society, with coursework originating in various disciplines. There’s also a focus on how race, gender, and class play into the criminal justice system. Since there are so many degree types at Indiana University, it’s easy for students to transfer from undergraduate to graduate coursework. While this school is top ranked in terms of curriculum and opportunities, it doesn’t offer online or hybrid programs, making it less flexible than online criminal justice degrees in Indiana.

Program Highlights:

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: About 4 years
  • Cost: $393 per credit in-state | $1,349.33 per credit out-of-state
  • Delivery: On-Campus
  • Credits: 90
  • Length: 3-4 years
  • Cost: $717.33 per credit in-state | $2,049.87 per credit out-of-state
  • Delivery: On-Campus

University of Indianapolis

Anyone considering getting a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice should consider the program from the University of Indianapolis. The curriculum is more flexible than most criminal justice colleges in Indiana. Students take a variety of courses on law, the juvenile justice systems, corrections and probation, and other related topics. There’s also the option to concentrate in crime scene investigation or to minor in youth and child programs. Along with a robust and diverse curriculum, the school actively works with community partners to set up internships for students. Most students complete an internship in the area of interest to them, which provides hands-on experience in their desired sub-specialization within criminal justice. Students can also participate in research projects, either in teams or with one-on-one support from a faculty mentor. Because the program is based in experiential learning, all components must be completed on campus.

Program Highlights:

  • Credits: About 120
  • Length: About 4 years
  • Cost: $1,434 per credit
  • Delivery: On-Campus
  • Specializations: Crime Scene Investigation

Indiana Tech

Indiana Tech offers online and in-person criminal justice programs in Indiana. Their programs are available at the bachelor’s and associate level. Currently, the school offers a two-year associate degree and a four-year bachelor’s degree. Both programs begin with foundational courses such as policing in America, corrections, probation, and criminal psychology. Then, the bachelor’s degree built upon the previous foundational courses with more advanced courses in criminal justice and a senior capstone in the final two years. For either degree, students have the option to complete the program in-person or online; however, hybrid classes aren’t an option. All online courses are offered in eight-week class sessions, with most course components being completed asynchronously. The only difference between the two formats is that the in-person track requires one additional credit hour for experiential learning. The university also offers an option for students to transfer into the bachelor’s program from the associate degree if they want to continue their education.

Program Highlights:

  • Credits: 60-61
  • Length: About 2 years
  • Cost: $399 per credit in-state
  • Delivery: On-Campus, Online
  • Specializations: None
  • Credits: 120-121
  • Length: About 4 years
  • Cost: $630 per credit in-state
  • Delivery: On-Campus; Online
  • Specializations: None

Top-Tier Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs in Indiana

There are many quality programs in Indiana that provide an online learning option. Online criminal justice programs are a great alternative to traditional ones because they offer more flexibility and reduce transportation costs and student fees. It also provides the ability to balance different responsibilities such as work and family in combination with school more easily. For this reason, these programs are especially beneficial for working students or students with outside responsibilities.

In an online criminal justice program, students take all courses virtually. A hybrid program is a mix of online and in-person classes. For a better idea of what either program looks like generally, check out our guide to online criminal justice degrees.

To learn what to expect from online and hybrid classes in Indiana specifically, explore the three online criminal justice degrees in Indiana that stood out in 2023.

Indiana State University

Indiana State University is one of the most flexible criminal justice programs in Indiana. The campus offers a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and an undergraduate minor. Both the undergraduate major and minor can be taken in-person, fully online, or in a hybrid format that mixes online and in-person classes. The master’s degree is one of a select few 100% online criminal justice degrees in Indiana. In any program, students explore criminology from a variety of perspectives, including the humanities, sociology, psychology, and law. They also take courses positioned within the criminal justice discipline that cover topics like criminal justice report writing, victimology, and juvenile delinquency. While all components for the minor and master’s can be completed online, students in the bachelor’s program must complete an internship, which most likely will be completed in-person. The school also has online professional development resources to help students adjust to life after graduation.

Program Highlights:

  • Credits: 42
  • Length: About 4 years
  • Cost: $351 per credit in-state | $758 per credit out-of-state
  • Mode: Fully-Online; Hybrid
  • Credits: 18
  • Length: 2-4 years
  • Cost: $351 per credit in-state | $758 per credit out-of-state
  • Mode: Fully-Online; Hybrid
  • Credits: 36
  • Length: 2-3 years
  • Cost: $450 per credit in-state |$885 per credit out-of-state
  • Mode: Fully-Online; Hybrid
  • Specializations: None

Southern Indiana University

Southern Indiana University hosts an online graduate program in criminal justice that’s speedier than most. The fully online master’s degree can be completed in less than one year, depending on a student’s previous coursework. If students have no background in criminal justice, it often takes up to two years with full-time coursework. All online courses are offered either at flexible times or in an asynchronous format since most students work full-time while completing this degree. The degree consists of some required courses, such as criminal justice policy, quantitative methods, and research methods. Students also take electives in topics like law, corrections, policing, and criminal justice theories. The master’s program features six start times throughout the year for added flexibility. To make the master’s more affordable, the in-state tuition rate is offered to all master’s students.

Program Highlights:

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: 1-3 years
  • Cost: $432.78 per credit in-state | $847.66 per credit out-of-state
  • Mode: Fully-Online

Indiana University Northwest

Anyone looking for an affordable, fully online master’s program in criminal justice should consider Indiana University Northwest. While students take courses in both criminal justice and public safety, they choose to concentrate on one or the other. Those in the public safety concentration learn how to mitigate, prevent, and respond to public safety risks. Students in the criminal justice concentration focus on the nature of crime and creating effective criminal justice and non-criminal justice programs. Either concentration is completed online, and courses are designed for students who are also working full-time. Because of this, a large chunk of the degree can be completed asynchronously. Plus, at the cost of $350 per credit hour in-state and $490 per credit out-of-state, the master’s program is one of the most affordable online criminal justice degrees in Indiana. Alumni report job titles such as correctional officer supervisor, police and detective supervisor, security manager, criminal investigator, and emergency management director.

Program Highlights:

  • Credits: 33
  • Length: 2-3 years
  • Cost: $350 per credit in-state | $490 per credit out-of-state
  • Mode: Fully-Online
  • Specializations: public safety; criminal justice

Types of Criminal Justice Degrees in Indiana You Can Earn

When looking at criminal justice schools in Indiana, you’ll notice there are many different degree types, including associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. There’s also certificates and minors, which allow you to dip your toes into criminal justice while focusing on another field. Let’s break down each degree type and decide which best fits your career goals.

Criminal Justice Associate Degrees

If yo