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Serving the Law and the Common Good 

Laws exist to keep us safe and protect our rights. Those in the criminal justice field work to make society a better place by ensuring these laws are upheld and that we are protected. 

OU’s Bachelor of Science with a major in Criminal Justice is a 100% online program that arms current and future public servants with the skills and knowledge necessary to face the evolving, real-world issues in the law enforcement field, exploring criminal justice as it relates to police, courts, and the corrections system. Students will build leadership and conflict resolution skills, and leave the program prepared to confront challenges efficiently and professionally.

Take the Next Step 

Applications are reviewed year-round for eight-week sessions in the fall, spring, and summer. Choose your program, choose your start, and apply today. 

If you have questions while filling out your application, please contact us at

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"I am truly inspired by students in my classes each and every term. The stories that they tell, the obstacles they’ve overcome, the dreams that they have and are working hard toward every single day… I am humbled to get to be a part of their journey.”

~ Jennifer Gatlin, Instructor

Same Excellence of Learning 

Every OU Online program is built on the foundation of world-class University of Oklahoma faculty mixed with professors of practice providing valuable instruction. By linking industry experts with our online programs, we are offering the most advanced curriculum available and preparing students for future career success.   

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Your personal admissions counselor. 

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Benefits of the Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree 

Finish What You Started

Get a first-class education with the pride of completing what you started. Our flexible online format allows you to complete assignments on your own schedule, leaving more time for what matters to you most. You’ll have support from our experienced faculty and advisors every step of the way.

Strong Career Growth

Jobs in law enforcement are expected to grow 7% by 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With an average of 67,100 openings for police and detectives over the decade, a criminal justice leadership degree will help drive your career upward with more job options and opportunities for increased pay. 

Transfer Credit & Finish Faster

Our transfer credit policy gives you credit for what you’ve already done, so you can get your degree as quickly as possible. In addition to a world-class online academic experience, you’ll realize personal growth and transformation that will benefit both you and the organizations you go on to serve.

Invest in Yourself

A bachelor’s degree can lead to a 49% increase in salary or more, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The best investment you can make for your career is in yourself.

Estimated Tuition and Fees

The criminal justice degree program requires 120 credit hours to graduate, and some of those hours can be transferred to OU from other institutions.

For example, if a student transfers in 60 credit hours, only 60 hours at OU are required to complete the degree. At $367 per credit hour, the cost to that student would be $22,000.

Total Degree Cost

Oklahoma residents will pay $22,011-$44,022, depending on the number of transfer credits.

Cost Breakdown by Credit Hours 

1 Credit Hour = $366.85*  

3 Credit Hours = $1,100.55* 

6 Credit Hours = $2,201.10* 

9 Credit Hours = $3,301.65* 

Tuition & Financial Aid

*For Oklahoma residents 

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Take the next step for your career with a degree from OU. Applications are reviewed year-round for five start dates in the fall (2) , spring (2), and summer (1).

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Admissions Counselor

Have questions about a program? Need a transfer credit evaluation or help with the application process? Schedule a call with one of our admissions counselors.

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Transfer Credit Policy

Have credits from another institution? Save money and get your degree faster by transferring your credits to the University of Oklahoma.

Transfer Credit

Degree Details

Offered through the nationally ranked OU College of Professional and Continuing Studies, the online Bachelor of Science – Criminal Justice degree is a fast-paced, accelerated program designed to accommodate working adults. When you are admitted into the program, you will be assigned an advisor who creates an individualized graduation plan. This plan will help organize and identify the courses you need for your degree.

Degree Planning Worksheet

Degree Topics

  • Comparative justice systems 
  • Various theories of criminal behavior 
  • The role of officers in society and the criminal justice system 
  • Crime-solving technology and the collection and preservation of physical evidence 
  • What ethical and effective leadership mean 
  • How the American correctional system developed, including the role of jails, correctional facilities, private/contract corrections, and probation and parole 
  • The structure of state and federal courts, including jurisdiction, sources of law, legal procedures from pleadings to appeal, civil and criminal law, and policy issues about the role of the judiciary 
  • Developments in community policing 
  • Cyberspace crime and security 
  • How to find, collect, preserve, and examine digital evidence  
  • Probation, parole, and other alternatives to incarceration 

Related Minors

Are you interested in criminal justice, but not ready to choose it as your major? These 15-hour online minors might interest you.

  • Criminal Justice
  • Restorative Justice
  • Criminal Investigation & Intelligence Analysis

Explore Minors

Manageable Accelerated Courses

All undergraduate courses in this program are eight weeks long. Most students choose to take four courses (or 12 credit hours) a semester; two courses the first half of the semester and two courses the second half of the semester. The number of credit hours you take each semester should be discussed with your advisor and be reflective of your personal and work schedules — these courses are fast-paced and intensive.  

Depending on how many credit hours you transfer from another institution, along with the number of courses you take each semester, this program can be completed in as little as 18 months. 

Course Offerings

Students in the online criminal justice program will pair core interdisciplinary courses with major-specific courses to obtain a well-rounded and relevant set of knowledge and skills. 

Some course options include: 

  • American Judicial Processes 
  • Theories of Criminal Behavior 
  • Comparative Justice Systems 
  • Criminal Investigation 
  • Intelligence Analysis for Law Enforcement 
  • Cyberspace Security 
  • Homeland/Global Security and Justice 
  • Juvenile Delinquency 
  • Ethics 

B.S. – Criminal Justice FAQ

Are online programs different from in-person programs offered at the University of Oklahoma?

The University of Oklahoma’s online bachelor’s degree programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Created by university faculty and staff, the online programs are held to the same high standards of quality as our in-person programs. When you graduate from an online program, your diploma will look the same as those received by students who attend class on campus.

What are the admissions requirements?

To be admitted to the online bachelor’s degree, students must have 24+ hours of letter-graded college credit and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. 

Students must: 

  • Go to the undergraduate application page and create an account if you are new to OU. If you are a returning student, log in. When prompted during the application process, choose College of Professional and Continuing Studies as your campus. 

  • Provide official college transcripts from all institutions 

  • International students must demonstrate English proficiency 

The admissions committee operates under a rolling admission process, and admissions may continue until two weeks before the start of classes. The committee strives to respond to all applicants within two weeks from the time a completed application is submitted.  

For more information on the admissions process or to request a transfer credit evaluation, please schedule a call and an admissions counselor will be in touch shortly. 

Do I need an associate degree to apply?

No. Applicants should have at least 24 hours of letter-graded college credit, but they do not need an associate degree to be admitted. 

If you do have an associate degree, all lower-division, general education requirements are fulfilled if your degree is from a regionally accredited, Oklahoma institution. If your associate degree is from out-of-state or is an applied science associate degree, we will evaluate the credits on a course-by-course basis. 

When can I start classes?

Our programs are offered year-round and in eight-week increments. You can apply to begin in the fall, spring, and summer. 

Our eight-week sessions tend to carry consistent calendar dates as follows: 


  • First eight weeks:  August–October 
  • Second eight weeks:  October–December 


  • First eight weeks:  January–March 
  • Second eight weeks:  March–May 


  • Eight weeks:  June–July 

How long will it take to complete my degree?

Typically, students complete 30 credit hours per academic year over the course of five, eight-week sessions. If you have questions about how long it will take to complete your degree, Future Student Services is happy to evaluate your transcripts.  

How much will it cost?

Tuition and fees depend on Oklahoma residency, non-residency, and affiliations with the United States Armed Forces, as well as certified sworn-police-officer statuses. 

Will my credit hours transfer to OU?

Credit hours from regionally accredited institutions will transfer into our program. We will review credit hours from nationally accredited schools on a case-by-case basis, determining if credit will be applicable towards any OU degree.   

Typically, the university does not accept college credit from nationally accredited institutions. 

How many hours can I enroll in per semester?

The maximum number of credit hours a student may enroll in one semester is 19. This breaks down to nine credit hours per eight-week session. This nine-credit-hour enrollment limit is applied to the summer term as well. 

Is the College of Professional & Continuing Studies accredited?

Yes. The college is a part of the University of Oklahoma, which is a regionally accredited institution through the Higher Learning Commission. 

Will life and work experience transfer?

We do not accept life or work experience. However, military and law enforcement training may apply. 

Are financial aid & scholarships available for online programs?

Yes. Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify. 

Do I need to be online at a certain time?

No. In your courses, you will need to meet assignment deadlines as outlined by the faculty member. However, you do not need to be logged in at the same time as your classmates or your professor. 

How are courses administered?

All course material is available online, and all student assignments are submitted through our web-based learning management system (Canvas LMS). The courses are set up in five eight-week sessions, and assignments are due when required by the faculty member.