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A degree in criminal justice is incredibly versatile, especially now when social and community justice are at the forefront of the national consciousness. Not only does it open doors for a career in local, state or federal law enforcement, opportunities also exist for careers in corrections, forensics, probation, parole and the private sector in security and cybersecurity. Job growth is on the upswing within this field. Those with a degree and experience are the most likely to advance in their careers.

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Over the last few years, the importance of well-trained, service-oriented criminal justice professionals has risen to the top of our most critical needs as a society. Our online Criminal Justice program will prepare you for the rigors of a career in this industry, providing a wide array of opportunities to apply the theory behind criminal justice thought to real-world applications. As a society we need good people doing great things. That’s what we teach here.

This program is designed for those whose calling in life is to change the world for the better and make a real difference in their community, and social justice at every level.


In this online program, you’ll learn about the theories and practices necessary for careers in the criminal justice field. Ashland University’s Criminal Justice program is designed to provide a well-rounded education.

There are multiple tracks you can choose between within the Criminal Justice program based on your career objectives, and here are two of them:

  • For those interested in law enforcement administration, you will learn the details of law enforcement and what it takes to manage a law enforcement agency.
  • For students interested in correctional administration, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the world of corrections and how to run correctional facilities. Ohio students in this track may graduate with their Level I and Level II Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant license.

No matter which track you choose, you’ll have countless opportunities to be exposed to important concepts in the areas of law enforcement, corrections and the court system from instructors with real-world experience.


Ashland University’s criminal justice program is designed by experts in criminal behavior, forensic science, law, sociology and more. We communicate regularly with local law enforcement to discover areas that need more focus in the field of criminal justice to make sure you’ll be equipped with the most relevant skills, tools and information to help you succeed.

One of the primary advantages of this program is the option to choose between either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree—all online, all on your schedule. An associate’s degree can be achieved in as little as 60 credit hours. A bachelor’s only takes 120 credit hours.

Our online criminal justice associate’s degree program is ranked in the top 10 online programs by


The Benefits of Ashland University’s Online Criminal Justice Program

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100% Online

This program is completely online and allows you to access your courses 24/7. We are available whenever your schedule allows.

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Innovative courses

We’ve gathered the best team from a variety of agencies to make sure that your education is based on current criminal justice topics and tactics.

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Many opportunities for hands-on field experience

Devoted to your academic and real-world success, we’ve partnered with a variety of agencies to make sure you have opportunities to gain real experience in your field of choice.

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Associate and Bachelor’s degrees are available

Earn your bachelor of arts or associate’s degree in just 120 or 60 hours respectively.

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Real-world Experience, Academic Excellence

Our instructors combine real-world experience with academic rigor to ensure you have all the knowledge and tools to excel in your career.

The Benefits of Ashland University’s Online Criminal Justice Program


In this fully online program—which offers both associate’s and bachelor of arts degree options—you’ll learn how to serve and protect as a law enforcement agent, all through the prism of the total scope of jobs, roles and positions within the industry. Your online experience will focus on you as an individual, specifically as it applies to your skills, experience and goals for your degree.

Courses begin every eight weeks, which means that this program is completely tailored to your schedule. Take our asynchronous courses at your own pace, on your time, and take your career to the next level at your own pace while getting all the individualized attention you need from our highly experienced faculty.

About Ashland University

Founded in 1878, Ashland University continues to have a rich tradition as a private, comprehensive institution preparing students for exciting, impactful professions and careers. Your success is our goal, not just while you are a student but for the rest of your life as a member of the Eagle family.

We place a great emphasis on the importance of each member of our community. The phrase “Accent on the Individual” has been our motto for many years and characterizes well the nature and content of both the online and campus environment.

We promise to teach you how to think, not what to think. We promise to work with you to create an individualized plan for your future, and we promise you an affordable education. We promise you will be guided by mentors invested in you as an individual. They will, within a diverse community of respect, design personalized transformative experiences to develop you as a person who works, serves and leads with integrity. And we promise you a lifelong commitment as we continue to help you discern your life calling and make a positive impact on your family, community and the world at large.


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– Camille Pollutro, Class of 2020

The knowledge and depth that the Criminal Justice program professors provide is unmatched. The opportunity to have a former police officer, a lawyer, and a researcher coupled with their long list of academic accomplishments is so unique and a major part of the programs’ success.

01 Undergraduate

Ashland University’s Criminal Justice program helped me connect my love of investigations with my long dream of becoming an Officer by providing the courses I needed to get hands on experience and the best learning opportunity possible.

– Jake Bon, Class of 2019

01 Undergraduate

I was very nervous returning to college after a 12 year hiatus after my first experience at another school. Right off the bat, the AU advising department put me at ease, with showing me the highest levels of professionalism and care as an adult online distance learning student. My advisor was always available to answer any questions that I had pertaining to my courses and offered encouragement to me if I ever felt discouraged about the tasks that I was undertaking to complete the requirements to earn my degree from Ashland. With all sincerity, I could not have made it to graduation without her being there in my corner and supporting me at every step along the way.

– Jaisun Balony, Class of 2018

01 Undergraduate

Ashland is actually my third college. I wish it was my first honestly. Your credits will transfer well, unlike many online programs. And, it allowed me to pursue my dreams in the law field while still raising a family. I have never felt that I'm a small fish in a big pond, I've never asked for help and didn't get it. Never have I contacted an advisor or professor and was not emailed back in a timely manner. I just think I've made the best choice for my future.

– Karri Howze, Class of 2022

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