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Program Overview

Ashland University’s criminal justice program is designed by experts in law enforcement, 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 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

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.

Forensics envelope

At Ashland University

  • You may receive up to 30 credit hours for life and work experience through a Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio.
  • You may receive transfer credit for previous college courses.
  • Veterans who served in the armed forces for at least 36 months after Sept. 10, 2001, have the Federal Yellow Ribbon program available. AU matches funding provided by the Veterans Administration up to a total of $11,000.
  • There is a 15% tuition discount for members of the Fraternal Order of Police, First Responders and their immediate families.
  • Our program includes the option to attend a police academy, so you can enter the workforce with your degree and police certification.
Criminal Justice student learning how to assess evidence

Sample Curriculum

Choose one of five tracks within the program: criminal justice generalist, law enforcement administration, correctional administration, criminology and research or legal studies.

Career Opportunities

  • Job prospects are predicted to be excellent for criminal justice positions, with seven percent growth expected through 2030. The median annual wage for police and detectives was $66,020 in May 2021. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • In addition to jobs with local, state and federal government, there are positions in the private sector.
Criminal Justice student photographing evidence in mock crime scene

What our students say

Rachel Kleman

“The criminal justice program at AU is such an amazing program. All of the professors I have been taught by and encountered were always extremely helpful and knowledgeable of the field. It helps having professors who have been in the field and have experienced the same things all of us joining the program want to do. Not only are the professors great, but the courses themselves are accurate and descriptive to what happens in the ‘real world’. The courses I took gave me a real understanding of what to expect in my career.”

Rachel Kleman
Correctional Lieutenant for the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, Mansfield, Ohio

Contact Information

Anne Strouth
Program Director, Online Criminal Justice and Homeland Security Programs
249 College of Education

Sara Williams (Szmania)
Administrative Assistant
238 College of Education