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Affordable Criminal Justice Degree Online


Earning a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice can help you further your career opportunities, salary potential, and effectiveness as a law enforcement professional. The online criminal justice bachelor’s degree program at Lamar University is an affordable and convenient option. It offers a simplified tuition structure and the flexibility that comes with online education.

How Much Does It Cost to Earn a BS in Criminal Justice Online From Lamar University?

The tuition structure of Lamar University’s online bachelor’s in criminal justice is very straightforward. Tuition, including fees, is $248 per credit hour, or $744 per 3-credit-hour course. This puts the total cost for the 120-credit hour program at $29,760. The total cost could be lower for students with eligible transfer credits. Tuition rates are the same for in-state and out-of-state students.

How Does This Compare to Average Public and Private Schools?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, average in-state tuition and fees at public four-year schools was $9,037 per year in 2017-2018. This figure rises to $25,657 for out-of-state students. Tuition and fees for private four-year schools averaged $30,731 the same year.

Given these prices, total tuition for a bachelor’s degree would be about $36,000 for in-state students and over $100,000 for out-of-state students at a public school. Expenses rise above $120,000 for private school students. Without transfer credits, Lamar University’s online criminal justice bachelor’s program costs $29,760 in total. Compared to average prices, this tuition is:

  • Roughly $5,000 less than the average in-state public school bachelor’s degree
  • Approximately $70,000 less than out-of-state students would pay at the average public school
  • About $90,000 less than a bachelor’s degree from an average private school

How About Other Online Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree Programs?

Lamar University’s online option is also inexpensive when compared to other online criminal justice bachelor’s degree programs. For instance, the estimated cost of tuition and fees for Arizona State University’s online B.S. in Criminology and Criminal Justice — assuming no transfer credits — is $5,855 for a 12-credit course load, which adds up to $58,550 for the 120-credit degree program. Out-of-state students pay an estimated $6,860 for a 12-credit course load, or nearly $69,000 for a four-year degree. The out-of-state rate is almost $39,000 more than the cost of Lamar University’s online criminal justice bachelor’s degree program.

The Sam Houston State University (SHSU) online program is currently $3,993 per 12-credit-hour semester, equaling just under $40,000 for a bachelor’s degree. But the university also charges a distance learning fee of $1,212 per semester, bringing the total cost of the degree to roughly $52,000, about $22,000 more than Lamar University’s online program.

The for-profit University of Phoenix charges $398 per credit hour for its online bachelor’s in criminal justice, but that doesn’t include fees, which can quickly add up. Plus, degrees from for-profit universities don’t fare as well when graduates compete for jobs. As the American Economic Association notes, hiring managers favor graduates from public universities. In fact, applicants with a for-profit degree — and otherwise identical resumes — were 25% less likely to receive a callback from potential employers.

The tuition cost estimates above were sourced from university websites (April 2020).

With its affordable, straightforward tuition and flexible, convenient design, Lamar University’s online B.S. in Criminal Justice can be a good option for current and aspiring law enforcement professionals interested in earning a bachelor’s degree. Online learning also offers substantial cost savings because students can maintain their employment while completing their degree. Considering all of these factors, advancing your law enforcement career through education can be both financially feasible and professionally rewarding.

Learn more about Lamar University’s online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program.


American Economic Association: Do Employers Frown on For-Profit Colleges and Online Degrees?

National Center for Education Statistics: Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees

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