Many people tend to forget that political systems and laws have a uniquely organic and complementary relationship. The United States, for example, was founded on the principles of intra-government balance and democracy. But how do those principles get interpreted in a just way? How do governments enforce their rules of operation in a manner that is fair to the general public? The answer is law — which encompasses not only rules, but also the implementation, amendment, interpretation, and creation of those rules. Online criminal justice degrees, much like their traditional brick and mortar counterparts, focus their curricula on building a professional and actionable understanding of how to implement the law on the scale of the citizenry.
Finding accredited online schools can be tough, but persistent research and high standards put you in a position to find the best fit for your needs.
Types of Accredited Online Criminal Justice Colleges
The following is a small sampling of criminal justice programs for people who are more interested in the implementation of law rather than the study behind its technicalities:
Criminal justice encompasses more than just lawyers, of course. The following schools offer criminal justice certificates or programs if you are more interested in work as a
- Kaplan Criminal Justice Degrees and Certificates
- University of Phoenix College of Criminal Justice and Security
- Rasmussen College Online Criminal Justice Degree
Law is an incredibly diverse field of study. It touches issues at the forefront of environmentalism, entertainment, the Internet, science, academia, media, anthropology, and a bevy of other incredibly unique niches. Whether you have an interest in litigation or are more oriented towards mathematical analysis and research, completing an online criminal justice program offers strong opportunities for people to merge unusual passions with their technical facility in law. In the United States specifically, if you are interested in being a lawyer and not a policeman, the following recognized law degree options exist:
- The Juris Doctor Degree (J.D.)
As the first level professional law degree, the J.D. takes three years to complete and is widely considered the “standard” gateway to more advanced credentials in law around the world. Harvard University distributed the first U.S. law degree in the latter half of the 1800s, but the concept of granting certification for the scientific study of law dates as far back as the 11th century.
The Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, a premier educational accrediting agency, accredits this distance learning law program. The school itself is also a member of several other nationally acclaimed accreditation councils. Its Juris Doctor degree program features unique telecommunications and independent learning components, of which law students can select whichever is most suitable for their needs and learning style.
Also a member of the Accredited Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, Concord Law School prides itself on its student-focused program that includes everything from video lectures, to live online classes, a comprehensive system of feedback and instructor support, and flexible scheduling. The school offers the traditional Juris Doctor degree, an Executive Juris Doctor degree, and a more advanced Small Business Master of Laws degree that requires a J.D. to complete. Concord claims that its J.D. graduates have gone on to attend some of the most prestigious schools, including Ivy League institutions, for further study in the field.
- The Master of Laws (LL.M.)
The Master of Laws is an advanced graduate degree that requires a J.D. prior to enrollment. It allows a person to gain specialized knowledge in unique areas of law through intense research and scholarly pursuit. Because academic law requirements vary from country to country around the world, a Master of Laws degree is not necessarily a prerequisite for conducting authoritative research in the field of law. This option is particularly appealing to students who wish to engage in institutional-based research. Currently, only Concord Law School offers an accredited online LL.M. in small business.
- The Doctor of the Juridicial Science (J.S.D. or S.J.D)
This is the highest pure law degree that can be obtained in the United States. It is essentially a research doctorate that is the equivalent to a Ph.D. in other fields. It is not offered by many other places, and is aimed towards training legal scientists, scholars, and professors to pursue high-level careers. If you are interested in a J.S.D. degree, it is only possible to do so through a brick and mortar institution. This could change in the future, but no accredited online law schools provide programs to obtain this degree right now.
The Benefits of an Accredited Online Criminal Justice Degree
Earning a criminal justice degree from home is self-explanatory in the benefits that it provides: a student gets to maintain a flexible schedule, can pursue their degree both while working and dealing with family, and can move at a pace that is most suitable for them (a pace that can vary from time to time). Furthermore, online law degrees show employers and other colleges — if you’re interested in academia — that you have the independence, drive, and discipline to complete a degree in an otherwise unstructured environment.
Use your experiences to craft a story for potential employers or graduate programs that demonstrates your passion for the law. Accredited online colleges, while still in their infancy, tell a narrative of hard work and discipline that is hard to ignore.