Criminal Justice FAQs

1. What does the criminal justice bachelor's degree completion program entail?

The criminal justice bachelor's degree completion program is designed to build upon the professional experiences of working adults in the military, law enforcement, and other parts of the public sector fields. The curriculum explores the principles and processes of criminal justice as they relate to the organization and operation of the police, courts, and corrections system. Students will learn the skills of social science research, data analysis and writing, ethical problem solving, and leadership. Two minors are available: public safety and law enforcement, or intelligence and security management. Those with more specific career interests also have the option of creating their own minor in collaboration with the program manager. Coursework culminates in a capstone project, in which students explore a focused set of legal and ethical issues in the criminal justice field.

2. Is the program entirely online?

Yes. Norwich has built a leading-edge online learning environment that promotes networking, peer support, and one-on-one interactions with faculty and student support staff. Classrooms are virtual, accessible from anywhere where you have an Internet connection -- whether you’re at home, at work in an office or in the field, or at military base or theater of operations -- and filled with extensive online learning resources.

3. What are the admission requirements for the program?

Students must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • An associate degree or a minimum of 30 credits
  • Official copies of all college and/or military transcripts
  • Documentation of accredited non-college learning (CLEP, etc.)
  • Basic proficiency in basic math and writing skills demonstrated through prior college (the equivalence of EN 101 and MA 102) or training credit in these areas (through SOC), or CLEP tests.

More admissions information is available on our criminal justice program admissions page.

4. How many credits will I take, and can I transfer additional credits to apply toward my degree?

To complete your criminal justice degree, you must earn 123 credits. As an admissions requirement, 30 of those credits must be earned prior to enrolling in the program through military training, CLEP, or college courses completed at another institution. You may transfer up to 60 additional semester-credit equivalents from other accredited institutions of higher education for courses that meet specific program requirements.

5. How much does the program cost?

The per-credit cost for the criminal justice program is $375. For active military, the per-credit cost is $250 and the federal government’s Tuition Assistance (TA) program covers the per-credit cost of the program. For detailed information about program costs, visit the tuition information page.

6. Is this program covered under federal financial aid?

The criminal justice bachelor’s degree completion program is eligible for Federal Student Aid, including need-based (i.e., Pell Grants and Direct Subsidized Loans), and non-need based (i.e., Direct Unsubsidized Loans) programs. To get started on your Federal Student Aid application, you will need to complete the FAFSA.

7. I would like to use my VA benefits. What is the process, and whom do I contact for more information?

The criminal justice program is approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs. As such, all GI Bill® and other military payment options will be available to students applying for admission to the program. For consolidated information about specific programs, visit our Veterans Benefits page.

For additional information, explore the following links:
Department of Veterans Affairs post-9/11 GI Bill
GI Bill benefit comparison information and charts
Department of Veterans Affairs – Educational Benefits
Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB)
Tuition assistance “top-up”
Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
Veterans Benefits forms

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at

8. How long is each trimester, and how long will it take me to finish the program?

Each trimester is 16 weeks long and made up of two eight-week sections. There is a one-week break between trimesters. There is no break between sections within the trimester. Full-time students (meaning they must take at least 12 credits per term) may complete the program in less than two years. Part-time enrollment will take longer. This estimate does not factor in planned or unplanned leaves from the program, which may occur from time to time.

9. How many hours a week must I commit to my studies?

You should plan to spend approximately 15 to 20 hours each week on readings, discussion postings, and written assignments. This will vary depending on the number of courses and the types of courses you’re taking. Students new to the program will spend more time as they get used to online learning and delivery.

10. When can I begin the program?

There are three starts per year: January, May, and September. Additional flexibility around start dates may be possible. Speak to your admission advisor for more details.

11. How large will my class be?

Approximately 15 to 25 students will be in your class. You will break into groups of six or fewer so that discussions and projects are productive and manageable.

12. How do I plan my curriculum and program schedule?

Once accepted into the program, you will work with one of our student services advisors to outline your degree plan, which will determine the courses you need to graduate.

13. What credentials will my instructor have?

Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies recruits from a national market and cultivates a very selective faculty. Most criminal justice instructors have a PhD and significant experience teaching in face-to-face and online environments. Our faculty members bring a mix of academic, research, and professional experience into the virtual classroom, giving you uncommon insight into the areas of law enforcement, policy development, intelligence, and security. They are devoted to students and passionate about teaching and learning. All complete specialized online teaching training and are held to the college’s high standards with regard to quick turnaround on communications and grading of assignments.

14. What Norwich University resources will be available to me?

You will have access to vast online resources through Kreitzberg Library, including our dedicated distance learning librarian. You will also receive academic support from your instructor, administrative support from program staff, and technical support for the online learning platform.

15. Is Norwich University accredited?

Norwich University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Inquiries regarding our accreditation status should be directed to: Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, 209 Burlington Road Bedford, MA 01730-1433, phone: +1-781-271-0022, email:

16. Will there be a graduation ceremony when I complete the program?

Graduating students are welcome to attend the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies residency in June, where they can participate in a commencement ceremony with other graduating students at the College, and a criminal justice academic recognition ceremony with their program peers. Due to the nature of our students’ commitments, participating in residency events at Norwich University is optional, not required. Once students have fulfilled their degree requirements, Norwich University will confer the degrees and send them to students not participating in the commencement on campus. Degree conferrals take place in June and December.