student and computer


Problem attending day classes?  Don't live in Chattanooga? Check out our online program!

UTC’s distance education programs provide high quality courses and services in a flexible learning environment. We recognize that many quality students wish to earn a B.S. degree, but may not be able to attend traditional face to face classes on campus. Courses in the online program have been modified specifically for web-based delivery.  All course requirements are identical to the face–to-face program offered on-site at UTC.  The material is simply delivered in a different format.  Courses are taught by full-time faculty members who teach the same courses face to face at UTC.   Students experience on-line courses with the same quality and rigor expected in a face–to-face course.  Online students receive the same degree/diploma as face to face students.  In other words, everything but the delivery style is the same.


How does the program work?

This program is specifically designed for individuals who have completed a two year degree (or equivalent) and would like to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice. This type of program is referred to as a Degree Completion Program. The program is designed for individuals who have some college experience and/or a two year degree from a community college.  UTC currently does not offer enough online courses to complete general education requirements or the entire 120 hours for the degree online. New courses are being added though and this may be possible in the near future.

Most students will need the following courses to begin the program:

  • 60 hours of college work
  • all general education equivalents as required by UTC, and
  • an introduction to sociology, psychology, and criminal justice course.


Normally, students will have to meet all of the above requirements prior to beginning the on-line program; however, in some cases students might be able to begin if they are lacking only a few courses. We will work with students to evaluate course equivalencies and make recommendations about any needed remedial work.  There also are additional UTC graduation requirements that students need to be sure to meet.  Your advisor will assist you with this.

Is UTC accredited? 

Yes -- UTC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).  It is part of the University of Tennessee system.  Your degree will "look" like any other degree awarded by UTC to any of our 12,000 students on our campus attending face to face classes. 

Will my degree be recognized by employers?

Yes -- Your degree will "look" like any other degree awarded by UTC to any of our 12,000 students on our campus attending face to face classes.  Your employer would have no reason to even know that you have taken online classes.  It is not reflected on your transcript.  All course requirements are identical to the face–to-face program offered on-site at UTC.  The material is simply delivered in a different format. 

How often are courses offered and how can I be sure I will graduate in a timely manner?

The courses are offered in regularly scheduled intervals.  This requires careful planning to ensure that courses are taken in the proper sequence to ensure pre-requisites and graduation requirements are satisfied. Students may complete the degree program in 3 years if they take 6 hours a semester and 18 months if they take a full-time load (12 hours) a semester (including summer semesters).

When you begin the program, you will receive a personalized schedule outline that shows you which courses you will take each semester and identify a likely graduation date.  You will be able to see your targeted graduation date when you begin and if you stick to the sequencing plan, you should graduate as planned. 

The attached models demonstrate what a "typical" curriculum plan might look like. It assumes that all general education requirements have been met and the student transfers 60 hours to UTC (including an Introduction to Criminal Justice course).  Individual situations may require adjustments to the model.  Course availability also occasionally may change.  This is why it is essential to work with the Distance Learning advisor to ensure timely progress toward degree completion.

How can I be sure my general education courses will be met by the courses I took elsewhere?

If you have an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Arts (AA) degree from a public school in Tennessee, all of your general education requirements are met when you transfer to UTC.  If you do not have one of these degrees, we can help you evaluate how your courses will transfer in to meet general education requirements. 


How much does it cost?

Tuition and fees for the distance learning program are based on D Campus rates.  Information about tuition and fees are available from the Bursar's office.  Detailed costs for online classes are there as well.  


How do I get registered and get help with other support services?

Our UTC Online Office provides support for students to assist with the application process and getting registered.  They also provide other support services for online students.


Is Distance Learning for Me?

On-line courses are asynchronous meaning that students complete their work at different times throughout the day and week.  For the most part, all students are not on-line at the same time.   On-line courses are NOT independent study courses.  They are NOT self-paced.  They require a daily and/or weekly time commitment which includes on-line interaction with faculty and other students in the class.  Students need access to a computer and the Internet, and they also need to have basic computer skills. 


Online courses require at least as much, if not more, time and commitment than traditional face to face courses.  Students who enjoy
working independently and who have good time management skills often excel in on-line courses, but this delivery method is not for everyone. 


There are several assessment instruments that will allow you to reflect upon your ability to excel in an on-line format. 


 What technological skills and computer equipment do I need?

UTC has established minimum technological needs and recommended computer skills.   If you are having problems, please check on the link to enable some settings on your browser. 


You also should be able to perform the  computer skills listed below (at a minimum):

  • General Skills
        Locate and open files
        Save a file to a specific location
        Save a document as a doc, rtf, or txt
        Print a document
        Create a new document
        Format text in document  (font, size, etc)
        Cut, copy and paste text within a document
        Cut, copy and paste text between 2 separate documents
        Open and play a presentation (such as Microsoft PowerPoint)
        Open and play a video clip with audio
        Download and install plug-ins and software
  • Internet/Browser Skills
        Identify the browser you are using
        Use the address bar to go to a web site
        Navigate a web site
        Recognize links on a web page
        Check and send email
        Check and send email with attachments
        Download and save a document from the web
  • Skills for Online Research
        Search online databases
        Use search strategies
        Evaluate the accuracy and credibility of information