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Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Earn Your Master’s in Criminal Justice in Under 2 Years

At South University, our master’s degree in Criminal Justice program can help you build the skills and knowledge you need to become a leader in the criminal justice field. Learn more today about our programs and how we can prepare you to make your community a safer place.


Develop Leadership Skills for the Criminal Justice Field

Whether you want to enhance your existing criminal justice career or are just now planning your move into this important field, our master’s in Criminal Justice online and campus programs can prepare you to serve your community in the law enforcement, correctional, political, or legal arenas.

By closely examining the historical and current criminal justice system and the relationships among law enforcement, the courts, and corrections, you can develop an advanced understanding of criminal justice institutions, processes, and policy. You can also learn research and evaluation techniques for conducting and assessing social policy research, including data analysis and case study simulations.

Across the curriculum, our master’s degree in Criminal Justice emphasizes the skills and best practices necessary for leadership positions within criminal justice agencies and administration.

Customize Your Criminal Justice Studies

To earn your master’s degree in Criminal Justice, you’ll start by building your knowledge of:

  • Foundations in criminal justice
  • Ethics and moral behavior in the criminal justice system
  • Advanced research methods and analysis
  • Criminal justice administration
  • Criminological theory
  • Criminal justice planning & innovation
  • Organizational leadership
From there, based on your interests, you may choose to study four of the following areas:
  • Juvenile justice administration
  • Critical/controversial issues in law enforcement
  • Political terrorism
  • Legal issues in criminal justice administration
  • Management of critical incidents
  • Resource and agency coordination
  • Homeland security
  • Community corrections and reentry programs
  • Institutional corrections
Because your elective choices should reflect your professional goals, you may select two elective courses outside Criminal Justice. For example, Public Administration, Business, or Clinical Mental Health Counseling courses may be taken with required approvals and completed prerequisites.

All master’s in criminal justice students must complete a project that explores a central criminal justice issue, policy, or practice and incorporates relevant theories and research, past approaches, and suggestions for addressing this problem in the future.

Learn Strategies for Solving Complex Criminal Justice Problems

After graduating with your master’s degree in Criminal Justice, you’ll be able to:

  • Solve problems within complex organizations through applying skills in theoretical and applied criminal justice areas as well as managerial principles and practices.
  • Understand the relationship between crime theory, crime policy, and professional practice.
  • Apply interaction skills and behavioral strategies to improve systemic communication within and between criminal justice agencies.
  • Effectively interpret and use research methodology on topics related to the professional practice of criminal justice.
You can complete one of our Criminal Justice master’s programs on campus in as little as 18 months, or earn your master’s in Criminal Justice online in 15 months.

Master’s in Criminal Justice Admissions Requirements

Our Criminal Justice master’s programs welcome qualified students with bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice as well as related fields like criminology, psychology, business, public administration, anthropology, political science, sociology or other social sciences.

Master’s in Criminal Justice online and campus program applicants must meet the general requirements of the University and have:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Completion of application for admission.
  • A 2.7 overall grade point average or higher on completed requirements for the baccalaureate degree, or, GRE minimum test scores, 150 verbal, 159 quantitative, or Millers Analogies Test (MAT): achieve a minimum overall scaled score of 402, or, an earned graduate degree from an accredited institution with a CGPA of 3.0 or higher.

The following undergraduate course must have been satisfactorily completed from an accredited institution or be satisfactorily completed (grade of C or better) within the first two quarters after acceptance into the master’s in Criminal Justice program.

  • MAT2058 Statistics (or completion of MAT5001) OR an appropriate Statistics course offered in a related field such as Psychology or Business.
Scholarships and financial aid are available to those who qualify. Currently employed individuals may be eligible for education benefit programs through their employer that may lower the cost of earning a degree. For financial aid or admissions questions, call 1.800.688.0932 or complete a request information form today.

Master’s in Criminal Justice: Jobs & Careers You Can Pursue

So, what can you do with a master’s in criminal justice? There are many options to consider, depending on your interests and aspirations. After earning your master’s in Criminal Justice, jobs you are prepared to seek include management, administrative, research, and teaching positions within or related to law enforcement, correctional organizations, local and state government, and legal institutions. Our master’s degree in Criminal Justice graduates may also pursue related doctoral studies.

For individuals with a master’s in Criminal Justice, salary can vary based on factors like experience level, position, industry, and geographic region. Request information to learn more about the benefits of getting a master’s degree in criminal justice at South University.

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