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Online Degree Overview

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

South University 2020 Graduation
At South University, our Online Criminal Justice Master of Science degree program is designed for students with bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice or in related fields like psychology, criminology, business or public administration, anthropology, political science, or sociology. Your online master’s in Criminal Justice degree courses will dive deep into the historical and contemporary criminal justice system, examining relationships among law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. You’ll also cover ethics, research methods, leadership, planning and innovation, personnel administration and management, and criminology—all helping to prepare you for leadership positions in the field. Through elective courses, you can focus in on specific interests, such as juvenile justice, political terrorism, critical incident management, resource and agency coordination, homeland security, and community or institutional corrections.


Admission Requirements

Procedure for Admission to the Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) Program

Prospective students are required to submit the following:

  • Application form
  • Official transcripts for bachelor or graduate degree granting institution.  (All credentials earned outside the United States must be evaluated by a NACES or AICE-member credential evaluation service).  Please speak with an admissions representative for more information.

Specific requirements for admission to classified graduate status are:

  • 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, an earned graduate degree from an accredited institution with a CGPA of 3.0 or higher.

Provisional Admission:

Applicants with an undergraduate degree CGPA of less than a 2.7, but not lower than a 2.3, or a graduate degree CGPA of less than 3.0, but not lower than a 2.7,  will be considered for provisional admission.  Students who do not attain a 3.0 GPA in the first quarter will be dismissed. Students cannot appeal the dismissal from the university as a result of failure to meet the conditions of provisional admission.

Foundational Undergraduate Courses for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Completion of an undergraduate statistics course (with a grade of C or better) is required for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice.  If the student does not have the course as part of their undergraduate degree the course needs to be completed in the first two quarters of the program.  Foundation undergraduate course credits do not count towards the total number of credits for graduation nor do they count in the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA); however, they do count in determining the maximum time frame (MTF) and the Incremental Completion Rate (ICR). MSCJ students enrolled in foundation undergraduate course must successfully complete the course within their first three attempts or the student will be academically dismissed from the University.

Course Requirements


After completing the online master’s in criminal justice degree program, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of skills in theoretical and applied criminal justice as well as in managerial principles and practices to effectively solve real-life problems within a complex organization.
  • Understand the relationship between crime theory, crime policy, and professional practice.
  • Demonstrate interactive skills and learn behavioral strategies for improving systemic communication within and between criminal justice agencies.
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively interpret and use research methodology by completing a final research project prospectus on a topic related to professional practice in an actual criminal justice agency.

Career Outlook

Upon completion of the program, you can choose to enter doctoral programs in related fields or to seek a leadership position within:

  • law enforcement
  • correctional
  • local and state government
  • legal institutions

Online Classroom

Haven’t experienced online learning before or wondering what it’s like to earn your degree online at South University? While the mode of learning is different from the traditional classroom experience with added convenience and flexibility, we hold the same high standards of academic excellence in the online classroom. 

South University’s online programs combine a curriculum designed for student outcomes and a classroom designed for flexibility and engagement. Our online classroom learning platform, Brightspace, provides you with a host of features to enhance your learning experience, including:

  • Advanced media content
  • Personalized navigation
  • Simplified online learning atmosphere
  • Access to digital books
  • Emailing and instant messaging options

We provide more than just an online classroom, bringing a range of campus experiences and services online. In addition, the online classroom is accessible on the go via mobile devices and with tools like the Pulse App. Pulse helps you stay connected and on track with your course by providing a number of features such as course calendars, readings and assignments, feedback and grades, and announcements.

Read more about online requirements here. 

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