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Information on Master of Corrections Degree Program

Majors Overview September 24, 2015

This article talks about Master of Corrections degree programs and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Corrections Degree Program

Graduate students who want to gain a grasp of the U.S. justice system and criminal justice theory would benefit from enrolling in a 2-year master’s degree program in criminal justice and corrections. A particular specialization in the field, such as criminal justice administration, corrections, or juvenile corrections is a requirement for students enrolled in many programs. Schools also require students to complete a project or thesis paper, in addition to an internship or work-study at corrections or judicial facilities.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in any field of study. Prior work experience in law enforcement, corrections, or criminal justice administration would benefit applicants seeking admission to the program.


The focus of program coursework is mainly in advanced research methods and their application to specific topics in the field. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•U.S. gang studies
•Criminal procedure
•Correctional services
•Corrections and law
•Juvenile justice system
•Criminal justice organization and administration
•Corrections and society
•Criminal justice and statistics
•Nature of crime
•Philosophy of corrections

Career Choices

While program graduates may want to become corrections officers, they may also aim for more advanced positions in the field such as:

•Correctional treatment specialist
•Correctional Counselor
•First-line supervisor
•Correctional officer manager
•Community supervision officer

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a slower-than-average job growth rate of five percent has been predicted for correctional officers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $38,970 (BLS). More advanced positions, such as those of first-line supervisors of correctional officers and correctional treatment specialists, are available through more experience or education.

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates may seek continuing education at the doctorate level by enrolling into programs in the fields of corrections, criminal justice, sociology, juvenile corrections, and psychology. These programs could lead to careers as university professors in the corrections field or as policy planners or administrators in the U.S. criminal justice system.

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