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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Criminal Investigations

Majors Overview September 19, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in criminal investigations and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

Master’s Programs in Criminal Investigations

Students with an interest in the practical and theoretical applications of criminal behavior analysis would benefit from enrolling in a criminal investigations master’s degree program. Program coursework requires students to delve deeply into research on criminal networks and criminal offenders to gain a grasp of the manner of infiltration of crime and its effects on modern society. The curriculum is devised to impart expertise to graduates on mapping crime patterns, analyzing data and making evidence-based conclusions in the field.

Schools often aim this graduate degree program at professionals in law enforcement or law who seek continuation of service to the public interest in criminal investigation. Most students take about two years to complete these programs. A thesis or a comprehensive final project is often a requirement for students enrolled in the program.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0. In some programs, incoming students are expected to hold undergraduate degrees in criminal justice or related social science fields. In others, students with other bachelor’s degrees are accepted provided they meet minimum sociology and criminal justice prerequisites.


Program coursework focuses on classes in sociology and advanced criminal justice. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Relationship violence
•Punishment and Society
•Evidence-based crime prevention
•Practical criminology
•Deviant and criminal behavior

Career Choices

Program graduates can choose from various possible job options in law or law enforcement.

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth of five percent has been predicted for police and detectives (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $56,980 (BLS).

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