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Master’s Degree Programs in Administration of Justice and Security Overview

Majors Overview November 2, 2015

Those interested in gaining an in-depth background in critical incident management, criminology, and security systems should look into Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs in Administration of Justice and Security. These are advanced criminal justice degree programs.

Master’s Programs in Administration of Justice and Security

Those seeking leadership and managerial roles in the criminal justice field could benefit from enrolling in a master’s degree program in administration of justice and security. A combination of class discussions, research, and coursework is used to impart expertise to current criminal justice professionals in tackling the security issues of the 21st century, such as information technology security issues and cyber crime. Enrollees are often allowed to specialize in an area such as homeland security, administration and leadership, or criminal justice.

Core coursework focuses largely on debates on ethical questions related to justice and security, the study of criminal justice theory, and exploration of methods of research in the field. Enrolled students learn the application of critical analytical and problem-solving skills to security problems faced by private and public organizations.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field, some schools also require applicants to have professional work experience in the criminal justice field. In most schools, incoming students are expected to submit GRE scores along with letters of recommendation and previous transcripts.


The focus of program coursework is on criminal justice theories and their practical application to real-world security problems. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Incident management
•Legal issues in justice and security
•Criminological theory
•Organizational administration and behavior
•Institutional risk management
•Justice and security survey
•Psychological profiling
•Forensic science
•Physical and personal security
•Cybercrime and IT security

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek careers in numerous fields such as law enforcement, private security, or forensic science. They may be trained for various criminal justice careers such as:

•Homeland security agent
•Criminal investigator
•Forensic investigator
•IT security consultant
•Security Manager
•FBI agent
•Intelligence Analyst
•First-line police supervisor

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, an at-par-with-average job growth rate of 11% has been predicted for detective and investigator positions (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The best options are available to individuals with computer skills and experience. In May 2013, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $79,030, while supervisors of police and detectives earned $82,710 per annum, on average. Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, police and other law enforcement jobs are expected to see a slower-than-average five percent job growth.

Continuing Education Options

Students keen on continuing education may enroll in a doctoral degree program in the criminal justice field, such as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Business Administration and Criminal Justice or a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice. Students usually need at least five years to complete these degree programs that allow the meticulous exploration of an aspect of the criminal justice field. They usually lead to careers in academia or research.

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