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Master’s Degree Programs in Justice Administration Overview

Majors Overview October 29, 2015

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

Master’s Programs in Justice Administration

Essential areas, such as legal issues in criminal justice, the criminal justice system, research methods, theories of crime, and applied statistics often begin master’s degree programs in justice administration. Students enrolled in most programs are allowed to specialize in an area of interest, such as capital punishment, violent crime, terrorism, media and criminal justice, or domestic violence. Ethics, substance abuse, or criminal justice policy might feature among other specializations. Schools often offer these programs online. About 36 credit hours are completed by students, usually within 1-3 years, varying with their course load.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, in addition to submitting letters of recommendation, standardized test scores, and, in many instances, a resume. Participation in research or substantial work experience in a criminal justice-related field would be considered strong reasons for allowing applicants to join the program.


Program coursework is a combination of practices with practical business skills useful for running criminal justice organizations, and theoretical education in the criminal justice system. Theoretical knowledge of the criminal justice system and business knowledge necessary for working in an administrative capacity in criminal justice organizations are both in the program. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Contemporary research models
•Theories of delinquency
•Applied statistics
•The criminal justice system
•Criminal justice management
•Legal aspects of criminal justice

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek administrative roles in numerous criminal justice-related industries, often in the form of managerial or supervisory positions. Not uncommonly, employers bear the cost of tuition for the purpose of promoting. Program graduates may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Correctional facility shift manager
•Administrative Consultant
•Assistant director at a correctional facility
•Program director of the juvenile center
•Police station office manager

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, an average job growth of ten percent has been predicted for mediators, hearing officers, and judges (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $61,280.

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