Get information about online master’s degree programs in criminal justice and their program requirements and information, common courses, career choices, job and wage outlook, and licensing information.
Information on Criminal Justice Program
Few schools, if any, offer Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree programs in Criminal Justice; however, many schools offer other master’s degree programs in the field of study in online formats. Students can complete these programs via distance learning programs, wherein class assignments and lectures are available to students in accordance with their schedules. Other programs combine on-campus and online learning formats. Students usually need two years of full-time study to complete these programs. Incoming students are required to have a bachelor’s degree in any major. However, those without experience in the criminal justice field may have to participate in an internship with a justice agency.
Graduates are imparted a solid grasp of criminal justice practices and theory via courses in juvenile crime, terrorism, while collar crime, crisis management and victimology. Students enrolled in some programs are allowed to opt for an area of specialization, such as justice administration. Students learn research techniques and methods, and have to complete a capstone project or a thesis.
Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice
There are no online MBA in Criminal Justice degree programs. However, Master of Criminal Justice, Master of Science (M.S.), or Master of Arts (M.A.) in Criminal Justice programs are available in online formats. The program coursework explores criminal justice administration, victimology, crisis management, and criminology.
Admission criteria require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. While preference may be given to individuals with a background in criminal justice, applicants are not required to have such a background. Students may opt to focus on a particular area of interest by choosing elective courses or concentrations, such as forensic science administration or justice administration.
Program Requirements and Information
Students take about two years to complete an online master’s degree program in criminal justice, but part-time students could take even longer. Open enrollment is available through some schools that accept online students at any time, and students enrolled in many programs are allowed to combine online learning with on-campus coursework.
An online educational server has to be logged on to, in order to facilitate communication with their professors and peers; this helps in accessing learning materials, completing courses, attending lectures and submitting assignments. Students may have to complete an internship in person.
Access to a word processing program and high-speed Internet is essential to completing an online program. Specific Web browsers are required to enable correct viewing of online materials. As asynchronous learning experiences are available at most schools, students don’t usually require additional hardware.
Common Courses in Criminal Justice
Apart from the completion of core coursework in criminal justice, research work and a thesis are also mandatory.
Sex Offenses and Sex Offenders
Students will explore the types of sex offenses and motives of sex offenders in this course. They will also learn about ways to help victims recover.
This course features computer crime and techniques for stopping it. Coursework covers legal issues, solving of crimes, the cost of computer crimes, and helping victims.
Criminal Behavior Theories
This course teaches topic areas relating to corrections and crime control and the reasons why people commit the crimes.
White Collar Crime
White collar crimes are discussed in this class, including fraud, political corruption and money laundering. The methods for prevention, detection and stoppage are examined by students, in addition to the legal implications.
Students learn about the experience of victims within the criminal justice system, in addition to the rights of victims of criminal activity. They also learn about the potential long-term impact of being a victim.
Program graduates can aspire to play various roles, including as sheriffs, investigators, private detectives, probation officers and managers in law enforcement or correctional institutions.
Job and Wage Outlook
Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of five percent has been predicted for correctional officers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). During the same decade, detectives and criminal investigators are expected to see a five percent job growth.
In 2012, first-line supervisors of correctional officers brought in an average annual wage of $38,970 (BLS). During the same period, detectives and criminal investigators earned an average annual wages of $56,980. Graduates can also seek other career choices, such as jobs at the Federal Bureau of Investigation or homeland security.
State licensure is compulsory for some professionals in criminal justice, such as private detectives. Each state can have its regulations and rules about the level of testing, education, and experience needed for licensure. In most criminal justice professions, emotional control and physical fitness requirements are more commonly sought than optional certification or licensure regulations.
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