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Degree Overview: Master of Criminal Justice (M.C.J.) Degree with a Global Issues Concentration

Majors Overview September 26, 2015

This article talks about Master of Criminal Justice (M.C.J.) degree programs with a global issues concentration and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Criminal Justice (M.C.J.) Programs with a Global Issues Concentration

Schools that offer Master of Science in Criminal Justice (M.S.C.J.) programs allow students to choose from global or international concentration options; some offer the program itself in international crime and justice. Enrollees in MSCJ programs without such concentration options may avail some specialization in this area via internship opportunity, elective coursework, or study abroad experiences.

Schools may also require students to learn a foreign language, and may recommend a study abroad experience. Admission criteria typically require possession of undergraduate degrees and completion of some courses in criminal justice. A program with an international focus commonly places emphasis on the perception of students about the legal theories, philosophies, and enforcement practices of various countries, especially as contrasted with those of the United States. A thesis or a comprehensive examination typically marks the culmination of the program.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. A bachelor’s degree in any major may be acceptable. Incoming students without undergraduate degrees related to criminology or criminal justice may have to complete prerequisite coursework in these areas before they are allowed to begin core coursework.


Coursework may include both practical and theoretical instruction in areas such as criminology, legal ethics, and policy-making. Students may also gain basic research, analytical, technological, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills applicable to social issues such as criminal rehabilitation measures and policing methods. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•International security
•Crime statistics analysis
•Criminal justice management
•International law
•Criminal justice history

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek various professional roles with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Patrol Officer
•Probation officer
•Special agents

Wage Outlook

In May 2012, probation officers brought in an average annual wage of $48,190. Patrol officers banked an average annual wage of $55,270, and detectives banked $56,980 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates seeking continuing education may enroll into Ph.D. in Criminal Justice programs that focus on research components and require students to complete a dissertation. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a master’s degree. Ph.D. programs can lead to careers in research or academia.

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