Top Online Master’s of Criminal Justice Degree Programs for 2019

criminal defense lawyer

The field of Criminal Justice is in constant need of well-educated researchers and scholars who can bring order and reform to law enforcement and the legal system. Earning a graduate degree in this major will give professionals in the field the skill, understanding, and competitive edge to enter into positions of leadership and management where they can make a positive influence on the prevention and intervention of crime, as well as the criminal reform and rehabilitation.

Methodology Used To Determine OSC’s Picks for the Top Online Master’s of Criminal Justice:

The schools on this list were found and indexed due to their regional accreditation, retention and graduation rates, and faculty credentials. The curriculum were required to provide students with experiential learning opportunities in the field of criminal justice and provide them with practical, theoretical, and research applications within law enforcement or an applicable field. Coursework had to include real-world projects, flexibility in delivery, and available academic, professional, and career resources.

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UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE

Program Standouts:
The University of Louisville’s online Master of Criminal Justice is the fastest degree program on this ranking with coursework that is completed in 6-week terms. Depending on their transfer credits and dedication, some students can finish the entire degree in just three semesters while still only taking one class at a time. There elective coursework options (some of which can be found below) include exciting topics that are offered at very few other online colleges or universities. The general curriculum concentrates on administration, theory, practice, law, research methods, and advanced statistics within the criminal justice and legal systems. The University of Louisville’s Department of Criminal Justice maintains strong partnerships and networks with government agencies and private companies that provide an invaluable support system for students and graduates alike.

Campus Location: Louisville, KY

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Crime and Criminal Justice in the Cinema
  • International Terrorism
  • Managing Organization Performance

Acceptance Rate: 72%

Retention Rate: 80%

Graduation Rate: 54%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE’S ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

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UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL

Program Standouts:
This online university provides a Master in Criminal Justice well-suited to law enforcement, corrections, and security professionals who are seeking to develop their leadership and administration skills to advance within the industry. It is also an excellent program for students who are just entering the field, aspiring teachers and instructors, and professionals seeking specialization in a new area. Students residing in Massachusetts can offset their tuition through the Police Career Incentive Pay Program. Various elective courses make the degree program capable of being personalized toward areas such as psychology and substance abuse.

Campus Location: Lowell, MA

Accreditation:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Victimology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Violence in America

Acceptance Rate: 57%

Retention Rate: 85%

Graduation Rate: 54%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL’S ONLINE MASTER OF ARTS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEGREE PROGRAM

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FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Students in this online Master in Criminal Justice can personalize their degree with general and program-focused elective options, either inside or outside of the major curriculum. The degree has focused coursework for those who are considering higher education instruction or doctoral studies pursuits. The Florida International University Department of Criminal Justice also provides excellent doctoral degrees that can be taken upon culmination of the master’s program. Faculty members are well-decorated with various industry awards and recognition. Students have opportunities to network with experts and government officials, such as prosecutors, policy experts, and law enforcement.

Campus Location: Miami, FL

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Criminological Theory
  • Transnational Crime and National Security
  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice

Acceptance Rate: 50.4%

Retention Rate: 88%

Graduation Rate: 54%

LEARN MORE ABOUT FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER’S IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

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BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
The Bowling Green State University Master of Science in Criminal Justice Online is a well-ranked degree that is offered at an accelerated rate. Coursework is delivered in 7 and 8-week formats and is instructed by expert and highly prolific faculty members. Students take two classes in each semester and finish their degree in two years. The curriculum is perfect for teachers, corrections specialists and officers, probation and parole officers, and investigators, and is also lays excellent groundwork for those who are looking to further enhance their careers in a doctorate. Students exiting this program are suitable candidates for positions of leadership in their current places of business, or in a new job at a better organization!

Campus Location:

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • The Organizations and Management of Justice
  • Data and Statistical Analysis in Criminal Justice
  • Crime Analysis

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Retention Rate: 76%

Graduation Rate: 55%

LEARN MORE ABOUT BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY’S MASTER OF SCIENCE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE ONLINE

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UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER

Program Standouts:
The University of Colorado Denver has been educating graduate students in Criminal Justice for over forty years, and today provides an esteemed online degree. The coursework has a focus on several critical areas of the discipline, which includes correctional systems, laws and codes, policy, law, juvenile justice, and law enforcement. There is also a strong emphasis in the general curriculum on research and evaluating criminology. Students choose one of four concentration options for a more focused education in a particular area, but can also take a more broad approach to criminal justice. The coursework is instructed by industry experts who have decades of experience and knowledge in communication, research, policy, and more.

Campus Location:

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Program Options:

  • Crime Analyst
  • Emergency Management and Homeland Security
  • Gender-Based Violence
  • Nonprofit Organizations

Acceptance Rate: 67.4%

Retention Rate: 72%

Graduation Rate: 41%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER’S ONLINE MASTER OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

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NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
This online Master in Criminal Justice from the highly reputed Northeastern University is designed for working professionals in the criminal justice field. Students utilize the knowledge and skill gained in the degree program in their positions of employment to address and solve complex issues. The six concentration options allow professionals throughout the field to enhance their abilities to a level of expertise. Near the end of their coursework, the program culminates in a six-week experimental network project with a sponsoring organization in their local community. Northeastern University is partnered with thousands of organizations and companies, including nonprofits, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies, of which students and alumni can take advantage throughout their careers.

Campus Location: Boston, MA

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Program Options:

  • Community and Family Justice
  • Corrections
  • Global Criminal Justice
  • Leadership
  • Policing
  • Security

Acceptance Rate: 28%

Retention Rate: 97%

Graduation Rate: 82.1%

LEARN MORE ABOUT NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE CRIMINAL JUSTICE MASTER’S DEGREE

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COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY-GLOBAL CAMPUS

Program Standouts:
Colorado State University-Global Campus is well-known for their outstanding array of distance education programs, including the Master of Criminal Justice, which instructs students on the actual building and implementation of policies and programs in their communities. What else makes CSU Global’s graduate degree program so unique is the incredible array of specialization options available to online students. The curriculum approaches the ethical, legal, and political impacts of the criminal justice systems as well as that of policing and policy. Faculty members at this online university receive in-depth training in distance education instruction and have enormous industry experience to bring to the online classroom.

Campus Location: Greenwood Village, CO

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Program Options:

  • Accounting
  • Applied Business Management
  • Business Intelligence
  • Contemporary Practices in K-12 Online Learning
  • Criminal Justice Leadership
  • Cyber Security
  • English K-12 Educators
  • English Language Learning (ELL)
  • Finance
  • Fraud Management
  • Global Management
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Human Resource Management
  • Human Resource Performance
  • Information Technology
  • International Management
  • K-12 Education Technology and Instructional Design
  • Math K-12 Educators
  • Online Learning Innovation and Design
  • Organizational Leadership and Change Management
  • Organizational Learning and Performance
  • Population Health
  • Project Management
  • Strategic Digital Information Marketing
  • Strategic Innovation and Change Management
  • Teacher Leadership

Acceptance Rate: 96%

Retention Rate: 70.5%

Graduation Rate: 52.5%

LEARN MORE ABOUT COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY GLOBAL CAMPUS’ ONLINE MAST’ERS DEGREE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

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CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK

Program Standouts:
The online Criminal Justice graduate degree in the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice is an accelerated, affordable program that is tight by distinguished faculty members with outstanding experience in the criminal justice and legal systems. Coursework is completed in 8-week terms and can be finished in as little as one year. The general curriculum provides an excellent platform in the theory and practice, quantitative and qualitative research methods, policy analysis, and judicial studies. Students choose specializations that concentrate their degree in four different areas such as Criminology and Deviance or Crime Mapping, giving their degree a unique and individualized edge that will place them in specific areas of the system.

Campus Location: New York City, NY

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Program Options:

  • Criminology and Deviance
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Policing
  • Terrorism Studies

Acceptance Rate: 43%

Retention Rate: 86%

Graduation Rate: 45.3%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK’S ONLINE MASTER OF ARTS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

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SAINT JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
An incredibly popular and well-liked online school, Saint Joseph’s University provides an Online Master’s in Criminal Justice with more concentration options than any other school on this ranking. The general curriculum has an emphasis on behavior management and is instructed by leaders in the criminal justice industry. Students will gain in-depth experience in modern research practices and applications within the discipline that can be utilized in positions of management and leadership. The coursework is offered at an accelerated rate so that students can earn their graduate degree in as few as 18 months. The expert faculty members ensure that the program is kept consistently up-to-date to reflect current industry standards.

Campus Location: Philadelphia, PA

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Program Options:

  • Behavior Analysis
  • Behavior Management
  • Federal Law Enforcement
  • Intelligence and Crime Analysis
  • Homeland Security

Acceptance Rate: 82%

Retention Rate: 91%

Graduation Rate: 73%

LEARN MORE ABOUT SAINT JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER’S IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

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UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI

Program Standouts:
This online school’s Master in Criminal Justice degree is an excellent foundation for students who are seeking a doctorate in a related field. The University of Cincinnati School of Criminal Justice is, yearly, ranked as one of the best in the country. Students learn from top researchers and scholars in the field in a curriculum that emphasizes policy analysis, complex problem-solving, and modern approaches to criminal intervention and prevention. Coursework pulls from a diverse range of topics, such as psychology, sociology, and law, making an excellent pastiche of criminal justice. The goal of this MCJ program is to increase the knowledge of current professionals in areas of theory and practice, as well as strengthen the standards upon which the criminal justice field is founded.

Campus Location: Cincinnati, OH

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Demonstration Project
  • Seminar in Criminal Justice
  • Seminar in Criminology

Acceptance Rate: 86%

Retention Rate: 88%

Graduation Rate: 62%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI’S CRIMINAL JUSTICE MASTER’S ONLINE

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PURDUE UNIVERSITY GLOBAL

Program Standouts:
Purdue University Global’s Online Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice provides distance education students with the training and knowledge to fill leadership, administrative, and supervisory positions in the field of criminal justice. Students build a strong foundation of knowledge and skill through the applied research projects and real-world experiences in this flexible online degree. The curriculum has a strong focus on management and criminological theories. Other opportunities through which Purdue students can broaden their understanding and experience include those available through the online criminal justice forums where they can connect with other professionals and students from across the nation, or in the various clubs and student-led organizations.

Campus Location: West Lafayette, IN

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Academic and Professional Communications in Public Safety
  • Criminological Theory
  • Organizational Behavior

Acceptance Rate: 59%

Retention Rate: 91%

Graduation Rate: 68.6%

LEARN MORE ABOUT PURDUE UNIVERSITY GLOBAL’S ONLINE MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

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UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

Program Standouts:
The Online Master’s in Criminal Justice at the University of Central Florida includes rigorous experiential learning opportunities, high-quality and diverse coursework, and a low tuition rate. Students engage in projects that apply complex theories in criminology and law to real-world scenarios and for a strong understanding of crime, criminal psychology, and theoretical and practical applications of justice. UCF provides numerous amenities and resources of its online students, such Success Coaches who work with them from admission to graduation. This online program is nationally recognized by law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Graduates have gone on to become FBI and Secret Service agents, criminal profilers, detectives, United States marshals, and other such highly respective instruments of the law.

Campus Location: Orlando, FL

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • The Nature of Crime
  • Foundations of Corrections
  • Policy Analysis in Criminal Justice

Acceptance Rate: 49%

Retention Rate: 89%

Graduation Rate: 70%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA’S ONLINE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA EXTENDED CAMPUS

Program Standouts:
Not only does the University of Oklahoma Extended Campus provide distance education students with a fabulous online Master in Criminal Justice program, but there are also two Graduate Certificates in Restorative Justice Administration and Corrections Management that serve to specialize the graduate degree even further. This is an accelerated online program that is well-suited to the various schedules of working adults. Upon admission to this program, students work with individually assigned advisors to create plans of coursework that suit their particular career goals. The courses involve working with criminal justice experts throughout the country who help implement strong skills in research, intervention, prevention, and communication. This degree is especially well-suited for students with a background in the criminal justice field.

Campus Location: Norman, OK

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Mediation and Conflict Resolution
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Restorative Justice Programs for Drug Offenders

Acceptance Rate: 78%

Retention Rate: 90%

Graduation Rate: 67%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA’S ONLINE MASTER OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEGREE

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ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
At Arizona State University, Online Master in Criminal Justice students can look forward to numerous advantages over other programs of this nature. Faculty at this prestigious and highly-ranked online school are esteemed researchers and scholars across the nation and bring expertise in various aspects of criminology to the online classroom. Coursework is delivered in accelerated 7.5-week sessions, and students complete the degree in 1.5 years if taken full-time. However, there are part-time options as well. Students engage in intensive research projects with instructors that have real-world impacts and thus teaches them the complexities of the criminal justice field, first-hand. U.S. News and World Report has listed this degree as one of the top five in America for three consecutive years.

Campus Location: Tempe, AZ

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Life-Course Criminology
  • Gangs and Crime
  • Race/Ethnicity, Crime, and Justice

Acceptance Rate: 82.9%

Retention Rate: 81%

Graduation Rate: 43%

LEARN MORE ABOUT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE CRIMINOLOGY MASTER’S PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IRVINE

Program Standouts:
The University of California Irvine’s online Criminal Justice graduate degree is ranked as one of the finest by U.S. News and World Report. Students have two options through which they can earn their master’s degree in this discipline. The Master of Advanced Study in Criminology, Law, and Society is designed to train students for positions of leadership in both criminal justice and legal settings, such as District Attorneys’ offices, Homeland Security, and the FBI. This curriculum has a focus on practical and theoretical approaches to social policy, crime, and law. The Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology is offered through the Department of Psychological Science as well as the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society, and concentrates more on the legal and psychological principles of criminal activity.

Campus Location: Irvine, CA

Accreditation:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Program Options:

  • Master of Advanced Study in Criminology, Law, and Society
  • Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology

Acceptance Rate: 39%

Retention Rate: 92%

Graduation Rate: 86%

LEARN MORE ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IRVINE ONLINE MASTERS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEGREES

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MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Michigan State University provides online criminal justice applicants two outstanding distance education opportunities in this discipline. The Master in Criminal Justice has been offered since 1998 and is one of the very first programs of its kind. Since then it has had over two decades to refine the curriculum and delivery format drastically. Students in this program can specialize their coursework in the areas of Security Management or an International Focus. The Masters in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis is intended for students who have experience and knowledge in areas such as intelligence analysis, security, and law enforcement. The coursework often brings in guest instructors from law enforcement departments throughout East Lansing and the state of Michigan. MSU also provides outstanding support services throughout professional and academic careers.

Campus Location: East Lansing, MI

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Master in Criminal Justice
  • Master in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis

Acceptance Rate: 66%

Retention Rate: 72%

Graduation Rate: 79%

LEARN MORE ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY’S MASTERS DEGREE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE ONLINE

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UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA OMAHA

Program Standouts:
According to the program website, as well as U.S. News and World Report, the University of Nebraska Omaha’s online Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice is the number one program in the United States. The flexible curriculum accommodates individual schedules without any issues and can be completed in a year-and-a-half when taken at the full-time accelerated rate. However, there are options for slower learners as well. Faculty members in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice are partnered with community organizations and federal agencies, for example, the United States Secret Service, and are routinely called upon for research and policy issues, which also gives students access to outstanding real-world experiential learning opportunities.

Campus Location: Omaha, NE

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Nature of Crime
  • Criminal Justice Research Theory and Methodology
  • Statistical Applications in Criminal Justice and Public Administration

Acceptance Rate: 76%

Retention Rate: 77%

Graduation Rate: 45%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA OMAHA’S ONLINE INSERT DEGREE PROGRAM

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BOSTON UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
This online school’s Master of Criminal Justice is kept meticulously up-to-date to state consistent with the technological advancements, socio-political issues, and practical changes occurring in today’s world. The curriculum is well-suited for those who either want to advance their criminal justice-based careers or those who are looking to broaden their understanding of the field. There are two unique concentration options in Cybercrime and Strategic Management that take students into vastly different areas of a broad discipline. This degree is a good match for those who want to enter law school or pursue a doctorate. Students gain in-depth training in scientific research, qualitative and quantitative analysis, policy, practice, and leadership.

Campus Location: Boston, MA

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Program Options:

  • Cybercrime Investigation and Cybersecurity
  • Strategic Management

Acceptance Rate: 33%

Retention Rate: 93%

Graduation Rate: 85%

LEARN MORE ABOUT BOSTON UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MCJ PROGRAM

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SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY

sam houston state university

Program Standouts:
The online Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University is another of the most celebrated and popular programs of this nature. The curriculum has a broad approach to the disincline that helps prepare students for future positions in law enforcement, corrections, securities, social services. The program is designed mainly for those who are currently employed in the field of criminal justice and who are seeking career advancement. The faculty members and SHSU itself maintain strong connections with local, state, federal, and national agencies that are a foundation upon which students can achieve prominent positions of employment as judges, administrators, advocate, and more.

Campus Location: Huntsville, TX

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Critical Analysis of the Justice Administration
  • Computer/Technical Applications for Criminal Justice
  • Communication Theory and Administration of Justice

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Retention Rate: 77%

Graduation Rate: 53%

LEARN MORE ABOUT SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE CRIMINAL JUSTICE MASTER’S DEGREE

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FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Florida State University’s Online Master in Criminal Justice Studies is one of the most popular of its kind in the country, and has been well-ranked and reviewed by many of the top academic-focused journalistic resources. The curriculum has a focus on research and public policy and teaches students to utilize such skills in the examination of criminal behavior. This degree is excellent for students who plan on pursuing a doctorate, which many graduates go on to do. Current students and alumni, many of whom are now police chiefs and supervisors, have only the most glowing testimonials of this online criminal justice program, which can be found on the website listed below.

Campus Location: Tallahassee, FL

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Race, Ethnicity, Crime, and Social Justice
  • Prevention and Treatment of Crime and Delinquency
  • Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice

Acceptance Rate: 58%

Retention Rate: 93%

Graduation Rate: 79%

LEARN MORE ABOUT FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE STUDIES DEGREE

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These twenty outstanding online schools prepare students to enter into impressive positions of leadership, administration, and practice within the field of criminal justice and law enforcement. The ranking itself represents some of the most phenomenal institutions of higher education in America, where students will earn prestigious graduate degrees. At any one of these online colleges and universities, individuals have options and pathways through which they can focus their coursework to more accurately pursue their goals and career interests. Students will gain invaluable experience in the criminal justice field, as well as impressive networks of colleagues, classmates, instructors, experts, and alumni.

Frequently Asked Questions

What all does the field of Criminal Justice include?

The criminal justice system is the avenue through which crimes are assessed, and punitive and preventative measures are taken to address said crimes. The field includes law enforcement, security, corrections and prison workers, law administration, policing, parole officers, and those working in the court system. Criminal Justice also includes the usage, creation, and adaptation of crime policies to create a more constructive and effective response and rehabilitation for criminals. Many different positions and jobs can be taken on within this profession, yet many students earning a Master in Criminal Justice currently hold employment in the field and are seeking further specialization or enhancement.

How will a Master in Criminal Justice help my career as someone already working in the field?

A Master in Criminal Justice not only gives you a more impressive credential on your resumé that will inspire higher wages and positions of greater responsibility and command, but it also gives you in-depth knowledge in the policy and administration involved within the field. Having a solid understanding of how the system works allows you to make positive changes from the inside. Many of the graduate degrees outlined in this ranking have concentration or specialization options that will enable you to focus your degree program in an area that best suits your goals, such as Policing or Behavior Management. In this way, you can work in different areas of the profession and not get entrenched in lower-level positions.

How much money can I earn in the Criminal Justice field?

The answer to this question depends entirely upon the area in which you choose to work. Some individuals will make more or less than others depending on where they land as a criminal justice professional. Those with positions of lower-levels of responsibility, such as corrections and security officers, earn an average of about $50,000-60,000 per year. Upper-level administrators, criminal investigators, and detectives can earn between $70,000-80,000 per year, depending on the agency, organization, or company in which they are employed, and post-secondary teachers of Criminal Justice will earn a similar wage when employed at a college or university. This information is available in-depth on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Do I have to have a background in Criminal Justice to be admitted to a graduate degree?

Most often, yes, an online college or university would require that students have some educational and/or practical experience in the field. However, this is not a ubiquitous requirement at all online schools. Many of the degrees listed above are excellent for entry-level individuals and professionals, alike. It would most likely be more of a challenge to take on this type of program without any prior knowledge, but it is certainly not an impossibility! You can find the perfect program for newcomers in the ranking, such as the program offered at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Will I have job security in a Criminal Justice profession?

You will absolutely have job security in this field. Police and security professionals have a job outlook of about 6-7% over the next five years, which is about as fast as average, while administrative workers and analysts have a much higher outlook of around 30%, which is significantly faster than average. Job security and wages are something to take into consideration when deciding on a concentration, specialization, or a program itself, and the directions that it will take you as a criminal justice professional.