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Top 25 Online Master’s Degree Programs in Criminal Justice

Overview

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Criminal Justice is a multifaceted profession, as it ranges from security guard to security manager. Not all have the same education requirements, as the former may only require high school and the latter at least a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice or related field. However, the most engaging jobs in the criminal justice field require a master’s degree. Whether you are interested in becoming a criminologist, forensic psychologist, ATF agent, criminal profiler, or Attorney General Investigator, a master’s degree is more likely to provide a more lucrative, meaningful, and rewarding career.

This collection of schools are all accredited in their respective regions, and have other distinguishing features. Some of the names may not be familiar; perhaps a good reason to research these lesser-known institutions that offer stellar degree programs in Criminal Justice. By earning a degree online, location is not a factor, however, tuition may be and this is where there is considerable disparity. But, higher tuition doesn’t always equate to a better education.

As with any ranking system, there are discrepancies, hence the necessity for the prospective student to conduct his/her research. There are also specialties within this field, for example, Homeland Security, to consider in your selection process.

1. Washington State University

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Founded in 1890, Washington State University (WSU) is the state’s largest land-grant university providing excellence in education to more than 26,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. U.S News & Word Report ranked Washington State University #19 among the best graduate programs in Criminal Justice (2009). The magazine also ranks Washington State University among the nation’s “Best Colleges” (2013). WSU offers 1,504 study abroad programs in 82 countries, and boasts of $260 million in financial and scholarships for undergraduate students. It ranks #3 on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Their online Master in Criminal Justice program (MACJ) provides the necessary training and applied research education for those working in criminal justice, students planning to enter the field, and those with a general interest about criminal justice policy. The program requires 27 credits broken down into core, institutional, and elective courses, as well as four credits aimed at specifically developing and defending a writing portfolio.

The core courses in the online Master degree in criminal justice include:

  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • Introductory Quantitative Methods in Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice: Processes and Institutions
  • Seminar in Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation
  • Seminar in Criminological Theory

Tuition: $509 per credit hour

2. Florida State University

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Florida State University (FSU), located in Tallahassee, had its beginning as early as 1823 and is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the State University System of Florida.  Their 16 colleges offer more than 275 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, professional and specialist degree programs, including medicine and law, covering a broad array of disciplines critical to society today. Each year the University awards over 2,000 graduate and professional degrees. The Journal of Criminal Justice Education ranked Florida State’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice #1 in the nation. U.S. News & World Report named FSU’s College of Criminology & Criminal Justice graduate program as Best Online Programs (2016). The school has also been officially designated as a preeminent research university in the state by the Florida Legislature as a result of having met a set of rigorous benchmarks.

Florida State University is proud to offer a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Studies through the University’s distance-learning program. The master’s 36 credit hours’ program in criminal justice studies is specifically designed for working criminal justice professionals and others who want the rigor and challenge of a first-rate graduate program, but also need the convenience and flexibility that distance learning provides. There are no campus visits required and it is not necessary to log-in on specific days and times. Students taking two courses per semester can expect to complete the program in two full years.

Tuition: $479.32 per credit (in-state)

3. Arizona State University

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Arizona State University (ASU) was originally founded in Tempe, Arizona, as the “Territorial Normal School” in 1885. Since then, ASU (accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools) is now located in the vibrant area of Glendale and has become one of the nation’s largest public universities by enrollment, offering more than 250 undergraduate degree programs and 100 graduate degree programs. ASU’s graduate schools in criminology has been ranked #12 by U.S. News & World Report (2009). ASU was also listed in U.S. News & World Report as a top-tier U.S. University, and has been named one of “America’s Best College Buys” by Forbes magazine.

The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice allows you to learn directly from professors who are nationally-recognized scholars in their respective fields and from a prestigious group of criminal justice professionals with expertise in policing, gangs, fraud, corrections and courts. The online criminal justice program offers valuable training in research methods and statistics, program planning and management, policy analysis, and program evaluation. This 33-credit hour program includes a required capstone course, Theory and Practice in Criminal Justice, in which you will write a comprehensive research paper focusing on a criminal justice policy or practice. Full-time students can earn the degree in as little as 18 months.

Tuition: $502 per hour

4. Florida International University

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FIU Online has been at the forefront of offering the best in online learning since 1998. In 2009, the school enhanced its focus to offer both online courses as a complement to on-site students as well as fully online programs. FIU now has 27 fully online programs and dozens of programs that can be completed almost entirely online. Nearly half of FIU students – over 25,000 – took online classes in the 2012 academic year, and more than 300 faculty taught online classes. Their exceptional online learning experience was ranked #3 in Student Services and Technology – Top Online Bachelor’s Programs in U.S. News & World Reports for 2012.

FIU’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs offers an online Master of Science in Criminal Justice. Its Department of Criminal Justice is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the field of criminal justice education. degree in Criminal Justice requires 36 credit hours (12 courses). All students entering the program are required to complete five courses (15 credits) of core requirements, four electives (12 credits) in criminal justice, and three courses (9 credits) in general electives. To receive the Master’s degree in Criminal Justice, a student must satisfy all University regulations governing graduate study. All students must complete the five core courses, four electives in criminal justice, and three courses in general electives. A minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 is required.

Tuition: $16,281.72 per year (in-state)

5. University of Cincinnati

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The University of Cincinnati (UC), founded in 1819, prides itself on a rich history and as a leader in higher education with major contributions in the areas of science, education, and more. UC is categorized at the top level of higher education as a Doctoral/Research University by the Carnegie Commission, which honors achievements of faculty and program accreditations. The University of Cincinnati was ranked the #1 faculty nationally in the Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice (2010). The University of Cincinnati School of Criminal Justice was ranked #3 by U.S. News & World Report (2010). Also, the school has received regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Their Master of Science in Criminal Justice is a comprehensive 11-course curriculum designed to help you understand the conceptual and theoretical frameworks of criminal justice. Students study various aspects of crime and criminal justice, assess problems through a rigorous research approach, and conduct improved policy analysis. The program will also help you identify current trends in the areas of corrections, policing, and criminology. Many of their graduates pursue careers in research and university settings or assume other leadership roles in the criminal justice system. The program consists of 15 semester hours of Core Courses and 18 hours of Electives. This online master’s degree program is designed to be completed in as few as two years of part-time study or one year of full-time study.

Tuition: $724 per hour (Ohio residents); $739 (non-residents)

6. Ashford University

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In 1918, the Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa, founded Mount St. Clare College (MSC) as a junior college for women. In December 2002, MSC became The Franciscan University, and in May 2004 it conferred its first Master’s degrees. Bridgepoint Education, Inc., a higher education organization, acquired the institution in 2005, and its name was changed to Ashford University. The school is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).  Ashford is committed to implementing the Quality Matters standards for the design of online courses, and is systematically building and evaluating its courses based on these rigorous, research-based standards.

Overall, 91% of respondents to a 2013 alumni survey rated their overall satisfaction with Ashford University as “very satisfied” or “satisfied;” 59% rated their overall satisfaction as “very satisfied.”  In addition, 85% of respondents rated the quality of their instructor as either high quality or very high quality.

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice Program (39 credits total) prepares students for professional careers in the field of criminal justice. The rapid advance of technology and the specter of terrorism have created an expanding need for criminal justice professionals with advanced skills to grapple with the criminal justice issues of the 21st century. This program develops students’ knowledge and skills in the areas of criminal law, criminal justice, forensics and crime scene investigations, cybercrime and technology, management, constitutional processes, ethics, victimology, comparisons of criminal justice systems, and other current and related topics.

Tuition: $644 per credit

7. Michigan State University

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Michigan State University (MSU), established in 1855 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, is known as one of the most prestigious research universities in the world with 200 programs offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. U.S. News & World Report ranks MSU #7 for top graduate schools in criminology (2009) and #28 in America’s Best Colleges among the nation’s public universities (2013). MSU is also ranked in the top 100 on the Top Universities by Reputation list published by Times Higher Education (2013), and is recognized in Princeton Review‘s Guide to 322 Green Colleges (2013).

In 1998, the School of Criminal Justice began offering its Masters of Science in Criminal Justice program on the internet – the first online degree program offered by MSU. The program is designed to add new dimensions to the skills of career people in various areas of criminal justice and security. A number of online support services are available to assist students as they progress through the program. Students enrolled in the program may choose to follow the general requirements for the Masters in Criminal Justice, specialize in Security Management, or follow an international focus. Many students complete the program within a year and a half to two years, depending on work and personal commitments.

Tuition: $698.50 per credit hour

8. American Public University

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In 1991, retired Marine Corps officer James P. Etter founded American Military University and broke new ground by offering career-relevant, distance education for a mobile population of military learners with unique needs. In 2002, AMU was reorganized into the American Public University System (APUS), and American Public University (APU) was founded to provide the same quality, affordable, and flexible education to a broader audience of motivated working adults. It has earned recognition by U.S. News & World Report in 2014, 2015, and 2016 for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs; Best for Vets Colleges from Military Times 2016 and 2015.

The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice focuses on developing the professional skills necessary to assume leadership positions within the criminal justice field. This online master’s program addresses national and local security issues as well as effective countermeasures and subsequent changes in the U.S. criminal justice system. Some of the program objectives are:

  • Distinguish between the major systems of criminal justice and how the functions of police, prosecution, courts, and corrections interface.
  • Analyze the various biological and psychological theories and philosophies of criminal behavior as they influence modern developments in punishment, sentencing, and corrections.
  • Evaluate the various definitions, objectives, and issues of new or emergent criminal threats, such as terrorism, and how they compare and contrast with traditional criminal behavior theories.
  • Assess the rule of law and changes to it as it pertains to direct and indirect influence and impact on social reactions to crime, corrections, and victims of crime.

Tuition: $350 per credit

9. Sam Houston State University

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Located in Huntsville, Sam Houston State University (SHSU), founded in 1879, is the third-oldest public institution of higher learning in Texas. It is a member of the Texas State University System. The school provides more than 80 bachelor’s degree programs, over 50 master’s degree programs, and 6 doctoral programs. This learning institution was ranked the #22 top graduate schools for Criminology in 2009 by U.S. News & World Report. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees. The Master of Science in Forensic Science is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

The online Master of Science in Criminal Justice program combines the convenience of an online education with the prestige of a criminal justice degree from SHSU’s College of Criminal Justice. The online program is geared toward working professionals pursuing careers in the criminal justice field seeking career advancement, allowing students to complete their degree in two years. Through quality programming offered by the college and strong faculty relationships with local, state, and national criminal justice agencies, graduates of the 36 credit hours program have secured careers in criminal justice ranging from judges, chief probation officers, police administrators, victim advocates, federal law enforcement agents, and more throughout the country.

Tuition: $1,447.50 (includes fees for 3 hours)

10. Bethel University

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Established in McLemoresville, Tenn. in 1842, Bethel University began as a seminary for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church with the purpose of training young male pastors for the growing denomination. It was not until the college moved to McKenzie in 1872 that it first began to admit women as students. Jumping ahead to October 2007, Bethel introduced its online Master of Business Administration degree, which quickly became the number-one Executive MBA program in the state of Tennessee.  The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees. It is ranked #1 as the largest institution in the 13-member Christian College Consortium.

Bethel’s 36 credit hours’ Master of Science in Criminal Justice program was designed to allow law enforcement professionals, managers and administrators to balance their academic and professional obligations. Through the flexibility of 100% online learning, you’ll explore the laws, practices, technologies and skills needed by today’s leaders in this vital field. Experienced instructors bring real-world learning to life, while a cohort structure allows you to share best-practices with other criminal justice professionals. Topics range from Ethics in Criminal Justice to Homeland Security Assessment to Crime Mapping. The latter course involves a combination of approaches to the subject including: development of base maps, geocoding (pin mapping), hot spot and chloropleth mapping, spatial analysis and layouts including map books.

Tuition: $465 per credit hour

11. Colorado Technical University

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Since 1965 Colorado Technical University (CTU) has been proud to educate career focused students to advance their education and help achieve their goals. In 1995, they introduced their online school and took our commitment to educating career-focused adults into homes coast to coast and continent to continent. Their online programs were recognized by the prestigious U.S. News and World Report lists for Best Online Programs for 2016. The NSA and the Department of Homeland Security recognize CTU as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense. In 2016, Military Times ranked Colorado Technical University among the Best for Vets Colleges.

CTU’s Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) – is designed for professionals seeking new skills related to law enforcement, corrections and the court systems. This program is structured specifically to develop the knowledge base and skills essential to those who strive to pursue opportunities in policy development, planning and decision-making in the criminal justice system. CTU offers two concentrations for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice, allowing students to focus their degrees.

Criminal Justice – General concentration is designed for those seeking new opportunities in the administrative area of law enforcement, in corrections and in the court systems. The Master of Science in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security concentration is an option for students in the criminal justice discipline that are focused on careers/missions within the homeland security realm.

Tuition: $325 per credit hour

12. University of Massachusetts

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In 1863, the University of Massachusetts, or UMass, was first established as the Massachusetts Agricultural College. Years later in 1947, it finally became the University of Massachusetts. UMass educates more than 68,000 students a year and delivers an impressive 14,000 degrees at its five campuses located in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, and Worcester. All campuses are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. UMass was ranked #42 by U.S. News & World Report in its list of “Top Public Schools” (2012), and the Times Higher Education Supplement of London ranked the school as the 45th best university in the world and 22nd best in North America.

UMass Online’s Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice (MACJ) offers students the necessary professional skills and rigorous training to work in local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies. This program serves to help students manage current employment, acquire leadership positions, and/or continue advanced training in criminal justice. Students must complete 33 credit hours and 11 courses to attain the online MACJ degree. The core courses consist of:

  • Criminal Justice Scholarship
  • Managing Criminal Justice Organizations
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Criminological Theory
  • Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice

Tuition: $570 per credit hour

13. ECPI University

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Founded in Norfolk, Virginia in 1966, ECPI University demonstrated early on its commitment to forward-thinking, market-based curriculum in an accelerated format. The name – ECPI – stands for East Coast Polytechnic Institute, signifying its origin and ongoing commitment to technological advancement in all fields of study. In 2011, the school attains University status and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges. To date, the University has provided employment services to more than 3,800 different employers, some of which are among America’s largest. ECPI has been ranked #1 Best for Vets in 2016.

ECPI offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity; this specialty program will prepare you for a leading role in IT Security. The cybersecurity master’s degree program is focused on providing you with the knowledge and skills to apply the principles and concepts related to the development and management of secure information systems and technology at the enterprise and individual levels, locally and globally.

The cybersecurity master’s is designed for IT professionals, executives, and baccalaureate degree graduates who realize the necessity of delivering value to customers through secure information technology systems. The degree provides you with theoretical, practical, and applied skills in computer-based information systems and the technologies that support them, as well as a broad perspective of the business and management environments in which information system technologies play a strategic role. You could earn your master’s degree in cybersecurity in less than 16 months through their accelerated, year-round schedule!

Tuition: $720 per credit hour

14. University of Louisville

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Founded in 1798, the University of Louisville (U of L), a premiere metropolitan university, is a state- supported research institution with three campuses in the Louisville, Kentucky area. The 287-acre Belknap Campus is three miles from downtown Louisville and houses seven of the university’s 12 colleges and schools. With an enrollment of 22,529, its academic programs attract students from every state and from all over the world.The University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, bachelor, master, specialist, doctoral, and first-professional degrees (D.M.D., J.D., M.D.)..

Their Master of Science in Criminal Justice (Justice Administration) (MSCJ) online degree gives you the knowledge and training you need to move forward and up in your career. The online graduate degree in criminal justice requires a minimum of 36 credits for completion: a core of 15 hours, 18 hours of electives and 3 credits for the completion of a professional paper. The core curriculum includes an overview of the criminal justice system, theories of crime and delinquency, legal issues in criminal justice and advanced statistics and research methods. Elective courses cover specialized topics within criminal justice such as capital punishment, violent crime, domestic violence, criminal justice in media, international terrorism, and substance abuse and justice policy.

Tuition: $714 per credit hour; $250 for Active Duty Service members

15. Grand Canyon University

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Grand Canyon University (GCU) was founded in 1949 by the Southern Baptist Church. Then known as Grand Canyon College, our first campus was located in an abandoned armory building in Prescott, Arizona. Two years later, this Christian interdenominational school relocated to Phoenix.  The private university grants undergraduate degrees through six colleges, including the Ken Blanchard College of Business and the College of Fine Arts and Production. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Grand Canyon University continually since 1968, obtaining its most recent ten-year reaccreditation in 2007.

GCU offers an online Master of Science in Criminal Justice with an Emphasis in Law Enforcement is an advanced degree program designed for individuals who are currently working in law enforcement and who want to earn positions of higher responsibility, or for individuals who want to move into law enforcement work.

In addition, the school’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice with an Emphasis in Legal Studies helps you learn how to preserve the legal system, examine contemporary law and public policy, explore constitutional rights of all citizens, conduct legal research, gain leadership skills in criminal justice and more. When you enroll in the Criminal Justice with an Emphasis in Legal Studies, you engage in study that examines current law enforcement topics, including research and methodological evaluation of criminal justice topics; historical and contemporary questions of constitutional rights; and U.S. and international law.

Tuition: $500 per credit; $400 (Active Duty and Active Reserves)

16. Boston University

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Boston University (BU), founded in 1839 and one of the largest independent non-profit universities in the United State, boasts over 250 fields of study with 33,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 140 countries. BU received the 2010 Sloan-C Award for Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Education and a Silver Best Practices Award for Distance Learning programming from the United States Distance Learning Association (2010). Boston University ranked #51 in the U.S. News & World Report 2013 edition of Best Colleges and #71 in the “Academic Ranking of World Universities,” a publication established by Shanghai Jia Tong University. On campus or online, a degree from Boston University—recognized among the world’s best universities—represents achievement of a high academic standard.

The online Master of Criminal Justice degree consists of ten courses including Criminology, Victimology, Youth Crime Problems, White Collar Crime, Terrorism, Crime and Punishment, Analytical Methods, Research Methods, and Forensic Behavior Analysis. Candidates are allowed to select one course from two electives including a special elective and criminal justice administration. Students enrolled in this program have the option of choosing a concentration in Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity or a concentration in Strategic Management. Degree candidates will take courses where they will analyze criminal behavior, apply principles of leadership in organizational settings, learn theories of social control, and gain an informed perspective of law enforcement, the judicial system, and corrections.

 Tuition: $830 per credit

17. Tiffin University

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Tiffin University, founded in 1888, is an independent, coeducational university, with enrollment of over 4,200 students on its 130 acre campus in Tiffin, Ohio. The school now offers nationally accredited graduate and undergraduate degrees in Business Administration, top-notch bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Criminal Justice and Social Sciences, and distinctive degrees in the Arts and Sciences. In addition to the growth in Tiffin, TU graduate and undergraduate programs are offered online and at Cincinnati, Columbus, Fremont, Toledo, and at several sites in the Greater Cleveland area. Their MBA is also offered at Bucharest, Romania. All of the university’s 25 majors (both on-campus and online) are authorized by the Ohio Board of Regents and are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tiffin offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice with the choice of these concentrations:

  • Crime Analysis: provides students with a theoretical overview of crime analysis, computer applications in crime analysis and investigation, the criminal intelligence process, the use of geographic information systems, statistical applications, and research design.
  • Criminal Behavior: is designed for students interested in examining the relationship between Psychology and the Criminal Justice system.
  • Forensic Psychology: is designed for students who are interested in examining the relationship between psychology and the criminal justice system.
  • Homeland Security Administration: provides the student with perspectives on Contemporary Criminal Justice Issues and Trends, Statistical Applications in Criminal Justice and understanding Counter-Terrorism; explores Legal and Ethical Issues in Homeland Security, the Administration of Strategic and Actionable Intelligence, and Research Design and Analysis; final semester covers Border Transportation, the importance of our Critical Infrastructure Protection,  and Responses to Natural Catastrophic Event and Emergency Preparedness.
  • Justice Administration: the first semester will provide the student with perspectives in human resource management, statistical applications, and contemporary issues in Justice Administration. The second semester explores legal and ethical issues, policy formation and analysis, and research and analysis. The final semester covers law and management practices, administrative theory, and the design and analysis of educational programs and training sessions.

Tuition: $700 per credit hour

18. Keiser University

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Founded in 1977, Keiser University offers 17 campus locations throughout the state of Florida so you can get an education close to home or online. For over 35 years Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help students achieve their personal and professional goals. The school boasts hands-on, practical instruction in health care, business, culinary arts, biotechnology, education, computers and technology, criminal justice, and the legal field.

Keiser University is committed to helping service members and their families obtain their college degree. It is recognized as a TOP College & University in 2016 for its Military Advanced Education and Transition. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates and degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral levels.

Their Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ) program (36 credit hours) enables students to contribute to the criminal justice profession and fosters independent learning. Upon completion of this program, students are able to:

  • Evaluate an agency’s ability to meet the safety needs of a community including corrections, law enforcement and administration of justice
  • Evaluate, research and critically analyze gaps or deficiencies in criminal justice services
  • Effectively and ethically lead and manage criminal justice, community services, and human/social services professionals in both public and private sectors
  • Evaluate contemporary criminal justice systems and their policies and practices
  • Evaluate the psychological basis, nature and causes of crime: typologies and offenders
  • Demonstrate professional communication skills in writing through organizing, thinking critically, and communicating ideas and information in documents and presentations.

Tuition: $591 per credit hour

19. University of Colorado-Denver

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Founded in 1972, University of Colorado Denver (UCD), a public research university, is part of the University of Colorado system. UCD is the largest research institution in the state and a thriving urban education center offering more than 140 degree programs in 13 schools and colleges. The school was ranked #34 on Forbes Magazine‘s public colleges list and Princeton Review included UCD in its Best in the West edition in 2008. It was also ranked the #108 in the Top Public Schools list by U.S. News & World Report. UCD awards more graduate degrees than any other public Colorado institution―more than a quarter of all graduate degrees in the state (2014-15 academic year).

The Master of Criminal Justice program focuses on law enforcement, the judiciary system, correctional systems, juvenile justice, and the formulation of laws and codes. A special benefit of the program is that it prepares students not only to administer the current system, but also to become a pioneer in evaluating and changing it so that it is more responsive to the needs of the community. Students have the opportunity to chose one of these concentrations:

  • Crime Analyst
  • Emergency Management and Homeland Security
  • Environmental Policy, Management, and Law
  • Gender-Based Violence
  • Local Government
  • Nonprofit Organizations (in Denver and online)

Tuition: $11,006 per year (based on 12 credits per term: state residents)

20. Liberty University

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Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Virginia, has pioneered distance education since 1985. Founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell, it is now the nation’s largest private, nonprofit online university. As part of the world’s largest Christian university, Liberty University Online offers a unique approach to online education. More than 95,000 students around the world enjoy the same quality education as Liberty’s residential students with the added flexibility of online classes. Offering more than 245 distance learning degrees from the certificate to the doctoral level, Liberty Online is training students as Champions for Christ through online education. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees.

Liberty offers a unique program in this field, namely a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Criminal Justice Administration. The program prepares you for leadership opportunities in the fields of business and criminal justice. Through the study of law and justice, you’ll advance your knowledge of effective research methods, organizational administration, and criminal law. You will become acquainted with contemporary issues related to the fields of law and business, both nationally and globally.  The curriculum is designed to prepare you to serve effectively as an expert in the modern world of business and criminal justice, emphasizing the importance of applying ethics to practices and integrating faith with learning in a professional atmosphere. Graduates of this 45 credit hours’ program will be qualified to seek jobs in casework, administration, juvenile justice, probation and social services.

Tuition: $540 per credit

21. Kaplan University

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Kaplan University is an institution of higher learning dedicated to providing innovative undergraduate, graduate, and continuing professional education. It has been ahead of the curve responding to employment demands, employer needs, teaching methods, and the use of various educational resources since it was founded in 1937.

Alumni surveys show nearly 89% of respondents believe their educational program met their expectations, 82% would recommend the University to others. The school is also committed to serving the learning needs of 50+ students and is proud to be the Founding Learning Partner of the Life Reimagined Institute, sponsored by AARP.

The school’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice program is designed to provide you with the credentials required for advancement in a rapidly changing career field. Through the school’s convenient courses, you can interact with industry professionals who are dedicated to helping you:

  • Analyze the causes of criminal behavior in various cultures around the world, with an emphasis on the causes of social deviance
  • Focus on organizational behavior, management and leadership of human resources, and design and structural processes in criminal justice organizations
  • Explore various research methods and focus on developing the skills needed to design and conduct applied research and evaluate data
  • Study recent legislation and case law at the state and federal levels in areas such as law enforcement, criminal procedure, civil and criminal liability, civil rights, employment law, and substance abuse

Tuition: $385 per hour

22. St. Joseph’s University

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In 1534, when Saint Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), he insisted that all members of the Order be educated. As far back as 1741, a Jesuit college in Philadelphia had been proposed and planned by Joseph Greaton, S.J., the first resident pastor of Old St. Joseph’s. In this vein, the Society of Jesus founded St. Joseph’s University (SJU) in 1851. Today, it  is among the only 153 schools in the nation with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation. Located in Philadelphia, SJU currently has 4,600 traditional undergraduate students and 3,550 graduate and doctoral students. For over twenty years, the master’s program in criminal justice at Saint Joseph’s has been at the forefront of education in intelligence-led policing and criminal justice administration.

This 30 credit hours’ online Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) program focuses on the foundational knowledge of criminal justice; develop cognitive skills including written and oral communications, critical thinking, reasoning, and conducting research; apply ethical principles to complex social and legal issues; and prepare for their professional future. Concentrations include: administration/police executive; behavior counseling; criminology; intelligence & crime analysis; federal law enforcement; and probation, parole and corrections. The faculty are experts in their field as criminal justice practitioners and scholars, and take an active role in mentoring their students.  The program is flexible enough to allow students to concentrate on the theoretical and methodological knowledge needed to pursue a degree beyond the master’s or to focus on the management skills necessary to succeed as upper level decision makers.

Tuition: $853 per credit hour

23. Western Oregon University

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Founded in 1856, Western Oregon University, located in Monmouth, prides itself in providing a quality education at an affordable price. In 2010 The Education Trust recognized Western Oregon University’s (WOU) focus on student success by naming the campus as a top ten performer in the nation for improvement in graduation rates for underrepresented minority (URM) students. The school is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

This Master of Arts in Criminal Justice online program is designed for individuals currently working in the field of criminal justice and its ancillary professions. Criminal Justice masters programs provides students with academic foundation for managerial and other advanced professional roles in the field of criminal justice. This degree will teach students how to conduct social science research and learn how to apply these methods toward solving the actual problems encountered in the administration of justice. Learning outcomes are:

  1. Analyze the organizational structures and management challenges that define the field of criminal justice
  2. Use methods of social science research to investigate problems and questions in the field of criminal justice
  3. Apply theory-to-practice within the criminal justice environment

This 45 credit curriculum can be completed in as little as 4 terms if students attend full-time.

Tuition: $11,748 (academic year 2016-17: Oregon residents); $19,734 (non-residents)

24. Columbia Southern University

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Columbia Southern University (CSU) has always maintained a student-first philosophy by providing educational opportunities through distance learning to non-traditional students. This vision originated from the founder of Columbia Southern University, Robert Mayes, Sr. in 1993. In 2003, CSU expanded its international offerings by being one of the first U.S. universities to offer a hybrid (online and classroom) degree program in Vietnam. The opportunity to earn an MBA degree was offered in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. CSU is an accredited member of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The university boasts a faculty and staff of 1,000 who diligently focus on continually improving CSU’s academic programs, services, and operations while maintaining an exceptional standard of customer service.

Their Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration provides post-baccalaureate education to criminal justice professionals from various backgrounds enhancing their ability to analyze, comprehend, and resolve complex problems confronting the criminal justice system in a diverse community today. To achieve the objective of this 36 credit hours’ program, the following learning outcomes have been established:

  1. Students will be able to explain how criminal justice theories and technologies impact the commission and solution of crime.
  2. Students will be able to evaluate criminal justice strategies, policies, and procedures to determine best practices.
  3. Students will be able to analyze research methodologies, training, and development techniques that result in effective management of criminal justice programs.
  4. Students will be able to examine causes, methods, and criminal justice agency counteractions to terrorism.

Tuition: $275 per credit hour

25. Regis University

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Regis University was founded in 1877 in Las Vegas, Nevada, as Las Vegas College. The College was renamed Regis University in 1921 in honor of St. John Francis Regis, a French Jesuit and Saint. The College of Contemporary Liberal Studies (CCLS) offers a values-centered Jesuit education specifically designed for the adult learner. Most online students are working professionals, parents, and spouses seeking their bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited University that respects the balance between work, school and family. It has been honored by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) with a national award for excellence in innovation and service to adult learners.

Master of Science in Criminology is designed for those who are passionate about reducing criminal behavior and want to grow their careers and help change how crime is perceived within both the public and private sectors. This program explores the factors that cause criminal behavior and the most effective practices for reforming it with our online or on campus Master’s in Criminology. The in-depth curriculum examines:

  • Socioeconomic, environmental, political, and cultural circumstances
  • Criminal psychology, sociology, behavior patterns, and criminal profiles
  • Analysis of crime statistics
  • Leadership, ethics, policy, and decision making

Tuition: $565 per credit hour

 

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