In a rapidly changing world, the field of criminal justice offers opportunities for long-term stable careers in law, the legal system and social services. Although entry-level positions in criminal justice are available for those with a bachelors of arts or sciences in criminal justice, an advanced degree in criminal justice from an accredited online university can open doors to new opportunities in both local and international settings. The top ten online programs for a master’s degree in criminal justice are offered by accredited public and online universities and include:
1. The University of Colorado at Denver
The UC Denver online masters degree in criminal justice is offered through the college’s School of Public Affairs. The 36-hour program is equivalent to the traditional classroom version and is taught by the same faculty. The program can be completed either entirely or partially on line, and includes courses on all major areas of criminal justice, such as corrections, juvenile justice, the judiciary and law enforcement, and requires a thesis for graduation. For those entering the program without previous criminal justice experience, an internship is required.
2. Boston University Online
Boston University offers a 10 course online Master of Criminal justice degree program totaling 40 credit hours. This program is conducted completely online, with no campus presence involved. Designed for working law enforcement professionals, this program provides am in-depth examination of practical and theoretical issues in criminal justice.
3. Loyola University New Orleans
Loyola’s online Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration includes 36 credit hours of study in either Justice Administration or Forensic Science Administration. With coursework in areas such as organizational administration and budget planning, both these specializations prepare students for leadership roles in public and private institutions.
4. University of Massachusetts
The UMass online campus offers the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice with 33 credit hours of study. Like Boston University’s program, the UMass version is intended for working professionals in criminal justices to further their careers in administrative and leadership positions. The program includes numerous electives to allow students to tailor studies to their specific needs.
5. University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati’s 48-hour Master of Science program in Criminal Justice is highly comprehensive and academically very rigorous. Designed to provide a thorough understanding of the criminal justice field, the program covers theories of criminal justice, administration, and research, with special topic options for specific interests.
6. Florida State University
Florida State’s online Master of Science in Criminal Justice can be earned online in36 credit hours. Offered through the school’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the program is aimed at working professionals in the field who are seeking to move up into administrative and leadership positions in the three main branches of criminology. With numerous elective options, the program can be tailored to specific needs and interests.
7. Capella University
Online Capella University offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice that includes coursework in the three main areas of criminal justice as well as human behavior, public policy, social change and cultural awareness. Aimed at specialists in the field seeking to advance their careers, the program offers concentrations in a variety of specializations such as forensics, homeland security and public health.
8. Walden University
Longtime leader in online education Walden University offers a number of master’s degrees in Criminal Justice and related fields. Students can select from a general Master of Science in Criminal Justice, which provides an overview to the field or a self-guided program offering options for specialization in areas of a student’s particular interest. Walden also offers a Master of Public Administration and Masters of Public Policy in Criminal Justice for professionals already working in the field.
9. Kaplan University
Kaplan’s online Masters programs in Criminal Justice include specializations in Criminal Justice Leadership, Global Issues in Criminal Justice, and Corrections for those already working in the field. Kaplan also offers a Master of Public Administration with a Criminal Justice concentration which is designed to help administrators in the field to develop leadership techniques.
10. University of the Rockies
The University of the Rockies offers a Masters in Psychology with a concentration in Criminology and Justice Studies. This accredited online program offers courses and seminars focusing on the theoretical aspects of psychology and criminology, areas such as the theories of crime, correctional philosophies and victimology.
Online Masters degree programs in Criminal Justice offer flexibility and convenience, with numerous options for preparing students to advance their careers or launch new ones in the rapidly growing fields of criminal justice and criminology.