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Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs of 2022

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Online Master's Degree in Criminal Justice | Walden University

Choosing to gain a master’s degree in a criminal justice program is choosing to become a professional who creates processes that will help achieve control of crime, reduction of crime, and the imposition of penalties for the committing of crimes.

 There are three levels of justice in the United States, state, federal, and local with its major components being the police, the court, and the correctional system

These days, television shows that deal with criminal justice is prevalent. Shows like CSI, Cold Case, Law & Order, the criminal mind, Chicago justice, etc., all showcasing different components one who is interested in gaining a master’s in the criminal justice system would find exciting. However, earning a master’s degree in criminal justice will expand your knowledge far beyond what you get to see from the shows and also the opportunities you will gain while chasing a career in the field.

WHY CHOOSE TO HAVE A MASTERS DEGREE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

While a bachelor’s degree is typically sufficient to enter a criminal justice profession, a master’s degree can advance your career and set you apart from other job applicants. Already working? A master’s in criminal justice online program is an easy way to upgrade your credentials while you continue in your current position.

Even with an average salary of about $68,000 for detective or police office positions, it still pays to research your options before making a decision. This ranking compares 169-degree programs offered by a total of 127 different institutions, revealing the most affordable online masters in criminal justice programs. With a difference of over $38,000 between the cheapest and most expensive programs, choosing a Best Buy program offers quality at a reasonable price.

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Average Cost (In-state): ~$19,700.00

Least Expensive: Fayetteville State University ~$6,164.69

Most Expensive: the University of Southern California ~$44,959.00

LIST OF TOP ONLINE MASTERS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROGRAMMES AND INSTITUTIONS

Here is a list of institutions offering some of the best masters in criminal justice programs.

1. Degree: Master of Science in Criminal Justice

School: Fayetteville State University

State: North Carolina

Program Details

Fayetteville State University offers an online Master’s degree program in the study of Criminal Justice. The multi-faceted program of study will introduce students to concepts of law creation, court systems, policing procedures, correction facilities in addition to the academic curriculum needed for a broad depth and breadth understanding of the discipline.

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Program Requirements & Restrictions

Minimum Education

Bachelor Degree

Recommended GPA

2.75 or above (4.0 scale)

Admission Tests

GRE

Application Requirements

Official College Transcript(s), Recommendation/Reference Letter(s), Statement of Purpose/Intent

Price

$6,164.69In-State

$14,507.09Out-of-Stateices

2. Degree: Master of Science in Criminal Justice

School: Lamar University

State: Texas

Program Details

Lamar University offers the online MS in Criminal Justice. This program gives you the depth and breadth of knowledge in law enforcement you need to pursue upper-level positions in criminal justice. Graduates of this program emerge fully prepared for upper-level staff, administrative, management, treatment, and planning positions in criminal justice agencies. It is designed for current law enforcement or criminal justice professionals who want to progress to careers in the FBI, CIA, or other federal security agencies.

Coursework is focused on the U.S. criminal justice system and policy, as well as the theoretical foundations of crime control. You will gain an understanding of analytical tools, planning and evaluation, correctional issues, homeland security, police, and constitutional law, ethics, and criminal justice leadership.

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Program Requirements & Restrictions

Minimum Education

Bachelor Degree

Recommended GPA

2.5 or above (4.0 scale)

Admission Tests

GRE

Application Requirements

Official College Transcript(s), Recommendation/Reference Letter(s), Resume/CV, Statement of Purpose/Intent

Price

$8,250.00  – All Students

3. Degree: Master of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice

School: Missouri State University

State:  Missouri

Program Details

The online MS in Criminology & Criminal Justice degree program from Missouri State University prepares students to:

· Critically analyze and assess justice-relevant policy options

· Apply effective leadership and managerial strategies to strengthen agency practice

· Engage in theoretically-grounded criminal justice policymaking

· Use advanced research techniques to improve agency operations and control crime

Graduates are equipped to pursue careers in areas including federal, state, and local law enforcement, county jails, federal and state prisons, juvenile justice organizations, child victim advocacy, homeland security, and counter-terrorism.

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Program Requirements & Restrictions

Minimum Education

Bachelor Degree

Recommended GPA

3.0 or above (4.0 scale)

Application Requirements

Official College Transcript(s), Statement of Purpose/Intent, Recommendation/Reference Letter(s)

Price

$8,850.00 – All Students

4. Degree: Master of Science in Criminal Justice

School: East Carolina University

State: North Carolina

Program Details

The online Master of Science in Criminal Justice program prepares students to seek advancements in their professions in the field, teach on the community college level, or continue their education in this or a closely related field.  The curriculum helps students become highly skilled and competent while remaining flexible.  You will complete core courses for the first half of the program and the second half consists of electives chosen to match your skills and goals. 

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Core courses include:

· Criminal Justice Principles

· Seminar in Research Methods and Statistical Interpretation

· Seminar in Criminal Behavior

· Principles of Criminal Justice Administration and Management

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Program Requirements & Restrictions

Minimum Education

Bachelor Degree

Recommended GPA

2.7 or above (4.0 scale)

Admission Tests

GMAT, GRE

Application Requirements

Official College Transcript(s), Resume/CV, Statement of Purpose/Intent, Recommendation/Reference Letter(s), Additional Materials May Be Requested

Price:

$8,973.36 – in-State

$32,177.52 – Out-of-State

5. Degree: Master of Criminal Justice

School: Tarleton State University

State: Texas

Program Details

The online MCJ degree program from Tarleton State University encompasses the challenges associated with protecting the community, as well as the growing complexities of the Criminal Justice system with advanced analytical, critical thinking, and leadership skills. Students may choose either a thesis or non-thesis track, depending on whether they plan to further their education after graduation. Courses cover topics such as:

· Criminological Theory

· Corrections

· Victimology

· Policing

· Ethics

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Program Requirements & Restrictions

Minimum Education

Bachelor Degree

Recommended GPA

2.5 or above (4.0 scale)

Application Requirements

Official College Transcript(s), Interview, Recommendation/Reference Letter(s)

Price: $9,746.70- In-State

$22,196.70  – Out-of-State

6. Degree: Master of Science in Criminal Justice

School: Albany State University

State: Georgia

Program Details

Albany State University offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree online for students wishing to advance their education and career in the criminal justice system.  This degree offers a philosophical, theoretical, and methodological understanding of the criminal justice system.  The curriculum covers topics such as:

· Law enforcement

· Corrections

· Public administration

· Forensic science

The 100% online, instructor-led program provides you with hands-on training and specialized knowledge backed by theory.  Graduates of this program have a solid foundation in scholarly writing in the field of criminal justice.  They have an advanced understanding of the technological and legal complexities found in our society.

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Program Requirements & Restrictions

Minimum Education

Bachelor Degree

Admission Tests

GRE, MAT

Application Requirements

Official College Transcript(s), Recommendation/Reference Letter(s)

Price: $10,160.00 – All Students

7. Degree: Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration

School: University of the Cumberlands

State: Kentucky

Program Details

The University of the Cumberlands offers the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration. This degree is designed to accommodate both pre-professional students who wish to further their education and those already working in criminal justice careers who aim to advance within their respective agencies. In addition, this degree provides opportunities for rural and local criminal justice agency personnel to interact with other professionals employed in criminal justice administration jobs throughout the nation, and gain a first-hand perspective of how larger agencies operate, including state and federal authorities.

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Program Requirements & Restrictions

Minimum Education

Bachelor Degree

Recommended GPA

3.0 or above (4.0 scale)

Application Requirements

Official College Transcript(s), Essay/Writing Sample, Recommendation/Reference Letter(s), Interview.

Price: $10,215.00 – All Students

8. Degree: Master of Science in Criminal Justice

School: Missouri Southern State University

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State: Missouri

Program Details

The online Criminal Justice master’s program is hosted in partnership between Missouri Southern State University and Southeast Missouri State University. Students apply and pay tuition to the school of their choice, but will enroll in online courses through both universities.

Studies are intended to prepare for leadership roles in a range of criminal justice fields, including:

· Law enforcement

· Court systems

· Corrections

· Crime prevention

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Program Requirements & Restrictions

Minimum Education

Bachelor Degree

Recommended GPA

3.0 or above (4.0 scale)

Application Requirements

Official College Transcript(s), Statement of Purpose/Intent

Price: $11,358.00 -All Students

9. Degree: Master of Science in Criminal Justice

School: Northeastern State University

State: Oklahoma

Program Details

The online Master of Science in Criminal Justice program provides a foundation in five specific areas: criminal justice systems, crime theory, criminal justice administration, legal aspects, and research methods.  You can choose electives to complete the program that meets your interests and career goals, such as electives that provide a background in forensics and investigative techniques.  Graduates are prepared for careers with administrative, managerial, training, or research responsibilities in the criminal justice field, or are ready to pursue doctoral-level education in criminal justice or a related discipline.

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100% Online

Program Requirements & Restrictions

Minimum Education

Bachelor Degree

Recommended GPA

2.5 or above (4.0 scale)

Admission Tests

GRE, MAT

Application Requirements

Official College Transcript(s), Recommendation/Reference Letter(s)

Price: $11,426.40- In-State

$22,001.40 – Out-of-State

10. Degree: Master of Science in Criminal Justice

School: University of North Alabama

State: Alabama

Program Details

The online Master of Science in Criminal Justice program prepares students for employment in law enforcement, corrections, court administration, security and emergency management, and more.  Students will take required courses that provide knowledge on crime in America, research methods in the field, and criminological theory, and the rest of the program consists of electives that allow students to shape the curriculum to suit their interests and goals.  You can choose from a wide variety of electives, including:

  • Forensic Investigation
  • Victimology
  • Psychological Dimensions of Criminal Justice Practice
  • Contemporary Issues in Juvenile Justice 
  • Nature and Function of the American Judicial System

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100% Online

Program Requirements & Restrictions

Minimum Education

Bachelor Degree

Recommended GPA

2.75 or above (4.0 scale)

Admission Tests

GRE, MAT

Application Requirements

Official College Transcript(s), Statement of Purpose/Intent, Recommendation/Reference Letter(s)

Price: $11,730.00 – All Students

HIGHEST PAYING JOBS FOR PEOPLE WITH DEGREE IN  MASTERS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Criminal justice is a broad field with a wide variety of possible job opportunities if you know where to look. Some of these jobs are common sense, like police officers and judges. Others might not be the first thing you expect, like game wardens. The fact is, criminology is a large field with opportunities for everyone. It might not be the best source of six-figure jobs, but it has a few. Here are the highest-paying jobs you can get with a criminal justice degree.

Lawyers –  $163,000

FBI Agents – $114,000

Judges- $104,000

Private Investigators – $93,000

Forensic Psychologists – $84,000

Intelligence Analysts – $83,000

Financial Examiners – $79,000

Criminologists – $74,000

College Professor – $72,000

Security Managers – $69,000

Customs Officials – $66,000

Police Officers – $65,000

Corrections Managers – $60,000

Fire Investigators – $56,000

FAQ

l How hard is a criminal justice degree?

 Like any accredited college program, earning a criminal justice degree requires rigor and persistence. Criminal justice coursework covers a broad set of topics in order to prepare students for a multi-faceted career. Criminal justice majors also typically require field training

How long does it take to complete a master in the criminal justice program

Most master’s degrees in criminal justice take two years to complete. Common courses in an MS in criminal justice program include criminology, research methods, and criminal justice administration and ethics. While options vary, many programs offer advanced specializations in crime analysis, federal law enforcement, cybercrime investigation, or behavior analysis.

Are online  Masters in criminal justice degree programs more expensive?

An online criminal justice degree is not more expensive than a campus program. Students should expect to pay anywhere from a little less than $100 to more than $300 per credit, with the average tuition for online programs offered by public universities generally falling in the $110 to $170 range. Additional registration, technology, or enrollment fees may also apply.

Can I get financial aid and sponsorship to study master’s in criminal justice online?

You can get scholarships and financial aid for a master’s criminal justice degree online. Students enrolled in online criminal justice degrees are often eligible for the same types of scholarships and financial aid as students enrolled in traditional programs. This will help defray the cost and make online education more affordable than you might think.

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