30 Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice 2020

| Staff

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Informed criminal justice professionals can help make the world a safer and fairer place. The following 30 Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice equip graduates with a well-rounded criminological understanding.

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The criminal justice system works to maintain order and safety in society. But in order to be both effective and fair, criminal justice professionals must take into account the nature and context of crime. Criminology examines the reasons why people commit crimes, incorporating the psychological and sociological factors involved.

Grad School Hub‘s 30 Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice equip students with a criminological understanding that will enhance their competencies in criminal justice practice. The programs listed help graduates to understand the complexities of criminal activity in specific communities and the wider world. The following 30 programs are completed either fully or partially online, which makes them ideal options for working professionals.

Criminal justice degrees prepare graduates for careers in investigation, law enforcement, policing, postsecondary teaching, and beyond. Police officers are responsible for protecting lives and property, while detectives gather information to understand and solve possible crimes. Criminal justice careers can be dangerous and demanding. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, police officers and detectives made a median salary of $63,380 in 2018. The demand for and employment of people in these professions is projected to grow at a rate of seven percent, which is as fast as average. We can expect to need continued measures toward public safety for generations to come.

Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

Rank School Location
1 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
2 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
3 University of Wisconsin - Platteville Platteville, WI
4 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
5 California State University, San Bernardino San Bernardino, CA
6 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH
7 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
8 University of Colorado Denver Denver, CO
9 University of Massachusetts Lowell Lowell, MA
10 Boston University Boston, MA

Methodology

The staff of Grad School Hub has compiled the following 30 Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice for the 2019-20 academic school year based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Data contributed from sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, and the U.S. Department of Labor plays a significant role in how graduate degree programs are ranked because institutional transparency is essential for deciding which career path is right for you. Based on this data, GSH organizes information into five weighted categories, which are:

  • Alumni Feedback: 20% 
  • Continued Enrollment: 20% 
  • Degree Selectivity: 10%
  • Graduate Expenses: 25%
  • Projected Annual Salary: 25%

A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible through our Ranking Methodology page. 

Advertisement GradSchoolHub.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

Accredited Online College Programs

Here are the 30 Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice for 2020 – 2021!

  1. Florida State University
    Location

    Tallahassee, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Florida State University offers Grad School Hub's top-ranked online graduate program in criminal justice. The university's Master's of Criminal Justice can be completed entirely online. It prepares students to advance to leadership positions in their criminal justice workplace, to teach criminal justice courses at Florida community colleges, and for post-law enforcement careers. It requires 36 graduate credit hours of study. The core curriculum includes courses in Applied Statistics in Criminology, Computer Applications in Criminal Justice, and Research Methods in Criminology. Elective offerings include Police & Society; Race, Ethnicity, Crime & Social Justice; and Victimology. Students who take two courses per semester can expect to complete the program in two years.

    FSU is a public state sea-grant and space-grant research university. It was established in 1851 by the Florida state legislature. Located in Tallahassee, it is a senior member of the State University System of Florida. The Carnegie Foundation classifies FSU as a research university with a very high level of research activity. Faculty members within the university's College of Criminology and Criminal Justice lead the nation in academic and juvenile delinquency research funding. They also conduct significant research on fear and crime, self-control and crime, and gun control. U.S. News & World Reportranks FSU No. 6 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  2. Michigan State University
    Location

    East Lansing, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Michigan State University offers an online program leading to a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The degree program is designed to advance the skills of professionals already working in the criminal justice field. Students may choose to specialize in Security Management or to follow an international focus. The degree requires 30 credits of coursework. Core courses include Crime Causation, Prevention, and Control, and Design and Analysis in Criminal Justice Research. Elective offerings include Globalization of Crime, Environmental Risk Perception and Decision-Making, and Terrorism. Students may choose to complete a criminal justice practicum experience. Many students complete the degree within one to two years, while others complete the program in three years while balancing school and work.

    MSU was one of the first institutions in the United States to teach scientific agriculture. Today, MSU is one of the nation's largest universities in terms of student enrollment. It is a member of the Association of American Universities research organization. Established in 1935, the MSU School of Criminal Justice is one of the world's oldest criminal justice programs. Its online MS in Criminal Justice was the first online degree program offered by the university. U.S. News & World Reportranks the program No. 10 in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  3. University of Wisconsin - Platteville
    Location

    Platteville, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Wisconsin - Platteville offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The online degree program features a curriculum rooted in criminal justice law, operations, and systems. Students can select an area of emphasis in Criminal Justice Management, Criminal Justice Theory, or Victim and Offender Services. The degree requires 30 graduate credits of study. Core courses include Criminological Theory, Evaluation and Program Analysis in Criminal Justice, and Law as Social Control. All students must complete a seminar research paper and a master's thesis. Elective offerings include At-Risk Youth, Cyber Crime, Perspectives on Child Maltreatment and Child Advocacy, and Theories of Personality in the Criminal Justice System.

    UW - Platteville is a public state university in rural Platteville, WI. It was founded in 1866 as the first teacher preparation school in Wisconsin. It is also the oldest public institution in the state. The Platteville campus is considered one of the safest in the nation. Its tuition ranks among the lowest in the 13-member University of Wisconsin System. U.S. News & World Reportranks UW-Platteville No. 35 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs and No. 32 among public institutions in the Midwest.

  4. Sam Houston State University
    Location

    Huntsville, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Sam Houston State University offers an online program leading to a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The flexible degree program is designed for working professionals seeking advancement in criminal justice careers. The program particularly prepares students for careers as judges, police administrators, social services agents, victim advocates, and beyond. It requires 36 credit hours of study. Required courses include Community Theory and the Administration of Justice and Emergent Issues in Criminal Justice Leadership. While the program does not require a thesis, all students must successfully complete a capstone course. Students can complete their degree in two years.

    SHSU is a public university and a member of the Texas State University System. Founded in 1879 as a teacher-training school, it is the third-oldest public institution of higher learning in Texas. The university is named for Sam Houston, a former Huntsville resident, politician, and Texas Revolution leader. Huntsville is also the co-headquarters of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The university's College of Criminal Justice is the nation's largest criminal justice college and among its oldest. The college houses a working courtroom where students can observe real trials. The Carnegie Foundation classifies SHSU as a community-engaged, doctoral research university. U.S. News & World Reportranks the university No. 3 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  5. California State University, San Bernardino
    Location

    San Bernardino, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    California State University, San Bernardino offers an online Master of Art in Criminal Justice. Required courses include Applying Criminological Theory to Criminal Justice and Statistical Analysis in Criminal Justice. Elective offerings include Advanced Social Network Analysis and Crime in Public Spaces. Students can culminate their program through a research thesis or comprehensive exam. The thesis option is designed for those interested in pursuing doctoral study or a specific area of research within criminal justice. The comprehensive exam is designed for those who seek administrative or managerial positions in the field. The degree requires 45 total units of study.

    CSUSB is a public state university and one of the 23 campuses of the California State University system. It was established in 1960 by the California state legislature. In addition to its main campus in San Bernardino's University District, the university operates a branch campus in the Palm Desert. CSUSB is a space-grant research institution. U.S. News & World Reportranks the university No. 30 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  6. University of Cincinnati
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Cincinnati offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The degree program can be completed entirely online. Applicants can have a bachelor's degree in any field, as the program does not require a background in criminal justice. The interdisciplinary curriculum incorporates aspects of criminology, law, psychology, and sociology in its approach to criminal justice. It consists of 11 courses for a total of 33 semester hours. Core requirements include courses in Applied Statistics and Basic Research Methods and seminars in Criminal Justice and Criminology. The degree also requires students to complete a demonstrative project in criminal justice. Students can graduate in as little as one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study.

    The University of Cincinnati is a public research university and a part of the University System of Ohio. Founded in 1819 as a liberal arts college, it is the oldest institution of higher education in Cincinnati. Today, it is the second-largest university in Ohio, measured by student enrollment. The university is home to the multidisciplinary Institute for Policy Research, which performs public opinion surveys in the tri-state area. The university's College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services houses research facilities including the Corrections Institute and the Urban Center for Social Justice, Peace Education & Research. U.S. News & World Reportranks UC No. 8 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  7. Nova Southeastern University
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Nova Southeastern University offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The interdisciplinary degree program is designed to be completed entirely online. It consists of 10 courses for a total of 30 credits. Core courses include Investigative Processes, Legal Issues in Criminal Justice, and Social Administration of Criminal Justice. Students can choose from 12 concentration options, including Behavioral Science, Conflict & Crisis Management, and Substance Abuse. Students can culminate their program of study through an elective course, field practicum placement, or master's thesis research project. Students typically take two courses at a time and complete the program in two years, but they may choose to take on a larger course load and complete the degree at a quicker pace.

    NSU is a private university with a focus on professional studies in areas such as business, medicine, and the social sciences. It was founded in 1946 as a technological university on a former World War II naval field. It has a main campus in Davie, FL, several branch campuses throughout the state, and one in Puerto Rico. Almost half of the university's students are enrolled in an online capacity. The Carnegie Foundation classifies NSU as a community-engaged university with a high level of research activity. U.S. News & World Reportranks the university No. 52 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  8. University of Colorado Denver
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Colorado Denver awards a Master's of Criminal Justice through CU Online. The fully online program is suitable for those seeking entry into or advancement in careers in criminal justice agencies or nonprofits. The interdisciplinary curriculum focuses primarily on correctional systems, juvenile justice, law and code formulation, and law enforcement. Students may choose from four concentrations: Crime Analyst, Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Gender-Based Violence, and Nonprofit Organizations. Students with no previous criminal justice experience must complete a criminal justice internship. Students can culminate their studies through a research thesis or applied project. The degree requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of study. The average time to degree completion is two and a half years.

    The University of Colorado Denver is a public research university and a part of the University of Colorado system. Established in 1912, the school began as the Extension Center of the University of Colorado's Department of Correspondence and Extension. Today, it is the largest research institution in Colorado. In addition to its main campus in downtown Denver, the university operates the Anschutz Medical Campus in nearby Aurora. The Carnegie Foundation classifies UC Denver as having very high research activity. U.S. News & World Reportranks the university No. 19 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  9. University of Massachusetts Lowell
    Location

    Lowell, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Massachusetts Lowell offers a Master of Art in Criminal Justice. The degree program can be completed entirely online at a flexible pace. The curriculum consists of 11 courses for a total of 33 credits of study. It covers topics such as criminal profiling, emergency management, forensic psychology, sex crimes, terrorism, and victimology. Required courses include Criminological Theory, Descriptive & Inferential Statistics, and Managing Justice Organizations. Elective offerings include Criminal Mind and Behavior, Intimate Partner Violence, and Substance Abuse and Crime. Students can earn their degree in as few as 18 months.

    UMass Lowell is a public research university and a part of the University of Massachusetts System. It began in 1894 as a teacher-training school for women. Today, it is the second-largest public university in Massachusetts. The university's School of Criminology and Justice Studies includes faculty experts in areas ranging from mental health & the justice system to weapons of mass destruction. UMass Lowell is home to research centers such as the Kerouac Center for Public Humanities, named after writer and Lowell native Jack Kerouac. U.S. News & World Reportranks the university No. 5 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  10. Boston University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Boston University awards an online program leading to a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The program is suitable for students who want to enter or advance in the criminal justice realm. Students can choose to concentrate in Crime Analysis, Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity, or Strategic Management. They may also choose to pursue graduate certificates in areas including but not limited to Data Analytics, Information Security, and Medical Information Security & Privacy. The degree requires 32 credits of study. The curriculum covers areas such as criminal behavior analysis, corrections, the judicial system, law enforcement, leadership principles, and social control theories. The degree can typically be completed in 16 to 18 months.

    BU is a private research university with the main campus along the Charles River in Boston. It also operates a medical campus in Boston's South End neighborhood. The university was established in 1839 by a group of Methodist ministers and laymen. Although established as a Methodist theological school called the Newbury Biblical Institute, BU is now a nonsectarian university with no religious affiliation. The university is a member of the Association of American Universities, an organization of the foremost research universities in North America. U.S. News & World Reportranks BU fourth nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  11. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Liberty University offers an online program leading to a Master's of Criminal Justice. Students can transfer in up to 50 percent of their credits toward the degree. The program is suitable for working adults and for aspiring civil servants and post-secondary instructors. It incorporates Christian principles and ethics in its study of criminal justice and management. The 36-credit curriculum consists of eight-week courses. Sample courses include Administration of Justice Organizations; Human Resource Management; and Leadership, Ethics, and Policing. Students can choose from six specializations, including Cybercrime Investigation, Forensic Psychology, and Law Enforcement Leadership. The curriculum culminates in a research thesis. Students typically complete the degree in a year and a half.

    Liberty is a private, evangelical Christian university in Lynchburg, VA. It was founded in 1971 as Lynchburg Baptist College by two Christian pastors. Today, Liberty is the largest private non-profit university in the United States and one of the largest Christian universities in the world by student enrollment. Most Liberty students are enrolled in a fully online capacity. The university began offering distance learning in 1985 by mailing VHS tapes to students. U.S. News & World Reportranks LU No. 46 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  12. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Florida International University offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The research-based degree program is designed for students seeking academic or research careers or doctoral study in criminal justice. It can be completed entirely online. The degree requires 12 courses, totaling 36 credit hours of study. Core courses include Criminological Theory, Data Analysis in Criminal Justice, and Transnational Crime and National Security. Students interested in college teaching can finish the Graduate Teaching Certificate Program and the Teaching Practicum in Criminal Justice. Those interested in pursuing a doctoral degree should enroll in a Supervised Research course. Those who wish to gain practicum experience in the field can complete a criminal justice internship.

    FIU is a public research university and part of the 12-member State University System of Florida. It has two major campuses in the Greater Miami area, including the main campus in University Park. The university was established as a state university in 1965. Today, it is the largest university in South Florida, the second-largest in the state, and the fourth-largest in the nation. The Florida Legislature classifies FIU as a research university, and the Carnegie Foundation classifies it as having the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Reportranks the university No. 17 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  13. Arizona State University
    Location

    Tempe, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Arizona State University offers a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. The online degree program consists of 11 classes, each spanning seven and a half weeks. It requires a total of 33 credit hours of study. The curriculum examines the context of crime, why it exists, and its impact on society. Students will also gain an understanding of justice and its applications. The curriculum culminates in a capstone course in Theory and Practice in Criminal Justice, which involves writing a comprehensive research paper on criminal justice policy or practice. Full-time students can complete the degree in as few as 18 months. Part-time students can move at their own pace, but they must complete the degree within six years.

    Arizona State is a public research university that occupies five campuses across the Phoenix metropolitan area in Arizona. It also operates four regional learning centers throughout the state. It was established in 1885 as a teacher-training school in a four-room schoolhouse. Today, ASU is one of the largest public universities in the United States in terms of student enrollment. The Carnegie Foundation categorizes the university in its top tier of research universities. For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Reportcurrently ranks ASU No. 1 in Most Innovative Schools. The site also ranks the university No. 6 in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  14. University of Nebraska Omaha
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Nebraska Omaha offers a Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The degree program can be completed entirely online. It is designed for working professionals and aspiring criminal justice leaders. The 36-credit curriculum consists of 11 classes and a capstone course with a culminating project. Required courses include Criminal Justice Research Theory and Methodology, Seminar in Administration of Justice, and Statistical Applications in Criminal Justice & Public Administration. Students may choose to specialize in Counseling or Public Administration. Full-time students can complete their degree in 18 months. The program may alternatively be completed on a part-time basis at the student's own pace.

    UNO is a public, space-grant research university in Omaha, Nebraska. It was founded in 1908 as a private college by members of the Omaha Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Though it was originally intended to provide an education-based in Christianity, the college was nonsectarian with no official religious affiliation. Today, the university's School of Criminology and Criminal Justice conducts research in areas such as correctional excellence, global terrorism, and policing. U.S. News & World Reportranks the university's Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice the No. 1 best online graduate criminal justice program in the nation.

  15. Bowling Green State University
    Location

    Bowling Green, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Bowling Green State University offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The online program prepares graduates to pursue leadership roles in criminal justice agencies or doctoral study. The curriculum consists of 11 courses, each spanning seven weeks. Required courses include Crime Analysis, The Nature of Crime, and The Organization & Management of Justice. The curriculum also includes seminars in Contemporary Corrections, Contemporary Juvenile Justice, Contemporary Policing, and Criminal Justice Ethics. Students are required to compile a portfolio of their projects. The degree requires 33 credit hours of study. Students can complete the degree in less than two years of part-time study.

    Bowling Green State is a public research university with the main campus in Bowling Green, Ohio, about 15 miles from Toledo. It was chartered in 1910 as a small, rural teacher-training school. The Carnegie Foundation currently classifies the university as a doctoral research university with a high level of research activity. In 2018, Business Insiderranked BGSU the most affordable college in Ohio. U.S. News & World Reportranks the university No. 14 in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  16. Xavier University
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Xavier University offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The degree program can be completed entirely online, and it requires 30 credit hours of study. It focuses on criminal justice administration, preparing graduates for management careers or doctoral study in criminal justice. The curriculum covers areas such as crisis strategies, finance, human resources, organizational behavior, and policy formulation. Core courses include Correctional Counseling, Forensics & White Collar Crime, and Sociology of Crime & Delinquency. The curriculum culminates in a master's research thesis and a comprehensive exam. Students can complete their degree in as little as one year of full-time study.

    Xavier is a private, Jesuit, liberal arts research university. It is the nation's sixth-oldest Catholic university and fourth-oldest Jesuit university. The school was founded in 1831 as an all-men's school in central Cincinnati. Today, Xavier is located about five miles from downtown Cincinnati, in the city's Norwood enclave. The university is home to the Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice, which offers students various community service opportunities. U.S. News & World Reportranks Xavier No. 8 in Regional Universities of the Midwest and No. 5 in innovation.

  17. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Central Florida offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The online degree program requires 36 credit hours of study. The curriculum covers administration and management, criminal justice theory, the nature of crime, and research methods in criminal justice. Core courses include the Administration of Justice, Data Analysis in Criminal Justice, and Policy Analysis in Criminal Justice. Department elective offerings include The Juvenile Justice System and Law and Social Control. The curriculum culminates in a capstone proseminar. Students are assigned a dedicated Success Coach to offer support throughout their program. Students can earn their degree in as few as two years.

    UCF is a public state university in Orlando, FL. It operates 10 regional campuses throughout Central Florida and has the largest on-campus student enrollment of any university in the United States. The school was founded in 1963 with the initial purpose to prepare personnel for the growing space program on Florida's Space Coast. Today, the university leads the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium. The university is categorized in the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. U.S. News & World Reportranks UCF No. 10 nationally in innovation and No. 26 in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  18. Lamar University
    Location

    Beaumont, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Lamar University offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The online degree program is designed to prepare graduates for leadership positions in criminal justice agencies. Applicants should have a bachelor's degree in criminology, sociology, or a similar field. The curriculum focuses on applied and practical knowledge. Sample courses include Criminal Justice Leadership, Planning and Evaluation, Quantitative Methods in Criminology, and Theoretical Foundations. Students may choose to complete a thesis-based program, but a thesis is not required. The program does require a culminating capstone course. The degree requires 30 semester hours of study.

    Lamar is a public, space-grant state university. It began in 1923 as a junior college in a local high school. Located in Beaumont, Texas, the university is now a member of the Texas State University System. It was previously the flagship institution of the former Lamar University System. The Carnegie Foundation classifies Lamar as a doctoral research university. In 2010, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni included Lamar among only 16 A-rated universities in the nation for core curriculum standards. U.S. News & World Reportranks Lamar No. 39 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  19. Southeast Missouri State University
    Location

    Cape Girardeau, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Southeast Missouri State University offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The degree program is offered cooperatively by SEMO and Missouri Southern State University. Students can complete the program in a blended format of online and evening courses, or in a fully online format. The curriculum examines corrections, courts, crime prevention, and law enforcement. It is ideal for students who wish to work in law enforcement or pursue doctoral study in criminal justice. Required core courses include Law & Social Control, Social Inequality, and Theories of Crime. Elective offerings include Crime, Media & Pop Culture; Death Penalty in America; and Ethics in Criminal Justice. Students can culminate their program through a thesis, internship, or leadership portfolio.

    SEMO is a public university in suburban Cape Girardeau, MO. It operates four additional regional campuses across the state and has been considered one of the fastest-growing universities in the Midwest. The university was founded in 1873 as a teacher training school. Its Normal School building was referenced in Mark Twain's memoir Life on the Mississippi. U.S. News & World Reportranks SEMO No. 90 in Regional Universities Midwest and No. 20 in Top Public Schools. The site also ranks the university No. 39 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  20. University of the Cumberlands
    Location

    Williamsburg, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of the Cumberlands offers a Master's of Criminal Justice. The online degree program was developed by, and for, law enforcement professionals. It is suitable for both pre-professional students seeking advanced career preparation and for those already working in criminal justice careers. Students can choose from eight specialization tracks including but not limited to Addiction Studies, Family Services, Juvenile Justice, and Homeland Security. Core courses include Criminological Theories in Justice Administration, Ethical Issues in Justice Administration, and Leadership Fundamentals. The curriculum culminates in a capstone course and project in Justice Administration. The degree requires 31 credit hours of study.

    The University of the Cumberlands is a private college in rural Williamsburg, KY. It was founded in 1888 and has a historic affiliation with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Previously called Cumberland College, the school's name refers to its location along the Cumberland River. The university prioritizes volunteerism, requiring undergraduate students to complete 40 hours of community service prior to graduation. U.S. News & World Reportranks the University of the Cumberlands eighth nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  21. University of Oklahoma
    Location

    Norman, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Oklahoma offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice through its Extended Campus. It is an accelerated, online program designed to accommodate working adults. Students may follow a track in administration and leadership, corrections management, or restorative justice. They may choose a thesis option or a non-thesis option that culminates in a Research Project in Liberal Studies. Core courses include Criminal Justice Policy Development, Ethical Decision Making in Criminal Justice, and Theoretical Foundations of Criminal Justice. The degree requires 33 credit hours of study.

    OU is a public, space-grant research university in Norman, OK. Founded in 1890, it is the oldest university in the state. The Carnegie Foundation classifies OU as a doctoral research university with very high research activity and "more selective" admissions. The university is noted for its Native American studies and "Cherokee Gothic" campus architecture. OU research facilities include the Advanced Radar Research Center, the National Weather Center, the Stephenson Research and Technology Center. In addition to its Oklahoma locations, OU operates locations in Brazil, Italy, and Mexico.

  22. University of Louisville
    Location

    Louisville, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Louisville offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The degree program can be completed entirely online. It is offered in an accelerated format that consists of six-week terms. The curriculum covers advanced statistics and research methods, the criminal justice system, justice administration, legal issues in criminal justice, and theories of crime and delinquency. Students can gain specialized education in areas such as capital punishment, computer applications in criminal justice, emergency management, and homeland security. The degree requires a minimum of 36 credits of study, including the completion of a professional paper.

    The University of Louisville is a public university and a member institution of the Kentucky state university system. It was among the first universities chartered west of the Allegheny Mountains. The university is a pioneer in medical research and services and is credited for the nation's first civilian ambulance and emergency department, the first self-contained artificial heart transplant, and the first successful hand transplantation. U.S. News & World Reportranks the University of Louisville No. 13 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  23. Rowan University
    Location

    Glassboro, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Rowan University offers a Master of Art in Criminal Justice. The online degree program is designed to prepare graduates for leadership and research positions in criminal justice or for doctoral study in the field. The curriculum examines the causes of crime; contemporary issues in corrections, courts, and policing; and the impact of law on society. The program is offered in a part-time, accelerated format. It requires 30 semester hours of graduate study. Required courses include Contemporary Developments in Theory, Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice, and Law and Society. Students can complete their degree in five consecutive semesters.

    Rowan is a public research university with the main campus in suburban Glassboro, NJ. It operates additional New Jersey campuses in Camden and medical campus in Stratford. The university was founded in 1923 as a teacher training school to remedy the shortage of teachers in New Jersey. The university is noted for hosting both the Cold War Glassboro Summit Conference and Black Sabbath's first U.S. concert. U.S. News & World Reportranks Rowan No. 171 nationally and No. 91 among public institutions.

  24. University of Central Missouri
    Location

    Warrensburg, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Central Missouri offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The degree program can be completed entirely online. All applicants should have an undergraduate degree in criminal justice or a related field. The program is designed for students seeking leadership, research, or teaching positions in criminal justice. It requires 36 credit hours of graduate study. Required courses include Administration in Criminal Justice, Causes of Crime, and Comparative and International Criminal Justice Systems. All students must also complete 15 semester hours of research. Students may choose to complete a master's thesis or take a coursework-only route with additional electives.

    UCM is a public state university in rural Warrensburg, MO. It was founded in 1871 as a teacher training school. Prior to changing its name in 2006, the university was called Central Missouri State University. In addition to its Warrensburg campus, UCM operates a campus in Lee's Summit, MO, and offers extensive online options. U.S. News & World Reportranks the university No. 81 in Regional Universities of the Midwest, No. 63 in Best Value Schools, and No. 17 in Top Public Schools.

  25. New Mexico State University
    Location

    Las Cruces, NM

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    New Mexico State University offers a Master's of Criminal Justice. The fully online program follows the same curriculum as the university's on-campus program, though a thesis option is only available to on-campus students. Online students follow a Focused Coursework option, which requires 36 credits of coursework. Sample courses include Criminal Justice Statistics; Feminist Research Methods; Nature of Crime; and Race, Crime and Justice. Online courses are delivered through the Canvas platform and typically include assigned readings, quizzes and exams, real-time chat discussions, and research papers. The online program culminates in a comprehensive exam.

    NMSU is a public land-grant and space-grant research university in Las Cruces, NM. It is also one of the state's two flagship universities. The National Science Foundation ranks NMSU among the nation's schools with high research activity. The university's research institutes include the Agricultural Experiment Center and the Sunspot Solar Observatory. U.S. News & World Reportranks NMSU No. 49 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  26. Tiffin University
    Location

    Tiffin, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Tiffin University offers an entirely online Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Crime Analysis. It focuses on computer applications, criminal intelligence, geographic information systems, research design, and theory in crime analysis. The concentration consists of 30 hours of graduate study. Courses include Contemporary Criminal Justice: Issues and Trends, and Legal and Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice. The curriculum culminates in a crime analysis capstone course and accompanying project.

    Tiffin is a private university in suburban Tiffin, Ohio. The university also offers programs through locations across the state of Ohio, through the University of Bucharest in Romania and online. Established in 1888, Tiffin was originally known as Commercial College, a business division affiliated with Heidelberg College. U.S. News & World Reportranks Tiffin in the top 75 universities in the nation for online master's programs in criminal justice.

  27. Columbia College
    Location

    Columbia, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Columbia College offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration. The degree program can be completed entirely online. It is designed primarily for working criminal justice professionals who wish to build their administrative skills in the field. It also helps prepare students for doctoral or legal studies. The curriculum covers four fundamental areas relating to criminal justice: ethics, policy development and analysis, research design, and trends. Students may choose a management track in Corrections Administration or Law Enforcement Administration. Required core courses include Budgeting and Planning for Criminal Justice Managers, Crisis Intervention, and Human Resource Management and Theory.

    Columbia College opened in 1851 as a nonsectarian women's college, although it is associated with the Christian Church. In addition to the primary campus in Columbia, MO, Columbia College operates 40 learning locations in 14 states, including 18 on United States military bases. Approximately one-third of Columbia students are associated with the military. U.S. News & World Reportranks Columbia College No. 43 nationally in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

  28. University of North Texas
    Location

    Denton, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of North Texas offers a two-year, online Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Justice Policy. Students can access course material when it is convenient and complete coursework at their own pace. Required courses include Advanced Criminological Theory, Criminal Justice Policy, and Evaluation and Resource Methodologies. The 36-credit curriculum culminates in a comprehensive exam.

    UNT is a public research university and flagship state university. It was established in 1890 as a private teacher training college. Today, the university is the flagship institution of the University of North Texas System. UNT has a main campus in Denton and a satellite campus in Frisco. The Carnegie Foundation categorizes the university in its top tier of research universities. The university's College of Health and Public Services, which houses the Criminal Justice program, has five research institutes including the Turkish Institute for Police Studies. The institution is a collaboration between the Turkish National Police and United States universities that examines areas of intelligence and investigation, narcotics, organized crime, and terrorism.

  29. University of New Haven
    Location

    West Haven, CT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of New Haven provides a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The degree program can be completed entirely online, and students can complete coursework on their own schedules. It is designed to prepare graduates for leadership roles in criminal justice. Students can focus on Crime Analysis, Leadership and Management, or Police Behavioral Studies. The 36-credit curriculum includes core courses in Mental Health, Law, and Criminal Justice; Quantitative Applications in Criminal Justice; and Theories of Criminal Behavior. Elective offerings include Computer Crime: Legal Issues & Investigative Procedures, and Network Security, Data Protection and Telecommunications. Courses are offered year-round in terms that span six to seven and a half weeks each.

    UNH is a private university in West Haven, CT. It was founded in 1920 as a division of Northeastern University called the New Haven YMCA Junior College. The university's Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice opened in 1998 and was named after Henry C. Lee, a UNH faculty member and one of the foremost forensic scientists in the world. The Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science includes a crime science center, a crisis management center, a museum, and more. The university's forensic research centers include Forensic and Emergency Crisis Management Command Center, the National Cold Case Center, and the National Crime Science Training Center.

  30. Fayetteville State University
    Location

    Fayetteville, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Fayetteville State University offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The degree program is designed to prepare graduates for justice-related careers or doctoral study in criminal justice or criminology. The curriculum covers criminology, justice systems, research methods, and statistics in relation to criminal justice. Elective offerings address areas such as corporate crime, juvenile justice, and victimology. Students may take a comprehensive exam, research thesis, or coursework-only route. Courses are offered both on-campus and online. The degree requires 33 to 36 semester hours of graduate study.

    Fayetteville State is a historically black public university. Established in 1867, it is the second-oldest state-supported school in North Carolina. Located in Fayetteville, it is part of the University of North Carolina System. The university is also a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a nonprofit organization that supports historically black institutions of higher learning in America. U.S. News & World Reportranks FSU No. 95 in the American South, No. 38 among public universities, and No. 22 among historically black colleges and universities.

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