Located in Philadelphia, PA on the historic Philadelphia Main Line, Saint Joseph's University is a coeducational, private Roman Catholic Jesuit university. Also referred to as St. Joe's or SJU, the school was founded by the Society of Jesus as Saint Joseph's College in 1851. The school ranked number 11 in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best regional universities in the north.

Saint Joseph's University Accreditation Details

The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools is the body responsible for the accreditation of Saint Joseph's University.

Saint Joseph's University Application Requirements

Saint Joseph's University requires students to submit an online application as well as official transcripts from all previously attended colleges, including documentation for any graduate coursework or degree previously completed. The school requires an official transcript from every school at which a student has earned academic credit. Students must also submit two professional letters of recommendation from former professors or employers and a $35 application fee.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Students seeking an online master's degree in criminal justice from Saint Joseph's University can expect to pay $870 per credit hour for their degree. However, online learners may be eligible to receive free federal financial assistance in the form of grants or student loans. Interested students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility.

Online Master's in Criminal Justice Degree

Students seeking an online Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree can do so at Saint Joseph's University in one-and-a-half years. The degree takes a top-to-bottom, dynamic approach to the examination of the criminal justice system and is delivered by industry leaders' perspectives. The 30-credit curriculum is designed to create practitioners and scholars — students who not only understand the latest administrative strategies and research trends in the criminal justice system but who also work as criminology professionals who employ those strategies on a daily basis.

Coursework is divided into six career-focus concentrations that emphasize criminological research and theory to provide students with foundational knowledge about the reasons and factors behind crime. Students also learn about the importance of "equal justice for all" and ethics while developing writing skills to further hone their communication abilities and establish themselves as effective leaders.

The online Master's in Criminal Justice is taught by a distinguished, respected faculty. The staff provides continuous feedback to its students to ensure that the education they're receiving is relevant, up-to-date and aligns with each student's professional goals.

Students must complete four core courses to fulfill the degree requirements, including Professional Writing for Law Enforcement, Research Methods and Analysis, Criminological Theory and Ethics and Criminal Justice. The offering of concentrations is designed to let students create a unique plan of graduate study that is compatible with their career objectives and interests in the field of criminal justice. If students are undecided, they may choose the general concentration, which allows them to cater their studies to their specific career goals. The general track includes six electives and four core courses. Students can choose their electives from any of the school's online course offerings except for any behavioral analysis courses.

In addition to the broad curriculum, the online program offers students a choice of criminology concentrations to match a variety of career goals and interests. These include a general track, behavior analysis, behavior management, federal law enforcement, intelligence and crime analysis and Homeland Security. Each concentration requires its own specific set of courses that pertain directly to the track.

The behavior analysis concentration focuses on preparing and qualifying students to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam. This concentration is ideal for school resource officers, mental health experts, educators and others who examine and address the potential causes of human behavior. Students pursuing this concentration can expect courses in ethics, behavioral development, applied behavior analysis, clinical behavior analysis, and the basic principles of behavior analysis. Graduates of this concentration are prepared to help those with autism, addictions and behavioral issues in classrooms, detention centers, rehabilitation centers, halfway houses and other justice-related facilities.

Students on the behavior management track will learn about therapeutic techniques for changing destructive behaviors, including those related to violence and addiction. Coursework emphasizes treatments for antisocial behavior, stress management and the legal aspects of behavior management treatment. This concentration is designed for students interested in working with parolees, adjudicated youth and individuals with special needs while in a therapeutic support setting. Coursework includes foundations of addiction, mental health and the law and therapeutic strategies in criminal justice.

The federal law enforcement program provides advanced knowledge of criminal apprehension and investigation at the federal level. Students will take specialized courses designed to help them develop essential methodologies and cognitive skills, including analytical reasoning, critical thinking and legal procedures. Students are prepared to do well in careers that are focused on criminal corrections control, conviction, prosecution support and investigation. Classes include Homeland Security, federal criminal law and prosecution, federal criminal justice and terrorism.

The intelligence and crime analysis track focuses on researching the contemporary functions of operational, tactical and strategic intelligence. Students will also understand intelligence as it influences crime prevention policy. Coursework includes examinations into how law enforcement intelligence pertains to decision-making, planning and organizational relationships.

Students pursuing the Homeland Security concentration will move beyond terrorism to investigate all aspects of citizen safety, from counterintelligence and border protection to natural disaster relief and emergency management. This concentration is well-suited for students who wish to work in higher positions at the federal, state and local levels. Coursework includes risk assessment, sociology of disasters and terrorism.

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Upon graduation with a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Saint Joseph's University, students are prepared for careers as working leaders in the field of criminal justice. Graduates have entered roles as private investigators, criminal investigators, federal law enforcement officers and customers and border protection officers. Whether a student's goal is to build a successful career within the federal government, move up in the ranks of a state or local law enforcement agency or expand their practice as a parole officer, prosecutor or criminologist, the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Saint Joseph's University is designed to meet the individual needs of its students.