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What is a Master of Science in Criminal Justice?
The rapid advance of technology and the specter of terrorism have created an expanding need for professionals with advanced skills to grapple with the criminal justice issues of the 21st century. A degree in criminal justice touches on many different elements, all involving the study of people through concepts of sociology, psychology, and how legal decisions are made. This online master’s program is designed to prepare you to go into the field of criminal justice, either the academic field or a more pragmatic-oriented field such as law enforcement or corrections.
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Learn more about how to get started in your degree program.
Degree Completion Journey
Serve the greater good – earn your master’s in criminal justice online from the University of Arizona Global Campus. Your online courses cover advanced topics in law, ethics, forensics, and corrections.
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of the criminal justice system, substantive criminal law, and the U.S. Constitution. This course may be waived for students holding undergraduate degrees in criminal justice or having completed certain courses.
This course explores classical and contemporary literature in criminology and criminal justice. Both theory and empirical research will be used to examine criminal behavior as well as the structure, function, and interaction of the criminal justice system.
This course examines the structure, functions, and operations of the constitution and judicial processes. The impact of historical and contemporary constitutional issues on the criminal justice process will also be examined.
This course introduces the use of research methods in the study of criminal justice. The focus is on the examination of the issues related to collecting, analyzing, and using data. Students will learn to test hypotheses, draw inferences, and write a research report.
This course introduces students to the use of psychological methods and theoretical models in the criminal justice system. Students will examine criminal and police psychology with an overview of forensic psychology.
This course examines theoretical and applied criminal justice ethical standards as they relate to criminal justice decision-making. Students will evaluate issues concerning discretion, due process, truthfulness, corruption, and discrimination.
This course provides an international perspective on law enforcement. Students will focus on the phenomena of globalization of criminal activity, major aspects of the legal traditions and criminal justice systems of selected countries, as well as international legal and law enforcement institutions.
This course provides an overview of the principles and concepts of victimology, an analysis of patterns and trends, as well as theoretical reasoning and responses to criminal victimization. Students will examine the consequences suffered by victims as well as the services and resources available to them.
Students will research key concepts, methods, and issues in the field of evaluation research. In addition, students will analyze and develop an evaluation proposal on a discreet topic within the field of criminal justice. The focus will center on needs assessment, impact, monitoring, as well as the application of quantitative and qualitative techniques.
To be awarded the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree, all students must complete 39 credits with a 3.0 minimum grade point average. Students who have earned an undergraduate degree in criminal justice or have successfully completed undergraduate coursework in criminal justice, criminal law, and constitutional law with a grade of “C” or higher will be exempt from the requirement to take CRJ 501 Criminal Justice, Criminal Law & the Constitution. Students who waive CRJ 501 are required to take 36 total program credits in order to meet graduation requirements.
Successful completion of this program by itself may not qualify a student for employment with a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency. State and local police agencies require training and certification specified by the individual state’s Police Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Board and are often provided post-hire at a police academy. Other federal, state, and local agencies as well as private entities have individualized requirements. Prospective students are advised to contact individual agencies and states’ P.O.S.T. boards for additional information relating to these requirements. Students seeking licensure or certification in a particular profession are strongly encouraged to carefully research the requirements prior to enrollment. Requirements may vary by state. Further, a criminal record may prevent an applicant from obtaining licensure, certification, or employment in this field of study.
Please note: The Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Forensic Science specialization is not intended to prepare students for direct employment as forensic investigators or analysts. The Forensic Science specialization is not a pathway to employment as a forensic scientist. In addition, the Forensic Science specialization is not intended to prepare students for professional examinations required as a function of employment in the capacity of forensic investigator or analyst.
Certain degree programs may not be available in all states.
Customize Your Criminal Justice Degree with UAGC Specializations
Homeland Security keeps the homeland safe against danger and terrorism. Take courses that include topics such as modern terrorism, domestic terrorism, cyberterrorism, Homeland Security organization, strategies, programs and principles, emergency management, the media, and the issues of civil liberties through the Homeland Security Specialization offered at the University of Arizona Global Campus. Learn how to protect your homeland with the Homeland Security Specialization. Your specialization may require prerequisite course work. Please talk to your advisor for more information.
The field of law enforcement & corrections administration offers a wide variety of careers you can pursue after graduation. Focus your degree with a Law Enforcement & Corrections Administration specialization. With this addition to your online degree program, learn how to analyze theoretical concepts of organizational behavior and management. The specialization will cover topics such as organizational behavior, employment and policy law, and budgeting for law enforcement and corrections administrators. Discover more about enhancing your degree and the courses required for the specialization. Your specialization may require prerequisite course work. Please talk to your advisor for more information.
Careers in Criminal Justice
Apply the knowledge you've gained with your criminal justice degree toward a career in the criminal and social justice field. The US criminal justice system faces unique and unprecedented challenges in the 21st century. As a graduate with an MS in Criminal Justice, you may also wish to pursue the following careers:
- Homeland Security and Terrorism Prevention Agent
- Probation Officer
- Sheriff's Deputy
- Private Security Manager
- Correctional Officer Supervisor
Successful completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree in criminal justice degree by itself does not lead to licensure or certification in any state, regardless of concentration or specialization. Further, the University of Arizona Global Campus does not guarantee that any professional organization will accept a graduate's application to sit for any exam for the purpose of professional certification. Students seeking licensure or certification in a particular profession are strongly encouraged to carefully research the requirements prior to enrollment. Requirements may vary by state. Further, a criminal record may prevent an applicant from obtaining licensure, certification, or employment in this field of study.
Meet Our Faculty
College of Arts and Sciences
Shari Schwartz, PhD
Lead Faculty - Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Ted Ellis, PhD, JD, MS
Core Faculty Online - Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Martin McAuliffe, JD
Core Faculty Online - Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Genea Stephens, EdD
Lead Faculty - Associate Professor
Other Degrees That May Interest You
Check out other degree programs that suit a variety of interests and may enhance a wide scope of career opportunities at UAGC. Discover similar programs to find the right path for you.
*Residents of California are only eligible to receive up to six (6) credits due to state regulations.