Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Lees-McRae Online

The need for accomplished criminal justice leaders with the right skillset and qualifications is greater than ever. Build on your already extensive experience and become eligible for further career advancement with a master's degree in Criminal Justice.
The need for accomplished criminal justice leaders with the right skillset and qualifications is greater than ever. Build on your already extensive experience and become eligible for further career advancement with a master's degree in Criminal Justice.

Ready to get started?

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Course Length: 8 weeks
Program Duration: 1 year
Next Start: January 2024

Ready to get started?

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Course Length: 8 weeks
Program Duration: 1 year
Next Start: January 2024


Why Lees-McRae College?

Our faculty have years of real-world experience working in various criminal justice fields, in addition to strong research and education backgrounds. With a 9-to-1 student-faculty ratio, you will get the direct support you need to earn a graduate degree while balancing a strenuous career and other responsibilities. The program is 100% online, allowing you to earn your degree while working, and can be finished in two semesters.  

Why a master's degree?
Why a master's degree?

The master’s degree program emphasizes criminal justice administration, giving you a powerful foundation for leadership roles. A master’s degree is often required for decision-making positions, and comes with a higher earning potential. For those with a background in a field other than criminal justice—such as social work, human services, or journalism—the graduate program will give you a unique skillset that will help you stand out in the job market and allow you to take on new challenges. Above all, the information you learn will prepare you to better serve your community. 

The master’s degree program emphasizes criminal justice administration, giving you a powerful foundation for leadership roles. A master’s degree is often required for decision-making positions, and comes with a higher earning potential. For those with a background in a field other than criminal justice—such as social work, human services, or journalism—the graduate program will give you a unique skillset that will help you stand out in the job market and allow you to take on new challenges. Above all, the information you learn will prepare you to better serve your community. 

What will I study? 
What will I study? 

The curriculum requires 30 hours of coursework, earned through 10 total courses. You will dig deep into criminal justice research and statistics and gain a better understanding of administrative needs, including budgeting and organizational management.

The curriculum requires 30 hours of coursework, earned through 10 total courses. You will dig deep into criminal justice research and statistics and gain a better understanding of administrative needs, including budgeting and organizational management.

Course Map

The degree program can be completed in four sessions, or two semesters. Each session lasts eight weeks. New cohorts start twice a year in August and January, so you can choose to enroll in either the fall or spring semester. Regardless of when they enter the program, every student follows the same course schedule.

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    Course Rotation

    Courses offered each session (all courses are 3 credit hours)

    Fall Session 1 (August–September)
    • Advanced Research Methods in Criminal Justice (CRI 502)
    • Leadership and Change in Criminal Justice (CRI 520)
    Fall Session 2 (October–November)
    • Advanced Statistics in Criminal Justice (CRI 503)
    • Criminal Justice Policy, Planning, and Evaluation (CRI 523)
    • Perspectives on Race, Class, Gender, and Crime in America (CRI 524)
    Spring Session 1 (January–February)
    • Foundations of Criminal Justice (CRI 500)
    • Organizational Management and Administration for Criminal Justice (CRI 521)
    Spring Session 2 (March–April)
    • Advanced Criminological Theory (CRI 501)
    • Policing in a Democratic Society (CRI 525)
    • Capstone (CRI 599)

    Extra Rotation Course: Budgeting in Criminal Justice Administration (CRI 522)

The average starting salary for criminal justice professionals with a master’s degree is 27% higher than the average starting salary for those with a bachelor’s degree alone.

– CBNC

Career Opportunities 

A Master of Science in Criminal Justice prepares you for leadership in the criminal justice system and the private sectorWith your degree, you will be eligible to work in the following fields (hover or touch to flip tile): 

Leadership/Management

Correctional Officer Supervisor
Police and Detective Supervisor
Emergency Management Director
Security Management
Supervisory Criminal Investigator
Director of Court Services

Research/Academics

Criminologist
Professor
Forensic Psychologist
Criminal Profiler
Policy Specialist

Investigation
District Attorney
Attorney General Investigator
Forensic Examiner
Cybersecurity Investigator
Fraud Investigator

Alpha Phi Sigma

Lees-McRae students may join Alpha Phi Sigma, the only Criminal Justice Honor Society accredited by the Association of College Honor Societies. Membership in Alpha Phi Sigma qualifies individuals for Superior Academic Achievement status when applying to federal jobs.

Learn more

Requirements for Admission

Applicants should have:

  • A completed application to Lees-McRae (fee waived)
  • BA or BS from an institution accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency (all disciplines welcome)
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Official transcript of all undergraduate colleges or universities attended
  • Transcript of any previous master's degree work if applicable
  • One-page written statement of purpose describing the applicant's career goals and how the Master of Science in Criminal Justice will help the applicant achieve those goals. Applicants may choose to schedule a personal interview with a member of the Graduate Admissions staff in lieu of a written statement. Click HERE to schedule a virtual appointment. 

Applicants are not required to submit GRE or MAT scores.

Cost and Discounts

Tuition for this graduate program is $500 per credit hour. Current law enforcement and corrections professionals are eligible to receive a 25% discount on tuition, bringing the cost to $375 per credit hour.

A 25% discount is also available to any Lees-McRae alumnus as well as active military and veterans. Discounts cannot be combined.

Contact

Eric_Watters_WEBSITE.jpg

Eric R. Watters
Program Coordinator

 

State Authorization
Lees-McRae College has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). Learn more

Elevate your Potential

Our admissions office is ready to guide you through the process.