criminal justice, M.A.

The Online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program is a professional degree designed to provide criminal justice agency professionals and scholars with coursework in criminology and the operation of the criminal justice system.

The program also offers training in research methods and statistics, program planning and management, policy analysis, and program evaluation.

The MACJ offers working professionals the flexibility to earn a Master’s degree from excellent faculty who are nationally recognized for their research and scholarship. This 33-credit hour program includes coursework in criminology and the operation of the criminal justice system, as well as training in research methods and statistics. Students are required to complete a capstone course, Theory and Practice in Criminal Justice, in which they write a comprehensive research paper that focuses on a criminal justice policy or practice.

The master’s program is offered to both full-time and part-time students. Full-time students can earn the degree in as few as 18 months. Part-time students will take longer to complete the degree, but all requirements for the degree must be completed within six years from the date of the first course listed on the program of study. GRE test scores are not required for entry into the MACJ program.

Students must meet all admissions criteria of the Graduate College, and applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher for unconditional admission to the MA in Criminal Justice program.

  • Simple admission process
  • No GRE required
  • Flexible course schedule
  • Year round start dates
  • Accelerated 7.5 week courses
  • Increased promotion potential

plan of study

The Online Master of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice is a 33 credit hour program. To earn this degree, all students must successfully complete the following courses: 

core courses (15 credit hours)

  • CRJ 501: Seminar in Criminal Justice
  • CRJ 502: Seminar in Criminology
  • CRJ 510: Criminal Justice Planning and Program Evaluation
  • CRJ 511: Applied Data Analysis in Criminal Justice
  • CRJ 505: Theory and Practice in Criminal Justice (Capstone course)

electives (18 credit hours)

  • 500 level courses

capstone course

The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice degree requires students to demonstrate competency for criminology and criminal justice by synthesizing and applying core knowledge, skills, and abilities to problems in the criminology and criminal justice field. Students are required to complete the capstone course: CRJ 505 Theory and Practice in Criminal Justice.

The capstone course is designed to be taken in the student's last semester of coursework. Students will integrate material from required and elective coursework and will write a comprehensive research paper that focuses on a criminal justice policy or practice. 

filing your program of study

The Graduate College requires students to submit their Interactive Program of Study (iPOS) online when 18 credits have been scheduled.