Master’s in Criminal Justice

Masters degree in cirminal justice

A master’s in criminal justice can help you enter the field of criminal justice or advance your current criminal justice career. A growing emphasis on education in law enforcement, as well as increasing concerns about homeland security, have led to a rising demand for highly educated criminal justice professionals. Offered at colleges and universities across the country, master’s degree programs in criminal justice consist of approximately 36 credit hours and take about two years to complete. Start exploring the benefits of criminal justice master’s programs to expand your employment options and take control of your future.

How to Earn a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice

The admissions requirements for master’s programs are typically a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a minimum required GPA, and GRE scores. Criminal justice master’s degree programs often allow you to specialize in a specific area of the field that is the most relevant to your career goals, such as the following:

  • Forensic science
  • Forensic psychology
  • International crime and justice
  • Public administration
  • Corrections
  • Criminal law

Criminal justice programs at the master’s level consist of core courses and elective courses. Students may also have the option to write a master’s thesis. Online criminal justice master’s degrees are available in addition to traditional, campus-based programs. Online programs allow students to tailor their coursework around the demands of their jobs and families. Classes that students might be required to take include:

  • Professional writing in criminal justice
  • Criminological theory
  • Criminal justice research methods & statistics
  • Criminal justice policy
  • Terrorism & homeland security
  • Crime analysis
  • Administration of criminal justice organizations
  • Forensic science
  • Forensic psychology
  • Legal issues in criminal justice

Career Options for Graduates of Criminal Justice Master’s Programs

The career options for graduates of criminal justice master’s programs are vast. A master’s degree can help students move on to leadership and administrative positions in the courts, corrections, law enforcement, security, and probation and parole, among other areas. Additionally, a graduate degree is the minimum requirement to teach criminal justice at the college level.

Salaries and job prospects in criminal justice tend to be the best for those who hold master’s degrees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, criminal justice and law enforcement teachers at the postsecondary level earn a median annual wage of $58,040, and first-line supervisors of police and detectives earn a median annual wage of $78,270.

The employment outlook for criminal justice careers varies depending on the profession. For example, from 2010 to 2020, the employment of probation officers and correctional treatment specialists is expected to grow by 18%, the employment of police and detectives is expected to grow by 7%, and the employment of private detectives and investigators is expected to grow by 21%. There is a lot of competition for criminal justice jobs at the state and federal level, so applicants with a graduate degree in criminal justice could have a competitive edge.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or another field, earning a master’s degree in criminal justice could be a great way to further your career.
Criminal justice degree programs at the master’s level equip students with an in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system, preparing them to deal with criminals and work to prevent crime. Earn your master’s in criminal justice today to create a rewarding tomorrow as a criminal justice professional.