The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice focuses on developing the professional skills necessary to assume leadership positions within the criminal justice field. This online master’s program addresses national and local security issues as well as effective countermeasures and subsequent changes in the U.S. criminal justice system. You will explore criminal law, juvenile and delinquent behavior, security, and terrorism in a post-9/11 world. Our criminal justice programs are among the most popular at the university, bringing you peer interactions and an expanded network of criminal justice professionals who are dedicated to safeguarding their communities and nation. This program is taught by highly credentialed and experienced instructors, many who hold key positions in government agencies or criminal justice organizations.

Degree Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Distinguish between the major systems of Criminal Justice and how the functions of police, prosecution, courts, and corrections interface.
  • Analyze biological and psychological theories and philosophies of criminal behavior as they influence modern developments in punishment, sentencing, and corrections.
  • Evaluate definitions, objectives, and issues of new or emergent criminal threats such as terrorism and how they compare and contrast with traditional criminal behavior theories.
  • Assess the rule of law and changes to it as it pertains to direct and indirect influence and impact on social reactions to crime, corrections, and victims of crime.
  • Critically examine landmark criminal justice cases from the Supreme Court down to local levels, and determine their cultural, social, and economic impact.
  • Apply the concepts of professional and ethical behavior within the criminal justice system.

Degree at a Glance

Core Requirements18
Select one of the following concentrations:15
Elective Requirements0-3
Final Program Requirements0-3
Total Semester Hours36

Degree Program Requirements

Core Requirements (18 semester hours)

CMRJ501Criminology 13
CMRJ500Criminal Justice Ethics3
CMRJ512Police Administration3
LSTD502Criminal Law3
LSTD503Criminal Justice Process3
SSGS500Research Design and Methods3
Total Semester Hours18
Students must choose a concentration for this degree program and may select from the General Concentration, Concentration in Business Administration, or Concentration in Emergency Management and Disaster Management.

General Concentration (15 semester hours)

This general concentration allows you to select from more than two dozen different concentration courses offered within this program, enabling you to create your own focused area of study.

Select 5 courses from the following:15
Forensic Accounting
Managerial Analysis
Quantitative Analysis
Strategic Management
Applied Decision Making
Drugs, Justice, and Society
Sexual Exploitation/Children
Deviant Behavior
Gangs and Gang Prevention
Organized Crime
Negotiations: Crisis and Hostage
Drug Cartels and the Narcotics Threat
Crime and Mental Disorders
Criminal Profiling
Seminar on Juvenile Justice and Behavior
Cases in Executive Decision Making
Policing and Corrections in Homeland Security
Emergency Management and Public Law
Emergency and Disaster Theory
Emergency and Disaster Planning and Management
Interagency Disaster Management
Mass Casualty Incident Management
Crisis Action Planning
Human Intelligence (HUMINT)
Criminal Intelligence Analysis
Transnational Crime and Narcotics
Constitutional Law
Applied Statistics
Organizational Management
Public Policy
Public Finance
International Terrorism
Computer Crime
Independent Study
Special Topics
Total Semester Hours15

Concentration in Business Administration (15 semester hours)

Layers on business skills required for effective leadership and management in criminal justice organizations. Covers concepts of accounting principles, financial tools, and economic analysis for effective managerial decision making, while exploring the role of decision-making models and tools for resolving business problems.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of accounting principles, financial tools and economic analysis in order to develop effective decision-making skills necessary for an effective manager.
  • Compare and contrast the skills to effectively utilize decision-making models and tools in order to resolve complex business problems.
  • Devise an understanding of the most successful methods of operating management, statistics, research, and management science.
  • Synthesize the skills necessary to formulate effective leadership skills and competencies in criminal justice management.

Concentration Requirements (15 semester hours)

BUSN602Managerial Analysis3
BUSN603Quantitative Analysis3
BUSN620Strategic Management3
BUSN625Applied Decision Making3
Total Semester Hours15

Concentration in Emergency Management and Disaster Management (15 semester hours)

Probes emergency management principles and theory, including hazard analysis, mitigation, planning, communication, response, recovery, terrorism, and the capabilities and limitations of the emergency management system. Covers effective interagency cooperation at the federal, state, and local levels.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of emergency management principles and theory.
  • Synthesize the public law, regulation, and policies that either facilitate and/or restrict emergency management.
  • Devise an understanding of hazard analysis, mitigation, planning, communication, response, recovery and terrorism.
  • Summarize the knowledge needed to develop interagency cooperation, what the shortfalls are within interagency efforts and what the principles are for effective inter-organizational behavior and action.
  • Compare and contrast the capabilities and limitations of the emergency management system.

Concentration Requirements (15 semester hours)

EDMG501Emergency Management and Public Law3
EDMG502Emergency and Disaster Theory3
EDMG503Emergency and Disaster Planning and Management3
EDMG509Interagency Disaster Management3
EDMG560Crisis Action Planning3
Total Semester Hours15

Elective Requirements (0-3 semester hours)

Select from other graduate courses not taken to meet core or concentration requirements.

Final Program Requirements (0-3 semester hours)

Select 1 course from the following:0-3
Capstone – Theory to Practice 1
Comprehensive Examination in Criminal Justice 1
Master's Capstone Seminar in Criminal Justice 1
Master's Project Capstone Seminar 1
Total Semester Hours0-3