The Best Online Master’s in Criminology Programs for 2019

1. University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 70%

The University of Central Florida began in 1963 as the Florida Technological University, founded by the Florida Legislature to educate personnel for the U.S. space program. The school welcomed an initial class of 1,948 students. The university’s academic offerings increased and diversified with time, and it took on its current name in 1978. UCF is one of the largest universities in the country with a student population of more than 66,000 from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 157 countries.

The university offers over 220 degrees at the certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. UCF holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

UCF’s College of Community Innovation and Education offers a master’s in criminology online comprising 36 total credit hours. Students graduate from the program with an MS in criminal justice. Of the credits required for MS, 18 come from core coursework on the nature of the crime, administration of justice, criminal justice organizations, and data and policy analysis in criminal justice.

Students can opt to complete a capstone project or write a thesis as the program’s culminating experience. Students who choose the thesis option can apply six credit hours of general elective requirements as thesis hours. U.S. News & World Report ranks UCF’s online graduate criminal justice program among the best in the nation (26th out of 77 schools).

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $330/credit, in-state; $695/credit, out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (407) 823-2766
Email: gradadmissions@ucf.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2. Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 80%

The University of South Florida traces its roots back to 1851 when the state legislature approved the establishment of a co-ed higher education institution. The West Florida Seminary resulted from the merger of two schools: Florida Institute (a school for boys) and the Tallahassee Female Academy. The school became Florida State College in 1901, and in 1947 took on its current name.

The University of South Florida educates nearly 42,000 students, offering more than 300 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, specialist, and professional programs. The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has accredited USF since 1915. U.S. News & World Report ranks USF as one of the country’s top national universities (70th out of 312 schools).

USF offers a fully online, 36-credit criminology master’s degree through the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Students graduate from the program with an MS in criminal justice studies.U.S. News & World Report ranks USF’s online graduate criminal justice program as one the best in the country at number six out of 77 schools.

Students enroll in 15 credit hours of core courses: survey of criminal justice theory and research, computer applications in criminal justice, research methods in criminology, survey of criminological theories, and applied statistics in criminology. MS courses follow an asynchronous format, and the program waives GRE requirements for applicants with at least five years of professional experience in the field.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice Studies
Tuition: $445/credit, in-state; $1,075/credit, out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE for candidates with less than 5 years of work experience
Work Experience: 5 years of work experience

Contact
Phone: (850) 645-9169
Email: mhm1991@fsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3. Colorado State University – Global Campus

Greenwood Village, CO

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 69%

With more than 10 years of experience in online education, Colorado State University-Global Campus stands as the country’s first fully online state university. Students at CSU Global tailor their educational experience to their unique professional objectives, personal goals, and circumstances. CSU Global offers more than 40 certificate, undergraduate, and graduate degrees and enrolls in nearly 19,000 students from all over the country and around the world. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

The online criminology master’s degree from CSU Global comprises 36 credits, 24 of which must come from core criminal justice coursework in criminological theory, criminal justice policy development and analysis, and administration and management of criminal justice organizations. Students who were admitted to the program with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 must enroll in fundamental research and writing course. The program requires students to complete an internship experience and a capstone project prior to graduation. Students with more than five years of relevant professional experience can apply for a waiver of the internship requirement.

Online courses at CSU Global follow an asynchronous delivery format. Students can transfer up to nine graduate-level courses toward the master’s program, as long as the credits come from an accredited school. Online students can access the same student services as on-campus enrollees, including subject matter tutors, career coaching, job search advice, resume critique, and writing assistance.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
Available Concentrations: Fraud management, human resource management, project management
Tuition: $500/credit, in-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 920-6723
Email: admissions@CSUGlobal.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4. University of California – Irvine

Irvine, CA

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 85%

Founded in 1965, UC Irvine opened with an initial enrollment of 1,589 students and a 119-member faculty. UC Irvine currently enrolls over 35,000 students and offers 80 undergraduate degrees and close to 100 graduate and professional programs. The university holds accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.U.S. News & World Report includes UC Irvine on its list of the country’s top universities in the country (33rd out of 312 schools).

The university offers a master’s in criminology online through the School of Social Ecology. Students graduate with a master of advanced study (MAS) degree in criminology, law, and society. The program consists of 52 quarter credits, which students must take sequentially. Students following the prescribed order of courses graduate from the program after two years, or six quarters, of continuous enrollment.

Students take courses in public policy, crime, and criminal justice; legal institutions and society; police, courts, and corrections; and social problems, law, and policy. U.S. News & World Report ranks UC Irvine’s online criminal justice programs as one of the top programs in the country (second out of 77 schools).

The MAS program offers a thesis track and a non-thesis track. Students who choose the non-thesis track enroll in a capstone course, for which they must write a paper summarizing the program’s key learning points. The MAS program requires all new students, including online students, to attend an accelerated, five-day introductory course in criminology, law, and society before the fall quarter begins.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Advanced Study in Criminology, Law, and Society
Tuition: $13,974/year
Credit Requirements: 52 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous, plus an on-campus introduction to criminology, law, society

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (949) 824-4611
Email: grad@uci.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5. The University of Texas at Dallas

Richardson, TX

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 69%

UT Dallas officially began in 1969, and in 2010, the university made it to U.S. News & World Report’s list of top national universities, ranking 143rd. It now ranks 129th nationally. The university enrolls more than 27,000 students and offers 142 undergraduate and graduate programs across eight schools.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited UT Dallas since 1972. The School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences at UT Dallas offers a master’s in criminology online comprising 36 semester credit hours. The program leads to an MS degree. Fifteen semester credit hours, or five courses, of the required 36 semester credit hours must come from core criminology coursework on crime and justice policy, research design, and etiology of crime and criminality.

Students who plan to pursue doctoral studies in the field must complete a writing requirement equivalent to six semester credit hours while enrolled in the MS program. These students must present their independent papers at an industry-recognized symposium or conference. Students who plan to terminate their studies after the MS degree may enroll in an additional six credits of approved elective courses, instead of the writing course.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminology
Tuition: $6,955/semester
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.2 minimum
Standardized Tests: Minimum 300 GRE score, combined verbal and quantitative

Contact
Phone: (972) 883-4932
Email: interest@utdallas.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6. Boston University

Boston, MA

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 87%

Boston University received its charter from the Massachusetts Legislature in 1869, but the school traces its roots back to the founding of Vermont’s Newbury Biblical Institute in 1839. In 1847, the institution moved to Concord, New Hampshire, and became known as the Methodist General Biblical Institute. The school moved again in 1867, this time to Boston, where it took the name Boston Theological Seminary. When it received its charter from the legislature in 1869, the school adopted its current name.

Today, Boston University enrolls more than 34,000 students from 130 countries and offers over 300 programs of study at the certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. The university holds accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.U.S. News & World Report includes BU on its list of the top universities in the country (42nd out of 312 schools).

The online criminology master’s degree at BU offers two concentration areas: cybercrime investigation, and cybersecurity and strategic management.U.S. News & World Report rank the online graduate criminal justice program at BU as fourth out of 77 schools. Students who complete the 40-credit hour program earn a master of criminal justice (MCJ) degree. By enrolling in one course at a time and taking two, seven-week courses per semester, students typically graduate from the program in 20-24 months.

Regardless of their concentration, all MCJ students must take six core courses (24 credit hours). The remaining 16 credit hours come from approved elective coursework. All MCJ students take classes in criminology, white-collar crime, victimology, and criminal justice administration, plus one class each in analytical and research methodology.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Criminal Justice
Available Concentrations: Cybercrime investigation and cybersecurity, strategic management
Tuition: $880/credit hour
Credit Requirements: 40 credits
Program Length: 20-24 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (617) 353-6000
Email: met@bu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7. Florida International University

Miami, FL

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 57%

FIU opened in 1972, initially enrolling 5,667 students — the largest opening-day enrollment in collegiate history in the country. This reflected the region’s demand for a higher education institution. From the beginning, FIU focused on the educational needs and goals of adult learners. The university’s current population of nearly 57,000 students pursue diverse degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. FIU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The university offers a master’s in criminology online through the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs.U.S. News & World Report ranks the online graduate criminal justice programs at FIU among the country’s top programs (17th out of 77 schools). Graduates obtain an MS in criminal justice.

The MS degree comprises 36 credit hours or 12 courses. The program requires all students to complete 15 credit hours of core criminal justice coursework in criminological theory, data analysis in criminal justice, transnational crime and national security, and criminal justice policy analysis. A class in research methods in criminal justice completes the 15-credit core coursework requirement.

The MS program offers an internship course for students who wish to gain practical experience in the criminal justice field. Students who plan to pursue doctoral studies after earning the MS degree usually complete a supervised research course as an elective. The MS program allows students to transfer up to nine graduate-level credits from an accredited college or university.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $455/credit, in-state; $1,000/credit, out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE scores for applicants who do not meet minimum requirements

Contact
Phone: (305) 348-5890
Email: criminology@fiu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8. Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 79%

Michigan State University started out in 1855 as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan. It boasted three buildings, a five-member faculty, and 63 male students. The college began admitting women in 1870. By the early 20th century, the college had expanded its academic programs beyond the agricultural field, and it changed its name to Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science in 1925.

Michigan State became a university in 1955 and took on its current name in 1964. Michigan State University currently enrolls approximately 50,350 students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 141 countries. It offers more than 200 fields of study at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. Michigan State University belongs to the top 100 universities in the country and holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

The university offers an online master’s degree in criminology through the College of Social Science. The 30-credit program leads to an MS degree. Michigan State University first offered the program online in 1998. It now ranks as the10th best online graduate criminal justice program in the country. Students may follow general requirements for the MS degree in criminal justice, or choose a specialization area in judicial administration or security management.

Core coursework for the degree exposes students to topics such as crime causation, prevention, and control; criminal justice management; and design and control in criminal justice research. The program allows students to transfer up to nine graduate-level courses from an accredited college or university, as long as they earned a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Available Concentrations: Security management, international focus
Tuition: $755/credit, in-state; $1,485/credit, out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-2.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.2 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE required for candidates with a GPA under 3.2

Contact
Phone: (517) 355-2197
Email: admissions@msu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9. The University of West Florida

Pensacola, FL

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 44%

In 1963, the Florida Legislature allocated funding for the University of West Florida, the sixth institution of higher education in the state’s university system. UWF began as an upper-division school and started admitting lower-division students in 1983. Today, UWF enrolls approximately 13,000 students and offers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate degrees in diverse fields. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges initially accredited UWF in 1969. The university continues to hold this accreditation.

The online criminology master’s degree at the University of West Florida consists of 33 credit hours, which full-time students can complete in four semesters or 1.5 years. The program of study leads to an MS degree. Students can choose between two tracks: one requiring an internship, and the other requiring completion of a major paper in a criminal justice area.

Alternately, students can opt to earn a concentration certificate in one of the following disciplines: education, homeland security, public administration, or social work. To earn the certificate, students must complete at least nine credit hours of graduate-level coursework in the certificate area.

No matter which concentration they select, all criminal justice MS students take the following courses: criminal justice theory, analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, criminological theory, and research methodology. To complete their core coursework requirements, students enroll in another class in any of the following subjects: penology, courts and society, criminal justice administration, or policing and society.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Available Concentrations: Social work, public administration, homeland security, education
Tuition: $380/credit, in-state; $1,040/credit, out-of-state; $485/credit, Alabama residents
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 1.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT

Contact
Phone: (850) 474-2336
Email: justice@uwf.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10. Saint Joseph’s University

Philadelphia, PA

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 82%

In 1851, the Jesuits founded Saint Joseph’s College, the forerunner of Saint Joseph’s University. Originally an all-male institution, the college accepted women as full-time students starting in 1970, now enrolling more than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate learners. Saint Joseph’s offers over 60 bachelor’s and 53 graduate programs.U.S. News & World Report ranks the university among the top in the North (12th out of 196 schools). Saint Joseph’s University holds accreditation from theMiddle States Commission on Higher Education.

The online master’s degree in criminology at Saint Joseph’s University offers five concentration areas: behavior analysis, behavior management, federal law enforcement, intelligence, and crime analysis, and homeland security. Students may opt to follow a general track, and customize their program according to their academic and professional objectives and interests. The general track and all concentration areas require 30 credit hours, except for the behavior analysis concentration, which requires 36 credit hours.

All students enroll in four core classes in ethics and criminal justice, criminological theory, professional writing for law enforcement, and research methods and analysis. Students who graduate from the program earn an MS in criminal justice.U.S. News & World Report ranks the online graduate criminal justice programs from Saint Joseph’s University among the best in the country (28th out of 77 schools).

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Available Concentrations: Behavior analysis, behavior management, federal law enforcement, intelligence and crime analysis, homeland security
Tuition: $870/credit
Credit Requirements: 30-26 credits
Program Length: 1.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum; candidates with lower GPAs must submit a 300- to 500-word explanation

Contact
Phone: (866) 758-7670
Email: online@sju.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11. Regis University

Denver, CO

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 71%

Founded in New Mexico in 1877, Regis University began as a college preparatory school for boys. When the school moved to Colorado in 1877, it took on a new name and became the College of the Sacred Heart. Thirty-five years later, the school changed its name again to Regis College, before finally taking on its current name in 1991. Regis University currently enrolls more than 10,500 undergraduate and graduate students and offers over 132 fields of study.

The university holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.U.S. News & World Report includes Regis University on its list of top universities in the West, ranking it 26th out of 140 schools.

Regis University offers a master’s in criminology online with three track options in leadership, human behavior, and cybercrime and terrorism. The program leads to an MS degree. Courses follow a five- or eight-week delivery schedule, with six start dates throughout the year in January, March, May, July, August, and October. The MS degree comprises 36 graduate-level credits, 21 of which must come from core coursework requirements. All students, regardless of their chosen track, must take the required core courses.

These core courses cover criminal psychopathology, leadership principles in criminology, transnational crimes, and contemporary issues in criminology. Student chooses one of the following as the culminating experience for the MS program: an internship in criminology, a capstone project, or a master’s comprehensive course, plus one additional approved elective.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminology
Available Concentrations: Leadership, human behavior, cybercrime and terrorism
Tuition: $600/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (303) 458-4900
Email: RUadmissions@regis.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12. Georgia College and State University

Milledgeville, GA

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 66%

Georgia College and State University began in 1889 as Georgia Normal and Industrial College, a two-year institution that provided teacher education and basic business skills training. The school received authority to offer four-year programs in 1917, and five years later changed its name to Georgia State College for Women. The college began admitting male students in 1967 and adopted a new name — Georgia College in 1971. The school took on its current name in 1996.

Today, Georgia College and State University comprises four colleges and enrolls over 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students. The university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.U.S. News & World Report includes the school on its list of top universities in the South (28th out of 148 schools).

The university offers a master’s in criminology online through the College of Arts and Sciences. Students who complete the program graduate with an MS in criminal justice. The degree comprises 36 credits, 24 of which come from required core coursework, and 12 from approved electives. Courses focus on key topics in the field, including legal issues in criminal justice, corrections, the criminal justice system in America, and criminal justice ethics. Students must pass a comprehensive exam in their last semester, before graduating.

Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 must submit the results of a recent standardized graduate entrance exam. Applicants with a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA who have earned another graduate degree from an accredited school can apply for a GRE waiver.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $545/credit, in-state (includes tech and institutional fees)
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE for applicants with GPA below 2.75; applicants with 2.75-2.99 GPA must submit GRE (290 combined), MAT (390), or GMAT (450) scores.

Contact
Phone: (478) 445-4562
Email: admissions@gcsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13. Dallas Baptist University

Dallas, TX

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 58%

Founded in 1898 as Decatur Baptist College, Dallas Baptist University was the first junior college in the Lone Star State. When the school moved to Southwest Dallas in 1965, it began offering four-year degrees and changed its name to Dallas Baptist University. The university now enrolls more than 5,000 students and offers 78 bachelor’s, 31 master’s, and two doctoral degrees. DBU also offers several associates and dual master’s programs in diverse fields of study.

The online master’s in professional development program at DBU offers four major discipline areas: business, education, human relations, and career development, and servant leadership. The human relations and career development discipline include a concentration in criminal justice. Students who complete the program earn an MA in professional development.

The degree comprises 30 credit hours. All students enroll in two courses, each worth three credits: leadership studies, and human beliefs and human actions. After completing the two core courses, students may pursue an interdisciplinary track (15 credits hours in a primary discipline and nine credit hours in a secondary discipline) or a single discipline track (18 credits of concentration courses and six hours of electives).

Criminal justice coursework includes classes in ethical issues in law enforcement, crime and community, correctional theory and application, and principles of organization and administration for justice professionals. The university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Arts in Professional Development
Available Concentrations: Criminal justice
Tuition: $959/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (214) 333-5242
Email: graduate@dbu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14. San Jose State University

San Jose, CA

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 57%

California’s oldest public higher education institution, SJSU boasts a small but growing e-campus that offers a suite of web-based programs. These include a master’s in criminology online, which looks at crime from an international perspective. Hosted by the Northern California university’s justice studies department, the degree explores crime in various parts of the world and the most successful approaches to preventing and stopping it.

SJSU’s 30-unit master of science in criminology with a concentration in global criminology consists of 10 total required courses. These take students through subjects including terrorism, international police work, human rights, cybercrime, immigration, and gender roles in criminality. Program participants build solid foundations in criminal justice and learn leadership skills, including effective communication, team-building, and problem-solving. All classes run asynchronously, giving distance learners the freedom to complete work at their own convenience.

Students must complete an applied research project and maintain a 3.0 GPA in their major. Degree candidates must also pass the university’s graduation writing assessment requirement (GWAR) before submitting their advancement to candidacy application. The comparative criminal justice systems class serves as the GWAR course for the online criminology master’s degree. From start to finish, the program typically takes two years.

Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with a 3.0 GPA in their last 60 credits. They must gain admission to SJSU before matriculating into the criminology master’s program.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminology
Available Concentrations: Global Criminology
Tuition: $9,230/year, in-state; $18,734/year, out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (408) 283-7500
Email: admissions@sjsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15. University of Michigan – Dearborn

Dearborn, MI

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 54%

Part of the Michigan public university system, UM-Dearborn offers online criminology master’s degree programs developed by faculty experts in the field. Intended for both working professionals and aspiring criminologists, these programs ready students to step into management positions or continue on to research or doctoral study. Participants can select a thesis or non-thesis options.

UM, Dearborn’s master of science in criminology and criminal justice follows a curriculum of 30-32 credits. Students who elect not to write a thesis must write a major essay on an issue addressing modern approaches to crime. Those enrolled on the thesis track must take a research methods class and create an acceptable project with the assistance of their adviser. The university provides the option of a concentration in criminal justice administration, which entails taking four classes in management. Distance learners may use electives in areas like terrorism, law, and civil rights to tailor their studies to their career interests.

Most classwork follows an asynchronous format. UM-Dearborn prides itself on small class sizes and individualized attention. Most of the program’s distinguished faculty members hold terminal degrees in the field, and several bring years of law enforcement experience.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree and demonstrate a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prerequisite courses include an introduction to criminal justice, criminology, and criminal law. Degree candidates who have not completed their prerequisites may seek approval from their program director to do so concurrently with their master’s courses. Some public safety personnel qualifies for a 20% tuition discount.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Available Concentrations: Criminal justice administration
Tuition: $708/credit, in-state; $1,197/credit, out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30-32 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (313) 583-6321
Email: umd-caslgrad@umich.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16. Texas A & M University – Commerce

Commerce, TX

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 42%

One of the 11 schools in the Texas A&M system, Texas A&M-Commerce ranks among the fastest-growing schools in the country. The East Texas institution offers a master’s in criminology online. The program serves students pursuing administrative careers in law enforcement, who may choose between a general track and three areas of concentration: management, homeland security, and forensic accounting.

The program moves quickly, with each class scheduled in accelerated, five-week sessions. Distance learners can earn all credits online in as little as 18 months, with no campus visits.

For its master of science in applied criminology, Texas A&M-Commerce created a 36-credit curriculum. It consists of four core courses, three concentration classes, two electives, and a capstone sequence of three courses. All classes follow an asynchronous format. Participants on the general track enroll in four elective classes, effectively creating their own concentration.

Each track opens with a master of science in applied criminology introductory course, which incurs no cost and earns no credit. Everyone takes the same suite of classes in research methods and data interpretation and must pass the comprehensive exam at the end of their studies.

The program features eight start dates per year, allowing students to begin whenever they can fit school into their schedule. Applicants must submit official GRE test scores, a writing sample, and undergraduate transcripts, which should demonstrate a minimum of 3.0 GPA on their last 60 credits.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Applied Criminology
Available Concentrations: General, management, homeland security, forensic accounting
Tuition: $620/credit, in-state; $1,035/credit, out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE for applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0

Contact
Phone: (903) 886-5163
Email: Graduate.School@TAMUC.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17. Saint Louis University

Saint Louis, MO

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 77%

One of the country’s oldest Catholic universities, SLU offers an online criminology master’s degree with a concentration in emergency management. Intended for law enforcement professionals wishing to advance their careers and students interested in pursuing post-graduate credentials, the program stresses leadership and interdisciplinary skills. It also continues the university’s Jesuit traditions of ethics and community service. Most students earn their degrees within two years, but they can take up to four to do so.

Students in SLU’s master of arts in criminology and criminal justice must earn 33 credits. These include 12 credits of core coursework, 15 credits in the emergency management concentration, and six credits of related electives. At least one elective must come from a criminal justice or emergency management systems course. Within the emergency management concentration, degree candidates can focus their studies in areas like public health, leadership, and disaster response. They may also create their own independent study, with adviser approval.

The emergency management curriculum promotes administrative skills, crisis management, and critical thinking. Distance learners develop communication and decision-making skills using case studies and challenging simulations. All program participants must maintain a 3.0 GPA to remain in good standing.

Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree and a 3.0 GPA. SLU admits some applicants with lower GPAs, on a conditional basis. The university does not require GRE scores. Military personnel and first responders enjoy tuition discounts.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Available Concentrations: Emergency management, administration of justice, treatment and rehabilitation
Tuition: $8,730/semester
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum (conditional admission available for applicants with lower GPAs)

Contact
Phone: (314) 977-2500
Email: admission@slu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18. University of North Florida

Jacksonville, FL

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 57%

A public institution based in Jacksonville, UNF offers a master’s in criminology online that takes just two years to complete. The program features both thesis and non-thesis options and allows for customization using a wealth of electives. Students can create their own pathways in such fields as social justice, corrections, counseling and crisis intervention, homeland security, and emergency management.

UNF’s online master of science in criminal justice takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of crime. The 33- to 39-credit program draws from political science, history, law, social and behavioral science, and computer science to examine the problem of crime from all angles. Program participants learn the underlying causes of deviant and unlawful behavior, study the best practices of prevention, and gain an understanding of the various mechanisms and systems in place to deal with crime when it happens.

Students must complete two prerequisite classes — criminological theory and research methods in crime and criminal justice — within their first nine hours of graduate work. They can then move on to earn the 12 required major credits, and shape their program using 15 elective credits. The thesis serves as the final project and adds six additional credits. Those choosing not to write one must complete two additional graduate courses.

Program admission requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. UNF prefers applicants with a 3.0 GPA on their last 60 credits. The university does not require the GRE or other standardized tests.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $495/credit, in-state; $1045/credit, out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 33-39 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (904) 620-1360
Email: graduateschool@unf.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19. University of Colorado Denver – Anschutz Medical Campus

Denver, CO

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 45%

The University of Colorado began offering its master’s in criminal justice in 1972, and now offers the program to distance learners through the university’s web campus, CU Online. Students use the 2.5-year course of study to launch careers in law enforcement, corrections, and the legal system. The program also prepares students for nonprofit work in fields like domestic violence, justice policy, juvenile delinquency, and hate crimes.

CU’smaster of science in criminal justice presents distance learners with the choice of four areas of focus, including crime analysis, gender violence, nonprofits, and emergency management and homeland security. The program comprises 36 total credits, 15 of which come from core coursework. Most students carry a workload of six credits per 15-week semester, and the university recommends against enrolling in more than that. Most of CU Online’s classes run asynchronously, though some professors do call for scheduled meetings.

Degree candidates with no previous criminal justice experience must undergo an internship at a related agency. They can elect to write a thesis or not, but those who chose not to must complete an applied research capstone project.

Nonresidents pay slightly higher tuition rates than Colorado state residents, but still about half of what the university charges campus-based students. Online learners benefit from many of the same resources as those on the school’s brick-and-mortar campus. These include 24/7 library access, online writing assistance, advising, and tech help.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Criminal Justice
Available Concentrations: Crime analyst, emergency management and homeland security, gender-based violence, nonprofit organizations
Tuition: $521/credit, in-state; $1,243/credit, out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2-2.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (303) 315-2183
Email: GraduateAdmissions@ucdenver.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20. Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 83%

The largest of Texas Christian’s 21 universities, TCU sits in the heart of Fort Worth. The private, nonprofit institution offers a master’s degree in criminology online, which serves small cohorts of criminal justice professionals. Students progress through the program in lock-step, taking the same courses and advancing together at the same pace. This community-based approach allows students to get to know one another and form supportive, long-term friendships.

It also gives those with less experience the opportunity to learn from their peers, who typically come from diverse backgrounds in local, state, and federal law enforcement.

The 36-credit master of science in criminal justice and criminology program opens with a mandatory, two-day orientation in Fort Worth. After this real-time session, all work takes place across the internet, generally in an asynchronous fashion. Students take two courses each term, including through the summer. They must finish 12 courses, which spread across two years.

Admission requires an undergraduate degree and a minimum of 3.0 GPA. Applicants who do not meet this standard must provide GRE scores. Most applicants bring professional experience, but the university does not require it.

Because of the program’s cohort nature, TCU does not allow students to use transfer credits toward their degree. TCU notes that available scholarships in the field can account for as much as one-third of the program’s tuition cost. All online learners pay a single flat rate.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology
Tuition: $935/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online, plus 2-day mandatory orientation
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (817) 257-5846
Email: j.nhan@tcu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21. Lewis University

Romeoville, IL

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 67%

Set in the Chicago suburb of Romeoville, Illinois, LU began as a trade school. It established a reputation for career-oriented, practical degrees that provided pathways to solid jobs. The Catholic university built a small web campus, offering a handful of graduate degrees. Aimed at working adults, these programs include an online master’s degree in criminology that emphasizes management skills. Most students complete the program within two years.

LU’smaster of science in criminal justice follows a 36-credit curriculum, which boasts approval from the prestigious Academic Alliance of the FBI National Academy Associates. Degree candidates must complete eight core courses in subjects such as criminal procedure, fiscal management, and research methods. They can use four electives to tailor their course of study to fit their career objectives. Options may include corrections, juvenile justice, homeland security, or public safety administration.

The university awards up to nine credits for prior graduate-level classes. It does not grant credit for previous work experience. Distance learners can take as long as seven years to complete their degrees.

Lewis offers three avenues of admission to the program. Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree in a related field, or years of experience as a criminal justice professional, to matriculate directly in. Otherwise, they must pass two courses selected by the program director with a “B” grade or better. Candidates with related degrees should demonstrate a minimum 3.0 GPA, or otherwise enter on a provisional basis.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $575/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (866) 967-7046
Email: onlineprograms@lewisu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22. Texas A & M International University

Laredo, TX

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 44%

One of the 11 schools in the Texas A&M University System, TAMIU sits near the Mexican, in the city of Laredo. The midsize public institution takes a global approach to learning, with a range of programs in international business and digital campus students can access from anywhere in the world. The university offers an online master’s in criminology, which doesn’t require GRE scores or a thesis.

To accommodate busy working professionals, the 36-credit program schedules classes in accelerated, seven-week sessions. Ambitious students can earn their diplomas in as little as one year of study.

With an emphasis on the analysis of criminal justice policies and theory, TAMIU’s online master of science in criminal justice curriculum comprises 12 courses, half in major core classes and a half in electives. Coursework examines the sociological, psychological, biological, and economic roots of crime, and how best to combat the problem.

Distance learners compare the incidence and handling of crime on an international level by studying criminology in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The program concludes with a capstone course, in which degree candidates tackle a problem facing the American criminal justice system.

TAMIU offers six start dates through the year, allowing for scheduling flexibility. Most of the school’s professors host classes asynchronously. Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree, with a minimum 2.8 GPA. The university accepts students with GPAs as low as 2.5 if their resumes reflect more than three years’ experience in the field.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Tuition: $335/credit, in-state; $975/credit, out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.8 minimum
Work Experience: 3 years’ minimum work experience for applicants with a 2.5 GPA

Contact
Phone: (844) 872-8712
Email: GraduateSchool@tamiu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23. University of North Texas

Denton, TX

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 54%

One of the nation’s largest universities, UNT boasts more than 38,000 students. The Denton-based public institution offers more digital degree options than most of its Lone Star State counterparts, including a full slate at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. UNT’s online master’s degree in criminology concentrates on justice policy and administration, providing students with the leadership skills needed to enter management positions in law enforcement, nonprofits, and corporate security.

In UNT’s master of science in criminal justice, the curriculum features 12 credits in core classes and 24 in electives. The major core comprises coursework in policy, administration, theory, research methods, and legal aspects of criminal justice. The university’s faculty holds a distinction in fields like homeland security, capital punishment, victimization, white-collar crime, and police operations and tactics. Most instructors hold asynchronous courses, and students receive a great deal of individualized attention. UNT boasts a median graduate class size of nine students.

Degree candidates may pursue up to six electives outside the criminal justice curriculum, incorporating classwork from fields like psychology, sociology, and political science. All students must pass the Department of Criminal Justice’s comprehensive exam to graduate. Only grades of “C” or better count toward the degree.

Distance learners can complete their studies in two years or less by taking two courses per session. UNT accepts up to nine credits toward the degree from other graduate-level coursework. The university allows participants five years to finish the program once they begin.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Available Concentrations: Justice policy and administration
Tuition: $1,510/course, in-state; $2,755/credit, out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (940) 565-2562
Email: MSCJ-Advising@unt.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24. University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 69%

A large public research institution founded in 1819, UC developed a comprehensive virtual campus, offering associate to doctoral-level degree programs. The university’s online master of science in criminal justice consists of 11 classes, which combine forward-thinking theory with practical, real-world application. Full-time students can earn their degrees in a year, or take classes part-time and finish in as little as two years. Graduates leave ready to pursue careers in research or teaching or enter into the law enforcement world as leaders.

UC’s 33-credit master’s in criminology online combines insights from a variety of disciplines to create a whole picture of the U.S. criminal justice system. Distance learners study sociology, psychology, law, and criminology to better understand criminal conduct and thinking, rehabilitation and parole, and what works and what doesn’t. Concentrations in criminal behavior analysis, law enforcement, and crime prevention, and corrections and offender rehabilitation allow participants to focus their studies in areas of particular interest.

All classes employ an asynchronous, accelerated format. UC allows criminology students to transfer up to nine credits toward their degree.

The university does not require an undergraduate degree in criminal justice. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 3.0 GPA. Candidates with at least five years’ experience in criminal justice, acceptable GRE scores, or at least one professional letter of reference may be exempt from minimum GPA requirements. The UC calendar features six start dates per year. Nonresidents pay slightly more in tuition than Ohio residents.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Available Concentrations: Analysis of criminal behavior, law enforcement and crime prevention, corrections and offender rehabilitation
Tuition: $724/credit, in-state; $739/credit, out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE for applicants with a GPA below 3.0
Work Experience: 5 years of work experience for applicants with a GPA below 2.75

Contact
Phone: (833) 556-7600
Email: admissions@uc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25. University of South Dakota

Vermillion, SD

Cost: $$$$$

Graduation Rate: 55%

The flagship institution in South Dakota, USD offers an online criminology master’s degree as part of its master of science in administration program. The 36-credit curriculum grounds students in leadership theory and imparts the administrative skills they need to run public-service organizations and private sector businesses that provide public services. The university designed the program for mid-career professionals and requires at least three years of experience. Students can complete all credits online, with no campus visits.

USD’s online criminal justice degree requires students to earn 24 credits in the master of administration curriculum. Core courses include professional writing, research, budgeting, administrative law, ethics, and communication. The law enforcement concentration consists of an additional 12 credits in police administration, courts and judicial politics, criminal law and procedure, and national security policy. All degree candidates must complete a research capstone project, in which they identify, study, and propose solutions to a problem common to public-service organizations.

Many students in USD’s MS in administration program complete two specializations. Options include organizational leadership, human resource management, health services, human services, interdisciplinary studies, and addiction studies. They may also pursue a joint master’s in administration and Juris doctor degree.

Applicants must submit undergraduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a professional resume. USD prefers applicants with a minimum 2.7 GPA. The program admits some candidates who do not meet these standards on a provisional basis. All graduate-level distance learners pay the same flat rate for tuition.

Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Administration
Available Concentrations: Criminal justice studies specialization
Tuition: $450/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: 3 years

Contact
Phone: (605) 658-6200
Email: gradadmissions@usd.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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