Online Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice

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Program at a Glance
  • Gain the knowledge and credentials to pursue supervisory and administrative positions in the criminal justice field.
  • Take advantage of the flexibility of online learning and study on a schedule that’s convenient for you. 
  • Apply critical-thinking skills to real-world scenarios through an applied research project.
  • Learn from professors who bring real-world experience to the courses they teach.
COURSE EFFORT 25 Hours per Week
COURSE LENGTH 6 Weeks
CREDITS REQUIRED 55
COST PER CREDIT $420
How Do I Get Started?

We offer multiple start dates to give you flexibility in your education, life, and work schedules.

Master of Science in Criminal Justice Overview

Purdue Global’s online master’s degree in criminal justice is designed to strengthen your leadership skills and prepare you to take on new challenges in a rapidly changing field. The criminal justice industry needs qualified leaders, public servants, and change agents dedicated to protecting our communities, our nation, and our world. 

Courses in the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice are designed to prepare you for advanced opportunities and explore:

  • Organizational behavior, management and leadership of human resources, and design and structural processes in criminal justice organizations
  • Research methods and the skills needed to design and conduct applied research and evaluate data
  • Causes of criminal behavior in various cultures around the world
  • Recent legislation and case law at the state and federal levels

See the University Catalog for policy and degree plan information specific to this program.

Admissions Requirements

To enroll in the criminal justice master’s program online, you must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.


Refer to the University Catalog or speak to an Advisor to learn more.

Purdue University Global Is Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission

This accreditation covers all academic programs, all regional locations, and all programs provided via distance education. For more information, please visit HLCommission.org or call 800-621-7440.

Career Opportunities

Employment in the protective service field is projected to grow.* Talented candidates with the right advanced degree, leadership abilities, and program management, budgeting, and policy-making skills can shape their professional futures as well as the future of the industry.

As a graduate, you can pursue a variety of leadership and advanced criminal justice career opportunities in organizations such as:

  • Federal, state, and local government agencies
  • Courtrooms
  • Postsecondary educational institutions
  • Police departments
  • Regional loss prevention departments
  • Academia including universities or colleges 

Prior experience may be necessary for leadership positions. Local, state, and federal law enforcement jobs may require additional training or education including additional state-approved higher education beyond the Purdue Global degree. This program was not designed to meet any specific state’s requirements, and Purdue Global makes no representations or warranties as to whether the degree or any individual courses meet such requirements. Refer to the University Catalog for additional information. Graduates of Purdue Global criminal justice programs are not eligible to attend police academies in Minnesota.

Opportunities for Professional Development

Online discussion boards allow you to engage with students from around the country and learn from their experiences. You can also take advantage of the Graduate Resource Center, a self-paced course that includes information on professional memberships and clubs, career services, social networking, and more.

Distinguished. Experienced. Committed.

As one of the largest providers of public safety programs in the United States, we’ve supported the career and educational advancement of many dedicated criminal justice professionals like yourself. You’ll join a wide network of students, alumni, faculty, and employers.

Curriculum in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice focuses on criminological and management theories, organizational behavior, and research methods related to the field.

The program culminates with a hands-on applied research project that enables you to put your learning to work by analyzing real-world criminal justice issues and challenges.

Sample Courses
  • Criminological Theory
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Critical Issues in Criminal Justice
  • Academic and Professional Communications in Public Safety
See All Criminal Justice Courses
Credit Breakdown
  • Core Credits30
  • Major Credits20
  • Elective Credits5
  • Total Credits55

Ways to Save

Program Cost Estimator

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current cost per credit
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Maine residents will pay $420.00 per credit for all graduate programs, with the exception of the Doctor of Nursing Practice. Tuition does not include University fees and associated program fees. View tuition and fee information or contact an Admissions Advisor for more information.

Get to Know Our Faculty

Purdue Global faculty members are real-world practitioners who bring knowledge gained through the powerful combination of higher learning and industry experience.

View Criminal Justice and Fire Science Faculty Directory
97% Faculty members who have advanced degrees
45% Faculty members who hold a doctorate
218 Faculty publications in 2017–2018
Nearly 87,000 Professional development hours logged by faculty in 2017–2018

Statistics include all Purdue Global faculty members and are not school or program-specific calculations. Purdue Global Office of Reporting and Analysis and Center for Teaching and Learning. 2017–2018 academic year. Note: all figures include data prior to the March 2018 purchase of Kaplan University by Purdue University and subsequent creation of Purdue University Global.

School Brochure

Download our brochure to learn more about our criminal justice programs and the benefits of earning your degree at Purdue Global.

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NOTES AND CONDITIONS

*Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Protective Service Occupations, www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/home.htm. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), 2016-2017 Total Degrees and Certificates Conferred, First Major, Criminal Justice and Corrections, and Fire Protection, nces.ed.gov/IPEDS. Based on total number of degrees and certificates granted by Kaplan University compared to other Title IV institutions. Note: these data were reported prior to the March 2018 purchase of Kaplan University by Purdue University and subsequent creation of Purdue University Global.