Top 50 Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Degree Programs

April 2017

Criminal justice professionals work in a wide variety of capacities throughout the criminal justice system. Whether their area of expertise is in corrections, law enforcement, clerical duties or any other aspect of the profession, a key to advancement is often the attainment of an advanced degree. An online Master of Criminal Justice degree increases the knowledge of the student, as well as their potential for advancement in the field. Many criminal justice professionals, however, cannot afford to take time away from the profession to earn a degree or relocate for the specific program of interest. Thankfully many high quality universities have begun to offer graduate criminal justice programs online for the convenience of working professionals.

Ranking Methodology

We created a list of the best online master’s in criminal justice programs from an initial list of 145 criminal justice programs found in the NCES College Navigator database. We removed schools requiring anything more than a brief on campus visit since we wanted to highlight online programs. We further reduced our list to only include accredited institutions with programs directly related to criminal justice.

Schools we included in our list feature doctoral level faculty, coursework that corresponds with the latest trends and areas in criminal justice, the ability to transfer in credits from other approved institutions, and selective admission. Because of the diversity within each program and unique attributes offered by various elements such as cohort models, concentration areas, and thesis opportunities, we have listed our schools by order of the average cost of graduate tuition indicated by College Navigator. This is a list of the top 50 best online criminal justice degree programs available from regionally accredited institutions.

#50. Boston University-Boston, Massachusetts

Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) Online

Website

Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $47,422

Unique Features
The online Master of Criminal Justice degree program from Boston University incorporates technological advancements and contemporary world events into a curriculum covering the broad arena of law enforcement. The master’s in criminal justice online was the first online program launched by Boston University back in 2002. Ranked 4th in the country by U.S. News and World Report in their list of Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs for 2017, Boston University offers one of the best online accredited criminal justice master’s programs. Students can select from a concentration in Cybercrime Investigation or Strategic Management. The program consists of 40 credit hours and most students can complete the program in less than two years of study. Graduates are well prepared to advance their career in law enforcement, apply to law school, or continue their education and pursue doctoral study.

#49. Northeastern University-Boston, Massachusetts

Master of Science Criminal Justice Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $21,801

Unique Features
Northeastern University is the largest and one of the most respected research universities in Massachusetts. Northeastern emphasizes academically rigorous education methods coupled with a pragmatic emphasis ensuring that students graduate with an understanding of how best to apply their education to real world situations. The online Master’s program in criminal justice is designed to prepare leaders for a successful career in law enforcement, courts, private security, and corrections.
Concentrations are available in Community and Family Justice, Corrections, Global Criminal Justice, Leadership, Policing, and Security. Students complete 45 credit hours of coursework which includes a capstone project in the final semester of study. Part time students can complete the program in three years while full time students can finish in just two.

#48. Albertus Magnus College-New Haven, Connecticut

Master of Science in Criminal Justice Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $19,920

Unique Features
Albertus Magnus College was founded in 1925 and offers over 50 different undergraduate and graduate degrees. The online master’s in criminal justice is a 33 credit hour program that can be taken online or in a blended format. Students taking classes in the online format take up to two classes every eight weeks. Courses do not have specific log in times, allowing students to complete coursework when it is most convenient. Concentrations are available in either correctional studies or juvenile justice. Students can choose to complete an internship experience to gain additional work experience. A thesis project is required in the final semester of study.

#47. College of St. Elizabeth-Morristown, New Jersey

M.A. in Justice Administration and Public Service

Website

Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $19,818

Unique Features
The College of St. Elizabeth features an online master’s in criminal justice with small class size and faculty with experience in law enforcement. Ranked highly by U.S. News and World Report as a top school offering a criminal justice master’s online. The College of St. Elizabeth offers a 50% tuition discount for sworn-in law enforcement officers, making tuition incredibly affordable. There is no GRE or GMAT exams required, so students do no have to take additional time preparing for graduate school. This 30 credit hour program incorporates projects that are relevant to professional and workplace needs including moral and ethical issues facing criminal justice professionals.

#46. Nova Southeastern University-Fort Lauderdale, Florida

M.S. in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $16,760

Unique Features
Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida features a top accredited online master’s in criminal justice recognized as one of the best by U.S. News and World Report. NSU offers a 20% scholarship for law enforcement professionals, veterans. military, and first responders. Concentrations are available in twelve different areas including Legal Perspective in Criminal Justice, Behavioral Science, Business Administration, Public Administration, Substance Abuse, Strategic Community Planning, Information Systems, Conflict and Crisis Management, Child Protection and Juvenile Justice, Information Security, Investigative Forensic Technology, and Emergency Preparedness Leadership. Students can typically complete the program in two years of study by taking two courses each semester.

#45. Michigan State University-East Lansing, Michigan

Masters Degree in Criminal Justice Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $16,122

Unique Features
Michigan State University began offering it’s online master’s in criminal justice degree program back in 1998. Specializations are available in either Security Management or Judicial Administration. Courses are offered entirely online and are taught by the same professional faculty who teach in the traditional brick and mortar program. Most students can complete the program in just 18-24 months, although others can take up to three years. Students who want to gain additional practical experience can participate in the Field Placement Program on a volunteer basis, for independent study credit, or as an internship opportunity. Online students have access to the library, a writing center, financial aid, and the bookstore.

#44. University of New Haven-West Haven, Connecticut

Masters in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $15,282

Unique Features
The University of New Haven is a well respected university, nationally recognized by both The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. UNH is also a Military Friendly School and was named a Best for Vets College by Military Times. The online master’s in criminal justice can be completed in two years of study and features six to seven and a half week terms, allowing students to quickly move through the program. Graduates are prepared for leadership and supervisory positions and have gone on to work in the Chief State’s Attorney Office, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI. There is no GRE or GMAT requirement for this accredited online master’s in criminal justice.

#43. Wayne State University-Detroit, Michigan

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $14,165

Unique Features
Wayne State University features a master’s in criminal justice online focused on a broad range of criminal justice issues. Students develop a greater understanding of the program of crime and the response of the criminal justice system. The program is designed for students with hectic work schedules or busy lifestyles by offering online courses that can be completed without set login times. The program runs year round and students that complete two courses each semester can finish in just two years. Tuition rates for online students are offered at the same great in-state rate.

#42. Monroe College-Bronx, New York

Online Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $13,860

Unique Features
Monroe College, located in Bronx, New York, created the School of Criminal Justice in 2003 as a response to the 9/11 terrorism attacks. The online master’s in criminal justice is designed to empower law enforcement officers, social justice workers, and first responders to solve real-world problems facing our country and communities. The 36 credit hour program can be complete in just four semesters of study. Students learn research methods, causes of crime, and crime reduction strategies. The program is offered in a fully online format, allowing students to login when it is convenient, including evenings and weekends.

#41. Rowan University-Glassboro, New Jersey

M.A. in Criminal Justice Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $12,870

Unique Features
The part-time online accelerated master’s in criminal justice from Rowan University is ideal for students who want to become leaders in criminal justice agencies or research institutions. Students learn what it takes to prevent and control crime. This 30 credit hour program is comprised of 10 courses that are scheduled in eight week modules. Required courses cover areas such as management of criminal justice organizations, policy and society, and contemporary developments in theory. There are three different start times throughout the year, allowing students to begin the program when it fits best.

#40. University of Cincinnati-Cincinnati, Ohio

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $12,790

Unique Features
The University of Cincinnati’s accredited online master’s in criminal justice can be completed in just one year of study for full time students and less than two years for students attending part-time. Students can elect to pursue an optional concentration area in the Analysis of Criminal Behavior, Law Enforcement and Crime Prevention, or Corrections and Offender Rehabilitation. The comprehensive 11 course program exposes students to a variety of areas including social control, criminology, law enforcement, and juvenile justice. Faculty are experienced in the field and are the #1 Most Published Faculty by the Journal of Criminal Justice. U.S. News and World Report has included the University of Cincinnati in their list of the Best Online Programs for Criminal Justice.

#39. Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs, Colorado

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $12,436

Unique Features
The online master’s in criminal justice from Colorado Technical University is a 48 credit hour program ranked among the Best Online Programs by U.S. News and World Report for 2017. The program prepares students for leadership and teaching roles within the area of law enforcement. Students complete courses focused on areas including terrorism, management, criminology, public policy, and corrections. A capstone project is required to complete the program, which can be done in as little as two years of full time study.

#38. University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Massachusetts

Online Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $12,162

Unique Features
The online programs at the University of Massachusetts have been recognized by The Online Learning Consortium for providing quality online education. UMass has spent four years on the President’s Higher Education Honor Roll and has been named 28th in the nation on Return on Investment. The online master’s in criminal justice degree program is an 11 course program with a broad range of classes including crime analysis, forensic psychology, terrorism, public policy, and leadership. Designed to meet the needs of a variety of students, the program is ideal for current criminal justice professionals who want to take their career to the next level, those just entering the field, or those who want to teach in the area of criminal justice.

#37. University of Louisville-Louisville, Kentucky

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $11,664

Unique Features
The University of Louisville features an innovative master’s in criminal justice online in an accelerated format with six different start times each year. The degree can be completed in just three intensive enrollment semesters, allowing students to save time and money. Students can transfer in up to six credit hours of graduate coursework from an approved institution, resulting in additional savings. The flexible accelerated online format lets students take one class every six weeks. Graduates have gone on to work as criminal investigators, corrections officers, court referral officers, security specialists, and criminal justice planners.

#36. University of California-Irvine, California

Master of Advanced Study (M.A.S.) in Criminology, Law and Society

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $11,220

Unique Features
The Master of Advanced Study in Criminology, Law and Society is a two year program featuring coursework that addresses some of the most urgent problems facing society. With course offerings looking at issues such as white collar and corporate crime, crime hotspots, and hate crimes, students develop a better understanding of specific types of crimes and how to control them. Faculty are internally recognized and provide students with individualized attention and a commitment to their success. This top online master’s in criminal justice degree is ranked 3rd in the country by U.S. News and World Report for 2017.

#35. National University-La Jolla, California

Master of Criminal Justice

Website

Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $10,962

Unique Features
National University offers an online master’s in criminal justice that prepares students for the challenges and complex issues facing criminal justice professionals in the 21st century. This 54 quarter hour program teaches students how to analyze and evaluate court decisions, the criminal justice system, management within the criminal justice system, and issues related to personnel in the field. Core requirements include eight courses covering critical issues, professional ethics, legal issues, criminological theory, criminal justice theory, and comparative criminal justice systems. An advanced research methods course and a research project thesis are also core requirements. Electives include popular topics such as forensic psychology, drugs and alcohol policy, violence and victimization, and major course investigation.

#34. Western Kentucky University-Bowling Green, Kentucky

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Criminology

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $10,860

Unique Features
The online master’s in criminology from Western Kentucky University is a 30 credit hour program exploring crime, delinquency, and deviance and the response of society. Courses are available “on demand” allowing students to begin the program at any time without having to wait for the start of a semester. Tuition is charged at the low in state rate for online students, resulting in significant savings. Online students receive dedicated support throughout the program to be successful online students.

#33. Regis University-Denver, Colorado

Online Master of Science in Criminology

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $10,800

Unique Features
Named one of the best Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News and World Report, Regis University offers a top online master’s in criminal justice designed for those interested in both the public and private sectors. Students are able to tailor their courses to meet their particular interests in criminology. In addition to being able to select specialized courses, students can also select an area of focus to further tailor their degree plan. The Leadership Focus is designed for those who intend to pursue leadership roles and need to understand conflict resolution, governance, and organization. The Human Behavior Focus dives deeper into what drives criminal behavior. The Cybercrime/Terrorism Focus helps students learn how to predict and prevent crimes using technology and crimes of terror. Most students can complete the program in about two years and graduates benefit from life-long access to career counseling services at Regis.

#32. Faulkner University-Montgomery, Alabama

Online Master of Justice Administration

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $9,960

Unique Features
The Online Master of Justice Administration from Faulkner University is a flexible program designed to propel students into a career in criminal justice. Students can earn their degree in just 14 months by completing 10-5 week courses, taken one course at a time. The program is designed using a cohort model which allows students to network and develop relationships with peers. While there are no electives, course requirements cover a variety of areas including corrections, courts, ethics, policing, and comparative criminal justice.

#31. Florida State University-Tallahassee, Florida

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $9,684

Unique Features
Florida State University is a large and respected public university offering an online master’s in criminal justice ranked as one of the Best Online Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2017. The 36 credit hour program includes 15 hours of core courses and 21 credits of electives. Elective courses include a variety of unique opportunities such as victimology and penology. Students can transfer in up to six credit hours from an accredited institution which can save both time and money.

#30. Bellevue University-Bellevue, Nebraska

Online Master of Science in Justice Administration and Crime Management Degree

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $9,450

Unique Features
Bellevue University features an accredited master’s in criminal justice online that uses a cohort format. Students move through the program as a group, taking a prescribed set of courses in a set order. The program is designed for those who want to assume a leadership position in the field. The Master of Science in Justice Administration and Crime Management blends hands on learning with theory to help students apply their knowledge in a real world setting. Bellevue is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a Military Friendly institution.

#29. Colorado State University Global-Greenwood Village, Colorado

Master’s Degree In Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $9,000

Unique Features
Colorado State University-Global features a flexible, affordable, quality online master’s in criminal justice for individuals wanting to advance in their career or continue on to doctoral study. As students work toward their master’s degree, they will earn Awards of Completion in the subject areas of The Foundations of Criminal Justice Leadership and Applied Strategic Leadership in Criminal Justice Organizations. Graduates are prepared for a variety of careers including front line supervisors in law enforcement organizations and teachers in two year colleges.

#28. Florida International University-Miami, Florida

M.S. in Criminal Justice Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $8,912

Unique Features
Florida International University was founded in 1969 with the mission of providing an affordable education to low income students in south Florida and has been succeeding in this mission ever since. The Department of Criminal Justice at FIU has designed its online criminal justice master’s program to meet the needs of working professionals seeking to advance their careers in the field. This 36 credit hour program can be completed in two years of study. The Department of Justice is affiliated with the Center for the Administration of Criminal Justice which is focused on justice sector reform issues in Latin America.

#27. Jacksonville State University-Jacksonville, Alabama

Master of Science in Criminal Justice Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $8,904

Unique Features
The online master’s in criminal justice program from Jacksonville State University is a 30 credit hour program with criminal justice courses designed around the latest in criminal justice trends and issues. Students can elect to complete a thesis, a good option if planning to continue education beyond the master’s degree. The non-thesis option is also a 30 credit hour program which includes a written examination. JSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#26. Concordia University-St. Paul, Minnesota

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Leadership

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $8,550

Unique Features
Designed for students with their eye on leadership positions within the area of criminal justice, the online master’s in criminal justice leadership program is a 36 credit program with a flexible schedule. Courses are each seven weeks and have no scheduled login times, giving students the flexibility to complete school work when it is most convenient. Students come from a variety of backgrounds including law enforcement, military, social services, and corrections.

#25. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania-Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $8,460

Unique Features
The accredited online master’s in criminal justice from Slippery Rock University is an accelerated program that can be completed in just 15-18 months of study. All courses are taught by doctoral level faculty with experience in the field. Designed for both the traditional student choosing to work on an online degree as well as the working professional, courses are flexible and require no on campus residency. Students can elect to complete a thesis, an internship experience, or a general track depending on their professional and educational needs.

#24. California University of Pennsylvania-California, Pennsylvania

Master of Science in Legal Studies: Criminal Justice Concentration

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $8,460

Unique Features
The online master’s in legal studies with a criminal justice concentration was designed to study the functions and processes of the justice system and to prepare students for career advancement. The online criminal justice master’s program features a seminar course, study in financial and in sexual assault investigations, and law and police process. An impressive array of electives are offered in areas like polygraph and lie detection, intelligence practice in homeland security, terrorism, forensic psychology, and corrections.

#23. Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Indiana, Pennsylvania

Master of Arts in Criminology Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $8,460

Unique Features
The online master’s in criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania was created back in 2009 and has continued to grow and develop, becoming one of the top 10 online master’s in criminal justice according to U.S. News and World Report. Designed to be flexible for working professionals, students can complete the program in just one year of full time study. With no on campus residency requirement, students can attend class from anywhere in the country without having to budget for travel expenses. Online students have access to the same great resources as their traditional student counterparts including full time dedicated faculty.

#22. Liberty University-Lynchburg, Virginia

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $7,781

Unique Features
Liberty University is the largest Christian University in the world and leader in online education. The online master’s in criminal justice is designed with flexible courses with no set login times. Students can complete assignments at their own pace as their weekly schedule allows. Online students have access to an online library, writing resources, study aids, and IT support, much like their traditional student counterparts. The 36 credit hour online master’s also features a liberal transfer credit policy by allowing up to 12 credits of coursework to be transferred in.

#21. Bowling Green State University-Bowling Green, Ohio

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $7,632

Unique Features
Bowling Green State University is home to the best online criminal justice master’s degree program in the state of Ohio according to U.S. News and World Report. With six different start dates throughout the year and short, eight week courses, Bowling Green provides a flexible online program for students with a busy schedule. Faculty are world class, published in leading criminal justice journals and have served as consultants to the Department of Justice and the FBI. Class sizes are small allowing students to get to know one another and their professors. This 33 credit hour program can be completed in just under two years of part time study.

#20. University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Wisconsin

Master of Science in Criminal Justice Degree

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $7,610

Unique Features
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville features one of the best online master’s in criminal justice with three different areas of specialization. Students can choose to specialize in Criminal Justice Theory, Criminal Justice Management, or Victim and Offender Services. A wide variety of elective courses allow students to further customize their specialization. The program teaches students essential skills such appropriate organizational, managerial, and supervisory skills to effectively manage criminal justice agencies. Graduates are well prepared to successfully advance in the field, teach at a 2-year college, move to a PhD program, or conduct research in criminal justice.

#19. University of Central Florida-Orlando, Florida

Criminal Justice M.S.

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $6,916

Unique Features
The University of Central Florida is ranked by The Princeton Review, Kiplinger’s, and Forbes as one of the most affordable colleges in the country. UCF offers an online master’s in criminal justice exploring the historical, political, financial, and ethical aspects of crime and punishment. The program consists of 18 credit hours of core courses, six credits of restricted electives and nine credit hours of general graduate electives. A final exit examination and survey are required in order to complete the program. Graduates have gone on to be successful in a variety of careers with the CIA, FBI, INS, and DEA.

#18. California State University-San Bernardino-California

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $6,738

Unique Features
The master’s in criminal justice online from California State University-San Bernardino is designed for criminal justice professionals seeking to take their education, and career to the next level. The program features two different options: a thesis option for students who plan to continue their education after graduation or pursue a career in research, and a non-thesis option for students with an administrative or leadership focus. California State University-San Bernardino is ranked among the top 20 online criminal justice programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

#17. Columbia College-Columbia, Missouri

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $6,593

Unique Features
Columbia College is a private, nonprofit, liberal arts and sciences college with over 5,500 online students. Columbia College is recognized by U.S. News and World Report and GetEducated.com for offering quality online master’s in criminal justice. Students with a desire to focus on management and leadership skills can select an area of focus in either Law Enforcement Administration or Corrections Administration. The program focuses on four areas including criminal justice trends, policy analysis and development, research design, and ethics. Courses are very hands-on, allowing students to interact with each other as they learn skills that transfer directly to the workplace.

#16. University of Colorado-Denver, Colorado

Online Criminal Justice Masters Degree

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $6,516

Unique Features
The University of Colorado Denver features an online criminal justice master’s degree focused on law enforcement, judiciary, correctional systems, juvenile justice, and the formulation of laws and codes. Ranked 9th in the nation by U.S. World and News Report, the master’s in criminal justice online is a quality program whether students are new to the field or looking to advance their career. Elective coursework cover a wide variety of subjects including domestic violence, police administration, community corrections, homeland security, and policy and planning. Graduates of the program have gone on to become successful federal agents, research faculty, police chiefs, and public service leaders.

#15. Auburn University at Montgomery-Montgomery, Alabama

Master of Science in Justice & Public Safety

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $6,462

Unique Features
The online criminal justice master’s degree from Auburn University at Montgomery is an accelerated executive master’s program that can be completed in just one year of study. Designed for working criminal justice professionals, the program features a flexible core curriculum. The core curriculum contains four key areas with options that allow students to select coursework that is relevant to their current or future position. This 30 credit hour program also allows students to select one elective course from a diverse offering including cold case investigations, crime analysis, gangs, women in criminal justice, and victimology.

#14. American Public University System-Charles Town, West Virginia

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $6,300

Unique Features
The accredited online master’s in criminal justice from American Public University is a 36 credit hour program with monthly course starts and a liberal transfer credit policy. Concentrations are available in business administration, emergency management and disaster management, or a general concentration where students can select from over 20 different courses to make their own specialized area of study. There are no specified login times, so students can complete their coursework when it is most convenient. Professors interact with students via online presentations, message and discussion boards, and videos.

#13. Southeast Missouri State University-Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Master of Science Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $6,259

Unique Features
For individuals currently working the criminal justice field, the online master’s in criminal justice from Southeast Missouri State University is a good choice. The program is actually a partnership between SMSU and Missouri Southern State University, students enroll in courses taught by faculty from both institutions. Courses are offered in a fixed rotation over the course of six consecutive terms including four semesters and two summer sessions. Considered one of the best online criminal justice master’s programs by U.S. News and World Report, the program also features a fully interactive learning experience and coursework relevant to the current trends in society.

#12. University of Louisiana at Monroe-Monroe, Louisiana

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MA)

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $6,106

Unique Features
The master’s in criminal justice online degree program from the University of Louisiana-Monroe can be completed in just 18-24 months. Students can select from a thesis option or a non-thesis option depending on their professional and educational needs. Applicants need to have a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from an accredited institution or they may need to complete additional undergraduate coursework before beginning the program. Basic core course requirements cover areas such as the juvenile justice system, research methods, and theories of crime and delinquency.

#11. Lamar University-Beaumont, Texas

Master of Science in Criminal Justice Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $5,940

Unique Features
Lamar University, a member of The Teas State University System, features a top master’s in criminal justice online that can be completed in just 18 months. This 36 credit hour program features coursework covering both the criminal justice system and crime control. Students can expect to gain an understanding of planning and evaluation, homeland security, criminal justice leadership, and correctional issues throughout the program. Lamar University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#10. Arizona State University-Scottsdale, Arizona

Online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $5,904

Unique Features
The online master’s in criminal justice program at Arizona State University is devoted to providing working criminal justice professionals with the opportunity to earn an affordable, respected masters in their field without having to take time off or relocate. This 33 credit hour program features coursework in statistics, program planning and management, policy analysis, and program evaluation. A capstone course in Theory and Practice in Criminal Justice gives students the opportunity to share their knowledge in criminal justice policy or practice.

#9. University of North Texas-Denton, Texas

Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $5,450

Unique Features
The University of North Texas-Denton features a two year, online master’s in criminal justice using high quality internet and web based instructional methods and technology. A concentration is available in Justice Policy and Administration. Students complete four required core courses and then 21 credit hours of electives (nine of which can be completed outside the area of criminal justice). The master’s in criminal justice online is ranked #18 in the country, and #2 in the state of Texas by U.S. News and World Report. The program is incredibly affordable and can be completed in just two years of study.

#8. Sam Houston State University-Huntsville, Texas

Master of Science in Criminal Justice Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $5,139

Unique Features
Sam Houston State University prepares students for an exciting career in law enforcement, corrections, securities, and social services through their online master’s in criminal justice degree program. Most students can complete this 36 credit hour program in just two years. Students complete 21 credit hours of core courses that cover areas such as research methods, program evaluation, technology applications, and criminal justice leadership. The program is ideal for nontraditional students working full-time jobs, although experience working in criminal justice is not required.

#7. University of Oklahoma-Norman, Oklahoma

Master of Science in Criminal Justice Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $4,577

Unique Features
Students who want to specialize in an area of interest should consider The University of Oklahoma-Norman, which features tracks in corrections management, restorative justice, and administration and leadership within their master’s in criminal justice online degree program. This 33 credit hour program is offered 100% online, allowing students to complete coursework when and where it is most convenient. Degree topics include administrative leadership, drug abuse policy, ethical decision making, and criminal justice policy development.

#6. University of Nebraska-Omaha, Nebraska

Master’s of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $4,505

Unique Features
Ranked the #2 online master’s in criminal justice in the country by U.S. News and World Report for 2017, the University of Nebraska-Omaha features experienced faculty, online student services, selective admission, and high levels of student engagement. The 36 credit hour master’s in criminal justice online is designed for the working professional with no on campus residency requirements. Courses cover a broad areas of topics related to criminal justice including policing, corrections, and juvenile justice. Graduates have gone on to work in a variety of areas including correctional facilities, police departments, social service agencies, schools, and government organizations.

#5. East Carolina University-Greenville, North Carolina

Criminal Justice MS Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $4,434

Unique Features
Students looking for an online criminal justice master’s program with the opportunity for field experience, study abroad opportunities, independent study, or research should check out East Carolina University. Faculty are experienced teachers with research experience in a variety of areas including victimology, corrections, law, courts, terrorism, and organized crime. This 36 credit hour program includes certification in either security studies, public management and leadership, or criminal justice education. While no thesis is required, students must complete a professional paper as part of the program.

#4. Armstrong State University-Savannah, Georgia

Criminal Justice MS Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $3,798

Unique Features
Armstrong State University is the only university in the state of Georgia to feature a criminal justice master’s online. Students develop advanced knowledge of the criminal justice system and learn how to collect, analyze, synthesize, and report data and information. The program offers students the flexibility to choose to either write a thesis, do a field practicum or complete two additional electives as part of the program. Graduates are prepared for positions in both the public and private sectors.

#3. Angelo State University-San Angelo, Texas

Master of Science in Criminal Justice Online

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $3,726

Unique Features
The online master’s in criminal justice from Angelo State University if offered through the Department of Security Studies and Criminal Justice and is open to anyone with a bachelor’s degree. The program is designed for students who want to deepen their understanding and knowledge of criminal justice at an advanced level. There is no GRE test requirement for this program and the program can be completed in as little as 18 months.

#2. Tarleton State University-Stephenville, Texas

Online Master of Criminal Justice (M.C.J.) degree in Criminal Justice

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Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $3,672

Unique Features
Tarleton State University, a member of The Texas A&M University System offers a Master of Criminal Justice in Criminal Justice online. Students can choose between a thesis or non-thesis track, depending on their plans for after graduation. Thesis students conduct an original research project to prepare them for advanced doctoral study, while non-thesis students complete the program by taking a comprehensive examination. Internship opportunities are available for students interested in gaining additional real world experience and career services are available to help students prepare for interviews, complete a resume, or search for a job. Graduates have gone on to work as CIA agents, crime scene investigators, corrections officers, and in computer forensics.

#1. Fayetteville State University-Fayetteville, North Carolina

MS in Criminal Justice

Website

Average Graduate Tuition Per Year: $3,281

Unique Features
Fayetteville State University is a Constituent Institution of The University of North Carolina. FSU offers an online master’s in criminal justice with a thesis and non-thesis option. The non-thesis option consists of a 12 credit core curriculum and 21 credits of electives. Students must pass a written comprehensive examination or take an additional three credit course. The thesis option is similar except only 15 credits of electives are required, with an additional six credits in thesis courses. Students learn a variety of skills including critical thinking, effective communication, technology, quantitative reasoning, and ethics. Fayetteville offers the most affordable online master’s in criminal justice in our list and is accredited by The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.