Michigan State University

Master of Science in Criminal Justice



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Format: Online

Program Description:

Michigan State University's (MSU) online Master of Science in Criminal Justice prepares you to succeed in careers across the criminal justice system.

Gain the knowledge and skills you need to move up through the ranks and operate in a variety of criminal justice settings, including the courts, law enforcement, corrections and corporate security.

The curriculum goes beyond theory with an emphasis on public policy and practice and focuses on innovative responses to crime such as counterterrorism, intelligence-led policing, cyber security, and more.


•100% online
•30 credit hours
•2 years full-time

•Acclaimed, High-Quality Education. In 2019, this program was ranked the Nation's No. 10 Best Online Criminal Justice Program by U.S. News & World Report.
•80 Year Legacy of Criminal Justice Education. MSU has educated criminal justice professionals since 1935. This program draws on that long history of success.
•Influential, Distinguished Faculty. Work alongside faculty members with decades of field experience whose research has directly informed criminal justice practice.
•Security Management Specialization. Take a specialization focused on private security or choose from a variety of in-depth electives.
•Extensive Professional Network. Tap into our wide-ranging network, with opportunities to connect with fellow graduates and organizations like the DEA and U.S. Secret Service and other state, local, federal, and international agencies.

•Apply analytical skills to better understand crime and criminal justice issues
•Understand the management and operation of criminal justice organizations to accomplish goals
•Evaluate the quality of research methods and how such influences confidence in research findings
•Identify a crime or justice problem and identify a policy to address it
•Communicate effectively through writing

Our master's program goes in-depth on disciplines such as criminal investigation, forensics, national security and emergency management. You'll be prepared for job titles like:

•Detective or Criminal Investigator $58,698 avg. annual salary1
•Federal Agent (FBI, DEA, DHS) $81,306 avg. annual salary2
•First-Line Corrections Supervisor $51,440 avg. annual salary3
•Anti-Money Laundering/Fraud Investigator $59,146 avg. annual salary4
•Security Manager $64,765 avg. annual salary

MSU's Office of Financial Aid strives to make our online degrees accessible and affordable. We can connect you with many forms of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, military benefits and more. FAFSA Federal ID: 002290


The online Master of Science in Criminal Justice has the following admission requirements:
•3.0 minimum GPA
•Bachelor's degree in any field (or international equivalent)
•No work experience required
•Students with an undergraduate GPA below 3.2 are required to submit GRE scores
•Personal Statement
•Three letters of recommendation
•Official transcripts

1.    Average Detective or Criminal Investigator Salary. (n.d.). PayScale. Retrieved January 4, 2019, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Detective_or_Criminal_Investigator/Salary
2.    Average Federal Agent Salary. (n.d.). PayScale. Retrieved December 20, 2018, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Special_Agent_(Federal)/Salary
3.    First-Line Supervisor of Correctional Officers (n.d.). Recruiter. Retrieved January 4, 2019, from https://www.recruiter.com/careers/first-line-supervisors-of-correctional-officers/
4.    Average Fraud Investigator Salary. (n.d.). PayScale. Retrieved December 20, 2018, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Fraud_Investigator/Salary.
5.    Average Security Manager Salary. (n.d.) PayScale. Retrieved December 20, 2018, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Security_Manager/Salary

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Fringe Rural Area

Size & Settings: 40,000+

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