San Diego Criminal Justice Masters Degree On Campus Programs

Criminal Justice Masters Degree On Campus Programs enhance academic and professional knowledge in the criminal justice and public services fields. As a social science, criminal justice tries to identify and explain patterns of criminal behavior and to analyze society's ability to prevent or control crime and delinquency. Encompassing crime, criminals, and the criminal justice system through an interdisciplinary approach, earning a Masters degree in Criminal Justice might mean that you study a combination of legal studies, sociology, political science, psychology, forensic science, public administration, urban studies, and philosophy. Some students enroll in a dual-degree program that allows them to simultaneously study law and earn a Juris Doctor degree, a law degree that is usually completed by those who wish to take state bar exams and become licensed, practicing lawyers. Other students go onto doctoral studies in criminal justice.

Masters Degree in Criminal Justice Program Information

Criminal Justice Masters Degree On Campus Programs | Top Criminal Justice Schools

Are you trying to decide between online and on-campus study? Earning a campus-based Criminal Justice Masters Degree may be exciting, as you may have the opportunity to come face-to-face with experienced faculty, network and brainstorm with classmates, and have a hands-on as opposed to virtual learning experience. Potential perks of being onsite might include participating in college life, access to university libraries, laboratories, gymnasiums, and social services. Plus, what many of the best criminal justice schools might do is have classes in the evenings and weekends, so even working professionals may find convenient schedules for advanced learning.

GradSchools.com makes it easy to review some of the best criminal justice masters degree on campus programs. You can review accredited colleges and universities by location; simply use the city, state or country tabs to browse listings in that area. For instance, some of the listings might include: MS Criminal Justice, Master of Public Administration: Criminal Justice Concentration, Master of Arts: Criminal Justice, or Criminology and Justice with Sociology.

What is a Criminal Justice Masters Degree Program?

If you are at the stage where you are reviewing Criminal Justice Masters Degree Programs, you might already have an idea of what type of career you are looking for. Or, you may be in a current career where you seek upward mobility and want to learn specialized skills to be able to potentially take on higher-level positions in management or administration. Depending on your orientation and the school, you might pursue a Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ), a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ), a Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) degree, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Criminal Justice degree.

The two main types of Criminal Justice Masters Degree On Campus Programs are the Master of Science in criminal justice and Master of Arts in criminal justice.

An MSJC program will include more science in the curriculum and fewer liberal arts courses. Students might choose from specializations such as:

  • Forensic science
  • Criminology
  • Cyber-crime
  • Behavior analysis
  • Forensic psychology

MACJ programs may focus on research and analysis. Students might study topics such as:

  • Law enforcement administration
  • Organizational security
  • Legal studies
  • Homeland security
  • Terrorism
  • Mediation
  • Public policy

What is a JD MSJC Program?

Some students enroll in a dual masters degree program. A JD/MSCJ program is commonly composed of criminal justice courses and law school courses.

Curriculum is mainly focused on law, the legal system, legal processes, and legal research. Students may study topics that might include:

  • Contract, criminal, civil, constitutional, and juvenile law
  • Criminal procedure
  • Evidence handling
  • Correction methods
  • Drug policies
  • Victim advocacy

Curriculum For Criminal Justice Masters Degree On Campus Programs

While masters in criminal justice programs may emphasize different subjects, common to many Criminal Justice Masters degrees is the study of criminology. Criminology is the scientific exploration of the basic components of crime. Criminal Justice is built on Criminology, in which the behavioral, sociological and legal aspects of criminology intersect.

Statistics and Research are also common to many of the different Masters Degree programs in Criminal Justice. These help students analyze crime statistics and data, recognize trends, and help to understand or formulate policy.

Many criminal justice masters degree on campus programs also include a forensics course.

Criminal justice focuses on the definitions, causes, and prevention of crime, and with legal processes and the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders. Also referred to as forensic science, forensics is a field that applies the use of science and technology to investigate evidence that a crime may have taken place. Fingerprinting, ballistics evidence, footwear evidence, and body analysis are all forensic methods that may be used as part of a criminal investigation. Other applications of forensics include forensic accounting and forensic psychology.

Students might often encounter at least one course in that covers the relationship between crime and the legal system, such as laws that regulate how a crime may be investigated, or legal penalties to a specific crime.

Careers Choice and Criminal Justice

Some careers in criminal justice involve administration and management, while others are more investigative. If you haven't figured out your area of specialization, do a little research in order to ensure you pick the right school and the right masters degree. Potential careers might include:

  • Emergency Management Consultant/Director
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Criminal Law Attorney
  • Computer Forensics Investigator
  • Legal Investigator
  • Corporate Investigator
  • Financial Investigator
  • Law Enforcement 
  • Correctional treatment specialist

Ready to Search For an On-Campus Masters Program in Criminal Justice?

GradSchools.com has listings of Criminal Justice Masters programs at some of the top criminal justice graduate schools, and you can open several windows in your browser to gain a perspective on what is available and which one aligns with your goals. If you have both an inquisitive mind and the emotional stability to cope with some of the on-the-job challenges, enjoy thinking critically; making rational and quick decisions, this field has many potentially exciting career options.


Sources: bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm | bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/private-detectives-and-investigators.htm | bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm | bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm | bls.gov/ooh/management/emergency-management-directors.htm | bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm

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