Seattle Masters Degree in Criminal Justice & Legal Studies on-campus programs

When you think of attending graduate school for a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies program, you should know just how many exciting academic fields you might choose from. These two areas have some overlapping, but also represent different paths of study. The American criminal justice system requires a broad spectrum of trained specialists to enforce laws, prosecute offenders, assist victims, and implement security measures in communities as well as over the Internet to prevent crime and other safety breaches. If you are interested in furthering your education with an additional 2 years or so, depending on your subject, there are a variety of Masters Degree Programs in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies to choose from, and ways to refine your search for graduate schools. Read on to take a look at the choices.

Criminal Justice Campus Masters Career Options

On-Campus Masters Degree in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies programs: Overview

If you are ready to think about earning your graduate degree in Criminal Justice and Legal studies, it is likely you have a Bachelor’s degree. Good. Just make certain you verify the admissions protocols and prerequisites with each graduate school as they may vary. In some cases you are getting experience via internships or fieldwork, whereas in others, you may want some kind of experience before applying.

How to choose a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies

Some programs are intended for current professionals, while others, such as paralegal studies, are designed as career preparation masters programs. What this means is that you should research well which academic path is known as a route to your intended career.

Heading to the courtroom? Those aiming for careers as attorneys might pursue Master of Law (LL.M.), Juris Doctor (J.D.), or Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) programs with various joint degree options at accredited law schools.

Want to understand and prevent crime, the criminal mind or the crime science or uphold the law? Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) programs may be focused around a specific topic such as homeland security, forensic psychology, criminology, social work, justice administration, criminal justice, public policy, victimology, crime analysis, and paralegal studies. 

Want to pursue a joint degree? The areas of criminal justice and legal studies are broad enough to find colleges and universities that offer joint degrees, such as the Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) alongside with the Juris Doctor (JD). A JD/MSCJ program is commonly a combination of criminal justice courses and law school courses. Curriculum is mainly centered on law, the legal system, legal processes, and legal research but could also include criminal procedure and evidence handling.

Why Study On Campus?

Here are a couple of positive pointers to consider:

Convenience: While online study has a rep for being convenient, you may find many graduate schools have Masters Degree in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies programs with evening and weekend classes. There is something efficient about going to class, then the library and the laboratory all on the same premises. Chances are, if you are pursuing a Masters in Forensic Science or a Masters in Cybersecurity, having onsite facilities is a plus.

Build interpersonal skills: Administrative and management classes may involve some team building exercises, leadership training, and other people skills (observation, active listening) that you need hands-on learning for.

Face-to-face: A bit more of the same, but also the social learning experience shouldn’t be shortchanged. Some students enjoy the interactions with classmates and faculty (lively discussion, brainstorming, networking).

Choice: Some programs may only be available on campus.

Finding a graduate school for Criminal Justice and Legal Studies

GradSchools.com makes it easy to find graduate schools with Masters Degree in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies programs. Here are some tips:

  • First choose your subject (Criminal Justice and Criminalistics, Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Legal Studies)
  • Next choose graduate programs by location. This search will yield graduate programs in the area you specify (city, state, country).

Some of the listings you might find could include: Criminal Justice (MA), Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Master of Science in management-Homeland Security, J.D. Law, Master of Forensic Sciences, Law/JD/MBA. These are just highlights. Follow above tips to pinpoint the program for you.

Take the Next Step

Whether you are choosing to prepare for a potential career in law or in law enforcement, investigation or research. Choose a graduate school for a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies degree program that is accredited by either the ABA (law degrees) AACSB (business) or the US Department of Education to ensure the quality and standards are being met. Then, take the next step!


Sources: bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm | bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/forensic-science-technicians.htm | bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm | bls.gov/careeroutlook/2006/summer/art01.pdf | www.aacsb.edu/

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