Criminal Justice Graduate Programs offer students the opportunity to specialize in the criminal justice field that interests them the most. Criminal justice is the system of practices and institutions that are responsible for upholding social control, preventing, and mitigating crimes, and sanctioning violators of the laws in place. Whether you aspire to a potential career in law enforcement administration, organizational security, legal studies, homeland security, terrorism and mediation, or public administration and public policy, there are a variety of possible directions and different Criminal Justice Graduate degrees to choose from.
Since there are abundant options for graduate degrees in Criminal justice, it will help you to narrow down your search using the easy to use settings on GradSchools.com. For instance, if you are currently working, you might prefer an online Criminal Justice Graduate program to a campus-based one. Some distance-learning programs are accelerated, so you are able to potentially build marketable skills and learn techniques without leaving your job. Conversely, many Criminal Justice Graduate Schools cater to busy adults by positioning classes in the evenings and on weekends. If you work better in a social learning environment, this option may be for you.
Once you have chosen your learning format, you can search for Criminal Justice grad programs by location; enter the city, state or country tabs and a list will be generated. Or scroll through the online listings. There are options for Criminal Justice Masters Degrees, PhD programs and Graduate Certificates. To refine your search, you will need to reflect on your career goals, and current level of education. For instance, are you preparing for a management role, or are you interested in more of an investigative career?
If you are thinking about your master's degree in criminal justice, you may already know what focus in the field interests you most. While it is possible to pursue a general master's degree in the field, you also have a wide choice of specializations - and your particular concentration may determine what universities give you the best options.
Students might choose to pursue either a Master of Science in criminal justice or a Master of Arts in criminal justice. The Master of Science option will typically include more science in the curriculum and fewer liberal arts courses. Potential areas of major interest such as forensic science, criminology, cyber-crime and behavior analysis and forensic psychology are usually offered as part of a Master of Science degree. Some of the listings you might review might include: Master of Science in Criminal Justice Legal Studies, Master of Science in Financial Crime and Compliance Management or Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration.
If you are more interested in law enforcement administration, organizational security, legal studies, homeland security, terrorism and mediation and public policy usually are offered as a Master of Arts degree. Some of the listings you might review might include Master of Public Administration: Criminal Justice Concentration or Master of Business Administration- MBA/Criminal Justice.
If you haven't figured out your area of concentration study, do a little homework in advance in order to ensure you pick the right graduate school and the right degree for the type of career path you have in mind. Don’t forget you can request information from each school from this site. If you open a few windows in your browser, it may make it easier to start your comparisons.
Note that some schools offer a dual degree option, usually from the law faculty that combines the JD and MS in Criminal Justice degrees. This might be an opportunity for interested students to develop skills for potential managerial and legal positions in federal, state and local criminal justice agencies.
Students are usually able to earn a master's degree in 2-3 years. Keep in mind that if your next step is a doctorate degree, you will want to take courses to support this track.
Some Criminal Justice PhD programs may focus exclusively on the study of criminal justice and offer concentrations in such areas as organizational leadership, public administration, and behavioral science or homeland security. Others may offer criminal justice as a concentration through a larger public safety or business administration Ph.D. program. A few listings you might review may include: PhD or Doctor of Business Administration Criminal Justice, or PhD in Social Work-Criminal Justice.
Earning a Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice may benefit an individual who is currently working in the field build research skills and a broader knowledge base.
Are you are interested in advanced study in criminology, statistics, forensics and the legal system? Reach for the next level of your career or your education by reviewing your options for the graduate degree in Criminal Justice that aligns with your aspirations.