Top 10 Online Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) Degree Programs of 2016

Top Online SchoolsA career in criminal justice allows people to engage in meaningful work that helps keep their communities safe and secure. There are numerous career opportunities within the field to choose from. Depending on your specialization, degree holders can pursue a career as a corrections officer, criminologist, FBI agent, DEA agent, police officer, crime scene investigator, private investigator or a U.S. marshal. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects in criminal justice related fields range from favorable to excellent.

Value of a Masters in Criminal Justice (MCJ) Degree

Graduates from top accredited online master of criminal justice (MCJ) programs will be in an excellent position to take advantage of the growing demand for qualified leaders and administrators in the criminal justice system. A master’s degree in criminal justice will broaden and deepen your knowledge of all aspects of criminal justice and make you a more attractive candidate for promotions and raises through the expansion of your professional competencies. A master’s degree is also a prerequisite for anyone interested in teaching criminal justice at the college level or pursuing a doctoral degree.

Advantages of an Online Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) Degree

Master’s degrees in criminal justice are actually one of the most popular degree programs online. And now, prospective students seeking their master’s in criminal justice have dozens of high quality programs to choose from. In fact, many of the very best criminal justice programs in the country are now offered online. Among the many advantages of earning a master’s degree from a top online criminal justice program is that student’s can maintain their employment and/or family responsibilities while earning their degree.

How We Rank the Best Online Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) Degree Programs

Online colleges and criminal justice degree programs vary widely in terms of quality, name recognition, and value. To assist those looking for a quality, accredited online criminal justice degree program, we’ve put together this ranking of what we consider to be the very best online schools offering master of criminal justice degree programs for 2015. Our rankings of the top online schools offering master’s in criminal justice degrees are based on publicly available data evaluated according to several different criteria, including reputation, accreditation, student satisfaction, ratio of students to instructors, and tuition. You can read more about our rankings philosophy and find a list of our other top college and degree rankings on our rankings page.

Top 10 Online Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) Degree Programs

#1. Xavier University

EvaluationXavier University has been recognized as one of the top 10 universities in the Midwest for the last 20 years by U.S. News & World Report, including a rank of fifth for 2015.

Program: The Master of Science in criminal justice program is designed for those persons who are interested in studying the theory and practice of criminal justice in law enforcement, courts and corrections. Students graduate with an understanding of the dynamics of criminal and delinquent behavior, the nature and scope of the crime and delinquency in contemporary society, and the current efforts by the criminal justice system to address these issues.

Regional Accreditation:Xavier University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

Click here to learn more about online degrees at Xavier University

 

#2. Walden University

EvaluationFor more than 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions.

Program: Modern criminal justice professionals must be equally savvy to stay at the forefront with the ever-changing landscape of domestic and international crime. In Walden’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice program, you will study a unique blend of criminal behavior theory along with technology, homeland security, and management skills applicable to the challenges facing the law enforcement community. You will evaluate the root causes of crime and its impact on criminal justice practices and procedures and analyze how law enforcement, courts, and corrections function and interact at the local, state, and federal level.

All of Walden’s online criminal justice degree programs, including our PhD in Criminal Justice, MS in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management, MS in Criminal Justice, and BS in Criminal Justice, allow you to choose one of a variety of specializations and concentrations to make your studies more personally relevant and aligned with your goals.

Regional Accreditation: Walden is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), one of the six regional accrediting associations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Click here to learn more about online degrees at Walden University

#3. University South

EvaluationFor over a century, South University has given students the personalized attention they need to achieve their career goals.

Program: The Master of Science in Criminal Justice program is open to both individuals employed in the criminal justice system, as well as those in other careers, both public and private, who wish to acquire further education in criminal justice. Prerequisites are limited so that qualified students with bachelor’s degrees in related fields such as criminology, psychology, business or public administration, anthropology, political science, sociology or related social sciences may enroll along with students who have undergraduate degrees in criminal justice.

Regional Accreditation:South University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Click here to learn more about online degrees at South University

#4. Boston University Online

EvaluationSmall class sizes and strong completion rates at one of the best universities in the country makes this our pick for the top online master of criminal justice program.

Program: A 40 credit hour (10 course) online Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) degree program. Can be completed in less than two years. Designed for working law enforcement professionals looking to deepen their practical and theoretical understanding of criminal justice. All faculty have extensive academic and practical experience in the criminal justice field. 100% online. No campus visits required.

Regional Accreditation:New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

Click here to learn more about online degrees at Boston University

 

#5. Loyola University New Orleans Online

EvaluationA top-ranked private Catholic university brings 50 years of criminal justice education experience to the internet with one of the best online master of criminal justice administration programs around.

Program: A 36 credit hour online Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration (MSCJA) degree program. Justice Administration or Forensic Science Administration specializations. Both programs designed to enable students to take a broad view of criminal justice in preparation for leadership and administrative positions. Includes training in organizational administration, budget planning and media management. Rooted in Jesuit tradition of values-based education, social justice and service. 100% online. No campus visits required.

Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#6. Regis University Online

EvaluationA respected Catholic university in the Jesuit traditions offers one of the best online master of criminology degree programs available through its award winning adult education division.

Program: A 36 credit hour online Master of Science in Criminology degree program. Designed for working criminal justice professionals looking to move into leadership positions in law enforcement, corporate and government security, protective services, NGO management, homeland security administration, U.S. Customs, and immigration. All faculty either current or one-time practitioners in the criminal justice field. Curriculum provides in-depth understanding of the criminal mind and is rooted in the Jesuit tradition. 100% online. No campus visits required.

Regional Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.

 

#7. Bowling Green State University Online

EvaluationSmall class sizes and affordable tuition from a top public university make this a top pick for online master of criminal justice degree programs.

Program: A 33 credit hour online Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) degree program. Emphasizes the development of individuals for leadership roles in criminal justice agencies, future doctoral studies and/or teaching. Curriculum focuses on the theoretical underpinnings and practical issues in law enforcement, corrections, courts and juvenile justice. Comprehensive capstone project integrating entire learning experience required for graduation. 100% online. No campus visits required.

Regional Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.

 

#8. Michigan State University Online

EvaluationA respected public university with the oldest degree-granting School of Criminal Justice in the country offers one of the best online master of criminal justice programs around.

Program: A 30 credit hour online Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) program from the MSU School of Criminal Justice. Specializations available in Security Management and International Focus. Integrates policy and theory to provide working criminal justice professionals with enhanced skills and understanding. Taught by the same MSU faculty as the on-campus program. 100% online. No campus visits required.

Regional Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission.

 

#9. Florida State University Online

EvaluationA top-ranked College of Criminology & Criminal Justice at a highly regarded public university offers an excellent online master of criminal justice program.

Program: A 36 credit hour online Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) from the FSU College of Criminology & Criminal Justice. 21 credits of electives allow students to design program to fit their particular career interests. Designed for working criminal justice professionals interested in moving into leadership positions in law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice and other criminal justice-related positions. 100% online. No campus visits required.

Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

 

#10. UMassOnline

EvaluationAn internationally rated public university with an excellent online and distance education program offers one of the country’s top master’s in criminal justice programs completely online.

Program: A 33 credit hour online Master of Arts (MA) in Criminal Justice degree program. Administered by the UMass Lowell campus. Designed for working criminal justice professionals desiring the knowledge and skills to move into leadership or teaching positions within the profession. Multi-disciplinary, academically rigorous, with a practical and empirical focus. Multiple electives allow students to shape program towards their particular professional interests. 100% online. No campus visits required.

Regional Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

 

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