100% Online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

Excel Across Criminal Justice Settings.

Advancing justice since 1935.

For more than 80 years, Michigan State University has prepared criminal justice professionals for success. Experience our online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ) and start or advance your career with an in-depth understanding of crime and the criminal justice system.

In two years of full-time online study, you’ll gain the interdisciplinary skills and knowledge you need to operate across multiple criminal justice settings—from corrections to law enforcement, from the courts to corporate security.

This online master’s in criminal justice includes a security management specialization for students interested in pursuing additional study in private and public sector security. You can also choose from diverse electives to suit your professional goals and interests.

If you’d like to gain new technological skills for your criminal justice career, we also offer a 15-credit-hour Graduate Certificate in Cyber Criminology and Cyber Security.

Immerse yourself in a curriculum informed by the Department of Justice, and learn from world-renowned faculty who played an instrumental role in the origin and development of the field.

100% Online

#6 Best Online CJ Program 20231

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Cyber Certificate Option

In as little as a year, you can earn a 15-credit-hour Graduate Certificate in Cyber Criminology and Cyber Security alongside your degree. This program gives you an introduction to cybercrime and digital forensic investigation in a fully online format. With this certificate, you could apply your expertise in many fields, including digital forensics, law enforcement investigations, cybersecurity or intelligence analysis, whether in the government or the private sector.

Develop Multidisciplinary Skills to Thrive Across the Criminal Justice System.

In this 10-course, 30-credit-hour program, you’ll gain interdisciplinary knowledge of law enforcement, courts, corrections, and corporate security and learn to apply criminal justice best practices in a variety of contexts. Choose to specialize in security management or select electives that best suit your personal and professional goals.

Courses you may take in this program include:

Experience an in-depth review of theoretical perspectives on crime and examine the link between these theories and crime prevention and control in the United States. You’ll gain a mastery of the major criminological theories and learn to apply them to criminal justice policy and real-life scenarios.

Gain a broad, up-to-date, multidisciplinary understanding of homeland security. Explore a variety of issues through multiple sources, themes, methodologies and learning activities. Examine topics like public policy, public administration, law, criminal justice and the social/behavioral impacts of terrorism and homeland security.

Explore comparative criminology and its relevance in the context of the global world. Examining issues like human trafficking, firearm violence and money laundering, you’ll assess the challenges of applying criminology to understand crime, victimization and crime control in the global context.

Examine the theories, actors, characteristics and legal instruments associated with risk, conservation and criminology related to globalization. Through current case studies in criminological conservation, you’ll explore the international “environmental crime crisis,” the policy surrounding it and strategies for intervention.

Online Programs That Provide Flexibility for Success.

As an online student with MSU, you receive the same high-quality education as an on-campus student. You gain access to all that the Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice has to offer. With easy-to-use technology, rich multimedia and engaged faculty, MSU’s online programs are a great way to learn while maintaining your personal and professional commitments. We provide 24/7 technology support and full access to MSU’s extensive libraries and electronic resource collections.

Stand Out from Your Competition.

Rise through the ranks and excel in leadership positions with MSU’s M.A. in Criminal Justice. You can tap into MSU’s wide-ranging criminal justice network—our graduates are positioned in major companies like General Motors and Quicken Loans as well as Michigan State Police and various federal, state and local agencies across the country. Our faculty are active research partners in the community who can connect you to networking and employment opportunities. You will graduate ready for a variety of professional roles.

Average Annual Salaries 2022

  1. Detective or Criminal Investigator: $62,6172
  2. Federal Agent (FBI, DEA, DHS): $87,4493
  3. First-Line Corrections Supervisor: $76,2804
  4. Security Manager: $72,0635

Why MSU Online?

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  1. “Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs,” 2023 U.S. News & World Report College Rankings Guide. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from https://www.usnews.com/.
  2. “Average Detective or Criminal Investigator Salary,” PayScale. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://www.payscale.com/.
  3. “Average Federal Agent Salary,” PayScale. Retrieved April 7, 2022, from https://www.payscale.com/.
  4. “First-Line Supervisor of Correctional Officers,” Recruiter. Retrieved April 7, 2022, from https://www.recruiter.com/.
  5. “Average Security Manager Salary,” PayScale. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://www.payscale.com/.
  6. “Michigan State University Rankings,” 2022 U.S. News & World Report College Rankings Guide. Retrieved April 8, 2022, from https://www.usnews.com/.