Be a leader in securing and protecting the world around you. Earn one of the Best Online Master’s Degrees in Criminal Justice.

The world is changing fast. As technology advances, the global picture changes, and new threats evolve and grow stronger each day. We need leaders who are prepared in the criminal justice field to ensure the safety and protection of society. From actively fighting crime on the ground to understanding and executing the responsibilities of the judicial system, the responsibility is great.

Who do we depend on for this security? We depend on leaders ranging from police officers to private detectives to forensic scientists. We depend on public servants who are committed to upholding and protecting the law. We depend on Criminal Justice professionals.

What is an Online Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice?

Criminal Justice professionals are the experts who carry out essential, high-stakes responsibilities in security, law enforcement, and public service. An online Master’s degree in Criminal Justice prepares professionals who are experts in legal, practical, and social threats.

Beyond the knowledge of a changing justice and crime landscape, professionals who complete a Master’s in Criminal Justice possess the tools for solving problems, advocating for the accused or threatened, and understanding the intricacies of the criminal justice system. Degree-holders are prepared for specialized careers in public service, from hands-on protective services and law enforcement to scientists and legal justice aids.

How much can you earn with an Online Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice?

There are several different career in Criminal Justice, and those with a Master’s degree have varied earning potential. According to Payscale.com, professionals earn between $43,145 to $157,482 depending on their chosen speciality. Paralegals and Probation Officers may trend towards the lower end of the spectrum, whereas a Chief Information Security Officer has the potential for a high salary. One thing is clear: the demand for security and criminal justice professionals will only increase, so students considering an online MS in Criminal Justice can look forward to rapid job growth.

What is required for an Online Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice?

Most online Master’s degree programs in Criminal Justice require a basic application, a resume or CV, an application fee, direct references or letters of recommendation, and a personal statement of purpose.

Many programs require educational background in a related field such as law enforcement, criminology, social services, or forensics, though some allow for remedial work to fulfill prerequisites. Some degree programs also look for a minimum GPA ranging from 2.75 to 3.0, and GRE requirements vary.

Students in an online Master’s in Criminal Justice program can expect to complete between 30 and 45 credit hours for the degree, generally including a combination of core curriculum and electives. Some programs offer internship opportunities, and in most some form of final evaluation is required, such as a thesis paper or exam.

What are the Best Online Master’s Degrees in Criminal Justice?

Online Schools Report has compiled the top 35 Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Degrees for you. OSR uses seven data points from various sources to determine the score for each college. The data points include online program and faculty quality, online program size, graduates’ earning potential, retention and acceptance rates, and overall price. Take a look at our methodology for the sources of all the data.

Below, you’ll find an overview of each program and a quick snapshot of pros and cons for each. The overall OSR scores are also included.

  1. Arizona State University-Tempe

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $26,118/$42,698
    Acceptance64
    Earnings Potential85
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention97
    Student Satisfaction77
    Reputation96
    Pros
    • GRE not required for admission
    • Ranked a top five program by U.S. News and World Report
    • Extensive, flexible time to complete degree
    Cons
    • Requires a BA in criminology or criminal justice, or related field
    • Minimum 3.0 GPA for admission
    • No special credentialed certifications available
    100%OSR Score

    This is a highly flexible MA in Criminal Justice degree from Arizona State University. Offered through the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, the program requires 33 credit hours and includes a capstone course and research paper. Students may enroll full or part time, and have six years to complete the degree.

  2. Florida State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $21,774/$34,904
    Acceptance83
    Earnings Potential56
    Online Presence20
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention72
    Student Satisfaction76
    Reputation100
    Pros
    • Personalized, attentive advisors
    • Up to 6 transfer credits accepted
    • Resident and nonresident tuition equivalent
    Cons
    • GRE score or 5 years professional experience required for entry
    • Many courses require physical textbooks and materials
    • No special certifications available as part of program
    99%OSR Score

    An MS in Criminal Justice Studies from Florida State University is delivered entirely online. The 36 credit hour program requires zero visits to campus, and can be completed within two years. Participants earn their degree after completing 15 credit hours of core coursework and 21 credit hours of electives, 9 of which may be from unrelated disciplines.

  3. Sam Houston State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $21,702/$31,662
    Acceptance65
    Earnings Potential46
    Online Presence16
    Online Program Quality67
    Retention51
    Student Satisfaction73
    Reputation97
    Pros
    • Highly rated faculty and degree program
    • Flexibility for employed students
    • Final degree title does not read “online”
    Cons
    • Twice the cost for non residents
    • Only accepts students twice per year
    • Requires minimum 3.0 GPA
    98%OSR Score

    This online MS in Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University was ranked #1 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Designed for working professionals, the program requires 36 credit hours and furthers students’ careers in police administration, victim advocacy, and more. All courses are offered entirely online, and the degree can be completed within two years.

  4. Boston University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $70,302/$70,302
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention67
    Student Satisfaction90
    Reputation99
    Pros
    • Students with industry certifications/credentials can waive courses
    • Ranked #2 in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs by U.S. News
    • Interdisciplinary, holistic curriculum
    Cons
    • More credit hours than most programs
    • Limited selection of elective courses
    • Certifications only available outside of degree
    97%OSR Score

    Boston University offers an Online Master’s of Criminal Justice degree with concentrations in either Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity or Strategic Management. The program requires 40 credit hours, with 6 required classes plus 4 electives. This degree is ideal for professionals already experienced in the field.

  5. Michigan State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $28,478/$53,424
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential83
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention75
    Student Satisfaction73
    Reputation95
    Pros
    • Up to 9 transfer credits accepted
    • Coursework can be completed within 1.5-2 years
    • Potential for paid field experience opportunity
    Cons
    • GRE scores required
    • Additional credits required for specializations
    • Higher tuition for nonresidents
    97%OSR Score

    This MS in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University is a flexible program with two additional focus areas available. The core program requires 30 credits for completion, and specializations in Judicial Administration and Security Management each require several additional courses. Students have access to a global community of resources as well as optional field experience.

  6. University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $30,268/$46,602
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention80
    Student Satisfaction83
    Reputation94
    Pros
    • No GRE scores required
    • Course access available 24/7, for easy scheduling
    • Complete in as little as one year
    Cons
    • Transfer credits only from last 5 years, with a B grade or higher
    • One year completion requires 24-30 hours of work per week
    • Twice the tuition cost for out-of-state students
    96%OSR Score

    The MS in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati – Main Campus offers a fast-track to completion within one year, or the option to take more time. A top-ranked online program, the degree requires 33 credit hours and offers a general course track. Additionally, concentrations are available in Analysis of Criminal Behavior, Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention, and Corrections & Offender Rehabilitation.

  7. University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $27,962/$44,114
    Acceptance89
    Earnings Potential52
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention81
    Student Satisfaction79
    Reputation90
    Pros
    • Discounted tuition available for nonresidents
    • Up to 7 years to complete degree
    • Admission granted three times per year
    Cons
    • 3 credit hour internship required for students without criminal justice background
    • Almost 4x cost for out-of-state students
    • Not all courses available each semester
    94%OSR Score

    Available entirely online, the Master’s in Criminal Justice degree from the University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus suits both experienced industry professionals and newcomers to the field. The program offers the concentrations of Crime Analyst, Emergency Management & Homeland Security, Gender-Based Violence, and Nonprofit Organizations. The program consists of 36 credit hours.

  8. East Carolina University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $22,000/$38,277
    Acceptance81
    Earnings Potential62
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention82
    Student Satisfaction79
    Reputation89
    Pros
    • Study abroad and independent study options
    • Part-time student status available
    • Up to 15 transferred credit hours accepted
    Cons
    • GRE or TOEFL scores required
    • Online program not available to students in 5 states
    • Cost 4x higher for out-of-state students
    93%OSR Score

    This online Master’s in Criminal Justice from East Carolina University is a 36 credit hour program offering optional certifications. Eighteen hours of core classes and 18 hours of electives give students the opportunity to create the degree best-suited for them, whether they’re building on professional experience or looking for new direction. Specific certifications in Security Studies, Public Management and Leadership, and Criminal Justice Education are also available.

  9. University of the Cumberlands

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $36,650/$36,650
    Acceptance87
    Earnings Potential45
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention71
    Student Satisfaction85
    Reputation86
    Pros
    • Eight specialization options
    • Program can be completed in 1 year
    • Same cost for in-state and out-of-state students
    Cons
    • 3.0 GPA required for admission
    • Transfer credits only accepted from designated universities
    • Additional online program fee each term
    91%OSR Score

    University of the Cumberlands offers a Master’s in Justice Administration that incorporates a core curriculum as well as a wide variety of specializations. The program requires 31 total credit hours, with 18 going to core courses and 12 to specialization courses. All graduates must also complete a capstone project for degree achievement.

  10. University of Wisconsin-Platteville

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $18,736/$26,586
    Acceptance61
    Earnings Potential56
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality73
    Retention77
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation87
    Pros
    • Admission three times per year
    • Low GPA and no GRE scores required
    • Suited for students new to the field or with experience
    Cons
    • More than double cost for out-of-state students
    • Program not nationally ranked
    • Additional formal certifications not available within degree
    90%OSR Score

    This online MS in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville focuses on three concentration options, with additional sub-focuses. Catering to a variety of continued career and education paths, concentrations in Criminal Justice Theory, Criminal Justice Management, and Victim and Offender Services are available. The program requires 30 total credit hours, half of which are core classes and half electives, with certification in Child Advocacy also available.

  11. University of Central Florida

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $22,254/$38,353
    Acceptance87
    Earnings Potential58
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention67
    Student Satisfaction84
    Reputation82
    Pros
    • Ranked a highly affordable college by Forbes
    • University specializes in distance learning programs
    • Online support center available to all students
    Cons
    • Some elective options not available online
    • 6 elective credit hours are restricted to required courses
    • Greater application requirements for those with undergrad degrees from outside of the US
    90%OSR Score

    The University of Central Florida grants students an MS in Criminal Justice, available fully online. The program also offers a dual degree in Master of Public Administration, fostering complementary skills for careers in public service. The degree requires 36 credit hours to complete, with 21 credits of core classes, a selection of required and voluntary electives, and final capstone project.

  12. Florida International University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $25,750/$38,148
    Acceptance92
    Earnings Potential49
    Online Presence5
    Online Program Quality38
    Retention83
    Student Satisfaction78
    Reputation78
    Pros
    • Some electives may be chosen from other disciplines
    • Study abroad opportunity available
    • Highly interactive online courses
    Cons
    • BA and minimum 3.2 GPA required
    • Admission only twice a year
    • Minimum 3.0 GPA in master’s courses to achieve degree
    89%OSR Score

    The MS in Criminal Justice from Florida International University is an online program requiring 36 credit hours for completion. In addition to 15 credit hours of required coursework and 12 hours of criminal justice electives, students may incorporate 9 credits of general electives. College teaching preparation is available within the program for students interested in that career path.

  13. California State University-San Bernardino

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $25,167/$37,047
    Acceptance77
    Earnings Potential51
    Online Presence9
    Online Program Quality40
    Retention86
    Student Satisfaction75
    Reputation85
    Pros
    • Regularly ranked a top program in the nation over the last three years
    • Up to 12 unrelated credits from CSU – San Bernardino can count toward degree
    • Program schedule designed to accommodate working professionals
    Cons
    • Forensic specialization not available
    • GRE scores required for GPA lower than 3.0
    • Greater credit hour requirement than most programs on this list
    89%OSR Score

    An online MA in Criminal Justice is available from California State University – San Bernardino. Designed for professional interested in furthering their careers in the field, students may choose to complete a thesis or a cumulative exam for degree completion. The program requires 45 credit hours for both tracks, with required courses and electives.

  14. Nova Southeastern University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $57,479/$57,479
    Acceptance84
    Earnings Potential60
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention86
    Student Satisfaction71
    Reputation84
    Pros
    • Scholarship available for veterans
    • Tuition the same for out-of-state and in-state students
    • Low course requirement for full-time student status
    Cons
    • Program not nationally ranked
    • Minimum GPA of 2.5 in previous 60 hrs of coursework for admission
    • Class sizes limited per semester
    89%OSR Score

    The online MS in Criminal Justice from Nova Southeastern University is an interdisciplinary program of 30 total credit hours. Students complete 15 credit hours of core curriculum, plus courses in a chosen concentration and electives. Twelve specialty concentrations are available for a broad range of career tracks.

  15. University of Nebraska at Omaha

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $21,666/$34,356
    Acceptance90
    Earnings Potential59
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention85
    Student Satisfaction79
    Reputation82
    Pros
    • Ranked a best online Criminal Justice program in 2018 by U.S. News and World Report
    • GRE scores not required
    • Degree can be completed in 18 months
    Cons
    • Minimum 3.0 GPA required for admission
    • No specializations or certifications available
    • Capstone course not offered in summer semester
    88%OSR Score

    At the University of Nebraska at Omaha, an MS in Criminology is available online at a flexible pace. Students may also elect to complete some courses in person if they wish, and the program totals 36 credit hours. Eleven classes plus a capstone course complete this degree designed for working professionals.

  16. University of Louisville

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $27,026/$42,048
    Acceptance80
    Earnings Potential65
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention85
    Student Satisfaction75
    Reputation81
    Pros
    • Up to 6 transfer credits accepted
    • Classes offered year round, six starts per year
    • Accelerated class schedule available
    Cons
    • Specializations not formally recognized on degree
    • Cost for out-of-state students doubles
    • Additional credentials not available
    86%OSR Score

    This MS in Criminal Justice from the University of Louisville is a 100 percent online program with the opportunity to pursue various specializations. Students must complete 36 credit hours for a degree, combining 15 hours of core classes, 18 hours of electives, and a final paper worth 3 credit hours. Students may also optionally choose an accelerated six week term schedule.

  17. Bowling Green State University-Main Campus

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $24,435/$31,971
    Acceptance81
    Earnings Potential45
    Online Presence9
    Online Program Quality40
    Retention69
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation77
    Pros
    • Ranked #1 Criminal Justice program in the nation by U.S. News and World Report
    • Six start dates throughout the year
    • GRE scores and background in related field not required
    Cons
    • GPA of 2.75 required for admission
    • Year-round school schedule
    • Tuition costs are lower for Ohio residents
    85%OSR Score

    Bowling Green State University – Main Campus provides an MS in Criminal Justice online that is ranked best in the nation. The majority of class content is self-paced, and does not require logging online at designated times for participation. The program requires 33 credit hours, and classes last seven weeks with a one week break between each.

  18. Columbia College

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $36,778/$36,778
    Acceptance68
    Earnings Potential74
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention95
    Student Satisfaction76
    Reputation78
    Pros
    • Designed as enhancement for professionals in the field
    • Management career options available
    • GRE scores not required
    Cons
    • Must earn a minimum grade of B for management tracks
    • 3.0 GPA required for admission
    • Additional specializations or certifications not available
    84%OSR Score

    An MS in Criminal Justice Administration is available online from Columbia College. The program also offers management tracks in either Law Enforcement Administration or Corrections Administration. The core degree requires a minimum of 36 credits, with an additional 9 credits for the optional management tracks.

  19. Liberty University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $38,178/$38,178
    Acceptance71
    Earnings Potential73
    Online Presence4
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention86
    Student Satisfaction76
    Reputation72
    Pros
    • Transfer credits up to 50% of degree total
    • Takes 1.5 years to complete
    • Non-profit university keeps costs low
    Cons
    • Minimum 3.0 GPA required for admission
    • No more than two C grades may count towards degree
    • Must complete program within 5 years
    84%OSR Score

    The Master’s in Criminal Justice at Liberty University is 100 percent online, and suited for those just starting their careers or developing further. The program offers specializations in Forensic Psychology, General Studies, Homeland Security, or Public Administration to enhance the degree. Students must complete 36 credit hours total, including an optional thesis program.

  20. Colorado State University-Global Campus

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $1,500/$1,500
    Acceptance58
    Earnings Potential46
    Online Presence100
    Online Program Quality68
    Retention84
    Student Satisfaction83
    Reputation76
    Pros
    • Professors specifically trained to teach online
    • Year-round course offerings
    • GRE scores not required for admission
    Cons
    • Additional credit hours required for students entering with a GPA below 3.0
    • Online program tuition rates vary by state
    • Program not nationally ranked
    84%OSR Score

    A Master’s in Criminal Justice is available online from Colorado State University – Global Campus. Degree-seekers complete 36 credit hours of study, and may tailor courses to pursue specific areas of focus. An internship component in the field is also available to enhance field experience.

  21. University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $28,383/$43,764
    Acceptance83
    Earnings Potential65
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention86
    Student Satisfaction76
    Reputation70
    Pros
    • Rated a 2018 Best Online Criminal Justice program by U.S. News and World Report
    • No minimum for transferred credits
    • Courses offered over three semesters, year round
    Cons
    • Transferred credits must be a minimum of B grade
    • Only three potential specialization areas
    • GPA of 3.0 required for degree completion
    83%OSR Score

    The University of Oklahoma – Norman Campus offers an MS in Criminal Justice online. Totaling 33 required credit hours for the degree, the program centers around core classes, electives, and optional concentrations. Courses are 16 weeks long, with available certifications in Corrections Management, Restorative Justice, and Administrative Leadership.

  22. University of Massachusetts-Lowell

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $23,322/$40,387
    Acceptance83
    Earnings Potential53
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention70
    Student Satisfaction77
    Reputation68
    Pros
    • Majority of credits from elective courses
    • Pay incentives for current Massachusetts law enforcement employees
    • 5 certifications available
    Cons
    • Online program not available to students in Arkansas, Kansa, and Minnesota
    • May only transfer credits from last 5 years
    • Additional coursework required for students admitted with GPA below 2.8
    82%OSR Score

    The online Master’s in Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell is nationally ranked as a top online Criminal Justice program by various sources. The program requires 33 credit hours, 11 hours of which are devoted to core classes. Students may choose areas of interest for the remaining 18 hrs of study.

  23. Lamar University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $20,894/$30,854
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential57
    Online Presence5
    Online Program Quality59
    Retention62
    Student Satisfaction75
    Reputation70
    Pros
    • Fewer required credit hours than most programs on this list
    • 3 start dates per year
    • Wide variety of specialized applied courses
    Cons
    • Minimum 3.0 GPA required for admission
    • Required prerequisites of one statistics course and one social science course
    • Total cost doubles for out-of-state students
    82%OSR Score

    The MS in Criminal Justice online at Lamar University is designed for professionals interested in propelling their current career forward. Students complete 30 credit hours of coursework from three categories of study. An extensive selection of applied criminology courses are available to enhance core course requirements.

  24. University of New Haven

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $53,404/$53,404
    Acceptance82
    Earnings Potential62
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention90
    Student Satisfaction81
    Reputation74
    Pros
    • Online faculty ranked best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report
    • Six start dates throughout the year
    • 50% discount for active Connecticut police officers and firefighters
    Cons
    • No formal professional certifications available
    • Applicants below 3.0 GPA encouraged to submit additional application materials
    • One of the more expensive options for in-state students on this list
    81%OSR Score

    This MS in Criminal Justice from the University of New Haven is a nationally recognized degree conducted entirely online. A 12 credit hour core curriculum provides the foundation for the full 36 credit hour program, with three areas of focus in Crime Analysis, Police Behavioral Studies, and Leadership and Management. Students select 24 credits of electives to make up the majority of their degree.

  25. Missouri State University-Springfield

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $21,062/$28,502
    Acceptance75
    Earnings Potential42
    Online Presence16
    Online Program Quality75
    Retention66
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation69
    Pros
    • GRE scores not required unless no prior background in field
    • Cost for online study is the same for residents and out-of-state students
    • Participation in community partnerships available
    Cons
    • No areas of specialization within degree
    • Non-thesis track must complete twice the number of elective courses
    • BA in sociology, criminology, or criminal justice required
    80%OSR Score

    An MS in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Missouri State University – Springfield is available online. Students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours for the degree, and may choose a thesis-track or non-thesis track program. Each option is made up of a core curriculum, electives, and a final requirement.

  26. University of Central Missouri

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $19,564/$26,194
    Acceptance62
    Earnings Potential49
    Online Presence8
    Online Program Quality76
    Retention79
    Student Satisfaction81
    Reputation67
    Pros
    • Research opportunities available
    • Two scholarships specific to the program
    • Graduate assistantships available to stipend tuition
    Cons
    • Prior education in criminal justice or related field required
    • Cost of program for out-of-state students doubles
    • Specific expertise tracks and certifications not available
    79%OSR Score

    The University of Central Missouri offers an online MS in Criminal Justice degree with flexible scheduling for completion. Students select a thesis or non-thesis track to reach the required 36 credit hours for a degree. Core courses comprise 21 credit hours, and a 15 credit hours research component will include electives and optional thesis work.

  27. New Mexico State University-Main Campus

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $20,525/$35,086
    Acceptance81
    Earnings Potential65
    Online Presence6
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention80
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation64
    Pros
    • Students in some states eligible to pay in-state tuition rate
    • No prior related education required
    • Coursework entirely online via a Learning Management System
    Cons
    • $35/credit hour fee for online courses
    • Online students may not choose a thesis track
    • Residents in some states not eligible for online programming
    77%OSR Score

    This online Master’s of Criminal Justice degree from New Mexico State University – Main Campus is ideal for candidates entering the field or those with experience. Students complete 36 total credit hours of coursework, with an internship option available as part of study. Coursework centers around 15 credit hours of core content, 12 credits of related electives, and 9 credits of electives from unrelated disciplines.

  28. Northeastern University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $68,177/$68,177
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention60
    Student Satisfaction84
    Reputation59
    Pros
    • No GRE scores or GPA minimum required
    • Experiential learning model offers professional, practical opportunities
    • Three enrollment dates throughout the year
    Cons
    • Required credits greater than most programs on this list
    • Credit requirements vary between concentrations
    • One of the most expensive programs for in-state students on this list
    77%OSR Score

    The MS in Criminal Justice online from Northeastern University offers both full- and part-time options for students. Students complete between 40-46 credit hours for the degree, depending on their chosen concentration. Six areas of focus are available, and extensive elective options round out the program.

  29. California State University-Long Beach

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $25,138/$37,018
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential52
    Online Presence9
    Online Program Quality41
    Retention76
    Student Satisfaction73
    Reputation59
    Pros
    • Program can be completed within 2 years
    • Students work with the same cohort colleagues for duration of program
    • Ranked among the best online programs by U.S. News and World Report
    Cons
    • Only one start period per year
    • Applicants must provide GRE scores, LSAT scores, or adequate written work
    • Minimum 3.0 GPA for admission
    77%OSR Score

    An MS in Criminology and Criminal Justice is offered online at California State University – Long Beach. The accelerated program is flexible in schedule, and well-suited for professionals intending to enhance their career. In addition to 36 credit hours of study, students select a thesis or comprehensive exam option for degree completion.

  30. Rowan University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $30,986/$39,454
    Acceptance69
    Earnings Potential76
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention93
    Student Satisfaction78
    Reputation58
    Pros
    • Fewer credit requirements than most programs on this list
    • Wide variety of elective courses available
    • Accelerated timeline for degree completion
    Cons
    • Class schedules follow specifically outlined days/times weekly
    • More expensive for in-state students than other programs on this list
    • Additional professional certifications not available
    74%OSR Score

    Rowan University’s online MA in Criminal Justice is a part-time program designed to be completed within 5 consecutive semesters. Students must complete 30 credit hours made up of 18 credits of required courses and 12 elective hours. Degree completion is achieved after either a comprehensive exam or a thesis project.

  31. Kent State University at Kent

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $25,514/$34,046
    Acceptance75
    Earnings Potential57
    Online Presence3
    Online Program Quality49
    Retention79
    Student Satisfaction82
    Reputation54
    Pros
    • GRE scores not required for admission
    • Small, collaborative classes
    • Students take one class at a time
    Cons
    • Additional fee for distance learning classes
    • No opportunity to take multiple courses at once
    • Prior related education with minimum 3.0 GPA required
    73%OSR Score

    The MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Kent State University at Kent is available fully online. Students complete 33 credit hours of work, combining core curriculum with elective choices. Special areas of concentration are available in Corrections, Global Security, Policing, and Victimology.

  32. Saint Leo University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $38,492/$38,492
    Acceptance66
    Earnings Potential80
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention96
    Student Satisfaction77
    Reputation53
    Pros
    • Internship opportunities available as part of study
    • Educational partner with the FBI National Academy Associates
    • Capstone, hands-on learning course component
    Cons
    • Online program contains one additional prerequisite course
    • No discount for in-state students
    • No special certification opportunities
    71%OSR Score

    Saint Leo University offers an MS in Criminal Justice online via either a traditional or accelerated track. Degree-seekers may complete the program in two years, or opt to accelerate their work even faster with approval. The program is made up of 36 total credit hours, with five classes of core curriculum and six electives.

  33. The University of West Florida

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $19,014/$31,895
    Acceptance70
    Earnings Potential77
    Online Presence11
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention95
    Student Satisfaction76
    Reputation54
    Pros
    • Applications accepted three times per year
    • Flexible scheduling accommodates degree completion over an extended period of time
    • Certification options provide additional career opportunities
    Cons
    • Tuition more than twice the cost for out-of-state students
    • Certifications require additional 9 credits of study
    • GRE or MAT scores required for admission
    71%OSR Score

    An online MS in Criminal Justice from the University of West Florida can be completed in as little as a year and a half. Students earn 33 credit hours for a degree, choosing to complete either an internship or final paper as a final requirement. Certifications in social work, public administration, homeland security, or education are also available.

  34. Florida Atlantic University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $24,021/$36,466
    Acceptance64
    Earnings Potential65
    Online Presence3
    Online Program Quality88
    Retention84
    Student Satisfaction72
    Reputation49
    Pros
    • Graduate assistantships and teaching assistantships available
    • Concentrations available in Policing, Crime & Criminal Behavior, and Corrections
    • GRE scores not required
    Cons
    • Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to avoid academic probation
    • Grades below a C will not be counted towards degree
    • Only one admission period per year
    71%OSR Score

    The MS in Criminology and Criminal Justice program at Florida Atlantic University is conducted primarily online, with some electives only available on site. Thesis and non-thesis tracks are available for graduate students, who must complete a total of 33 credit hours for the degree. Specializations can be earned by taking at least three courses in one concentration area.

  35. University of North Texas

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $24,162/$34,122
    Acceptance66
    Earnings Potential85
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention94
    Student Satisfaction78
    Reputation45
    Pros
    • Up to 9 transfer credits accepted
    • Students select number of courses to enroll in at one time
    • Potential to complete degree in under two years
    Cons
    • Tuition twice the cost for out-of-state students
    • Admission granted through UNT Toulouse Graduate School
    • Background courses potentially required depending on experience
    69%OSR Score

    An MS in Criminal Justice is available online from the University of North Texas, ranked second in the state and #18 in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report. The two year degree includes both a core curriculum and electives for a total of 36 credit hours. Students complete a final comprehensive exam to receive their degree.