Best Online Master’s in Restorative Justice

You might want to consider pursuing a master’s degree in restorative justice once you recognize the increasing demand for healing reform within the restorative justice fields.  

With direct impacts on the fields of criminal justice, victim’s rights advocacy, governmental, social, and policy change, as well as community development, the need for restorative justice training is on the rise. The field also has indirect impacts on education systems, family mediation, and corporate leadership roles, which adds even more opportunity for restorative justice graduates to make positive social changes. Investigate the information below for details on how you can make an online master’s in restorative justice an impactful addition to your current academic study or profession.

What Is an Online Master’s in Restorative Justice?

While restorative justice studies clearly focus on relationship repair, community restoration, and reducing both criminal activity and antisocial behavior, master’s degree work typically focuses more directly on the criminal justice system and associated agencies. An online master’s degree in restorative justice can maximize your leadership and mediating skills to expand your career opportunities from a local market to a national or global level. Professionals with master’s degree credentials in restorative justice are social works, law enforcement leadership, lawyers, attorney generals, and even research coordinators.

How Much Can You Earn with an Online Master’s in Restorative Justice?

Master’s degree holders in restorative justice may be attorneys, judges, research study coordinators, mediators,  victims’ advocates, and much more. In 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported earnings for attorneys at about $122,960 annually, while arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators made about $63,930 annually. Judges earned approximately $120,090 and both correctional and probation workers earned about $54,290 annually. 

What Is Required for an Online Master’s in Restorative Justice?

To earn an online master’s degree in restorative justice, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and, of course, many programs prefer that the bachelor’s be in a law-related or criminal justice field. However, the increasing demand for restorative justice practitioners has made the degree field welcoming to educators, social workers, and advocates. It is typical for programs to require a resume submission with the application and often a personal statement. Letters of recommendation and a cumulative bachelor’s GPA of 2.5 or greater are helpful in securing acceptance. 

What Are the Best Online Master’s in Restorative Justice?

OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program-specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.

The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.

  1. Eastern Mennonite University

    20-Year ROI
    $794,746

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $35,460(in state) / $35,460(out of state)
    • Total of 45 credit hours for completion
    • Online, in-person, or hybrid formats available 
    • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited program required for application

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission Rate54%
    Programs offered online1

    Program Level

    Median Debt$21,700
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School< 1%
    100%
    OSR Score

    Earn a master’s degree in restorative justice from Eastern Mennonite University and get access to an alumni network of more than 600 fellow graduates. The program offers ongoing practice opportunities, theory instruction, and specialized skill proficiency coursework. Use your master’s degree as a foundation to further specialize in the peacebuilding field with a PhD program.

  2. Vermont Law School

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $600 per credit
    • 18-month online program
    • Total of 30 credit hours required 
    • Combination of law courses and restorative justice courses

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction71%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School2.35%
    98%
    OSR Score

    For an in-depth study and understanding of the history and cultural impact of restorative justice, you may find that Vermont Law School’s online master’s program delivers. The program is also available to students at other law schools besides Vermont Law and is designed to prepare students to advocate and lead reforms as the next generation of lawmakers. 

  3. International Institute for Restorative Practices

    Best Online Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $17,610 (Full Tuition)
    • The program takes two to three years to complete 
    • Thesis option available 
    • Ten courses required with a choice of six electives  

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction61.76%
    Admission Rate53.00%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School2.35%
    77%
    OSR Score

    The International Institute of Restorative Practices offers a master’s program that gives students an opportunity to develop tools intended to change their community and their workplace. With a unique thesis option offered at the end of the degree program, students are encouraged to conduct original research. A facility chairperson guides the student through a research-based thesis study that’s completed inside of a year.

  4. Wesley College

    20-Year ROI
    $847,694

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $26,406(in state) / $26,406(out of state)
    • 2.5 bachelor’s GPA required 
    • Two letters of recommendation required
    • Resume submission required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission Rate62%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$30,500
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School< 1%
    72%
    OSR Score

    The Master of Science in Criminal Justice offered at Wesley College is built around a combination of theoretical learning and reality-based case studies. Students will concentrate on learning how to incorporate the history and current practices of ethics and professional responsibility within the criminal justice field. The coursework will include oral presentations, group interactions, and graduate-level writing.

  5. Santa Clara University

    20-Year ROI
    $1,435,974

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $49,233(in state) / $49,233(out of state)
    • Classes offered within a ten-week quarter
    • 100% online program
    • Role-playing practice incorporated in the program instruction

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction72%
    Admission Rate54%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$21,000
    Programs in DepartmentNot Reported
    Popularity at School< 1%
    60%
    OSR Score

    Santa Clara University offers a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministries with an emphasis in Restorative Justice and Chaplaincy. This unique program shifts the focus of justice programs from punitive and retributive to healing and restorative in nature. With a dedicated exploration of intercultural and interreligious practices, this program leverages an informed approach to inclusive faith practices in the restorative process.