A popular choice that still remains a popular choice for business-related studies is and MBA (Master of Business Administration) with a specific concentration. Many students may choose an MA, MS or even an MBA to get an additional exposure to a general overview of business with a larger range of courses designed to equip them to a wide range of business-related situations and roles. If you are looking to become an expert in a specific field and acquire a management, director or executive level position within a company, then a graduate program would be a good way to help you achieve that goal.

Master's Degree Benefits:

  • Increased self-confidence
  • Credibility
  • Transferable skills
  • Strategic thinking
  • Better communication skills

Career Options with a Graduate in Criminal Justice:

  • Criminology Manager in Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools - $72,420
  • Criminology Manager in Junior Colleges - $77,890
  • Criminology Manager in State Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) - $53,870
  • Criminology Manager in Technical and Trade Schools - $55,230

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Criminal Justice Managers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251111.htm (visited March 24, 2022).

Graduate Degree Types for Criminal Justice Concentrations:

  • M.S. in Criminal Justice
  • M.A. in Criminal Justice
  • MBA in Criminal Justice

Find an online bachelor's or master's degree:


An online graduate degree in criminal justice usually includes the same number of credit hours as it's on-campus counterpart. That means it should take you about 18 months to 3 years to finish an online degree. However, if you are taking the degree online because of time constraints or work and family obligations, you may not be able to attend full-time and, therefore, it could take up to 3-4 years to attain your graduate degree.

Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.

Criminal Justice is a wide-ranging field with many different specialties. If you have a specific career you are hoping to enter, make sure the school either offers a major in that field or a variety of classes pertaining to your field of interest. You may be able to find employment information for graduating students, which can show you how many students were able to enter the criminal justice you're looking at upon graduation.

This is an especially important question to ask yourself. Your major should play a big part in the schools you are considering. Not every college may offer the major of your choice, so doing your homework is the first step of the selection process.

Before you declare a major in criminal justice, you should have an idea of what kind of timeframe you're looking at. If you are going for you master's (M.S. or M.A.) degree in criminal justice, you will need to complete 36 to 54 credit hours over two to three years. Typically, a master's degree program in criminal justice will take you around 2 years and you will have to finish your bachelor's first and the apply to the MBA Program of your choosing. Some of the courses you will find in a typical criminal justice master's degree program are:

  • Understanding Violence
  • Social Psychology
  • An Introduction to American Law
  • Feminism and Social Justice
  • Introduction to International Criminal Law
  • Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice
  • Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases
  • Challenging Forensic Science: How Science Should Speak to Court

About 61% of college students complete their two-year criminal justice masters degree on time. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center study if the question suggests that money and family income is a large factor in the rate of non-achievement. In-state public college tuition rates have traditionally been the lower range for leading schools. Depending on the college you are choosing, some colleges will have the same cost for in-state or out-of-state students, whereas other colleges may offer lower costs for students that are residents. According to FinAid.org, the average cost of master's degree for students is between $30,000 and $120,000.

Many students run out of money and take reduced course loads to accommodate increased work and other money-making activities. Low per-semester credit-hour rates means more time required to complete a doctorate degree. Reducing the per semester course load from 12 to 9 or even 6 credit hours can add a year to the time needed to complete a master’s program.

Among the reasons cited for the low rate of two-year completions were student decisions in course selection. Many students choose interesting subjects and neglect to grab key courses when available. The failure to take a required course when offered can add a semester to the completion of a major or concentration.

The student experience is a vital piece of information. The graduation rate is often a predictor of the student experience. Factors that can influence late graduation include the availability of required coursework and dropouts for financial reasons. School surveys often have information similar to customer satisfaction information on other businesses. It may be useful to see responses from recent graduates about their experiences. The student survey observations will not predict your experience, but they can lead to productive questions about the school and the graduate degree program.

How much a criminal justice master's degree costs depends upon the school and the state. An associate's degree at a community college may cost roughly $7,500, while an associate's degree from a private college may cost $14,500 or more. A master's degree in criminal justice may range from approximately $40,000 for two years for in-state residents at a public university, and $140,000 or more for students attending private colleges. Online school tuition also varies, but students do not have to pay for housing, meals or transportation, and costs are generally lower because online classes can cost less for a college or university to operate. To determine the actual costs of your education, perform a budget analysis and investigate all the costs involved with earning a graduate degree in criminal justice at a school you wish to attend.

If your university offers career and/or placement services, you'll be able to take advantage of both as a student or graduate. You can receive career counseling, career assessments, and resume reviews, where you'll learn how to spruce your resume up. It is important to research if your potential college has post career placement assistance. This demonstrates that the college or university criminal justice program is with you from start to finish.