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Online Master's Degree in Criminal Justice Administration

Program Ranked #10 in the nation by US News & World Report

(No GRE Required)

The online master’s in criminal justice program builds upon UC’s long tradition of community service and our commitment to ethical leadership. Our online master's in criminal justice administration provides opportunities for rural and local criminal justice agency personnel to interact with other professionals employed in criminal justice administration jobs throughout the nation and gain a first-hand perspective of how larger agencies operate, including state and federal authorities.

What is it?

Developed by law enforcement professionals for law enforcement professionals, our online criminal justice master's degree program curriculum is planned with an awareness of the common prerequisites and academic preparation needed for students to pursue leadership roles in the field. This MS in criminal justice online degree program is designed to accommodate both pre-professional students who wish to further their education and those already working in criminal justice careers who aim to advance within their respective agencies. 

The faculty leading our online criminal justice master's degree programs have extensive experience and are aware of the risks and pressures faced by personnel in the field. We are committed to working with non-traditional students in this master’s in criminal justice online degree program by allowing students to work, study and interact with faculty as permitted by their professional schedules. Our commitment extends to include students in the Ph.D. in Leadership with a Concentration in Criminal Justice, should you choose to continue your education.

The online MS in criminal justice administration offers core areas of study, including criminology theory, ethical issues in justice administration, criminal law, and leadership fundamentals. From there, students choose a specialization track to follow with their online master's degree in criminal justice programs:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Cybersecurity
  • Digital Forensics
  • Corrections
  • Homeland Security
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Criminal Psychology
  • Addiction Studies
  • Criminal Justice Education and Leadership

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How Long Does a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice Take?

How long it takes to complete an MS in criminal justice administration depends on you and your lifestyle. There are 31 credit hours required to complete the program, but you have up to four years to complete them. Our program is designed to accommodate working professionals, so you can build your class schedule around your work schedule. It’s possible to complete the program in as little as a year. An undergraduate criminal justice major is not required for admittance to the program, but it is possible to transfer credits awarded for criminal justice college courses from other accredited institutions. This can further reduce the cost and time necessary to complete the program.

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What Careers Can I do with an Online Criminal Justice Degree?

With an online MS in Criminal Justice, graduates can make an impact on public safety and well-being through a number of rewarding fields across criminal justice and security. An online master's in criminal justice degree prepares you for a variety of career paths, including:

  • Criminology
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Cybersecurity
  • Addictions
  • Psychology 
  • Social Deviance
  • Justice Administration
  • Corrections
  • Homeland Security

A master’s degree prepares students for many challenging but well-paying careers in the criminal justice sector. Graduates often pursue work in various sub-fields at the local, state, and federal level. Popular careers include:

  • Police Officer
  • Shift Supervisor
  • Patrol Sergeant
  • Chief of Police
  • Corrections Officer
  • FBI Agent
  • Homeland Security Agent
  • Border Patrol Agent
  • Addictions Specialist

One of the highest-paying jobs you could pursue with this degree is in protective services. Protective services include professions like police officers and detectives. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 3% job growth with a median salary of $66,020 per year. Alternatively, you could consider any jobs requiring the foundation of critical thinking and people skills a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration would provide.

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Admission Requirements

Admission to our University is very competitive as well as selective and we review each application by the same standards.

  • Application and Application fee
  • A completed Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Submit official transcripts from all applicable colleges/universities attended; must be received directly from the issuing college or university.
  • A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of a 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale
  • Any international course work completed must have official transcript evaluations completed and submitted to the University by the evaluation firm. Evaluations MUST include GPA for admission.
    Approved Evaluation Firms are:
    • World Education Services (WES)
    • Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)
    • International Education Research Foundation (IERF)
    • Educational Perspectives (EP)
    • SpanTran
  • Documentation of language fluency for non-native speakers of English, such as a score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the 8 International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or a report from Duolingo. This requirement is waived for students who have completed bachelor’s or master’s level coursework in the U.S. at an accredited institution. The minimum acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission are: 
    • Paper-based TOEFL (PBT) - 550 
    • Internet-based TOEFL (IBT) - 79 
    • IELTS - 6
    • Duolingo - 100

Advanced Standing  
Students seeking the MJA degree may begin the MJA program with ‘Advanced Standing’ if, upon enrollment, they have completed educational courses or earned educational certifications through the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council (KLEC) or any other appropriately credentialed professional agency outside of Kentucky.  Students admitted with Advanced Standing will receive up to twelve (12) hours of transfer credit in either CROL 661 or CROL 662, CROL 663, CROL 664, CROL 665, or CROL 667 (see course descriptions) depending upon the advanced education they have completed through the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council (KLEC) or through another appropriately credentialed professional agency or organization (including out-of-state agencies/organizations). 

All admissions materials should be submitted to Graduate Admissions:

University of the Cumberlands
Graduate & Online Admissions

649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769
Phone 606.539.4390
Toll Free 855.791.7199

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Mission and Goals

The Master of Science in Justice Administration program provides pre-professionals a strong foundation in the knowledge, skills, and critical thinking attributes required in the various careers served by this discipline. It also prepares in-service professionals for leadership, management, and administration positions in their sub-field of choice. For all of its candidates, the program nurtures essential professional attributes, providing a broad knowledge base of the criminal justice system while also fostering the professional dispositions and ethics required for successful leadership in justice administration. Program Goals The program seeks to:

  1. Prepare students for professional careers and advancement within the criminal justice system.
  2. Provide students with a comprehension of the theoretical and philosophical principles of the courts, law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, and other essential disciplines connected to the criminal justice system in the 21st century.
  3. Enhance critical thinking and communication skills through the application of statistics and social science research methods.
  4. Prepare students for leadership positions within criminal justice agencies at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as in the private sector. 

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Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Justice Administration (MJA) program is designed to serve recent baccalaureate graduates and in-service professionals who wish to secure further training in and credentials for effective service and leadership in justice administration. The program’s features and course rotation described below enable a candidate to complete the MJA degree easily within 12-24 months.The Online Master's Degree in Criminal Justice is comprised of 31 credit hours. All master’s in criminal justice online degree candidates complete a Common Core coursework, one Specialization, and a Capstone Project. Available specializations include:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Corrections
  • Homeland Security
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Criminal Psychology
  • Addiction Studies
  • Cyber Security 
  • Digital Forensics
  • Criminal Justice Education and Leadership

Click here for Course Details | Click here to learn more about requirements for the program and transfer credits. 

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Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees. 

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Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 

If you're researching online master's degrees in criminal justice, criminology, or justice administration in Kentucky, look no further. At University of the Cumberlands, not only do we offer one of the best master’s degrees in criminal justice programs in the nation, but you can stay at UC and further your education with a Ph.D. in Leadership with a Concentration in Criminal Justice. Call 855.791.7201 or simply fill out the form on this page for more information.

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National FOP University

Fraternal Order of Police Logo

University of the Cumberlands is proud to support members and families of the Fraternal Order of Police. We have partnered with the National FOP University to offer members and their families exceptional academic programs that are structured to be some of the most affordable in the nation. FOP members can also apply to University of the Cumberlands free of charge.

Career Path

A University of the Cumberlands degree prepares you for the rigors of the professional world. Click the button to learn more about the exciting career opportunities you can pursue with this program.

Admissions Office

Contact Us

Phone: 606.539.4390
Tollfree: 855.791.7199

Visit Us In Person

649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769