Today’s criminals are more sophisticated than those of the past, engaging the latest technologies to commit—and get away with—illegal acts.

Modern criminal justice professionals must be equally savvy to stay at the forefront with the ever-changing landscape of domestic and international crime. In Walden’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice program, you will study a unique blend of criminal behavior theory along with technology, homeland security, and management skills applicable to the challenges facing the law enforcement community. You will evaluate the root causes of crime and its impact on criminal justice practices and procedures and analyze how law enforcement, courts, and corrections function and interact at the local, state, and federal level.

If you are a criminal justice professional interested in gaining the skills necessary to assume a more senior role or to transition into a second career as an educator or consultant, consider Walden’s M.S. in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management program.

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  • What They Say

    “With a focus on domestic and international landscapes, this exciting program will help train the next generation of investigators and analysts—people who have dedicated their lives to making the world a safer place.

    Ronald O. Craig, Ph.D., Program Director
    M.S. in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management

  • Curriculum

  • Tuition and Fees

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Walden’s M.S. in Criminal Justice program offers a General Program as well as a variety of specializations to help you meet your personal and professional goals.

Specializations

Find out more about the M.S. in Criminal Justice now.  Request Information

General Program

Gain broad exposure to the field of criminal justice. Study the latest theories and explore today’s increasingly sophisticated criminal justice issues. This program can help teach you a unique blend of technology, homeland security, and management skills that you can apply immediately on the job or use to advance your career.

Completion Requirements

  • 46 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (45 cr.)

Estimated time to completion is 15 months. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Note: The specializations are optional for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice program. Students who choose not to pursue a specialization will complete only these courses.

Emergency Management

Emergency response professionals face increasingly difficult issues in today’s world. People depend on these skilled leaders to make informed, intelligent choices under pressure. This specialization prepares you to build confident and capable teams and guide others during times of crisis. The coursework also addresses challenging ethical situations that emergency professionals may encounter.

Completion Requirements

  • 61 total quarter credits 
    • Foundation course (1 cr.) 
    • Core courses (45 cr.) 
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)

Estimated time to completion is 21 months. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Homeland Security Policy and Coordination

Public safety is a pressing concern, and homeland security policymakers are faced with tough decisions every day. The specialization in Homeland Security Policy and Coordination offers you a foundation for evaluating and creating protective measures and policies that do not compromise individual rights and freedoms. Explore the collaborative relationships between public security agencies. The coursework also focuses on using the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and understanding the complexity of homeland security issues.

Completion Requirements

  • 61 total quarter credits 
    • Foundation course (1 cr.) 
    • Core courses (45 cr.) 
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)

Estimated time to completion is 21 months. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Law and Public Policy

Today’s legal decisions directly influence the creation of public policy. This intricate relationship provides the basis for the specialization in Law and Public Policy. Examine the vital legal knowledge available to public policy practitioners as you explore legal concepts, cases, and current trends in law and policy.

Completion Requirements

  • 61 total quarter credits 
    • Foundation course (1 cr.) 
    • Core courses (45 cr.) 
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)

Estimated time to completion is 21 months. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Policy Analysis

Policy shapes and informs the systems that keep government running. This specialization introduces the process by which policies are created, implemented, and evaluated within the context of the American democratic system. Develop analytical skills to determine the value and effectiveness of proposed policies and investigate the impact of plans on society. Examine strategies for building and assessing policy objectives.

Completion Requirements

  • 61 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (45 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)

Estimated time to completion is 21 months. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Public Management and Leadership

This specialization prepares you to develop strategies for managing unpredictable change in public organizations. You will discover how transformative change occurs in complex public systems and how language can influence and inspire organizational change. The coursework will help prepare you to lead, motivate, and inspire people within organizations.

Completion Requirements

  • 61 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (45 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)

Estimated time to completion is 21 months. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Self-Designed

Today’s criminal justice professionals benefit from a broad range of skills and experience. The self-designed specialization allows you to create a unique learning program to deepen your understanding of criminal justice theories and issues. This flexible program may include coursework in homeland security; policy analysis; or terrorism, mediation, and peace. You complete your studies by choosing any three specialization courses in the M.S. in Criminal Justice program.

Completion Requirements

  • 61 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (45 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)

Estimated time to completion is 21 months. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Note: M.S. in Criminal Justice students must complete the Foundation course, nine required core courses, and three selected specialization courses to complete the Self-Designed specialization.

Courses

Terrorism, Mediation, and Peace

The threat of terrorism demands constant vigilance and a concentrated effort on prevention. This specialization provides a foundation for understanding anti-terrorism legislation and its impact on public policies. Explore how terrorism policies are drafted and enforced and how ethical issues related to human rights are treated. The coursework will outline the roots of international and domestic terrorism and the political, social, and cultural motivations behind it. You will also explore the psychological effects of terrorism and trauma.

Completion Requirements

  • 61 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (45 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)

Estimated time to completion is 21 months. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost
Courses General Program: 46 total quarter credit hours
Specializations: 61 total quarter credit hours
$470 per quarter credit hour (includes course textbooks and materials)
Technology Fee per quarter $120

20% off if you reside outside the U.S. Click here to find out more!

Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Call 1-866-492-5336 for information about a full range of options for:

No Application Fee - Applying has never been easier.

As a student in Walden’s criminal justice program, you can choose when, where, and how you learn thanks to our online format and MobileLearn®. Through this education technology, you can listen to coursework on your MP3 player, access your classroom from your iPhone, download coursework to your laptop, and more.

Find out more about what defines Walden’s M.S. in Criminal Justice program:

 

Lifelong Learning Opportunities

Walden offers lifelong learning opportunities, including benefits for students in our bachelor’s degree programs who may qualify to take graduate-level courses and complete this program in as little as one year. In addition, graduates of this program will be well-prepared to continue on to a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration with a specialization in Criminal Justice.

Walden’s enrollment advisors are available to answer all of your questions and provide specific details about this program, transfer of credit policies, and funding options. Call 1-866-492-5336 to speak to an enrollment advisor or request information.

Which Criminal Justice Program is Right for You?

Walden offers two master’s degree programs to help you advance your career in criminal justice or prepare for an executive leadership role. With a modern approach to criminal justice and policing, these programs can help prepare you to use the latest technology and theory to begin or advance your career in this fast-paced field.

When deciding between Walden’s M.S. in Criminal Justice and M.S. in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management degree programs, consider which features are right for your career goals:*

M.S. in Criminal Justice M.S. in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management
The ideal candidate: Both degrees are designed for criminal justice professionals who are dedicated to protecting and serving their communities.
  • For early- to mid-career professionals who aspire to advance within their respective organizations and prepare for future opportunities.
  • For mid- to late-career professionals who work closely with policymakers and decision-makers. This includes professionals who may be planning for a second career in another agency or as a consultant or educator while remaining in the criminal justice field.
What you’ll study:
At the core of both programs is a focus on contemporary theory and practice as well as the study of national and international issues that impact the administration of criminal justice.
  • A unique blend of criminal theory, human services, technology, homeland security, and management content that provides a base of practical knowledge and skills you can immediately apply.
  • A focus on management, human resources, finances, budgeting, and oral and written communications that senior criminal justice leaders can use to influence policymakers.
Unique coursework:
Each program offers courses that are tailored to meet its learning outcomes.
  • Special Populations
  • Technological Solutions and 21st Century Crime
  • Victimology
  • Strategic Planning:
  • Collaboration, Cooperation, and Coordination
  • Finance and Budgeting for the Public Sector
Potential career options: Graduates of either program will be well-prepared for a number of occupations across an array of areas, including law enforcement, courts, corrections, and probation.
  • Law Enforcement
    Ballistics expert
    Border patrol agent
    Customs agent
    Deputy sheriff
    Detective
    Gang crimes investigator
    Narcotics officer
    Private investigator
    Undercover operative
  • Courts
    Background investigator
    Courthouse security officer
    Federal probation officer
    Federal pretrial service officer
    Sentencing analyst
    Victim restitution professional
  • Corrections and Probation
    Correctional officer
    Parole officer
    Placement officer
    Probation officer
  • Other
    Deputy U.S. marshal
    Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officer
    Federal protection service officer
    Fines and restitution specialist
    Hearings officer
    National Park Service ranger
    Postal inspector
    Pretrial services officer
    State park ranger
    University police officer
    U.S. Customs Service officer
    U.S. Forest Service officer
    Victim-offender specialist
    Victim’s assistance provider
  • Courts
    Arbitrator
    Assistant administrator
    Deputy assistant
    Diversion specialist
    Expert witness
    Judicial assistant
  • Corrections and Probation
    Administrator/warden
    Budget analyst
    Business officer manager
    Public relations officer
  • Other
    Consultant
    Community college professor
    Domestic relations specialist
    Policy analyst
    Specialized instructor

This chart can give you an idea of the distinctions and overlap between the two programs:

Graph comparing criminal justice programs.

*Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Graduates of this program will be prepared to:

  1. Utilize theory and research to analyze historical trends and current perspectives in criminal justice. 
  2. Use research to evaluate factors related to crime and the impact of crime on criminal justice policies, practices, and procedures. 
  3. Evaluate the impact of U.S. constitutional policy and procedures on the criminal justice system. 
  4. Analyze the impact of the criminal justice process on victims and perpetrators. 
  5. Synthesize principles from criminal justice theories, processes, and practices to promote social justice and positive social change. 
  6. Compare the structural functions and interactions of law enforcement, courts, and corrections within the criminal justice system at the local, state, and federal level. 
  7. Discuss how criminal justice laws and policies are adopted, implemented, and evaluated.

Walden is committed to providing the information you need to make an informed decision about where you pursue your education. Click here to find detailed information for the M.S. in Criminal Justice relating to the types of occupations this program may lead to, completion rate, program costs, and median loan debt of students who have graduated from this program.

For assistance in deciding which online degree program fits your goals, request information or speak with an enrollment advisor by calling 1-866-492-5336. A list of international toll-free phone numbers is available for students outside the United States.