M.S. in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management

As the nature of crime changes and the strategies and policies developed to combat crime become more complex, the need for specialized executive leadership grows.

Walden’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management will help law enforcement professionals prepare for executive management roles in criminal justice or transition into a career in education or as a consultant. In this program, you will study management philosophies as well as the budgeting and communication skills that criminal justice professionals require in order to create and influence policy makers.

If you are a criminal justice professional interested in studying a unique blend of criminal behavioral theory, along with human services, technology, homeland security, and management skills, then consider Walden’s M.S. in Criminal Justice program.

Sign Up for a Free Information Packet
  • We'll Take Care of the Details

    When you enroll in this program, you don’t need to worry about buying books or registering for classes. We’ll do that for you.

  • Speak with Our Faculty

    Talk directly to School of Public Policy and Administration faculty about what it’s like to earn your degree at Walden.

    Learn More

  • 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

  • Highlights

  • Learning Outcomes

  • Program Data

  • Learn More

Walden’s M.S. in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management 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 Leadership and Executive Management now.  Request Information

General Program

Take part in an in-depth understanding of the field of criminal justice. Study the management, communication, policy, and budgeting skills that can position you to take on a more senior role at your agency or organization. Explore ways to work effectively with policymakers and decision-makers.

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.

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.

Courses

Emergency Management

Whether the event is a natural disaster such as a hurricane or flood, or a manmade crisis such as a terrorist attack or hazardous materials spill, professionals capable of managing and responding to emergency situations are in greater demand. The Emergency Management specialization provides the knowledge and associated critical-thinking skills that can help you develop effective emergency response strategies for addressing today’s public safety issues. Explore the history, theories, and case studies associated with public safety, as well as tactics and techniques for managing emergency situations.

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

Preventing terrorism, enhancing security, responding to natural and manmade disasters—homeland security is a complex and vital field. From developing policies that respect an individual’s rights and freedoms to facilitating collaboration between public security agencies, the Homeland Security Policy and Coordination specialization covers a wide range of relevant issues, procedures, and practices. Explore various approaches to leveraging the National Incident Management System (NIMS) while addressing critical concerns that can help you administer effective policies.

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

Court decisions and the legislative process significantly affect public policy. Whether you plan to pursue a law degree or wish to develop a better appreciation for how the law affects your current career, the Law and Public Policy specialization provides a solid foundation in legal doctrine and concepts. Advance your academic and professional development with a stronger understanding of the legislative process, relevant legal issues, historic cases, and current trends.

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

The ability to analyze and evaluate public policies plays a critical role in ensuring that our nation’s criminal justice system is honest, fair, and effective. The Policy Analysis specialization emphasizes the concepts and processes of policy research. Explore our democratic system’s public policy process and study assessment tools for evaluating a program’s success. Acquire the knowledge and insight that can help you work more collaboratively to influence and implement informed, strategic public policies.

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

All organizations—from correctional facilities to homeland security agencies—require effective and competent leadership to be successful. The Public Management and Leadership specialization addresses the role that leadership plays in the criminal justice system and explores the complex challenges leaders face in these agencies. Cultivate your leadership style and learn how to use the language of leadership to motivate, inspire, and competently lead your organization.

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

The M.S. of Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management program encompasses a diverse range of topics. The Self-Designed specialization allows you to explore the topics that interest you most and design a program tailored to your personal and professional goals. Choose any three courses from among the specializations offered in the program to complete your degree.

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

Terrorism, Mediation, and Peace

The study of terrorism touches upon many disciplines, including politics and emergency preparedness, international relations, psychology, public safety, and religion. The Terrorism, Mediation, and Peace specialization examines the roots of international and domestic terrorism and the various types of terrorist threats most likely to confront the United States. Explore topics that include catalysts and motivations for terrorist acts, the immediate and long-term implications of antiterrorist legislation and policies, and the role media and technology play in aiding or countering terrorist activities.

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 Leadership and Executive Management 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 degree 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.

*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.

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:*

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

Graph comparing criminal justice programs.

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 

*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.
  8. Evaluate the management philosophies used in managing human resources in criminal justice organizations.
  9. Discuss the leadership skills needed for working with diverse populations.

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 Leadership and Executive Management 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.