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Master of Science in
Criminal Justice

The University of Cincinnati Master of Science in Criminal Justice is the preeminent master’s degree in the field. With a sterling reputation, a nationally recognized brand, and a rich University history dating back to 1819, the CJ program has graduated more than 2,000 students in its fourteen year history online. UC is committed to providing students with the very best education at an affordable rate.

UC's MSCJ by the Numbers

  • #1 Most Published Faculty by Journal of Criminal Justice—this is the faculty that is literally writing the book on criminal justice, helping shape the future of the industry
  • #2 Most Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Degrees Conferred Since 2001 - source:  National Center for Education Statistics.
  • #3 Criminology School by U.S. News & World Report—and the only Top 3 school to offer an online master’s in criminal justice

Program at a Glance

  • Designed for working professionals to complete online, on your schedule, and at your convenience
  • No GRE required for qualified applicants
  • Finish the 11-course curriculum in as few as two years of part-time study (one course every 7 weeks) or one year of full-time study (two courses every 7 weeks)
  • Learn through a combination of multimedia presentations, readings, discussion sessions, online assignments, and peer and professional support systems
  • Choose from three optional concentrations: Analysis of Criminal Behavior, Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention, Corrections & Offender Rehabilitation
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Curriculum & Optional Concentrations

Curriculum

UC professors teach a comprehensive 11-course curriculum. Over six, 15-week semesters (two years), you will be exposed to every part of the criminal justice industry: criminology, social control, corrections, law enforcement, and juvenile justice. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You will also learn about policies, professional writing, research methods, analyzing criminal behavior, and application of principles.

Optional Concentrations

UC’s criminal justice program not only exposes you to the conceptual and theoretical frameworks that drive the study of crime and criminal justice, but also allows you to specialize in an area that is most relevant to you.

  • General Track (No Concentration)
  • Analysis of Criminal Behavior
  • Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention
  • Corrections & Offender Rehabilitation

General Track (No Concentration)

The comprehensive 11-course curriculum is designed to help you understand the conceptual and theoretical frameworks that inform the study of crime and criminal justice, assess problems through a rigorous research approach, and conduct improved policy analysis. The program will also help you identify current trends in the areas of corrections, policing, and criminology. Many of our graduates pursue careers in research and university settings or assume other leadership roles in the criminal justice system.

CORE COURSES (15 semester hours/5 courses)

You must take all five of the courses listed as part of the Core Curriculum.

  • CJ7010 Seminar in Criminal Justice
  • CJ7020 Seminar in Criminology
  • CJ7040 Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice
  • CJ7041 Basic Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • CJ7098 Demonstration Research Project

CJ7010 Seminar in Criminal Justice

This course provides an overview of the theory and research on the criminal justice system, including the police, courts, prosecution, and corrections. Special attention is given to the structural, organizational, and micro-level aspects of the criminal justice system and their interactions. A major goal of the course is developing an understanding of how criminal justice operates in the United States.

CJ7020 Seminar in Criminology

This course presents an overview of the nature of crime in American society. Special focus is given to the major theoretical approaches to the explanation of criminal behavior at both the micro-level (why individuals commit crime) and the macro-level (why crime rates vary across communities).

CJ7040 Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice

This course focuses on the evaluation of criminal justice policies and practices. Topics that will be covered include the development of evaluation plans, process and impact evaluations, evaluation designs, and causal inference.

CJ7041 Basic Research Methods in Criminal Justice

This course provides an introduction to research design as applied to crime and criminal justice research. There is an analysis of the scientific method, sampling, and basic research design.

CJ7098 Demonstration Research Project

Using the theoretical and methodological skills developed in the program, students undertake an individual research paper. The paper will focus on a contemporary issue in criminology or criminal justice that will be selected by the supervising professor in his or her area of expertise. Students will be expected to assess the theoretical background and empirical research relevant to the issue chosen by the professor. The purpose of the project is to enable students to demonstrate their independent ability to apply their knowledge to a contemporary criminal justice or criminological issue or problem.

ELECTIVES (18 semester hours/6 courses)
  • CJ8028 Biosocial Factors in Serial Offending
  • CJ8013 Seminar in Juvenile Justice
  • CJ7011 Seminar in Law and Social Control
  • CJ7060 Correctional Theory and Policy
  • CJ7070 Theory and Practice of Crime Prevention
  • CJ7080 Theory and Practice of Law Enforcement
  • CJ8060 Seminar in Correctional Rehabilitation
  • CJ8062 Seminar in Community Corrections
  • CJ8072 Seminar in White-Collar Crime
  • CJ8074 Applied Crime Prevention
  • CJ8082 Seminar on Police Effectiveness
  • CJ6012 Computer Criminology: Cybercrime & Digital Security

CJ8028 Biosocial Factors in Serial Offending

Why are some individuals predatory, dangerous, even psychopathic, while others, exposed to the same environmental factors, are not? This class will examine the role biology plays in crime causation, with a special emphasis on understanding serial offending. It will also examine how biological factors interact with and correlate with environmental variables to produce social pathology. Studies on twins, adoption studies, studies from molecular genetics, as well as studies from psychology, neuroscience, and sociology will be examined. No prior experience or training in biology is necessary. Required course in the Analysis of Criminal Behavior concentration.

CJ8013 Seminar in Juvenile Justice

A major task of the juvenile justice system is responding to various social problems that involve children and adolescents, including abuse, neglect, and violent behavior. Much public debate surrounds the effectiveness of the juvenile justice system in addressing these concerns and in curtailing the misbehavior of youths. In this context, this course examines the empirical literature on the juvenile justice system, especially as it relates to effective interventions. Special attention is paid to the intersection of what is known about the causes of serious delinquent behavior and how the juvenile justice system responds to those causes. Required course in the Analysis of Criminal Behavior concentration.

CJ7011 Seminar in Law and Social Control

This course provides an overview of the theory and research on the nature of law, legal institutions, and related mechanisms of social control. Special attention is paid to critical perspectives on social control, to issues of race, class, and social justice, and to the intersection of criminal justice with other systems of social control.

CJ7060 Correctional Theory and Policy

This course explores the major justifications for corrections, with a special focus on rehabilitation, deterrence, incapacitation, and restorative justice. Each theory’s central principles, empirical adequacy, and policy implications are examined. Special consideration is given to the social and political contexts that have shaped correctional policy and practice in the past and in recent times. The purpose of the course is to enable students to develop a research-based theory of corrections.

CJ7070 Theory and Practice of Crime Prevention

This course will explore the various approaches to reducing crime and the theories that inform those approaches. The course aims to provide understanding of the empirical evidence regarding the distribution of crime across offenders, victims, and places/spaces; various theoretical explanations for these patterns, with most emphasis on those theories that form the underpinnings of situational crime prevention; practical techniques for preventing crime using situational approaches, community-based approaches, social developmental approaches, and criminal justice system-based approaches; key issues involved in the implementation of crime prevention strategies, including competency, ethics, and displacement; and key issues involved in the rigorous evaluation of crime prevention strategies. Required course in the Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention concentration.

CJ7080 Theory and Practice of Law Enforcement

This course examines the development and function of policing in contemporary American society. The impact of social, economic, and political forces on the structure and definition of contemporary police agencies are employed through a review of classical and contemporary literature on policing. Contemporary problems and issues in law enforcement are analyzed within the context of recent research. Required course in the Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention concentration.

CJ8060 Seminar in Correctional Rehabilitation

This course examines theories, techniques, and policies of correctional treatment from applied, planning, and evaluation perspectives. Special focus is given to the classification of offenders, to how criminological theory informs rehabilitation programming, and to the principles of effective correctional intervention. A primary purpose of this course is to inform students, using the existing research, on what “works” and “doesn’t work” in the treatment of offenders. Required course in the Corrections and Offender Rehabilitation concentration.

CJ8062 Seminar in Community Corrections

This course is designed to provide an overview the origins, nature, and effectiveness of various criminal justice programs found under the term “community corrections.” Emphasis is given to recent developments in community corrections, such as intermediate sanctions, drug courts, and effective treatment interventions. The characteristics of effective programs and effective correctional agencies are also discussed.

CJ8072 Seminar in White-Collar Crime

This course examines the definition, measurement, extent, and costs of White-Collar and organizational crime. The characteristics of “upperworld” offenders are described and contrasted to those of “street” criminals. Criminological theories proposed to explain individual and organizational forms of White-Collar crime are reviewed and assessed. Special attention is paid to the use of the criminal law in the control of organizationally based White-Collar crime.

CJ8074 Applied Crime Prevention

This course covers the theory, research, and application of opportunity blocking techniques to reduce crime. Opportunity blocking is widely used by police agencies to prevent crime, disorder, and many other problems. It has been applied to such problems as homicide, street robbery, assaults, burglary, terrorism, maritime piracy, internet crimes, child abuse, and crowd violence. This course describes the basic principles of crime prevention, how crime problems are analyzed to develop appropriate interventions, techniques for prevention, and the mobilization of third-parties to implement prevention.

CJ8082 Seminar on Police Effectiveness

This course examines alternative criteria by which the effectiveness of police strategies can be assessed and critically reviews empirical studies of police effectiveness. Principal emphasis is placed on contemporary police innovations, such as community policing, problem-oriented policing, and “hot spots” policing. A primary purpose of this course is to inform students on policing strategies that “work” and “don’t work” in law enforcement.

CJ6012 Computer Criminology: Cybercrime & Digital Security

This course is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the various types of criminal conduct associated with computers and the Internet. As a student in this class you will be exposed to techniques associated with digital forensics and will assess criminological theories of crime as they relate to digital crime and terrorism. Additionally, you will examine a number of the national and international laws and policies related to cybercrime including the diverse steps that have been taken to increase digital security around the globe. Familiarity with computers and the Internet will help you progress through the course, but expertise is not required nor expected.

Analysis of Criminal Behavior

UC's Analysis of Criminal Behavior concentration in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice program focuses on the various types of criminal offenders and methods of criminal offending. Designed for students who want to deepen their understanding of the bio-social factors that differentiate serious criminal offenders from other people, this concentration also provides students with an in-depth grasp of specialized forms of criminal behavior. Students in this concentration may go on to seek employment with government, private and not-for-profit organizations that focus on specific types of crime. However, many groups in the criminal justice field would find this degree useful because of the wide scope of applications for this type of knowledge and the variety of advancement opportunities that may be available with this expertise.
CORE COURSES (15 semester hours/5 courses)

You must take all five of the courses listed as part of the Core Curriculum.

  • CJ7010 Seminar in Criminal Justice
  • CJ7020 Seminar in Criminology
  • CJ7040 Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice
  • CJ7041 Basic Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • CJ7098 Demonstration Research Project

CJ7010 Seminar in Criminal Justice

This course provides an overview of the theory and research on the criminal justice system, including the police, courts, prosecution, and corrections. Special attention is given to the structural, organizational, and micro-level aspects of the criminal justice system and their interactions. A major goal of the course is developing an understanding of how criminal justice operates in the United States.

CJ7020 Seminar in Criminology

This course presents an overview of the nature of crime in American society. Special focus is given to the major theoretical approaches to the explanation of criminal behavior at both the micro-level (why individuals commit crime) and the macro-level (why crime rates vary across communities).

CJ7040 Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice

This course focuses on the evaluation of criminal justice policies and practices. Topics that will be covered include the development of evaluation plans, process and impact evaluations, evaluation designs, and causal inference.

CJ7041 Basic Research Methods in Criminal Justice

This course provides an introduction to research design as applied to crime and criminal justice research. There is an analysis of the scientific method, sampling, and basic research design.

CJ7098 Demonstration Research Project

Using the theoretical and methodological skills developed in the program, students undertake an individual research paper. The paper will focus on a contemporary issue in criminology or criminal justice that will be selected by the supervising professor in his or her area of expertise. Students will be expected to assess the theoretical background and empirical research relevant to the issue chosen by the professor. The purpose of the project is to enable students to demonstrate their independent ability to apply their knowledge to a contemporary criminal justice or criminological issue or problem.

ANALYSIS OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR ELECTIVES (9 semester hours/3 courses)

You must take both required courses for this concentration, and at least one of the electives.

  • CJ8028 Biosocial Factors in Serial Offending
  • CJ8013 Seminar in Juvenile Justice
  • CJ8072 Seminar in White-Collar Crime
  • CJ6012 Computer Criminology: Cybercrime & Digital Security

CJ8028 Biosocial Factors in Serial Offending

Why are some individuals predatory, dangerous, even psychopathic, while others, exposed to the same environmental factors, are not? This class will examine the role biology plays in crime causation, with a special emphasis on understanding serial offending. It will also examine how biological factors interact with and correlate with environmental variables to produce social pathology. Studies on twins, adoption studies, studies from molecular genetics, as well as studies from psychology, neuroscience, and sociology will be examined. No prior experience or training in biology is necessary. Required course in the Analysis of Criminal Behavior concentration.

CJ8013 Seminar in Juvenile Justice

A major task of the juvenile justice system is responding to various social problems that involve children and adolescents, including abuse, neglect, and violent behavior. Much public debate surrounds the effectiveness of the juvenile justice system in addressing these concerns and in curtailing the misbehavior of youths. In this context, this course examines the empirical literature on the juvenile justice system, especially as it relates to effective interventions. Special attention is paid to the intersection of what is known about the causes of serious delinquent behavior and how the juvenile justice system responds to those causes. Required course in the Analysis of Criminal Behavior concentration.

CJ8072 Seminar in White-Collar Crime

This course examines the definition, measurement, extent, and costs of White-Collar and organizational crime. The characteristics of “upperworld” offenders are described and contrasted to those of “street” criminals. Criminological theories proposed to explain individual and organizational forms of White-Collar crime are reviewed and assessed. Special attention is paid to the use of the criminal law in the control of organizationally based White-Collar crime.

CJ6012 Computer Criminology: Cybercrime & Digital Security

This course is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the various types of criminal conduct associated with computers and the Internet. As a student in this class you will be exposed to techniques associated with digital forensics and will assess criminological theories of crime as they relate to digital crime and terrorism. Additionally, you will examine a number of the national and international laws and policies related to cybercrime including the diverse steps that have been taken to increase digital security around the globe. Familiarity with computers and the Internet will help you progress through the course, but expertise is not required nor expected.

GENERAL ELECTIVES (9 semester hours/3 courses)

You must take three additional courses of your choice, from within or outside your concentration, to fulfill this requirement.

  • CJ7011 Seminar in Law and Social Control
  • CJ7060 Correctional Theory and Policy
  • CJ7070 Theory and Practice of Crime Prevention
  • CJ7080 Theory and Practice of Law Enforcement
  • CJ8060 Seminar in Correctional Rehabilitation
  • CJ8062 Seminar in Community Corrections
  • CJ8074 Applied Crime Prevention
  • CJ8082 Seminar on Police Effectiveness
  • CJ6012 Computer Criminology: Cybercrime & Digital Security

CJ7011 Seminar in Law and Social Control

This course provides an overview of the theory and research on the nature of law, legal institutions, and related mechanisms of social control. Special attention is paid to critical perspectives on social control, to issues of race, class, and social justice, and to the intersection of criminal justice with other systems of social control.

CJ7060 Correctional Theory and Policy

This course explores the major justifications for corrections, with a special focus on rehabilitation, deterrence, incapacitation, and restorative justice. Each theory’s central principles, empirical adequacy, and policy implications are examined. Special consideration is given to the social and political contexts that have shaped correctional policy and practice in the past and in recent times. The purpose of the course is to enable students to develop a research-based theory of corrections.

CJ7070 Theory and Practice of Crime Prevention

This course will explore the various approaches to reducing crime and the theories that inform those approaches. The course aims to provide understanding of the empirical evidence regarding the distribution of crime across offenders, victims, and places/spaces; various theoretical explanations for these patterns, with most emphasis on those theories that form the underpinnings of situational crime prevention; practical techniques for preventing crime using situational approaches, community-based approaches, social developmental approaches, and criminal justice system-based approaches; key issues involved in the implementation of crime prevention strategies, including competency, ethics, and displacement; and key issues involved in the rigorous evaluation of crime prevention strategies. Required course in the Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention concentration.

CJ7080 Theory and Practice of Law Enforcement

This course examines the development and function of policing in contemporary American society. The impact of social, economic, and political forces on the structure and definition of contemporary police agencies are employed through a review of classical and contemporary literature on policing. Contemporary problems and issues in law enforcement are analyzed within the context of recent research. Required course in the Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention concentration.

CJ8060 Seminar in Correctional Rehabilitation

This course examines theories, techniques, and policies of correctional treatment from applied, planning, and evaluation perspectives. Special focus is given to the classification of offenders, to how criminological theory informs rehabilitation programming, and to the principles of effective correctional intervention. A primary purpose of this course is to inform students, using the existing research, on what “works” and “doesn’t work” in the treatment of offenders. Required course in the Corrections and Offender Rehabilitation concentration.

CJ8062 Seminar in Community Corrections

This course is designed to provide an overview the origins, nature, and effectiveness of various criminal justice programs found under the term “community corrections.” Emphasis is given to recent developments in community corrections, such as intermediate sanctions, drug courts, and effective treatment interventions. The characteristics of effective programs and effective correctional agencies are also discussed.

CJ8074 Applied Crime Prevention

This course covers the theory, research, and application of opportunity blocking techniques to reduce crime. Opportunity blocking is widely used by police agencies to prevent crime, disorder, and many other problems. It has been applied to such problems as homicide, street robbery, assaults, burglary, terrorism, maritime piracy, internet crimes, child abuse, and crowd violence. This course describes the basic principles of crime prevention, how crime problems are analyzed to develop appropriate interventions, techniques for prevention, and the mobilization of third-parties to implement prevention.

CJ8082 Seminar on Police Effectiveness

This course examines alternative criteria by which the effectiveness of police strategies can be assessed and critically reviews empirical studies of police effectiveness. Principal emphasis is placed on contemporary police innovations, such as community policing, problem-oriented policing, and “hot spots” policing. A primary purpose of this course is to inform students on policing strategies that “work” and “don’t work” in law enforcement.

CJ6012 Computer Criminology: Cybercrime & Digital Security

This course is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the various types of criminal conduct associated with computers and the Internet. As a student in this class you will be exposed to techniques associated with digital forensics and will assess criminological theories of crime as they relate to digital crime and terrorism. Additionally, you will examine a number of the national and international laws and policies related to cybercrime including the diverse steps that have been taken to increase digital security around the globe. Familiarity with computers and the Internet will help you progress through the course, but expertise is not required nor expected.

Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention

UC’s Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention concentration in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice program is specifically designed to supply individuals with a strengthened knowledge of the intricacies and fundamentals of law enforcement and crime prevention. The curriculum provides students access to a diverse set of core courses dealing with basic theories and practices, while additional elective courses give students the opportunity to focus on other topics of interest, such as applied crime prevention and police effectiveness. This concentration is ideal for individuals looking to begin or enhance their careers in law enforcement agencies, as well as in other public service organizations that develop and implement programs that help communities respond to local crime and disorder problems.

CORE COURSES (15 semester hours/5 courses)

You must take all five of the courses listed as part of the Core Curriculum.

  • CJ7010 Seminar in Criminal Justice
  • CJ7020 Seminar in Criminology
  • CJ7040 Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice
  • CJ7041 Basic Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • CJ7098 Demonstration Research Project

CJ7010 Seminar in Criminal Justice

This course provides an overview of the theory and research on the criminal justice system, including the police, courts, prosecution, and corrections. Special attention is given to the structural, organizational, and micro-level aspects of the criminal justice system and their interactions. A major goal of the course is developing an understanding of how criminal justice operates in the United States.

CJ7020 Seminar in Criminology

This course presents an overview of the nature of crime in American society. Special focus is given to the major theoretical approaches to the explanation of criminal behavior at both the micro-level (why individuals commit crime) and the macro-level (why crime rates vary across communities).

CJ7040 Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice

This course focuses on the evaluation of criminal justice policies and practices. Topics that will be covered include the development of evaluation plans, process and impact evaluations, evaluation designs, and causal inference.

CJ7041 Basic Research Methods in Criminal Justice

This course provides an introduction to research design as applied to crime and criminal justice research. There is an analysis of the scientific method, sampling, and basic research design.

CJ7098 Demonstration Research Project

Using the theoretical and methodological skills developed in the program, students undertake an individual research paper. The paper will focus on a contemporary issue in criminology or criminal justice that will be selected by the supervising professor in his or her area of expertise. Students will be expected to assess the theoretical background and empirical research relevant to the issue chosen by the professor. The purpose of the project is to enable students to demonstrate their independent ability to apply their knowledge to a contemporary criminal justice or criminological issue or problem.

LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CRIME PREVENTION ELECTIVES (9 semester hours/3 courses)

You must take both required courses for this concentration, and at least one of the electives.

  • CJ7011 Seminar in Law and Social Control
  • CJ7070 Theory and Practice of Crime Prevention
  • CJ7080 Theory and Practice of Law Enforcement
  • CJ8074 Applied Crime Prevention
  • CJ8082 Seminar on Police Effectiveness

CJ7011 Seminar in Law and Social Control

This course provides an overview of the theory and research on the nature of law, legal institutions, and related mechanisms of social control. Special attention is paid to critical perspectives on social control, to issues of race, class, and social justice, and to the intersection of criminal justice with other systems of social control.

CJ7070 Theory and Practice of Crime Prevention

This course will explore the various approaches to reducing crime and the theories that inform those approaches. The course aims to provide understanding of the empirical evidence regarding the distribution of crime across offenders, victims, and places/spaces; various theoretical explanations for these patterns, with most emphasis on those theories that form the underpinnings of situational crime prevention; practical techniques for preventing crime using situational approaches, community-based approaches, social developmental approaches, and criminal justice system-based approaches; key issues involved in the implementation of crime prevention strategies, including competency, ethics, and displacement; and key issues involved in the rigorous evaluation of crime prevention strategies. Required course in the Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention concentration.

CJ7080 Theory and Practice of Law Enforcement

This course examines the development and function of policing in contemporary American society. The impact of social, economic, and political forces on the structure and definition of contemporary police agencies are employed through a review of classical and contemporary literature on policing. Contemporary problems and issues in law enforcement are analyzed within the context of recent research. Required course in the Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention concentration.

CJ8074 Applied Crime Prevention

This course covers the theory, research, and application of opportunity blocking techniques to reduce crime. Opportunity blocking is widely used by police agencies to prevent crime, disorder, and many other problems. It has been applied to such problems as homicide, street robbery, assaults, burglary, terrorism, maritime piracy, internet crimes, child abuse, and crowd violence. This course describes the basic principles of crime prevention, how crime problems are analyzed to develop appropriate interventions, techniques for prevention, and the mobilization of third-parties to implement prevention.

CJ8082 Seminar on Police Effectiveness

This course examines alternative criteria by which the effectiveness of police strategies can be assessed and critically reviews empirical studies of police effectiveness. Principal emphasis is placed on contemporary police innovations, such as community policing, problem-oriented policing, and “hot spots” policing. A primary purpose of this course is to inform students on policing strategies that “work” and “don’t work” in law enforcement.

GENERAL ELECTIVES (9 semester hours/3 courses)

You must take three additional courses of your choice, from within or outside your concentration, to fulfill this requirement.

  • CJ8028 Biosocial Factors in Serial Offending
  • CJ8013 Seminar in Juvenile Justice
  • CJ7060 Correctional Theory and Policy
  • CJ8060 Seminar in Correctional Rehabilitation
  • CJ8062 Seminar in Community Corrections
  • CJ8072 Seminar in White-Collar Crime
  • CJ6012 Computer Criminology: Cybercrime & Digital Security

CJ8028 Biosocial Factors in Serial Offending

Why are some individuals predatory, dangerous, even psychopathic, while others, exposed to the same environmental factors, are not? This class will examine the role biology plays in crime causation, with a special emphasis on understanding serial offending. It will also examine how biological factors interact with and correlate with environmental variables to produce social pathology. Studies on twins, adoption studies, studies from molecular genetics, as well as studies from psychology, neuroscience, and sociology will be examined. No prior experience or training in biology is necessary. Required course in the Analysis of Criminal Behavior concentration.

CJ8013 Seminar in Juvenile Justice

A major task of the juvenile justice system is responding to various social problems that involve children and adolescents, including abuse, neglect, and violent behavior. Much public debate surrounds the effectiveness of the juvenile justice system in addressing these concerns and in curtailing the misbehavior of youths. In this context, this course examines the empirical literature on the juvenile justice system, especially as it relates to effective interventions. Special attention is paid to the intersection of what is known about the causes of serious delinquent behavior and how the juvenile justice system responds to those causes. Required course in the Analysis of Criminal Behavior concentration.

CJ7060 Correctional Theory and Policy

This course explores the major justifications for corrections, with a special focus on rehabilitation, deterrence, incapacitation, and restorative justice. Each theory’s central principles, empirical adequacy, and policy implications are examined. Special consideration is given to the social and political contexts that have shaped correctional policy and practice in the past and in recent times. The purpose of the course is to enable students to develop a research-based theory of corrections.

CJ8060 Seminar in Correctional Rehabilitation

This course examines theories, techniques, and policies of correctional treatment from applied, planning, and evaluation perspectives. Special focus is given to the classification of offenders, to how criminological theory informs rehabilitation programming, and to the principles of effective correctional intervention. A primary purpose of this course is to inform students, using the existing research, on what “works” and “doesn’t work” in the treatment of offenders. Required course in the Corrections and Offender Rehabilitation concentration.

CJ8062 Seminar in Community Corrections

This course is designed to provide an overview the origins, nature, and effectiveness of various criminal justice programs found under the term “community corrections.” Emphasis is given to recent developments in community corrections, such as intermediate sanctions, drug courts, and effective treatment interventions. The characteristics of effective programs and effective correctional agencies are also discussed.

CJ8072 Seminar in White-Collar Crime

This course examines the definition, measurement, extent, and costs of White-Collar and organizational crime. The characteristics of “upperworld” offenders are described and contrasted to those of “street” criminals. Criminological theories proposed to explain individual and organizational forms of White-Collar crime are reviewed and assessed. Special attention is paid to the use of the criminal law in the control of organizationally based White-Collar crime.

CJ6012 Computer Criminology: Cybercrime & Digital Security

This course is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the various types of criminal conduct associated with computers and the Internet. As a student in this class you will be exposed to techniques associated with digital forensics and will assess criminological theories of crime as they relate to digital crime and terrorism. Additionally, you will examine a number of the national and international laws and policies related to cybercrime including the diverse steps that have been taken to increase digital security around the globe. Familiarity with computers and the Internet will help you progress through the course, but expertise is not required nor expected.

Corrections & Offender Rehabilitation

UC’s Corrections and Offender Rehabilitation concentration is ideal for individuals looking to start or enhance their career in corrections and make a positive change in the lives of convicted men and women, and adjudicated juveniles. The program offers a series of courses that focus primarily on rehabilitating and treating criminal offenders; the comprehensive curriculum covers the theoretical and philosophical frameworks of corrections, as well as the theory and practice of community corrections and latest developments in offender rehabilitation. The material within this concentration also addresses the pressing matter of dealing with special populations such as youths, the addicted, and the mentally ill.

CORE COURSES (15 semester hours/5 courses)

You must take all five of the courses listed as part of the Core Curriculum.

  • CJ7010 Seminar in Criminal Justice
  • CJ7020 Seminar in Criminology
  • CJ7040 Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice
  • CJ7041 Basic Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • CJ7098 Demonstration Research Project

CJ7010 Seminar in Criminal Justice

This course provides an overview of the theory and research on the criminal justice system, including the police, courts, prosecution, and corrections. Special attention is given to the structural, organizational, and micro-level aspects of the criminal justice system and their interactions. A major goal of the course is developing an understanding of how criminal justice operates in the United States.

CJ7020 Seminar in Criminology

This course presents an overview of the nature of crime in American society. Special focus is given to the major theoretical approaches to the explanation of criminal behavior at both the micro-level (why individuals commit crime) and the macro-level (why crime rates vary across communities).

CJ7040 Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice

This course focuses on the evaluation of criminal justice policies and practices. Topics that will be covered include the development of evaluation plans, process and impact evaluations, evaluation designs, and causal inference.

CJ7041 Basic Research Methods in Criminal Justice

This course provides an introduction to research design as applied to crime and criminal justice research. There is an analysis of the scientific method, sampling, and basic research design.

CJ7098 Demonstration Research Project

Using the theoretical and methodological skills developed in the program, students undertake an individual research paper. The paper will focus on a contemporary issue in criminology or criminal justice that will be selected by the supervising professor in his or her area of expertise. Students will be expected to assess the theoretical background and empirical research relevant to the issue chosen by the professor. The purpose of the project is to enable students to demonstrate their independent ability to apply their knowledge to a contemporary criminal justice or criminological issue or problem.

CORRECTIONS & OFFENDER REHABILITATION ELECTIVES (9 semester hours/3 courses)

You must take both required courses for this concentration, and at least one of the electives.

  • CJ7060 Correctional Theory and Policy
  • CJ8060 Seminar in Correctional Rehabilitation
  • CJ8062 Seminar in Community Corrections
  • CJ6012 Computer Criminology: Cybercrime & Digital Security

CJ7060 Correctional Theory and Policy

This course explores the major justifications for corrections, with a special focus on rehabilitation, deterrence, incapacitation, and restorative justice. Each theory’s central principles, empirical adequacy, and policy implications are examined. Special consideration is given to the social and political contexts that have shaped correctional policy and practice in the past and in recent times. The purpose of the course is to enable students to develop a research-based theory of corrections.

CJ8060 Seminar in Correctional Rehabilitation

This course examines theories, techniques, and policies of correctional treatment from applied, planning, and evaluation perspectives. Special focus is given to the classification of offenders, to how criminological theory informs rehabilitation programming, and to the principles of effective correctional intervention. A primary purpose of this course is to inform students, using the existing research, on what “works” and “doesn’t work” in the treatment of offenders. Required course in the Corrections and Offender Rehabilitation concentration.

CJ8062 Seminar in Community Corrections

This course is designed to provide an overview the origins, nature, and effectiveness of various criminal justice programs found under the term “community corrections.” Emphasis is given to recent developments in community corrections, such as intermediate sanctions, drug courts, and effective treatment interventions. The characteristics of effective programs and effective correctional agencies are also discussed.

CJ6012 Computer Criminology: Cybercrime & Digital Security

This course is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the various types of criminal conduct associated with computers and the Internet. As a student in this class you will be exposed to techniques associated with digital forensics and will assess criminological theories of crime as they relate to digital crime and terrorism. Additionally, you will examine a number of the national and international laws and policies related to cybercrime including the diverse steps that have been taken to increase digital security around the globe. Familiarity with computers and the Internet will help you progress through the course, but expertise is not required nor expected.

GENERAL ELECTIVES (9 semester hours/3 courses)

You must take three additional courses of your choice, from within or outside your concentration, to fulfill this requirement.

  • CJ8028 Biosocial Factors in Serial Offending
  • CJ8013 Seminar in Juvenile Justice
  • CJ7011 Seminar in Law and Social Control
  • CJ7070 Theory and Practice of Crime Prevention
  • CJ7080 Theory and Practice of Law Enforcement
  • CJ8072 Seminar in White-Collar Crime
  • CJ8074 Applied Crime Prevention
  • CJ8082 Seminar on Police Effectiveness
  • CJ6012 Computer Criminology: Cybercrime & Digital Security

CJ8028 Biosocial Factors in Serial Offending

Why are some individuals predatory, dangerous, even psychopathic, while others, exposed to the same environmental factors, are not? This class will examine the role biology plays in crime causation, with a special emphasis on understanding serial offending. It will also examine how biological factors interact with and correlate with environmental variables to produce social pathology. Studies on twins, adoption studies, studies from molecular genetics, as well as studies from psychology, neuroscience, and sociology will be examined. No prior experience or training in biology is necessary. Required course in the Analysis of Criminal Behavior concentration.

CJ8013 Seminar in Juvenile Justice

A major task of the juvenile justice system is responding to various social problems that involve children and adolescents, including abuse, neglect, and violent behavior. Much public debate surrounds the effectiveness of the juvenile justice system in addressing these concerns and in curtailing the misbehavior of youths. In this context, this course examines the empirical literature on the juvenile justice system, especially as it relates to effective interventions. Special attention is paid to the intersection of what is known about the causes of serious delinquent behavior and how the juvenile justice system responds to those causes. Required course in the Analysis of Criminal Behavior concentration.

CJ7011 Seminar in Law and Social Control

This course provides an overview of the theory and research on the nature of law, legal institutions, and related mechanisms of social control. Special attention is paid to critical perspectives on social control, to issues of race, class, and social justice, and to the intersection of criminal justice with other systems of social control.

CJ7070 Theory and Practice of Crime Prevention

This course will explore the various approaches to reducing crime and the theories that inform those approaches. The course aims to provide understanding of the empirical evidence regarding the distribution of crime across offenders, victims, and places/spaces; various theoretical explanations for these patterns, with most emphasis on those theories that form the underpinnings of situational crime prevention; practical techniques for preventing crime using situational approaches, community-based approaches, social developmental approaches, and criminal justice system-based approaches; key issues involved in the implementation of crime prevention strategies, including competency, ethics, and displacement; and key issues involved in the rigorous evaluation of crime prevention strategies. Required course in the Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention concentration.

CJ7080 Theory and Practice of Law Enforcement

This course examines the development and function of policing in contemporary American society. The impact of social, economic, and political forces on the structure and definition of contemporary police agencies are employed through a review of classical and contemporary literature on policing. Contemporary problems and issues in law enforcement are analyzed within the context of recent research. Required course in the Law Enforcement & Crime Prevention concentration.

CJ8072 Seminar in White-Collar Crime

This course examines the definition, measurement, extent, and costs of White-Collar and organizational crime. The characteristics of “upperworld” offenders are described and contrasted to those of “street” criminals. Criminological theories proposed to explain individual and organizational forms of White-Collar crime are reviewed and assessed. Special attention is paid to the use of the criminal law in the control of organizationally based White-Collar crime.

CJ8074 Applied Crime Prevention

This course covers the theory, research, and application of opportunity blocking techniques to reduce crime. Opportunity blocking is widely used by police agencies to prevent crime, disorder, and many other problems. It has been applied to such problems as homicide, street robbery, assaults, burglary, terrorism, maritime piracy, internet crimes, child abuse, and crowd violence. This course describes the basic principles of crime prevention, how crime problems are analyzed to develop appropriate interventions, techniques for prevention, and the mobilization of third-parties to implement prevention.

CJ8082 Seminar on Police Effectiveness

This course examines alternative criteria by which the effectiveness of police strategies can be assessed and critically reviews empirical studies of police effectiveness. Principal emphasis is placed on contemporary police innovations, such as community policing, problem-oriented policing, and “hot spots” policing. A primary purpose of this course is to inform students on policing strategies that “work” and “don’t work” in law enforcement.

CJ6012 Computer Criminology: Cybercrime & Digital Security

This course is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the various types of criminal conduct associated with computers and the Internet. As a student in this class you will be exposed to techniques associated with digital forensics and will assess criminological theories of crime as they relate to digital crime and terrorism. Additionally, you will examine a number of the national and international laws and policies related to cybercrime including the diverse steps that have been taken to increase digital security around the globe. Familiarity with computers and the Internet will help you progress through the course, but expertise is not required nor expected.

I used to focus on just getting the bad guy,
but now I have an appreciation for the system as a whole.

-Thomas Lynch, Investigator

This degree gives you an
incredible competitive advantage…

-Thomas Lynch, Investigator

Every course was applicable,
in my role as a Probation and Parole Officer…

-Ryan Labrecque, Former Probation and Parole Officer,
and Current Ph.D. Student

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Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have more questions after reading through the website?

An Enrollment Advisor is available to answer all your questions. To have your Enrollment Advisor contact you, complete the form on the right side of the page or call 800-645-5078.

Why do I need a master’s degree in criminal justice?

A graduate education may open the door to all types of career opportunities. These may include administrative and leadership roles that can potentially result in a higher income and increased job satisfaction. The online criminal justice master’s degree is specifically designed for working professionals and is granted by a leading university with a reputation for high standards.

What should I look for in a distance learning program?

We recommend you search for a program that has extensive distance learning experience, regional accreditation, low student attrition, a highly respected full-time faculty, high student satisfaction, and minimal or no travel required. Unlike correspondence courses, UC’s distance learning programs are not self-paced or independent study. Instead, they combine the benefits of a traditional instructor-led education with the convenience and interactivity of online technologies.

Why is regional accreditation important?

Regional accreditation is an important consideration because it is the primary type of institutional accreditation used by major colleges and universities in the United States. Some institutions with online programs hold a different type of accreditation or no accreditation at all, because they are unwilling or unable to meet the rigorous standards of regional accreditation. Additionally, most educational institutions holding regional accreditation do not recognize credits or degrees earned at institutions that are not regionally accredited. Keep this in mind if you plan to transfer from one college or university to another part-way through a degree program, or if you plan to pursue additional degrees at different colleges or universities. Finally, some employers may only recognize regionally accredited coursework and degrees as legitimate credentials toward qualifying for job opportunities, advancement, and pay increases.

How are the courses delivered?

Courses use a combination of manuals, textbooks, research articles, the Internet, and workplace applications. All materials will come to you via the Internet or mailed directly to your home or office.

I am not computer savvy. Can I do this?

Yes. In addition to guidance from your Program Manager throughout the program, technical support is available online or by telephone. If you can navigate a website and send email, you should be very comfortable with our user-friendly interface.

What are the computer requirements for participation in this program?

To participate in the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice, you will need an up-to-date computer system (please contact your enrollment advisor at 800-645-5078 for any hardware questions). You should also be comfortable with the basic aspects of PC technology, sending and receiving email, and accessing and navigating the Internet. You should be familiar with Word, PowerPoint, and Excel well in advance of the start of the program. For a full list of the technical requirements visit the Technical Requirements page.

All students are required to participate in UC’s distance learning orientation prior to the first course. Additional help will be available as needed. The UC Bookstore offers discounted software for distance learning students who wish to purchase a copy of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Windows 7, or Windows Vista. Click here for pricing information. Once you are ready to purchase any needed software, please follow the instructions for distance learning students found on UC’s Computer Department website. You can also contact the bookstore directly at 513-556-1700.

Do I need to travel to Ohio to complete the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice program?

No. The University of Cincinnati has designed the program to be delivered 100% online, anywhere in the country or world. The program uses distance learning Internet technologies and professional facilitators to eliminate travel requirements without sacrificing the tremendous value of peer and faculty interactions. However, upon completion of the online criminal justice master’s program, you are welcome (but not required) to participate in the graduation ceremony with your peers on campus.

How long does this master’s program take?

The online master’s degree program in criminal justice includes 33 semester hours of coursework and can be completed in as few as two years of part-time study or one year of full-time study.

How many credits and courses do I take each semester?

In the two-year program, which is designed for working professionals, you will take two 3-credit hour courses each semester, taken back-to-back to enable you to focus on one course at a time. In the full-time, one-year program, you will complete four 3-credit hour courses each term, taken two at a time.

Are there any prerequisite courses that I need to take?

No. Students meeting the admission requirements can join the program without taking prerequisites and can begin in any term: Fall, Spring, or Summer.

I’ve already taken some graduate courses. Can those courses be transferred in?

Students may transfer up to 9 hours of graduate credit in criminal justice or criminology courses from a regionally accredited college or university. These credits must have been earned within the last 5 years prior to entrance into the program and can be used only for general electives. Talk to an Enrollment Advisor to discuss the petition process or click the Transfer Credits page for more details.

How much time will I need to devote to this program?

Study time is up to each individual, but most part-time students require 12-15 hours per week. Students in the one-year program usually require 24-30 hours per week. The UC distance learning structure is designed to let students study on their own schedule — while ensuring that they stay on the right track with the support of their peer group and facilitator.

I have a very busy work and family life and cannot attend classes each week. Will this program work for me?

Yes. You can complete your studies in the comfort of your home or workplace, with no site visits ever needed. In addition, you have access to your courses 24 hours a day, letting you schedule your coursework around your other commitments.

How much does this program cost?

University of Cincinnati’s online criminal justice master’s program offers the same quality education as its campus-based program at a highly competitive, affordable fee. After a one-time application fee of $65, the courses are $710* per credit hour for Ohio residents and $725* for non-Ohio residents. See the Tuition & Financial Aid pages for more details. You will also be responsible for any additional costs towards the purchase of textbooks and course material (estimated between $100 – $200 per semester). *Tuition rates are based on the 2012-2013 tuition schedule. Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Will the diploma I earn upon graduation say “online” anywhere on it?

Students who graduate from UC’s online Master’s in Criminal Justice program receive the same prestigious degree and the exact same diploma as students attending on our campus. In fact, you should plan to attend graduation ceremonies to celebrate your outstanding accomplishment with fellow graduates from UC’s School of Criminal Justice.

How do I get started?

If you’re ready to take the first step towards advancing your career in the field of criminal justice, click on the Apply Now button at the top of the page and follow the instructions. You can also contact your personal Enrollment Advisor at 1-800-645-5078 for answers to any of your questions.

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Faculty

UC professors aren’t just teaching about the criminal justice field. They are helping shape it – one student at a time. In this highly ranked master’s degree program, you will learn from full-time faculty who are creating theories and publishing the books used in other criminal justice academic programs. Need proof? The UC faculty is ranked #1 nationally by The Journal of Criminal Justice for having the most published articles. If you are ready to become a leader and change the criminal justice field, you have found the right place.

Michael Benson, Ph.D. Professor

Michael L. Benson received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Illinois in 1982 and is a Professor and Director of the Distance Learning Master’s Program in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. Writing mainly in the areas of white-collar and corporate crime, he has published extensively in leading journals, including Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Journal of Research and Delinquency, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, and Social Problems. He received the Outstanding Scholarship Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems Division on Crime and Juvenile Delinquency for his co-authored book, Combating Corporate Crime: Local Prosecutors at Work. His research has been funded by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control, as well as private research foundations. His most recent book is White-Collar Crime: An Opportunity Perspective, co-authored with Sally S. Simpson. He is currently revising his book, Crime and the Life Course: An Introduction for a second edition. Professor Benson teaches Criminological Theory, White-Collar Crime, and Life-Course Theory.

Sandra L. Browning, Ph.D. Associate Professor

Professor Browning received her doctorate in sociology at the University of Cincinnati. She previously was on the faculty of Eastern Kentucky University. She is an American Sociological Association Minority Fellow, as well as an American Society of Criminology Minority Fellow. Within the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, she has served numerous times as chairperson of the Affirmative Action Committee. She is also an active member in the Southern Sociological Society, serving as a member of the Black Caucus and as a member of the Association of Black Sociologists. At the University of Cincinnati, she is also an affiliate of the Department of Women’s Studies. She has published on the impact of race on attitudes toward crime and justice. Her current research interests are in the areas of crime and the underclass, the institutionalization of black males, and the role of race in shaping views of the criminal justice system. She teaches Law and Social Control; Race, Class and Crime; Women and Crime; and Teaching Practicum.

Nicholas Corsaro, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

Dr. Nicholas Corsaro is an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 2007. His research focuses on strategic crime prevention programs directed by law enforcement, problem-oriented policing, program evaluation, and research methods. Recently, he has served as a principle investigator and researcher for a number of state and federally funded projects that evaluate strategies designed to disrupt open-air drug markets within targeted neighborhoods. His recent publications have appeared in Crime & Delinquency, Evaluation Review, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, and the Journal of Experimental Criminology.

Francis T. Cullen, Ph.D. Distinguished Research Professor

Professor Cullen received his Ph.D. in sociology and education from Columbia University in 1979. He has published over 200 works in the areas of criminological theory, corrections, public opinion, white-collar crime, and sexual victimization. He is author of Rethinking Crime and Deviance Theory: The Emergence of a Structuring Tradition and coauthor of Reaffirming Rehabilitation; Corporate Crime Under Attack: The Ford Pinto Case and Beyond; Combating Corporate Crime: Local Prosecutors at Work; Criminology; Criminological Theory: Context and Consequences; and Unsafe in the Ivory Tower: The Sexual Victimization of College Women. He is a co-editor of Offender Rehabilitation: Effective Correctional Intervention, Contemporary Criminological Theory: Past to Present, Taking Stock: The Status of Criminological Theory, The Origins of American  Criminology, and Encyclopedia of Criminological Theory. Previously, he edited Justice Quarterly. He is a past President of both the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. In the graduate program, he teaches Theory and Philosophy of Corrections, Early Intervention in Criminal Justice, Structural Theories of Crime, and Criminal Justice Research Practicum.

John Eck, Ph.D. Professor

Professor Eck earned his Ph.D. in criminology from the University of Maryland in 1994. He has conducted research into police operations since 1977 and served as the Research Director for the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). At PERF, he spearheaded the development of problem-oriented policing throughout the U.S. He was also the Evaluation Coordinator for Law Enforcement at the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, and a consultant to the London Metropolitan Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Police Foundation, and other organizations. Dr. Eck has written on criminal investigations, drug markets and control, crime mapping, and crime places. Research interests are the concentration of crime at places and prevention, crime displacement, criminal investigations, and the investigation of police misconduct. He is a member of the National Academy of Science panel assessing police research and policy. He teaches Police Effectiveness, Research Methods, and Policy Analysis.

Robin Engel, Ph.D. Associate Professor and Director of the Policing Institute (UCPI)

Dr. Engel is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati and Director of the University of Cincinnati Policing Institute (UCPI). She received her doctorate in criminal justice from the University at Albany, State University of New York. Her research includes empirical assessments of police behavior, police/minority relations, police supervision/management, criminal justice policies, criminal gangs, and violence reduction strategies. She teaches criminal justice and policing courses at the undergraduate, masters, doctoral levels. Dr. Engel has served as the Principal Investigator for multiple contracts and grants totaling over $3.5 million. She provides statistical and policy consulting for numerous international, state, and municipal police agencies. She has testified before local and state legislative bodies, and provided expert testimony in criminal and civil racial profiling litigation. Her research has appeared in prestigious peer-reviewed journals including Criminology;Justice QuarterlyJournal of Research in Crime and DelinquencyCrime and Delinquency;Journal of Criminal Justice; and Criminology and Public Policy, and she was ranked in 2006, 2007, and 2009 as one of the top five criminal justice/criminology academics in the field based on scholarly publications. Dr. Engel’s most recent work is focused on homicide reduction in Cincinnati and other cities in the state of Ohio. She serves as the Principal Investigator for the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV). Her team has been awarded the 2008 National Criminal Justice Association’s Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award, 2008 International Association of Chiefs of Police/Motorola Webber Seavey Award for Quality in Law Enforcement, and 2009 International Association of Chiefs of Police / West Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigations.

Bonnie S. Fisher, Ph.D. Professor and Director of the Distance Learning Master’s Program

Professor Fisher received her Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University in 1988. She served three years on the faculty of the Department of City and Regional Planning at the Ohio State University before joining the faculty at UC in 1991. During the 2007-2008 academic year, Professor Fisher was a Visiting Scholar in the Division of Prevention and Community Research at Yale University School of Medicine and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Dr. Fisher was the principal investigator for four federally funded research projects involving the victimization of college students, the sexual victimization of college women, violence against college women, and campus-level responses to a report of sexual assault. She is currently the co-PI on NIJ- and NIH-sponsored research grants. Her research interests include issues concerning the sexual violence against women, repeat victimization, fear of crime, the measurement of victimization, injury detection of rape victims, and the court’s use of digital images in the prosecution of rape cases. She has published in CriminologyJustice QuarterlyThe Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social ScienceResearch in Crime and DelinquencyViolence and Victims;Crime and Delinquency; and American Journal of Emergency Medicine. Professor Fisher is the co-editor of the Security Journal and the Encyclopedia of Victimology and Crime Prevention.

James Frank, Ph.D. Professor and Director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research (CCJR)

Dr. James Frank is a Professor in the Division of Criminal Justice. Professor Frank received his B.A. in 1974 from the University of Cincinnati, his J.D. from Ohio Northern University in 1977, his M.S. from the University of Cincinnati in 1983, and his Ph.D. from the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University in 1993. Dr. Frank has been the principal investigator for a number of policing-related research projects that primarily focus on understanding police behavior at the street-level and the use of technology by the police. He recently completed work on a project examining the selection, hiring and retention of quality police officers. He also was recently involved in examining traffic stops in Cleveland, Ohio. This project involved assessing officer traffic stop behavior, the collection of traffic stop data, roadway use observation data, and the census data in an effort to assess stop and post-stop outcomes. Previously he was involved in research projects examining police use of gunshot technology, non-emergency telephone reporting systems, and street-level work routines of line officers associated with 22 police agencies. In addition to police behavior research, Dr. Frank also has examined incidences of wrongful conviction and jury instructions in death penalty cases, and is presently examining the collateral consequences of convictions in Ohio. He will serve as the 2013 First Vice President of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. His articles have appeared in Justice QuarterlyAmerican Journal of PolicePolice QuarterlyCrime and DelinquencyJournal of Criminal Justice, and Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management. He teaches in the areas of policing and criminal justice.

Edward Latessa, Ph.D. Professor and Interim Dean

Edward J. Latessa received his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in 1979 and is a Professor and Director of the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Latessa has published more than 140 works in the area of criminal justice, corrections, and juvenile justice. He is co-author of seven books including Corrections in the Community andCorrections in America. Professor Latessa has directed more than 150 funded research projects including studies of day reporting centers, juvenile justice programs, drug courts, prison programs, intensive supervision programs, halfway houses, and drug programs. He and his staff have also assessed over 600 correctional programs throughout the United States, and he has provided assistance and workshops in over forty-five states. Dr. Latessa served as President of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (1989-90). He has also received several awards including; Marguerite Q. Warren and Ted B. Palmer Differential Intervention Award presented by the Division of Corrections and Sentencing of the American Society of Criminology (2010); Outstanding Community Partner Award from the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections (2010); Maud Booth Correctional Services Award in recognition of dedicated service and leadership presented by the Volunteers of America (2010); Community Hero Award presented by Community Resources for Justice (2010); the Bruce Smith Award for outstanding contributions to criminal justice by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (2010); the George Beto Scholar, College of Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University (2009); the Mark Hatfield Award for Contributions in public policy research by The Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University (2008); the Outstanding Achievement Award by the National Juvenile Justice Court Services Association (2007); the August Vollmer Award from the American Society of Criminology (2004); the Simon Dinitz Criminal Justice Research Award from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (2002); the Margaret Mead Award for dedicated service to the causes of social justice and humanitarian advancement by the International Community Corrections Association (2001); the Peter P. Lejins Award for Research from the American Correctional Association (1999); ACJS Fellow Award (1998); ACJS Founders Award (1992); and the Simon Dinitz award by the Ohio Community Corrections Organization.

Sarah M. Manchak, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

Dr. Sarah Manchak is an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California, Irvine in 2011. Her research primarily focuses on individuals with serious mental illness who are involved in the criminal justice system. Her dissertation examined the nature and effects of client-provider relationships in mandated treatment settings. She has also previously coordinated a multisite study of specialty mental health probation, which was funded by the MacArthur Research Network on Mandated Community Treatment, and a NIMH-funded study of psychiatric patients with dual mental and substance diagnoses at risk for violence and self-harm. Her work seeks to inform risk assessment, community supervision, and treatment practices for this high-risk/high-need population.

Paula Smith, Ph.D. Assistant Professor and Director of the Corrections Institute (UCCI)

Dr. Paula Smith is an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice and Director of the Corrections Institute at the University of Cincinnati. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of New Brunswick, Saint John in 2006. Her research interests include offender classification and assessment, correctional rehabilitation, the psychological effects of incarceration, program implementation and evaluation, the transfer of knowledge to practitioners and policy-makers, and meta-analysis. She is co-author of Corrections in the Community, and has also authored more than thirty journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Smith has directed numerous federal and state funded research projects, including studies of prisons, community-based correctional programs, juvenile drug courts, probation and parole departments, and mental health services. Furthermore, she has been involved in evaluations of more than 280 correctional programs throughout the United States. In addition to her research experience, Dr. Smith has considerable front-line experience working with a variety of offender populations, including juvenile offenders, sex offenders, and perpetrators of domestic violence. Currently, she provides training and technical assistance to criminal justice agencies throughout the United States and Canada. Paula Smith undertook her doctoral work in at the University of New Brunswick. She was previously a Research Associate with the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies at the University of New Brunswick. She has also been involved in the development and delivery of treatment programs to federal parolees with the Correctional Service of Canada. Her research interests include meta-analysis, the assessment of offender treatment and deterrence programs, the development of actuarial assessments for clinicians and managers in prisons and community corrections, the effects of prison life, treatment responsivity, and the transfer of knowledge to practitioners and policy makers. She has co-authored several articles, book chapters, and conference presentations on the above topics. She teaches Meta Analysis and the Psychology of Criminal Behavior.

Christopher J. Sullivan, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

Christopher J. Sullivan is an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. He received his doctorate at the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice in 2005. His research interests include developmental criminology; juvenile delinquency and prevention policy; and research methodology and analytic methods. He has worked on several locally, state, and federally funded research projects studying various correctional and preventive interventions aimed at offenders. His recent work has appeared inCriminologyJournal of Research in Crime and DelinquencyBritish Journal of Criminology,Journal of Quantitative Criminology, and the Journal of Experimental Criminology.

Lawrence Travis, III, Ph.D. Professor

Professor Travis earned his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from SUNY-Albany, 1982. He served as research director for the Oregon State Board of Parole and as a research analyst for the National Parole Institutes. He is co-author of Changes in Sentencing and Parole Decision Making: 1976-1978 and Policing in America: A Balance of Forces. He has edited bothCorrections: An Issues Approach and Probation, Parole, and Community Corrections: A Reader. He is the author of Introduction to Criminal Justice and is the editor of Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management. He regularly contributes to criminal justice journals. His research interests lie in policing, criminal justice policy reform, sentencing, and corrections. He teaches the Seminar in Criminal Justice and Theory and Practice of Law Enforcement.

Patricia Van Voorhis, Ph.D. Professor

Patricia Van Voorhis, Ph.D., is a Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. She received her doctorate degree in Criminal Justice from the State University of New York at Albany, and served on the faculty of the Department of Criminology at Indiana State University prior to assuming her current position at UC. Dr. Van Voorhis has published extensively in the leading criminology and criminal justice journals and is the author ofPsychological Classification of the AdultMale Prison Inmate, and lead author of Correctional Counseling and Rehabilitation, currently in its 7th edition. She has provided expertise to federal, state and local agencies on topics pertaining to correctional effectiveness, program implementation, evaluation techniques, women offenders, risk assessment and correctional classification. She is the former deputy editor of Justice Quarterly, and the co-founder of the Division of Sentencing and Corrections of the American Society of Criminology. She is an elected Executive Counselor of the American Society of Criminology and a member of the Board of Directors for the International Community Corrections Association. Dr. Van Voorhis was also recently elected a fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology and has received the Simon Dinitz Research Award from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction as well as the Marguerite Q. Warren and Ted B. Palmer Differential and Individualized Intervention Award. In August of 2009, she also received Volunteers of America’s Maud Booth Award for correctional reform. She has directed numerous federal and state-funded research projects on inmate classification, gender-responsive assessment, program implementation, cognitive-behavioral interventions, and correctional effectiveness. She recently concluded a federally-funded, multi-site study of the risk factors for female recidivism.

Pamela Wilcox, Ph.D. Professor

Pamela Wilcox received her Ph.D. in Sociology at Duke University in 1994. Her research focuses on multilevel crime control/prevention, with special interest in integrating components of routine activities theory and social disorganization theory in order to understand crime and victimization risk within school and community contexts. She is author (with Kenneth C. Land and Scott A. Hunt) of Criminal Circumstance: A Dynamic Multicontextual Criminal Opportunity Theory (Aldine de Gruyter, 2003), and she is co-editor (with Francis T. Cullen) of theEncyclopedia of Criminological Theory and The Oxford Handbook of Criminological Theory. Recent articles have appeared in CriminologyJournal of Research in Crime and Delinquency,Justice QuarterlyJournal of Quantitative CriminologyViolence and Victims, and Journal of School Violence. She teaches in the areas of criminological theory and crime prevention.

John Wright, Ph.D. Associate Professor and Graduate Director

Professor Wright received his doctorate in 1996 from the Criminal Justice program at the University of Cincinnati. Afterwards, he served five years on the faculty at East Tennessee State University in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. Dr. Wright has published numerous articles and books and consults regularly with various criminal justice agencies. His work can be found in leading criminal justice, genetic, and psychological, and psychiatric journals. His most recent book is Life-Course Criminality: Criminals in the Making. Dr. Wright’s focus is on the development of criminal violence across the life-course, especially biological and genetic factors related to behavioral maladaptation. His work also seeks to integrate findings from a number of disciplines, including human behavioral genetics, psychology, and biology. He currently teaches Biosocial Criminology at the undergraduate level and Life-Course Criminology and Criminal Offender at the graduate level.

Admissions

Admissions Requirements

A background in criminal justice is not required for this program. Admission is available to all qualified applicants based on the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree (in any field of study) from a regionally accredited University.
  • At least one professional or academic letter of recommendation
  • Previous academic performance that meets any one of the following criteria:
  • 3.0 GPA (4.0 scale) in the last two years of college work (60 semester hours/90 quarter hours)
  • 2.75 GPA in all college work (120 semester hours/180 quarter hours)
  • 2.5 GPA in the last two years of college (60 semester hours/90 quarter hours) and five years of work experience in criminal justice
  • 3.25 GPA in 9 hours of graduate credit from another university or universities and five years work experience in criminal justice
  • 3.5 GPA in 6 hours of graduate credit in the M.S. program at the University of Cincinnati as a non-degree student and five years work experience in the field of criminal justice
  • If you do not meet the minimum academic requirements, you will need a minimum combined score of 1,000 on the verbal and quantitative parts of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test (for all GRE scores taken before August 1, 2011) OR a minimum combined score of 297 on the verbal and quantitative parts of the GRE revised General Test, which replaced the GRE General Test on August 1, 2011. Note: GRE scores are only valid for five years.
  • International applicants must have a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 (paper version) or 190 (electronic version)

Application Instructions

There are four steps to complete the application for admission into the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice program.

Step 1: Contact an Enrollment Advisor at 800-645-5078 to begin the application process
Your Enrollment Advisor will provide you with all the necessary forms you will need to complete to begin your application. Because you will need to assemble information and provide documentation prior to moving to the next steps, your Enrollment Advisor will be a helpful resource as you move through the application process.
Step 2: Order Your Official Transcripts
Your Enrollment Advisor will provide you with all the necessary forms you will need to complete to begin your application. Because you will need to assemble information and provide documentation prior to moving to the next steps, your Enrollment Advisor will be a helpful resource as you move through the application process.
Step 3: Complete the Online Graduate Application
Your Enrollment Advisor will provide you with all the necessary forms you will need to complete to begin your application. Because you will need to assemble information and provide documentation prior to moving to the next steps, your Enrollment Advisor will be a helpful resource as you move through the application process.
Step 4: Submit the Supplemental Information Form
Your Enrollment Advisor will provide you with all the necessary forms you will need to complete to begin your application. Because you will need to assemble information and provide documentation prior to moving to the next steps, your Enrollment Advisor will be a helpful resource as you move through the application process.
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Academic Calendar

UC offers three convenient start dates per year. The following academic calendar is for current and upcoming semesters:

Term Summer Fall Spring
Application Deadline 04/01 07/27 TBD
Registration Deadline 05/11 08/24 TBD
Classes Begin 05/12 08/25 TBD
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Transfer Credits

If you have already completed some graduate-level criminal justice courses, it may be possible to transfer up to 9 credit hours. These credits can only be applied to the general elective requirement and must meet the following two stipulations:

  • Transfer credits must have been earned within the last 5 years from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • You must have received a grade of “B” or better.

Please contact your enrollment advisor at 800-645-5078 for more information

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Tuition & Financial Aid

As many of our graduates have discovered, the investment you make in your education right now may begin paying off for you in as little as one year. UC’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice boasts one of the most highly regarded programs in the criminal justice field at a cost competitive with similar graduate level programs. What’s more, you may be eligible for federal student aid in the form of grants, scholarships, and educational loans. There is no cost to apply for financial assistance, and you may qualify for a student loan regardless of your income or credit history.

Ohio Residents

1-year program

2-year program

$724 per credit hour $724 per credit hour
33 total credit hours 33 total credit hours
$21,702 total tuition $23,892 total tuition
Non-Ohio Residents

1-year program

2-year program

$739 per credit hour $739 per credit hour
33 total credit hours 33 total credit hours
$22,152 total tuition $24,387 total tuition

Tuition listed above is based on the 2014-2015 tuition schedule. Tuition and fees are subject to change. You will also be responsible for any additional costs towards the purchase of textbooks and course material (estimated between $100 – $200 per semester).

Financial aid for your education is available from a variety of sources, such as Federal Direct Loans, private scholarships, or alternative student loans for those who qualify. For more assistance, please contact the University of Cincinnati Office of Financial Aid or contact an Enrollment Advisor by calling 800-645-5078.

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Start the Application Process

You are ready.

Ready for growth. Ready for knowledge. Ready to be a leader. Ready for the next step in your life. By filling out the form to the right, you are completing the first part of the application process and taking the first step toward changing your life. Your Enrollment Advisor will contact you soon to review the entire process and assist with any questions you may have.

Congratulations on your decision!

We look forward to welcoming you to the UC family.

Get Started

Complete this form to have an enrollment advisor contact you and download a brochure.

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Online @ UC

About UC

University of Cincinnati (UC) celebrates a rich and unique history tracing back to 1819. With a number of major contributions to society in the realms of science, music, education, and more, UC is on the forefront of higher education. Ranked #3 by U.S. News & World Report (2010), the School of Criminal Justice is nationally-renowned and proudly boasts the most published faculty in the nation. The college relishes its role as a thought center and impetus for change in the criminal justice field.

The University is categorized at the highest level of higher education, as a Doctoral/Research University – Extensive by the Carnegie Commission, which recognizes the notable achievements of its faculty, research, novel curriculum, and program accreditations. UC encompasses 4 campuses totaling 473 acres in Cincinnati, Ohio. Each year, this urban, public, research university graduates 5,000 students, adding to more than 200,000 living alumni around the world. UC is the largest employer in the Cincinnati region, with an economic impact of more than $3 billion.

The University of Cincinnati embraces diversity as a core value in preparing students for a global society. The talents and perspectives of people from different races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, ages, economic statuses, family structures, disabilities, and religions enrich and empower the community of our vibrant university. To learn more about our commitment to diversity, please click here.

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Accreditation & Rankings

Regional Accreditation

University of Cincinnati is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).*

Regional accreditation is the type of accreditation awarded to the nation’s largest and most prestigious public and private colleges and universities. All public, state-funded universities in the United States, including the University of Cincinnati, are regionally accredited.

UC’s accreditation and rankings make the University of Cincinnati the most highly regarded criminal justice school offering an online master’s degree in criminal justice.

*The Higher Learning Commission, 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504 Phone: 800-621-7440; Fax: 312-263-7462.

Dedicated to Producing Leaders

The Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and the nationally-renowned faculty are dedicated to producing leaders in the criminal justice field.

  • Top 3 criminal justice graduate program (U.S. News and World Report, 2010)
  • No. 1 faculty nationally in publications of criminal justice research (Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice, 2010)

Commitment to Education and Research

The University of Cincinnati is recognized for its commitment to education and research:

  • Ranked #139 among National Universities and #70 among Top Public Schools (U.S. News & World Report 2013 college rankings)
  • Princeton Review’s Best 373 Colleges (2011)
  • Ranked by Money Magazine as the #62 elite value in higher education – 2005 (Most recent ranking by the magazine)
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Your Support Team

UC has put a multi-level support team in place to assist you with both your academic questions and technical support needs.

  • Enrollment Advisors
  • Program Managers
  • Criminal Justice Academic Directors

They provide the support you need during your big decision and help you gather all of the materials for the admissions process. Just think of them as your personal Sherpa. Students often speak to the knowledge, dedication, and support displayed by their Enrollment Advisor as a major factor in their decision to pursue their Master of Science in Criminal Justice at UC. Take some time and get acquainted with the people who will help change your life.

Ysaac Bello

Phone: 800-645-5078 ext. 5042
Email: ybello-admissions@cjonline.uc.edu

Ysaac grew up in the Dominican Republic and moved to the states in 1996. He has had some fairly “cool” experiences: playing minor league baseball for the Colorado Rockies and selling refrigeration and air conditioning repair. With a genuine talent for customer service, he wanted to find a job where he could help people change their lives. Working for the University of Cincinnati has fulfilled that dream. Ysaac has worked for the UC off-site admissions center since 2003. Matching excellent students to an excellent program is incredibly rewarding.

Dennis Gaugh

Phone: 800-645-5078 ext. 5154
Email: dgaugh-admissions@cjonline.uc.edu

It has been a career dream come true for Dennis, from private school ownership and management in 1983 to representing the most incredible master’s degree in criminal justice with the University of Cincinnati. He has maintained two very simple philosophies: treat everyone the same as he expects to be treated and have a passion and belief in what you do, or step away. With Dennis’ passion for students, he has no plans of stepping away and looks forward to helping you reach your dreams, too!

Program Managers are there with you every step of the way. They help you register for classes, obtain materials, and find the answers to any questions you may have.

Megan Hartman

Phone: 866-226-2820 ext. 5120
Email: m.hartman@cjonline.uc.edu

MeganHartman has worked with the University of Cincinnati since 2010, on a myriad of programs and joined the team of the Criminal Justice Distance Learning program in December 2011. Megan earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Megan has a passion for the higher education field which stems from her own collegiate experience at USF where she served in many leadership roles during her undergraduate years.

Brandye Staton

Phone: 866-226-2820 ext. 5136
Email: b.staton2@cjonline.uc.edu

Brandye Staton began her role on UC’s Criminal Justice Distance Learning team in February 2012, but she is certainly not new to the field of higher education. Brandye earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Communication from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. She also worked for the Southern Mississippi Office of Admissions on the Student Recruitment Team and was selected as a member of the University Ambassador Team, through which she had the opportunity to facilitate recruitment activities, campus visits, and orientation for freshman and transfer students. She has also worked in various Admissions roles with other nationally-recognized universities.

Program Managers are there with you every step of the way. They help you register for classes, obtain materials, and find the answers to any questions you may have.

Luahna Lynn Winningham Carter

Title: Academic Director

Luahna Winningham Carter received her B.S. in psychology from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and her M.S. in criminology from Indiana State University. As the Associate Director for Distance Learning, she oversees the daily operations of the Online Master of Science Degree Program. Luahna has been an active contributor to Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management; co-authored papers and presented at academic conferences for The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the American Society of Criminology, and the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association; and served as an adjunct instructor for the University of Cincinnati.

Kathleen Wright

Title: Associate Academic Director

Kathleen A. Wright received her B.S. in Education from Oklahoma State University followed by an M.S. in Speech Pathology from the University of Oklahoma. She also received an M.A. in Criminal Justice from Wichita State University followed by coursework in the Ph.D. program at the University of Cincinnati. Kathleen has served as an adjunct instructor at Northern Kentucky University. She is currently an Associate Academic Director for the School of Criminal Justice Distance Learning Program at the University of Cincinnati in which she oversees the admission and graduation processes for Master-level students.

Shelley L. Paden

Title: Associate Academic Director

Shelley Paden is an Associate Academic Director managing technology and instructional design for the School of Criminal Justice Distance Learning Program at the University of Cincinnati.

Teresa Bennett

Teresa is the Records Coordinator for the Master’s Degree Distance Learning Program.

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Our Graduates

We’re proud of the achievements of our students and alumni, and our graduates take great pride in having earned their master’s degree from UC. Our graduates come from all walks of life, with alumni working in prestigious positions, such as White House Staff, Police Chiefs, Attorneys, Nuclear Security, Environmental Protection Agency staff, and US Naval Law Enforcement. The distance learning program has graduated more than 1,750 students in its ten year history online. No matter what path you take, the knowledge and skills learned from the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice can open more doors than you can ever imagine. But don’t just take our word for it. Read what graduates from a myriad of backgrounds have to say about the program.

“Being able to explain the entire scope of the court system to a victim is invaluable.”

Crystal GregoryCrime Victims Advocate and Forensic Interviewer

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“This is an excellent degree if you are planning on advancing yourself in a new career.”

Bryan Tye State Probation Officer

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“With my degree…I was able to get a higher position with the State.”

Danielle Cheers State Probation Officer

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Even with no federal government experience, an MSCJ degree from UC makes you competitive.

John Doe FBI

Read More

My UC education opened my eyes to a variety of problems and issues in criminal justice.

Michael Ramon US Marshal

Read More

…I am keeping my students at the forefront of technology.

Lance Heard Professor

Read More
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Criminal Justice Careers

Careers in the criminal justice system encompass everything from law enforcement to the court system to the penal system — and everything in between. Our students have their own aspirations and ideas of what they will do with their degrees in criminal justice. Many find positions in law enforcement, corrections, federal jobs, investigations, and social services, as well as positions in higher education such as teachers of criminal justice. The choices are almost endless. What you decide to do with your degree is entirely up to you.

Law Enforcement

The career path most commonly associated with law enforcement is the police officer, however there is a wide range of exciting career opportunities available for law enforcement professionals. Some career opportunities include:

  • Police Officer
  • Detective
  • Investigator
  • State Trooper
  • Communications Officer
  • U.S. Marshal
  • Police Attorney
  • Inspector
  • Secret Service

Law Enforcement Salaries

Pay at the local, county, state, and federal levels will escalate according to the position and job level. Ranges will vary greatly depending on location, population, and other factors. Civil service employees such as police officers typically receive generous benefits, including health insurance, life insurance, paid sick leave, and paid vacation. Some law enforcement employees will also receive in-service study and training programs to keep them up on the latest police science techniques. Promotion opportunities for law enforcement occupations depend on several factors including specified length of service, job performance, formal education and training courses, and examination results. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The median annual earnings for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officer in May 2010 was $53,540.

Corrections

Corrections professionals are a diverse group of men and women who embody the physical and emotional strength to deal with the stress of regularly dealing with criminals who may be dangerous or incapable of change. There is a brotherhood amongst corrections professionals and a shared pride of improving public safety and the welfare of their community. A career in corrections, while demanding and challenging, can be extremely rewarding because of the chance to make a positive change in the lives of convicted men, women, and juveniles.Some career opportunities include:

  • Probation Officer
  • Detention Officer
  • Corrections Officer
  • Parole Officer
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Warden
  • Correctional Treatment Specialist

Corrections Salaries

Corrections at all levels — local, county, state, and federal — is considered a growth industry, and the outlook and availability of corrections officer jobs at both adult and juvenile facilities, as well as careers in probation or parole, are very favorable over the next decade. Salary ranges will vary greatly depending on your level of education, location, specialization, population, and other factors. An advanced degree can open the door to higher-level positions as well as different areas of specialization for those already in the corrections industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The median annual earnings for a Corrections Officer or Jailer in May 2010 was $39,040. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The median annual earnings for a First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers in May 2010 was $55,910.

Federal

Federal employees represent a diverse group of men and women, who bravely bring their passion for the United States to work with them every day. Traditionally, federal jobs will require an in depth screening process and a higher level of education or specialized training. While law enforcement plays a large role in many branches of the federal government, there are plenty of positions in and out of the field, including more traditional careers in accounting, finance, electrical engineering, computer science, foreign language, and inspection. Career opportunities at the following organizations could include:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
  • Secret Service
  • Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  • Homeland Security Agency
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  • Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBP)
  • Secret Service

Federal Salaries

It's difficult to provide an accurate listing of federal related salaries because the broad range of career opportunities. Pay will depend on many factors including location, education, experience, specialty, and any necessary certification or training. Federal positions typically make more than their local counterparts but also carry higher employment requirements. Benefits will also vary depending on type of employment, and many federal agents may be eligible for a special benefits package. Typically government agencies use a standardized salary grading scale, which determines your pay based on your level in the system. Many branches also offer availability pay, which can increase your salary up to 25%. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management provides more information about the pay schedules for Law Enforcement Officers on its website.

Investigation

There are two primary types of investigators — public and private. Public investigators are detectives, crime scene investigators, fire inspectors, and other specialized officers that work for the police, fire, or other government agency. Private investigators assist individuals, businesses, and attorneys by finding and analyzing information, providing protection, investigating crimes, finding people, and gathering evidence. Some career opportunities include:

  • Private Investigator
  • Insurance Investigator
  • Private Security
  • Retail Security
  • Credit Fraud Investigator
  • Detective
  • Claim Appraiser
  • Financial Investigator
  • Legal Investigator

Investigator Salaries

Pay will depend on many factors including location, level of education, experience, specialty, and any necessary certification. Private investigation careers have the potential to pay more than public sector jobs, with the highest salaries being paid to those employed full-time with a corporation or attorneys office. Your level of education can also grant access to higher-level investigation career opportunities with financial institutions, government agencies, or private security firms. Benefits will vary depending on type of employment and education, with most full time employers offering a benefits package. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The median annual earnings for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in May 2010 was $68,820. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The median annual earnings for Private Detectives and Investigators in May 2010 was $42,870. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The median annual earnings for First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives in May 2010 was $78,260.

Social Services

Demand is high for passionate and supportive social service professionals. Counselors must possess high physical and emotional energy to handle the array of problems they must address, including: behavioral issues, mental health problems, marriage and family trauma, criminal and substance abuse rehabilitation, and many others. Some career opportunities include:

  • Social Worker
  • Case Manager
  • Chemical Dependency Counselor
  • Domestic Violence Counselor
  • Vocational Counselor
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Human Service Worker
  • Victim's Advocate
  • Forensic Interviewer
  • Community Support Worker

Social Service Salaries

The field of social services provides work for people of all levels of education, experience, and background. In fact some people who were “on the wrong side” of the law or drug dependency earlier in their lives are now playing valuable roles in the criminal justice field. It’s difficult to provide an accurate listing of social service salaries. Pay will depend on many factors including location, education, experience, specialty, and any necessary certification. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The median annual earnings for Community and Social Service Specialists in May 2010 was $38,100. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The median annual earnings for Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists in May 2010 was $47,200.

Education

At a post-secondary level, criminal justice and law enforcement professionals lead courses in criminal justice, criminology, corrections, and law enforcement administration. These individuals will often focus on both teaching and research to stay current on recent trends in criminal justice. At other levels of the educational system, criminal justice professionals can use their knowledge to teach a variety of classes on instructing at-risk students, helping to motivate unresponsive or troubled students, and keeping general order and discipline. Some career opportunities include:

  • Adjunct Professor
  • Community College Professor
  • Online Professor
  • Specialized Instructor
  • Department Trainer

Education Salaries

Ranges will vary greatly depending on location, population, and other factors. Educators typically begin at a comfortable level and escalate according to the position and job level. Benefits often include health insurance, life insurance, paid sick leave, and paid vacation. One of the benefits of teaching is usually the schedule, which often gives instructors extended time off during student breaks.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The median annual earnings for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Postsecondary Teacher in May 2010 was $65,590.