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Criminal Justice Master of Science in Criminal Justice

School of Public Service Leadership

Make a Difference in Your Community

Do you want to make a difference in your community and increase your effectiveness in the field of criminal justice? Embark on earning an online master’s in criminal justice degree, and take your criminal justice career to the next level. Our curriculum will expand your skills and knowledge of all the facets involved in working with courts, corrections, and policing. Taking the theoretical knowledge gained through the coursework, you can confidently apply that knowledge while working with individuals, groups, and communities.

What to Expect

  • Online 
  • 7 Core Courses
  • 4 Elective Courses
  • 1 Integration Projects

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

Admission Requirements »  | $50 Application Fee

What You’ll Learn

Develop Critical-Thinking Skills

Evaluate criminal justice theories and their application to criminal justice policy.

Expand Problem-Solving Ability

Apply criminal justice theories to criminal justice issues and decision-making. 

Synthesize & Execute Principles

Apply democratic principles to the criminal justice system.

Assess & Manage Operations

Apply principles of strategic thinking in managing operations of the criminal justice system. 

Promote Social Responsibility

Analyze legal, ethical, and diversity accountability in a criminal justice context.

Apply Research to Policy

Integrate valid, reliable, and ethical research to inform policy and decision-making in criminal justice.

Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Practical Research Application

You’ll gain advanced knowledge to make effective, evidence-based decisions that are based on research and not popular opinion.

Relevant, Real-World Learning

Engaging media simulations help you develop and practice skills in on-the-job, risk-free scenarios.

Scholar-Practitioner Faculty

Learn from faculty engaged in their professions, holding top academic credentials and teaching from real-world experience.

Learning Online Doesn’t Mean You’ll Learn Alone

From day one, you’ll interact in a multidisciplinary courseroom that mimics the real world. You’ll be paired with an expert instructor and writing coach who’ll help you develop the skills needed for success. 

Cost & Learning Format

Online education isn’t one size fits all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it.  We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$525 per credit, 48 total quarter credits, 12 max transfer credits

Get the Details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing. Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. The prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits or the maximum allowed transfer credits.  

Ways to Save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Scholarships for New Students

Capella scholarships, available for qualifying students, aren’t need-based and never have to be repaid.

10% Military Discount

Military service members and their spouses could be eligible for a discount.

Transfer Credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools. 

Accredited & Respected

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Sample Courses

Our master's in criminal justice program delves into human behavior, the corrections and judicial systems, and public policy. You’ll dive deep into ethnic and cultural awareness, intelligence-led policing, and criminal profiling.

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Title
CRJ7015 Criminal Justice Theory
CRJ7025 Justice, Security, and Democracy
CRJ7035 Criminal Justice Policy and Administration
CRJ7045 Crime Intelligence Analysis
CRJ7095 Integrative Project for Criminal Justice


Concentrations let you hone in on your specific area of interest that can get you even closer to your exact career goals. The concentrations you earn will be included on your transcript.


Learn the philosophy of punishment and the scope of corrections programs, such as probation, parole, incarceration, and treatment.


Deepen your understanding of crime prevention, treatment programs, and criminal justice system interventions.

Higher Education

Prepare to teach using your personal teaching philosophy and applying ethical decision-making, multicultural competence, and more.

Continuity Management

Apply research and theory to inform policy and practice to design and manage resilient systems.

Faculty & Support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment Counselors

These folks are superstars. We hear it from our students (and grads). They’re here to help find a program fit and set you up for success.  


Want to learn more about courses, instructors, or resources? Ask our advisors—they know all about the details of your program.


Our distinguished faculty members hold top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach the knowledge and skills you’ll need, now.

Writing Support

These skilled communicators offer free tutoring services and multiple resources to sharpen your writing skills.

Relevant Blog Posts

Whether you’re considering a return to school, exploring new career paths, or seeking ways to improve your job performance, the Capella Blog has relevant articles to support your goals.

The Growing Use of Technology in Criminal Justice

Technology has become a key factor in helping to solve crimes more efficiently and effectively.

When Disaster Strikes, the World Depends on Public Service Professionals

It takes a range of public service professionals, from law enforcement to case managers, to respond to a crisis.

Move Forward in Your Career

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our master’s in criminal justice degree. 

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Drug enforcement officer
  • Private investigator
  • Law enforcement officer, detective, investigator, commander or chief
  • Case worker or probation and parole officer
  • Prison warden
  • Community correctional worker
  • Deputy sheriff
  • Rehabilitation counselor
  • Correctional officer
  • Criminal investigator
  • Court officer, courtroom security, or bailiff
  • Probation, parole, correctional administrator, or commissioner

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • Law enforcement organization—state, local, federal
  • Correctional facility or prison—state, local, federal
  • Municipal court system
  • Department of Corrections
  • Department of Probation and Parole Courts
  • Federal government agency
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
  • Bureau of Prisons
  • Drug enforcement administration
  • U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security

*These examples are intended to serve as a general guide.  Many factors determine what position an individual may attain, and Capella can’t guarantee a graduate will secure any specific job title.

You May Also Be Interested In

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals. 

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.