Our master’s degree in criminal justice gives you the know-how to apply the latest research, leadership strategies and criminological theories for effective decision-making in the U.S. justice system. Whether you’re looking to advance your career in local law enforcement, aiming to work for a federal government agency or want to help set public policy, a master’s in criminal justice can help you gain the skills you need to lead in today’s ever-changing criminal justice field.
Students may either pursue a general track - ideal for those who want to craft their own focus using available electives - or choose between concentrations in Public Safety Administration or Advanced Counterterrorism and Homeland Security.
Additional key skills you’ll learn:
Graduates will be well prepared for a wide range of careers and advancement opportunities. You’ll come away with the skills you’ll need to stand out during the hiring process in both public and private sectors.
The master’s in criminal justice online degree is a 36-credit program that focuses on management, leadership, data analysis and budgeting skills. Depending on your electives, your criminal justice program may also touch on business law and ethical business practice.
Through your courses in the master’s in criminal justice online program, you’ll:
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission – to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your master’s in criminal justice online at SNHU include:
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our five graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options. Your counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application ($40 fee) and providing undergraduate transcripts.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase of 41,400 jobs for police officers and detectives through 2022. A master’s degree can be a significant advantage in career advancement and promotion to senior responsibility roles in public safety organizations.
Graduates of the master’s in criminal justice degree program find a wide variety of positions available to them, including those in:
With a focus on real-world learning, SNHU’s criminal justice online degree programs ensure you’re ready to apply your knowledge to advance your current career in criminal justice.
The curriculum for the master’s in criminal justice online has been designed by working criminal justice professionals and is taught by faculty members with years of practical experience. Many courses include field-authentic assignments with videos, simulations, national data and role-playing exercises. The program’s capstone allows students to work on relevant research projects with law enforcement or other agencies, ensuring real-world experience prior to graduation.
This course offers the Criminal Justice graduate student the opportunity to identify, analyze and discuss the most prevalent issues affecting the delivery of criminal justice and public safety services today. Students will examine the civic responsibilities of criminal justice professionals and the challenges facing our contemporary criminal justice system, while also developing an understanding of the key criminal justice theories.
This course will emphasize the principles of strategic management, ethical leadership, and community involvement as they apply to a public safety organization within the criminal justice system. The course focuses on the student's development of leadership qualities that address the difficult questions, such as risk management and budgetary constraints, faced by public safety leaders.
This course focuses on the relationship between prevailing criminological theories and the development and implementation of public policy. Students will learn how to evaluate policy recommendations and their effect on a range of public safety organizations.
This course provides the student with the techniques, strategies, and methods used to measure, evaluate and assess agency performance. It will focus on optimal definitions of performance, how they can be achieved and assessed for effectiveness in order to build effective public service organizations.
Explore the different roles of criminal justice professionals in navigating critical issues and challenges in the judicial process from the initial crime through the appeals phases. Students compare the procedural impact of local, state, and federal court systems through the examination of controversial court cases and inequalities within the judicial process.
This course promotes the value of using both quantitative and qualitative research methods in leadership, planning and decision-making. Students learn how to forge data-driven strategies for effective criminal justice problem-solving.
This survey course introduces the analysis, interpretation, and management of conflict in contemporary organizational settings. Using interdisciplinary lenses, the course explores systemic, interpersonal, and other causes of conflict; conflict's influence on workplace communication and decision-making; and the relationship between conflict, leadership, and career advancement.
This capstone course is the culminating experience for the M.S. in Criminal Justice program. The aim of the capstone is to assess students' ability to synthesize and integrate the knowledge and skills they have developed throughout their coursework, rather than introducing new concepts. This course is structured to support student success in fulfilling program requirements.
Select four courses from the following:
This course covers market analysis and housing needs assessments, site selection and control, financial feasibility reports, the selection of a development team, methods of obtaining approval from various government entities, identification of private and public funding and subsidies, and various forms of ownership, including cooperatives and land trusts. Students also learn about the policy framework for affordable housing development, and the legal, institutional, economic, political and environmental factors that shape that framework.
Community economic development often requires an understanding of community organizing to successfully involve the community in the development process. This course acquaints participants with different models of community organizing. It also trains participants in specific organizing skills that can be used in their work as CED practitioners, including negotiation techniques.
Explore how geopolitics and terrorist attacks influence the world today. Examine historical events and the impact on foreign and domestic policy. Students dispel misconceptions and create a new evidence-based response to address global terrorism.
Deconstruct biases and mindsets about terrorism. Explore modern international and domestic counterterrorism as techniques to mitigate actions by terrorist organizations and extremists. Students gain a comprehensive view of the motivation and nature behind terrorism.
This course examines the fundamental aspects of attack prevention, identification, and assessment of various threats, intelligence-gathering, protection management, and counterterrorism techniques used by the military and criminal justice professionals. The students analyze potential terrorist threats by applying sophisticated techniques, advanced information literacy skills, and research capabilities.
This course covers the processes involved in gathering data as it relates to intelligence and the methods of analysis applied for accepting or rejecting that intelligence. Students engage in the various techniques of analysis, evaluation of sources, and testing the validity of terrorism-related intelligence. In addition, the course covers the tactics of surveillance and the methods used to thwart counterintelligence activities.
Communication, Media, and Society serves as an introduction to key concepts and theories in the study of communication and media. In this course, students will examine the foundations of the discipline of communication focusing particularly on the ways in which media and technology have impacted the study of culture, relationships, and messages. The course will explore the impact of communication on various arenas, including families, relationships, culture and the changes in communication and media over time. Students will analyze their own skills, communication patterns, networks, and resources and articulate a plan for future studies and career plans in communication.
This course contends with the evolving concept of "knowledge production" in the new media environment. It focuses on strategies for independent online research, including processes for identifying, vetting, and citing appropriate sources of information, as well as best practices for writing in the online environment. Issues of copyright, plagiarism, and ethics related to the creation of online content will be evaluated. Finally, students will explore their role as producers of mediated communication, including primary authorship and the curating of content.
Legal issues related to communication and media in the U.S. are rapidly changing in an age where technology and the distribution of mediated messages are ubiquitous. Thus, this course contends with the major legal, ethical, and policy issues related to mass media communication particularly focusing on those issues that impact digital and public communication. Concepts related to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, libel, obscenity, censorship, right to privacy, intellectual property, and the governance of media and digital technology will be explored. Additionally, this course asks students to contend with many ethical issues and philosophies pertinent to media and communication in the interest of articulating a personal ethical framework as a graduate communication student and practitioner.
This course aims to prepare students for a variety of leadership roles in dynamic organizations and environments. Students will analyze key aspects of leadership, relationships, and organizations such as: organizational culture, conflict in interpersonal and organizational settings, organizational roles and socialization, power in personal and professional relationships, and group communication theories. Students will contend with these concepts from a personal standpoint by using examples from their own relationships and workplaces to apply best practices and improve their own communication and leadership skills. Additionally, this course takes a systems theory approach to organizations and teams, looking at the interrelationship of events, people, and ideas and the systemic impact of small and large changes.
A graduate level examination to provide students with a thorough understanding of the strategic, political, legal, and organizational challenges associated with the defense of the U.S. homeland, the efforts that are under way to meet these challenges, and possible policy options. The course starts by examining the range of potential threats to the U.S. homeland, focusing on potential terrorist acts. The course then examines strategies and means for addressing these threats, including both military and non-military options. The course goes on to analyze organizational issues and impediments to effective policy coordination. Finally, the course addresses the implications of homeland security challenges and policies for constitutional rights, legal protections, and civil liberties.
The course will help 'bound the problem' of Homeland Security by examining how terrorism has spurred sharp changes in US strategy, policy and governmental design, and how those changes should continue over the near and longer term. Elements of Threat and Vulnerability Assessments will be thoroughly discussed as well as various procedures for assessments and the method of tailoring the assessment to the facility/area under study. Manners of protecting the facility/area in question will then be addressed as well as evacuation plans and emergency plans.
This course is an introduction to the strides made by federal, state, and local governments to educate the public about natural disasters. It provides a scope of preparedness to prevent the inherent discontinuity of citizens' lives caused by major disasters. The course presents theories, principles, and approaches to emergency management. The philosophy of Comprehensive Emergency Management will be discussed with four attendant steps, which include mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. The role, duties, and importance of the Emergency Manager will also be discussed.
This course is designed to involve the examination of current issues and concerns with the ever-shifting Homeland Security policy and its impact upon the practice in the field. Innovations and reactions from politicians, citizens, and practitioners will serve to offer students insight into the challenges of implementing and maintaining homeland security.
This course provides a survey of the legal environment of business by looking at legal issues and regulations in a business context. The students assess the impact of business law on organizational decision making for informing strategic legal decisions. The course covers employment law, contracts, tort and product liability, internet law as well as other legal issues affecting the business environment. The students also assess the legal and ethical implications of US companies doing business abroad.
This course emphasizes the strategic role of the human resource manager in performing functions of recruitment, hiring, training, career development and other contemporary processes within the organizational setting. It serves as an introduction to the areas of compensation, collective bargaining, affirmative action and other regulatory procedures and requirements as they relate to contemporary applications in organizations.
This course is designed to create a supportive environment where both women and men can learn about challenges and opportunities facing women in the workplace. Historically, women have had less access to leadership positions; however, over the past fifty years they have made tremendous strides to succeed in all levels of organizations. Topics will include why women matter and reasons for inequities in the workforce, the historical context of women and leadership, do men and women lead differently, work/life/family balance issues, professional skill development (networking, mentoring, negotiation, risk-taking), entrepreneurship and executive leadership, advancing societies by advancing women and strategies and tactics for women to act as change agents.
This course is designed to introduce students to the foundations and constraints that form the environment of the public administration. It will encourage and enable the view of governance issues through the eyes of a public administrator. The course is structured to provide basic skills and set the context of contemporary political, social, economic, and administrative realities. It explores responsive, equitable, effective, efficient, and accountable governance processes, public policies, and institutional-based programs. It also examines, from a multidisciplinary perspective, those essential competencies, values, and issues important to public service organizations and the importance of public policy at the local, state, national and international levels.
This course is designed to provide an academic foundation to applied strategic management in public service. Identifying the factors that differentiate public service from the private sector, strategic planning and the implications those differences have for managers. Emphasis is placed on applied strategic planning and management including how to create a mission statement, conduct a SWOT analysis, conduct a stakeholder analysis, writing goals and objectives, and how to design and implement a performance measurement and management system. Current approaches to strategic management used by federal, state, local, and non-profit organizations are emphasized.
This course provides candidates with foundational knowledge of the forensic psychology field, including its historical roots and current trends with a focus on the evolution of practical and research based approaches in clinical settings. Candidates will also explore specific forensic psychology specialty areas and how the roles and responsibilities unfold related to legal, ethical, and diversity issues. Students must have completed 18 credits in their program to enroll in this course.
This course combines theory and practice to address contemporary issues and connects them to psychological theories in the field of organizational leadership. It will utilize research, case studies, and real-world situations to illustrate how psychological practices can be used in assessing and improving leadership in organizations. Students will construct a foundation for their personal leadership style with the understanding that it can and should evolve over time.
This course focuses on the crossroads at which the legal system and psychology meet. The forensic psychologist's roles and challenges within the legal system will be covered as well as ethical dilemmas. Candidates will explore how psychologists can impact court proceedings with respect to providing expert testimony and determining mental states of the witnesses or the accused. Candidates will also review U.S. Supreme Court cases that influence current policies that impact the mental and physical well-being of incarcerated persons.
This course presents an overview of the various primary and secondary research methodologies used in the business world and the application of statistical techniques to those strategies. The focus of this course is the design and execution of a practical, primary research. It is recommended that this course be one of the first three taken in degree programs in which it is required.
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25 percent tuition discount for active-duty service members and their spouses.
*Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed Annually.
$40 Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
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