Skip to main content
SNHU graduate Jean Besson walking in the city. With the text Jean Besson '14

Master's in Criminal Justice Online MS Degree Programs

Clock Icon
Register By: July 27 Classes Start: July 29

Advance in Criminal Justice

  • $637/credit (36 credits total)
  • Transfer up to 12 graduate credits
  • Complete in as few as 15 months, or at your own pace
  • Learn from criminal justice professionals
  • Accredited by NECHE
  • 24/7 online accessibility – attend class when and where it's convenient

Online Master's in Criminal Justice Program Overview

Become a leader in public safety with a Master of Science (MS) in Criminal Justice. This online degree program 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 be a leader 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 through elective classes – or choose between concentrations in public safety administration or advanced counterterrorism and homeland security.

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 practices.

What You'll Learn

  • Criminal justice administration
  • Resource planning
  • Consensus building
  • Ethical leadership
  • Business management

How You'll Learn

At SNHU, you'll get support from day 1 to graduation and beyond. And with no set class times, 24/7 access to the online classroom and helpful learning resources along the way, you'll have everything you need to reach your goals.

Concentration Options

Career Outlook

Graduates of the criminal justice online program will likely find a wide variety of positions available to them, including those in:

Law Enforcement

Maintain public safety, prevent and respond to crimes, enforce laws and regulations and protect the public.


Protect people, property and information from harm. This can involve conducting patrols, surveillance and responding to emergencies.

Community Advocacy

Promote the interests and well-being of a community by building relationships, raising awareness, advocating for change and providing support.

Public Policy

A job in public policy requires a strong understanding of government processes and the ability to develop and implement policies that meet public needs.

Demand for these jobs may vary by location, but a continued need for public safety bodes well for new prospects.

Job Growth

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 3% job growth for police officers and detectives, 3% growth for emergency management directors and 9% growth for social and community service managers through 2032.1

Understanding the Numbers
When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Criminal Justice Master's Degree

Preparing You for Success

Sheryl VictorianSheryl Victorian, police chief and SNHU criminal justice instructor

"In order for us to build trust in our communities, we need to build relationships. I think it's incumbent on the police department to be proactive in building those relationships."

Courses & Curriculum

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.

Take, for example, Dr. Sheryl Victorian, a police chief and SNHU instructor with nearly a quarter century of law enforcement experience. In 2021, she was named Chief of Police of the Waco, Texas police department, after serving, in various leadership roles, for 28 years with the Houston, TX police department.

She is just one of many faculty members who finds a way to leverage their experiences in a meaningful way for students. Others, who have backgrounds in the NYPD or the FBI, add their own lens to critical conversations about criminal justice.

Many courses also include field-authentic assignments with videos, simulations, national data and role-playing exercises. The program’s capstone course allows students to work on relevant research projects with law enforcement or other agencies, ensuring real-world experience prior to graduation.

"I’m really proud of the way SNHU has developed their courses to be more realistic and more helpful," said Mark Evenson, former chief of police in Brentwood, CA, and adjunct faculty member in SNHU's criminal justice program. "They do a much better job preparing people for careers in criminal justice than other schools that I’ve seen.”

University Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Graduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 15 credits 
Degree/Certificates $1,911 $637 $9,555 
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
$1,410 $470 $7,050 

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs:
Course Materials ($ varies by course). Foundational courses may be required based on your undergraduate course history, which may result in additional cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

Related Articles

A clinical mental health counselor taking notes on a clipboard.

What Does a Clinical Mental Health Counselor Do?

With the National Alliance on Mental Illness reporting that 1 in 5 adults grapple yearly with mental illness, the need for professional care is clear. Intrigued by the possibilities of a life-changing profession? Perhaps clinical mental health counseling could be the right fit for you.
A seated counselor using his hands to help him explain a thought.

What Does a Counselor Do?

With a career as a counselor, you can make a difference in the lives of others and open up a wide range of opportunities for yourself. Opportunities for counselors are growing as the field evolves. As a counselor, you could work in a hospital, rehab facility, human resources department or school.
A close up shot of two hands holding onto one another

How to Become a Victim Advocate

Through the field of victim advocacy, you can make a meaningful difference for individuals and society at large. Find out if this path is really for you, how to become a victim advocate and all the most important things to know about the role from professionals in the field.