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Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

The online Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) program from Saint Joseph’s University is a dynamic, top-to-bottom examination of the Criminal Justice system delivered from the perspective of industry leaders. The online MSCJ curriculum is designed to create scholar/practitioners – students who not only understand the latest research trends and administrative strategies in the Criminal Justice system, but are working criminology professionals who can put those strategies into action.

The online MSCJ from Saint Joseph’s University is administered by a team of distinguished faculty sourced directly from the Criminal Justice field. The credentialed faculty provides feedback to ensure the education you receive at Saint Joseph’s University is the latest, and most relevant and aligns with your professional goals.

Criminal Justice MS Curriculum Online

For students of SJU’s online Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, there are four core courses that must be taken to fulfill the requirements of the degree. These core courses are outlined below:

  • CRJ 550 Research Methods and Analysis: The functions of concepts, hypotheses, and theories for an empirical discipline; the operationalization of theoretical variables; the principles of research design; and the problems of inference. The association between criminological theories and research methods used to study crime is explored through the utilization of a variety of related data sources. Also covered are basic quantitative techniques, relevant statistics, data interpretation, and an overview of SPSS, IBM’s predictive analytics software.
  • CRJ 560 Criminological Theory: A systemic and critical analysis of the major theories of criminality, including an examination of both traditional and contemporary theories. Consideration will be given to conceptualizations of crime, the relationship of criminological theories to crime on the streets, and specific aspects of criminal behavior.
  • CRJ 565 Ethics and Criminal Justice: This course will address ethical issues in the criminal justice system at both the theoretical and applied levels. Typical theoretical issues addressed might include the following: the relationship between law and morality; theories of punishment; conditions for the moral and/or legal responsibility of individuals; notions of procedural justice. Typical applied ethics issues might include the following: search and seizure rules; the insanity defense and the "guilty but mentally ill" verdict; plea bargaining; capital punishment; mandatory sentencing; civil disobedience; limits on the use of deadly force.
  • CRJ 570 Professional Writing for Law Enforcement: The course is designed to develop the cognitive and technical skills of effective writing for law enforcement. Primary emphasis will be given to the "craft of writing", thus, learning the techniques and skills of effective communication in the law enforcement workplace. Class assignments will enhance students' use of computer technology in the writing process. These tools are then applied to a variety of topics, including correspondence, memos, investigative reports, and presentations.

In addition to the broad Criminal Justice curriculum – exemplified by the aforementioned core courses – the online MSCJ from Saint Joseph’s University offers you a choice of career-building, criminology concentrations to match your interests and career goals:

Behavior Analysis - With applications in a variety of fields, from Criminal Justice and rehabilitation to education and professional development, this concentration focuses on preparing and qualifying you to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Exam. The Behavior Analysis Concentration is ideal for educators, parole officers, criminologists, mental health experts, school resource officers and others who examine and address the underlying causes of human behavior. This concentration is also offered as a post-graduate certification. You can learn more about how this field crosses between the traditional education career and the criminal justice profession here: The Benefits of a Well Rounded Behavior Analysis Program Residing Within Criminal Justice Studies.

Federal Law Enforcement - This program provides advanced knowledge of criminal investigation and apprehension at the federal level. Specialized courses develop essential cognitive skills and methodologies, including critical thinking, analytical reasoning and legal procedures, in order to excel in careers focused on investigation, prosecution support, conviction, and criminal corrections control. There are many steps to joining the federal government. Learn more about the profession here: Qualifications to Join the FBI.

Intelligence and Crime Analysis - This program focuses on researching the contemporary functions of strategic, tactical and operational intelligence, and understanding its influence upon crime prevention policy. Students will examine how law enforcement intelligence relates to organizational relationships, planning and decision-making.

Homeland Security - The Homeland Security Concentration goes beyond terrorism to cover all areas of citizen safety, from emergency management and natural disaster relief to border protection and counterintelligence. This concentration is ideal for front-line Criminal Justice professionals who want to pursue high-ranking positions at the local, state and federal levels.

For any of our criminology concentrations, exceptional faculty again set Saint Joseph’s University apart. In fact, of the 10 board members who oversee the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Exam, one is an online faculty member at Saint Joseph’s University. Here you’ll learn from those who drive the industry and set the trends that the next generation of Criminal Justice leaders must embrace.

Take a moment to gain more insight on this growing field by visiting Saint Joseph’s University’s content resource center where you will find tools, tips and thoughts specific to Criminal Justice.

To learn more about the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Saint Joseph’s University and what it can do for your career, call (866) 758-7670 to speak with an admissions representative or request more information.

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