Our legal and justice system is a complex network of organizations and public servants who can often impact our daily lives. Within it, criminal justice administrators are needed to provide leadership and solid decision-making based on research, analysis, and forward-thinking ideas that advance the cause of liberty and justice for all.

About Salem’s Masters in Criminal Justice Degree

Salem University’s Masters in Criminal Justice degree program was developed to provide students with academic strengths in leadership and public policy as well as decision-making skills that contribute to being a successful manager or administrator within criminal justice agencies, including police, courts, and corrections. Our masters in criminal justice curriculum touches on the many parts that make up the whole of our modern criminal justice system, including constitutional law, law enforcement, community relations, and justice operations, all within a modern, global perspective. The culmination is a masters in criminal justice degree that can prepare you to bring innovative critical-thinking and problem-solving skills into this field. Earning your master’s degree can also ready you to pursue the next step of your education with a Doctor of Business Administration.

We’ve designed our masters in criminal justice degree program to be fully online, with a high-quality curriculum that aims to provide opportunities for professional growth and development; develop skills that allow you to conduct research and integrate theory and practice; and promote excellence in leadership, scholarship, work, and life. And we do all of this within a framework that fits into your current life and responsibilities with our unique, one-course-a-month schedule.

What Can I Do With a Masters in Criminal Justice?

A masters in criminal justice can help expand your career opportunities to include leadership roles and advanced positions, like:

  • Patrol Supervisor
  • Lieutenant
  • Precinct Captain
  • Unit Manager
  • Associate Warden
  • Warden
  • Day Reporting Center Manager
  • Crisis and Transition Services Specialist

What Will I Learn in Salem’s Masters in Criminal Justice Program?

Our MBA Criminal Justice degree program builds on the core concepts and fundamentals of criminal justice, including criminological theory, ethics, and policy analysis. We take an in-depth look at the ideologies and behaviors that influence constitutional doctrine, how to apply legal principles to policies and procedures, evaluating police strategy, avenues for improving police-community relations, global challenges and ethical issues in criminal justice, and beyond. Everything you learn in our masters in criminal justice program is brought together in a capstone sequence that combines an in-depth research project geared toward your specialization and a comprehensive portfolio review that assesses your attainment of the learning objectives.

Your courses will cover topics like:

  • Changing public opinion, ideology, and behaviors that influence constitutional doctrine and Supreme Court decision-making, as well as evaluating salient decisions and applying those legal principles to criminal justice policies and procedures
  • The practice of law enforcement and policing in diverse community settings, including smart policing, predictive policing, intelligence-led policing, what has been working in police strategy, and potential proposals for improving police-community relations
  • Current issues in criminal justice theory and practice, including organizational theory, global challenges, ethical and legal issues, leadership, human resources, operations, and more.

What Masters in Criminal Justice Classes Will I Take?

The master in criminal justice online degree program requires the completion of 27 core semester credits that include:

  • ACC515 Accounting for Managers
  • BUS500 Applied Business Statistics
  • BUS698 Directed Readings and Research
  • BUS699 Enterprise Strategic Planning and Change Management
  • ECO570 Managerial Economics
  • FIN560 Financial Management
  • MKT530 Marketing Management
  • BUS554 Business Law
  • BUS600 Organizational Behavior, Leadership, and Ethics

You will also take 9 credits in the Criminal Justice specialization:

  • CJU540 Advanced Constitutional Law
  • CJU545 Law Enforcement and the Community
  • CJU550 Special Topics in Criminal Justice Administration

How Long Will It Take to Get My Masters in Criminal Justice?

On average, a full-time student can earn their master in criminal justice online in approximately 12 months. However, we recognize every student is different, with different circumstances. It’d be best to contact one of our admissions advisors to discuss your specific questions and goals.

Why Choose Salem University?

Since 1888, Salem University has built upon our tradition of accessible, affordable higher education by constantly innovating and looking to the future. We aim to develop lifelong learners who embrace problem-solving with a global perspective. We offer:

  • Accelerated undergraduate and graduate programs of study with continuous enrollment via distance education or on-campus
  • A unique one-course-a-month format that allows students to focus on a single subject at a time and build their knowledge in a way that feels natural
  • Online courses are structured to work within the constraints of full-time employment, allowing you to earn your degree with minimum disruption to your busy schedule
  • Supportive faculty and staff who serve as thought leaders and mentors
  • A beautiful 100-acre campus situated in the Smoky Mountains where programs of study are available for campus residents and commuter students

Admission Requirements

Admission to Salem is open to all qualified applicants regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or ability/disability. Anyone wishing to attend Salem can obtain the necessary application from the Office of Admissions or apply online. The completed application should be submitted to the Office of Admissions at the earliest possible date. The University admits students on a rolling, monthly start basis. Acceptance is within the discretion of Salem University; some programs have additional admissions requirements.


This course is accredited by ACBSP.

Take the Next Step

If you’re interested in getting started on your masters in criminal justice degree from Salem University, now is a great time to request more information or, better yet, chat with us live.