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Online Masters Degree in Criminal Justice

What do you get when you bring together 800 police and FBI agents with the head of the Colombo family, 34 members of the Gambino family and 92 other mobsters? Answer: the biggest mafia bust in history. In 2011, 127 suspected mobsters from New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island were arrested on charges of illegal gambling, racketeering, extortion, narcotics trafficking and murder.

Once a criminal investigation crosses state borders, the FBI gets involved. To become an FBI agent or other high-level criminal justice professional, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that you need the right training, such as the education earned through advanced degrees in criminal justice.

Earning master's degrees in criminal justice

Your core courses could encompass the history, philosophy, politics and social aspects of the criminal justice system. Master's degrees in criminal justice allow you to investigate complex matters of the law, with instruction in areas of study like the following:

  1. Corrections
  2. Criminology
  3. Juvenile justice
  4. Law enforcement
  5. Social control

Your program should cover research, theory, administration and policy, and it might include specialized courses, such as white collar crime or terrorism. Graduate programs help students to develop the skills and expertise needed for leadership positions in fields such as investigation, corrections, social services, the military and education.

Career options and outlook for criminal justice professionals

A master's in criminal justice could prepare you for a variety of careers. The BLS reports the following estimates for median salaries in 2010:

  1. College instructor: $62,050
  2. Detectives and criminal investigator: $68,820
  3. Police and sheriff's patrol officer: $53,540
  4. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialist: $47,200
  5. Social scientist: $74,620
  6. Supervisors of police and detective: $78,260

The BLS anticipates job growth of 18 percent for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists between 2010 and 2020. Although slower job growth is expected for police officers, detectives, criminal investigators and supervisors, large numbers of jobs should open due to replacement needs.

Earning a master's degree in criminal justice can provide you the breadth of knowledge and practical skills needed to excel in select jobs. Whether you want to teach college courses or apply to the FBI, the availability of online programs makes it a convenient time to return to school. Online education's flexibility allows you maintain your current job and other obligations while you achieve your academic goals.

Featured Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

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  • Does Law Enforcement or Legal Studies Interest You?
  • Attend GCU online and study for your Master of Science in Criminal Justice with an Emphasis in Law Enforcement or Legal Studies.
  • Study some of these topics: criminological theories; criminal investigative procedure, collection and preservation of evidence, legal research, or the exploration of law and public policy.
  • Grand Canyon University's 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transferring from another school? GCU will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework & determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours. 
  • Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Speak to an enrollment counselor today!
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  • Online Bachelor's programs include Healthcare Management, Public Health, IT, Psychology, BBA & Criminal Justice
  • Dedicated to delivering quality education and personalized attention to students since 1899
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
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About Capella University

An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers both foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you’re learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals.

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  • Have a Fascination with Crime or a Passion for Justice? Get Educated in the Criminal Justice Field.
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