Criminal Justice, Professional Studies Concentration, MS (online)

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Behavioral Sciences
Police ROC students sitting in Kent Recital Hall

In Short

Gain experience in leadership and management to advance your career in policing, courts, corrections, victim services, social services and other public service related fields.

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Program Overview

This 30 credit program provides students with practical knowledge and skills based on current research in the field while also providing an understanding of ethical issues and dilemmas related to the profession. The program focuses on building student’s problem solving skills and their ability to analyze and understand data to assist with decision making. The program also provides students with experience in leadership and management to assist them in advancing in career areas such as policing, courts, corrections, victim services, social services and other public service related fields.

Students enrolled in the Professional Studies concentration will complete a total of 30 credits. There are three track options in this concentration: leadership, corrections, or community justice. These credits include five 3-credit courses that concentrate in criminal justice core studies.

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Career Opportunities

  • Policing
  • Courts
  • Corrections

Total Credits

30 credits

Time Frame

The M.S. Criminal Justice, Professional Studies concentration can be completed in 1 year.

*Note - Students can take up to 6 years to complete a master's portion of the program but most students complete within 1-2 years.

Curriculum and Other Information

Core Requirements (15 credits)

  • CJ 7240 Criminal Justice Process (as required)
  • CJ 8580 Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice                    
  • CJ 7320 Crime Causation
  • CJ 8100 Program Evaluation                
  • CJ 9680 Cultural Diversity and Communication

Electives (9 credits)

Dependent upon CJ 7240 Criminal Justice Process (as required) and/or desired track below:

Corrections (6 credits)

  • CJ 8300 Beyond Incarceration 
  • CJ 8350 Community Reentry and Integration

Leadership (6 credits)

  • CJ 8010 Leadership and Management
  • Any one of the following three courses:
    • CJ 8150 Advanced Policy Seminar
    • CJ 9620: Legalities of Criminal Justice Administration
    • MGMT (as applicable and approved)

Community Justice (6 credits)

  • CJ 7400 Community Justice Approach to Criminal Justice
  • Any one of the following two courses:
    • CJ 8350 Community Reentry & Integration
    •  CJ 7260 Social Relations and the Legal System
  • Apply knowledge of the operations of the criminal justice system to real-life case scenarios and current events
  • Recognize and analyze ethical issues and dilemmas in the practice of criminal justice
  • Demonstrate the ability to research and analyze crime data and its impact on criminal justice policy
  • Identify the links between theoretical foundations of crime and delinquency and the development of criminal justice policy
  • Recognize diversity in society and how criminal justice professionals respond to the increasing diversity in society
  • Develop critical thinking skills and the ability to apply them to problem solving
  • Develop oral and written communications skills as well as the ability to use technology for communication purposes

Tuition and Fees

  • Official transcript of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.8.  If you attended Fitchburg State University, please add the school to the Academic History Tab, and Fitchburg State will upload your transcript to your application on your behalf. 
  • Personal statement. In a statement of no more than 300 words, please describe how earning a Master's degree in Criminal Justice would help you fulfill your personal and professional goals.
  • Professional resume and references. Please upload a professional resume that sets forth, at a minimum, your educational and employment history. On your resume, please include the names and contact information for three references. At least two must be individuals under whose supervision you have worked in a professional capacity.
  • Letters of recommendation. As long as you provide names and contact information for three professional references on your resume, you do not need to submit letters of recommendation. However, the CJ program reserves the right to request letters of recommendation if needed.  

Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling admission basis.

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