Coursework for Online Master’s Students

There are many specialized tracks that you can choose for your degree program. If you have thought about the type of career you would like to have after completing your program, there may be a concentration option that is best suited for what you plan to do in your daily job. The courses that you take during your program can also be changed depending on what type of concentration you choose.

Online masters programs are typically broken up into different types of courses, such as standard criminal justice courses and elective courses. Our team has listed some common courses found in online masters programs in this field. Courses that focus specifically on theory and law can be helpful if you plan to work directly with criminal offenders or in the justice system.

Other courses that focus on the maturation of criminal offenders and the social influences around them may also be a part of your program, which can provide you with more insight and sensitivity about how criminal behavior begins and its nurtured throughout a lifetime. Read more specific information about these example courses below.

Criminal Justice Theory

In order to play a role in the development of helpful prevention and intervention programs for criminal offenders, students must learn more about how criminals are created. The theoretical elements of criminal justice involve a look into the social, psychological, and nurture elements of a person’s development.

Through a look into these different theories, students can learn more about criminal behavior and the steps required to reduce the number of offenders through supportive programming.

Criminal Psychology

Criminal behavior has long been a nature vs. nurture debate among researchers. In this course, you can see both sides of the argument, including development factors that can contribute to criminal behavior, as well as some of the biological components commonly found in criminal offenders.

The focus of this course will be on the psychological aspects of criminology including mental illness, trauma, and brain development in criminal behavior. The goal of this course is to help learners know more about people that become criminals during their lifetime.

Careers for Master’s Graduates

Obtaining your online masters degree can be a great feeling of accomplishment. Holding a degree at the masters level can also be a great way to showcase your skills and knowledge within your field and even obtain higher positions in your organization.

While the field of criminal justice reaches out into many different disciplines as a whole, some graduates prefer to stay true to their original goals of improving the criminal justice system and learning more about how to influence generational criminality. In order to help you see just what this type of degree program can mean for you professionally, our team has pulled out some common career options and their respective salaries for you to review. These are just a few of the options available to you as a professional.

The earnings provided are U.S. averages, meaning your experience and degree level could potentially influence how much you make specifically. Take a look at the figures below.

  • Probation Officer: $51,410 on average per year (BLS).
  • Private Detectives and Investigators: $50,700 on average per year (BLS).

Overview of the Online Doctorate

The field of criminal justice is constantly growing and evolving as researchers determine more about criminal behavior and the effects of behavior change programs. The professionals responsible for modifying this field for the better are often doctorate degree holders that are in positions of research and program evaluation.

If you are the type of person that is interested in finding answers and developing meaningful solutions, the online Doctorate in Criminal Justice could be a great option for you. Before you enroll in any online degree program, you should read more about what is involved, the time it can take you to complete it, and potential results for all of your hard work.

The online doctorate program can take around 4 years to complete from the bachelors level and 2-4 years to complete from masters level. Some of the factors that can influence the length of time it takes to complete this program include whether or not you are prepared to take on a full-time schedule of courses and how much time you have available for studying and completing assignments.

View all online Doctorate programs.

Doctorate Courses in Your Program

Another factor that you should consider prior to making the commitment to an online degree program is the type of course work involved in it. Some of the most prominent goals of online doctorate programs is to create more effective researchers and professionals with the skills to improve and manage current criminal justice programs.

The example courses below can bring some of these ideas to life as you engage in them during your program. Read more about what type of information you can learn while in these courses in the list beneath this section.

In addition to the course work required for graduation, students may also be required to complete a dissertation as part of a Ph.D. program or a capstone as part of a doctorate program. These projects differ in that a dissertation can contribute new research to the field and a capstone can be suggestive of a change program for a specific agency within criminal justice.

The applied nature of the doctorate program and research nature of the Ph.D. program is what defines these projects for students enrolled.

Research in Criminal Justice

The criminal justice field hinges on the hope for a decrease in the amount of criminal behavior exhibited in the U.S. The marks a need for more information about why people offend and methods that can be put into place to prevent criminal behavior in the first place. This course outlines research methods that can be used to learn more about people in the criminal justice system in order, which could contribute to better prevention and intervention programs in the future. Students in this course can learn how to develop and conduct a research project on their chosen topic.

Advanced Program Evaluation

Students that enter into online doctorate programs in an attempt to obtain higher positions within the field of criminal justice can take a look at some of the corporate or higher-tier aspects of these organizations. This course allows students to explore some of the program-related elements that influence a program’s success. Students can learn to analyze the financial standing of their organization, review results and effectiveness, and suggest methods for change or improvement.

Careers for Doctorate Earners

Once you have completed an online Doctorate in Criminal Justice, you can seek out careers within your field. Some graduates of these programs may decide that they would be happiest in positions that work directly in criminal justice or law enforcement agencies, while others may be more interested in working for government organizations responsible for maintaining and changing criminal laws.

There are numerous career fields that you could possibly choose from as a graduate in this area of expertise – many of which can make a difference in the lives of others. Doctorate earners interested in becoming factors of change for society can seek out positions in leadership or research to help meet their goals.

Our team of experts has found a few example careers for professionals at this degree level in order to give you a snapshot of their average earnings. The information provided in the list below can potentially help you decide what type of career you would like to obtain with your degree and experience.

  • Emergency Management Director: $72,760 on average per year (BLS).
  • Criminal Justice Professor: $62,040 on average per year (BLS).

Professional Organizations to Know

As a criminal justice graduate, it can be important to stay on top of changes within you field. Since this professional area relies so heavily on the laws that pertain to criminal behavior, staying fresh and current on these aspects can help you to become a more effective professional. One method that can work well for busy professionals is to become a part of professional organizations related to your line of work.

These agencies can be a great way to network with others in criminal justice careers, read new publications and research, and obtain advocacy when needed. Our team has found some of the most popular professional organizations in the field and listed them below for you to review. Some programs allow applications to be submitted while you are still in your program, so you should consider which one would be a great option for you.

The National Criminal Justice Association

The NCJA is an organization that focuses on creating safer and more lawful criminal justice agencies all over the U.S. Members of this organization can take advantage of publications and meetings provided by board members, which can help advance learning and growth in the field.

The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

The ACJS is a professional organization that seeks to expand research, education, and science relating to the field of criminal justice. Members from all forms of criminal justice degree programs and careers are invited to join this organization, which can help to influence the field as a whole.