Whether you feel stuck at your job or are planning to go for higher positions, it is a no-brainer to get a Master’s degree and leap above the competition. 

A masters in criminal justice can make you a top pick for a desirable federal job. It boosts your specialized skills, expands your understanding, and exposure to tools makes you more eligible and thereby yields more job opportunities.

Did it spark an interest? Great!

For in this article, we will discuss what you can do with a master’s, the admission requirements, the subjects you will be learning, and the job titles you could pursue as a criminal justice master’s degree holder. 

What Can You Do with A Masters in Criminal Justice

But first – 

Who should get a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice?

Anyone who has an interest in working in the field of Criminal Justice or is already working and is looking for a promotion to a higher position. It is a no-brainer that a master’s degree even at the entry-level makes a candidate appear more knowledgeable, skilled, and job ready.  

A Master’s degree could work wonders for working professionals in criminal justice as it increases your chances of promotion or enhancement of your career. Even if someone wishes to switch his career, a master’s in criminal justice could provide him with many opportunities.

Degree Options: 

-> Criminal Justice Associate Degree

-> Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree

-> Criminal Justice Master’s Degree

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Benefits of Master’s Degree in criminal justice  

There are many benefits of getting a master’s in criminal justice, but here are some worth mentioning:   

  • It provides you with the tools you will be needing to apply evidence-based policy and practice it in your work. Just like a Chief of Police can use the skills learned in a master’s degree to judge if the recent report that has come up to him on “Community Policing Strategies” has any merit or not.  
  • You will be more familiar to use the tools for statistics and be comfortable with the latest research methods.
  • Also, these days, most federal agencies prefer a bachelor’s or master’s degree, because it makes a candidate appear more knowledgeable, skilled, and job ready. However, it depends on the job roles you are going after. 
  • Getting a master’s is very helpful if you wish to gain niche expertise in the subjects of criminal justice.
  • It could also get you into advanced positions, and promotions or allow you to make a career shift post acquiring your master’s.
  • It provides you with an opportunity to seek out more competitive jobs at a federal agency, for a master’s degree stamps authority and validates expertise in the resume.

Are you convinced yet? If yes is the call, let’s move ahead with the admission requirements.

Masters in Criminal Justice: Basic Admission Requirements

It is to be noted that specific institutions have a dedicated admissions requirement list. So it is advised to research the criteria of the institution that you are willing to take up the master’s degree.

Here are the standard basic admission requirements:

  • You should have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or any related discipline like psychology, sociology, or political science, etc.
  • You should have secured the minimum GPA required and on the
  • You passed the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)
  • You should provide a strong statement of purpose or a letter of intent describing what motivates you for applying for a master’s degree in criminal justice. Some institutions ask for it, while some don’t.
  • Some institution also asks for a letter of recommendation from individuals who can speak on your academic abilities, work experience, or potential for success in the program. The individuals could be, your colleagues, professors, or professionals in the field.
  • You need to submit a resume or CV highlighting your educational background, work experience, research involvement, internships, and any relevant certifications or training.
  • And of course, the most important requisite – the admission fees.

Considering you meet the requirements, let’s find out what you will be learning in a Master’s degree program in criminal justice.

Subjects to study in the Master’s program

The moment you step into the class to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice you will be studying subjects related to law enforcement, justice, forensics, and corrections, basically the components of the criminal justice system.

You may also choose to take up subjects like – public safety administration or advanced counterterrorism. Irrespective of your choice, most criminal justice master’s programs cover topics that make you adequate in skills required to handle advanced jobs in the criminal justice field.

Some subjects in the criminal justice master’s degree program:

  • Criminology gives you an understanding of the crimes and criminals in our society.
  • Law Enforcement provides the theory, history, and practice of federal laws and the ways to prevent and respond to crimes.
  • Administration of justice is about ensuring that the people are following the laws and educating them on criminal justice policies against crimes.
  • White-collar crimes are financially motivated crimes committed by businesses or some government professionals.
  • Cybercrime makes you aware of the ways to prevent and respond to crimes that take place on the internet.
  • Digital forensics is responsible for preserving and recovering digital data to analyze crime.

Read -> Criminal Justice Degree

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Jobs you can get in Criminal Justice with a Master’s Degree

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You now have a Master’s degree and are job ready. Here are some advanced Job titles in criminal justice a master’s degree holder could pursue:  

Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Professor

Annual average Salary: $64,600 

Federal Marshall

Annual Average Salary: $75,129 

Special agent at a federal agency: FBI, DEA, ATF, ICE, Secret Service

 Annual Average Salary: $111,035 

Forensic Psychologist

Annual Average Salary: $81,040 

Law enforcement officer

Annual Average Salary: $47,256

Correctional Social worker

Annual Average Salary: $72,073 

Cybersecurity Investigator

Annual Average Salary: $90,191

Apart from these jobs, there are other jobs that you could also opt for:

Sheriff, Criminal Investigator, Fraud investigator, Criminologist, Cyber defensive operator, Forensic examiner, Criminal profiler, Victim advocate, Court officer, Intelligence analyst, and many more.  

More On Jobs: 

-> What Jobs Can You Get With a Criminal Justice Degree?

-> What Can You Do With a Criminal Justice Degree Besides Being a Cop?

FAQs: Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice  

How long does a Master’s degree in criminal justice take?

It takes almost 2 years for a full-time master’s course but some programs might also offer an accelerated 1-year master’s degree option.  

Checkout -> How long is Criminal Justice Degree?

Can I get my master’s degree in criminal justice online?

Yes, you can study online. There are many universities that offer online master’s degrees in criminal justice. 

Checkout -> Online Criminal Justice Degree

What skills will I learn after a Master’s degree in criminal justice?

During your master’s program, you will learn statistics, cybercrime, white-collar crime, and criminology courses to advance your operations. You will also be adept in using computer systems and data applications to help find crime or fraud.

Is a master’s degree in criminal justice worth it?

Indeed, it is. 

It benefits your career in many ways:

  • It stamps authority and validates expertise in your resume
  • Eligible for advanced or higher positions
  • Skills to use advanced methods of investigation and research
  • Opportunity to work in the federal agencies
  • Gaining niche expertise in the subjects of criminal justice 

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About the Author
Grant founded OnlineDegree.com with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.