Online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

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Online Master of Arts in
Criminal Justice

Excel across criminal justice settings.

For more than 80 years, Michigan State University (MSU) has prepared criminal justice professionals for success. Experience our online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ) and start or advance your career with an in-depth understanding of crime and the criminal justice system.

In two years of full-time online study, you'll gain the interdisciplinary skills and knowledge you need to operate across multiple criminal justice settings—from corrections to law enforcement, from the courts to corporate security.

This master's in criminal justice includes a security management specialization for students interested in pursuing additional study in private and public sector security. You can also choose from diverse electives to suit your professional goals and interests.

If you'd like to gain new technological skills for your criminal justice career, we also offer a 15-credit-hour Graduate Certificate in Cyber Criminology and Cyber Security. The certificate can be completed in as little as one year alongside your degree and gives you an introduction to cybercrime and digital forensic investigation in a fully online format. With this certificate, you could apply your expertise in many fields, including digital forensics, law enforcement investigations, cybersecurity or intelligence analysis, whether in the government or the private sector.

    No. 5

    Best Online Criminal
    Justice Program for 2021

    —U.S. News & World Report

    No. 3

    Best Online Criminal
    Justice Program for Veterans for 2021

    —U.S. News & World Report


    Stand out from your competition with an advanced degree.

    Rise through the ranks and excel in leadership positions with MSU’s M.A. in Criminal Justice. Graduate ready for titles like:

    Detective or Criminal Investigator


    avg. annual salary1

    Federal Agent
    (FBI, DEA, DHS)


    avg. annual salary2

    First-Line Corrections Supervisor


    avg. annual salary3

    Anti-Money Laundering Investigator


    median annual salary4



    avg. annual salary5

    You can tap into MSU's wide-ranging criminal justice network: Our graduates are positioned in major companies like General Motors and Quicken Loans as well as Michigan State Police and various federal, state, and local agencies across the country. Our faculty are active research partners in the community who can connect you to networking and employment opportunities.

    Develop a variety of criminal justice skills.

    Through a 10-course series totaling 30 credits, your M.A. in Criminal Justice course work goes beyond theory to include a unique emphasis on public policy and practice. You'll explore 21st-century innovations such as counter-terrorism, intelligence-led policing, cybersecurity and more.

    • Apply analytical skills to better understand crime and criminal justice issues
    • Understand the management and operation of criminal justice organizations to accomplish goals
    • Evaluate the quality of research methods and how such influences confidence in research findings
    • Identify a crime or justice problem and a policy to address it
    • Communicate effectively through writing

    Why MSU Online?

    • An 80-year legacy in criminal justice education
    • No. 1 in the Reputation (Expert Opinion) category – U.S. News & World Report, 2019, 2020 & 2021
    • No. 80 Best National University – U.S. News & World Report, 2021
    • No. 32 Top Public Schools – U.S. News & World Report, 2021
    • Expert faculty who bring years of professional experience in the field to the classroom—from leading municipal police departments to serving in the U.S. Secret Service

    Let’s get started.

    Apply to MSU's online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice or Cyber Criminology and Cyber Security Graduate Certificate to develop the leadership skills and specialized knowledge you need to stand out in the field.

    For additional information, please use the form on this page or call 833-725-1354 (toll-free) to speak with a program manager.



    1Average Detective or Criminal Investigator Salary (n.d.). PayScale. Retrieved January 4, 2019, from
    2Average Federal Agent Salary (n.d.). PayScale. Retrieved December 20, 2018, from
    3First-Line Supervisor of Correctional Officers (n.d.). Recruiter. Retrieved January 4, 2019, from
    4Glassdoor (2018). "Anti-Money Laundering Investigator Salaries." Retrieved December 20, 2018, from,16.htm,16.htm
    5Average Security Manager Salary (n.d.) PayScale. Retrieved December 20, 2018, from