Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice

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Online Master of Science 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 Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) 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.

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

Ranked Best Online Programs 2021 by 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.S. in Criminal Justice. Graduate ready for titles like:

Detective or Criminal Investigator


avg. annual salary1

Federal Agent


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 employed by the Michigan State Police, General Motors, Quicken Loans, Fiat Chrysler, and more. 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 Criminal Justice M.S. coursework 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, cyber security 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. 10 Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs and No. 1 in the Reputation (Expert Opinion) category – U.S. News & World Report, 2019 & 2020
  • No. 85 Best National University – U.S. News & World Report, 2019
  • 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 Science in Criminal Justice 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.


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