Master of Corrections: Degree Info for Aspiring Students

If you are interested in graduate level study of criminal justice and corrections, you can enroll in a master's degree program. Here, you can learn about what these programs entail and get career information for graduates.

Essential Information

A two-year master's degree program in criminal justice and corrections is designed for graduate students interested in learning about the U.S. justice system and criminal justice theory. Many programs recommend or require students to select a particular specialization in the field, such as corrections, criminal justice administration, or juvenile corrections. Prior to graduation, student must also complete a thesis paper or project along with a work-study or internship experience at a corrections or judicial facility. In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree. Previous work experience in the criminal justice field may also be helpful.


Master's Degree in Criminal Justice and Corrections

Courses in this program usually focus on advanced research methods and how they apply to specific topics in the field. Possible course topics include:

  • Criminal justice organization and administration
  • Juvenile justice system
  • Corrections and law
  • Correctional services
  • Criminal procedure
  • Philosophy of corrections

Popular Career Options

While one of the most popular careers related to law enforcement and corrections is a corrections officer, a master's degree a,so prepares individuals for more advanced positions in the field. Some of these might include:

  • Correctional officer manager
  • First-line supervisor
  • Correctional treatment specialist
  • Community supervision officer
  • Correctional counselor

Career Outlook and Salary Info

Employment for entry-level corrections officers is expected to increase at a rate of 4% between 2014 and 2024, which is slower than average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS reported a median salary of $40,530 for correctional officers and jailers in 2015.

First-line supervisors of correctional officers and correctional treatment specialists need either more education or more experience than correctional officers. Data from the BLS shows first-line supervisors of correctional officers earned a median salary of $59,720 in 2015, and probation officers and correctional treatment specialists saw a median salary of $49,360 that year. The BLS projected a 3% growth rate for first-line supervisors of correctional officers during the 2014-2024 period, while opportunities for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists were projected to increase by 4% for the same period of time.

Continuing Education

Doctoral degree programs in the fields of criminal justice, corrections, juvenile corrections, sociology, and psychology can prepare students to become university professors in the corrections field. Such advanced degrees can also prepare doctoral candidates for careers as administrators or policy planners in the U.S. criminal justice system.

By earning master's degree in criminal justice and corrections, students gain advanced knowledge in the field and prepare for high-level careers in an increasingly competitive employment environment.


What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?