Accelerated Master's Degree in Criminal Justice

Sep 10, 2019

Earning a master's degree in criminal justice might not take as long as you think. Learn about an accelerated master's program, including how long it takes to finish and the admissions requirements to get into a master's program.

You can earn a Master of Science in Criminal Justice in less time if you look for an accelerated program. In some cases, you can take your courses online and attend any necessary internships or meetings in person. A master's degree might be offered to you as an undergraduate student, allowing you to earn credit toward both degrees, with the master's portion taking a year to complete.

Course Offerings in Accelerated Master's Degree Programs

When you begin a master's degree program in criminal justice, you can explore the theoretical concepts of different aspects of corrections, criminal behavior, and police administration. The following list contains a few samples of courses you might be required to take as part of a criminal justice master's degree program.

Crime and Justice Policy

This course could look at the interaction between science, research, and policy in an established criminal justice system. You might study the effects that policy and procedure have on the citizens inside a governed system and how lives are affected based on culture, class, and social role. Case studies may be presented to analyze the effectiveness of criminal justice in different areas of the country.

Legal Issues and Ethics

The application of criminal justice against different members of the population is one of the focal points in this course. You might study the history of legal reform through the United States and what portions of the legal system hold governance over the criminal justice system. Procedural justice and racial inequality could be a few of the topics you will address when taking this class.

Research Methods and Practices

This class could help introduce you to graduate-level research as it relates to criminal justice. You might learn how to properly create research questions and what tools are used for measurement and design. You could also utilize scientific methods to read data from existing material.

Criminological Theory

The main theoretical components of the criminal justice system and the behavior behind criminological theory might be explored in this course. You could explore different perspectives that have been used in the history of criminology and weigh them against each other, identifying advantages and weaknesses in each window. Your discoveries in this course could prove important when choosing a topic for an upcoming thesis.


With this class, you could study correctional institutions and their place in the criminal justice system. The concepts of punishment and behavioral changes might be covered in your class material. You could also look into the results of policy change and adjustments in organizational policy.

Admissions Requirements for Accelerated Master's Degrees in Criminal Justice

All graduate programs in criminal justice require a bachelor's degree. If your undergraduate major was not criminal justice, it might help to take some courses in the subject to boost your application for graduate school. Some graduate programs require a personal essay or goals statement where you might have to explain how you plan to use your master's in criminal justice. If you need to submit a writing sample, it should give a great example of your ability to perform research using scholarly evidence to back up your claims. Letters of recommendation should come from previous instructors or supervisors familiar with your best academic and/or professional work.

An accelerated master's degree in criminal justice rapidly brings you up to speed with the political and legal aspects of the criminal justice system. You could earn your master's in criminal justice in as little as a year with an accelerated program.

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