Kaplan University

MS in Criminal Justice

Kaplan University's Master of Science in Criminal Justice program is designed to prepare students for leadership and professional positions in the criminal justice field. Students have the opportunity to specialize in a specific area of criminal justice, such as corrections, law, policing, global issues in criminal justice, or leadership and executive management. Read more about the Kaplan University Master of Science in Criminal Justice program here.

Official Program Name:

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

School Offering Program:

Kaplan University

Degree Level:

Master of Science

Program Description:

Kaplan University's Master of Science in Criminal Justice program is designed to provide students with broad knowledge of the criminal justice system. Although not required, students can specialize in an area such as corrections, law, global issues in criminal justice, or leadership and executive management. Enrolled students will have the opportunity to study criminological theory, research methodology, organizational behavior, and other topics critical to the criminal justice field. The program culminates with the submission of a thesis project, successful completion of a comprehensive examination, or submission of an applied action research project. The thesis track is not available to students who pursue a specialization.

Learning Format:


Program Length/Total Credits Required:

55 credits. Kaplan University defines an academic year as the time in which a full-time student is expected to complete 24 credit hours in 30 weeks.

Financial Aid Available:

Financial aid is available for those who qualify. Aid opportunities include military aid and federal, state, and private lending programs.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

Since every student is different, there isn't a "one size fits all" for school information. Start dates and tuition often vary between selected programs, and financial aid opportunities are unique to each student's circumstances. Complete the form to the right to get the most up-to-date and accurate information based on your selected program and circumstances.

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Required Courses for a Master of Science in Criminal Justice:

Degree program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Kaplan University to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

Core and Elective Requirements

  • CJ 550: Introduction to Graduate Studies in Public Safety (5 credits)
  • CJ 501: Criminological Theory (5 credits)
  • CJ 503: Organizational Behavior (5 credits)
  • CJ 526: Academic and Professional Communications in Public Safety (5 credits)
  • General Electives (25 credits)

Thesis Track

  • CJ 600: Research and Thesis I
  • CJ 601: Research and Thesis II

Comprehensive Exam Track

  • CJ 505: Critical Issues in Criminal Justice (5 credits)
  • CJ 502: Research Methodology (5 credits)
  • CJ 602: Comprehensive Exam (0 credits)

Applied Research Track

  • CJ 525: Applied Research in Criminal Justice (5 credits)
  • CJ 598: Applied Research Project (5 credits)

Post Graduation Opportunities

Career Paths:

The Kaplan University MS in Criminal Justice program is designed to prepare students to pursue leadership roles and professional positions within criminal justice organizations. Specific career opportunities for grads will depend on the specialization studied in the program.

Some of the positions graduates could pursue include:

  • Law enforcement supervisor
  • Law enforcement systems analyst
  • Corrections supervisor
  • Criminal justice consultant
  • Homeland security professional
  • Security manager

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