Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

Degree Type
Master of Arts

Mission Statement

A Criminal Justice Master of Arts degree from Meredith College will give students a competitive edge, whether they plan to advance in their career, teach, apply to law school, or pursue a doctorate degree. We link our students to real- world issues and practices to promote careers of impact in a range of public and private organizations that deal with crime, justice, and their consequences. Students will take courses in which they analyze criminal behavior, apply principles of leadership in organizational settings, learn theories of social control, and gain an informed perspective on law enforcement, the judicial system, and corrections.

This objective is achieved through a rigorous grounding in policy, theory, and analysis.


Students who complete the master’s degree in Criminal Justice will be able to demonstrate:

  • Advanced knowledge and ability to evaluate criminological and criminal justice theories and their implications for public policy and practice.
  • Proficiency in research design and quantitative and qualitative analysis related to evaluation of criminal justice practices, programs, and policies, and the understanding of crime causation generally.
  • Competence sufficient to evaluate and resolve the ethical issues in criminal justice practice, policy, and research.
  • An ability to synthesize, evaluate, recognize implications, and communicate effectively using scholarly sources of information connected to crime theory and policy.
  • An understanding of leadership theories and skills as they pertain to managing and leading criminal justice organizations.
  • An understanding of how substance use disorders and addiction impact policies, procedures, programs and practices in the administration of criminal justice.
  • An ability to recognize trauma with an advanced goal of implementing and creating policies, procedures, and program designs to maximize the fundamentals of criminal justice and security protocols.
  • An understanding of gender responsiveness as a guide to decision making and best practice protocols along the criminal justice continuum.
  • An aptitude to distinguish between and utilize the various writing styles, skills and requirements needed throughout the criminal justice system.

Program of Study

The Masters of Arts in Criminal Justice in the Department of Sociology & Criminology is a 36-hour online graduate program. Students complete 24 hours in Core classes and 12 hours of electives (may include 6 to 9 hours of thesis credit). An internship would be an elective for anyone without field experience. The MA in Criminal Justice does not require a thesis; however, students must complete a capstone course (CJG-609) in their second year (with at least 18 hours completed) with a grade of B or better.

Students will be advised by the Criminal Justice Graduate Faculty Advisor in planning a course of study. Students are expected to attend a 2-3 hour orientation at the beginning of the program at Meredith College unless an exception is approved by the Director of the program.

Total Credits