Master's in Criminal Justice Studies

Master's in Criminal Justice Studies Master of Arts (M.A.)

About the Master's in Criminal Justice Studies

Advance your career in criminal justice with an online master’s degree.

The criminal justice system plays a crucial role in any society governed by the rule of law. A master’s degree in criminal justice studies from California University of Pennsylvania places you at the forefront of this discipline, whether your career path is focused on law enforcement, criminal investigations, threat assessment, national security or another related field.

Students in Cal U’s online criminal justice graduate programs build a strong base of theoretical knowledge and research skills, which they learn to apply in real-world settings within one of these areas of concentration:

Fulfill your own potential as you learn from top criminal justice experts.

The online master’s in criminal justice programs at Cal U have been developed with input from pioneers in the fields of applied criminology and forensic linguistics, including experts from the FBI Academy at Quantico, Va.

In both concentrations, faculty with extensive real-world experience encourage in-depth analysis of significant issues, thoughtful examination of policies and practices, and practical application of professional skills.

Program Highlights: Master's in Criminal Justice Studies

Solid foundationExamine advanced criminological theoriesand study the behavior of violent offenders in this graduate-level criminal justice program. Online courses in this 30-credit program include Advanced Behavioral Crime Analysis Theory, Criminal Investigative Analysis, Equivocal Death Analysis and Applied Research in Criminology. The program is associated with the Pennsylvania Center for Investigative and Forensic Sciences, which provides real-time investigative consulting and professional training for law enforcement professionals.

Forensic Linguistics Concentration: In this criminal justice graduate program, you’ll learn to use linguistic cues to build a profile of a criminal suspect, assess threatening communications and examine suspicious documents. Forensic linguists also create courtroom-ready reports regarding verbal and nonverbal threats, ransom demands, suicide notes and other communications associated with serious criminal, civil and national security matters. Among the courses in this program are Forensic Language Structure I and II, Author Profiling and Threat Assessment, and Forensic Sociolinguistics.

Capstone Experience: Both master’s in criminal justice programs include a 6-credit culminating experience designed to apply the student’s knowledge, training and skills. Students may select the capstone experience that best supports their career plans; options include an internship, study abroad, thesis or research publication. Students also may receive credit for qualified prior learning at locations such as the FBI Academy. Faculty approve the capstone project, then guide and mentor students as they complete the requirements.

Build your Career: What can you do with a master’s degree in criminal justice studies? Cal U’s online criminal justice graduate programs are ideal for law enforcement professionals seeking to advance their careers as police officers, criminal investigators, violent crime analysts or threat assessment specialists, among other positions. The master’s in criminal justice also prepares experienced practitioners for doctoral-level study, such as Cal U’s first-in-the-nation Doctor of Criminal Justice (DCJ) degree. 

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#7 
Ranking in 2017 for top online criminology degree by GuideToOnlineSchools.com.
2017 
Cal U recognized for best online programs in graduation education by U.S. News & World Report
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Degree Benefits

Cal U's 100% online graduate degree program in criminal justice studies is designed to prepare you for a solid career.  As a criminal justice student, you will:

  • Create a strong foundation of theoretical knowledge and research skills in criminal justice and applied criminology.
  • Undertake behavioral analysis and apply newly learned skills and techniques to prevent, predict and solve crimes having a major impact on societies throughout the world.  
  • Evaluate the ethical and legal aspects of the application of theory to practice.
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Graduate Outcomes

 

Earning your master's degree in criminal justice studies equips you with the education, skills and training to start in the fields of criminal justice and criminology or advance in your current position. With the help of highly qualified professors who have strong professional contacts,  graduates with an M.A. in criminal justice studies go on to positions in local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies; victim-witness units; threat assessment teams; and correctional institutions.

 

M.A., Criminal Justice Studies

 

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Capstone Experience

Both master’s in criminal justice programs include a 6-credit culminating experience designed to apply the student’s knowledge, training and skills. Students may select the capstone experience that best supports their career plans; options include an internship, study abroad, thesis or research publication. Students also may receive credit for qualified prior learning at locations such as the FBI Academy. Faculty approve the capstone project, then guide and mentor students as they complete the requirements.

A police badge.

Build Your Career

What can you do with a master’s degree in criminal justice studies? Cal U’s online criminal justice graduate programs are ideal for law enforcement professionals seeking to advance their careers as police officers, criminal investigators, violent crime analysts or threat assessment specialists, among other positions. The master’s in criminal justice also prepares experienced practitioners for doctoral-level study, such as Cal U’s first-in-the-nation Doctor of Criminal Justice (DCJ) degree.

M.A., Criminal Justice Studies

Concentrations
Certificates

Criminal Justice Studies Faculty

Dr. Aref M. Al-Khattar
Professor

alkhattar@calu.edu

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Dr. Robert Ambrosini
Instructor

ambrosini@calu.edu

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Carl Benoit
Instructor

benoit@calu.edu

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Dr. John R. Cencich
Professor and Director of the Pennsylvania Center for Investigative and Forensic Sciences and Director of Criminal Justice Graduate Programs

cencich@calu.edu

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Dr. Raymond J. Hsieh
Professor
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Dr. Michael Hummel
Professor

hummel@calu.edu

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Dr. Nikolas Roberts
Assistant Professor
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Dr. Beverly Ross
Assistant Professor and Director of the Serene Leadership Institute at Cal U

ross@calu.edu

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Dr. Mathilda Spencer
Assistant Professor
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Julie Warnick
Department Chair and Assistant Professor

warnick@calu.edu

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Dr. Christopher Wydra
Assistant Professor; Program Coordinator, B.S. Criminal Justice, Homeland and International Security Concentration (Online)
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