Legal Studies: Criminal Justice

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Master of Science: Legal Studies: Criminal Justice - Credits:  30 (program code:  0957)

Certificate: Criminal Justice - Credits:15 (program code: 0714)

Program Description

The Legal Studies: Criminal Justice master's and certificate programs focus on aspects of criminal justice related to critical facets of investigations and structural / operational dynamics of criminal justice organizations, critical issues of criminal justice accountability and civil liability. In these programs, students:

  • Engage in advanced study of the functions and processes of the American criminal justice system.
  • Research and analyze criminal justice policy relating to contemporary justice issues.
  • Examine critical issues of police accountability, including police practices frequently triggering civil liability and police risk management for reducing criminal and civil liability.
  • Study contemporary investigative practices for financial crimes and sexual offenses.

M.S. in Legal Studies: Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice concentration of the Legal Studies master's degree uniquely creates a wide-ranging educational opportunity for both working professionals and serious students seeking graduate education in the practical application of law and policy in the criminal justice system.  This concentration is an excellent option for law enforcement professionals seeking to:

  • Advance their careers.
  • Move into executive leadership positions.
  • Prepare for a second career after law enforcement.
  • Open the door to new career opportunities.

This is not a typical academic curriculum filled with courses on psychology and social issues. Rather, the curriculum focuses more on the day-to-day work of the criminal justice executive or professional.

This degree can be completed in one year of full-time or two years of part-time study. 

Certificate in Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice certificate program is designed for students who are seeking an academic credential as preparation for careers in federal, state and local criminal justice agencies or in corporate security in the private sector.

This post-baccalaureate certificate program includes graduate courses from the M.S. in Legal Studies: Criminal Justice program. Students can complete the five courses within one year.

Delivery Mode

Global Online (100 percent online delivery)

Curriculum - Master of Science:  Legal Studies - Criminal Justice

Course Credits
LAW 600  Law and Public Policy  3
LAW 601  Law and Ethics 3
LAW 602  Law, Civil Liberties and the Constitution 3
LAW 603  Law and Legal Method 3
LAW 605  Law and Police Process 3
PCJ 747  Financial Investigations 3
PCJ 748  Criminal Justice Organization and Management 3
PCJ 749  Seminar in Justice Studies 3
PCJ 750  Sexual Assault Investigations 3
PCJ 752  Digital Imaging, Forensic Photography and the Law 3
Total 30

Curriculum - Certificate: Criminal Justice

Course Credits
LAW 605  Law and Police Process 3
PCJ 747  Financial Investigations 3
PCJ 748  Criminal Justice Organization and Management 3
PCJ 749  Seminar in Justice Studies 3
PCJ 750  Sexual Assault Investigations 3
Total 15


 Students in the Legal Studies: Criminal Justice master's degree and certificate programs receive academic and professional advisement from the program coordinator and program faculty. Each student is assigned to a dedicated faculty member adviser from the time they are accepted into the program of study. Faculty members work closely with students to discuss, monitor and provide advisement as it relates to their program of study and their careers.

Program Website

For Additional Information

Phone: 866-595-6348

Program Coordinator

Christina A. Toras, J.D. (Capital University Law School), M.A. (East Carolina University), B.A. (Youngstown State University), Professor, Full-Time Faculty; Director, Institute for Law and Public Policy

Specializations: legal research and writing, real estate and corporate law, legal system ethics, case law and public policy
Phone: 724-938-4716

Program Faculty

Larry Bassi, M.A., B.S. (Washington State University), Instructor

Jeffry Davidson, M.A., M.A. (Webster University), B.A. (Barry University), Instructor

Kevin Govern, J.D. (Marquette University Law School), LL.M. (University of Notre Dame School of Law), LL.M. (The Judge General's School, U.S. Army), B.A. (Marquette University), Instructor

David Heller, M.A. (Center for Homeland Defense and Security, Naval Post Graduate School), B.S. (Capitol College), A.S. (Penn State University), Adjunct Professor

Brian Kohlhepp, M.A. (California University of Pennsylvania), B.A. (Waynesburg University), Ross Police Detective Division Supervisor, FBI JTTF, Assistant Professor

William Morgan, J.D. (Quinnipiac College School of Law), B.S. (University of New Haven), (FBI National Academy), Command Training Program (New England Institute of Law Management, Babson College), Instructor

David Smith, J.D. (Dickinson School of Law, Penn State), M.A. (American Public University System), M.S. (California University of Pennsylvania), B.S., A.S. (York College of Pennsylvania), Instructor

Michael Vennum, J.D. (University of Pittsburgh), B.S. (Penn State University), Instructor

Karl Williams, M.P.H., M.D. (University of Pittsburgh), B.S. (Oberlin College), Instructor

For faculty bios, visit: