Harness Your Skills for a High-Impact Career
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Harness Your Skills for a High-Impact Career

The Kent State University Master’s in Criminal Justice

Advance your career with a unique blend of theoretical and applied learning that will prepare you for a top-level role in policy or practice.

Program Snapshot

Course Delivery

100% online

Total Credits


Approximate Cost per Credit

$676 in state
$686 out of state

Time to Completion

Graduate in as few as 24 months
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Get ready to step up as a leader in criminology and criminal justice.
This complex field needs professionals who can work across disciplines to better communities and the justice system. Earn your master’s degree online with Kent State. Our online Master of Arts (MA) in Criminology and Criminal Justice program opens up multiple career paths to choose from, and can increase your earning potential as you set yourself apart in the field.

Complete the form to download a program detail sheet for more information on the MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice program and the three concentrations (Global Security, Policing and Victimology) you can choose from.

Big-picture Insights Propel Your Public Service Career

Kent State University’s online Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice helps you harness your analytical skills and professional drive for an impactful career in public service. Shape the justice system from the inside as a skilled criminologist or criminal law professional with the theoretical and practical insights gained in our interdisciplinary master’s in criminal justice.

Get Your Degree. Live Your Life. At the Same Time.

Complete your degree in as few as two years with Kent State’s flexible online course delivery and sophisticated learning management system. Whether you’re a working professional or are continuing studies after earning your bachelor’s degree, our online master’s in criminology and criminal justice will help you take the next step in your career development without putting the rest of your life on hold.

  • 30 credits, consisting of 10 courses
  • 7-week-long courses, with two courses taken sequentially each semester
  • Graduate in as few as two years
  • Small class sizes encourage networking and collaboration
  • Three concentrations:
    • Global Security
    • Policing
    • Victimology

See the Course List

Gain a Career-Changing Perspective with Our Master’s in Criminal Justice

The program is designed for students to not just succeed but to succeed with excellence and a deep understanding of the subject. Taking only two courses in a semester while working full-time, I was able to graduate with honors with a well-rounded perspective of the subject that I will carry with me in all my future career endeavors.
Karima M., MA ’20

Make a Good Living While You Make a Difference

Careers in criminology and criminal justice offer interesting and challenging work and the satisfaction of helping protect and serve others while earning a good living. Whether you want to work in a research and policy-oriented role or work directly in crime prevention and law enforcement, your degree from a criminal justice master’s program could help you earn more.

How much money can you make?

Detectives and Criminal Investigators1
Median Salary: $83,640
Top 10% of Salaries: $105,540+
Average Salary: $67,002
Top Salaries: $173,000+

On average, those with master’s degrees make 18% more than those with bachelor’s degrees, and the estimated cost of Kent State’s master's in criminal justice is under $23,000. If you want to serve your community while earning a good living, the criminal justice master's program figures to be a great investment in your future.3

Global Security

This concentration focuses on issues related to global security, U.S. national security policy and strategy, transnational issues and the concerns of other countries and regions.

With an emphasis on traditional and emerging transnational security threats, the program will give you a strong foundation for success in the ever-changing, fast-paced and challenging international security field.

Global Security Program Outcomes

Our students graduate with a comprehensive foundation for understanding Intelligence and Counterintelligence (IC) as concepts, processes and careers. They’re versed in multiple topics related to global security, including:

  • Economic and industrial espionage
  • Trade secret thefts
  • Law, technology and cyber-crimes
  • Intellectual property theft

View Courses

Career Outcomes in Global Security

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This concentration is designed to produce a new generation of analysts, policymakers and scholars knowledgeable about the wide range of international and national security problems and foreign policy issues. The Global Security concentration in our master’s in criminal justice prepares you for analytical, operational and leadership careers in global security in the public and private sectors.

Our graduates often pursue careers as:

  • U.S. Border Patrol Agents
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents
  • Drug Enforcement Administration Agents
  • U.S. Marshals
  • Special Agents
  • Analysts
  • Policymakers

Learn more about potential careers in criminology and criminal justice.

Admissions Requirements

  • Completed online application
  • Complete bachelor’s degree, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), from an accredited university
  • Three letters of recommendation from professors and/or employers
  • Application fee: $45
  • Official transcripts
  • Goal statement
  • Resume/CV
  • The requirement for GRE scores has been temporarily waived

The application process is simple and we’re here to guide you through it.

Our Admissions Advisors are available to answer your questions regarding admissions requirements for the program. If you have questions, please email us at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or call us toll-free at +1 844-234-4073.

Schedule a Call Download Application Checklist

Important Dates

Priority Application Deadline
Fall 2023 Semester
Application Deadline
Fall 2023 Semester
First Day of Class
Fall 2023 Semester

Application Resources

The application checklist for the online MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Our step-by-step application checklist will help ensure the success of your application submission.

Download Checklist

Application FAQs

Each applicant is required to create an account in the online application system, which allows people to save their applications and track the progress of materials submitted via the application system.

I am a U.S. citizen. Where should I send my application materials?

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, all required application materials should be sent to the Division of Graduate Studies at gradapps@kent.edu or by mail to:

Graduate Admissions
P.O. Box 5190
Kent, Ohio 44242

Please be sure to include your full name and Kent State ID (9-digit number starting with 8) on all submitted documents. For questions, contact Graduate Admissions at +1 330-672-2661 or gradapps@kent.edu.

I am not a U.S. citizen. Where should I send my application materials?

If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, all required documents should be submitted to the Office of Global Education at intladm@kent.edu or by mail to:

Office of Global Education
Kent State University
106 Van Campen Hall
625 Loop Rd.
Kent, OH 44242

For questions, contact International Admissions at +1 330-672-7970 or intladm@kent.edu.

What Can You Expect From Kent State's Master in Criminal Justice?

The online master‘s in criminology and criminal justice is comprised of three major components:

  • Six required courses, consisting of “breadth” classes and one course from the three concentration areas (21 credits)
  • Three additional courses from your chosen concentration (9 credits)
  • One required capstone project (3 credits)

The program is taught by a cadre of full-time, doctoral-level instructors who also have practical experience in diverse settings. Learn more about the faculty.

The goal of the MA degree is to enable you to write clear and concise analyses of issues, policies and research in the field that effectively communicate criminological knowledge and demonstrate a practical understanding of criminological theory.

We also prepare you to describe the roles of race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and social class as they relate to crime and victimization; and use your knowledge to create public benefit by seeking connections between policies, crime and criminal behavior.

The online master's in criminology and criminal justice curriculum is designed to impart:

  • Mastery of the significant empirical findings in the major areas of criminology and criminal justice
  • Appreciation for the use of the scientific method in the study of crime
  • Practical understanding of research methods used in the field and statistics in social science research
  • Basic skills in planning and conducting research projects, including evaluation research in particular

CCJ Core Courses (7 Courses, 21 Credits)


This course will address topics related to global security, including economic and industrial espionage, trade secret thefts, law and technology, and cyber-crimes. Industrial espionage and intellectual property theft, particularly through computer and other electronic technologies, are of increasing importance and have serious implications for the global economy, national and international security, and the control and regulation of white-collar crime. This course provides students with a comprehensive foundation for understanding Intelligence and Counterintelligence (IC) as concepts, processes, and careers.


Review of the origins, structure and functioning of law in relation to social context and process. Critical assessment of the use of law and legal institutions to address societal problems. Examination of the role that social inequality plays in crime and justice, nationally and internationally.


Study of the etiology of criminal and delinquent behavior, with an emphasis on major contemporary criminological theories. Includes critical analysis of relevant research and policy implications.


Study of scientific methods used in criminal justice and criminology, with an emphasis on application of techniques used in the field. Focus on skills needed to analyze and complete basic and evaluative research in criminology and criminal justice


This course introduces students to the analysis of U.S. criminal justice institutions. It examines methods of institutional analysis, theories of administration, and the application of these theories to the understanding of police, courts, and corrections.


Exploration of Victimology, the scientific study of the physical, emotional, and financial harm people suffer because of criminal activities. Examination of the impact of crime on victims, measuring crime through victimization, patterns of victim-offender relationships, and the role of the victim within the criminal and juvenile justice systems.


Capstone experience required of all MA students. An analysis of current issues in the legislative, policing, judicial and correctional components of the justice system. Students synthesize knowledge through the completion of an approved, written project that is analytical and research-based.

Global Security Concentration Courses (3 Courses, 9 Credits)


This course will expose the students to the nexus between terrorism and homeland security as it relates to homeland security strategy, assessment, evaluation, preparation, responses, and recovery actions and mechanisms relating to terrorism and homeland security. There will be a focus on the importance of coordination of various assessments, plans, strategies and implementation of plans of action involving local, county, state, federal and international responses pertaining to terrorism and homeland security.


This course examines the origins and evolution of modern terrorism, challenges posed by terrorist groups to states and to the international system, and strategies employed to confront and combat terrorism. The course will assess a wide variety of terrorist organizations, and explore the psychological, socioeconomic, political, and religious causes of terrorist violence past and present. The course will also analyze the strengths and weaknesses of various counter-terrorism efforts.


In this class, vulnerabilities of computer networks and techniques for protecting networks and data are discussed. Basic elements of symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, secure e-commerce, involving secure transmission, authentication, digital signatures, digital certificates and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) are presented. This course provides students with an introduction to the field of information security risk assessment. The course will incorporate cases in risk analysis derived from actual state and law enforcement agencies or private firms.

Policing Concentration Courses (3 Courses, 9 Credits)


This course introduces students to theories of organization and administration and their application to the administration of justice institutions. The course is divided into two sections: (1) theories of administration and organization and (2) application of theories to management of police functions. Includes use of theories to diagnose and reform justice institutions.


The fundamental question of this course is how to create the most effective police organization. This course examines the various theories and research on police service. Examines the nature of coercion in human interaction and the legitimate use of force by police. Study of the various philosophies and research on the Standard Model of policing, Community-Oriented Policing, and Problem-Oriented Policing. Reviews theories of police administration and the research corroborating or refuting the validity of those theories.


Analysis of police practices and functions at the municipal, state, and federal level. Examination of emerging trends and issues in policing. Review of changes in police department policies and research on problem-solving in policing.

Victimology Concentration Courses (3 Courses, 9 Credits)


An overview of the law as it pertains to human service agencies, as well as on the relationships between such agencies and the criminal and juvenile justice systems. Focused attention will be given to agencies that closely connect with vulnerable populations (such as children and the poor) and those that work closely with policing and corrections (such as mental health agencies and halfway houses).


An inquiry into the theories and research in restorative justice, as well as an assessment of victim assistance protocols and programs. Examine restorative justice and victim assistance initiatives that provide an alternative framework for dealing with crime that places victim needs in a primary position, while addressing legal concerns and interagency differences.


An analysis of the legal rights of victims of crime at state and federal levels as well as a review of how these laws relate to the treatment of victims within the criminal and juvenile justice systems, with particular focus on the courts and correctional institutions. Relevant legislative and Constitutional changes and challenges are also addressed.

Course Requirements

To participate in this online program, you will need a computer and broadband Internet connection. Your program may have further requirements that include the ability to record video and audio. If you have questions regarding technology requirements for the program, please contact your Admissions Advisor at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or call us toll-free at +1 844-234-4073.

Once you are admitted to the program, your Admissions Advisor will craft your personalized degree plan, giving you a clear course sequence and path to graduation.­­

Exclusive Opportunity for KSU Undergraduates: The Accelerated MA in CCJ Degree Option

Launch your career sooner than you expected to. In Kent State’s criminology and criminal justice program, juniors and seniors with qualifying GPAs can apply up to 12 credit hours of coursework toward the CCJ bachelor’s and master’s degrees. By earning double credits, you’ll earn your online MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice earlier than anticipated, save money on tuition and fees, and be prepared to dive into your career ahead of your classmates and ahead of schedule. For more information, please contact an Admissions Advisor at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or toll-free at +1 844-234-4073.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Ohio ResidentsOut of State
Per Credit Hour$676$686
Approximate Program Cost$22,308$22,638

An additional distance learning fee for all students enrolled in a distance learning course is $15 per credit hour. Program tuition and costs are estimated and subject to change. For comprehensive tuition information, please refer to the tuition rates posted on the Bursar’s website.

We recognize that pursuing a graduate degree is a significant investment. Your Admissions Advisor can answer your questions on program costs, discuss how a Kent State degree compares to others and connect you with financial aid representatives when you are ready to discuss your financial options.

Please contact an Admissions Advisor for more information on tuition and fees either by email at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or toll-free at +1 844‑234‑4073.

Schedule a Call Download Application Checklist

Immersive Online Curriculum

Designed for busy working professionals and students seeking to expand their career options.

Multi-Disciplinary Faculty

Study with experts: published authors, active researchers, and veterans of diverse fields within CCJ.

CCJ Career Potential

Gain expertise in understanding and addressing crime, including its victims and perpetrators.
Admissions and Application Deadlines
Priority Deadline
Fall 2023 Semester
Final Deadline
Fall 2023 Semester
First Day of Class
Fall 2023 Semester