Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Master of Science in Criminal Justice
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All incoming MSCJ students are eligible for a scholarship that will cover the Instructional Fee of their first class; this is nearly a $2,000 value! Contact an Enrollment Services Advisor to find out more.

Active Military & Veteran Scholarship

You could be eligible for up to $2500 per semester. Learn more today.


Our online Master of Science in Criminal Justice program approaches the study of crime and criminal justice from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing insights from sociology, criminology, psychology and law.

Our MS in Criminal Justice program prepares students to be leaders in the criminal justice field through experience-based learning, best practice approaches and field collaborations. The program is designed for criminal justice professionals seeking to advance their career to the next level. This MS in Criminal Justice program delivers a comprehensive understanding of how conceptual and theoretical frameworks apply to real-world situations in a wide range of criminal justice career paths.

The University of Cincinnati’s online Master’s in Criminal Justice program is ranked 9th best in the country by U.S. News & World Report (2023). Between 2018 to 2022 the program had a 93% first term retention rate, meaning that 93% of new students returned for their second semester.


What is Criminal Justice?

The University of Cincinnati’s online criminal justice master’s program is designed to achieve several core objectives:

  • Provide students with the conceptual and research skills needed to undertake advanced analyses of crime and the criminal justice system
  • Furnish law enforcement, corrections and court practitioners with knowledge of justice administration, social science perspectives of human behavior, policy analysis and criminal justice theory
  • Train those who will become leaders in the criminal justice system by providing the skills needed to upgrade levels of professional practice, improve standards, initiate fresh perspectives and act as agents of change
  • Prepare social scientists to pursue careers in university and research settings
  • Equip graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue advanced leadership roles in a range of law enforcement and criminal justice disciplines

Fraternal Order of Police Member Scholarship

Fraternal Order of Police members and their dependents are eligible for a 20% scholarship off Instructional Fees of the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice program. Contact an Enrollment Services Advisor to find out more.

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Mater's in Criminal Justice Info Session Recording

Is UC Online right for me?

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UC Advantage & Special Opportunities
Eleven total courses (33 semester hours) — graduate in as few as two years of dedicated part-time study or one year of full-time study. Take only one course at a time in the part-time program or two courses at a time in the full-time program. Access courses and assignments any time, 24 hours a day, from any computer in the world. Curriculum that combines cutting-edge theory with real-world application

Career Opportunities

Former students have found our online Master’s in Criminal Justice degree to be useful in obtaining a wide range of employment with the criminal justice system.


Student Testimonials
Terence H. - Master's in Criminal Justice
“I was a non-traditional student and I wanted to make a change in life. When I decided to go to graduate school, I chose the University of Cincinnati’s Online Masters of Criminal Justice Program for several reasons. The first reason was that many of my professors in my undergraduate program obtained their PhD in Criminal Justice from UC and they had glowing reviews of the program. The second reason was that I am a native Cincinnatian and the University of Cincinnati’s Criminal Justice program is a program that is internationally known so I wanted to be associated with that program. As an Army Reservist, I knew that my unit was going to be activated for a mobilization later that year. I chose the online option for graduate school because I knew that I could get a majority of the coursework done before I went to Iraq and I was able to take three classes while I was in the war zone. The deployment did not stop me from continuing my education while serving my country. The instructors are very knowledgeable, and they can be tough, but fair. The level of instruction is not watered down because of the online designation, an online student is getting the quality education as a student who is in the in-house program. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who is looking for a challenge. It exceeded my expectations and I am proud of the fact that my degree came from the University of Cincinnati.”

Terence H.
Veterans Programs & Services Program Manager

Joshua Long
“I took my undergraduate degree at UC and I knew the faculty were the top in their field, so I wanted to receive advanced training from them in the Online Master's program. It was impossible for me to attend classes on campus, but I needed to continue my education. The online program was the perfect solution. I could work on my weekly assignments on my own time without worrying about child care or a long commute. It certainly helped me get ready for my job. I ended up coming back to UC in the doctoral program because of the Master's experience.”

Joshua L.
Research Assistant