How to Get a Masters in Criminal Justice Degree

For working adults returning to school to obtain a graduate level education in order to improve career options, the field of criminal justice is particularly suited to the online education format. There are many accredited degree programs to choose from and several of them are offered by top flight schools of criminology and criminal justice. The Masters in CriminalJustice is also an excellent academic choice for security professionals who are considering a career change from the public to the private sector or from a local agency to the federal ranks. There is a multitude of law enforcement agencies under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security and the best of them require a college degree. Virtually all of them prefer a graduate level degree for a management position.

Keiser University makes the Master of Arts in CriminalJustice available on its fourteen Florida campuses as well as online. The thirty six credit hour program format is designed in modules that allow flexibility for either full time or part time study. Keiser is one of the online schools that has devoted a great deal of effort to obtaining proper accreditation for all of its academic programs. The criminal justice graduate degree is a thirty six credit course of study that covers all of the critical management components for a criminal justice career: Forensic Psychology, Juvenile Justice, Court Systems, Correctional Systems and Management & Administration in Criminal Justice.

University of Colorado at Denver offers the Master of CriminalJustice degree through its School of Public Affairs, acknowledged as one of the best in the country. For Colorado residents the program can be a blend of online and on campus courses. For distant students the 100% online format has proven to be an effective full time or part time academic option. The core courses are focused on the foundation elements of criminal justice theory and practice. The electives provide opportunities to focus on domestic violence, homeland security, police administration or research. This program has graduated over forty police chiefs in the State of Colorado.

Grand Canyon University is a campus based school in Arizona that has developed an impressive online presence with a wide variety of accredited degree programs. There are two Master of Science in CriminalJustice options offered in this program: emphasis on law enforcement and emphasis in legal studies. The law enforcement option is clearly designed for police personnel or professionals from other security agencies who have found that a graduate degree is the key to further advancement. The program with electives in legal studies is appropriate for those who wish to move into management in the fields of probation, corrections or court administration.

University of Cincinnati has one of the top three criminaljustice programs in the nation, a failsafe choice if you want to obtain your online Masters in Criminal Justice from a top tier academic institution. The distance learning program is structured into sixteen courses offered over the course of eight twelve week quarters, or two full years. This program is an academic challenge but will lead to a gold standard graduate degree in the field. There is also a one year accelerated program for criminal justice professionals who meet the prerequisites for academics and work experience.

South University has four options for specialization in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice offered online. Two of them, Corrections and Public Administration, are clearly for professionals wishing to advance through the traditional channels leading to senior criminal justice management positions. The other two, Cyber Crime and Homeland Security, are options for experienced criminal justice professionals to move into career areas that are relatively recent and still growing.

Top 10 Online Criminal Justice Schools

If you are planning to pursue a career in criminal justice, you will firstly need to obtain a degree specializing in criminal justice. While you are enrolled in such program, you will learn about the legal system in the US, methods for deterring crime, philosophy of punishment; and the code of ethics for criminal justice professionals, among areas of study. With the correct training, graduates can gain employment in law enforcement agencies, court administrative departments, victim service centers, and correctional facilities. Here is a list of the top 10 online schools that offer criminal justice programs:

1. Colorado Technical University Online

Such degrees are available at the Colorado Technical University Online and include Associate Degree and Bachelor’s Degree, as well as a Master’s Degree in management with specialization in criminal justice. Topics covered in the courses include law and courts, investigation and law enforcement, parole and juvenile justice, home security and public administration.

2. Everest University Online

Everest University Online has two kinds of criminal science degrees, namely, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Applied Science. The Bachelor of Applied Science degree gives the necessary training for students to secure employment in the field of security and corrections. Those who want to assume middle or higher level positions in environments immediately after graduation should opt for the Bachelor of Science degree.

3. Keiser University eCampus

Keiser University eCampus offers Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees in criminal justice. Students who study this subject in this school will gain a better understanding of the basics, as well as street ‘gangsterism’, victim-logy, forensic psychology, drug control, and others. They will benefit greatly from personalized attention and career placement services.

4. University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix has a wide selection of degrees for criminal justice students, including Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Science. Courses are primarily designed to prepare students for positions in security-related fields. Students can also learn how to start their own firms while attending the programs in this school.

5. Columbia Southern University

At the Columbia Southern University, the students can pursue an Associate Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, or Master’s Degree. Degree programs at Columbia Sothern are specifically designed to enable adult students to juggle education and family. All online classes are conducted by live professors.

6. American Intercontinental University Online

American Intercontinental University Online offers a flexible curriculum that enables you to complete your degree at your own pace. It is an accredited university that is respected by many employers. The degrees that are available at AIU Online include Associate Degree and Bachelor’s Degree in this particular field.

7. Ashford University Online

This online university offers Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice. Its program focuses on forensics, psychology, and other areas that are relating criminal justice. Students can complete the program in one or two years depending on their personal circumstances and abilities.

8. Argosy University Online

Argosy University Online has two types of criminal justice degrees, namely, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Science. Its personalized service, experienced faculty, and supportive community provide a most effective learning environment for students.

9. Kaplan University

Kaplan University offers a convenient way for students to obtain an Associate Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, or Master’s Degree. It has an extensive selection of programs, ranging from forensic psychology to computer crime.

10. Virginia College Online

Criminal justice students in Virginia College Online can obtain an Associate Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, or Master’s Degree. This school is an accredited institution, and its degrees are accepted by most employers of criminal justice professionals.

The best online school for you will be the one which not only covers the areas of criminal justice that you are most interested in, but will also provide a learning schedule that you can easily slot in around your personal commitments. Before enrolling in any online school, always research into each aspect of the course, the entry requirements and how that particular degree will enable you to take the next step into your career.

Criminal Justice School Online: Become Part of the Solution

It seems as if every day when you turn on the news, there is a story about someone caught for fraud, computer hacking, identity theft, or breeching new banking security measures. These stories may apply to your life at the moment, or they may not. For the highly trained people whose job it is to protect the everyday citizen from these kinds of shady deals, stories like this do apply. A criminal justice school online is one of the many types of schools that offer a degree in areas like Forensics, IT security and Legal Studies. With this in mind, you may also wonder what these people actually DO to make the headlines of your news stations.

FORENSICS

A forensic accountant is not your regular accountant.

  • They are a highly trained individual that can take what they have learned as an accountant, where you make numbers balanced and legal, and work backwards.
  • They examine accounts that have unusually high and unexplained numbers and trace them back to the source, usually uncovering fraudulent actions and schemes.

A forensic investigator is another highly trained individual that does the “nitty-gritty” of investigating a crime scene.

  • They assess evidence, re-enact scenes to find out how a murder happened and they work closely with the investigation team to solve the case.

A day in the life of both of these professions is bound to be interesting.

  • They can work in an office environment, but can be required to travel in the event of gathering more evidence, or meeting other investigators or witnesses.
  • Typically, they have a set of daily task work that needs to be done, but also have individual cases that they must work on as well.

Education requirements vary depending on the positions, but a criminal justice school online can offer the entry-level degree needed – a bachelor’s.

IT SECURITY

An IT Security professional likely helped design and implement some of the most common security features on your internet browser and anti-virus software.

  • They create safety firewalls for banks, companies, the government and individuals to protect sensitive information.
  • They help victims of identity theft online or at a place like the banking ATM, and try to prevent more from happening.

IT Security professionals also have an interesting work environment.

  • Most of the time they will be behind a computer working with coding or uncovering new ways of catching security hackers – either at home or in a corporate office.
  • If they work for a firm, they may find that travel is a normal part of the job – they are sent out to help clients at their company or home.
  • Many work for security companies, banks, law firms, and other companies with sensitive information.

Education requirements for IT Security specialists are usually a bachelor’s degree for most entry-level positions in any company. For more specialized or management positions in a company, more advanced education and specialized training is needed.

LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES

This broad field of studies is broad for a reason. Legal assistants and paralegals do so much, that in fact, it might be better to ask what they DON’T do.

  • Legal assistants and paralegals assist lawyers by doing a myriad of different tasks. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics states that paralegals help lawyers “prepare for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate meetings.”
  • They also do a lot of the research of laws, codes and legal studies for each case.
  • Really, the only thing they can’t do is set legal fees, give legal advice and present cases in court.

Paralegals and legal assistants may be in the office a lot, but they also travel with or for lawyers for court cases.

  • Most paralegals will have a set amount of daily tasks to do – research, court prep or filing.
  • Depending on how much responsibility is given to them, paralegals may be able to conduct their own research, draft contracts, request motions at court and assist attorneys during trials.

Levels of employment and salary will definitely be correlated to the amount of education earned. Anything from an associate’s to a master’s degree is offered at a criminal justice school online or at a ground school. Responsibility given in the workplace will depend on work experience and education level.

A diverse collection of different types of jobs are available to online criminal justice school students. Most, if not all, of these jobs offer exciting “behind-the-scenes” experiences in some of the most exciting and evolving fields. Just as much as criminals are finding new ways to beat the law, so it is with these innovative men and women as they continue to protect our safety.

What Criminal Justice Majors Don’t Learn in School

What criminal justice majors don’t learn in school could fill volumes, but these things can only be learned through experience. People working in criminal justice careers involving the adjudication, apprehension, correctional supervision, detection, detention, prosecution, rehabilitation and release of accused or convicted criminals learn some tough lessons on the job. It takes a mentally strong individual to do these jobs, but if you’re up for the challenge you can really make a difference.

As you complete your criminal-justice training at a university, community college, online school or vocational institute, you will learn many valuable skills and gain much understanding of what to expect in this field. Whether you work as an administrator, booking officer, correctional officer, defender, judge, parole officer, police investigator, probation officer, prosecutor, defender, judge, administrator or security guard, you must get this training. Associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and even doctoral degrees can’t truly prepare you for what you will experience on the job, though.

What criminal justice majors don’t learn in school is how to cope with what they see and how to react to the situations involving criminals and all sorts of people in distressed situations. These educational programs do typically include courses about criminology, psychology, social work and sociology in addition to the political science and law classes. These classes are meant to help students understand the mind of the criminal and learn more about why people do the things they do. Some psychology classes may also provide insight into how one should react to certain situations on the job considering the type of person you are dealing with. These things you really will not understand fully until you are in the situation, though, and once you’ve dealt with various stressful encounters, you can better deal with them in the future.

Although it’s true that what criminal-justice majors don’t learn in school could fill volumes, there is quite a bit that criminal-justice majors do learn and gain from these educational programs. A combination of educational training and real world experience is what makes a reliable and well-rounded criminal justice professional.

3 Things You MUST Know Before Entering the ITT Tech School of Criminal Justice

ITT Tech has about 80 locations in 30 states and is the largest operator in the US of post-secondary school technical education. The school has over 37,000 students in different streams of education. There are, however, a few things that you must know before entering the ITT Tech school of criminal justice.

1. ITT Tech school of criminal justice has come under criminal investigation initiated by the US Justice Department. Although the top management of the school has been given a clean chit by the Justice Department, investigations are still going on at some of the local campuses of ITT Technical Institute. But clean chit or not just ask yourself why an educational institution should come under a criminal investigation?

2. ITT Education Services Inc, the corporate entity that owns and manages ITT Tech has come under investigation by Securities Exchange Commision (SEC). Although the company has so far come out unscathed with no fines or penalties being imposed on it, the fact that it came under investigation should ring a few warning bells.

3. ITT Technical Institute is accredited by ACICS and not by any of the eight regional accrediting bodies that are funded by the US Department of Education. As a result many RA accredited schools may not accept or allow transfer of credits earned at ITT Tech school of criminal justice. Similarly many law enforcement agencies at the local, state or federal level may not accept degrees earned at ITT Tech school of criminal justice for purposes of employment.