How Do I Know Which Program To Choose

There are several options for a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice. From choosing the concentration to school, individuals are given a wide range of options to choose from. First and foremost, you must determine whether you want a general criminal justice degree or choose a subject you want to concentrate in. Many colleges and universities will offer an array of Master’s in Criminal Justice programs that each specialize in different topics. Some of the most popular concentrations include Forensic Science, Law Enforcement, Criminology, Law, Corrections, and Homeland Security. However, not all colleges and universities offer the same concentrations, curriculum, and length of time to complete the program. Therefore, after deciding what subject you want to concentrate in, you must then research schools that offer that program and compare the differences in their programs, prices, accreditation, location, and other matters that may be of importance to you.


General Criminal Justice

A general Master’s in Criminal Justice degree will provide students with a broad knowledge of the most important topics in the criminal justice system today, including but not limited to, comparative criminal justice systems, criminology, victimology, analytical and research methods, forensic analysis, terrorism, and white-collar crime.

Forensic Science

You may want to choose this concentration if you want to work with or learn more about evidence processing and analysis. The program may include courses such as forensic medicine, forensic anthropology, toxicology, blood spatter, forensic DNA analysis, criminalistics, and other related topics.

Law Enforcement

This concentration is typically geared toward police officers and workers in criminal justice agencies who are interested in administrative and management positions in law enforcement. Courses may include law and social control, criminology, practice of law enforcement, law enforcement theory, community corrections, and white-collar crime.


For those interested in learning more about the physiological, psychological, psychiatric, and genetic theories of criminal behavior and the causes, consequences and reactions to crime, this concentration may be most ideal. Topics for criminology majors may include criminal theory and research, computer applications in criminal justice, criminal law and procedures, applied statistics in criminology, and more.


A concentration in law is most ideal for students seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the law, the American legal system, and its process and procedures. Major courses may include criminal law, constitutional law, legal ethics, domestic relations, immigration law, contracts, torts, and other law-related topics.


Similar to a concentration in law enforcement, those interested in a corrections degree are often law enforcement and corrections personnel. This concentration is designed to enhance current law enforcement officials to manage and lead correctional institutes or security firms. Required courses of study may include foundations of criminal justice, organizational leadership and theory, community corrections, law and social control, criminology, and applied research.

Homeland Security

If you want to focus on practical and theoretical aspects of keeping the nation safe from threats and terrorism, then this concentration is the best choice for you. Students will cover topics such as terrorism, sociology of disasters, risk assessment, threats and strategy, and homeland security.

Other careers that might interest you

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    Criminologists study a variety of tangible and intangible factors that contribute to crime statistics, including demographics, social behavior, criminal behavior and psychology, and statistics.
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    Federal U.S. Marshals are part of an elite law enforcement agency that specializes in protecting federal judges and federal courts, serving court documents, supervising federal elections, transporting prisoners, investigating and apprehending fugitives and more.
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Popular Online Schools

  • Xavier University Xavier University
    The mission of the Department of Criminal Justice is to equip Master of Science students with the competence and conscience needed …
  • Colorado Technical University
    Colorado Technical University is recognized as one of the most technologically advanced online universities.
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