Online Masters in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies

If you are searching for an Online Masters in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies program, likely you seek a convenient study option. Distance-learning often suits professionals currently working in the field who have their eyes on advancement, or fine-tuning leadership and analytical skills. Online Masters in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Degrees are available in many different academic fields, whether you are interested in a masters in criminal psychology or masters in law, fighting cybercrime or forensic science, criminal justice paralegal work or social work, your options are very broad. If this has fired up your investigative senses, read on to find out more!

Online Criminal Justice Masters Career Options

Online Masters in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Degrees: Essentials

If you are a prospective applicant, make sure to find out the specific requirements of the program you are considering; while it is a fair assumption you would need to already possess an accredited bachelor's degree for admission, there may be other requisites. Sometimes there are internships and placement opportunities that might be applied to credit requirements.

FUN FACT: Workers in information security protect all types of information—both recorded on paper and stored digitally—and the systems that move this information.[i]

What Might I expect from an Online Masters in Criminal Justice Program?

Masters programs usually involve coursework and the completion of a capstone project for graduation. Distance-learning master's degree programs in criminal justice and legal studies may take about two years to complete and are delivered through online classroom systems such as Blackboard.

These course management systems provide:

  • Online discussion forums for student and professor interaction
  • Virtual libraries and online resources
  • E-mail systems
  • Assignments/homework submission portals

As an e-learner, you are expected to have a basic understanding of Internet usage upon enrollment. Usually there is technical support, but it helps if you are comfortable with the computer, and have a place to set your self up for focused study.

Keep in mind that not all online programs are the same. Here are a few things to determine in advance:

  • Is the program completely online and asynchronous (courses pre-recorded)?
  • Is the program partially online (any campus visits or laboratory work involved)?
  • Are there any live-streaming courses (synchronous)?
  • If there are onsite requirements are they feasible for you?
  • Is the program or school accredited?

What Do I need to know about Accreditation for Online Degrees?

First of all, if you are planning to pursue a law degree online, be aware that the majority of states and jurisdictions require lawyers to complete a juris doctor (J.D.) degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).[ii]

In terms of other Online Masters in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies programs, you would want to check that the college or university is accredited and you can check regionally or nationally, with the United States Department of Education or if the program is offered through a business school, verify accreditation with the AACSB. ( In other words if it is an Online masters of Business Administration –Criminal Justice)

Types of Online Masters in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Degrees

Online Masters in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies may be offered as either a Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Science (MS).  Most of these programs entail advanced study in all aspects of law enforcement. This includes the investigative aspects such as forensic science or forensic psychology as well as the paralegal and legal fields, corrections (crime and punishment), politics, policy and public administration, emergency management and homeland security.

DID YOU KNOW? Paralegals professionals may choose to specialize in other legal areas, such as personal injury, criminal law, employee benefits, intellectual property, bankruptcy, immigration, family law, and real estate.[iii]

Ready to Search for an Online Masters in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies program? Some of the listings you might find on may include: Online MS in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies, Online Master of Science in Public Safety Administration, Online Master of Science in Homeland Security-Emergency Management and Public Health, or Master of Arts in Psychology-Criminology and Justice Studies. These are only some highlights; browsing by subject / online format is helpful to pinpoint the ‘right’ program for your academic needs and professional goals.

Take the next step

You may have a strong desire to serve your community or your nation, but at the same time, you may have other commitments to respect. Earning an online degree might make it possible to get the advanced understanding (tactics, theory, practice) and other skills in criminal justice or legal studies without having to drop your present responsibilities. Why not take the next step?

Sources: [i] | [ii] | [iii] | |

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