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Criminal Justice Master of Science in Criminal Justice

School of Public Service Leadership


Are you ready to make a difference in your community and increase your effectiveness in the field of criminal justice? Embark on earning a master’s degree, and take your criminal justice career to the next level*. Capella’s online master’s program will expand your skills and knowledge of all the facets involved in working with courts, corrections, and policing. Taking the theoretical knowledge gained through the coursework, you can step confidently into applying that knowledge while working with individuals, groups, and communities. Expand your leadership abilities through real-world simulations that require adept critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

*Certain criminal justice fields may require prerequisites beyond the Capella MS, such as other degrees or certifications.

The courses in Capella’s online Master’s in Criminal Justice, focused on developing leaders, are taught by expert faculty providing evidence-based instruction. Coursework delves into human behavior, the corrections and judicial systems, social change and public policy, ethnic and cultural awareness, intelligence-led policing, and psychopathy and criminal profiling. And you can personalize your learning with a concentration that lets you focus on an area that fits your career goals.

A majority of the master’s courses fold directly into the Capella PhD in Criminal Justice program, helping to save you time and money if you decide to pursue a Capella PhD in Criminal Justice degree.

Personalize Your Degree With a Concentration

A concentration gives you a unique learning path based on your personal and career goals. Concentrations are designed to integrate theory with real-world application for personalized learning without adding additional coursework to your program. Concentrations are available in:

  • CIKR Concentration—Address the hazards that threaten the well-being of society with the Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR) Concentration.
  • Corrections Concentration—Learn the philosophy of punishment and the scope of corrections programs, such as probation, parole, incarceration, and treatment.
  • Criminology Concentration—Deepen your understanding of crime prevention, treatment programs, and criminal justice system interventions.
  • Higher Education Concentration—Apply teaching theories to meet the needs of diverse adult learners within today’s higher education settings.

Degree Outcomes

With your online Master's in Criminal Justice from Capella, you'll apply professional and personal ethics to make sound and ethical decisions in the field. You'll also hone your critical thinking and writing skills, applying theories and practices to help facilitate social change.

Career Outcomes

Common jobs with an online Master's in Criminal Justice include: probation/parole officer, forensic investigator, police chief, sheriff, adjunct or part-time faculty, correctional counselor, criminal investigator, private investigator, court officer, drug enforcement officer, law enforcement officer/detective/investigator, probation, parole, and correctional administrator or commissioner, and prison warden. Potential workplaces include correctional facility or prison, federal government agency, law enforcement organization, municipal court system, and state government agency.

Detailed Program Information

Get all the details about cost, courses, requirements, and more.

Download the GuidedPath Specialization Guide »

Classes Start November 6th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future. 

Admission Requirements »  | $50 Application Fee

Cost & Learning Format

Online education isn’t one size fits all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our online-learning format that guides you along. You pay per credit; we set the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1–3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$525 per credit, 48 total quarter credits, 12 max transfer credits

Get the Details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing. Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. The prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits or the maximum allowed transfer credits.  

Ways to Save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable–there are more ways to save than you might think. 

$30 Million in Scholarships Available

Capella scholarships, available for qualifying students, aren’t need-based and never have to be repaid. 

View Capella Scholarships »

10% Military Discount

Military service members and their spouses could be eligible for a discount.

Discover Military Benefits »

Transfer Credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools. 

Learn about Transfer Credits »

Sample Courses

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Title
CRJ7015 Criminal Justice Theory
CRJ7025 Justice, Security, and Democracy
CRJ7035 Criminal Justice Policy and Administration
CRJ7045 Crime Intelligence Analysis
CRJ7095 Integrative Project for Criminal Justice

Faculty & Support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment Counselors

These folks are superstars. We hear it from our students (and grads). They’re here to help find a program fit and set you up for success.  


Want to learn more about courses, instructors, or resources? Ask our advisors–they know all about the details of your program.


Our distinguished faculty holds top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach the knowledge and skills you’ll need, now. 

Career Center

For this team, it’s more than resumes and interview tips. It’s about thoughtful and strategic career planning–beyond graduation.

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.