Criminal Justice Master of Arts
Online Degree Program

An Online Criminal Justice Master's to Fit Your Schedule

The Criminal Justice Master of Arts online degree program is designed for working professionals in the fields of law enforcement, corrections, probation, victim services and the judiciary environment. This program is offered online as a way to provide master's degree access to criminal justice professionals with a variety of work schedules, no matter where you live.

The UNC Criminal Justice Master of Arts online program will provide you with:

  • An advanced understanding of traditional and emerging criminological theories
  • Critical-thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for effective leadership and policy-making
  • Opportunities to conduct original research and projects with real-world applications.

The next Criminal Justice MA cohort begins Summer 2015. Applications will not be accepted until November 2014. Students generally take two courses at a time and can complete the entire degree in two years. The online courses are taught by the same UNC professors who teach on-campus, allowing you to earn a quality master’s degree from anywhere in the world.

A World of Career Possibilities

Many criminal justice agencies require a graduate degree for advancement. This master's degree will provide you with the professional, practical training in leadership, policy and best practices, that will allow you to move up in the field and better serve your community.

More Resources

More information and a Criminal Justice master's student handbook are available at the Department of Criminal Justice–Master of Arts program page.

Send Me Information

Contact the Academic Program Coordinator

Criminal Justice MA—Academic Program Coordinator

Brian Iannacchione
(970) 351-3668

Course of Study

This program is designed to be completed in less than two years (6-9 credits per semester, including electives during the summer) and consists of 34 credits. Nineteen credits are in required core courses, which includes a thesis or capstone project. The remaining 12 credits will consist of elective courses. Students may opt to complete a comprehensive exam en lieu of the capstone or thesis requirements.

Students participate in an online orientation prior to the beginning of the first semester.

Orientation to Online Learning
Before you begin your first academic course, we strongly recommend that you register for and complete the short Orientation to Online Learning course—especially if you do not have recent experience taking classes online. This free non-credit, non-graded course provides students with an introduction to online learning at UNC and provides important skills, knowledge, and resources to help students succeed.

  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1

LIB 550 Library Research in Criminal Justice (1 cr) – 16 weeks

Elective – 1st 8-week session

Elective – Normally a 6- or 12-week session

CRJ 560 Seminar in Criminology and Crime Policy (3 cr) – 1st 8-week session

CRJ 550 Organization and Management of CJ (3 cr) – 2nd 8-week session


CRJ 531 Seminar in Law and Society (3 cr) – 2nd 8-week session

CRJ 580 Advanced Research Methods for CJ (3 cr) – 16 weeks


Elective – 16-weeks



Year 2

CRJ 582 Statistics for Criminal Justice Research (3 cr) – 1st 8-week session

CRJ 697 Capstone Project (3 cr) or CRJ 699 Thesis (3 cr). Both options are 16 weeks.


CRJ 610 Criminal Justice Planning, Policy, and Change (3 cr) – 2nd 8-week session



Elective – 16-week session



Admission Requirements and Transfer Credit

Tuition, Financial Aid and Health Insurance

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