Master's Degree in Criminal Justice Online
Learn about emerging criminal justice issues while gaining the degree you need to advance in the field with UMass Lowell's top-ranked online Master's Degree in Criminal Justice. This program is designed for students seeking entry into the criminal justice field and those who already work in the system and wish to broaden their skills and expertise.
Offering a broad range of classes in areas such as leadership, crisis and emergency management, criminal profiling, law and public policy, crime analysis, forensic psychology, sex crimes, terrorism, and victimology, the M.A. in Criminal Justice program is designed to meet the changing needs of our society. Throughout this program, you will develop the knowledge to evaluate policies, model best practices, and build skills in crisis and emergency management.
- Total Number of Courses Required for the Master's Degree in Criminal Justice: 11 (33 credits)
To be recommended for a University of Massachusetts Lowell master's degree, candidates must satisfy all of the general requirements below, plus any additional requirements that may be required by the department through which the program is offered. Any additional requirements for this program are either listed below or may be found in the University's Graduate Program Catalog.
- Students must complete the program of study designed by the Department in which they are enrolled and approved by the University.
- Satisfactory grades in all subjects offered for the degree must be earned. See Academic Standing.
- All financial obligations, including tuition, fees and expenses, must be satisfied as evidenced by completion.
- Upon completion of all their courses, graduate degree candidates must submit a signed Declaration of Intent to Graduate (DIG) form to their coordinator. The coordinator will apply them in SIS, Graduation Tracking.
Graduate Program Policies
In applying for a degree program or registering for courses, each student assumes full responsibility for knowledge of and compliance with the definitions, regulations and procedures of UMass Lowell as set forth on our website. For additional information, please refer to the Graduate Program Policies found within the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog.
Tuition & Fees
Tuition at UMass Lowell is typically half the cost of private colleges, and our online tuition is among the lowest in the nation. Tuition for online programs offered through the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies is the same whether you live in-state, out-of-state or outside of the U.S.
Spring 2024 Tuition
|Cost Per Credit||Cost Per 3-Credit Course*|
|Online IT and Engineering***||$600||$1,800|
|Online Education for Ed.D. and Ph.D.||$500||$1,500|
|On Campus||View Here||View Here|
|Term Registration Fee||$30|
|Graduate Degree and Certificate Application||$50|
Please note: Tuition and fees are subject to change.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many paths are available to those with a Master's in Criminal Justice, including careers in law enforcement, corrections, legal professions and more.
Law enforcement occupations include policing, detective work or careers as federal agents. Jobs in corrections include positions as probation officers, parole officers or correctional treatment specialists. You may also be able to work in correctional administration, overseeing the operations of prisons and jails.
Some graduates pursue career paths in the legal field, working as lawyers, legal analysts and researchers. With a strong understanding of criminal justice and the legal system, you'll provide valuable insight into legal cases. Additionally, you may be able to work in policy development, using your knowledge to shape laws and regulations related to criminal justice.
Private security is another career path you can pursue with a Master's in Criminal Justice. This can include working for private security firms, corporations or even individuals. With your advanced knowledge of criminal justice, you can help prevent and respond to security threats, conduct investigations, and provide risk assessments. This field can offer various opportunities, from executive protection to cyber security.Finally, many criminal justice master's degree holders pursue careers in social services. This can include working with at-risk youth, victims of domestic violence or individuals struggling with addiction. With your knowledge of criminal justice, you can help provide support and resources to those in need and work toward preventing crime and reducing recidivism rates.
If you have a passion for justness and a desire to positively impact your community, pursuing a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice may be for you. Criminal justice professionals uphold the law while working to eliminate bias and discrimination in the system. Graduates of this program often receive promotions and find their higher-level positions rewarding professionally and financially.However, senior-level positions in the field can be demanding. Criminal justice professionals often find themselves in high-pressure situations and must remain calm and focused under stress. Physical and mental resilience is often expected of those in the field. Although a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice will provide you with entry and advancement in many professions, students interested in targeted career paths might prefer related degrees in Security Studies. UMass Lowell offers online Security Studies Masters Degrees with concentrations in Critical Infrastructure Protection, Cybersecurity, Homeland Defense, Industrial & Economic Security, and International Security.
The potential salary increases of earning a Master's in Criminal Justice can make it worth the investment. According to labor market analytics firm Lightcast's 2023 job posting data, criminal justice bachelor's degree holders in New England can expect median earnings of $88.4K per year, while master's degree holders can expect earnings of $96.1K per year. Additionally, master's degree holders may be eligible for promotions to higher-level positions such as detectives, FBI agents or probation officers. You may also pursue career opportunities in academia, research or policymaking with a master's degree.In addition to career and salary growth, pursuing a Master's in Criminal Justice provides significant personal growth opportunities. You will gain expert-level knowledge and skills in the field and develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills that employers highly value. Furthermore, the process of earning a graduate-level degree demonstrates dedication, discipline, and perseverance, which will serve you well in your personal and professional life.
According to the 2023 Best Online Programs, UMass Lowell ranks as the top online Master's Degree in Criminal Justice for veterans and the number 2 online master's for the general population by U.S. News & World Report. Our online degree offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers topics such as criminology, justice administration and law. You can also choose from Security Studies concentrations in Homeland Defense, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Cybersecurity, Industrial & Economic Security and International Security. Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in law enforcement, corrections and other criminal justice fields.In addition to consistently being ranked among the nation's best online Master's of Criminal Justice, UMass Lowell's program is also among the most affordable. Students who complete the program online pay the same tuition rate whether they live in-state, out-of-state or in another country. The flexibility and convenience of our online degrees allow you to balance your education with work and other responsibilities.
Applying into a Graduate Degree ProgramAll applicants must submit:
- An application
- An application fee
- A statement of purpose
- Letters of recommendation (optional)
- Official transcripts
- No GRE required
- Resume Required for certain programs such as the Master's in Business Administration and the Master of Science in Health Informatics and Management
Graduate Program Admissions Requirements
Admission to all graduate programs at UMass Lowell is contingent upon successful completion of a bachelor's degree. In many cases, applicants may register for a course before formally applying to the program; however, students requiring financial aid may want to wait until they have been formally accepted into the program to ensure that their course(s) will be covered. Contact UMass Lowell's Office of Graduate Admissions if you have questions about the application process.
Questions Regarding Your Graduate Application?
Email Graduate_Admissions@uml.edu or call 800-656-4723 (for U.S. students) or 978-934-2390 (for international students).
For General Assistance:
For general questions about registering for courses or to find out who the advisor is for your graduate program, call 800-480-3190. Our admissions and advising teams are here to help!