Master’s Degrees | Criminal Justice
Online Master of Criminal Justice
The field of criminal justice is evolving. You’re accomplished in law enforcement, have built a successful career on your bachelor’s degree, and aspire to transform the field. The University of Mississippi designed our online Master of Criminal Justice for distinguished, motivated individuals like you.
Our online Master of Criminal Justice is one of the most flexible, customizable, and accessible programs of its type in the country. Tailor your degree to your goals. Select from two emphasis areas, and expand your knowledge with electives. Through the accelerated, asynchronous format, complete this credential in one year’s time, refining your skills around your current career and responsibilities and applying new information to enrich your current role.
As with our on-ground master’s program, the 100% online Master of Criminal Justice at Ole Miss is led by excellent faculty, including Dr. Wesley Jennings, the world’s top criminologist in terms of peer-reviewed scholarly publications.
Our faculty’s expert perspectives shaped a program that gives you the tools to apply evidence-based policy and practice in the criminal justice world, accessing a more competitive job market, including positions at federal agencies and in team leadership roles.
MCJ Program Info
Our program is ideal for:
- Driven law enforcement, emergency management, and homeland security professionals looking ahead to the next stage of their careers—a promotion or a chance to lead others, or
- Individuals seeking to switch fields, elevate their community through advocacy, and realize their full aspirations.
Criminal Justice Leadership | Homeland Security & Emergency Management
MCJ Program Objectives
The excellence of our on-ground Master of Criminal Justice program shapes the fully online version. Basing our course offerings on market research, we launched the 100% online program in 2020, striving to provide an unmatched criminal justice education to a wider swath of individuals and train tomorrow’s response teams.
The Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies’ team of nationally recognized experts continues to advance the field with their own research in crime and justice policy, applied criminology, international crime, restorative justice, and racial disparities. Their always-evolving perspectives influence a structure that builds off your bachelor’s degree and prepares you both for advanced opportunities and to later pursue a doctoral degree.
Our program’s core equips you with a foundation in applied methodological and theoretical knowledge—essential for policy analysis and guiding others with evidence-based decisions. Through this comprehensive and flexible baseline:
Online Master of Criminal Justice Curriculum
We’ll guide you through your educational journey while fostering your innate leadership skills with a 30-credit curriculum blending advanced criminal justice concepts with higher-level knowledge gained through a specialization. Reach your goals sooner by working through the curriculum in five eight-week sessions spaced over three semesters.
Begin with a 12-credit core consisting of four foundational courses before proceeding onto four (4) electives. A two (2) course-sequence (6 credits) capstone project serves as the culmination of your education. Bridging your studies with your career aspirations, you’ll research and evaluate a criminal justice or emergency management and homeland security issue to produce a systematic review paper—the first step toward establishing your authority in the field.
Establish a direction for your career by selecting a specialization from one of two emphases, Criminal Justice Leadership or Homeland Security and Emergency Management. These courses account for three out of the five required electives. With the remaining two electives, you’ll have the opportunity to branch out and explore other criminal justice areas, enhancing your knowledge for a multifaceted, detailed perspective of law enforcement.
Our Criminal Justice Leadership concentration acknowledges barriers to leadership roles—among them, the time and resources to expand your credentials with a master’s degree.
You have the drive and a list of accolades to your name. Empowering you through this next stage, this emphasis area elevates your knowledge and experience with a stronger understanding of evidence-based decision making, leadership theory in the context of law enforcement, effective personnel management techniques, budgeting, and finance. Learn more about our Criminal Justice Leadership emphasis.
The Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies employs holistic admissions for the online Master of Criminal Justice. No GRE scores are required, and we evaluate candidates on a rolling basis throughout the year.
Our Online Master of Criminal Justice admissions evaluates you on:
- completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year school;
- undergraduate GPA;
- three professional or academic-based letters of recommendation;
- a statement of interest expressing why you’re the ideal candidate for this program and where it fits into your career goals;
- a sample of your written work; and
- for international students, English proficiency.
The admission process typically takes 1-2 weeks once an application is complete. Please keep this in mind when applying for your desired term.
Careers with a Master of Criminal Justice Degree
The growing complexities in the criminal justice field results in a wide range of opportunities. Evidence-based research is influencing long-standing traditional policy and procedure approaches. The next generation of criminal justice professionals is at the forefront of driving change and making an impact. Emergency management and homeland security, as rapidly changing fields, call for leaders who can navigate uncertainty.
Over the past 30 years, careers in disaster relief have also seen steady gains. Among them, local, state, and federal organizations are expected to need 4% more emergency management directors by 2029.
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Shape Your Future with an Online Master of Criminal Justice from Ole Miss
Serve your community with expert leadership through the Ole Miss Online Master of Criminal Justice degree. Contact our Coordinator of Advising, Recruitment, and Retention Andy King to set up an appointment to talk more about the program, your interests and needs, and your future.