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Advance Your Career With an Online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Degree

Advance your career and make a positive impact in your community, all while continuing to work full-time. The online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice at USI is designed specifically for working professionals like you and offers both standard and accelerated tracks to help you reach your goals on the schedule that works best for you.

What is criminal justice? It is the system we rely on to keep our communities safe. Above all, it’s about helping the people who need it most. The knowledge you gain will empower you to better support vulnerable populations.

Our classes advance your analytical abilities, improve your leadership skills and teach you innovative new methods to protect others. Through engaging and interactive online classes, you’ll learn about the many different facets of criminal justice, including ethical decision-making, criminal law and procedure, correctional treatment and police culture.

Each seven-week course is taught by full-time faculty with PhDs. Their diverse research interests include drug courts, veterans treatment courts, policing and policing strategies, mental health and substance abuse, and corrections and correctional treatment.

All our master’s in criminal justice online courses are certified by Quality Matters, a nationally recognized organization focused on improvement in online education.

Tuition & Fees    Get Started!

What Can You Do With a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice?

Our online master’s in criminal justice degree opens a world of possible careers.

You will learn from faculty who have professional and research experience and can help you advance in your career, obtain managerial positions, pursue a PhD program, move on to employment in federal agencies and more. Our USI faculty will prepare you for the wide variety of jobs available.

Once you complete our online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, you’ll discover new opportunities to careers such as: 

"I have always wanted to continue my education and the MACJ program has allowed me to accomplish this goal. The online program is structured in a way that I feel connected with my classmates and professors while still allowing me to continue to work full time."

- Emily Earhart, '17 BS in Criminal Justice; '23 MA in Criminal Justice
Records Specialist for Evansville Police Department

MACJ Alumni, Greg Oeth, had the unique experience of graduating with his master’s degree alongside his daughter, who graduated in the same semester with her MBA. Read more about their time at USI below.

Father and Daughter Duo

Required Courses | 18 Credit Hours

  • CRIM 601 - Criminal Justice Policy and Practice
  • CRIM 602 - Criminal Justice Administration
  • CRIM 603 - Research Methods
  • CRIM 604 - Quantitative Methods
  • CRIM 605 - Criminological Theory
  • CRIM 675 - Synthesis

Electives | 18 Credit Hours

  • CRIM 611 - Ethics in Criminal Justice
  • CRIM 612 - Law and Procedure
  • CRIM 620 - Seminar in Corrections*
  • CRIM 630 - Seminar in Policing*
  • CRIM 640 - Special Topics in Criminal Justice*
  • CRIM 650 - Seminar in Criminal Courts*
  • CRIM 691 - Thesis 1
  • CRIM 692 - Thesis 2
  • CRIM 689 - Internship**

*Repeatable with different topic, no limit. **Maximum of 6 Credit Hours total.

To see an expansive list of course descriptions, please click below.

MACJ Course Descriptions

Admission to the program will require a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.5 from an accredited college or university. Continuing students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher to complete the MACJ.

  1. Submit an online application and $40 application fee.
  2. Submit transcripts to Graduate Studies. 
    • Official transcripts are required only from the institution at which your highest degree was earned. Electronic transcripts are preferred and can be emailed from the previous institution to 
    • Unofficial transcripts from other institutions attended can be submitted via email by the applicant to 
    • Applicants who wish to seek transfer credit for graduate coursework must submit an official transcript from the institution where that work was completed. 
    • Mailed transcripts can be sent to this address:
      Graduate Studies
      University of Southern Indiana 
      8600 University Blvd. 
      Evansville, IN 47712
  3. Read the full transcript policy by clicking here.
  4. International applicants may be required to submit additional information.

Courses in the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice are taught by tenured and tenure-track faculty employed full-time by the University of Southern Indiana. All faculty have PhDs and a variety of research and teaching experience. Please visit our faculty websites to learn more about us. 

Criminal Justice Faculty

All MACJ courses are offered online using the Blackboard course management system and are seven (7) weeks in duration. Courses are designed using the Quality Matters Rubric Standards based on best practices and research for course design.

Program Objective 1

  • Students will demonstrate qualities of leadership by applying critical thinking skills to analyze evidence-based solutions to crime and criminal justice-related problems and effectively communicate those ideas orally and in writing.

Program Objective 2

  • Students will evaluate, apply, and assess the implications of criminological theory in analysis of criminal justice policy.

Program Objective 3

  • Students will demonstrate advanced proficiency in research design and analysis to study crime, criminal justice institutions, and criminal justice policies.

Program Objective 4

  • Students will assess the development, implementation, and impact of criminal justice policies and procedure.

Receive Credit for Work and Previous Experience

With the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, you have the opportunity to receive up to 9 credits for prior learning! If you have been in the work force and have gained relevant experience, you can apply that knowledge towards receiving credits in the MACJ program. This can allow you to graduate earlier and pay less for your degree! See the links below for more information.

Download the MACJ PLA Policy

USI's Portfolio Review - Graduate Page

Students who wish to receive credit for prior learning should submit a portfolio of experience to the MACJ program director. The portfolio should be received after they are accepted to the program but prior to the completion of 6 credits. The six-credit deadline refers to those graduate classes taken after acceptance to the program. The portfolio will be evaluated by a committee of faculty of the program. Portfolios are reviewed on a rolling basis. The decision of the committee or their designee is binding and there is no appeal.

The total number of combined transfer credits and PLA credits may not exceed 12.

Students who have completed graduate work at accredited universities will be able to transfer in up to 12 credits toward the MACJ, based on their grades and the similarity of their previous work to that at USI. These determinations will be made by the program director and the members of the MACJ evaluations committee based on best practices in the field.

The total number of combined transfer credits and PLA credits may not exceed 12.

Adapt Your Degree to Your Schedule

Enroll in our master’s in criminal justice online classes on a schedule that is tailored to you. With six start dates each year, you can even select which season works best for your goals.

When you choose our standard track and take one course at a time, you’ll complete your criminal justice master’s program online in about two years.

If you select our accelerated track, you can take two classes at a time and finish your degree in one year!

Course Start Application Deadline Registration Deadline
10/23/23 10/16/23 10/20/23
01/08/24 01/03/24 01/05/24
03/11/24 03/04/24 03/08/24
05/06/24 04/29/24 05/03/24
06/24/24 06/17/24 06/21/24
08/19/24 08/12/24 08/16/24

Get Started Today: 100% Online Master's in Criminal Justice

Take the next step toward earning your Master of Arts in Criminal Justice online at the University of Southern Indiana. Start your application or request more information today.


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