Master of Science in Criminal Justice Online Courses

Your online courses cover advanced topics in law, ethics, forensics, and corrections. Serve the greater good – earn your Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Ashford University.

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice program consists of ten core courses, or 30 credits. In addition, you choose a specialization of three courses worth nine credits total.

Students will be exempt from CRJ 501 Criminal Justice, Criminal Law & the Constitution who have successfully completed undergraduate coursework in criminal justice, criminal law and constitutional law.

Students who waive CRJ 501 are required to take 36 total program credits in order to meet graduation requirements.

Courses are listed in the recommended sequence.

Core Courses
Specialization Courses

Core Courses

(30 credits, each course is 3 credits)

CRJ 501 Criminal Justice, Criminal Law & the Constitution*
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of the criminal justice system, substantative criminal law, and the U.S. Constitution. This course may be waived for students holding undergraduate degrees in criminal justice or having completed certain courses.

CRJ 510 Criminal Justice Policy & Theory
This course is an extensive analysis of the functions, processes, and structures of the criminal justice system. Principles, doctrines, selected rules of criminal law and law as social control will be examined.

CRJ 512 Criminological Theory
This course explores classical and contemporary literature in criminology and criminal justice. Both theory and empirical research will be used to examine criminal behavior as well as the structure, function, and interaction of the criminal justice system.

CRJ 514 Constitutional & Judicial Processes
This course examines the structure, functions, and operations of the constitution and judicial processes. The impact of historical and contemporary constitutional issues on the criminal justice process will also be examined.

CRJ 520 Research Methods in Criminal Justice
This course introduces the use of research methods in the study of criminal justice. The focus is on the examination of the issues related to collecting, analyzing, and using data. Students will learn to test hypotheses, draw inferences, and write a research report.

CRJ 522 Psychological Factors in Criminal Justice
This course introduces students to the use of psychological methods and theoretical models in the criminal justice system. Students will examine criminal and police psychology with an overview of forensic psychology.

CRJ 524 Ethics in Criminal Justice
This course examines theoretical and applied criminal justice ethical standards as they relate to criminal justice decision making. Students will evaluate issues concerning discretion, due process, truthfulness, corruption, and discrimination.

CRJ 613 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
This course provides an international perspective on law enforcement. Students will focus on the phenomena of globalization of criminal activity, major aspects of the legal traditions and criminal justice systems of selected countries, as well as international legal and law enforcement institutions.

CRJ 615 Victimology
This course provides an overview of the principles and concepts of victimology, an analysis of patterns and trends, as well as theoretical reasoning and responses to criminal victimization. Students will examine the consequences suffered by victims as well as the services and resources available to them.

CRJ 697 Capstone – Evaluation & Program Analysis in Criminal Justice
Students will research key concepts, methods, and issues in the field of evaluation research. In addition, students will analyze and develop an evaluation proposal on a discreet topic within the field of criminal justice. The focus will center on needs assessment, impact, monitoring, as well as the application of quantitative and qualitative techniques.

* This course may be waived, depending on the student's undergraduate coursework.


Choose one of the following specializations to add to your degree program:

Cybercrime & Technology

(9 credits, each course is 3 credits.)

CRJ 621 Cybercrime Investigation

This course will introduce students to the methods for investigating internet crime. Students will learn how to gather evidence, build a case against the perpetrator, and manage an Internet crime scene.

CRJ 626 Computer Forensics
This course will introduce students to the methods for preventing and detecting cyber crime. Students will learn the basics of retrieving and analyzing data from various mediums, such as computers, global positioning systems, or removable storage devices.

CRJ 631 Security & Protection for Cybercrime
This course will instruct students of the basic rights of business and individuals who are affected by cybercrime as well as the means to protect them. Students will learn how to protect potential victims whether minors in chat rooms or multinational businesses from cyber criminals.

Forensic Science

(9 credits, each course is 3 credits.)  

CRJ 622 Introduction to Forensic Science
This course will introduce students to the history of forensic science along with current technologies, procedures and methods of laboratory analysis in use today. Topics covered will include recognition, protection, documentation and collection of physical evidence as well as analysis of such physical evidence. Legal recognition of new technologies will also be reviewed.

CRJ 627 Advanced Forensic Science
This course will review the forensic science subjects covered in CRJ 622 and introduce the student to the scientific techniques used in processing evidence found at investigations and crime scenes. This course is designed to allow the student to complete exercises in the forensic fields most commonly used today.

CRJ 632 Crime Scene Investigation & Management
This course will introduce the student to the forensic techniques utilized in crime scene investigations (CSI). Students will learn how to process and retrieve trace evidence such as DNA and other items of evidentiary value. Student will also learn accepted methodologies employed in contemporary crime scene management. Students will also become familiarized with commonly accepted forensic techniques, contemporary specialized techniques, and judicial expectations and requirements relative to the admittance of evidence collected by forensic crime scene investigators.

Homeland Security

(9 credits, each course is 3 credits.)  

CRJ 623 Homeland Security
This course introduces the student to the responsibilities and functions across agencies at various jurisdictional levels that have the charge of mitigating hostilities, threats, hazards, and consequences. Additionally, this course will study the methods of the most effective response systems. Students will develop the skills to identify, evaluate and resolve complex policy issues and initiate practical actions.

CRJ 628 Terrorism: Threats & Strategy
This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of terrorism, both international and domestic. The course will explore the causes and effects of terrorism as they relate to political structures from both religious and historical perspectives; with particular focus on present day impacts.

CRJ 633 Risk Assessment
This course is intended to provide the student with advanced knowledge and understanding of the area of risk assessment and management. The focus is on the recognition of real and perceived threats, sharing information between communities and agencies, the collaboration of resources, and the management of risk. Students will examine the concepts of risk assessment, risk analysis, and the impacts of actual and suspected threats.

Law Enforcement & Corrections Administration

(9 credits, each course is 3 credits.)

CRJ 620 Organizational Behavior in Law Enforcement & Corrections
This course provides an analysis of the various issues facing criminal justice and correctional organizations in the context of professional practice, including, the theoretical concepts of organizational behavior, management and leadership of human resources, and design and structural processes of such organizations. Included topics are fiscal accountability; personnel deployment; implementation of change, motivation and retention of personnel, the hiring, assignment, and promotion of personnel, organizational communication; professional
development, and applicable legal issues as they pertain to agency operations.

CRJ 625 Employment & Policy Law for Law Enforcement & Corrections Administrators
This course explores specialized topics in substantive and procedural law with a special emphasis on employment law, and how these legal issues impact ethics and leadership in criminal justice and correctional organizations. This course is well suited for command-level personnel in response to a variety of potential agency and personal liability issues.

CRJ 630 Budgeting for Finance Law Enforcement & Corrections Administrators
This course will introduce students to public program budgeting and finance concepts. Special emphasis is given to methods of financing public programs and the preparation and management of budgets for the programs. This course is intended to provide students with an opportunity to learn and practice the technical aspects of program budgeting and finance in the public safety arena.

If the MS in Criminal Justice degree fits your personal and professional goals, contact Ashford University at 866.711.1700 to learn more, or request additional information.