Criminal Justice (M.S.)

Criminal Justice (M.S.)

Program Description

If you’re working in law enforcement or interested in branching out into a new field and looking to pursue your master’s, you may have wondered what you can do with a criminal justice degree.

A master’s in criminal justice can help a law enforcement officer get promoted, sharpen critical skills for someone in a criminal justice-related field or serve as an entry point for a competitive job, such as a position at a federal agency.

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice is designed to provide advanced preparation for those interested in professional careers in the justice and public safety field or those who wish to pursue doctoral study. The degree is designed to be completed in one year, with a total of 30 semester hours.

Depending on their career objectives, candidates for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree have three options to demonstrate competence:

  • Comprehensive Examination option: Students complete a comprehensive examination that includes questions from the core area and the required course area.
  • Specialization option: Students complete six semester hours of specialized work in addition to the required 30 semester hours.
  • Thesis option: Students complete a minimum of 24 semester hours of coursework, then prepare a thesis on an appropriate topic for a minimum of six semester hours of thesis credit.

The Criminal Justice Department also offers a master’s degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Points of Pride

  • The Department Head is an experienced former Deputy Chief of Police of a Southern California Police Department.
  • Our full-time faculty have published scholarly books and numerous peer-reviewed articles in prestigious journals, including Criminal Justice Studies, Police Quarterly, International Journal of Police Science & Management, Homicide Studies, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, and Criminology & Penology.

Put Your Degree to Work

Note: While salaries vary depending on several factors including your level of experience, education and training, and geography and industry, here is a sampling of the future job growth and salaries nationally.

The most recent median annual wage for criminal justice occupations was $76,860 – more than twice the median annual wage for all occupations. You can explore potential available careers through the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics sample


Median Annual Pay

Job Growth through 2028

Police Officers and Detectives



Detectives and Criminal Investigators


Not available

Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists



For More Information

Department of Criminal Justice
Auburn University at Montgomery
Clement Hall 319

Soaring Warhawks

  • Dr. Rodney Ellis is chancellor of Southern University at Shreveport in Louisiana.
  • Paul Register is Chief of Police of the Auburn Police Department.
  • Louis Franklin is the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama
  • Kevin Murphy served as Montgomery’s Police Chief and is now Chief Deputy with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail, please see our official online catalog AND consult with an academic advisor.

For entrance into this program, applicants are required to submit their undergraduate transcripts. If the applicant has an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher the MAT or GRE entrance exams are waived.

Course sampling specific to the Criminal Justice concentration includes:

Required Courses 27 Semester Hours
Course # Course Name
JUST 6403 Advanced Criminal Justice Information Systems
JUST 6510 Criminal Justice Planning and Budgeting
JUST 6642 Criminal Justice Writing
JUST 6700 Research Methods
JUST 6850 Personnel Administration
JUST 6410 Law Enforcement Administration
JUST 6220*

JUST 6750*

Ethics in Criminal Justice*

Survey of Crime Theories*

JUST 6420*

JUST 6430*

Correctional Administration*

Community Corrections*

JUST 6370*

JUST 6580*

Security Administration*

Loss Prevention*

JUST 6610*

JUST 6670*

Juvenile Justice Administration*

Family Law*

Elective Courses 3 Semester Hours
Course # Course Name
JUST 6630 Victimology
JUST 6924 Internship
JUST 6932 Directed Research
JUST 6972 Special Topics (i.e. Research in Violent Crimes)
JUST 6250 Cyber & White Collar Crime
JUST 6819 Cold Case Investigations
JUST 6400 Crime Analysis
JUST 6105 Women in Criminal Justice
JUST 6200 Comparative Criminal Justice
JUST 6505 Gangs

Want More Info About AUM?


Taylor Center 101


7400 East Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

Office Hours

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday

Call Today





[email protected]

    Let’s GO!

    Virtual Map of Campus.

    Start your adventure to campus life by clicking on our interactive map. Discover the AUM scene and its unique work-life balance. Take a virtual tour of featured facilities that provide comfort, convenience, exercise, and relaxation. Join a community of independent living and group activities that offset the challenging work week.