Make the World a Safer Place

A Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Nova Southeastern University will shape you into the leader your community needs.

Learn the ins and outs of the criminal justice system with an interdisciplinary curriculum and train for your career with professional experience through fieldwork. Discover your niche through our core curriculum and specialize your degree with a concentration.

NSU is proud to offer the Valor Award 20% Scholarship for law enforcement officials, veterans, military, and first responders.

I would recommend the program in criminal justice because it gives you good insight into how the legal system works and how to apply those principles to help people.

nefertari bennett, esq. | m.s. criminal justice
Criminal Justice graduate, Nefertari Bennett working in court room

Quick Facts


Visit the Tuition and Fees page for more information. Discounted rates are available through our employer tuition program.


NSU’s M.S. in Criminal Justice program consists of 30 total credits and can be completed in as little as 18 months.

Start Dates

The M.S. in Criminal Justice is available to start in August, October, January, March, and May. Applications for admission are accepted online and on a rolling basis throughout the calendar year

Delivery Options

Coursework for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree is conducted entirely online.

What Can You Do With a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice?

Go on to have a rewarding career as a:

  • Police Officer
  • State Trooper
  • Park Ranger
  • Detective
  • FBI Special Agent
  • Correctional Counselor
Criminal Justice student standing outside holding textbook

Earning Potential

Criminal Investigator

$70,718 Average Salary per Year


$68,055 Average Salary per Year

Correctional Officer, Sr.

$54,315 Average Salary per Year


M.S. in Criminal Justice Curriculum

Prepare for a career in state law enforcement, environmental law enforcement, federal law enforcement, or specialty law enforcement with an interdisciplinary core curriculum and a concentrated degree. This master's program comprises 30 credits: 15 credits (5 courses) of core curriculum, 12 credits (4 courses) of a specialty concentration, and 3 elective credits (one course).

Learn about the different aspects of the dynamic field of criminal justice with a foundational, interdisciplinary curriculum.


Required Courses (15 Credits)
CJI 0510
Survey Issues in Criminal Justice (CJI 0510 / Credits: 3 )
CJI 0520
Social Administration of Criminal Justice (CJI 0520 / Credits: 3 )
CJI 0530
Legal Issues in Criminal Justice (CJI 0530 / Credits: 3 )
CJI 0540
Program Evaluation in Criminal Justice (CJI 0540 / Credits: 3 )
CJI 0550
Investigative Processes (CJI 0550 / Credits: 3 )

Concentration Tracks

Receive specialized training in behavioral science issues, and gain the knowledge and skills to work in law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. Courses are offered in conjunction with NSU's College of Psychology.


Choose Four Courses (12 Credits Total)
PSY 0695
Law Enforcement and the Mentally Disordered Offender (PSY 0695 / Credits: 3 )
PSY 694/0920
Police Psychology (PSY 694/0920 / Credits: 3 )
PSY 0693/ 0913
Behavioral Criminology (PSY 0693/ 0913 / Credits: 3 )
PSY 0692
Police Stress and Mental Health (PSY 0692 / Credits: 3 )
PSY 0691
Forensic Psychology (PSY 0691 / Credits: 3 )
Gain the knowledge and skills to have a successful career in agencies such as Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Children and Family Services, and others.


Choose Four Courses (12 Credits Total)
CJI 6910
Theory of Child Protection, Investigation, and Advocacy (CJI 6910 / Credits: 3 )
CJI 6920
Juvenile Justice: Systems, Structure, and Process (CJI 6920 / Credits: 3 )
CJI 6930
Family Dynamics: Motivation, Support and Communication (CJI 6930 / Credits: 3 )
CJI 6940
Victimology: Child Abuse and Exploited Children (CJI 6940 / Credits: 3 )
CJI 6950
Safe Schools: Climate and Culture (CJI 6950 / Credits: 3 )
Receive specialized training in the burgeoning field of forensic investigation. Learn about the investigative and analysis techniques used during criminal investigations.


Choose Four Courses (12 Credits Total)
CJI 6111
Firearms, Fingerprints and Other Impression Evidence (CJI 6111 / Credits: 3 )
CJI 6112
Forensic Analysis of Trace and Drug Evidence (CJI 6112 / Credits: 3 )
CJI 6113
Crime Scene (CJI 6113 / Credits: 3 )
CJI 6114
DNA Technology that Revolutionized Criminal Investigations (CJI 6114 / Credits: 3 )
CJI 6115
Overview of Crime Laboratory Management (CJI 6115 / Credits: 3 )

Open Electives (9 Credits)

Please choose four courses (12 credit hours) from any concentration or elective course.


Choose one or a combination of electives below to obtain a minimum of 3 credit hours:

One (3) credit class

Students may choose any three-credit courses within their degree program, excluding the required courses, and apply those credits toward the electives requirement.

Practicum Placement (3 credits)

Get firsthand field experience by observing multiple parts of a department or agency, performing assigned duties, and attending supplementary lectures. 

Master's Thesis (6 credits)

Work with an NSU faculty member to design and conduct your own research project.

Related Degrees

Looking for a degree that will allow you to better your organization or community? Check out these programs.

Admission Requirements

Ready for the Next Step?

We’re thrilled you’re applying to NSU’s M.S. in Criminal Justice program.

Applications for admission are accepted online and on a rolling basis for all graduate programs throughout the calendar year.

Have the following items ready to submit with your online application:

  • $50 application fee
  • Transcripts from all schools attended 
  • Personal statement of between 150 and 300 words indicating your goals in pursuing a Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Two letters of recommendation from current professors, employers, supervisors, or similar people most familiar with your professional experience (letters of recommendation must be less than one year old)
Applicants who have attended foreign universities or colleges are required to have their academic credentials evaluated for U.S. institutional equivalence. Please visit the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services for more information. International students are encouraged to contact the Office of International Student Services at (954) 262-7240 or 800-541-6682, ext. 27240, or by email at, or visit the Office of International Students and Scholars.

Gain the NSU Edge

Get an edge in your career with an academic community that is here to support you and guide you as continue your education journey and further your career.

As a student at NSU, you’ll have a competitive advantage among your peers with a flexible, individualized learning experience, funding for your tuition, community connections to career opportunities, and access to a globally established alumni network.

Learn More About the NSU Edge

NSU graduate smiling in cap and gown