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Masters (MSCJ) in Criminal Justice

The Master of Science (MS) in Criminal Justice provides a comprehensive understanding of the integration of theory, policy, and research within leadership and administrative roles in criminal justice systems. The MS cultivates critical thinking in examining the synthesis of social and legal systems, structures, and institutions in implementing and evaluating outcomes.

UK’s program is unique in emphasizing the application of perceptual frameworks, articulating the importance of culturally relevant practice, and connecting critical examination and succinct, meaningful communication. UK emphasizes transdisciplinary processes and problem solving to ensure that graduates develop job-ready, employability skills to address and implement best practices in criminal justice settings.

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At a Glance

Fall 2024

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Spring 2025

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Credits and Tuition Cost (2023-2024)

Credits Required: 30
Cost Per Credit: $737.00


Fully Online

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Masters in Criminal Justice overview

Program format
Fully Online
Total credits
Total Credits
Degree awarded
Degree Awarded

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Join an upcoming virtual information session to learn more about the program, curriculum and application process.

What You'll Learn


By the completion of the MS program, students will be able to:

  • Apply theoretical, cultural, and perceptual frameworks to criminal justice practice.
  • Recognize the impact of theories, policies, and scientific inquiry on implementation of services and associated outcomes.
  • Identify and address systematic barriers in justice involved systems through identifying and addressing systemic injustices in the criminal justice system.
  • Critically examine and employ leadership theories and skills in managing and leading criminal justice organizations.

Course Examples

  • CJ 621 Ethics in Criminal Justice Settings
  • CJ 629 Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 631 Application of Criminal Justice Theories
  • CJ 704 Administrative and Leadership Practices in Criminal Justice Organizations
  • CJ 712 Criminal Justice Policy and Analysis
  • CJ 728 Applied Analysis for Criminal Justice Organizations
  • Plus, an additional 12 credit hours of specifically targeted criminal justice related electives at the 500 level or above.
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Got Questions?

Schedule time to meet with a program representative one-on-one.

How to Apply

Application Requirements

Admissions Criteria

Program Contact

Kalea Benner
Program Director


Fall 2024

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Spring 2025

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Distance Learning

Licensure & Authorization

Where you live matters when completing distance education activities. If you will live outside of Kentucky while completing your program, please check the Distance Learning Authorization & Licensure page to confirm that the program can be offered in your state or country, and if relevant, that it meets professional licensure requirements in your state. Please note: Admission and enrollment in a fully-online program can NOT lead to the issuance of a J-1 or F-1 student visa. 

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University of Kentucky has been approved to participate in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Student Support

Once you become a student, you will have access to a wide variety of academic support services to maximize your success. These services are available completely online to meet the needs of our online students.

Why UK Online


No test scores required.

UK degree

Degrees are conferred by the University of Kentucky, an accredited university.

Grad tuition cap

Save money by paying for only 9 standard credit hours per semester, even if you take more.

Flexible schedule

Fit learning into your busy schedule with no prescribed class times.
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