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M.A. Criminal Justice

Designed for:

Individuals currently working in the field of criminal justice and its ancillary professions. Criminal Justice masters programs provides students with academic foundation for managerial and other advanced professional roles in the field of criminal justice.

To start, you need:

Get the details on admission requirements, processes, and timelines

Finishing will take:

  • 2 years
    • This criminal justice masters program can be completed in as little as 4 terms if students attend full-time.
  • 45 credits
  • A master’s thesis, professional project, or comprehensive exams

Begin your Online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program:

  • Next term

Where you will take classes:

  • Online/distance fall, winter, spring, and summer
  • On-campus evening courses

Technology you will need:

  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • Webcam
  • Video conferencing capability (e.g., Skype)
  • Printer (optional)

Where this degree can take you:

  • Management roles within criminal justice field
  • Teaching at community college level
  • Preparation for doctoral programs

What you will learn:

This degree will teach students how to conduct social science research and learn how to apply these methods toward solving the actual problems encountered in the administration of justice. In other words, you will learn how to put theory into practice.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Analyze the organizational structures and management challenges that define the field of criminal justice.
  2. Use methods of social science research to investigate problems and questions in the field of criminal justice.
  3. Apply theory-to-practice within the criminal justice environment.


You can rely on the professionals behind the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program to help you grow in your career and take on leadership in the field of criminal justice. We are committed to developing long-lasting relationships with our online students. Ask us questions-about the process, about the field, or about your career. We look forward to your contributions to the field of criminal justice.  

Ready to get to know us better? Request more information or start the application process.



If you haven’t found the information you need or are still not sure where to direct your question, contact Jennifer Willard at willardj@wou.edu or 503-838-8733 Fax: 503-838-9707

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ONLINE Program

Jill recently finished her 16 week course for DPSST and works for the Independence Police Department. "Getting my Criminal Justice MA from WOU has been one of the best decisions of my life. It has allowed me to pursue and succeed in a number of diverse roles within the criminal justice system. My degree, and the knowledge I gained from the program has given me great confidence and the flexibility to map out my own career path. I have recommended the program to many colleagues and will continue to do so."

Jill Thissel-Alumni

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

"I do not fear failure. I only fear the slowing up of the engine inside of me which is pounding, saying, keep going, someone must be on top, why not you? –General George S. Patton My motivation to keep pushing forward are the men and women veterans who have signed a blank check in order to protect the rights and freedoms we so often take for granted. Western Oregon University has given me the opportunity through the Criminal Justice program to give back to those men and women who need the support of the community."

Gerrad McElroy-Current Student

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice