Master of Arts in Criminal Justice online

Apply By: 8/2/24
Start Class: 8/19/24
Apply Now

Program Overview

Lead the way to safer communities with the MA in Criminal Justice online

$16,740* Total Tuition
As few as 12 months Program Duration
36 Credit Hours

Expand your professional opportunities with the 100 percent online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Southern Indiana. The industry-relevant coursework in this program emphasizes the application of research to real-world problems in the justice system, theoretical explanations of crime and deviance, and the impact of criminal justice practices.

This career-focused MA in Criminal Justice offers a flexible pathway to developing the leadership and analytical abilities necessary for implementing innovative strategies to protect your community. Tailor your degree to your interests by choosing from elective courses in crime and media, domestic terrorism, or policing strategies. Receive credit for prior learning by transferring up to 12 credit hours—nine of which can come from credit for prior learning based on relevant work experience—toward your master's degree.

Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate qualities of leadership by applying critical-thinking skills to analyze evidence-based solutions to crime and criminal justice-related problems and effectively communicate those ideas orally and in writing
  • Evaluate, apply and assess the implications of criminological theory in analysis of criminal justice policy
  • Demonstrate advanced proficiency in research, design and analysis to study crime and criminal justice institutions and policies
  • Assess the development, implementation and impact of criminal justice policies and procedures

As a graduate of this online MA program, you will be qualified for various roles in leadership such as:

  • Private Detective or Investigator
  • Police Identification and Records Officer
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Police and Sheriff Patrol Officer
  • Transit and Railroad Police Officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Correctional Treatment Specialist
  • Customs and Border Protection Officer
  • Bailiff
  • Criminal Investigator for the IRS
  • Law Enforcement Information Systems Specialist with Customs and Border Patrol

The Romain College of Business at the University of Southern Indiana is one of only 5 percent of business schools worldwide to earn this prestigious accreditation from The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

$16,740* Total Tuition
As few as 12 months Program Duration
36 Credit Hours

The Online MBA in a Few Words

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Earn your MA affordably with our pay-by-the-course tuition

USI is committed to providing an outstanding education that also is affordable. Tuition is structured to give our students the best value and flexibility.

Tuition Breakdown

$465* Per Credit Unit
$16,740* Total Tuition

View additional tuition information

For more information about tuition, fees and other costs, visit our Financial Aid Cost of Attendance page.

*Tuition applicable for current start dates and is subject to change. Any questions regarding tuition should be directed to the Bursar's Office. If you step out of the program, returning to the program may have different tuition and fees applied.

Application Fee

Application fee: $40

Active military service members and veterans receive an admission fee waiver. Simply apply online and select the "military waiver" option, then contact our office at 800-467-1965 so we may submit the proper forms to Graduate Studies.

Billing and Payment Schedule

Financial Aid

The first step in applying for financial aid is to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your FAFSA must be received by the federal processing center by April 15th each year to be considered for state financial aid as well as federal financial aid. USI's Federal School Code is 001808. You will need an FSA ID to electronically sign your FASFA. If you do not have an FSA ID, you may create one at

Once you are admitted to the program and we receive your FAFSA, you can see the financial aid you qualify for and accept or decline your Direct Student Loan on your myUSI. For more information about tuition reimbursement or financial resources that may be available to you, visit our Student Financial Assistance page, access our Financial Aid FAQs, or contact us.

Student Financial Assistance Office

Local Phone: 812-464-1767
Toll Free Phone: 800-467-1965
Fax: 812-461-5305

Email: [email protected]

Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (CDT)

Tuition Breakdown:

$465* Per Credit Hour
$16,740* Total Tuition


Create an academic schedule that fits your busy life

Now is the time to start earning your MA online and take the fast track to a more successful career. USI provides you with the convenience of an accelerated application-to-start calendar.

Now Enrolling

8/2/24 Next Application Due Date
8/19/24 Next Class Start Date
SessionCourse StartApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlineRegistration Deadline
Summer II6/24/246/7/246/14/246/21/24
Fall I8/19/248/2/248/9/248/16/24
Fall II10/21/2410/4/2410/11/2410/18/24
Spring I1/13/2512/27/241/3/251/10/25
Spring II3/17/252/28/253/7/253/14/25
Summer I5/12/254/25/255/2/255/9/25
Summer II6/30/256/13/256/20/256/27/25

Now Enrolling:

8/2/24 Next Application Deadline
8/19/24 Start Classes

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Learn how easily you can apply to the online master's in criminal justice

The University of Southern Indiana's online MA in Criminal Justice program has specific requirements that applicants must meet to enroll. Please read the admission guidelines to ensure you qualify.

  • Undergraduate Degree Completed bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • GPA Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Receive Credits For Prior Learning

Applicants must meet the following criteria for admission to USI’s MA in Criminal Justice program:

  • Completed bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Submit an online application and $40 application fee
  • Submit all transcripts to Graduate Studies
    • Official transcripts are required only from the institution at which your highest degree was earned. Electronic transcripts are preferred and can be emailed from the previous institution to [email protected].
    • Unofficial transcripts from other institutions attended can be submitted via email by the applicant to [email protected]
    • Applicants who wish to seek transfer credit for graduate coursework must submit an official transcript from the institution where that work was completed

Universities that are unable to send transcripts electronically may mail transcripts to this address:

USI Graduate Studies
8600 University Blvd.
Evansville, IN 47712

  1. Read the full transcript policy by clicking here
  2. International applicants may be required to submit additional information

Credit for Prior Learning

The Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) policy allows for the granting of credit for previous experiential learning through a portfolio review. Approved hours are awarded as elective credit and are not tied to specific course numbers.

Visit for more information.


Explore the curriculum for the online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

To complete this online criminal justice graduate degree, students must complete 36 hours, including 18 hours of core coursework (six courses) and 18 hours of elective coursework (six courses).

Students must take all of the following courses:

Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course addresses crime and criminal justice policy, with emphasis on the examination of specific criminal justice policies, the forces that impact criminal justice policies, and the impact of criminal justice practices. The development, implementation, and analysis of public policy in the field of criminal justice are explored.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
The purpose of this class is to provide students with a conceptual and theoretical overview of criminal justice organizations and administration. The course emphasizes the importance of viewing the criminal justice system as both a fragmented and monolithic system which has some similar and some conflicting goals. Moreover, it focuses on organizational structure, communication, development, innovation, leadership, and conflict.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
The purpose of this class is to get students acquainted with the process of social research. The study of research methods is about understanding the art and the science of designing and executing research. It is about blending logic, common sense, creativity, and the scientific method to learn about contemporary issues related to crime, policy, and society.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Building on CRIM 603 Research Methods this course focuses upon performing data analyses using computer software programs. Widely used statistical procedures within the social sciences will be studied with an emphasis on descriptive and inferential statistical methods and theory.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course is a survey of historical and contemporary theoretical explanations for crime and deviance.   The major focus of the course will be the evaluation of criminological theory in general and the use of such theories in criminal justice policies.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
As the final course for the MA, students will draw from the knowledge they have gained to write and present a professional quality academic paper.

Student may elect to take six electives to count toward the 36 credit hour degree requirement, or four electives and two thesis courses, or a combination of four or five electives and one or two internships (students can take Internship twice if needed):

Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
During the functioning of the criminal justice system a variety of ethical issues arise. This course focuses on theories of ethics and morality and applying them within the field of criminal justice.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course is an examination of the development of criminal and procedural law as a system of social control. More specifically, the course will evaluate the procedures employed by the criminal justice system and how they are related to the administration of criminal justice and the law. 
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course involves the study of important issues in the field of corrections with an emphasis on tackling real world problems.  This course is repeatable with different topics.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course involves the study of important issues in the field of policing with an emphasis on tackling real world problems.  This course is repeatable with different topics.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course explores an issue within criminal justice that is not focused on in other courses.  It emphasizes critical thinking and discussion. The special topic will change based upon current events and the expertise of the faculty. This course is repeatable with different topics.
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course critically examines various issues pertaining to the processing and sentencing of accused offenders within various court environments.  Using legal cases and empirical research, this course explores the societal and political influences on criminal courts.  The topic of the course will change based upon current events and the expertise of the faculty. 
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This internship must result in some project, report, or materials related to the work done during the internship. **Maximum of 6 credit hours total
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course is the first of a two-semester sequence for completing a thesis for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ) program. In this semester, the student will identify a topic, conduct in-depth research to identify and assess sources appropriate for the research topic, and create a thesis proposal and outline as the culminating project.  
Duration: 8 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course is the second of a two-semester sequence for completing a thesis for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ) program. In this semester, the student will draft an initial, multi-chapter thesis, revise it, and submit it to a committee of graduate faculty for review. Upon acceptance by the thesis director and the committee, the student will defend the thesis before final editing and submission to the Graduate Director.

"When I was in the MBA program, we actually looked into the logic and the qualitative aspects of, 'Okay, here's the math, but does this decision actually make sense?' As a business, there are always other factors, so that was really good for me."

– Stevie Lynch

"I was able to balance my personal life and my career as well as all of my coursework."

Sarah Matthews, MBA online graduate

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