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Online Master’s in Criminal Justice, No GRE Required (or GRE Waiver)

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The quality of life in any place is greatly dependent on its level of crime and the swift delivery of justice. Criminal justice studies the causes of crime as well as administration and policy. A degree in criminal administration can equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to undertake roles in law enforcement and the government.

A number of these programs offer concentrations such as cybercrime, cybersecurity, homeland security, and federal law enforcement. Students complete courses such as criminal justice policy, victimology, criminology, violent crime, and data processing techniques.

There are various online master’s programs available in criminal justice which do not require Graduate Record Examination scores for admission. The GRE is a computerized test that many graduate schools in the US require students to take. The aim of the exam is to measure students’ verbal, critical thinking, and writing skills. While some programs do not require GRE scores altogether, a few programs offer a test score waiver under certain circumstances. For instance, if a student has a high GPA, they may not have to submit GRE scores (e.g., Sam Houston State University online CJ program).

On completion of a master’s in criminal justice, students can take up roles such as probation officer, forensic examiner, intelligence analyst, police detective, police chief, and federal law enforcement agent.

This piece covers accredited online master’s programs in criminal justice that do not require GRE scores as well as three noteworthy professors behind these programs.

Featured Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs (No GRE or GMAT)

Boston University

Boston University offers an online master of science in criminal justice (MSCJ) program. Launched in 2002, this program was Boston University’s first online offering. Concentrations include crime analysis, cybercrime investigation and cybersecurity, and strategic management. Students in the program gain an understanding of the judicial system, leadership principles, and law enforcement.

Admission requirements for the program include a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, a completed application, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a current resume, transcripts from each college or university attended, and proof of English proficiency is required of all international applicants. Standardized test scores are not required for admission.

The program comprises 32 credit-hours in topics such as criminology and crime policy, criminal justice administration and ethics, research and evaluation methods, and applied analytical methods. Concentration courses cover areas such as cybercrime, crime and intelligence analysis, victimology, crime and punishment, and criminal justice policy and planning. Students learn how criminal justice organizations are managed, how to resolve ethical issues in criminal justice, and gain an understanding of criminological theories.

Graduates of the program can work as forensic examiners, information security analysts, probation officers and correctional treatment specialists, private detectives and investigators, and criminal justice and law enforcement teachers.

  • Location: Brookline, Massachusetts
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Expected Time to Completion: 16 to 18 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $480 to $905 per credit-hour (depending upon the course)

Arizona State University

The ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers an online master of arts in criminal justice (MACJ). Offered part-time as well as full-time, the program prepares students for a successful career in criminal justice.

Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in criminology or criminal justice or another closely related field from a regionally accredited institution, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0, and proof of English proficiency for international students. GRE test scores are not required for entry into this program.

The program is made up of 33 credit-hours. It gives students a detailed understanding of why crime exists, the impact it has on society as a whole, and how the criminal justice system can help. The coursework includes topics such as applied data analysis in criminal justice, and criminal justice planning and program evaluation, as well as seminars on criminal justice, criminology, criminal justice organization and management, victimization, and violent crime and criminal behavior.

Students gain a wide range of knowledge and skills through the program. They learn about the American criminal justice system, the causes of criminal behavior, methods of evaluating criminal justice policies and practices, tools used in the analysis of criminal justice data, and patterns of violent crime. At the end of the program, graduates can take up roles as correction officers, intelligence analysts, private investigators, and claim appraisers.

  • Location: Tempe, Arizona
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Expected Time to Completion: 18 months (full-time), less than six years (part-time)
  • Estimated Tuition: $709 per credit-hour

Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Joseph’s University offers an online master of science in criminal justice (MSCJ). The program offers a general track as well as a number of concentrations. The general track involves completing the four core courses and choosing the remaining courses from any of the available concentrations, which include behavior analysis, behavior management, federal law enforcement, intelligence and crime analysis, and homeland security.

Admission requirements for the program include an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college, a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.8 (or 3.0 for the behavior analysis concentration), and TOEFL test scores for international students.

The number of credit-hours for the program depend on the concentration chosen. The general track, behavior management concentration, federal law enforcement concentration, intelligence and crime analysis concentration, and homeland security concentration are all made up of 30 credit-hours. The behavior analysis concentration is made up of 36 credit-hours.

Courses in all tracks include research methods and analysis, criminological theory, ethics and criminal justice, and professional writing for law enforcement.

The courses in the different concentrations are as follows:

  • Behavior analysis: Concepts and principles of behavior analysis, ethics and professionalism in behavior analysis, behavior assessment, measuring and evaluating behavior, behavior change procedures
  • Behavior management: Youth cultures and deviance, mental health and the law, foundations of addiction
  • Federal law enforcement: Federal criminal justice, federal criminal law and prosecution, white collar crime
  • Intelligence and crime analysis: Law enforcement intelligence analysis, law enforcement intelligence: policy and process, forensic financial analysis.
  • Homeland security: Homeland security, risk assessment, sociology of disasters

Students learn about criminological theories and research methods, ethical issues prevailing in the criminal justice system, and the relationship of criminological theories to crime in day-to-day life. Additionally, they can become adept at demonstrating professionalism and resolving dilemmas using case studies.

On completion of the program, students can take up roles such as federal law enforcement officer, private investigator, customs and border protection officer, and criminal investigator.

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Expected Time to Completion: 18 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $887 per credit-hour

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University offers an online MS in criminal justice. The program provides students with an advanced understanding of key areas within the field of criminal justice.

Admission requirements for this program include a completed online graduate application, and a completed transcript release form for any schools attended. GRE/GMAT scores are not required for admission.

The program requires the completion of 36 credit-hours. The core courses help students develop their leadership skills, data-driven decision making, and understanding of the court system and judicial process.

After completing the program, students can take up jobs in law enforcement, state and local government, security and corrections, community advocacy, and public policy.

  • Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $627 per credit-hour

Featured Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs (GRE or GMAT Waiver)

Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University offers an online master of science in criminal justice. The program prepares students to work in different areas of the criminal justice system. Notably, the faculty members for the program have been recognized as the most productive researchers nationally by the Journal of Criminal Justice Education. Additionally, the program ranks as the third-best in ‘Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs’ by US News & World Report.​

In order to apply for the program, students must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited academic institution in criminal justice or a related field, a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores for international students. GRE scores are only a requirement for those with a low GPA.

​Made up of 36​ credit-hours, the curriculum includes courses such as a critical analysis of justice administration, research methods and quantitative analysis, a seminar in organization and administration, program evaluation in criminal justice, and emergent issues in criminal justice leadership. The program trains students to conduct research, gather information, examine data processing techniques, and techniques of program evaluation, including models and case studies.

On successful completion of the program, students can take up careers in corrections, law enforcement, security, and social services. They can take up roles such as judges, police administrators, federal law enforcement agents, chief probation officers, and victim advocates.

  • Location: Huntsville, Texas
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: 16 to 18 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,192.75 per credit-hour

Lamar University (Related Program)

Lamar University offers an online master of business administration (MBA) in criminal justice management.

The admission requirements include an undergraduate degree from an accredited university (students with a non-business undergraduate degree may need to take three leveling courses), a complete online application, and official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, among other documentation. GMAT scores can be waived for students with a 3.0 (or higher) grade point average.

The program consists of 36 credit-hours. It prepares students to deal with people from all backgrounds, make the right decisions under stress, and keep pace with policy and regulatory changes. Some of the courses include managerial accounting, criminal justice system and policy, the theoretical foundations of crime control, special studies applied criminology law, criminal justice leadership, and strategic management.

Students develop leadership skills, understand how to prevent crime, and learn about the role of the government and non-governmental organizations in the elimination of crime. At the end of the program, graduates can pursue a number of roles in criminal justice.

  • Location: Beaumont, Texas
  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 16 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $12,372 for the whole program

Professors to Know in Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs

Jurg Gerber
Jurg Gerber, PhD Sam Houston State University

Dr. Jurg Gerber is a professor of criminology and criminal justice as well as the director of international initiatives for the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University. He teaches courses on community theory and the administration of justice, research methods and quantitative analysis in criminal justice, criminological theory, studies in criminological theory, and crime and criminal behavior systems. His areas of expertise include white collar crime, criminology, comparative criminology, and drug policy. He is a member of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the American Sociological Association, and the American Society of Criminology. He has published his research in influential journals such as International Journal of Police Science & Management, the Journal of Criminology, and the Journal of Qualitative Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Dr. Gerber completed his PhD and MA from Washington State University, his BA from Eastern Washington University, his AA from Big Bend Community College, and his KF from Kaufmännische Berufsschule Bern.

Mary Ellen Mastrorilli
Mary Ellen Mastrorilli, PhD Boston University

Dr. Mary Ellen Mastrorilli is an associate professor who leads courses in criminal justice at Boston University. She teaches courses such as criminal justice administration, criminal justice policy and planning, and crime and punishment. Her research efforts are centered around female offenders, law and society, and community corrections. She has been published in prominent journals such as the Journal of Correctional Education, the Journal of Gender Studies, and The Prison Journal.

Dr. Mastrorilli completed her PhD from Northeastern University, an MPA from Suffolk University, and a BA from the University of Massachusetts.

Shi Yan
Shi Yan, PhD Arizona State University

Dr. Shi Yan is an assistant professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, where he teaches courts and sentencing, research methods, statistical analysis, statistical tools for criminology and criminal justice, and a seminar in courts and sentencing. His research efforts are focused on sentencing and plea bargaining, measurement issues related to criminal record data, and modeling criminal careers from a criminal justice perspective.

Dr. Yan is a member of professional organizations such as the American Society of Criminology and the Arizona Association of Crime Analysts. His research has appeared in top-notch journals such as the Journal of Quantitative Criminology and Justice Quarterly.

He earned his PhD and MA from the University at Albany, and his LLB from Peking University.