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Master’s in Criminology in the US

A Master’s in Criminology is a graduate-level degree program that aims to prepare students for rewarding careers dealing with crime and justice. Students earn an advanced education in research, statistical methodology, and how to apply these things to controlling crime. This deep understanding of criminal justice and its related fields can lead students to compete for promising careers in law enforcement, academia, government programs, and non-profit organisations dedicated to reducing and eliminating crime.

What is a Master’s in Criminology?

Graduate students who pursue a Master’s in Criminology are given the opportunity to study one of the most important subjects relevant to the safety and well-being of humankind today. There are many programs offered from distinguished universities across the United States. However, the coursework graduates must complete and the framework for each program is often very similar across institutions. Some of the most common required course topics include:

  • Legal institutions and society.
  • Police, courts and corrections.
  • Societal problems, law and policy.
  • Sentencing and corrections.
  • White collar crime.
  • Hate crime.
  • Crime and social deviance.

A Master’s in Criminology is largely considered to be a research degree. Students must also attend courses in research methods and applied statistics to complete the program.  In some programs, students are given the opportunity to focus their coursework to concentrate on a specific area of criminology. This could lead to a specialty in domestic violence, white collar crime, or another integral issue facing law enforcement and the legal system today.

The framework of a Master’s in Criminology is often made up of courses taught through lectures, labs, and seminars. Students are also often required to complete a thesis or capstone requirement. Some programs require both, prior to graduation. These large projects demonstrate the culmination of knowledge and skills gained during their time in the program. Additionally, many schools only offer a Master’s in Criminology on the pathway to a doctorate.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Criminology in the US?

When students graduate from a Master’s in Criminology program in the US, they have earned the knowledge and skills required to succeed in numerous careers. Employers in government as well as the private sector are highly interested in graduates from these programs because of the skills these students have to offer.

Other benefits of completing this degree include:

  • Advanced preparation for furthering educational opportunities in a PhD program.
  • Greater career choices and opportunities within the field of criminal justice.
  • Higher salary potential than individuals in the field who do not have the same level of education.

The most rewarding benefit of attaining a Master’s in Criminology is that graduates have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of millions of people. They earn the skills and knowledge necessary to evaluate crime and why it occurs and recommend the steps that policy makers should take to keep these crimes from occurring.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in Criminology?

A Master’s in Criminology is a stepping stone to some of the most important and exciting careers in the field of criminal justice. Graduates from these courses often go on to have long, rewarding careers in local, state, and federal law enforcement divisions, state and local corrections, Washington D.C. think tanks, investigative firms and consultancies. Federally-funded crime prevention initiatives and non-profit research institutes are also considered highly-prized places to build careers in this field.

Some of the most common career paths include:

  • Criminologist
  • College professor
  • Fraud Analyst

A Criminologist’s job mainly consists of researching vital information about crime and providing consulting services to outside agencies in need of the information to shape policy. They can then utilize these findings in the development of crime prevention strategies. They may work directly with law enforcement agencies to create criminal profiles and analyze intelligence to build terrorist profiles for federal agencies. They are a vital component to the legal system.

Careers in criminology are often greatly influenced by the university students choose to attend. Students should view their degree options and attend the institution that most closely provides them with the tools they need in order to meet their goals. Those who do will have a greater chance of meeting those goals and building a rewarding career they love within the field of criminal justice.

University of California - Irvine

Irvine, United States

  • 83SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 28,000Average Tuition
  • 30%Acceptance Rate

The University of California - Irvine is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities with a campus in Irvine; a suburban area in California, U.S.A. Through its faculties, the university offers over master’s degree programs....

University of Illinois - Chicago

Chicago, United States

  • 170SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 42,430Average Tuition
  • 74%Acceptance Rate

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is a public research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States and has 15 academic schools through which it offers interesting master’s degree programs in a wide range of subject areas....

University of South Florida

Tampa, United States

  • 256SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 15,900Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

The University of South Florida (USF) is a public research institution located in the city of Tampa, Florida, United States. The university has three campuses through which it delivers master’s degree courses in the fields of health professions and related programs, business, management, marketing, and related support services, biological and biomedical sciences, social sciences, psychology, architecture, liberal arts, education and visual and performing arts....

Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, United States

  • 285SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 24,000Average Tuition
  • 73%Acceptance Rate

Eastern Michigan University (EMU) is a learning and research institute in Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA. Students can choose from over 150 master’s degree programs at EMU. ...

University of West Georgia

Carrollton, United States

  • 289SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 31,261Average Tuition
  • 49%Acceptance Rate

University of West Georgia (UWG) is a public research institution, located in the city of Carrollton, West Georgia, United States. Through its colleges, the university offers master’s degree programs to students....

University of South Carolina

Columbia, United States

  • 333SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 67,212Average Tuition
  • 65.2%Acceptance Rate

University of South Carolina (USC) is an American Public University founded in 1801. The university’s primary campus is located in Columbia, South Carolina, and it has dedicated faculties through which it offers master’s degree courses....

George Mason University

Fairfax, United States

  • 353SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 33,200Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

George Mason University (GMU) is a public research university based in Fairfax County, Virginia, USA and offers a wide range of master's degree courses through its 10 academic schools....

California State University - Fresno

Fresno, United States

  • 372SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 33,563Average Tuition
  • 59%Acceptance Rate

California State University - Fresno (CSU) is situated within two hours of the national parks of: Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia, in Fresno, California. The University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through these schools and colleges: College of Arts and Humanities, College of Health and Human Services, College of Science and Mathematics, College of Social Sciences, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Lyles College of Engineering, Craig School of Business and Kreman School of Education and Human Development....

Oklahoma City University

Oklahoma City, United States

  • 575SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 15,000Average Tuition
  • 72%Acceptance Rate

Oklahoma City University (OKCU) is a private not-for-profit university located in the urban city of Oklahoma, United State. Through its dedicated facilities, the university offers master's degree programs in a wide variety of disciplines....

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, United States

  • 722SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 31,462Average Tuition
  • 74%Acceptance Rate

Eastern Kentucky University, established over a century ago, is a diverse, public University located in Richmond in Kentucky (USA). The institute offers a number of master's degree programs through its five Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business & Technology, Education, Health Sciences and Justice & Safety....