Addressing the challenges facing
the criminal justice system.
Criminology is the scientific study of the nature, extent, causes, and prevention of criminal behavior in both the individual and in society; and the institutions that comprise the criminal justice system—including law enforcement, the judicial system, prisons, probation/parole, juvenile detention and victims’ services. Criminologists use social science research methods, both qualitative and quantitative, to understand the multifaceted field of crime study. Professionals in this field examine and provide theoretical explanations for the norms and deviations of behaviors, understanding that each society has its own set of norms.
The Master of Arts in Criminology: Online Program is specifically designed to train practitioners to address current challenges facing the criminal justice system, through a blend of coursework that focuses on the intersection of criminology, psychology, and social justice. This unique approach prepares students to truly make a difference through examining the causes and consequences of criminal behavior, understanding the intricacies of modern day criminal justice systems and applying theoretical skills and empirical data to address those challenges.
The program also prepares students to understand the larger social context in which individuals are situated. This perspective will be a guiding factor in developing intervention and prevention strategies that are practical, effective, socially responsible, and sustainable.
The contemporary criminal justice field faces challenges coping with issues such as mental illness, terrorism, gangs, racial disparity, and advances in technology. As a result, the employment scope for those trained in criminology is broader than ever before. Career paths for individuals with an advanced degree in this field can include academia, research, corrections, law enforcement, investigations, policy assessment, prevention, and youth programming. Employment settings may be as diverse as court systems, correctional institutions, law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, insurance companies, retailers, law firms, non-profit agencies, and government entities such as the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the Department of Homeland Security.
This 36-credit program is offered entirely online and can be completed in less than 24 months, making it an attractive option for students who may be currently employed. Our asynchronous learning model allows for convenience and flexibility. All components of this program can be accessed through an Internet browser running on an IBM PC (Windows or Linux) or Apple Macintosh (Apple OS). Click here to learn more about our minimum hardware and software requirements.
At the Adler School, we take great pride in our diverse student body. Students represent a wide range of professional interests, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and academic and work histories. We admit individuals with a record of outstanding academic achievement and a commitment to social responsibility.
To be considered for admission, an applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution.
- A grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for graduate and undergraduate coursework. Exceptions may be granted for applicants who demonstrate improved academic performance or academic ability in other ways.
- Relevant volunteer and professional experiences are also taken into consideration.
- Complete the following prerequisite courses with grades “C” or better: general or introductory psychology, and one course in criminology or criminal justice. Equivalent coursework in other social sciences may also be considered. Students may be admitted prior to completing these prerequisites, but all students must complete these courses by the end of their first semester of enrollment at the Adler School.
- Approved applicants will be invited to an interview as the final step in the application process.
- Satisfactory completion of all required credit hours, including all required courses
- A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and no more than two grades or six credit hours of “C” or “C+”
- Completion of application for graduation and full payment of all outstanding tuition and fees
- Faculty approval and recommendation to the Board of Trustees for the conferral of the Master of Arts in Criminology