Program Summary

Credits Required


Tuition per Credit


Prepare for Your Future in Criminal Justice Administration and Leadership

Criminal justice organizations are becoming increasingly evidence-based in their practices and administration. This shift creates a growing need to hire educated professionals with sound, in-depth knowledge of the criminal justice system and criminal behavior, coupled with an understanding of the research methods necessary to evaluate criminal justice policies and practices at the local, state, and national levels. 

Penn State's Online Master of Criminal Justice Policy and Administration

In this program, you will study with highly regarded faculty from Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts — Department of Sociology and Criminology, and the Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs. Your diploma will look no different from the one earned by students on our physical campus. And you will be part of a Penn State community that includes the largest dues-paying alumni network in the world.  

Who Should Apply for the Criminal Justice Master's Degree Online?

If you're looking for advancement in your current criminal justice career or a change to an altogether new field, a highly respected Master of Professional Studies in Criminal Justice Policy and Administration could not only provide you with the skills and knowledge you need but also help you stand out among your peers. Additionally, if you are currently employed in the criminal justice field, you'll be able to apply your learning almost immediately.

Upon graduation from this program, you should be able to:

  • describe and summarize crime rates, trends, and patterns, and apply foundational knowledge of criminological theories devoted to explaining crime   
  • discuss organizational structure, processes, and challenges of criminal justice institutions, and analyze past and current criminal justice policies and evidence-based practices
  • apply the foundations of contemporary ethical practices and effective leadership in the criminal justice profession
  • employ advanced knowledge in social science research and applied statistical methods, specifically focused on criminal justice issues
  • demonstrate advanced knowledge of criminal procedure

Career Opportunities for Graduates of the Online Criminal Justice Program

As a graduate of this program, you can be qualified to bring about change in any number of criminal justice or legal organizations in the public sector, including: 

  • state departments of corrections
  • state sentencing commissions and parole boards
  • local, county, and state law enforcement, especially in administration sector
  • local court administration, especially drug, DUI, and restorative justice courts
  • local, probation, parole, and community corrections agencies
  • public and private offender treatment agencies
  • state policy agencies focused on criminal justice (e.g., the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and similar agencies in other states)

Information for Military and Veterans

Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, or application instructions.