Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

Become a leader in service, safety, and community transformation with our online master’s in criminal justice

Make a meaningful difference building stronger, safer communities as a member of the next generation of criminal justice leaders. As the top online master’s degree in Criminal Justice in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report, East Carolina University’s program offers courses taught by exceptional faculty with diverse teaching and research experience.

Gain practical knowledge and participate in projects with faculty mentors who are committed to academic excellence and student success. Meet the demand for dynamic, well-trained professionals with your ECU master’s in criminal justice.

Earn your online master’s in criminal justice degree on your schedule

Many ECU criminal justice master’s program students are working professionals who need to balance earning a degree with their work, family, and other responsibilities. Build a competitive edge and move up in your career at your pace with our nationally ranked and fully online criminal justice master’s program.

Why earn a master’s degree in criminal justice at East Carolina University?

Are you a current criminal justice professional looking to advance your career? Are you interested in expanding your knowledge and expertise in criminal justice, criminology, and research methods? Take the next step toward completing your goals with our online Master of Science in Criminal Justice program. As you earn your master’s in criminal justice degree, you’ll gain crucial knowledge and skills to advance your career to the next level.

Real-world experience

Further your education with personalized hands-on learning opportunities that prepare you to build stronger, safer neighborhoods.

World-class instruction

Learn from faculty who are internationally recognized scholars with a broad spectrum of criminal justice, criminology, and interdisciplinary expertise.

100% virtual courses

ECU’s online master’s in criminal justice program gives you the flexibility to work on assignments and connect with professors and classmates when it fits your schedule.

Courses you will take in the criminal justice master’s program

Study in a vibrant department where we are committed to your success. As an online master’s in criminal justice student at ECU, you’ll learn strategies to keep communities safe and make a positive impact on society. Our online criminal justice master’s program prepares you to meet the needs of all areas of the criminal justice system from coursework that includes:

  • Criminal Justice Principles
  • Seminar in Research Methods and Statistical Interpretation
  • Seminar in Criminal Behavior
  • Principles of Criminal Justice Administration and Management

Hear from our criminal justice master’s degree students

“As a criminal justice professional, I have served several years as a local deputy sheriff. I have always wanted to pursue higher education, but I could not find a program that was attractive enough for my lifestyle, however, I stumbled upon East Carolina University in the fall of 2019. I feel like the Master of Science in Criminal Justice program at East Carolina University is one of the best around. Prior to applying to ECU, I was told that the program would give me the foundation and the tools needed to be an effective criminal justice administrator. In this program, I have taken courses in administration, education, and research. As I complete this program, the tools that ECU has provided me will open doors for me at the federal, state, and local levels. Therefore, I am thrilled to see what is in store in the next chapter of my life. In addition to the MSCJ program, I was given the opportunity to enroll in Army ROTC as well. I have been in the United States Army for nearly ten years, and I thought it was amazing that I was able to complete my master’s while training to be a commissioned officer. In December 2021, I was notified that I will be an Active-Duty Military Police Lieutenant. If it was not for ECU and the opportunities here, then I would have never achieved this milestone.”

—Jeremiah McMillian, Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice ’22

What can you do with your master’s degree in criminal justice?

East Carolina University’s criminal justice master’s program will prepare you for advancement and leadership roles within the public safety and service field.

Career development, on your schedule

The skills and experience you’ll gain in ECU’s online criminal justice master’s program will empower your professional growth and help you stand out to employers.

Where are criminal justice master’s degree graduates working?

Our alumni have found success in a wide variety of areas, including:

  • Law enforcement
  • Fraud investigation
  • Courts
  • Community corrections
  • Institutional corrections
  • Juvenile justice
  • Victim services
  • Asset protection

Annually, there are about 65,000 law enforcement openings and about 7,400 openings for probation and correctional treatment specialists.

Get started on your criminal justice master’s degree

Take the next step toward earning your master’s degree in criminal justice. We have the resources to answer all your questions and help you get started.

Graduate certificates related to the master’s degree in criminal justice

  • Security Studies
  • Public Management and Leadership
  • Criminal Justice Education (stand-alone certificate only)
  • Adult and Higher Education (MSCJ students only – coming Fall 2024!)

Accreditation for East Carolina University

East Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.