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Master of Science in Criminal Justice


Why a Master of Science in Criminal Justice?

  • The Master of Science in Criminal Justice program is designed to provide the flexibility that professionals need to balance family, work, and school.
  • Gain the knowledge and skills needed for positions in management and leadership.
  • Individuals with a master’s degree in criminal justice are prepared for careers in policy making, research, and teaching positions. Since evidence-based practices are becoming the norm, graduate-educated professionals are desirable candidates for administrative positions.
  • Most courses are 7.5 weeks in length and the program can be completed in 1 year if attending full-time or 2 years if attending part-time.

Program Benefits

  • Learn from faculty with academic and real world experience who care about your success and progress.
  • Develop a mastery of criminal justice fundamentals and skills to pursue a career in leadership, policy making, research, or teaching.
  • Create lasting connections that can lead to promotions and new opportunities in your career.

What is the typical salary for a Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice?

Salaries for master’s in criminal justice graduates vary depending on area of interest.


Leadership in Police and Corrections


Security Management


Policy Making

Salary based on data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Why Keystone?

You can be confident that Keystone’s Online Degree Programs adhere to the same high standards of quality as our traditional, on-campus programs. Keystone is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It’s ranked among the best regional colleges in the U.S., and as one of the best schools for military veterans. It’s also the oldest educational institution in Northeast Pennsylvania.


Generous Credit Transfer

If you’ve earned applicable graduate level credits with a B or better, they may be accepted for transfer to Keystone. Students can transfer in up to 9 of the 30 credits required for graduation.


Classes are offered 100% online. and are designed to fit into your schedule, enabling you to balance work and family life, finish your degree, enhance your skills and advance your career.


Tuition is an affordable $600 per credit hour. Alumni of Keystone who are enrolled in a Master’s degree program at Keystone College are eligible to receive a 10% discount.  Find out more here.

Program Format

The MCJ program will be delivered in an online format. Students will be required to have the necessary hardware and software and access to the Internet in order to complete the coursework. Anticipated program length is one to two years, depending on course load.

Program Prerequisites

Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree (any major) from a regionally accredited college or university with an overall GPA of 3.00 or higher.

Program Schedule

The graduate cohort program will operate on a 7 or 7.5-week session with students completing 3-6 credits of study in each 7 or 7.5-week session.


Keystone College accepts students to the MCJ program for fall, spring, and summer terms. Students applying for the MCJ program have no additional requirements other than those required for all master’s applicants.

Course Sequence

Fall 1st Half 
CORE 5100 Graduate Writing and Research
BUSN 6100 Ethical Leadership
CJ 5100 Policy Analysis in Criminal Justice

Fall 2nd Half 
CJ 6910 Critical Issues in Criminal Justice
CJ 5150 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems

Spring 1st Half
CJ 5250 Race, Ethnicity, Crime, and Justice
CJ 5200 Women in Criminal justice

Spring 2nd Half
CJ 6100 Seminar in Victimology
BUSN 5200 Conflict Management Skills

Summer 1st Half 
CJ 6150 Drugs and the Criminal Justice System
CORE 5100 Graduate Writing and Research

Program Goals
  • Apply foundational knowledge of criminological theories devoted to explaining crime.
  • Appraise organizational structure, processes, and challenges of criminal justice institutions.
  • Analyze past and current criminal justice policies and evidence-based practices.
  • Evaluate the foundations of contemporary ethical practices and effective leadership in the criminal justice profession.
  • Apply social science research and statistical methods to criminal justice issues.

Successful Giants

Krystle Kowalczyk

Director of Probation Services and Treatment Court Coordinator for Wyoming and Sullivan Counties

“Going back to college for my master’s degree was a big decision. I wanted a program that would challenge me and at the same time provide enough flexibility so I can meet all of the priorities in my life.” Read more about Krystle

Jeremy Collins

Regional Chief Administrator at VisionQuest

“The faculty here are always willing to talk to you and help in any way they can. I think if you’re looking to pursue a master’s degree in criminal justice, there is no better place to go than Keystone.” Read more about Jeremy.

Christy Davall

Emergency Dispatcher at Wyoming County Pennsylvania

“The fact that courses are all online makes it easier as far as my schedule is concerned and the faculty is always willing to be as helpful as they can. Keystone is very affordable compared to other programs. That helps a lot too.” Read more about Christy.

Featured Faculty

Deborah Doyle Belknap, JD, PhD

Deborah Doyle Belknap, JD, PhD

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Psychology  
Stacey Wyland

Stacey Wyland

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice   


Deborah Belknap, J.D., Ph.D.
Program Director

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