The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ) provides you with the knowledge and skills to advance your criminal justice career. You will study the larger context of crime, why it exists and its impact on society, as well as gain a detailed understanding of the concept of justice and how it’s applied.

ASU Online offers start dates every 7.5 weeks.
Multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year.
Required number of credits to complete this degree.

The MA Criminal Justice allows you to learn directly from professors who are nationally-recognized scholars in their respective fields and from a prestigious group of criminal justice professionals with expertise in policing, gangs, fraud, corrections and courts. The online criminal justice program offers valuable training in research methods and statistics, program planning and management, policy analysis, and program evaluation. This 33-credit hour program includes a required capstone course, Theory and Practice in Criminal Justice, in which you will write a comprehensive research paper focusing on a criminal justice policy or practice.

The Master’s program is offered to both full-time and part-time students. Full-time students can earn the degree in as little as 18 months. Part-time students will take longer to complete the degree, but must fulfill all requirements for the degree within six years from the date of their first course. GRE test scores are not required for entry into the MACJ program. Students must meet all admissions criteria of the Graduate College, and applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher for unconditional admission to the MA in criminal justice program.

Program and College Achievements:

The School of Criminology & Criminal Justice is a nationally recognized leader in higher education and is highly regarded for its distinguished faculty and research productivity. Our world-class faculty is engaged in cutting edge research which prepares students for the challenges of criminal justice practice in the 21st century. Our online criminal justice graduate program has been named by U.S. News and World Reports as one of the top six degrees in the nation.

Ranked #6 Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Program


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The impressive faculty in the Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions are inspiring the next generation of public service leaders through real-world solutions to issues around child welfare, safety, city management, human trafficking and water scarcity.

Recent Faculty Highlights Include:

  • Fellow by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
  • Fellow of the American Psychological Association
  • Director inducted into the National Academy of Public Administration

Program Summary

Total Hours:


Related Careers

Graduates with a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice have career opportunities illustrated in the following list. Career examples include but are not limited to those shown in the following list. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions.


Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in criminology or criminal justice or another closely related field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of a student's first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  • Graduate admission application and application fee
  • Official transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A written statement, at least one page in length, which describes the applicant's educational and career goals and long-term professional development strategy
  • Proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information

An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency.

Students should see the academic unit website for application deadlines.

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