A Criminal Justice Master's Degree Designed to Fit Your Schedule

The Criminology and Criminal Justice Master of Arts degree program is designed for working professionals in the fields of law enforcement, corrections, probation/parole, victim advocacy, and the judiciary environment, but is also a great fit for students who want to continue their studies directly after their undergraduate degree while they begin their criminal justice careers.

This master's program will provide you with...

  • Practical application and knowledge of criminal justice and criminological theories.
  • Critical-thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for effective leadership and policy-making.
  • Opportunities to design original research and complete projects with real-world applications for criminal justice agencies and non-profit organizations.

Most students choose to focus on applied research skills that allow them to assist their agencies immediately, though some choose to pursue research that advances the overall body of knowledge in criminology and criminal justice. Our experienced faculty will mentor you as you choose your individualized path of study and research.

Career Options for Graduates

Employment advancement: Many criminal justice agencies require a graduate degree for advancement. This master’s degree will provide you with the professional, practical training in leadership, policy and best practices, which will allow you to move up in the field and better serve your community.

Doctoral study: This program also prepares you for doctoral study in Criminology & Criminal Justice and related fields. Many of our master's program graduates have been admitted to the top doctoral programs in the field, including SUNY-Albany, Rutgers University, Penn State University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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  • This hybrid program is based at main campus in Greeley, Colorado, with some course requirements completed online.
  • This program can be completed in less than two years (6-9 credits per semester, including electives). 
  • We will assist all students in pursuing internship opportunities for elective or project credits.

Coursework (30 Credit Hours)

  • Core Coursework: 16-week Fall and Spring term courses with hybrid delivery. Each course will meet once per week on a weekday evening. The number of evenings per week that you are in class each term will depend on the number of courses for which you enroll.
  • Elective courses: you will take electives that bests suits your career needs. Elective courses are 8-week online courses that can be offered in Fall, Spring or Summer. Non-CRJ electives can be considered based on availability and prior approval from the graduate coordinator.
  • You will be able to choose between a thesis or comprehensive exam option.

For an example of upcoming courses, visit the Current Students page for this program.

For full program requirement details, see the official program listing in the UNC Graduate Catalog.

Online Course Tutorial

If you do not have recent experience taking classes online, you will have the chance to complete our online course tutorial. This tutorial will help you learn our Canvas course platform, and prepare you to succeed in your online courses!

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What Our Students Say...

Had it not been for the UNC master's degree, I would not be in the position I am in today. The skills I acquired played a key role in my promotion and continue to help me in my current job assignment.

As a result of the knowledge, research, and contacts from the program, I am a stronger leader and manager at my current police organization.

– Program Graduate Adam Turk,
Chief of Police, Greeley Police Dept.

Photo of Adam Turk, Criminology and Criminal Justice Master's Graduate

I soon realized if I wanted to advance in the criminal justice system, I needed to further educate myself. My experience with the master’s program was a very good one. All of the professors made themselves available for any questions that arose.

I put my degree to use daily. In fact, we just started a new intake unit, and we now receive the new people coming from court after sentencing.

– Program Graduate Saara Alakoski,
Probation Officer, 18th Judicial District (CO)

Photo of Saara Alakoski, Criminology and Criminal Justice Master's Graduate

The Master of Arts program allowed me to gain invaluable experience. The curriculum prepared me to advance my career in the criminal justice field working as a Victim Services Coordinator and running the Juvenile Diversion program out of Eagle County, Colorado.

The professors tailor the classes to be relevant to working professionals as well as expand the student’s academic prowess and understanding.  The format, classwork, professors and overall program are top notch, allowing professionals to advance their careers in any area of criminal justice that they choose.

– Program Graduate Kamille McKinney,
Victim Services / Juvenile Diversion Coordinator, 5th Judicial District (CO)

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