Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Gain practical, hands-on experience to tackle 21st-century challenges in criminology and criminal justice.

Finish in as little as 12 months, 100% online!

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Graduate Programs Virtual Information Session

Wednesday, September 11, 2024 
from 5:30 pm 
to 6:30 pm

Learn about the Merrimack College community, application process, financial aid, your program's curriculum, professional opportunities, fellowships and more!

Criminology and Criminal Justice Master’s Degree: Why Merrimack College?

Our online criminal justice master’s degree stands out for its flexible scheduling and comprehensive, practical approach to the study of crime and justice. Choose Merrimack if you seek:

Robust professional development.

Whether you’re just entering the workforce or seeking career advancement, our master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice equips you with marketable skills that employers prioritize. You’ll become proficient in research, data analysis, program evaluation, and oral and written presentation, with the ability to collaborate on interdisciplinary teams and serve diverse, multicultural communities. You’ll complete a capstone project that showcases your ability and lets you build specialized knowledge in criminology and criminal justice.

Real-world experience.

Merrimack’s criminology and criminal justice master’s program offers multiple ways to gain hands-on experience, including internship and fellowship opportunities. Our competitive, highly sought fellowships provide a year-long placement in a criminal justice agency or organization, along with a 100% tuition discount.

Interdisciplinary, innovative coursework.

Our criminology and criminal justice master’s degree places the subject matter within a broad societal framework. You’ll acquire the tools to advocate for social justice and criminal justice reform while understanding the economic and socio-cultural forces that affect crime trends and criminal behavior.

Outstanding faculty.

At Merrimack you’ll learn from veteran criminal justice practitioners, policy experts and academics who are on the forefront of research in criminology and criminal justice. Our supportive graduate culture encourages you to interact closely with driven peers and attentive, knowledgeable instructors.

Career connections.

The School of Education and Social Policy maintains active community partnerships with law enforcement agencies and nonprofit criminal justice organizations throughout Greater Boston. You’ll have opportunities to build your network by interacting with professionals in law enforcement, social services, community development, education and other fields related to criminology and criminal justice.


Program Format

  • Online

Start Terms

  • Fall
  • Spring
  • Summer I
  • Summer II


Criminology and Criminal Justice Career Opportunities

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts rapid growth for numerous careers in the criminal justice system. Demographic changes, new technologies and sociocultural trends have led to rapid change in criminology and criminal justice, creating high demand in specialties such as counseling, data science, forensic social work and information security.

At Merrimack, you’ll acquire the expertise you need for criminology and criminal justice careers in law enforcement, victim assistance, crime analysis, juvenile justice, corrections and other fields. Our graduates stand out in the job market for their research and data skills, multicultural competence, communication ability and substantive knowledge of crime and the justice system.

Recent alumni of our master’s degree in criminal justice and criminology now work for employers such as:

  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  • Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF)
  • Massachusetts Department of Corrections (DOC)
  • Essex County Sheriff’s Department
  • Local police departments
  • Massachusetts State Police
  • McLean Hospital
  • General Electric corporate security
  • AdCare Criminal Justice Services
  • Youth Villages
  • The Key Program
  • YWCA domestic violence services

Master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice: What You’ll Learn

Merrimack’s unique curriculum focuses on current trends in criminology and criminal justice through the integration of theory and practice. You’ll start with core coursework in criminological theory, criminal justice system processes and advanced research methods, then customize your studies to fit your interests and career goals.

You can choose from a broad range of criminology and criminal justice electives, specializing in subjects such as:

  • Criminal justice administration and management
  • Criminal law and procedure
  • Forensic behavioral analysis
  • Victimology
  • Juvenile justice
  • Race, ethnicity and social control
  • Girls, women and crime

The program culminates in a semester-long capstone project that focuses on a topic you’re passionate about. You’ll conduct supervised research that integrates theory and applied practice, resulting in an original paper and presentation that demonstrates your skills.

Want to Learn More about the Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice?

Review our FAQs for additional information, or schedule a call with Karen Hayden, Program Director of the M.S. in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Schedule an Informational Call with the Program Director


Criminal justice scholarships offer extensive cost savings, while fellowships cover your full tuition.

Learn More

How to Apply

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