how long to complete criminal justice master’s program

How Long Does it Take to Earn Your Master’s in Criminal Justice?

In a world where safety is top of mind, we turn to protective service professionals, such as police and detectives, forensic psychologists, security guards, correctional officers, and our criminal justice system to protect ourselves and our communities.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these occupations will see an average of 409,500 job openings annually.

If you are excited about working in the criminal justice system and desire to help others, a master’s in Criminal Justice might be the perfect degree for you. Yet, you might also be wondering how long it will take to earn one, especially if you are eager to start your fulfilling career.

This article will explain what candidates can expect from a Criminal Justice program, including how long it will take to earn a master’s in Criminal Justice degree online or in person.

What is a master’s in Criminal Justice?

Criminal justice studies the law enforcement system and those who work inside it, including police officers, judges, correctional officers, and border patrol agents. These individuals work together to uphold the law and prevent, investigate, and address criminal activity.

Master’s in Criminal Justice and Human Security programs are designed to help students gain expertise in the worldwide political, cultural, and socioeconomic conditions contributing to crime and its prevention. Students also gain insight into the cultural, ethnic, religious, and ideological differences often found at the root of criminal acts, violence, and terror.

Students take Criminal Justice courses that cover topics including:

  • Criminology: Exploring the root causes of crime and criminal behavior.
  • Corrections: Understanding the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders into society.
  • Law enforcement: Analyzing investigative techniques, crime scene management, and community policing strategies.
  • The court system: Examining the legal process, from arraignment to trial and sentencing.
  • Emerging Issues: Addressing contemporary challenges like cybercrime, human trafficking, and international security threats.

At University of Bridgeport, you also have the opportunity to choose between a thesis track or an internship track, which further allows them to tailor their degree to match their specific interests and goals.


Ready to make a difference? Learn how UB’s master’s degree in Criminal Justice and Human Security can elevate your career!


How long does it take to earn a master’s in Criminal Justice degree?

Every college and university’s master’s in Criminal Justice and Human Security program will vary in application requirements, course load, and program length.

Students should research ahead of time to fully understand what is expected of them in their chosen Criminal Justice and Human Security Master of Arts (MA) degree program.

However, many programs have similar requirements. For example, at University of Bridgeport, our students must submit their application by July 15 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester and meet the following admission requirements:

  • Application
  • Official transcript for the last degree earned
  • Personal statement
      • In 250-500 words, detail why you are seeking this degree, how you expect to apply your degree to your professional career after graduation, and why you seek to pursue your degree through University of Bridgeport
  • Resumé
  • Two letters of recommendation commenting on your work ethic, communication skills, and ability to complete a graduate degree program.

While earning their master’s in Criminal Justice, students will take 18 credit hours of core courses and 18 credit hours of electives.

Full-time students can earn their Criminal Justice Master of Arts (MA) degree in as little as one year, but flexible and part-time options are also available to meet a student’s needs, interests, and goals.

What can you do with a master’s in Criminal Justice and Human Security?

A master’s in Criminal Justice allows candidates to pursue advanced positions in law enforcement, corrections, courtroom, and security.

University of Bridgeport graduates go on to exciting careers earning the following median annual salaries, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

Are you ready to make a difference?

Are you ready to service the local and global community as a crucial part of the justice system? If so, apply to University of Bridgeport’s Master of Arts (MA) in Criminal Justice and Human Security.

With our experienced faculty and flexible learning options, you’ll be prepared to work in criminal justice, international security, defense, intelligence, and transnational crime prevention or deterrence anywhere in the world.

Contact us for more information, and start your future today!