M.A. in Criminal Justice Administration

Law enforcement. Crime prevention. Corrections. Juvenile justice. Victims’ services. Individuals who work within a criminal justice system have a profound impact on individuals and communities. If you are driven to make a difference, the M.A. in Criminal Justice Administration (MCJA) is a valuable investment in your future that will prepare you to take on additional responsibilities within your agency, teach and train aspiring criminal justice professionals, or study at the doctoral level.

You’ll benefit from the field experiences of the MCJA faculty members who bring real-world examples into the classroom to enrich your learning. Your Organizational Behavior course, a unique requirement of the Urbana MCJA, will furnish you with the fundamental understanding of how an organization operates, so you’ll be able to maneuver effectively in support of any initiative. Another distinctive aspect of the program is that equal consideration is given to victims through the inclusion of a required course in Victimology.

The MCJA will broaden and deepen your management and leadership expertise. The master's program is designed to build and sharpen the practical skills necessary to achieve your goals. As a student you can expect relevant coursework that provides you with hands-on opportunities, in which you will develop an agency budget, create plans to prevent crime and reduce criminal victimization, and write a grant application. At the end of your study, you will demonstrate your new-found mastery by formulating a solution to a specific policy issue or problem, or choose to develop training on the topic of your choice. 

You’ll take classes 100% online.  Your first class will lay the groundwork for success in graduate school and help you to adapt to the online learning environment. Best of all: You can finish your master’s degree in one year.

What will you learn?

The MCJA program at Urbana is a 30-credit hour program that offers a comprehensive examination of criminal justice systems, an exploration of criminal and delinquent behaviors, a foundation in research and statistics, theories of victimization, and an opportunity to explore other relevant topics of interest to the student. Courses include: 

  • Introduction to the CJA Program
  • Criminal Justice Administration and Management 
  • Statistics and Research Methods for Criminal Justice
  • Professional Decision Making
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Ethical and Legal Issues for Criminal Justice Managers
  • Criminal Behavior and Crime Prevention
  • Victimology
  • Grant Writing 
  • Criminal Justice Administration Project *
  • Criminal Justice Administration Curriculum Development *

*Students choose either the project or the curriculum development option

Admission Requirements

Applicants must be graduates of a state-approved, regionally accredited bachelor’s degree program with a grade point average of 2.7 or better. The following materials are required to complete the application for admission for the MCJA program:

  • A completed application 
  • An official copy of your collegiate transcript from the institution where you earned your bachelor's degree as well as an official transcript from any institution you attended for graduate level study. Transcripts are considered official only when they are sent directly from the school and have a school seal or signature of a school official.
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors and/or employers that reference your potential for success as a graduate student
  • Your current résumé or curriculum vitae
  • A statement of your career goals

Transfer Policy

One to nine (1-9) credits of equivalent graduate level coursework may be transferred from an accredited college or university.