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Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Overview

Whether you study on-campus or online, full-time or part-time, you'll learn from faculty who are leading experts in their fields through UMass Lowell's Master's in Criminal Justice degree. Our program has a long history of producing graduates highly regarded and in demand by federal, state and local agencies. 

Why Choose UMass Lowell's Master's in Criminal Justice?

  • Reputation: In 2023, U.S. News & World Report ranked our program as the #2 Best Online Master's in Criminal Justice nationwide. According to The Wall Street Journal, UMass Lowell is Massachusetts's highest-ranked public university for student outcomes.
  • Quinn-Bill Certification: Through our master's program, full-time officers qualify for salary increases if they work in participating towns and cities.
  • Certificate Specializations: Depending on your interests and career goals, you may complete a graduate certificate in Domestic Violence PreventionForensic CriminologyLeadership & Policy DevelopmentSecurity Studies or Victim Studies with courses that will count toward the Master's in Criminal Justice.
  • Value: UMass Lowell ranks #1 for lifetime return on investment among public research universities in Massachusetts, according to
  • Flexibility: Depending on your schedule and learning style, you may study on-campus or online, part-time or full-time. 


The M.A. in Criminal Justice is a 33-credit master's degree. Graduate students can choose to complete a thesis option.
For a complete list of courses and academic requirements, please visit the Academic Catalog.

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Massachusetts's first-line supervisors of police and detectives earned a mean annual salary of $109,090 in 2022.

A Master's in Criminal Justice will open a range of occupational opportunities, including careers such as:
  • Victim Advocates
  • Leaders in Social Justice
  • Police Officers
  • Crime Scene Investigators
  • Detectives
  • Substance Abuse Counselors
  • Correctional Officers
  • Homeland Security Agents
  • Legal Researchers or Policymakers
  • Community College Professor or Advisors
See the Master's in Criminal Justice Career Guide for more information.
Top Companies Hiring UMass Lowell's Criminal Justice Graduates
  • Massachusetts Trial Court
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts State Police
  • Army National Guard
  • Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Middlesex Sheriff's Office
  • United States Air Force
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • Securitas Security Services USA, Inc.
  • Allied Universal
  • Essex County Sheriff's Department

Admissions & Tuition

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Contact Us

Amber Horning-Ruf, Ph.D.
Master's Program Coordinator