Master's in Criminology
Would you like to pursue an advanced career in criminal justice? The master's degree program in criminology can help you gain a position as a manager, supervisor or administrator in the criminal justice field. Read on to learn more about program options. Schools offering Criminology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Are the Prerequisites For a Masters in Criminology Program?
Master's degree programs in criminology are aimed at professionals who wish to achieve high-level positions within the legal and criminal law field. The program often attracts police officers, judicial system personnel, investigators and correctional officers.
To apply, you must hold your bachelor's degree and meet a specific undergraduate GPA requirement. Some schools recommend that you currently work in the criminology field, since coursework often focuses on career advancement for working criminal justice and law enforcement professionals. You may also be required to have completed certain undergraduate prerequisites, such as criminal legal process, criminal justice organization and criminology research.
What Classes Will I Take?
Criminology courses provide a mix of theoretical and practical criminal justice knowledge. The coursework also involves a great deal of research and reading. You may complete a thesis or comprehensive exam at the end of your program. Typical criminology classes that you might take include:
- Criminal law
- Crime prevention
- Criminology theory
- Criminal sentencing and corrections
- Law and society
- Criminology research methods
- Applied statistics in criminology
Can I Earn It Online?
Some master's degree programs in criminology can be earned completely online. The program allows you to conduct all assignments, projects and exams from your computer. The online program may culminate in a final project. Some programs may have brief residency requirements.
Online programs often require that you have a sound card, media player and Flash plug-in for interactive lectures and presentations. Some programs also require that you have access to a television and videocassette recorder to view instructional videotapes.
What Can I Do After I Earn My Degree?
With your master's degree in criminology, you can work in the criminal justice, social services, government or legal sectors. You also can continue on with your education and receive a doctoral degree in criminology if you wish to pursue research or postsecondary teaching. PayScale.com reported that the middle salary range for criminologists was $35,000-$51,000 in 2010.
Another career option is to become a probation officer or correctional treatment specialist. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that probation officer positions were projected to grow 19% from 2008-2018, which was higher than the average for other jobs (www.bls.gov). Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists made an average yearly wage of $50,500 in 2009.
A master's degree in criminology also will allow you to take a leadership position in management or administration. The BLS reported that administrative services managers earned an average annual salary of $81,530 in 2009.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: