Leadership Preparation for Criminal Justice Professionals
Develop critical leadership, research and communication skills that will help advance your career in criminal justice. In UNC's Criminology and Criminal Justice master’s program, you’ll conduct original research with real-world applications while working closely with experts in the field. Our professors include lawyers, criminologists, public policy experts and detectives, many of whom continue to serve as consultants to police departments and the state department of corrections. At the same time, you’ll find our faculty to be caring, dedicated educators who are here to help you succeed.
Loveland + Online
Time to Completion:
Less than 2 years
M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Designed with flexibility for working professionals, the master’s program in Criminology and Criminal Justice is offered in a hybrid format combining classes at our Loveland Center at Centerra with online courses. You can complete the program with a comprehensive exam, a research report that relates to your career, or a master’s thesis designed for students who plan to pursue further graduate study.
Take the next step! Explore courses, contact information and admission requirements.
One of the advantages of the Criminal Justice master’s program at UNC is the flexibility it offers. Through your course work, you can focus on applied research skills that allow you to assist your agency directly, or pursue research that will help to advance overall knowledge in the field of criminal justice. Our experienced faculty are here to help you follow the path that inspires you.
Consider UNC's M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice if you want to:
- Pursue a leadership position or open new career opportunities in the field of criminal justice
- Apply research and experiential learning opportunities directly to your career or further graduate study
- Complete your master's degree while continuing to work
- Advanced understanding of traditional and emerging criminological theories
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for effective leadership and policy making
- Advanced analytical and research skills
- Leadership and Management in Criminal Justice
- Research Methods in Criminal Justice
- Drugs and Drug Policy
- Problem Solving Courts
- Transnational Crime
- Prisoner Re-Entry
Sarah Goodrum, Ph.D.
With more than 16 years of experience conducting research on victimization, intimate partner abuse and the criminal justice system, Dr. Goodrum teaches courses in research methods, statistics, sociology of law and criminology. Her publications have appeared in numerous professional journals including Law and Social Inquiry, Symbolic Interaction, Sociological Spectrum, Sociological Focus, Criminal Justice Review, and International Journal of Social Research Methodology: Theory & Practice. Dr. Goodrum is currently working on a project that examines violence in school settings.
Open doors to career advancement in the criminal justice field. Whether you work in law enforcement, corrections, rehabilitation or academia, achieving your master’s degree in criminal justice will help you attain higher-level positions, stand out in the job market and increase your earning potential.
Our master’s degree program is designed to provide you with the professional and practical training to help you move up in your field and better serve your community. In addition to leadership positions in police and corrections agencies, your master’s degree in criminal justice from UNC will prepare you for careers in criminal investigation, forensics and emergency management, as well as research, teaching and continued graduate education.
Faculty members serve as consultants to police departments, to the local drug court and to the state department of corrections. Their interests include crime prevention; transnational crimes such as terrorism and human trafficking; drugs and crime; and important issues such as race, ethnicity and gender in the criminal justice system. Our current research projects include:
Loss to Homicide: The Long Journey to Justice and Healing
Sarah Goodrum, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Department Chair
Can the criminal justice system help heal the harm of a loss to murder? Dr. Goodrum’s latest book project will chronicle the heartbreaking experiences of people who have lost a loved one to murder using in-depth interview data and the sociological theory of symbolic interactionism. With research supported by funding from the National Institute of Justice and the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, the study examines assumptions about the role of the criminal justice system in victims’ recovery process in the post-victims’ rights era of the 1980s in the U.S.
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