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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.

Degree Details

Credits Required:



Greeley + Online

Time to Completion:

Less than 2 years

Cost Estimator

Degree Option

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 on our main campus in Greeley 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.

Degree Requirements


Related Programs

Your Future in Criminal Justice

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

You’ll learn:

  • 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

Sample courses:

  • Leadership and Management in Criminal Justice
  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • Drugs and Drug Policy
  • Problem Solving Courts
  • Transnational Crime
  • Prisoner Re-Entry

Beyond the Classroom

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.

Where can your degree take you?

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.


Current Research in Criminal Justice 

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.

Dr. Victoria Terranova’s research efforts include evaluation of offender reentry program resourcing. She is currently leading a mixed methods evaluation of the Bexar County Reentry Center funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Second Chance Act. This planning and evaluation of the Reentry Center, a one-stop-shop of resources and services for the formerly justice-involved aims to reduce recidivism amongst chronic offenders by 50% through the county. In this role, Dr. Terranova has collaborated with county officials to strategically plan the programming and services provided by the Reentry Center, develop a data collection plan and infrastructure to support on-going evaluation of the Reentry Center, as well as evaluate the impact of these efforts on recidivism.

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Still not completely sold? We understand. Here's more information on costs and funding and how to apply.

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