Jump to main content

COVID-19: News and Campus Updates | Fall 2021 Plans

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:



Loveland + 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 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.

Loveland M.A. Program

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
Circle Photo


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.

Learn More about Dr. Goodrum

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. 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.

Ready for what's next? Here's what you need to know.

If there's anything else we can do, be sure to connect with us. We're only a shout away.

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

Klawz signature on paper application

Apply now

Look at you go! We're excited to meet you.

Flying envelope illustration

Request information

We'll send you some more details.

Visit shuttle illustration

Plan a visit

There's nothing quite like walking on our turf. Take a virtual tour.