Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ)

The field of criminal justice is changing. Technological advancements, coupled with contemporary world events, have created an ever-increasing need for criminal justice professionals who have insight into the sociological, legal, theoretical, and practical arenas of law enforcement.

The Master of Criminal Justice program is designed for those who want to advance in the field of criminal justice, enter it, or simply gain a deeper understanding of this fascinating discipline. Students in the online Master of Criminal Justice program have the option of choosing a concentration in Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity or a concentration in Strategic Management.

An MCJ degree from Boston University’s Metropolitan College will give you a competitive edge whether you plan to enhance your career, teach, apply to law school, or pursue a doctorate. Degree candidates will take courses where they will analyze criminal behavior, apply principles of leadership in organizational settings, learn theories of social control, and gain an informed perspective of law enforcement, the judicial system, and corrections. Ever evolving and often misunderstood, crime and justice are central to the moral fabric and social cohesion of society.

Students who complete the master’s degree in Criminal Justice will be able to demonstrate:

  • Advanced knowledge and ability to evaluate criminological and criminal justice theories and their implications for public policy and practice.
  • Proficiency in research design and quantitative and qualitative analysis related to evaluation of criminal justice practices, programs, and policies, and the understanding of crime causation generally.
  • Competence sufficient to evaluate and resolve the ethical issues in criminal justice practice, policy, and research.
  • An ability to synthesize, evaluate, recognize implications, and communicate effectively using scholarly sources of information connected to crime theory and policy.
  • An understanding of leadership theories and skills as they pertain to managing and leading criminal justice organizations.

Awards & Accreditations

The Top Online Criminal Justice Program in 2016

US News – Criminal Justice 2016#1, Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs (U.S. News & World Report 2016)


Honoring Excellence

Nu Mu, Boston University’s chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma’s National Criminal Justice Honor Society, is now online. Check out the new website.

Why Choose BU’s Master of Criminal Justice?

  • The MCJ is ranked #1 among the nation’s Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs, 2016 (U.S. News & World Report).
  • The MCJ was Boston University’s first online program, launched in 2002.
  • Students learn from leading criminal justice faculty with extensive field experience and scholarship in policing, the judicial system, and corrections.
  • In the online classroom, students are able to network with a global community of criminal justice professionals.


Meet Dr. Mary Ellen Mastrorilli, one of the faculty members you’ll work with in the Criminal Justice program.

Career Outlook

Forensic Science Technicians

27% increase in jobs through 2024

$56,320 median annual pay in 2015

Information Security Analysts

18% increase in jobs through 2024

$90,120 median annual pay in 2015

Private Detectives and Investigators

5% increase in jobs through 2024

$45,610 median annual pay in 2015

Police and Detectives

4% increase in jobs through 2024

$60,270 median annual pay in 2015

Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists

4% increase in jobs through 2024

$49,360 median annual pay in 2015

Correctional Officers and Bailiffs

4% increase in jobs through 2024

$40,580 median annual pay in 2015

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition


The online Master of Criminal Justice consists of ten courses (40 credits): six required courses and a choice of four electives.

Students may choose the following Master of Criminal Justice concentrations:

The Boston University online Master of Criminal Justice will provide you with an in-depth examination of crime and justice, including theories, trends, and policies, in fewer than two years of study. You focus on only one course at a time by taking two seven-week courses per semester. This course delivery method is designed for working professionals to make the most efficient use of their time, and to maximize the learning experience.

Required Courses

(Six courses/24 credits)

METCJ602 Criminology

This course explores potential answers to complex and important questions about criminal behavior by drawing on the social science of criminology. Criminology is the interdisciplinary study of the development of law, criminal phenomena and societal responses to crime. The primary emphasis of this course will be discussing and evaluating major explanations or theories of crime. Because criminology is interdisciplinary, we will examine theories that are ground in a range of academic perspectives, including sociological, biological, political, psychological and economic explanations for crime. Course lectures and discussions focus on the historical development of the theories, their major assumptions and propositions, their relevance for public policy and practice. As we progress through each explanation for crime, we critically evaluate the validity of different explanations for crime as well as criminal justice policies and practices that they support. [4 credits]

METCJ625 Victimology

The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the discipline of victimology, an emerging area of specialization in the field of criminology. Emphasis will focus on crime victims and their plight, the relationships between crime victims and other social groups and institutions, such as the media, business, politicians, special interest groups, and social movements. The issues of Justice and Redress from the perspective of the victim as well as general society will be stressed. An overview of victim prevention programs and victim assistance programs will be presented. Topics such as the Restorative Justice Model, Victim Repayment, and Victim/Offender Mediation will be included in the course content. While the course follows an interdisciplinary approach and is designed for general interest and appeal, it has particular relevance for students drawn from disciplinary interests in the fields of criminal justice, psychology, sociology, education, health care administration, and political science. [4 credits]

METCJ632 White-Collar Crime

The purpose of this course is to examine the nature and extent of corporate and white-collar crime, including detection, deterrence, and criminal liability sanctions, as well as, the social and legal changes related to corporate illegality. Students will use case materials which address securities fraud, money "laundering", professional deviance, and political corruption, in addition to other topics. Students will also analyze policy responses including RICO and other laws, regulations and court processing. [4 credits]

METCJ702 Analytical Methods

This course introduces students to the use of quantitative data in analyzing the criminal justice system. It serves as an introduction to the statistical methods used in applied social science research and furthers students' understanding of the role statistical analysis plays in planning and policy development. [4 credits]

METCJ703 Research Methods

This course introduces students to the practice, theory, and philosophy of social science research, with a special focus on criminal justice. It not only broadens students' knowledge of the ethical issues associated with research, but also introduces them to a variety of research techniques such as surveys, field research, and experimental designs. Research Methods will lay the foundation for students to become informed "consumers" of research, as well as "producers" of it. [4 credits]

METCJ831 Criminal Justice Administration

The challenge of administering, managing, and leading today's criminal justice organizations is becoming increasingly complicated due to many factors, ranging from terrorism and cyber crime to politicization and privatization. This course provides students with not only a conceptual and theoretical basis on which to manage these complex entities, but also practical approaches to organizational effectiveness, integrity, and innovation. [4 credits]


(Four courses/16 credits)

Students who are not choosing a concentration must select four courses from the following list*:

An error occurred while trying to retrieve course data

*The following courses offered by other Metropolitan College departments are allowed with advisor and course faculty approval.

An error occurred while trying to retrieve course data

Prerequisites may be required for MET AD 642 and MET AD 643.


Robert Cadigan

Robert Cadigan

Associate Professor of Applied Social Sciences
PhD, MA, Boston University; BA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Kyung-shick Choi

Kyung-shick Choi

Adjunct Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Cybercrime Program Coordinator
PhD, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; MS, Boston University; BS, Northeastern University

Shea Cronin

Shea W. Cronin

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
PhD, American University; BS, Northeastern University

Daniel LeClair

Daniel P. LeClair

Professor and Chair of Applied Social Sciences
PhD, Tulane University; MA, Clark University; BA, University of Rhode Island

Mary Ellen Mastrorilli

Mary Ellen Mastrorilli

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Associate Chair of Applied Sciences;
Faculty Coordinator for the Online Master of Criminal Justice
PhD, Northeastern University; MPA, Suffolk University; BA, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Danielle Rousseau

Danielle M. Rousseau

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
PhD, Northeastern University; MA, University of Denver; BA, University of Vermont

Francis J. Carney, Jr.

Lecturer, Applied Social Sciences
PhD, MA, Tufts University; BA, Boston College

Getting Started

To learn more or to contact an enrollment advisor before you get started, request information using the button below and tell us a little about yourself. Someone will be in touch to answer any questions you may have about the program and detail the next steps in earning your degree. You can also start your application or register for a course at Metropolitan College.