Lead Your Agency Strategically with a Master’s in Criminal Justice

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice concentration in Strategic Management offers an interdisciplinary curriculum designed to provide the specific skills needed to face contemporary criminal justice challenges and lead reforms—not only domestically, but internationally.

To be an effective manager in a criminal justice organization, you have to comprehend the culture within your department, communicate with first-line supervisors and other personnel, collaborate with external agencies, maintain rapport with the press and other observers, and ensure that you are able to understand and confront deeply entrenched ideas, cultures, and expectations. More importantly, you have to answer to the public—most likely in the aftermath of a crisis. Successful management in this environment requires innovative strategies, the ability to develop accountability systems and streamline processes, and a deep commitment to best practices. It is important to maintain focus on evidence-based planning and to approach practical and systemic obstacles with a vision—and a solution.

Program at a Glance

  • Top 4 Online Programs since 2015
  • Online and On Campus
  • Part-Time or Full-Time Study
  • 32 Credits
  • 8–16 Months to Completion
  • 4 Full-Time Faculty Members
  • No GRE/GMAT
  • Tuition & Fees—Part-Time Study*: $24,640

*Based on 2024–2025 Boston University tuition and fees. Merit scholarship may reduce cost.

Advance Your Criminal Justice Career

The Strategic Management concentration of BU MET’s MS in Criminal Justice is built on the foundation that effective leadership in the increasingly complex field of criminal justice requires a strong footing in ethics, business, and analysis, as well as the ability to keep pace with issues that include the realities of terrorism, the emergence of cybercrime, questions of police legitimacy, and stagnant correctional outcomes in terms of recidivism among offenders.

The MSCJ concentration in Strategic Management is the ideal program of study for experienced, mid-career criminal justice professionals who seek to advance into policymaking, upper-management, or executive-level positions in their agencies.

US News & World Report Best Online Programs - Criminal Justice 2024

#3 in 2024, and top 4 since 2015

MET’s online master’s degree in criminal justice is ranked #3 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2024.

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Criminal Justice Career Outlook

Criminal Justice Career Outlook

Top criminal justice careers in cybercrime, crime analysis, and management.

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Most of my peers do hold a master’s degree, so I believe my degree will make me more competitive for advancement within my agency. One clear benefit is that what I learned has made me sharper and more familiar with progressive policing strategies.Matthew Moynihan (MET’19), Captain, Rhode Island State Police

Why Study Criminal Justice at BU MET?

  • Active Learning Environment: Benefit from a criminal justice master’s that employs case studies, simulations using real data, and hands-on problem solving to develop practical skills you can immediately apply on the job.
  • Career Counseling: MET’s Career Development office and BU’s Center for Career Development offer a variety of job-hunting resources, including one-on-one career counseling by appointment for both online and on-campus students.
  • Engaged Faculty: Collaborate with faculty who have subject-matter expertise, research-based insight, and extensive field experience in law enforcement, corrections, cybercrime investigation and digital forensics, research and policy, forensic mental health, the judicial system, strategic management, and many other areas.
  • Extensive Network: Study alongside classmates whose diversity of criminal justice experience inspires discussion and debate, along with the opportunity to form valuable, long-lasting connections in the field.
  • 15:1 Class Ratio: Enjoy an exceptional student-to-instructor ratio online, and manageable class sizes on campus—ensuring close interaction with faculty and access to support.
  • Valuable Resources: Make use of Boston University’s extensive resources, including the Center for Career Development, Fitness & Recreation Center, IT Help Centers, Mugar Memorial Library, Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, Center for Antiracist Research, Initiative on Cities, Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, George Sherman Union, and many others.
  • Flexible Options: Study at the pace that works for you, evenings on campus or fully online. Courses begin fall, spring, and summer; online courses have two starts per term.
  • Track Record: Learn from the best—BU MET has offered criminal justice education since 1973, introducing the master’s degree in criminal justice in 1980, which became BU’s first fully online program in 2002.
  • Merit Scholarships: US citizens and permanent residents are automatically considered during the application process and nominated based on eligibility. Learn more.

Prepare for the Future of Criminal Justice

The Strategic Management concentration is part of BU MET’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ). In this course of study, you will develop valuable skills that enhance your ability to analyze diverse problems and develop sound, sustainable policies that are guided by logic and planning.

The master’s in Criminal Justice at BU MET is designed for professionals who want to enter or advance in the field of criminal justice—or simply gain a deeper understanding of this fascinating discipline and how it intersects with careers in mental health, public health, journalism, and law. Emphasizing practical, insightful, and adaptable knowledge, BU MET’s criminal justice courses develop practical skills that can be immediately applied on the job while informing your career growth for years to come.

Graduate with Valuable Strategic Management Tools

Metropolitan College’s Criminal Justice master’s degree concentration in Strategic Management will equip you with:

  • Familiarity with organizational structures of the criminal justice system along with the classical and contemporary theories of organization, planning, and reform.
  • The ability to learn and apply planning skills related to criminal justice policymaking and program design.
  • Knowledge of policy monitoring and program evaluation techniques.
  • Proficient comprehension of quantitative and qualitative practices that enhance organizational decision-making, evaluation, and accountability.
  • An understanding of the nature of public emergency management and preparedness across public and private jurisdictions.

Certificate-to-Degree Pathway

certificate to degree pathway chart

You can also earn the master’s in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Strategic Management by completing the Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice and the Graduate Certificate in Strategic Management in Criminal Justice. Students currently enrolled in a graduate certificate who are interested in transitioning into a master’s degree should contact their academic advisor to declare their interest in this pathway. A new master’s degree application is not required. Connect with a graduate admissions advisor at apssadmissions@bu.edu to learn more about this option.

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A total of 32 credits is required.

Required Courses

(Four courses/16 credits)

Strategic Management Concentration Requirements

(Four courses/16 credits)

Plus two additional electives from the following list:

Any request for addition or substitution of elective courses requires approval from the department.


Criminal Justice Faculty

Tuition & Financial Assistance

Competitive Tuition

Our part-time rates are substantially lower than those of the traditional, full-time residential programs yet provide access to the same high-quality BU education.

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Comprehensive Financial Assistance

Our services include scholarships, graduate loans, and payment plans.

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BU MET programs offer the flexibility of part-time or full-time study, either on campus or online. Tuition, fees, and total program cost are determined by enrollment status. If you enroll in 1–2 courses (4–8 credits) in a semester, you are charged the part-time per-credit rate. If you enroll in 3–4 courses (12–16 credits) in a semester, you are charged the full-time semester rate.

MS in Criminal Justice, Strategic Management Concentration (Online and On Campus)

Enrollment Status Part Time Full Time
Courses per Semester 2 courses
(8 credits)
4 courses
(16 credits)
3 courses
(12 credits)
Time to Degree 4 semesters
(16 months)
2 semesters
(8-12 months)***
3 semesters
(12-16 months)***
Tuition* $550-$975
per credit**
$33,335
per semester
$33,335
per semester
Fees per Semester* $60 $478 $478
Total Degree Cost* $24,640 $67,626 $75,486

*Based on 2024–2025 Boston University tuition & fee rates.
**Cost per credit is determined by course number (100–599 = $550/credit, 600–999 = $975/credit).
***Summer semester enrollment is not required for international students to maintain F-1 visa status. Enrollment in summer semester coursework will expedite completion of program and reduce total program cost.

International students seeking an F-1 visa for on-campus study must enroll full time and demonstrate availability of funds to cover the Estimated Cost of Graduate Study; those who wish to study online may enroll part-time but are not eligible for a visa. Learn more about International Student Tuition & Fees.

Questions? Please contact us to hear from an Admissions Advisor who can help you determine the best enrollment pathway. For information regarding financial aid, visit BU MET’s Financial Aid page.

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