Are You Ready to Take on the Challenges of Criminal Justice—and Make a Difference?

In the service of equal justice, the Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) at Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) will prepare you to understand age-old issues and navigate the increasingly complex challenges—both tangible and intangible—facing law enforcement, corrections, and the judiciary system.

The realm of crime and its victims is expanding. Digital crimes are on the rise and agencies are struggling to outsmart the perpetrators. Access to massive amounts of crime and intelligence data, much of it generated in real-time, requires expert analysis skills for the entire chain of command. And law enforcement agencies demand fresh vision and skilled leadership to develop accountability systems, build public trust, and ensure evidence-based practices.

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
  • Tuition & Fees—Part-Time Study*: $23,840

*Based on 2022–2023 Boston University tuition and fees. Merit scholarship may reduce cost.

Advance Your Career with a Master’s in Criminal Justice

BU MET’s MS in Criminal Justice gives you the tools to establish evidence-based policies and institute best practices in degree concentration areas such as Crime Analysis, Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity, and Strategic Management. Most importantly, the BU MET master’s degree in Criminal Justice equips you with the critical-thinking skills to approach your work with a well-rounded, informed perspective—opening the door to promotion and specialized career tracks.

Criminal Justice Concentration Options

BU MET’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program offers concentrations in:

Crime AnalysisCybercrime Investigation & CybersecurityStrategic Management

US News & World Report Best Online Programs - Criminal Justice 2022

#4 in 2022, and top 4 since 2015

MET’s online master’s degree in criminal justice is ranked #4 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2022.

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Charles River Campus

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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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“The Research and Evaluation Methods (MET CJ 590) and Applied Analytical Methods (MET CJ 591) courses helped me hone my skills in those areas so that I could better serve my office and department. I am up for a promotion with a different department because I have been able to demonstrate my ability to dissect incoming reports, analyze data, identify trends, and make predictions regarding future activity.”Madeleine Nay (MET’18), Gang Intelligence Technician, Gang Intelligence Operations, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Explore Careers in Criminal Justice

Use the Career Insights tool to explore jobs that are the right fit for you. Filter by career area and job title or by industry sector to explore employment demand and average salaries. Select “Learn More” for a downloadable career report, or “Explore Other Options” to find the BU MET degree or certificate program that will prepare you for the job you want.

Why BU’s Criminal Justice Master’s Has Been Top 4 since 2015

  • 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.
  • 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, 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: All applicants are automatically considered, and admitted students are nominated based on eligibility.
  • Fee Waiver: Current members of the American Jail Association (AJA) are eligible for a Graduate Application fee waiver ($85 for applications to the master’s program).

Prepare for the Future of Criminal Justice

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.

In this program, you will learn to analyze criminal behavior, apply principles of leadership in organizational settings, examine theories of social control, and gain an informed perspective of law enforcement, the judicial system, and corrections. BU MET’s Criminal Justice master’s degree will give you a competitive edge whether you plan to enhance your career, teach, apply to law school, or pursue a doctorate.

Graduate with Expertise

Metropolitan College’s Criminal Justice master’s degree will equip you with:

  • Advanced knowledge of, 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 the evaluation of criminal justice practices, programs, and policies, and to the etiology of crime in applied settings.
  • Competence sufficient to evaluate and resolve the ethical issues in criminal justice practice and implement, manage, and lead organizational changes to prevent or respond effectively to them.
  • 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.

Certificate-to-Degree Pathway

certificate to degree pathway chart

BU MET graduate certificate programs can serve as building blocks to a master’s degree. Each certificate shares specific courses with the master’s in Criminal Justice program and its concentrations, giving you the option to take one or two certificates on your path to a master’s degree. To be eligible for the degree, you must apply for admission and be accepted into the degree program. Consult with a graduate admissions advisor to learn more about these options.

The following graduate certificate programs can be applied to the master’s degree: Crime Analysis; Criminal Justice; Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity; and Strategic Management in Criminal Justice.

Download Materials

A total of 32 credits is required.

Required Courses

(Four courses/16 credits)


(Four courses/16 credits)

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

See concentration pages for related curricula:

Crime AnalysisCybercrime Investigation & CybersecurityStrategic Management

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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American Jail Association (AJA) members are eligible for a Graduate Application fee waiver ($85 for applications to the master’s degree), and should email with information confirming AJA membership.

Get Started

Please visit the BU MET admissions page for details on how to apply, financial assistance, tuition and fees, requirements for international students, and more.

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News & Events


February 8th, 2023 at: 10:00am - 10:30am

Financing your BU MET Graduate Education (for INTERNATIONAL students)


February 8th, 2023 at: 2:00pm - 2:45pm

Title: Financing your BU MET Graduate Education (for DOMESTIC students)


February 15th, 2023 at: 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Evening Graduate Admissions Information Session


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