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
  • 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 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

You also have the option to complete both the concentrations in Crime Analysis and Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity by completing just ten courses (40 credits). See Dual Concentration for more information.

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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“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


What Is My Career Outlook as a Graduate of This Program?

1,007,330

Total number of US Jobs

108,249

Annual job openings

+2.2%

Annual job openings

3%

Projected ten-year growth in jobs
(faster than average)

$70.5K

Median annual salary

Common job titles include:

  1. Intelligence Analyst
  2. Cybersecurity Investigator
  3. Special Agent
  4. Criminal Investigator
  5. Policy Coordinator
  6. Detective

Employers seek expertise in:

  1. Data Analysis
  2. Performance Management
  3. Investigations
  4. Digital Forensics

Source: Lightcast, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

BU MET job-hunting resources,
one-on-one career counseling, and more.

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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.
  • 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, 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 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. 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.

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.

Dual Concentration Option

Students in the MS in Criminal Justice program have the option to complete both the concentrations in Crime Analysis and Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity by completing just two additional courses (for a total of ten courses/40 credits). Along with the four required courses, candidates for the dual concentration would also complete the following:

  • MET CJ 610 Cybercrime
  • MET CJ 612 Crime and Intelligence Analysis
  • MET CJ 620 Cyberterrorism and Cyber Defense
  • MET CJ 710 Applied Digital Forensic Investigation
  • MET UA 654 GIS and Spatial Analysis
  • And one course selected from the list of Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity electives

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)

Electives

(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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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 (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.

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

Events

June 27th, 2024 at: All Day

2024 International White Hat Conference (Day 1)

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Events

June 27th, 2024 at: 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Graduate Information Session - In Person

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Events

June 28th, 2024 at: All Day

2024 International White Hat Conference (Day 2)

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