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.
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 #2 among the nation’s Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs (U.S. News & World Report 2018).
- 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.
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
Boston University Metropolitan College (MET) offers competitive tuition rates that meet the needs of part-time students seeking an affordable education. These rates are substantially lower than those of the traditional, full-time residential programs yet provide access to the same high-quality BU education. To learn more about current tuition rates, visit the MET website.
Comprehensive financial assistance services are available at MET, including scholarships, graduate loans, and payment plans. There is no cost to apply for financial assistance, and you may qualify for a student loan regardless of your income. Learn more.
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:
Current members of the American Jail Association (AJA) are eligible for a Graduate Application fee waiver ($85 for applications to the master’s program), and should email firstname.lastname@example.org with information confirming AJA membership.
Applicants bearing any of the following three industrial certifications will be able to waive one course per credential (up to two courses/8 credits) from the Master of Criminal Justice program, as specified below:
|Industry Certification||Courses Waived*|
|Certified Jail Manager (American Jail Association)||Criminal Justice Administration (MET CJ 831)|
|Certified PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) Auditor (U.S. Department of Justice)||Trauma and Crisis Intervention (MET CJ 720)|
|SMIP (Senior Management Institute for Police) Certification (Police Executive Research Forum)||Policing in a Democratic Society (MET CJ 750)|
*In instances where students wish to take a waived course and forego an elective, decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis by the department chair in consultation with the criminal justice faculty. Such decisions will be based on the academic merit of the request.
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.
(Six courses/24 credits)
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]
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*:
This course is designed to help students understand and apply the nature of computer crime in the criminal justice field. Several theories (both micro-level and macro-level) will be presented and will be analyzed in depth and applied to computer crime cases both past and present. Students will see how major theories have been re-developed to be applied to computer crime, and by using these theories, students will both develop and explore different strategies for future law enforcement. Students will be presented with common types of fraudulent schemes, as well as several laws that have been enacted and developed specifically for computer crime. In addition, causes, victimization, legal issues, control strategies, and societal costs regarding the "computer-crime" problem will be explored and evaluated. [4 credits]
METCJ631 Youth Crime Problems
Throughout this course, students will analyze the policy issues concerning juvenile justice and youth crime. Emphasis will be put on the scope and nature of youth crime and the young offender, as well as juvenile justice procedures, programs and institutional roles. Over the semester, students will also be asked to consider delinquency prevention programs, violent offenders, dispositional alternatives, and crimes against youth. [4 credits]
This course will include a general introduction to the overt as well as underlying ideology, history, reasons and causes of terrorism. Both domestic and international terrorism will be discussed. Domestic hate groups will also receive particular attention. The roles of politics and the media will be discussed. Students will be exposed to the philosophies of terrorists and terrorism. Counter terrorism will also be discussed at length. Students are expected to participate actively in the course. There will be written assignments, a midterm, a class presentation, and a final paper. [4 credits]
METCJ701 Crime and Punishment
Police officers, corrections officers, probation and parole officers, youth service officers, federal law enforcement agents, and court professionals are all called upon on a daily basis to make critical decisions that significantly affect the lives of those entrusted to them. Students in this course will consider applications of ethical actions as they pertain to issues of social justice. Toward that end, we will forge a strong notion of our definition of just what constitutes social justice. [4 credits]
METCJ710 Applied Digital Forensic Investigation
This course is designed to engage students for conducting successful forensic examinations of digital devices and computer networks with hands-on-experience within the Virtual Security Lab. The course introduces EnCase forensic software, which has received the high acceptance rate in a court of law as an expert witness. The course aims to cover various cybercrime topics and digital forensic investigation practices using digital evidence samples. In the process of learning, students will explore the nature of specific cybercrime and be able to successfully analyze and document the digital evidence related to the crime. [4 credits]
METCJ711 Criminal Justice Policy and Planning
This course will introduce you to the concepts of criminal justice policy and planning. You will be introduced to two major theories of planning and apply them to criminal justice settings. Additionally, you will learn the techniques for analyzing problems, developing programs and policies resulting from problem analysis, along with program and policy monitoring and evaluation. [4 credits]
METCJ720 Trauma and Crisis Intervention
Trauma and Crisis Intervention examines the psychological impact of trauma on individuals and society. This course will address the important role trauma plays in criminal justice settings, providing a practical understanding of trauma and trauma informed care. This understanding will serve to benefit practitioners in this field. The course will cover key issues in trauma and crisis intervention, addressing both theory and practice. The course examines the social, cultural and political environments in which trauma, trauma research and treatment occur. This course provides an introduction and overview of the field of traumatic stress studies including the nature of trauma, responses to trauma and treatment for disorders of traumatic stress. A variety of traumas will be examined (childhood abuse and neglect, ongoing and complex trauma, interpersonal trauma, international trauma, etc.) In addition, trauma will be explored in a variety of contexts. Students will gain an understanding of the impact of trauma and crisis intervention both within the United States as well as globally. The capacity to foster resilience in survivors as well as the importance of self-care in reducing vicarious trauma will be stressed.
This course is designed to provide an understanding of trauma and crisis response for students who may work in a variety of criminal justice settings. The course will be geared toward and benefit both mental health practitioners as well as those working in law enforcement and correctional settings. The field of criminal justice more generally is clearly moving toward recognition of the importance of trauma informed care and services. The course will address trauma theory and practice in a practical way. The course will be interactive in nature and derive course work and material from real world examples. [4 credits]
METCJ725 Forensic Behavior Analysis
This course will examine the fascinating world of forensic psychology. It will examine the way in which the law and mental health intersect and forensic psychologists help the court in addressing a variety of cases and issues. The course will explore how expert opinions are formed and provided on a variety of issues including; not guilty by reason of mental illness pleas, competency to stand trial, prediction of future violence, sexual predators; psychopaths, the forcible medication of mentally ill patients, and civil commitment. The difference between sound and "junk" science will be discussed. [4 credits]
METCJ750 Policing in a Democratic Society
Police agencies play a critical role in a democratic society. While seeking to maintain order, enforce the law and deliver services effectively, police agencies are held accountable to a wide-variety of values by a number of powerful stakeholders. Police leaders, managers, and other personnel must understand the complexities of the police role in society, the political and legal constraints placed on them in addition to being experts in effective, evidence-based approaches to dealing with crime problems in the community. By applying theory, policy, and evaluation literature to the cutting-edge practices in the field, this course provides students with an advanced understanding in the field of police leadership, management, strategy, and accountability within a democratic society. 4 cr. [4 credits]
*The following courses offered by other Metropolitan College departments are allowed with advisor and course faculty approval.
METAD612 COO-Public Emergency Management
This course examines emergency management from national, state, local, and family perspectives of prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. The course encompasses knowledge of the specific agencies, organizations, and individual behaviors in emergency management as well as the interlinking partnerships between/among these groups. Areas of discussion include: responsibilities at federal, state, community and individual levels; guidelines and procedures for operations and compliance such as the National response Plan; Incident Command Systems (ICS); exercises; plan development, command, and control; communication; partnership development and maintenance; leadership; and numerous other elements related to effective emergency management. The unique and critical roles of private and public partnerships are reviewed and particular attention is paid to the interplay and interdependency among national, state, community, business (public and private), and the individual. 4cr. [4 credits]
METAD642 Project Management
The course examines the concepts and applied techniques for cost effective management of both long-term development programs and projects. Project management principles and methodology are provided with special focus on planning, controlling, and coordinating individual and group efforts. Key topics of focus include overview of modern project management, organization strategy and project selection, defining a project and developing a project plan and scheduling resources, project risk analysis, work breakdown structures, and project networks. MS Project will be introduced in this course to provide hands-on practical skills with the above topics. Mastery of key tools and concepts introduced in this course provides a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace. [4 credits]
METAD643 Project Communications Management
Prereq: MET AD642
To succeed in project management, you must be a strong leader and an effective communicator. This course examines the current philosophies of leadership as applied to project management and identifies various styles of communication and conflict resolution. Through case studies and various exercises, you will develop enhanced leadership, communication, conflict management, and negotiation skills. [4 credits]
METAD715 Quantitative and Qualitative Decision-Making
Explores decision making and policy formulation in organizations. Includes goal setting and the planning process, rational models of decision making, evaluation of alternatives, prediction of outcomes, cost-benefit analysis, decision trees, uncertainty and risk assessment, and procedures for evaluation of outcomes. [4 credits]
METCS684 IT Security Policies and Procedures
This course enables IT professional leaders to identify emerging security risks and implement highly secure networks to support organizational goals. Discussion of methodologies for identifying, quantifying, mitigating and controlling risks. Students implement a comprehensive IT risk management plans (RMP) that identify alternate sites for processing mission-critical applications, and techniques to recover infrastructure, systems, networks, data and user access. The course also discusses related topics such as: disaster recovery, handling information security; protection of property, personnel and facilities; protection of sensitive and classified information, privacy issues, and criminal terrorist and hostile activities. [4 credits]
METCS693 Digital Forensics and Investigations
Provides a comprehensive understanding of digital forensics and investigation tools and techniques. Learn what computer forensics and investigation is as a profession and gain an understanding of the overall investigative process. Operating system architectures and disk structures are discussed. Studies how to set up an investigator's office and laboratory, as well as what computer forensic hardware and software tools are available. Other topics covered include importance of digital evidence controls and how to process crime and incident scenes, details of data acquisition, computer forensic analysis, e-mail investigations, image file recovery, investigative report writing, and expert witness requirements. Provides a range of laboratory and hands-on assignments either in solo or in teams. With rapid growth of computer systems and digital data this area has grown in importance. Prereq: Working knowledge of windows computers, including installing and removing software. Access to a PC meeting the minimum system requirements defined in the course syllabus. [4 credits]
Prerequisites may be required for MET AD 642 and MET AD 643.
Associate Professor of Applied Social Sciences
PhD, MA, Boston University; BA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Faculty Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity Programs
PhD, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; MS, Boston University; BS, Northeastern University
Shea W. Cronin
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
PhD, American University; BS, Northeastern University
Daniel P. LeClair
Professor of Applied Social Sciences
PhD, Tulane University; MA, Clark University; BA, University of Rhode Island
Mary Ellen Mastrorilli
Associate Professor of the Practice of Criminal Justice and Chair ad interim of Applied Sciences;
Faculty Coordinator for the Online Master of Criminal Justice
PhD, Northeastern University; MPA, Suffolk University; BA, University of Massachusetts, Boston
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
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