Criminal Justice concentration in Strategic Management, Master’s Degree
The online Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) concentration in Strategic Management offers an interdisciplinary curriculum designed to provide the skills needed to face contemporary criminal justice challenges and lead reforms—not only domestically, but internationally.
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 Strategic Management concentration develops valuable skills that enhance the ability to analyze diverse problems and develop sound, sustainable policies that are guided by logic and planning—making it the ideal credential for experienced, mid-career criminal justice professionals who seeks to advance to the ranks into policy-making, upper management, or executive-level positions in their agencies.
In addition to the knowledge gained in the MSCJ core, students who complete the Criminal Justice master’s degree concentration in Strategic Management will be able to demonstrate:
- Familiarity with organizational structures of the criminal justice system along with the classical and contemporary theories of organization, planning, and change.
- 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.
Why Choose BU’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice?
- In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked BU's Criminal Justice master's program #2 among the Best Online Master's in Criminal Justice Programs. The program has ranked in the top 4 each year since 2015.
- The master’s in Criminal Justice 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.
- The MSCJ concentration in Strategic Management prepares practitioners for professional roles analyzing complex criminal justice problems and developing sound and sustainable policies that are guided by logic and planning.
- In the online classroom, students are able to network with a global community of criminal justice professionals.
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives
5–9% increase in jobs through 2026
$89,030 median annual pay 2018
Criminal Investigators and Special Agents
5–9% increase in jobs through 2026
$81,920 median annual pay in 2018
10% increase in jobs through 2026
$80,180 median annual pay in 2018
Information Security Analysts
28% increase in jobs through 2026
$95,510 median annual pay in 2017
Police and Detectives
7% increase in jobs through 2026
$62,960 median annual pay in 2017
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary
10–14% increase in jobs through 2026
$61,900 median annual pay in 2018
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2017-18 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 Science in Criminal Justice concentration in Strategic Management consists of a total of eight courses (32 credits): four required courses and four concentration requirements.
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 email@example.com with information confirming AJA membership.
The Boston University online Master of Science in Criminal Justice will provide you with an in-depth examination of crime and justice, including theories, trends, and policies, in less than two years of study. Online students pursuing a concentration in Strategic Management must satisfy the MS in Criminal Justice core requirements and the concentration requirements.
(Four courses/16 credits)
METCJ570 Criminology and Crime Policy
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 course has two primary focuses: 1) to explore and evaluate major explanations or theories of crime and 2) understand and evaluate the policy implications of major crime problems. Because criminology is interdisciplinary, students will examine theories that are grounded in a range of academic perspectives, including sociological, biological, political, psychological and economic explanations for crime. These theories will be centered on important public policy debates about a host of contemporary problems, including: firearm violence, high post- incarceration recidivism, opioid use disorder crisis and human trafficking. 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 the course progresses through each explanation for crime, students will have the opportunity to critically evaluate the validity of different explanations for crime as well as criminal justice policies and practices that they support. [4 credits]
METCJ571 Criminal Justice Administration and Ethics
This course will introduce students to the concepts of criminal justice administration and ethics. Students will learn about: the management of justice organizations in the United States, and the various debates as to how best to carry out crime control. Topics covered include: organizational theory and structure, professional ethics, leadership and management styles, organizational deviance and socialization, employee motivation, and management responses to stress and burnout. The course is designed to help students understand the characteristics of effective leadership and policy implementation in the field of criminal justice. Students will also have the opportunity to analyze ethical dilemmas commonly confronted in criminal justice work. [4 credits]
METCJ590 Research and Evaluation Methods
The skills used in research method have become central to many positions within criminal justice administration and related areas. Not only are professionals required to understand and critically evaluate the program and policy science in their field to make decisions, they often employ methodological skills in program and policy development, implementation, management and assessment. This course takes students through the research process from question development to administration and reporting. It emphasizes applied research situations and settings and specifically program evaluation and assessment. After examining various research design models, the course focuses on specific techniques that inform both quantitative and qualitative evaluation studies. These include sampling procedures, survey design, interview techniques, participant observation and case studies and process evaluations. [4 credits]
METCJ591 Applied Analytical Methods
Evidence-based and data-driven approaches to crime problems are the industry standard among criminal justice agencies and non-governmental organizations. This course will cover a variety of statistical "tools" from three broad areas: (1) descriptive statistics, (2) inferential statistics and hypothesis testing, and (3) measures of association. Students will learn how to develop research questions, describe and draw conclusions from quantitative data, and interpret statistical research findings, and be able to present these findings to a variety of audiences in a clear and accurate way -- to be able to "tell a story" with numbers. In addition, students will develop a proficiency working with large data sets and conducting analysis with a critical lens, using the analytical software -- Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) -- commonly used in criminal justice and related fields. [4 credits]
(Four courses/16 credits)
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]
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]
Plus two electives chosen 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]
METCJ612 Crime and Intelligence Analysis
Contemporary law enforcement agencies regularly employ crime and intelligence analysis to develop and inform effective responses to crime. This course provides an in-depth examination of crime and intelligence analysis techniques. It also explores the role of the crime and intelligence analyst within law enforcement organizations and processes, the historical evolution of this approach, key legal and policy issues, and challenges to implementation. Students have the opportunity to apply these skills to case study simulations involving an array of common crime problems and cases using real-world examples and sources of information. [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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
METCJ801 Special Project in Criminal Justice
Individual faculty supervision of an independent student project demonstrating application of previous program coursework to a selected topic, issue, or theme in criminal justice. [4 credits]
MET prioritizes the review and admission of applications submitted earlier in the rolling admission process. You are encouraged to submit your application as soon as possible and no later than the priority application deadlines for each term.
Applicants must have an earned bachelor’s degree, in any field of study, from a regionally accredited college/university (or the international equivalent) prior to enrollment at Metropolitan College. The following materials are required for a complete application:
Mary Ellen Mastrorilli
Associate Professor of the Practice, Criminal Justice; Chair ad interim, Applied Social Sciences
PhD, Northeastern University; MPA, Suffolk University; BA, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Director, Cybercrime & Cybersecurity
PhD, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; MS, Boston University; BS, Northeastern University
Shea W. Cronin
Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice; Coordinator, Criminal Justice Program
PhD, American University; BS, Northeastern University
Daniel P. LeClair
Professor, Applied Social Sciences
PhD, Tulane University; MA, Clark University; BA, University of Rhode Island
Danielle M. Rousseau
Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice
PhD, Northeastern University; MA, University of Denver; BA, University of Vermont
Associate Professor Emeritus, Applied Social Sciences
PhD, MA, Boston University; BA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Francis J. Carney, Jr.
Lecturer, Applied Social Sciences
PhD, MA, Tufts University; BA, Boston College
Associate Professor of the Practice and Director of Digital Learning, Administrative Sciences; Coordinator, Applied Business Analytics
PhD, MS, BS, Dresden University of Technology
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