Criminal Justice concentration in Strategic Management, Master’s Degree

The online Master of Criminal Justice 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.

Students who complete the master’s degree in Strategic Management will be able to demonstrate:

  • Familiarity with organizational structures of the criminal justice system, and the classical and contemporary theories of organization, planning, and change.
  • The ability to practice criminal justice planning activities such as crime, systems, and legislative analysis.
  • The ability to implement 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.

Honoring Excellence

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?

  • U.S. News & World Report Best Online Programs in Grad Criminal Justice 2018The 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.
  • The MCJ concentration in Strategic Management prepares practitioners for professional roles analyzing complex criminal justice problems and developing sound, 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.

Meet Dr. Mary Ellen Mastrorilli, one of the faculty members you’ll work with in the Criminal Justice program.

Career Outlook

Forensic Science Technicians

17% increase in jobs through 2026

$57,850 median annual pay in 2017

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

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2017-18 Edition

Tuition & Financial Assistance

Money Matters

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.

Financial Assistance

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 concentration in Strategic Management consists of a total of 10 courses (40 credits): six 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 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.


Robert Cadigan

Robert Cadigan

Associate Professor Emeritus, Applied Social Sciences
PhD, MA, Boston University; BA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Kyung-shick Choi

Kyung-shick Choi

Director, Cybercrime & Cybersecurity
PhD, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; MS, Boston University; BS, Northeastern University

Shea W. Cronin

Shea W. Cronin

Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice; Coordinator, Criminal Justice Program
PhD, American University; BS, Northeastern University

Getting Started

To learn more or to contact an enrollment advisor before you get started, request information using the button below and tell us a little about yourself. Someone will be in touch to answer any questions you may have about the program and detail the next steps in earning your degree. You can also start your application or register for a course at Metropolitan College.