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California State University, Long Beach
Department of Criminal Justice

Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Off-Campus Accelerated Program


Since the 1980s, the need for law enforcement and correctional staff has increased dramatically. As many baby boomer practitioners approach retirement, there will be an increasing demand for criminal justice professionals at all levels. Law enforcement and correctional agencies are placing a high priority on the professional development of their workforce. Those who possess a Master’s degree will have a competitive edge in the job market, and will be more likely to be promoted through the ranks.

The School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency Management and the College of Continuing and Professional Education (formerly University College and Extension Services) have joined efforts to offer an innovative Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice program to working professionals who are seeking opportunities for career growth or a career change. The M.S. degree in Criminal Justice will expand and increase individual competency and give you the tools necessary to research and solve problems as they relate to the criminal justice system.

The Program

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice enhances the study of the criminal justice system with an emphasis on the following areas: solid leadership and management skills, being an informed consumer of criminal justice research, understanding conceptual and theoretical frameworks of crime and criminal justice, and identifying current trends in corrections, policing, criminal justice and criminology. The curriculum is designed to offer a balance of theory and application that will prove to be challenging to students and useful in the field. This program provides the requisite knowledge and opportunity for individuals to be competitive for administrative positions in law-enforcement, the courts, corrections, private security, probation and parole, research positions in criminal justice agencies, pursue advanced degrees, and community college teaching positions in criminal justice.

Convenience and scheduling considerations were used when designing this degree program. Classes are offered on Saturdays to all students to juggle work and integrate professional experiences into their academic studies.

Subject areas covered

  • Theories of Crime
  • Legal Issues in Criminal Justice
  • Research Methodology
  • Corrections
  • Statistics for Criminal Justice Research
  • Police Organization and Management
  • Crime and Public Policy

Special features and benefits

  • Accelerated six-week sessions
  • Master’s degree earned in 19-20 months by successfully completing 12 courses and a comprehensive examination
  • Courses taught by CSULB faculty from the School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency Management
  • Scholar-practitioner instructors
  • Industry-relevant curriculum
  • Networking opportunities with other professionals in a team learning environment

Who should attend?

  • Individuals interested in supervisory positions that require graduate credentials
  • Those interested in pursuing advanced degrees in criminal justice
  • Working professionals pursuing part-time teaching positions in colleges and universities
  • Individuals in staff positions in criminal justice agencies that want to become competitive for peace officer positions
  • People who are unable to attend a traditional on-campus MS in Criminal Justice program

What do you have to do?

The program has a double application process: you must apply both to the university for admission into the Graduate School at CSULB, and to the School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency Management, for admission to the program. It should be noted that the application process is identical for both the off-campus accelerated master's and the traditional on-campus master's program.

To view the admission requirements and instructions on how to apply, click on the link below:

Master's program in Criminal Justice

Who we are

Established in 1949, CSULB is one of the flagship campuses in the 23 campus CSU system, the largest public university system in the world. CSULB is home to 63 academic departments and programs, 11 centers, three institutes, and three clinics. There are 191 bachelor’s degree programs, 73 master’s degree programs, and one joint PhD program. For their excellence in teaching and learning, many of CSULB’s faculty and student scholars have earned many prestigious awards.

School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency Management

The School is one of the largest in California with approximately 800 undergraduate and 100 graduate majors. The School is well known for the strength of its faculty which includes well known experts in their respective fields, and a balance of academic researchers and highly qualified criminal justice practitioners. In addition, the School is also highly regarded for the strength of its core curriculum, academic rigor, high retention and graduation rates, diverse student population, responsiveness to non-traditional students, and scholarly research.

Criminal Justice faculty are actively engaged in research, and are active in national or regional organizations including the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) and the American Society of Criminology (ASC). The graduate program in criminal justice is highly regarded due to its rigorous admission requirements, flexible yet challenging curriculum, and supportive and caring faculty.

College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE)

Through CCPE, the community outreach arm of CSULB, the university’s academic colleges such as Health and Human Services can offer the same quality degree programs in various delivery methods on a self-support basis. Many of the extra services working professionals want and need are included in CCPE-administered degree programs. CCPE main offices are located in the Foundation Education Center on campus.


Notice to Potential Students of the Off-Campus Accelerated Master's Program in Criminal Justice:

Applications for a cohort starting in Fall 2014 will be accepted between October 2013 and February 15th, 2014.


Please press here to access more information about applying to the accelerated M.S. degree program in criminal justice, including qualifications for admission and details about the application process.

For general inquiries and application status, contact:

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Aili Mam
School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency Management
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840

Tel: (562) 985-8711


College of Professional and Continuing Education
Customer Service Center
Tel: (800) 963-2250


Program cost

At the current time, the cost of this program is $450 per unit. Thus, the entire cost to earn the M.S. in criminal justice (excluding books) through the self-support, accelerated degree program is $16,200.


A note about self-support programs

The off-campus, accelerated M.S. in criminal justice is a self-supported program. That means the program does not rely on support from the State of California. Rather, student fees cover all expenses related to running the degree program, including faculty salaries. In other words, the off-campus M.S. program in criminal justice is financed exclusively through the tuition money the program generates. Thus, the viability of the program, like any self-support program, is dependent upon us receiving a sufficient number of applications from qualified persons each year who then elect to matriculate if offered admission. Conversely, if too few students are accepted, or if too few accepted students actually enroll, the program may be suspended until such time as it becomes financially viable to run another cohort of students. Alternatively, the cost per unit may rise in order to make a cohort economically viable.