Credits required to graduate: 37

The online Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) curriculum was built to provide you with in-depth knowledge of criminal justice theory and research and to develop the skills necessary to succeed in a variety of leadership roles.

Our unique course schedule offers a comprehensive approach to criminal justice education by covering a wide-range of essential topics for current or aspiring criminal justice professionals. Students take 10 Foundation courses in subjects including terrorism, ethics, corrections, youth and delinquency, civil rights and conflict resolution. Students also choose two elective courses with topics ranging from public administration to human resource management and psychology.

Learning outcomes:

By completing the online MSCJ, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the diverse issues encountered in the criminal justice profession
  • Gain the analytical, technical, and communication skills necessary for future employment and/or post-graduate studies in public policy administration and criminal justice
  • Understand the effects of diversity on the lives of people within the context of contemporary issues of justice
  • Incorporate ethical decision making in criminal justice administration
  • Stay up-to-date with current trends to better serve their communities and develop solutions for complex challenges

Program structure

The online MSCJ is a 37-credit program that can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. Full time students typically take two courses per eight-week term, enabling them to complete the degree in one year. Most courses can be taken in any order depending on availability, but some courses must be taken before others.

Online learning environment

The MSCJ program was designed specifically for the online learning environment, and our faculty are experts at delivering innovative coursework to engage online students. Courses feature a variety of materials to help students enhance their learning. Students often participate in discussion boards, fostering collaboration between their fellow classmates and instructors.

All online MSCJ courses are delivered on the Canvas learning management system. It serves as a hub for faculty and students and is the portal through which students access all coursework. Courses are entirely asynchronous, meaning students can view lectures and complete related assignments and discussions on their own time.

Students typically devote 10 hours per class per week to coursework. Though the online format provides flexibility, most assignments must be completed on schedule.

iPad initiative

Lynn University is committed to evolving as an institution, providing the best possible educational experience for its students using cutting-edge technologies. In pursuit of that goal, we’re proud to utilize iPad®-powered learning with our online MSCJ students upon admission. To learn more, review our iPad initiative FAQ.

Course schedule

GSR 501 – Graduate Orientation Seminar (1 credit)

CRJ 540 – Terrorism: Its Effects on Criminal Justice (3)
This course is designed to prepare students with the necessary basic theoretical knowledge and ability to reasonably analyze the fundamental principles involved in political terrorism. Students will examine a variety of events, ranging from low-level threats and acts of violence, which may represent significant risk to human life and property to large-scale acts of violence involving weapons of mass destruction that may have devastating, long-term effects.

CRJ 606 – Theories of Crime (3)
This course provides an examination of criminological theory and the relationship of theory to criminal justice policy.

CRJ 608 – Ethics in Criminal Justice (3)
This course conducts an inquiry into the principles of justice and ethics as they relate to criminal justice in contemporary American society. Students are immersed in a compendium of ethical theory and relate theory to an in-depth analysis of the diverse ethical issues encountered in the criminal justice profession. Using a case study approach, students apply theory to such topics as discretion, investigations, prosecutions, incarceration, use of deadly force, misconduct across the criminal justice spectrum, civil disobedience, undercover operations and privacy.

CRJ 626 – Theory and Practice of Corrections (3)
This course examines theories of punishment and implications for correctional practice. The course focuses on incarceration, probation and community corrections.

CRJ 636 – Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (3)
This course analyzes the legal, philosophical and social interests surrounding issues of freedom, liberty and the fundamental rights granted by the Constitution of the United States. Freedom of speech, assembly, religion and equal treatment before the law are explored.

CRJ 656 – Conflict Resolution in Criminal Justice (3)
An examination of the theory, research and practice of conflict resolution across the different components of the criminal justice system. Varieties of theory, such as Individual Characteristics Theory, Social Process Theory, Social Structure Theory, Formal Theories and Human Needs Theory are reviewed. Practices such as coercion, negotiating and bargaining, adjudication, mediation and arbitration are examined in light of existing research in the field.

CRJ 657 – Criminal Justice and the Community (3)
Examines the relationships between criminal justice agencies and the communities they serve. Analyzes various definitions and the nature of community as a concept and relates the roles (real and perceived) of diverse agencies to each community. Reviews how issues of public policy, service provision and victimization are related to how people define themselves and are defined by others on the basis of community.

CRJ 659 – Global Perspectives in Criminal Justice (3)
Examines the law enforcement, judicial and phonological models of different countries throughout the world for analysis of the construction and execution of criminal justice from a global perspective. The course considers the philosophical ideals, varied political histories, nature and dynamics of criminal justice policies as they impact upon the international character of contemporary criminal justice.

CRJ 661 – Youth and Delinquency Control (3)
Examines the historical treatments of the legal and social constructions of children and youth. Considers the theories, social context, institutional responses and public policies related to juvenile delinquency. Emerging trends in delinquency are compared across diverse criminal justice systems.

PAD 505 – Applied Research Methods (3)
An overview of the methods of inquiry within the framework of applied management theories. Includes a critique of assessment issues in experimental, quantitative-descriptive and exploratory studies. Students design a research project and draft a research proposal that will be utilized in their culminating graduate project.

PAD 510 – Administrative and Regulatory Law (3)
This course is designed to prepare students with the necessary, basic theoretical knowledge and analysis of reasonable principles of organizational justice. Students will examine charters, statutes, executive orders, regulations, ordinances and codes. By examining the American regulatory process through federal, state and local regulations and administrative law, students will be able to shape substantive and procedural issues constructively for the long-term civic good in the face of complexity and paradox.

PAD 530 – Public Institutions, Public Policy and Democracy (3)
This course is designed to prepare students with the necessary, basic theoretical knowledge and analytical skills related to the study of public policy formulation within a democratic institutional context. By examining American politics, the course will assimilate the theories and practices that influence the understanding of public policy in the free and democratic society that we call the United States of America.

MBA 605 – Managing Human Resources (3)
A comprehensive study of human resource management in the corporate environment; special emphasis on topics encompassing planning, recruitment, training and development, appraising performance measures, incentive awards, employee benefits, safety and health and creating a high-performance work environment by a team of individuals.

PSY 500 – Personality Theories (3)
A study of the major theories of the composition and determinants of human personality. The theories examined include: psychoanalytic theories, self-theory, self-actualization theory, trait theories and social learning theory.

PSY 560 – Human Growth and Development (3)
This course is designed to provide students with the foundation and implications of the developmental approach to the understanding of human growth and development. Students will become acquainted with a range of core issues and theories of individual and family development over the lifespan, including basic theoretical and methodological concepts, such as lifespan theories of development including physical, intellectual, moral and social development. This course includes an examination of the field today and applications of lifespan development science for intervention into developmental processes and implications for developmental research.

PSY 580 – Psychobiology (3)
Psychobiology is the study of the biology of behavior. Because the production and regulation of behavior is largely the job of the nervous system, this course will involve a study of the central nervous system and how it works. This study of behavioral neuroscience will include the physiological bases of sensation, sex, learning and memory, motivation, cognition, and abnormal behavior. By its very nature, psychobiology is a multidisciplinary field which draws from the fields of biology, psychology, chemistry, mathematics and physics.

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