Earning any type of criminal justice degree holds value. Earning it online gives you an opportunity to maximize your full potential. Most people who choose to enroll in an online degree program are already employed and don’t want to lose any seniority they may have. With an online degree, they are able to work either full or part-time and still take the classes they need to earn their degree. The lessons they learn in class can be immediately applied to their work, giving them an opportunity to retain what they are learning.
The convenience of online learning extends much further than just being able to continue working while they attend school. Online criminal justice degree programs, in the state of Massachusetts, offer the same high-quality education as that which is offered in a classroom setting. Students have access to the same resources and can actually communicate with faculty members without fear of being interrupted or sidetracked by other distractions. Students who have anxiety issues and don’t like large crowds can still get the education they deserve and study in an environment where they feel most comfortable.
How we ranked The Best Online Criminal Justice Programs in Massachusetts
To rank Massachusett’ss best online criminal justice programs, the editors of Criminal Justice Degree Hub focus on trustworthy, accredited schools. We rank programs by practical factors, student satisfaction, including tuition rate, and graduate salary. Data comes from IPEDS and Niche.
1. Bay Path University
Bay Path University’s (BPU Online) American Women’s College offers one of the best online Criminal Justice Degree programs in Massachusetts with its Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Justice Studies program. This criminal justice degree online requires degree candidates to complete classes in principles of policing, intro to criminal justice, women I criminal justice, probation & parole, ethics and the criminal justice profession, and terrorism & homeland security, plus a capstone and optional practicum, to name a few.
Bay Path University was founded in the 1890s in nearby Springfield and is currently recognized among the fastest grown schools in graduate degrees. The American Women’s College is Bay Path University’s online, all-women platform. Nearly 3,400 undergraduate and graduate students attend classes online and on the school’s Longmeadow campus. Highlight – Bay Path University maintains several campuses in Longmeadow, Concord, and Sturbridge.
2. The University of Massachusetts
The University of Massachusetts’s (UMass Online) School of Criminology & Justice Studies offers a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) program in Criminal Justice that is considered among the best online Criminal Justice Degree programs by US News & World Report. UMass’s criminal justice degree online allows for up to 90 transfer credits, if eligible. Students enrolled in UMass’s online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice must complete a minimum of 120 baccalaureate credits – all available online. Classes for this degree include criminal law, the criminal justice system, and intro to corrections, plus a capstone seminar, among others.
The University of Massachusetts Online is the online platform for the state’s university system. The University of Massachusetts Online offers more than two hundred degree and certificate programs to serve working learners, students, and busy professionals. Highlight – UMass online bestows the same degree as that on-campus.
3. Westfield State University
Westfield State University (WSU Online) offers a completion degree online that awards a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice to those who hold an associate degree in criminal justice or have completed the state’s transfer-compact requirements. Westfield State University’s best online Criminal Justice Degree programs are recognized among the state’s most innovative and best undergraduate programs. Classes for Westfield State University’s BS degree in criminal justice are offered during Spring and fall semesters, plus two shorter summer sessions and an accelerated session in Winter.
Westfield State University (WSU) is a public institution of higher education that was established as a teacher’s training school in the late 1830s by Horace Mann. The school serves more than 5,000 students online and on the school’s southwestern Massachusetts campus. Highlight – Students can attend classes at Westfield State University as full-time or part-time students.
4. UMASS Lowell
UMASS Lowell (Lowell Online Studies) offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Criminal Justice that is considered among New England’s most innovative and best online Criminal Justice Degree programs available. UMASS Lowell’s criminal justice degree online includes classes in responding to child maltreatment, violence in American, forensic psychology, descriptive and inferential statistics, and gender, race, and crime, to name a few. UMASS Lowell’s master’s degree in criminal justice requires the completion of at least 33 graduate credit units.
UMASS Lowell operates as a dual campus public institution of higher learning. UMass Lowell was established in the 1890s as a teacher’s training school. The Haverhill & Lowell UMASS campuses have the largest student enrollment in western Massachusetts’ Merrimack Valley. UMASS Lowell serves more than 18,100 students online and on its campuses. [Highlight – The Lowell campus of the University of Massachusetts offers more than 160 undergraduate, certificate & postgraduate degree programs.
5. Curry College
Curry College’s (CC Online) Continuing & Graduate Studies offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Criminal Justice (MACJ) program that is recognized to be one of New England’s most innovative & best online Criminal Justice Degree programs available. Students enrolled in Curry College’s criminal justice degree online can complete this graduate degree in as few as twenty-one months. The curriculum includes 31 graduate semester credits in classes like social policy and the administration of justice, criminal justice data analysis, and criminology theory and applications, to name a few.
Curry College was established originally founded on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston in the 1870s. Curry College’s Milton campus began in the early 1950s and covers more than 130 acres (near the Blue Hills Reservation) that serve about 4,600 students each year. Highlight – The school was named for Samuel Silas Curry, a pioneer in education and elocution.
6. Boston University
Boston University (BU Distance) offers a Master of Science (MS) in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) degree program that US News recognizes as one of Boston and Massachusetts’s best online Criminal Justice Degree programs. Students enrolled in BU’s criminal justice graduate degree online can complete the required 32-semester units in about 1.5 years. Additionally, enrolled students can choose from a concentration in strategic management, cybercrime investigation & cybersecurity, and crime analysis. Required coursework for this BU degree includes criminology and crime policy, applied analytical ethos, criminal justice administration & ethics, and research methods, among others.
Boston University is a private school established in the 1830s in Vermont but moved to Boston about three decades later. Boston University maintains multiple campuses in Boston that serve approximately 35,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students each year. Highlight – BU’s School of Theology was created when the school absorbed the Boston Theological Institute in the 1870s.
7. Northeastern University
Northeastern University’s (NU Online) College of Social Sciences & Humanities offers a Master of Science (MS) in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) degree program that is one of the best online Criminal Justice Degree programs in Boston and Beyond. Northeastern University’s criminal justice master’s degree online can be completed by full or part-time students, with full-timers completing the program in about twelve months. Classes include an introduction to computational statistics, criminology, the criminal justice process, and research methods in the social sciences, among others.
Northeastern University is an educational research facility/school that was established in 1898. Northeastern University serves about 27,550 students across its main Boston Campus and seven satellite facilities in the US and Canada. Highlight – Northeastern University was developed by the directors of the United States’ first YMCA – Young Men’s Cristian Association.
8. Springfield College
Springfield College’s (SC Online) Department of Criminal Justice offers a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) program with a Criminal Justice major (CRIM) that is one of western Massachusetts’ best online Criminal Justice Degree programs. Classes for this criminal justice degree online include criminology, gender, race, crime, criminal procedure, law enforcement, the American Court System, violence & victimization, special topics in criminal justice social problems, and research methods in criminal justice, among others. The residency requirement for this undergraduate degree in criminal justice is 45 credits.
Springfield College was established in the 1880s as a private college. Springfield College serves approximately 3,550 students, with its most famous student considered the inventor of the game of Basketball. Highlight – The commencement speaker for 1964 was Martin Luther King, Jr, who was given an honorary degree.
9. Salem State University
Salem State University’s (Salem State Online) College of Health & Human Services offers a Master of Science (MS) in Criminal Justice with an academic concentration in Criminology (MSCJ) degree that is among Massachusetts’s most innovative and best online Criminal Justice Degree programs. Students enrolled in Salem State University’s criminal justice degree online are required to finish a minimum of 36 graduate credit units. In addition, Salem State University’s criminal justice degree includes a thesis or non-thesis option and core classes in theories of crime, criminal justice statistical analysis, and criminal law and the justice system, among others.
Salem State University (SSU) was established as a teacher’s training school in the 1850s. The school is recognized to be the oldest on the state’s northern shore and is considered a member school of the Massachusetts university system. Highlight -More than 5,650 undergraduate and graduate students attend classes online and on the school’s Salem suburban campus.
10. The University of Massachusetts (Masters)
The University of Massachusetts Online (UMass Online) Studies offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Criminal Justice that ranks, according to US News, among the nation’s best online Criminal Justice Degree programs. This criminal justice degree online from UMass can be completed in only eighteen months and requires at least 33 graduate credit units to graduate. Classes for this master’s degree in criminal justice include law and public policy, managing justice organizations, and criminological theory and foundations, plus a directed criminal justice study.
The University of Massachusetts Online is the distance learning platform for Massachusetts’s university system. The University of Massachusetts Online offers more than two hundred degree and certificate programs designed to serve working learners, students, and busy professionals locally and globally. Highlight – The online platform allows the university to share resources from the school’s five primary campuses.
Will My Employer Trust an Online Criminal Justice Degree?
Employers are quickly learning that online criminal justice degree programs are just as good as the degree programs taught in a classroom setting. They also realize that by enrolling in an online degree program, their employees don’t have to miss work or take a leave of absence to attend school. Instead, they study when it is most convenient and are able to begin applying their newly learned skills while on the job. Employers understand that by encouraging students to enroll in online classes, they will also be able to reap the rewards.
Employers who understand the importance of allowing their employees to return to school begin to see benefits almost immediately. Not only do students have more advanced skills, they are also more confident and will try new things as they continue learning. This allows employers to fill new positions from inside their own ranks instead of bringing new hires they will have to retrain to follow company protocols.
What Are the Most Common Criminal Justice Jobs in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, there are several criminal justice jobs that people can apply for once they have graduated. Criminal justice jobs can be found in law enforcement, forensics, private investigations, paralegals, judicial courts, law clerks, and many other positions that require a solid knowledge of the criminal justice system. While many of these jobs are in law enforcement or law offices, many can be found within the city, state, and federal courts as well. The diversity of these jobs makes them quite rewarding for individuals who enjoy facing new challenges.
While there is always an abundance of jobs in the public and private sector, there are some individuals who have earned a criminal justice degree who were destined to be teachers. They may choose to teach in a college or university, while some may prefer to offer skills training within a law enforcement agency or another type of facility where security personnel may need additional training throughout the year. These small refresher courses are designed to keep officers and staff as up-to-date as possible on new advancements and protocols.
What Is a Common Criminal Justice Salary in Massachusetts?
The salary you receive when you are hired into a criminal justice position in one of the many different fields will vary. The amount will always be contingent on the amount of experience you have, your highest level of completed education, the location of your job, and your willingness to take on new responsibilities. The lowest starting wage is normally around $32,000 per year. At the high end of the scale, you may be able to find individuals who may earn as much as $110,000 per year.
It’s important to remember that there are specializations in the criminal justice field that will dramatically increase your earning potential. The more education you have, the better off you will be. Your willingness to continue your education may be one of the reasons a new employer hires you. Most employers look for candidates who are motivated enough to face challenges head-on. Employees will make more money on average if they set goals and then do whatever it takes to reach them. For some, it is continuing their education. For others, it is pursuing on-the-job training or accepting an apprenticeship. Once you have been hired by a company, look for new opportunities that will allow you to grow and continue to reach your full potential.