Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

Expand your knowledge and build upon your academic foundation in the criminal justice system with the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice in the College of Liberal Arts at Temple University. 

Temple’s Criminal Justice MA is ideal for students who already work in the criminal justice field, for those who seek to sharpen critical skills in a criminal justice-related field and for those who seek an entry point for a competitive job in the area of criminal justice. Students entering the program have experience in a variety of areas related to criminal justice, including

  • counseling,
  • geography,
  • political science,
  • psychology
  • social work and 
  • sociology. 

Other students pursue their master’s degree with an interest in continuing their education and research in a doctoral program. Department of Criminal Justice students and faculty are highly involved in local and national research activities. Learn more about the Department of Criminal Justice faculty.

The Criminal Justice MA program allows students to take electives and pursue research in several different areas, based on their personal and professional interests. Examples of these areas of interest include 

  • corrections, 
  • crime and the physical/social environment,
  • criminal justice reform and policymaking,
  • criminal law,
  • cybercrime,
  • crime mapping,
  • drug policy/substance use and misuse
  • law enforcement,
  • juvenile justice,
  • gun violence and community crime reduction,
  • prisoner reentry,
  • public health and criminal justice,
  • socialization and deviant behavior, and
  • terrorism and violent extremism.

The interdisciplinary 30-credit master’s program is structured around a set of core requirements that provide a strong grounding in decision-making and operational aspects of the criminal justice system, and a legal, methodological, policy and theoretical foundation for understanding crime and society. 

Students have three years to satisfy their program requirements on a part- or full-time basis. Classes are completed at Temple’s Main Campus.

Our Community

The College of Liberal Arts at Temple comprises many academic disciplines and research areas. Now more than ever, an interdisciplinary liberal arts education is invaluable for your future pursuits. It offers the opportunity to further push your drive to create real change in the world, here at Temple and beyond. In this graduate program, you’ll work closely with diverse faculty members who are highly esteemed in their field and with a curious, passionate community of peers.  

Program Format & Curriculum

Criminal Justice MA students choose a thesis or non-thesis track, which have different requirements. Students choose a track based on their professional goals. 

For students interested in pursuing further graduate education, the thesis track is an ideal opportunity to develop research skills and form expertise in a specific area of interest. For students interested in refining skill sets to enter or return to the workforce, the non-thesis option has no culminating requirements. 

All students, regardless of which track they select, will take the following courses. 

  • Decision-Making in Criminal Justice
  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • Theories of Crime and Deviance

Learn more about course requirements for the Criminal Justice MA program.

Related Graduate Degrees

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, this Master of Arts offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency, and more. These tuition costs apply to the 2023–2024 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $1,053.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,449.00 per credit

Learn more about our tuition and fees.


Additional Program Information