Online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice master’s program at Mount Mercy University strengthens your professional talents as critical thinkers, ethical problem solvers, effective communicators, and evaluators of criminal justice policies and programs.

Coursework focuses on helping students develop a deep understanding of the complex issues surrounding crime and justice, and to work towards achieving fair, ethical, and responsible justice. Graduates of this program are prepared to effectively address social needs by working with communities through preventive and proactive interventions.

This solution-oriented program is designed for individuals interested in advancing or launching their career within law enforcement, corrections, parole, probation, and other areas in the criminal justice field, or for those simply seeking to further their education and knowledge.

Program Features

  • Applications are accepted year-round, with August and February starts dates
  • 12–15-month program (30 credit-hour program)
  • $490 per credit hour (2017–18, $500 in 2018–19)
  • No entrance exams (GRE, GMAT) required
  • Transfer potential of up to 9 graduate credit hours
  • Earn three, fieldwork elective credits while working
  • Individual program design – specialize in your area of interest
  • Accelerated course format, most are 5-week courses
  • Non-thesis Capstone course
  • Electives include courses focused on current and emerging issues
  • Dedicated, experienced faculty

Course Format

Classes are offered in 5- and 10-week sessions. Classes are asynchronous, so you aren’t required to log in at a certain day or time. However, weekly deadlines keep you engaged and on track. Typical coursework includes interacting online with classmates and the instructor through assignments, videos, readings, discussion forums, quizzes and exams, and email. Courses may also include live video chat and phone conferencing.


Core Courses: 12 semester hours

While the core courses explore administration of justice, theory, statistical decision making skills, research methods, and a non-thesis capstone, the elective courses provide options for focusing on your specific areas of interest.

Electives: 18 semester hours

Elective courses change each year to focus on emerging issues. In 2016-2017, the CJ645 Special Topics electives include Terrorism, Juvenile Justice, and Drugs and Crime.

  • CJ600: Field Experience in Criminal Justice
  • CJ610: Human Rights and Social Inequities
  • CJ615: Civil Liability in Criminal Justice
  • CJ620: International Policing
  • CJ625: Homeland Security; Criminal Justice and Security Relationships
  • CJ635: Victimology
  • CJ 642: Ethical Issues in Crime and Justice
  • CJ645: Special Topics in Crime and Justice

Students may take up to 9 elective credits from Mount Mercy’s MBA, MSL, and/or MFT programs (not all courses are available online).

For current curriculum information and course descriptions, visit Mount Mercy University’s Course Catalog.


The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program is led by Mount Mercy faculty members who integrate fieldwork examples and real-world applications into their courses, and have extensive experience educating working professionals.

Amanda Humphrey, BA, MA, PhD

Program Director, Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, Professor of Criminal Justice

Dr. Amanda Humphrey joined the faculty at Mount Mercy in Fall 2006 and became the Program Director for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice in 2014. She has a range of professional experience working in criminal justice, and has taught numerous courses including Victims of Crime, Juvenile Delinquency, Drugs and Crime, Death Penalty Seminar, Community Corrections and Introduction to Criminal Justice. Amanda’s primary research areas of interest are community corrections, women and crime, victims of crime, and drug use. Amanda is a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Society of Criminology. Amanda obtained her Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in criminal justice from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. View full profile here:

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