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Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, Master's


Our Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program promotes professionalism, teaches cutting-edge criminal justice theory and its application to the field of criminal justice, and fosters ethical standards for criminal justice practitioners and academicians.

It is a 10-course program (30 credits) that requires completion of:

  • 6 core courses
  • 4 elective courses

Choose between online classes or on campus at our Center Valley, PA location.

What’s Different About DeSales?
  • Our faculty are nationally-recognized professionals in the field. You’ll be taught by professionally active advanced practice faculty who connect textbook theory with real-world application of tools, processes, and methodologies.
  • All criminal justice professionals receive a 20% tuition discount. This discount applies to all DeSales MCJ graduate and certificate programs.
  • The flexibility of online. Our online format allows you to continue your professional work while obtaining the skills needed to advance your career.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions to the MCJ program are on a rolling basis, with no standardized exam requirements.

Requirements for admission into the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MCJ) Program are:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by one of the six regional accrediting bodies (Middle States, New England, North Central, Northwest, Southern, and Western Association of Schools and Colleges) or its equivalent from a foreign institution with a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher
  • Background or interest in the field of criminal justice.
  • Evidence of potential for graduate work: A personal statement must be submitted that will serve as a demonstration of your ability to write at the graduate level. It should state your personal and professional goals, as well as how an MCJ degree from DeSales University can assist you in achieving them.
  • Resume Required

Applicants who lack one or more requirements may be admitted to the program on a provisional basis. Individuals with special needs or goals may be considered for admission to the program.

International applicants must contact Leslie Bartholomew, Designated School Official, at 610-282-1100, ext. 1859 or to inquire about international admission requirements.

Apply Now

Start Dates: See Academic Calendar

Application Information

  • Deadline: Rolling
  • Standardized Exam Required: No
  • Official Transcripts Required:Yes
  • Personal Statement Required: Yes
  • Resume Required: Yes


The MCJ program consists of 10 classes

6 Core Courses (18 credits)

The core courses represent the MCJ program's intent to cover five areas of interest identified in the criminal justice matters as core areas. They include criminal justice and juvenile justice processes, criminology, law enforcement, law adjudication, and corrections. Although criminal justice and juvenile justice processes are not specifically identified as specified core courses, they will be an included focus across the curriculum.

  • CJ 501 Advanced Criminology
  • CJ 502 Research Methods
  • CJ 503 Ethics in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 507 Master Project Seminar
  • CJ 511 Criminal Justice Systems and Processes
  • CJ 518 Applied Statistics and Data Analysis

4 Elective Courses (12 credits)

The 12 credit elective course requirement is directed at a student’s specific interest in the criminal justice system.  Students can select any four (4) concentration courses offered in the MCJ degree program.  This affords the student the opportunity to study different areas of criminal justice.

Total: 10 courses (30 credits)

Academic Catalog

Tuition & Fees

Program Costs  

  • Tuition/credit hour: $850*
  • Graduation Fee: $120

*Tuition/credit hours listed are for 2024/2025 academic year. Tuition and fees are reviewed each academic year and are subject to change with notice.

Total cost of the Master's Degree program = $25,500

Total cost of the Graduate Certificate Programs = $10,200

  • Returned Check Service: $30
  • Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) fee – 30% of course tuition charge

Note: Tuition and fees are reviewed each academic year and are subject to change with notice.

View a comprehensive list of financial aid forms and graduate program information sheets

More information

DeSales University is proud to offer actively employed criminal justice professionals a 20% tuition discount for this Master's level Criminal Justice program.*

This discount covers tuition only, and is not applicable towards textbooks or other fees.

Devon Campbell '13, M'14 - DeSales Master of Criminal Justice

The opportunity that I had here at DeSales to be working in the field was really nothing like people had ever seen... what I was learning academically really translated into the field that I wanted to go into.

— Devon Campbell '13, M'14 , Digital Forensic Analyst, Lehigh County District Attorney's Office

20 percent MCJ Tuition Discount ad image

20% Tuition Discount

DeSales University is proud to offer actively employed criminal justice, homeland security, first responder, and emergency management professionals a 20% tuition discount for this Master's level program.*

*This discount covers tuition only, and is not applicable towards textbooks or other fees.

National Criminal Justice Honor Society

Lambda Eta, the DeSales University chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society, brings together high-achieving students from the DeSales undergraduate traditional day, ACCESS, and graduate programs.

DeSales Criminal Justice Honor Society

Online Learning at DeSales

Attending classes from an off-campus location can be an excellent option for many busy students. Distance education at DeSales encompasses everything from video conference courses to hybrid (a combination of in-class and online) to online courses. 

Brightspace by D2LTM is our online learning system.

Learn About Online Learning at DeSales

Contact Us

Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ)
Brisson Hall 205