Where do you want to take your career?  The direction is up to you, helping you get there is what we do. Consider joining the unique experience that is the Iowa Wesleyan Criminal Justice Graduate Program.

The Master’s in Criminal Justice Online Program is designed to be flexible and convenient to meet the needs of today’s students. Our online classroom allows you 24/7 access to your coursework when and where it’s convenient for you. We are a non-profit and regionally accredited institution.

  • Eight-week terms with six start dates during the year
  • Learn from faculty with practitioner experience
  • Accept up to 9 transfer credits in transfer

Discover more reasons why IW Online is the right choice!

Program Objectives

The Criminal Justice Master of Arts degree is a broad-based graduate program. The program addresses issues of crime and criminal justice within an analytical framework and emphasizes theory and research and their implications for social policy. The curriculum is grounded in the social and behavioral sciences and in legal approaches to crime and social control. It draws from contemporary research and theoretical developments across a spectrum of academic disciplines.


Graduates from this program will have rewarding careers throughout the United States and around the world. Join the ranks in careers such as:
  • Detective
  • Forensic Science
  • Technician
  • Paralegal
  • Private Investigator
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Cybercrime Investigator
  • Director of Security
  • Federal Agent
  • Criminal Justice Professor


To be accepted in the Criminal Justice Graduate Program, you must have:

  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and a GMAT score of at least 500; or
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 in a regionally accredited Bachelor’s Degree.

Master Of Arts In Criminal Justice

This course will provide a broad overview of American criminal justice system policy. There will be a special emphasis on policy issues in police, courts, sentencing, corrections, and the juvenile justice system. Other specific policy topics of focus will include drug-policy, sex-offender policy, gun control, the death penalty, and white collar crime, among others.

This course will provide an in-depth exploration of criminological theory. This exploration will include discussions of theory and research on the nature, causes and prediction of criminal behavior and criminal careers. Criminological theory
will be applied to contemporary crime problem categories of violent, public, white collar/ corporate, public order, and international crimes.

This course examines a variety of tools used in the analysis of criminal justice data. More specifically, students will learn the basics of quantitative data analysis in the field of criminal justice and the importance of applying statistics driven data to criminal justice policy. Major topics of focus will be univariate and bivariate variables, the logic of multiple regression, the normal bell curve, and significance testing.

This course will examine the purposes of criminal justice research, including how criminal justice research is conducted. Students will examine both quantitative and qualitative methods of criminal justice research. Students will apply various methods of criminal justice research to study crime and criminal
justice phenomenon.

This course is the capstone course for the MACJ program and will be taken during the student’s last semester of coursework. Students will integrate material from required and elective coursework and will write a comprehensive research paper that focuses on a criminal justice policy or practice. A grade of “B” or higher is required for this course and all other courses.

This course will provide a review of research on policing and police organizations. Seminar examines research on police strategies and practices designed to address crime. Specifically, students will examine the history of policing, approaches to policing, police culture, police misconduct, use of force, concerns for operational policing, technological advances in policing, and the future of policing. Students will apply research on policing and police organizations to address contemporary police concerns.

This course will focus on the Constitution’s establishment of the three branches of government, the “Bill of Rights”, and the role of the Supreme Court in interpreting the Constitutional provisions to specific cases that come before it. Additionally, the Fourth Amendment will be explored and applied to searches and arrests with a warrant and the probable cause requirement for such. The exclusionary rule and its applications will be explored as well, along with a suspect’s Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination. Moving to the courts, a suspect’s rights to counsel, trial, and due process are explored, along with the processes of pre and post-trial. This course also includes a discussion of freedom of speech, assembly, religion, and the right to bear arms.

This course examines the application of alternative models of strategic planning to the criminal justice system and covers methods of evaluating criminal justice policies and practices. This course will examine research on policing and police organizations. The course will also examine research on police strategies and practices designed to address crime.

Introduces students to issues regarding women and the criminal justice system, focusing on their roles as offenders, victims, and professionals. Specific topics include theories of female criminality, female victimization, prostitution and sex crimes, domestic violence, female drug offending, women and corrections, female delinquency, female employment issues in criminal justice, and the effects of race, class, and gender. Students will apply research from these various areas to make criminal justice policy-related decisions.

Students examine the interrelationships between crime, criminal justice, and mass media, with particular attention to how the media represents, distorts, and/or filters crime and justice issues. Topics will include media portrayal of police, courts, corrections, and how various forms of media shape public perceptions about crime, the criminal justice system, and criminal justice policy.

This course will examine patterns and correlates of delinquency within the context of foundations and contemporary theories of delinquency. Research on decision making by officials in the juvenile justice system also will be reviewed. Students will apply research on juvenile delinquency and juvenile justice to make informed policy decisions.

This course examines the great authority of police, the various and most common ways that police abuse that authority, the consequences of those abuses, and accountability mechanisms that can prevent those abuses from occurring. Students will be encouraged to apply research to make policing policy decisions related to accountability and use of force.

This course will focus on how criminal justice organizations function and are structured. Organizations in general and the theories associated with them will be examined. Effective leadership techniques and how organizations exert power will also be explored. Students will apply research on criminal justice administration and organizational theory to make policy decisions.


To graduate from the Criminal Justice Graduate Program, you must:

  1. Complete 30 credit hours of core course work, 15 being core and 15 being elective.
  2. Must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  3. Complete at least 21 credit hours from Iowa Wesleyan University.


  • Federal Financial Aid for Graduate Students
  • Military/Veteran’s Benefits
  • Tuition Reimbursement/Employer Assistance Programs
  • Payment Plans

Discover more details regarding options to finance your education at Financial Aid Information