Master of Science in Criminal Justice with an Emphasis in Legal Studies

Since legal issues are encountered in nearly all professions, the Master of Science in Criminal Justice with an Emphasis in Legal Studies may be earned by individuals with a variety of career interests. Law enforcement officers and individuals in government positions may pursue this degree in order to gain the skills necessary for management or leadership positions. The curriculum and course work in this legal studies degree also helps prepare students who may be seeking a law degree in the future.

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice with an Emphasis in Legal Studies includes a study of the following topics: criminological theories; research and a methodological evaluation of criminal justice topics; historic and contemporary questions of constitutional rights; the roles psychology plays in the legal system; a comparison of the traditional goals of punishment with the concepts of restorative justice; legal research; organizational behavior and leadership in criminal justice; exploration of law and public policy; and international law in an increasingly interconnected world.

A capstone class concludes this legal studies degree and focuses on professional portfolio development and a final written proposal by the graduate. The portfolio contains the graduates curriculum vitae, examples of writing from graduate courses, a statement of criminal justice philosophy, a 5-year plan for professional goals, and a research topic paper/written proposal.

This program is offered in the following formats or locations:


The dynamic capabilities of GCUs online curriculum offer considerable flexibility and convenience for career oriented professionals who are pursuing their educational goals. Full time faculty members, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Our small class sizes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Classes begin frequently.

Online and Evening program disclosures      

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.