MS in Criminal Justice

Franciscan University of Steubenville

Criminal Justice Master of Science Degree Program

Equipping Justice Leaders

Shine a beacon of Christ’s light in the darkest corners of the world with a master’s degree in Criminal Justice through Franciscan University’s online program.


Expand Your Knowledge

  • Build a solid ethical foundation for your career through examining human laws in light of natural law reasoning and the Catholic moral tradition.
  • Dive deeper into perennial concepts—such as truth, justice, and the good—and build up the strong moral compass needed in today’s ever-changing political and cultural landscape.
  • Grow in competence in the skills essential for effective justice and legal operations.
  • Discover how you can serve with integrity and protect the dignity of the human person.


Advance Your Career

  • Earn your master’s degree while maintaining personal and professional responsibilities in a highly flexible online program.
  • Choose from specialized courses in criminal justice that align with your specific areas of interest.
  • Delve into the moral and ethical aspects of criminal justice operations and become a justice practitioner and leader who undertakes task and duty with a moral compass and vision.
  • Become a justice leader who adheres to the Judeo-Christian heritage, the jurisprudence of the natural law, and the foundational principles of Western tradition.

Criminal justice isn’t a typical 9-to-5 job. Your online master’s degree program shouldn’t be typical either.

Integrate faith and reason with a Criminal Justice Program that equips you professionally while forming you morally and spiritually at Franciscan University.


“Franciscan University’s Master of Science Program in Criminal Justice will stand alone as a truly unique offering. What sets this program apart is the unwavering commitment to a moral and ethical approach to practicing law enforcement, firmly rooted in the principles of Judeo-Christian and Catholic natural law doctrine.”

Major Shaun Klucznik MA, CJM

Hernando County Sheriff’s Office

Judicial Services Bureau Commander, Jail Administrator


For more information, contact

Dr. Charles Nemeth JD, PhD, LLM

Director, Criminal Justice Program

c[email protected]



Dr. Charles P. Nemeth has spent his professional life in the study and practice of law and justice. He is a recognized expert on professional ethics and the justice system, private-sector justice, and private security systems, as well as a published author of numerous books and articles on law and justice. He serves as professor and director of the Criminal Justice Program and director of the Center for Criminal Justice, Law, and Ethics at Franciscan University. He previously served as chair and professor of the Security, Fire, and Emergency Management Program and director of the Center of Private Security and Safety at John Jay College, where he has been named professor emeritus.

Curriculum Outline

Flexible Online Classes

Earn your master of science degree in criminal justice with Franciscan University’s online program. You’ll gain a solid foundation in natural law and Judeo-Christian moral tradition while also tailoring your course of study to align with your professional interests.


Core Courses (9 credits)

CRJ 600: Law, Ethics, and the American Justice System

CRJ 601: Crime, Justice, and Morality

CRJ 602: Natural Law as the Foundation for Just Society


Applications in Criminal Justice: Choose any 7 courses (21 credits)

CRJ 610: Criminalistics and Forensic Science

CRJ 615: Criminal and Civil Investigative Protocols

CRJ 620: Fraud and Forensic Accounting

CRJ 625: Cybercrime and Cyber Security

CRJ 630: Protection of Children in the Justice System

CRJ 635: Community Initiatives in Criminal Justice

CRJ 640: Privatization and the Justice System

CRJ 675: Independent Study in Criminal Justice

CRJ 699: Special Topics in Criminal Justice

CRJ 700: Thesis Option in Criminal Justice


View the Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Program in the Academic Catalogue.

What Can You Do With a Criminal Justice Degree?

The criminal justice career path can follow the diverse tracks that mirror the systematic structure of the justice model, which operates at the state, federal, and local levels and consists of four main parts, namely policing and law enforcement, law and legal processes, justice agencies relating to corrections and alternative disposition- human services and crime and criminality. Criminal justice majors are highly sought after for a wide array of specialty positions in both the public and private sector, including law, policing and law enforcement, security, intelligence, investigative roles, military careers, forensic support services, counseling and juvenile services, and other emerging fields related to criminal justice, especially environmental and hazard mitigation,  cybercrime and cybersecurity, forensic accounting and fraud analysis, zoning and code enforcement, and school and educational security.

Career Opportunities

  • Accounting Forensics
  • Airport Security
  • ATF Agent
  • ATF Investigator
  • ATF Technician/Professional
  • Animal Cruelty Investigator
  • Bail Enforcement Agent
  • Bailiff
  • Border Patrol Agent
  • CIA Agent
  • CIA Interrogators and Language Specialists
  • Compliance Officer
  • Computer Forensics
  • Corrections Officer
  • Corrections Counselor
  • Counter Terrorism
  • Court Reporter
  • Court Clerk
  • Crime Laboratory Analyst
  • Crime Prevention Specialist
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Crime Scene Technician
  • Criminal Profiler
  • Criminalist
  • Criminologist
  • Customs Agent
  • DEA Agent
  • DHS Agents
  • DHS: TSA
  • DHS: ICE
  • DHS: Intelligence
  • DHS: Coast Guard
  • DHS: Technology Specialists
  • DHS: Cybercrime
  • Department of State: Diplomatic Security
  • FBI Agent
  • Federal Air Marshal
  • Federal Corrections Officer
  • Federal Probation Officer
  • Federal Protective Service
  • Fingerprint Technician
  • Fish & Game Warden
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Forensic Anthropologist
  • Forensic Engineer
  • Forensic Science
  • Forensic Odonatologist
  • Forensic Pathologist
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Fraud Investigator
  • Immigration Agent
  • Information Security
  • INS Agent
  • IRS Special Agent
  • Jail Screener
  • Judge
  • Juvenile Probation Counselor
  • Loss Prevention
  • NSA Police Officer
  • Paralegal
  • Park Ranger
  • Penologist
  • Police/Homicide Detective
  • Police Officer
  • Prison Warden
  • Private Security: Energy Sector
  • Private Security: Higher Education
  • Private Security: Corporate and Industrial
  • Private Security: Contract
  • Private Security: Agro-Farming
  • Private Security: Critical Infrastructure
  • Private Investigator
  • Probation/Parole Officer
  • Psychological Profiler
  • School Security Officer/Specialist
  • Secret Service Agent
  • Security Analyst
  • Sheriff
  • State Trooper
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Surveillance Officer
  • TSA Screener
  • US Capitol Police
  • US Marshal
  • US Military: Police
  • US Military: Corrections
  • US Military: Intelligence Officers
  • US Postal Inspectors
  • Youth Correctional Counselor

Potential Job Titles for Criminal Justice Majors

  • CIA Agent
  • Counter Terrorism Officer
  • Criminal Profiler
  • FBI Agent
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Judge
  • Lawyer
  • Police Officer
  • Private Investigator
  • Secret Service Agent

Live Criminal Justice Job Board

The Center for Criminal Justice, Law, and Ethics

The Center for Criminal Justice, Law, and Ethics at Franciscan University seeks to change the landscape of the justice system nationally and internationally by:

  • forming justice professionals who measure justice by perennial principles of the natural law and Catholic moral tradition,
  • advancing the integration of natural law principles into justice operations

Founded on the understanding that the most effective justice system be grounded in the natural law, the Center for Criminal Justice, Law, and Ethics achieves its goals through initiatives that reach into the professional practitioner community and university students in order to ethical leaders who act consistently with the principles of the natural law and our Judeo-Christian and Catholic heritage.

Application Process

The application for the Master’s in Criminal Justice Online Program is quick, free, and easy.

Once in the application portal, click “Sign Up” to submit a new application.

Students who have applied to Franciscan University previously should click “Sign In.”

Inquire For More Information

In Franciscan Magazine
Beyond the Classroom
Student Activities

Get involved on campus and in the surrounding Ohio community through student clubs and events, such as:
• Alpha Phi Sigma honor society
• Lambda Alpha Epsilon criminal justice professional society
• St. Thomas More Society for Catholic law
• Career Days for jobs in criminal justice
Criminal justice majors and their clubs often sponsor crime awareness events, such as “Take Back the Night”.

Study Abroad

In addition to Franciscan’s study abroad program in Gaming, Austria, you’ll have opportunities for international studies, travel, and experiences through the criminal justice degree program’s relationships with Scotland Yard and the Australian and Canadian police systems, as well as partnerships with justice agencies in countries willing to articulate with Franciscan University.

Program Accreditation

With an intentionally designed curriculum rooted in the Catholic faith, Franciscan University’s degree program in criminal justice has a long-term goal to earn accreditation by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Programs Related to the Master’s in Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice Faculty