Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Online School of Criminal Justice

Earning your graduate degree online from the Michigan State University (MSU) School of Criminal Justice (SCJ) is a big step. We’re here to ensure you have all the information you need to make the right choice for your career.

Below you’ll find frequently asked questions (FAQs) about MSU and our online criminal justice programs. Please call 1-833-725-1354 (toll-free) to speak with a program manager for answers to questions not identified below.

MSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission North Central Association.

While MSU does not offer career placement, we offer a variety of career services to help prepare students for find new opportunities after graduation.

Yes. With approval of the SCJ Graduate Committee, our online graduate programs can accept up to nine (9) graduate-level transfer credits from a regionally accredited institution that offers comparable coursework and course descriptions.

As an online student, you have the flexibility to maintain your personal and professional commitments while continuing your education. This format allows you to study when it’s most convenient for you, with uninterrupted access to the digital resources you need.

Learning online can also save you money on things like transportation, room and board, and other expenses associated with traditional on-campus programs.

Though the coursework is online, you’re still a part of an active community where you’ll build a network of fellow learners and scholars to help you take the next step in your career.

Using our comprehensive digital platform D2L (Desire2Learn), along with live conferencing software, recorded lectures, discussion forums and more, you’ll find resources, submit assignments, and interact with professors and other students.

Yes. Depending on your particular course, textbooks or coursepacks or other supplementary materials may be required.

If you enroll in two three-credit courses per 15-week semester, you should plan to spend at least 12 hours per week of study time.

Yes, MSU is a Yellow Ribbon participant and approved for the GI Bill®. We offer a variety of resources to military members and their families. Learn more.

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

You can complete this program in two years of continuous fall-spring-summer semester study.

As a graduate of the MA in Criminal Justice, you have a variety of career options. Pursue a career as an instructor, policymaker, security manager crime analyst, or consultant. To learn more about what you can do with an MA in Criminal Justice, visit our career outlook page.

MSU’s School of Criminal Justice was one of the first of its kind. For more than 80 years, we’ve been helping shape the discipline, working with criminal justice agencies to build programs that prepare graduates to make a difference in their communities and around the world.

Though an undergraduate degree in criminal justice is preferred, you can join the MA in Criminal Justice program after having completed a bachelor’s degree in any field. While we welcome those already employed in the field, you do not have to have prior field experience to be accepted.

You can choose to specialize in security management, focusing on the techniques used in security operations, or select four electives that suit your professional goals and interests.

Learn more about your curriculum options.

This 30-credit program costs $784 per credit, for an estimated total cost of $23,520. Cost is subject to change without notice. To learn about additional costs to consider, visit the tuition and financial aid page.

Most students who maintain full-time employment take two classes per semester.

The following core courses are required, in addition to four electives of your choice for a total of ten 3-credit courses.

  • CJ 801 Crime Causation, Prevention, and Control
  • CJ 810 Proseminar in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 811 Design and Analysis in Criminal Justice Research
  • CJ 812 Criminal Justice Management Seminar
  • CJ 887 Quantitative Methods in Criminal Justice Research
  • CJ 896 Policy Analysis Under Condition of Change

Learn more about your curriculum options.

Yes. With approval of the SCJ Graduate Committee, our online graduate programs can accept up to nine (9) graduate-level transfer credits from a regionally accredited institution that offers comparable coursework and course descriptions.

There are no on-campus residencies required for this program. However, one elective course, CJ 839 Analytic Thinking and Intelligence, is offered as a hybrid one-week intensive course in East Lansing.

To enroll in the MA in Criminal Justice, you must have completed a bachelor’s degree — in any field — with a minimum GPA of 3.0. No GRE Required through Fall 2021.

To learn about other requirements and get additional information, visit our admissions requirements page.

You can begin your online application for the upcoming semester right now. We review applications multiple times a year, with a deadline of February 1 and March 30 for the summer semester, May 15 and July 15 for fall semester, and September 1 and October 30 for the spring semester.

Master of Science in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis

The shortest time to completion is two years. The typical student completes the MS LEIA in just under two and a half years.

According to O*NET Online, Intelligence Analysts earn a median salary of $79,970 and can expect 5- to 9-percent growth in job opportunities through 2026. To learn more about what you can do with an MS in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis, visit our career outlook page.

Our MS in LEIA curriculum is informed by the Department of Justice and taught by world-renowned faculty like Dr. David Carter, who not only helped build this area of research and practice but who also wrote the foundational text used in both academia and criminal justice agencies nationwide.

Combined with our more than 80-year history of educating criminal justice professionals, MSU’s network of alumni, faculty and criminal justice agency partnerships gives graduates a competitive edge when seeking new opportunities.

Though a criminal justice degree is preferred, you can join the MS LEIA program after having completed a bachelor’s degree in any field. While we welcome those already employed in the field, you do not have to have prior field experience to be accepted.

This 30-credit program costs $784 per credit, for an estimated total of $23,520. Cost is subject to change without notice.To learn about additional costs to consider, visit the tuition and financial aid page.

Most students who maintain full-time employment take two classes per semester.

The following core courses are required, in addition to five electives of your choice.

  • CJ 802 Proseminar in Law Enforcement Intelligence Operations
  • CJ 811 Design and Analysis in CJ Research
  • CJ 837 The Intelligence Process and Counterterrorism
  • CJ 870 Introduction to Crime Analysis
  • CJ 897 Comprehensive Threat Assessment

Learn more about your curriculum options.

Yes. With approval of the SCJ Graduate Committee, our online graduate programs can accept up to nine (9) graduate-level transfer credits from a regionally accredited institution with comparable coursework.

No on-campus residency is required. However, one elective course, CJ 839 Analytic Thinking and Intelligence, is offered as a hybrid one-week intensive course in East Lansing.

To enroll in the MS in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis, you must have completed a bachelor’s degree ― in any field ― with a minimum GPA of 3.0. No GRE Required through Fall 2021.

To learn about additional information and other requirements, visit our admissions requirements page.

Cyber Criminology and Cyber Security Graduate Certificate

You can complete the Cyber Criminology and Cyber Security Graduate Certificate in as little as one year. The certificate program's typical duration is two years, although you may take up to six years to complete the certificate if needed.

The Cyber Criminology and Cyber Security Graduate Certificate includes 15 credit hours, at the cost of $774 per credit hour.

You do not need a background in law enforcement or technology for the Cyber Criminology and Cyber Security Graduate Certificate. The program was designed to assist students and working professionals alike to gain foundational knowledge in cybercrime and cybersecurity.

No, we do not currently allow transfer credits for completion of certificates.

To apply for the Graduate Certificate in Cyber Criminology and Cyber Security, you'll need the following:

  • Completed application
  • 3.0 minimum undergraduate GPA*
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Résumés are accepted and encouraged, but not required
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic or professional references
  • International students should submit scores from the TOEFL 80: no sub-scores under 19 for Reading, Listening and Speaking; no sub-score below 22 for Writing**

* If an applicant's GPA is below 3.2, GRE scores must be submitted.

** In lieu of the TOEFL, we accept IELTS scores with a minimum average score of 6.5 and no sub-score below 6.0.

Most students in the cyber criminology and cybersecurity online certificate program who maintain full-time employment take two courses per semester. You have the flexibility to complete course work either part-time or full-time, depending on your schedule.

The Graduate Certificate in Cyber Criminology and Cyber Security includes five courses:

  • CJ 872 — Open Source Information Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • CJ 874 — Cybercrime, Deviance and Virtual Society (3 credit hours)
  • CJ 875 — Digital Forensic Investigations (3 credit hours)
  • CJ 876 — Data Systems/Infrastructure (3 credit hours)
  • CJ 877 — Cyber Terror and Cyber Warfare (3 credit hours)

With your graduate certificate in cybercriminology and cybersecurity, you can advance in growing fields such as digital forensics, law enforcement investigations, cybersecurity and intelligence analysis. With your specialized skills, you can also pursue additional credentials for advancement in your preferred career, such as the EnCase™ Certified Examiner program.

Master of Science in Cybercrime and Digital Investigation

You can complete this program in two years of continuous fall-spring-summer semester study.

This 30-credit program costs $784 per credit, for an estimated total cost of $23,520. Cost is subject to change without notice. To learn about additional costs to consider, visit the tuition and financial aid page.

To enroll in the M.S. in Cybercrime and Digital Investigation, you must have completed a bachelor’s degree in any field, with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

To learn about other requirements and get additional information, visit our admissions requirements page.

Yes. With the approval of the SCJ Graduate Committee, our online graduate programs can accept up to nine (9) graduate-level transfer credits from a regionally accredited institution that offers comparable coursework and course descriptions.

Though an undergraduate degree in computer security or information technology is helpful, you can join the M.S. in Cybercrime and Digital Investigation program after having completed a bachelor’s degree in any field. While we welcome those already employed in the field, you do not have to have prior field experience to be accepted.

You can begin your online application for the upcoming semester right now. We review applications multiple times a year, with a deadline of February 1 and March 30 for the summer semester, May 15 and July 15 for the fall semester and September 1 and October 30 for the spring semester.

While there are no official specializations in this program, you can select four electives that suit your professional goals and interests.

Learn more about your curriculum options.

The following core courses are required, in addition to four electives of your choice for a total of ten three-credit courses.

  • CJ 801 Crime Causation, Prevention and Control 
  • CJ 811 Design and Analysis in Criminal Justice Research
  • CJ 874 Cybercrime, Deviance and Virtual Society 
  • CJ 877 Cyber Terror and Cyber Warfare 
  • CJ 881 Legislative and Policy Responses to Cybercrime
  • CJ 882 Analysis of Contemporary Cyberthreats 

Learn more about your curriculum options.

There are no on-campus residencies required for this program.

With this degree, you can pursue a career as a digital forensic specialist, computer security specialist, forensic detective or seek a position in private security. You might also work in local, state or federal law enforcement as a cybercrime investigator. To learn more about what you can do with an M.S. in Cybercrime and Digital Investigation, visit our career outlook page.

MSU is one of the top research universities in the world and offers a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists and leaders. Additionally, the MSU School of Criminal Justice is ranked #10 for Best Online Masters in Criminal Justice Program and #10 Best Criminology Schools for 2020.