What are the admission requirements for the program?
How long does it take to complete the program and how many courses do students have to take?
When do you accept applications?
What does 100% online mean?
Is there an exit exam or capstone?
What is the advantage of an intimate classroom setting?
What can you do with the degree?
Who will be teaching courses and are they relevant to today’s needs?
What are local criminal justice leaders saying about the program?
How is a master's program different form an undergraduate program?
But... I haven't been to school in years...
What is the 4+1 model?
How much is tuition and how do students pay for graduate school
Are transfer credits from another graduate program accepted?
All DelVal graduate program applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the U.S. Alternatively, applicants may furnish proof of the equivalent from a foreign college or university. Students must have also earned a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0-point scale. Applicants earning lower GPAs may be considered for admission on an individual basis, and may be required to submit additional information.
- A completed application for admission with the $50 application fee (application fee waived for those who attend an information session or for those who complete an application and all supplemental components within 30 days of the start of the application)
- Official transcripts from all previously attended academic institutions
- Three professional and/or academic recommendations with information about the candidate's potential and capacity for graduate study on the form provided
- A minimum 500-word personal statement that includes personal and career goals, interest in the chosen DelVal graduate program, and a summary of strengths and areas for growth
- A comprehensive and current professional résumé/CV
Our program consists of 10 required courses (30 credits) that are strategically mapped out for your convenience, so there are no pre-requisites or guesswork involved in scheduling. We set you up to be successful from the start.
Students have the option to pursue the degree full or part time. The accelerated format requires students to take two courses per semester, including Summer I, in order to earn your master’s in as little as five semesters. The part-time option provides the opportunity to take one or two courses per semester, and the length of the program will vary based on individual student pace and availability of courses.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for the fall (August) and spring (January) class starts.
Our 100% online model is designed to accommodate your busy schedule. The engaging asynchronous format provides students with a well-rounded experience through simulations, blogs, reality-based scenarios, group interactivity and more. The opportunity to complete coursework at your own pace and the ability to balance personal and professional life are qualities that many working professionals find necessary and attractive in graduate programs today.
Graduating students are required to complete a final comprehensive exam OR current criminal justice professionals can request the option to complete a capstone project in place of the final comprehensive exam provided advanced notification and approval from the Academic Director.
Our intimate and personalized classroom setting is designed to provide built-in stability and mutual support among you and your classmates. The focus is on small groups that promote active and engaging learning in a personalized setting where students know their faculty and faculty know their students. You are not just a number.
The master's in criminal justice is designed for working professionals looking to enter or advance into leadership roles across a wide range of career paths in the criminal justice field. This degree is designed to provide the opportunity for promotion within a student’s current profession/organization, position graduates to take on roles in leadership and administration, change careers, and to prepare future teachers of criminal justice professionals. Examples include police administration, security management, correction administration, court administration, government management, management of juvenile corrections. More specifically:
- Correctional Officer Supervisor, Police and Detective Supervisor, Forensic Technician, Clinical Specialist/Director, Probation Supervisor a median salary of $49,360/year;
- Correctional Treatment Specialist, Criminal Profiler, Fraud Risk Analyst, Criminologist, Supervisory Criminal Justice Investigator an average salary of $77,210;
- Forensic Examiner, Emergency Management Director, Security Management, Information Security Analyst, ICE Agent, Forensic Anthropologist, Executive Paralegal, Director of Court Services an annual salary of $54,000-$58,000 with an anticipated market increase of 11-22% from 2012-2022;
- Forensic Accountant, DEA Agent, CIA Analyst, CIA Officer, US Marshall, Air Marshall, Computer Forensics investigator, Border Patrol Agent, Victims Advocate, Youth Correctional Counselor, Substance Abuse and Behavior Disorder Counselor, Correctional Treatment Specialist an average annual salary of $45,628;
- Teacher of Criminal Justice a median wage of $68,980, Loss Prevention Specialist, Customs Agent, Diplomatic Security Agent, Document Examiner, Policy Advisor, Probation Officer and more. (data retrived from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
You will be taught by seasoned criminal justice experts and practitioners who are currently working in the field. From Ethics and Administrative Functioning to Advanced Criminology, you will be educated and prepared to apply what you are learning directly to relevant real-world situations. The courses are designed to position professionals to assume leadership roles in such areas as law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole, security, operations, administration, data analysis, fraud and risk management, emergency management and other parts of the criminal justice arena. DelVal’s M.A. in criminal justice is also great preparation if you are considering a doctoral degree or law school.
“The modern criminal justice landscape is changing. The master’s degree has become the new standard, especially for those who are looking to advance. The ability to set yourself apart from others by showing a diversified background and experiential learning cannot be understated. The program offered by DelVal provides working professionals and full-time students, the ability to not only share their experiences but support each other throughout the program. In addition, the ability to learn from current practitioners, who have real-world knowledge and understand current trends, provides students with an added edge over other candidates.” Bradley E. Halter, Supervisor, Bucks County Adult Probation and Parole; Master Firearms Instructor; Treasurer of the Middle Atlantic State Correctional Association
“Executive leaders in today’s environment absolutely need an advanced degree. Public safety/criminal justice leadership positions are extremely competitive. One of the things I look for in hiring new employees is their educational background. Higher education can develop discipline, critical thinking skills and the ability to be a change agent. We need more leaders and practitioners who have demonstrated their work ethic by pursuing a higher level of education.” Thomas Sullivan, Public Safety Director Montgomery County Pennsylvania
“As a recent instructor for Delaware Valley University, I understand the need for a dynamic and robust criminal justice curriculum for current professionals or those interested in changing to a career in the field. Criminal justice policy and reform demand highly qualified, critical thinkers. A master’s degree in criminal justice will qualify many professionals for leadership advancement opportunities in this rewarding and ever-evolving field.” Matthew D. Weintraub, District Attorney for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the County of Bucks
“Never in the history of policing have more demands been put on our law enforcement leaders. The exceptional education I received at Delaware Valley University provided me with the knowledge and ability to meet this challenge. During my time at DelVal, I developed the critical thinking skills and analytical techniques needed for advanced problem-solving. Much of what I learned in the classroom, I have been able to utilize during my professional career. The professors are subject matter experts who demonstrate strong technical and operational knowledge while providing a positive learning environment. The new master of arts program in criminal justice turns today’s professionals into tomorrow’s leaders, ready to meet the challenges and demands of a dynamic field.” William J. Daly, Chief of Police Horsham Township, U.S. Air Force veteran, graduate of the 250th Session of the FBI National Academy
As an undergrad, you would/should have learned how to remember and understand general criminal justice concepts. As a graduate student, you will now be asked to analyze, evaluate, manage, lead and create policy and procedure by applying what you learned as an undergrad. There is less focus on memorization and more emphasis on examining and applying the existing data that is used to support policy, practice and leadership in today’s fast-paced criminal justice arena.
It all happens in incremental steps. We recognize that some learners have been out of the classroom for a decade or more and it takes time to transition. We have grad school-specific resources to assist you in pursuing your master’s degree. The first class of the first course is dedicated to an orientation session to introduce students to the appropriate faculty, allow time to get to know one and other and to provide technical training and support regarding the online learning platform Blackboard.
The 4+1 model is for current high performing DelVal undergraduate criminal justice majors who are interested in continuing on to pursue an accelerated M.A. in criminal justice degree. This track allows students to complete their undergraduate and graduate degree at DelVal in as little as five years and provides significant savings in graduate tuition. Students accepted into the program can take up to four of the required 10 graduate courses during their Junior and Senior year. M.A. in criminal justice courses taken while an undergraduate student are included in full-time undergraduate tuition. Classes count toward both undergraduate and graduate (M.A. in criminal justice) degrees.
Tuition for the M.A. in criminal justice is $739/credit. Please review the Tuition for Graduate Students page for more specific information on financial aid and the master's in criminal justice tuition structure. Tuition discounts up to 10% cohorts from the same organization, professional partnerships and county employees. DelVal offers graduate deferment payment plan options and financial aid to those who qualify.
Transfer credits from another graduate school are considered on an individual basis by the academic director of the master’s in criminal justice program. Students are encouraged to complete an application and submit all supporting documents in order for transfer credits to be considered and evaluated.