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Criminal Justice Courses Online

Curriculum Details

33–39 total credits required

Lindenwood’s Master’s in Criminal Justice Administration program requires 9 core criminal justice courses online, including at least one capstone course. The program also requires the completion of two or three prerequisite courses, depending on your academic background.

Prerequisites (6-9 hours)

This course examines the public policy process, factors influencing policy development within the criminal justice system, and the nexus between law and public policy. A review of historic, critical issues shaping the criminal justice system provides the insight needed to better understand current criminal justice policy.

Students learn to conduct a policy analysis and to research the literature to identify support for the proposal of new policy and to compare and contrast criminal justice policies globally.

In preparation for and in conjunction with the graduate capstone course, students will learn about qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches to research. This course explores various ways of acquiring knowledge and research philosophies. Students will learn to identify current problems or issues in the field of criminal justice and related gaps in the literature, formulate research questions, gather and analyze the data relevant to the research questions in preparation for graduate capstone course in which they will present findings, and make recommendations for future research. Ethical, political, and practical issues related to research are also examined.
This course is designed for students seeking a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration who do not possess a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, sociology, or psychology, or lack experience working in criminal justice or a criminal justice related field. The course provides students the foundation needed to understand the criminal justice system and to critically analyze criminal justice issues within a theoretical and pragmatic framework.

Core Courses (27 hours)

This course emphasizes concepts, principles, and theories of ethical practice for criminal justice administrators. Students use course concepts to examine ethical issues, demonstrating critical thinking and reasoning skills. The course provides sound coverage of theory and emphasizes the contribution of the ethics field to understanding and addressing moral issues that arise in criminal justice and criminal justice related organizations.
This course examines issues related to the labor-management relationship in collective bargaining environments and non-collective bargaining contexts for criminal justice employees. Grievance processing, negotiations, unionization, and meet and confer agreements are addressed during the course. A mock bargaining session is the culminating project for the course.

This course prepares criminal justice administrators to cultivate strategies and identify best practices for confronting challenging workplace issues, managing crises, and supervising diverse populations. Students will have the opportunity to formulate solutions to problems that leaders, managers, and administrators face in criminal justice organizations in the United States and globally.

This course examines leadership and management theories applicable to effective administrative oversight of criminal justice organizations. The course will establish a theoretical foundation to enhance criminal justice administrators’ ability to use critical thinking skills effectively when creating organizational systems, processes, and change. Students will also gain comprehensive knowledge and significance of various leadership styles.

This course focuses on the influence of constitutional law on police, corrections, and court practices, policies, and procedures. Students will learn about foundational cases, landmark cases, examine current constitutional law questions about police, corrections, and evidentiary issues, and discuss the application of constitutional law to the development of new policies and the influence on administrator decision-making in all phases of the criminal justice system.
This course addresses various types of internal and external crises faced by criminal justice administrators, from a micro level to a macro level. Students will learn to analyze issues and formulate solutions to crises ranging from those faced by the individuals to crisis and disaster management. Students will also learn the significance of preparation and planning for crises.
This course teaches students effective leadership, management, and administration in the field of corrections, including people, services, and programs in jails, prisons, and community corrections. Students gain insight regarding issues involving the management of corrections staff and the environment. Students will integrate knowledge of the history of corrections.
This course focuses on the analyses of several issues confronting law enforcement, including the development and function of modern policing systems, recruitment and training processes, and legal issues confronted by police administrators. Theories, techniques, and programs related to the image and public response to law enforcement today are among the topics addressed.

This course is the culminating project of the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration. Students will use the knowledge gained in the CCJ 50500 Criminal Justice Research Methods course to prepare a graduate-level written report, a scholarly project demonstrating the ability to conduct and present research and methodology orally and in writing. Students will demonstrate the ability to synthesize and analyze the literature, discuss the implications of the research in the field of criminal justice, and recommend future research.


This elective course provides students an opportunity to continue with the completion of the culminating research project for the MS in Criminal Justice Administration. Students who desire additional time and guidance with completion of the project have the option of taking Capstone II as an elective.

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