Masters Degree Programs

  • Masters Degree in Criminal Justice (On-Campus)

    The School of Criminal Justice has waived GRE Scores for applicants through the Fall 2021 Admissions Cycle.


    The Criminal Justice Masters Program at MSU provides students with analytic skills, an interdisciplinary knowledge base, and both classroom and practical understanding of the settings where correctional, law enforcement, and security policies are implemented. The program integrates theory and application through case materials and classroom guest speakers, as well as internship opportunities.

    Individuals who wish to pursue a career in criminal justice research and teaching will have a strong foundation for advanced graduate studies based on the program’s combined emphasis on research, critical issues, and interdisciplinary theory.

    For further information regarding the Masters Program, contact Melissa Christle at or 517-353-7133.

    Application Instructions

    Applications for the Criminal Justice Masters program are screened for fall semester entry only. All application material must be received before February 1 for consideration. Applicants are typically notified of admission decisions within 6-8 weeks of the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

    Application materials that may be uploaded include:

    • Application for Graduate Study at Michigan State University may be submitted online, through the Graduate School. The major code for the Criminal Justice Masters program is 4318. After you begin your application, you will receive an email with a login and password. Before paying your application fee, go to Grad Portal and log in. You will be prompted to upload the following documents and request Letters of Recommendation. Please note: If the application fee is paid before you visit the Grad Portal, you will be unable to upload supporting documents or request letters of recommendation.

    • A statement of your academic and professional goals. This should include information about your motivation to study criminal justice, a description of relevant research and/or work experience, and any other information that you would like the admissions committee to know. The Application for Graduate Study has fields for an academic statement and a personal statement, and you may either submit statements there or upload a single combined essay to the Grad Portal.

    • Three letters of recommendation from tenure-track faculty who can comment on your ability to perform graduate work. Please request letters of recommendation through the Grad Portal. You will click on Letters of Recommendation (right side of screen) and then Register Recommender (bottom left side of screen). After you submit the names and email addresses, an email will be automatically generated and sent to them, requesting a letter of recommendation on your behalf and including instructions on uploading the letter.

    Additional required materials include:

    • Graduate Assistantship resume. May be submitted here.

    • ONE set of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. A transcript of work at MSU is not required, unless you attended MSU College of Law. Transcripts from US institutions may be sent electronically, and will be considered official if they are sent directly from the institutions attended to the graduate secretary at If they are mailed by the institution attended, they should be sent to the address that follows.International students must submit official transcripts in both the original language and English translation of transcript and diploma. Please have transcripts mailed directly from the institutions attended to:

      Criminal Justice Masters Program
      Michigan State University
      Baker Hall
      655 Auditorium Road Room 557
      East Lansing, MI 48824
    • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general scores from an exam taken within the last five years. The GRE exam is waived for candidates with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher or for applicants with a completed graduate degree. Please note that your overall GPA will be determined by combining the credits and quality points earned throughout your undergraduate studies. Test preparation material and information about test dates can be found at Please note when scheduling your exam that it may take 4-6 weeks for your scores to be forwarded to the university and this department. The institution code for MSU is 1465. Admission requires scores at or above the 50th percentile.

    • International students must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam scores from a test taken within the past two years. MSU's score requirement is a minimum average score of 80, with no subscores below 19 for Reading, Listening and Speaking, and no subscore below 22 for Writing. The institution code for MSU is 1465. Students from countries where the primary language is English may have the TOEFL requirement waived with the approval of the department, college, and Graduate School. Please contact the graduate secretary at to determine whether the requirement may be waived.

    Please note while a criminal justice undergraduate degree is not required for admission to the program, applicants must have a background of education and occupational experience appropriate to the successful pursuit of graduate work in the School of Criminal Justice. Applicants that aren’t sufficiently prepared for graduate studies in criminal justice may be required to complete collateral coursework or pursue individualized study.

    Questions? Please contact graduate secretary Melissa Christle at or 517-353-7133.


    Masters in Criminal Justice Requirements


    List of all Criminal Justice Courses

    Course Descriptions

    Schedule of Courses

    Responsible Conduct of Research Activities

    Students must participate in 16 hours of RCR activities their first year, and three hours for each subsequent year. Information about applicable workshops, classes, activities, and reporting can be found through the links below.

    Responsible Conduct of Research Requirements
    Responsible Conduct of Research Verification Form


    Security Management Specialization

    Security Management Specialization Requirements

    Program Documents

    Criminal Justice Masters Program Handbook


    Study Abroad Opportunities

    The School of Criminal Justice offers study abroad opportunities in the Caribbean, Australia, Madagascar and the Philippines.

    Internship & Career Opportunities

    Internship Information for Prospective Students

  • Masters Degree in Criminal Justice (Online)

    The School of Criminal Justice has waived GRE Scores for applicants through the Fall 2021 Admissions Cycle.


    In 1998, the School of Criminal Justice began offering its Masters of Science in Criminal Justice program on the internet – the first online degree program offered by MSU.

    The program is designed to add new dimensions to the skills of career people in various areas of criminal justice and security. A number of online support services are available to assist students as they progress through the program.

    Students enrolled in the program may choose to follow the general requirements for the Masters in Criminal Justice, specialize in Security Management or follow an international focus. Learn more.

    Courses are offered entirely online, and are taught by the same faculty members who are involved in the on-campus program. Many students complete the program within a year and a half to two years; however, it is also common for students to take three years to complete the program due to work and personal commitments.

    Program Documents

    Criminal Justice Online Masters Program Handbook

  • Masters Degree in Forensic Science

    The School of Criminal Justice has waived GRE Scores for applicants through the Fall 2021 Admissions Cycle.


    Michigan State University has long been recognized as a premier institution for research and education in forensic science, and is home to a number of excellent resources for the study of forensic science.

    The School of Criminal Justice maintains modern laboratory facilities containing equipment and instrumentation for the analysis of virtually any type of physical evidence, from chromatography equipment for drugs, explosives, and arson evidence, to microscopy techniques for trace evidence analysis, to genetic analyzers for the analysis of DNA.

    The Forensic Science Masters program at Michigan State University is designed to give students a broad theoretical and practical background in the scientific, legal, and investigative aspects of forensic science while providing the opportunity to study one of the major disciplines in depth.

  • Masters in Law Enforcement Intelligence & Analysis (Online)

    The School of Criminal Justice has waived GRE Scores for applicants through the Fall 2021 Admissions Cycle.


    The Masters Program in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis was designed to meet the needs of the nation’s federal, tribal, state, and local policing agencies as well as private sector security officials. The School expects this applied degree to be pursued by intelligence analysts, law enforcement and security professionals, and prospective analysts seeking scholarship and advanced training in the emerging field of intelligence analysis.

    The program is taught entirely online. MSU faculty oversee the curriculum; instruction is provided by MSU faculty as well as law enforcement professionals brought in as part-time instructors. Learn more.

    Program Documents

    LEIA Masters Program Handbook

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    You can enroll in classes on the Schedule of Courses website. Click on Schedule Builder to search for classes and add them to your schedule. Follow the screen instructions to enroll. If you have difficulty enrolling in a course, you may need an override issued. Please contact Graduate Secretary Melissa Christle at if you have difficulty enrolling in a Criminal Justice course.

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    If you hold a graduate assistantship, please contact Melissa Christle at to provide the numbers and digits on the lower right rear of the card, below the magnetic strip. These numbers are used to ensure you have building access when Baker Hall is closed. The sequence should appear as follows: 123456 12345678-1A


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