Criminal Justice Online Graduate Program Ranked Nationally

Gavel in foreground, blurred scales of justice and books in background.

The Master of Criminal Justice (MSCJ) program at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) has been ranked among the top programs in the nation in the 2022 edition of U.S. News and World Report Best Online Programs ranking.

The MSCJ program is an online graduate degree program that provides knowledge and skills that will prepare students either seeking leadership roles in criminal justice organizations or preparing for doctoral study. LMU’s program provides tracks in Administration, Applied Professional, and Research. Students demonstrate proficiency in theories of crime and justice, justice ethics, scientific research methodology, policy analysis, and leadership. The program offers a variety of elective courses that provide students with the opportunity to tailor coursework to meet their individual needs and interests.

LMU’s MSCJ program, which began as a seated program in 2014 and moved to fully online in 2017, is ranked 58th in the nation for online master’s in criminal justice programs. It can be completed from anywhere; there is no residency requirement.

“Our program, 30 credit hours, can be completed in less than 16 months,” said Dr. Jacqueline Black, associate professor of criminal justice and MSCJ program director. “It prepares graduates for professional, competitive careers in all criminal justice positions.”

Graduates of the MSCJ program are ready to enter a variety of careers, added Black, and student internships are heavily emphasized during the program. LMU graduates have gone on to careers with the State of Tennessee, the U.S. Department of Labor, Youth Villages, and more. In addition to pursuing a career immediately after obtaining the MSCJ, some graduates pursue a doctoral degree.

LMU offers a dual degree program through which students may obtain the MSCJ degree along with the Juris Doctor (JD) degree. The JD degree is earned through the LMU Duncan School of Law (DSOL). Students enrolled in the JD-MSCJ dual degree program may use some credit hours in approved JD elective courses to fulfill MSCJ program elective credit hours.

Small class sizes in the MSCJ program benefit students, as it allows more one-on-one interaction with the students, Black said. Program faculty members are highly qualified, with extensive field experience working with offenders, victims, and law enforcement. They welcome student interaction, and because the program is entirely online, frequent meetings with professors via Zoom or other methods are encouraged.

It is easy to apply to the MSCJ program, and there is no application fee. Additionally, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for admission to the program.

LMU is proud to support the military at home and abroad with the fully online MSCJ program. With flexible course scheduling, the program is designed to meet the needs of service members and their families. Faculty and staff in the program can assist in maximizing education benefits.

“Our program encourages students from all backgrounds to apply,” stated Black, adding that MSCJ students have diverse experience and various undergraduate degrees.

For more information on the program or to apply, visit

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280 or email at [email protected].

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