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By: Tara Burcham

The new online master’s degree in criminal justice is an ideal fit for students with an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, criminology or other related majors who have an interest in careers in the criminal justice sector.

According to Dr. Lisa Nored, Director of the School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security at The University of Southern Mississippi, the program has unique characteristics that make it the right choice for many students, including quality instruction by prominent scholars and convenience for working professionals.

“This degree is a perfect fit for working professionals who desire to further their education or obtain credentialing to advance professionally,” says Nored.

According to Nored, admission requirements to the program include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, criminology or closely-related field
  • 0 Minimum GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework
  • Competitive GRE scores (verbal and quantitative)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Interest/Intent regarding graduate education and professional goals
  • Resume

Nored says the program is one that allows students to build upon their undergraduate education and open up new career opportunities, including possible future job titles such as crime analyst, federal, state or local law enforcement, community college instructor, or administrative positions in corrections, policing, and juvenile justice.

Dr. Tom Hutchinson, director of the Office of Online Learning, says the new online master’s degree in Criminal Justice creates career opportunities for working professionals. “Across the country, there are a number of law enforcement and criminal justice professionals wanting to improve their career opportunities,” says Hutchinson. “This degree can open new doors and put their career on the fast-track.”

Nored says the degree not only improves career options for graduates, but also gives them new tools. “After completing our program, graduates are equipped to apply theoretical and applied knowledge to issues within the justice and public policy contexts,” says Nored. “This gives them the skills for advanced investigation, examination, and analysis of issues within modern systems.”

Dr. Amy Chasteen Miller, executive vice provost for academic affairs at Southern Miss, says this new degree is an opportunity for Southern Miss to give students a competitive edge. “By sharpening their skills, we are support their success and enhance the availability of highly qualified professionals to work in the field of security, corrections and law enforcement across the country.”

For more information about the online master’s degree in criminal justice, visit


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