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Getting Your Criminal Justice MBA Degree


The field of criminal justice describes institutions and practices of various elements of government. Its goal is to mitigate and deter crime, uphold social control, and/or sanction those who violate laws, imposing rehabilitation efforts and criminal penalties. Combining a study of criminal justice with business administration through the Criminal Justice MBA is a relatively new concept. Universities that offer this degree give students a strong background in business administration and management, while at the same time showing them how they can apply these principles to the field of criminal justice in particular. This means that they need to cover a wealth of subjects, including things like organizational communication, economics, and management theory, but complemented by legal issues such as institutional organization and the justice process.  Jump to 9+ AACSB Online MBA Degrees for 2017.

Why Earn a Criminal Justice MBA?

There are numerous reasons as to why a Criminal Justice MBA is a really good idea, not in the least the fact that it can be incredibly lucrative for those who want to advance their careers. For instance, if you want to take on positions such as FBI Special Agent, detective, sheriff’s deputy, or police officer, you will be more likely to be considered if you have an advanced degree. This is particularly true for those who work for large federal, state, county, or municipal agencies.

These types of agencies generally also offer higher pay than small agencies. For each level of education you increase (high school to bachelor, bachelor to master), you can expect to see your pay increase significantly as well. It is now very rare for these agencies to hire anyone who does not have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum, and those with a master’s are even more likely to attract higher earnings.

OF course, of particular importance is also the fact that most people go into the criminal justice system because they have a genuine desire to improve society as a whole by deterring and fighting crime. With a Criminal Justice MBA, you will be able to do that in a much more in depth way. You will be able to take on positions of leadership and management in this field, having advanced knowledge of criminal law, organizational administration, and effective research methods. These can be applied on both a national and international level, making a true difference to the world.

Admission Requirements

Schools are entitled to set their own admission requirements as they see fit. For MBA programs, it is quite common for these requirements to be quite competitive. Those requested by Liberty University Online are quite representative across the board, and include:

• Official transcripts
• A minimum GPA of 3.0
• Prerequisite courses
• TOEFL/IELTS or other English language proficiency test for non-native English speakers
• GMAT/GRE
• A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution

Curriculum and Courses

Generally speaking, a Criminal Justice MBA covers the core of business administration, while at the same time including concentration courses on how these theories and practices are applicable to management positions in the criminal justice system. There will be an emphasis on leadership, ethical issues, management, finance, and globalization.

Each school can set its own curriculum and courses. However, in order to maintain scholastic and programmatic accreditation, these courses must meet certain acceptable standards of education. The curriculum offered by Lamar University, for instance, is a good example of what to expect. Subjects include:

• Managerial Accounting
• Managerial Decision Making
• Managerial Economics
• Financial Management
• Marketing Management
• International Business
• Strategic Management
• ERP Overview
• Criminal Justice System and Policy
• Theoretical Foundations of Crime Control
• Special Studies Applied Criminology Law
• Criminal Justice Leadership

Career Outcomes and Job Titles

With a Criminal Justice MBA, you can take on a range of different jobs and positions, across a wealth of different criminal justice and law enforcement agencies. Some of the most commonly seen job titles include:

• First Line Supervisor of Police and Detectives
• Prison Warden
• Court Administrator
• Corrections Administrator
• Probation or Parole Officer
• CIA Agent
• FBI Agent

Positions are commonly found within federal law enforcement agencies, state and local agencies, prisons, probation services, courts, and other such areas where criminal justice is applied.

Job Salary & Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that probation officers and correctional treatment specialists earned an average of $49,360 per year as of May 2015 at bachelor’s degree level. Holding an MBA degree increases annual salaries by $15,000 per year on average, meaning earnings are likely to be closer to $70,000 per year. The BLS has reported a 4% projected growth in demand for these professionals by 2024, which is slower than the national average.

Scholarships and Grants

Arlene and Dennis Schlosser Memorial Endowment Scholarship, which is offered to those with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

BMW Hope Endowment Scholarship, which is offered to those who are diagnosed with epilepsy and have a GPA of at least 3.0.

Shirley A. Dreyer Memorial Endowment Scholarship, which was originally only available to those studying interior design. However, after not receiving any applications for several years, they changed it to any major. Today, eligible students need to be from North Carolina and have a GPA of at least 3.0.

I have a Dream Scholarship, which is offered to those who have a dream in terms of their educational and professional future. It is a scholarship to the value of $1,300 available to those who are at least 13 years old, a legal resident of this country, and enrolled in an accredited institution. To be considered, they must answer a question about their future vision and dreams.

Sweet and Simple Scholarship, which is seen as a “present” of $1,500 for those who are at least 13 years old, a legal resident of this country, and who are enrolled in an accredited institution. To be considered, students must submit an essay on a gift they have received in the past that meant a lot to them, not because of its monetary value, but because of its emotional impact.

Additional Resources

National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA)
American Criminal Justice Association, Lambda Alpha Epsilon
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Criminal Justice Alliance
National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ)