Graduate Programs

Master of Science

in Criminology

100% Online Masters Degree in Criminology Program

The 100% online Master of Science in Criminology will provides an educational opportunity for three distinct groups: (1) those wishing to further their education and pursue a doctorate in Criminology/Criminal Justice or related fields; (2) criminal justice practitioners already working in the field who have previously completed their bachelor’s degree and are seeking advancement in their respective criminal justice occupational fields; and (3) non-traditional and traditional students seeking to complete a master’s degree in criminal justice. Students will select from one of two possible tracks: law enforcement or corrections/courts.

How to apply

Begin in August or January

 Admissions Requirements

  • Complete the online application for admission.
  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college. GPA of at least 2.5.
  • Personal Statement: A 1-2 page statement of the student’s career goals indicating how earning the MS degree in Criminology will enhance the applicant’s career goals and expectations of the graduate program.
  • A resume.
  • International Applicants must also provide a score of at least 500 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required if an applicant is from a country where English is not the official language. The test must have been taken within the year prior to applying to the program.

There is NO fee to apply and a GRE is NOT required. Application submission does not guarantee acceptance into the program and students are encouraged to apply early.

Being an MS Criminology Student at WLU

Watch this “What’s Your Next” video to see what it is like to be an online MS in Criminology student at West Liberty University. Follow Dani, one of our recent graduates, as she talks about the flexibility of this online program.

Required Coursework - 30 Credit Hours, 100% Online

Core Courses (18 Credit Hours)

CRM 501 – Grant Writing in Criminology (3 hours)
CRM 502 – Advanced Theoretical Criminology (3 hours)
CRM 516 – Advanced Research Methods in Criminology (3 hours)
CRM 517 – Advanced Criminological Statistical Applications (3 hours)
CRM 536 – Criminal Law and Liability (3 hours)
CRM 580 – Colloquium  (3 hours)

In addition to the core courses, students will select from two possible concentrations areas:

Concentration in Law Enforcement (6 hours)

CRM 560 – Contemporary Issues in Criminology (3 hours)
CRM 561 – Crime Prevention (3 hours)

Concentration in Courts/Corrections (6 hours)

CRM 550 – Criminal Justice Management (3 hours)
CRM 551 – Legal Issues in Criminology (3 hours)

MS Criminology Electives (6 hours): 

CRM 540 – Criminology and Public Policy (3 hours)
CRM 545 – Correctional Theory and Administration (3) hours
CRM 549 – Ethical and Philosophical Issues in Criminology (3 hours)
CRM 552 – International Crime (3 hours)
CRM 553 – Terrorism (3 hours)
CRM 555 – Cyber-Crime (3 hours)
CRM 568 – Qualitative Research Methods (3 hours)
CRM 570 – White Collar Crime (3 hours)
CRM 578 – Special Topics (3 hours)


Criminology Masters DegreeThe need for Criminal Justice professionals is always going to exist. The fields of Criminology will continue to grow, as there will always be a need for individuals to supervise, treat, counsel and arrest those who violate the law.

The criminal justice field continues to expand, and there will always be a need for highly trained workers. If you’re interested in a career path in law enforcement or even the study of the criminal mind and behaviors, you can either elect to study criminal justice broadly, or you can choose to enroll in a criminology degree program. Both educational paths are different in many ways, but specializing in criminology can be an incredibly rewarding pursuit.

After receiving an education in criminology, graduates will look attractive to prospective employers both inside and outside of the criminal justice industry with critical thinking, analytical and communications skills. Overall, the skills that are developed in studying criminology include a working knowledge of the science itself, but graduates should also have refined skills in producing and evaluating evidence, making reasoned arguments, and be able to make informed judgments with respect for ethics.


For more information about the cost of our program, please visit our Business Office Webpage.

Criminology Employment Opportunities

Employment OpportunitiesEducation RequirementsPercent Job Growth*
Crime Scene ExaminerBachelor degree and experience or master degree required for professional growth and promotion        20%
DetectivesBachelor degree and experience or master degree required for professional growth and promotion        10%
Correctional OfficerPost-secondary education required. The correctional industry is one of the more accelerated fields for upward and professional growth.         9%
Probation OfficerBachelor degree and experience or master degree required for professional growth and promotion        19%
Private InvestigatorRequirements vary by state        22%
Paralegal & Court ReportersBachelor degree required by most employers, graduate education or terminal degree preferred        28%
LawyersBachelor degree/master degree and law school requirements        13%
Gaming and SurveillanceBachelor degree and experience or master degree required for professional growth and promotion        14%
Policing/Police OfficersBachelor degree and experience or master degree required for professional growth and promotion        10%
*Statistics compiled on projected growth by year-end 2018 (BJS)

Your Future in Criminology

Percent Change in Employment 2028

Detectives and InvestigatorsDetectives and Investigators8% All OccupationsAll Occupations5% Other Protective Service WorkersOther Protective Service Workers4% source:

Employment of private detectives and investigators is projected to grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Continued lawsuits, fraud and other crimes, and interpersonal mistrust create demand for investigative services in industries such as legal services.


Find out more about WLU's Masters Degree in Criminology

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