Criminal Justice Launches Online Master's Program

Criminal justice professionals across the country can now earn a master’s degree in criminal justice leadership and management from their living rooms with the launch of the Sam Houston State University College of Criminal Justice’s online Master of Science program.

Beginning this fall, the new distance-learning platform will make the same highly regarded program that has been offered for more than 30 years in an intensive, weekend format available into a convenient online format, according to College of Criminal Justice dean Vincent Webb.

Students enroll in two, seven-and-a-half week courses per semester and complete the program in two years from home, or wherever they have access to the Internet.

“Our online master’s degree in leadership and management is designed to meet the professional development needs of criminal justice agency personnel,” Webb said. “The goal is to provide agency professionals with easy access to a high-quality graduate degree no matter where they work or live."

The curriculum includes courses on leadership psychology, legal aspects, critical analysis of justice administration, computer/technology applications, and program evaluation, as well as emerging issues in CJ leadership, a research course in which students pinpoint a problem in the field and determine a solution, which takes the place of a thesis.

“They’re all related to management or administrative theory, leadership theory, as applied to the field,” said Tess Johnson, CJ marketing coordinator/recruiter.

In addition to a student-friendly course delivery and access to technical support 24-hours a day, seven days a week, students will have the opportunity to learn from a faculty comprising some of the most renowned and internationally-recognized experts in the criminal justice field, according to Webb.

David Webb, CJ adjunct faculty member, said the program affords practitioners an opportunity to further their educations in a way that “will positively impact their own work performance and help them to develop competencies vital to the success of the criminal justice sector.

“This is especially important in states like Texas, where travelling distances to institutes of higher education may be out of reach for practitioners when they have to be at their place of work every day,” he said.

The online program is part of a larger initiative at SHSU to offer quality distance learning options to students unable to attend traditional classes, due to professional or personal obligations, according to Bill Angrove, associate vice president for distance learning.

“This is a quality distance learning degree that graduates will work hard to earn and will be appropriately proud of,” said CJ professor Larry Hoover, who was instrumental in designing the program.

Applicants for the online Master of Science in leadership and management program must already have earned a bachelor’s degree; have at least three years experience in any sector of the criminal justice field, from security and corrections to policing and forensics; fill out a questionnaire discussing work history and goals; and submit a writing sample of approximately 1,000 words written in a narrative form.

The program does not require students to take the Graduate Record Exam, nor do they require an application fee.

The application deadline for the fall semester is August 1.

For more information, or to apply online, visit


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SHSU Media Contacts: Jennifer Gauntt
June 24, 2009
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