Criminology and Criminal Justice, MS

The master’s program in criminology and criminal justice at Northeastern University concentrates both on the problem of crime as a form of deviant behavior and on the criminal justice and private security systems that deal with it. The program emphasizes a systems approach to criminal justice, stressing policy development and analysis, as well as the impact these policies have on the individuals and organizations charged with delivering justice in a fair and equitable manner. In concept and scope, the MS degree encompasses such related disciplines as law, sociology, political science, psychology, criminology, and public administration.

The master’s program is comprised of required courses encompassing both substantive and technical skills. Additionally, students choose elective courses from offerings within the graduate program in criminal justice or in other graduate programs in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. The course offerings afford students the flexibility to customize their own programs, which may include an internship, directed study, or master’s thesis.

For students interested in criminal justice in an increasingly digital world, the Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Cybersecurity offers a strong criminal justice foundation coupled with the conceptual and practical skills that enables them to contribute to ensuring the reliability and security of cyberspace. Successful students will learn the principles, practices, and responsibilities of criminal justice professionals alongside the fundamental knowledge of computer science skills necessary for practical applications in the field. The concentration in cybersecurity provides criminal justice students an opportunity to learn how social behavior, policy, and legal rules can affect cybersecurity and the tools of information technology.

Faculty members in the graduate program represent several different academic disciplines, and teaching activities vary in nature depending on the instructors’ specific objectives. The faculty’s specialized interests help make possible a broad range of program offerings, including courses on the criminal justice process, victimology, security management, criminal law, juvenile justice, law and psychology, and terrorism.

The master’s program offers an optional cooperative education experience (co-op) to eligible students. Students extend the two-semester program to 18 months through a co-op work experience and its associated 2-credit experiential integration course. Cooperative education is central to both the Northeastern experience and to the College of Social Sciences and Humanities experiential liberal arts framework. Northeastern’s signature co-op ecosystem provides qualified master's students with six-month work experiences in businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies in Boston and across the United States. Graduate students take their work from campus learning spaces, apply their knowledge outside of the classroom, and then bring knowledge and skills gained in community learning spaces back to our campus learning spaces during the cocurricular experiential integration course.

Briefly stated, the graduate program endeavors to:

  • Assist in developing criminal justice and private security leaders capable of assuming responsibility for policy planning and administration
  • Offer students an opportunity to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to conduct applied research while assisting them in developing the ability to apply this research in a variety of criminal justice settings
  • Provide an opportunity for a solid educational foundation for those who wish to pursue more advanced graduate study beyond the Master of Science degree

Graduate study in criminology and criminal justice may be pursued on either a full- or part-time basis. All candidates for the Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree must successfully complete a minimum of 32 semester hours of credit in course work.

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

Core Requirements

A cumulative 3.000 GPA is required for the core requirement.

Required Core
CRIM 7200Criminology4
CRIM 7202The Criminal Justice Process4
Research and Statistics
INSH 6300Research Methods in the Social Sciences4
INSH 6500Statistical Analysis4
or INSH 5301 Introduction to Computational Statistics


Complete 16 semester hours in the following range:16
CRIM 5000 to CRIM 7989

Concentration in Cybersecurity

Students adding a concentration in cybersecurity must use 12 semester hours of their elective credits to complete the following courses:

Cyberlaw: Privacy, Ethics, and Digital Rights
Choose two courses from the following:8
Evidence-Based Crime Policy
Introduction to Cyberspace Programming 2 Instructor Approval
Security Risk Management and Assessment Instructor Approval
Information System Forensics Instructor Approval
Decision Making for Critical Infrastructure

Optional Co-op Experience

Requires two consecutive semesters of the following:2
Co-op Work Experience
and Experiential Integration

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

32 total semester hours required (34 with optional co-op)
Minimum 3.000 GPA required