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Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

In a 100% online format, learn the advanced theoretical background and practical applications of criminal justice from faculty who are experts in the field

Apply what you learn directly to your career in criminal justice

As a student in the MACJ program, you’ll learn to develop effective policy, constructively deal with problematic situations, analyze and interpret criminological data and formulate ethical, socially informed responses to professional situations. Throughout the required coursework, you’ll become an adept, critical consumer of research and have the skills to use it on the job.

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In this seminar, students will learn principles of effective and ethical leadership through various projects and experiences, such as completing intensive case studies and interviews of leaders, identifying and developing themes and principles from these projects, and creating leadership plans to apply for their own careers. 4 credits

MACJ Success Story

Cole Hippen '19 knows it's never too late to finish your education. The investigator for the Ames Police Department always dreamed of getting his master's degree but time commitments made it difficult. Then he found Simpson.

Cole Hippen

Graduate Certificate in Justice Leadership

If you're not quite ready to make the commitment for a full Master's program, consider pursuing a fully online Graduate Certificate in Justice Leadership that can be completed in one year.

Who is this program for?
Our program addresses the needs of in-service criminal justice professionals who are committed to social justice issues and community service in their careers.

Can I work while pursuing my MACJ?
Yes! In fact, it’s encouraged. As a working professional earning your MACJ, you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned today at work tomorrow. Your daily field work will also help inform class discussions about procedures, organizational structures and more.

Where can I take classes?
In our commitment to provide a convenient, rigorous and affordable education despite the busy and hectic schedules of criminal justice professionals—and to attract students from outside of the immediate vicinity of our campuses—the MACJ was recently converted to a fully online format.

The MACJ consists of core classes and elective classes. All classes are offered in the fully online format, though some electives can be taken in a hybrid format of online and face-to-face coursework at the Simpson College Indianola and West Des Moines locations.

When are classes?
Courses are offered on an accelerated 8-week course schedule.
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When can I start?
We offer start times in our Fall, Spring or Summer semester so you don’t have to wait to begin your future success story.

What can I do with this degree?
Graduates of the MACJ program can be found throughout Iowa and the Midwest, working in policy and analysis, corrections, human services, law enforcement and in a variety of private sector agencies.

Program Information

Fully online format

8-week courses

36 credit hours to completion

Tuition: $550/credit hour

Begin in the fall, spring or summer

Download Our Brochure

Take a more in-depth look at our program and see what alumni have to say about their experiences.

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Transfer Your Credits

We are transfer friendly!

Simpson College accepts transfer credits from other accredited institutions. Transcripts are evaluated to determine how many credits will transfer, as well as how a student’s former coursework meets Simpson’s degree requirements. Request your transcripts from your previous institution.

Do your career and community justice

Simpson has outstanding MACJ faculty dedicated to providing high quality graduate experiences that serve individual professional goals as well as the needs of agencies and society-at-large. The background and rich experience of students admitted to our program attests to the depth and breadth of the network that you’ll find in your classroom encounters with peers. And with a curriculum grounded by social justice, fairness and integrity, you’ll graduate with the skills to lead your colleagues, your career and your citizens to a bright future.

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