Online Master of Science in Applied Criminology

Lead in criminal justice with a world-class master’s degree—online.

As the oldest and largest forensic sciences school in the world, the California School of Forensic Studies has produced thousands of leading professionals who are helping advance the understanding of criminal behavior. You can join our community of pioneers no matter where you live—our innovative Master of Science in Applied Criminology program is available entirely online.

Designed to accommodate full-time employment, this 17-month, 40-unit master’s program initiates you into the scientific study of crime. Our expert faculty members will challenge you to develop professional research skills and advanced knowledge of:

  • The criminal justice system
  • Constitutional law
  • Criminal behavior
  • Crime’s effect on victims
  • Cultural, political, and economic influences on crime

After graduation, you should emerge with a well-rounded set of marketable skills that cover criminal justice, psychology, professional research, and leadership. You will also be connected to Alliant’s international network of criminal justice, criminology, and security experts—an immensely valuable professional and personal resource.

Our alumni are serving in research institutions, law enforcement organizations, and consultancies all over the world. Our faculty includes U.S. and international federal agents, a former consultant to the FBI’s Unibomber Task Force, and one of the world’s leading experts on serial crime and sexual violence—Professor Dr. Eric Hickey.

Career Opportunities

The multi-disciplinary nature of our online criminology master’s equips you with a versatile skill set. Our alumni have gone on to forge careers in a broad range of criminal justice, law enforcement, and sociological occupations, such as:

  • Corrections
  • Criminal investigation and criminal profiling
  • Criminal justice education and training
  • Criminology consultation
  • Customs and border security
  • Emergency services and homeland security
  • Juvenile justice and corrections
  • Local, state, or federal law enforcement
  • Private investigation
  • Probation and parole
  • Victim services

An Advanced Curriculum with Specialization Options

In the online Master of Science in Applied Criminology, you take 32 units in the Applied Criminology core and eight units in a concentration area of your choice: Conflict Resolution and Crisis Management, Criminal Behavior, or Victimology.

The program’s core curriculum teaches you advanced understanding of:

  • The offender-victim dynamic and criminal psychology
  • The roles and procedures of the American criminal justice system
  • Laws and procedures that directly influence work with offenders and victims
  • How evidence-informed policy and practice are critical to the advance of criminology as a field
  • The roles culture, economics, and politics play in criminogenic issues

You will also develop practical skills in research, conflict resolution, and investigation.

Course Listing – Master of Science Applied Criminology Core

Course topics in the core include:

  • Psychology and the Justice System
  • Applied Theories of Crime and Crime Control
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Criminological Research and Data Analysis
  • Criminal Justice Ethics, Values, and Diversity in Post-911 America
  • Constitutional Issues in Criminology
  • Criminal Justice Program Development and Policy Analysis
  • Crime and Victimization in a Global Context
  • Coursework into Practice: Applied Criminology Capstone Project

Concentration Options and Course Topics

The concentration options in this program offer you the opportunity to develop in-depth skills in a particular area of interest.

Conflict Resolution and Crisis Management

  • Communication and Conflict Resolution
  • Conflict and Crisis Negotiation
  • Critical Incidents, Conflict Resolution, and Crisis Management

Criminal Behavior

  • Advanced Criminal Behavior: Mass, Serial, and Pattern Criminals
  • Violence and Criminal Behavior
  • Interviewing, Interrogation, and Expert Witness Testimony
  • Violent Threat Assessment and Management


  • Contemporary Issues in Victimology
  • Psychological, Emotional and Physical Impacts of Victimization
  • Effective, Compassionate Interviewing

A Format That Respects Your Commitments

The online Master of Science in Applied Criminology is accessible to working professionals from all over the country. Class sessions last eight weeks, and you can start the program at any of six entry points throughout the year. Interactive class sessions include a mix of real-time and independent activities. We archive real-time class sessions, so you can catch up or review material on your own time.

Class meetings and coursework take place in our interactive learning environment. Activities emphasize practical application of theory. Classes are small, allowing you to develop close working relationships with classmates and instructors.

Admissions Qualifications and Application Requirements

Applicants to the online MS in Applied Criminology must meet the following requirements:

  • Degrees: Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited US institution of higher education, or its international equivalent. Applicants must have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, or completion and approval of a GPA exemption petition.
  • Transcripts: The applicant must submit copies of official transcripts from all institutions that issued a degree.
  • Recommendations: Applicants must provide two letters of professional recommendation speaking to their experience, skills, and proven accomplishments.
  • Personal Statement and Resume: Applicants must provide a current resume plus an essay explaining:
    • Why the applicant is interested in criminology;
    • What competencies the applicant hopes to acquire from participation in this program;
    • What contributions the applicant can make to CSFS learning environment.
    • Application and Fee: Applicants must complete our admissions application and pay the $65 application fee.

After all documentation is reviewed, the candidate will be considered for final admissions by the program director.

Earn Your Master’s in Applied Criminology Online

Prepare to join a global community of criminal justice experts. Contact Alliant International University today to learn more about our online Master of Science in Applied Criminology.