M.A. in Criminal Justice Online - a Great Choice

Does the interplay between law and society intrigue you? Are you interested in law enforcement, the criminal justice system and criminology? Are you considering how to set yourself up for a career – or advance your current career – in law enforcement, court administration, or policy and academic research? If so, it might be time to consider a Master’s in Criminal Justice.

photo of Wanda FogliaEven those of us who are self-driven and focused might be concerned about whether we’ll have the time to go back to school. Rowan University’s M.A. in Criminal Justice online program offers you the opportunity to advance your education on your own schedule. The program, recently ranked within the top 25 in the country by Online Schools Report, requires 10 classes in total (six required, four electives) and the completion of a comprehensive exam.

According to Dr. Wanda Foglia, professor and Program Coordinator for the M.A. in Criminal Justice, the online program has many benefits: “It is a part-time program geared toward professionals who are already in the workforce, and offers accelerated classes so that students only need to take one class at a time, each lasting eight weeks.” This ensures that students are able to devote all of their educational time to each individual class. All of the courses offered in the online program are taught by the same faculty as the in-person program. The faculty are "from some of the best Ph.D. programs in the country and are active researchers in the discipline,” says Dr. Foglia. Many also have experience working in the criminal justice system.

“I’ve Developed a Passion for Sharing My Knowledge” – Kevin Barth, Current Student

Kevin Barth, a transportation supervisor and former Philadelphia police officer, has found that not only has the M.A. in Criminal Justice program fit well into his full-time work schedule, but it has also helped him find his passion for education in the criminal justice field.

Looking for a career change, he originally pursued a B.A. in Criminal Justice through the 3+1 program with Rowan College of Burlington County, working towards being an attorney. Eventually, he found a passion for teaching others and decided to pursue an M.A. in Criminal Justice and hopes to “combine what I have learned at Rowan with my practical experience,” says Kevin. In his current role as a transportation supervisor, he has the opportunity to practice these skills in several training classes.

photo of Kevin Barth and his son“Life as a graduate student is hectic,” says Kevin, and as an online student, “you have to stay focused and dedicated, and find a time management system that works for you.” He has found an incredible amount of support from his professors – who, according to Kevin, “are knowledgeable, present the information in a way that is easy to understand, and truly care about your success.” He has had a similar experience with advisors, who have been “exceptional and have worked above and beyond to make sure that everything went smoothly for me.” Kevin has also found Rowan’s Campbell Library to be incredibly useful, offering many online resources and references to aid him in his research for the program.

For Kevin, the structure of the online program works very well, because it allows him to fully concentrate on a single subject. Says Kevin, “The content of the program is also highly rewarding and the courses challenge you to really think about criminal justice issues and the theories that have arisen from these issues.” Even though they are working fully online, he says that one of the benefits of the program for him has come from the interaction he has with his classmates. “I get to see these issues from many different perspectives thanks to the diversity of thought among those in my class.”

“The Master’s Program is a Worthwhile Investment” – Sean Aitken, an Alum

photo of Sean AitkenSean Aitken graduated from Rowan University with a B.A. in Law & Justice, going on to work as an SLEO II Officer for the Glassboro Police Department. Even with his full-time schedule, he wanted to continue to advance his career. He returned to Rowan, obtaining his M.A. in Criminal Justice online in December 2019. Because of his master’s degree, he has achieved his “dream position” and now works as a detective for the Glassboro Police Department, while also working on a debut memoir/self-help book on his personal experiences, life in law enforcement, and his diagnosis with Polycystic Kidney Disease.

Much like Kevin, the M.A. in Criminal Justice Online was beneficial in being an online program, as well as by offering accelerated classes, so Sean felt he could, “absorb the material better, since all of my focus was on a single class.”

Sean describes work as a graduate student as “demanding, but not overwhelming.” He found that all of his professors were not only incredibly personable, but he also enjoyed how “they stirred important conversations in the classrooms, which helped foster a better learning environment for everyone.” In retrospect, he says, “the program’s instructors and advisors helped me receive the best education I could have hoped to receive.”

The M.A. in Criminal Justice program was the right choice for Sean for not only opening up new opportunities, but also for emphasizing the importance in understanding, and responding to, societal changes and perceptions of the criminal justice system. The greatest thing he learned in the program was, in Sean’s words, “perspective – I learned that our lives are influenced by so many factors that we have little control over. That knowledge has been extremely effective in helping me relate to the people that I encounter, who I have next to nothing in common with.”

“My assignment as a Detective just a little over three years into my time as a police officer, and being named Officer of the Year last year by my department,” he says, “are two objective testaments that a graduate degree, whether directly or indirectly, is a long-term investment that is more than worth its initial cost (both in time and money).”

Is an M.A. in Criminal Justice Right for You? Learn More Today!

Kevin and Sean’s stories illustrate how Rowan’s M.A. in Criminal Justice online program truly meets the needs of all its students, with its flexible and engaging accelerated online classes, knowledgeable and helpful faculty and advisors, as well as the deeper levels of learning that occur in each online class. 

If you are interested in an M.A. in Criminal Justice, but have a preference for in-person learning, you can also obtain the degree by taking evening classes on the Glassboro campus. These courses are taught by the same quality faculty members as the online program, and in-person students have the option of completing a thesis project instead of a comprehensive exam. “Graduates of the M.A. in Criminal Justice program have gone on to careers in federal investigation, education, law enforcement, and criminal justice research,” says Dr. Foglia.

Ready to start your application? Register to attend one of our upcoming Info Sessions or check out our How to Apply to Graduate School webinar for insight and advice into the process! You can also request more information on your preferred program.

Interested in obtaining a master’s degree, but still need to complete a Bachelor’s? Rowan also offers a Combined Advanced Degree Program in Criminal Justice, where you can earn a B.A. in Law and Justice and an M.A. in Criminal Justice in just five years!

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