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Explore our Online MS in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management

Walden’s online Master of Science in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management will help law enforcement professionals prepare for executive management roles in criminal justice or transition into a career in education or as a consultant. In this program, you will study management philosophies as well as the budgeting and communication skills that criminal justice professionals require in order to create and influence policy makers.

If you are a criminal justice professional interested in studying a unique blend of criminal behavioral theory, along with human services, technology, homeland security, and management skills, then consider Walden’s MS in Criminal Justice program.

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Program Details


Completion Requirements

  • 48 quarter credits
    • Foundation course (3 cr.)
    • Core courses (45 cr.)

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-768-0610.


Course Code Title Credits
CRJS 6002
Foundations of Graduate Study

Students in this course are introduced to Walden University and to the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum. Students work toward building a foundation for academic and professional success as a scholar-practitioner and social change agent. They assess the relationship of mission and vision to professional goals and develop a program of study and strategies for online success. Students also explore resources used throughout the program, such as the online Walden University Library. Students engage in course assignments focused on the practical application of professional writing, critical-thinking skills, and the promotion of professional and academic excellence.

(3 cr.)
CRJS 6137
The Nature of Crime and Criminology

Students in this course are introduced to contemporary views and theories of maladaptive and criminal behavior. They examine a broad conceptualization of criminal behavior from an interdisciplinary perspective as well as theories and application of criminal profiling. Students also explore specific views of criminal behavior germane to groups, such as psychopaths, serial offenders, and sexually violent predators. At the end of this course, students will have an understanding of the theories and practices that are the foundations of the field of criminology.

(5 cr.)
CRJS 6215
Controversies in Criminal Justice

Justice is at the heart of the U.S. democratic system, yet opposing viewpoints surrounding and within the system often muddle interpretations of the law and the development of policies to promote and enforce justice. In this course, students examine events that have significantly changed how the legal system interprets the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Code, and the U.S. Patriot Act, for example, the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001. They learn how social and historical changes have shifted perspectives and sparked debates on expanding the rights of government versus safeguarding personal civil rights and civil liberties. Through discussion with peers, assessment of contemporary articles, and examination of Supreme Course cases, students have the opportunity to reflect on and potentially broaden their own opinions and perspectives on current criminal justice affairs in regard to issues of law enforcement, public perception, policy development, and ethics.

(5 cr.)
CRJS 6420
Organizational Management and Leadership

Public and nonprofit leaders require a deep understanding of their roles as directors and managers of diverse and complex organizations. Students in this course examine the distinction among leadership and management, organizational culture, change management, systems theories, and organizational development from a theoretical and applied perspective. Students apply principles to public, private, and nonprofit organizational settings.

(5 cr.)
CRJS 6216
Criminal Justice Research

Criminal justice encompasses many roles and responsibilities, including responding to victims, punishing or rehabilitating criminals, and developing laws and policies. To carry out these tasks effectively and responsibly, taking into account current trends and ethical considerations, criminal justice professionals need to understand underlying factors, such as the root causes of crime and the impact of crime on communities. In this course, students examine a range of research methodologies, including quantitative and qualitative methods, that professionals use to collect data and analyze trends in criminal justice. They examine models, metrics, and tools used to evaluate criminal justice programs and policies, and they assess the strengths and limitations of research methods. Students also learn about threats to the validity of data and consider the legal and ethical issues associated with research and evaluation methods.

(5 cr.)
CRJS 6465
Strategic Planning: Collaboration, Cooperation, and Coordination

In an increasingly complex world, leaders and managers in public and nonprofit organizations need to be strategic in their planning in order to fulfill the organizational mission and enhance stakeholder satisfaction. Students in this course explore the role and process of strategic planning with an appreciation for collaboration, cooperation, and coordination as these elements relate to the strategic planning process. Students apply these concepts to real-life situations and organizations and develop a strategic plan.

(5 cr.)
CRJS 6431
Finance and Budgeting for the Public Sector

Sound financial practices are crucial to managing scarce funds in both public and nonprofit operations. Students in this course examine finance and budgeting concepts, policies and practices related to organizations, as well as the fiscal climate within which they operate. Students gain an understanding of theories motivating major fiscal-policy debates; read, analyze, and construct budgets; and read and analyze financial statements and reports. Other topics include auditing practices, tax systems, financial management, budgetary reform, financial technology systems specific to government organizations, and the use of dashboards for financial reporting. Students apply what they learn to develop a budget and financial plan for either a public or private organization.

(5 cr.)
CRJS 6435
Human Resource Management: Building a Capable Workforce

The acquisition, development, and retention of talent are critical to the success of any organization. Students in this course examine theories, approaches, and systems related to the acquisition, management, development, and retention of employees in government and nonprofit organizations. Students explore topics including legal and ethical considerations; diversity, performance management, technology, and conflict management; and the establishment and implementation of policies through the use of case studies. Students apply principles learned in this course to situations encountered in public, private, and nonprofit organizations.

(5 cr.)
CRJS 6218
Applied Communications

Practitioners in the field of criminal justice must be adept in preparing communications for colleagues, supervisors, and the public. In this course, students have the opportunity to develop the skills needed to produce effective documents that criminal justice professionals use on a daily basis, such as court records, data analysis reports, and program-implementation plans. Student learn how to conduct interviews, gather background information, and use decision-making and critical-thinking skills to create clear, concise communications. They broaden their ability to write for a specific purpose and a highly defined audience as they incorporate criminal justice principles and practices into a variety of communication tools.

(5 cr.)
CRJS 6910
Capstone: Criminal Justice Ethics and Social Justice

Ethical behavior is an essential element of leadership. In this course, students examine the philosophy of ethics as well as responsibility and social justice—the basic tenets of public service. Through a combination of seminal texts and contemporary case studies, students explore the complex social, political, and ethical challenges leaders face as they seek to meet the needs of diverse constituents. Course topics focus upon ethics and social justice involving economic disparity, political power, and social privilege. Students analyze current social trends related to the ethical and social justice issues of a global community. Throughout the course, students assess emerging or persistent ethical and social justice issues and make recommendations for resolving specific dilemmas.

(5 cr.)

Admission Requirements

Program Requirements: A bachelor's degree or higher.

General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.

Tuition Fees

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost amount
Tuition 48 total quarter credit hours $518 per quarter hour $24,864
Technology Fee Per quarter $165 $825


*Tuition reflects the minimum time to completion. Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition reductions. Walden may accept up to 24 transfer credits. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost between $1,000 and $1,400.

Paying for Your Education

Our Enrollment Specialists can help you outline a plan and find resources for funding your education.

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Program Savings

Speak with an Enrollment Specialist to learn about our current tuition savings.

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Program Outcomes

Career Outlook

Graduates of the program will be well-prepared for a number of occupations across an array of areas, including law enforcement, courts, corrections, and probation. Possible job titles include:

  • Background investigator
  • Border patrol agent
  • Correctional administrator
  • Customs agent
  • Detective
  • Deputy U.S. marshal
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officer
  • Federal pretrial service officer
  • Federal probation officer
  • Federal protection service officer
  • Gang crimes investigator
  • Narcotics officer
  • Parole officer / Probation Officer
  • Placement officer
  • Pre-Trial Investigator (PSI)
  • Private investigator
  • Public relations officer
  • Sentencing analyst
  • Secret service
  • Sheriff
  • U.S. Marshal
  • Undercover operative
  • Victim restitution professional

Career positions may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the MS in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management program will be able to:

  • Utilize theory and research to analyze historical trends and current perspectives in criminal justice.
  • Use research to evaluate factors related to crime and the impact of crime on criminal justice policies, practices, and procedures.
  • Evaluate the impact of U.S. constitutional policy and procedures on the criminal justice system.
  • Analyze the impact of the criminal justice process on victims and perpetrators.
  • Synthesize principles from criminal justice theories, processes, and practices to promote social justice and positive social change.
  • Compare the structural functions and interactions of law enforcement, courts, and corrections within the criminal justice system at the local, state, and federal level.
  • Discuss how criminal justice laws and policies are adopted, implemented, and evaluated.
  • Evaluate the management philosophies used in managing human resources in criminal justice organizations.
  • Discuss the leadership skills needed for working with diverse populations.



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