Master's Degrees in Criminal Justice in Florida

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Updated January 19, 2023

Looking for a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice in Florida? You should consider these top-tier graduate programs and jobs in the Criminal Justice field.

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Master's Degrees in Criminal Justice in Florida

Earning a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice in Florida

The best degrees in Florida for criminal justice are intended to be of interest to students who wish to learn how to solve problems, improve their educational outcomes, and prepare themselves for careers in the field. An individual with a master's degree can apply for diverse positions. Graduates of a master's program are able to move forward in their careers.

With a master’s degree, individuals earn about $1,574 per week. This translates to about $6,296 a month and approximately $81,848 per year. With a master's degree, unemployment is 2.6%; with a high school diploma, it is 6.2%.

Criminal Justice Master's Programs for You

Working and Living in Florida in the Criminal Justice Profession

A criminal justice degree can be very beneficial for those looking to enter the field of law enforcement or corrections. Many common courses in a criminal justice degree program cover topics such as criminology, criminal law, and procedure, police science, and sociology. With a criminal justice degree, graduates can pursue careers in a variety of areas, such as local, state, and federal law enforcement; probation and parole; and private security.

The average annual salary in Florida is $37,920, or $18.23 per hour. This holds true for the state's 8,605,610 workers. Following this pattern, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the lowest 10% of earners take home $22,720, and the highest 10% of earners make $96,380. A report on the earnings of detectives and criminal investigators in Florida is presented below.

Key

Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Florida
Detectives and Criminal Investigators Nationally
All Occupations in Florida
All Occupations Nationally

Salaries for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Florida and Nationwide

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Based on the MERIC cost of living index, Florida ranks number 31 out of 51 states (including Washington, D.C.). The cost of living index measures the average cost of living in the U.S. against that of specific states. The U.S. average is measured as 100, and all locations in the U.S. are either above (more expensive) or below (less expensive) that average. Florida's cost of living index is 103, which is 3% higher than the national average. Prospective students interested in relocating to Florida can use the cost of living comparison to find the right fit for their situation.

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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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In the next decade, detectives and criminal investigators can expect a growth rate of 2.5%. The BLS projects an increase in the total employment of 112,500 in 2020 to 115,300 in 2030. In general, a master's degree qualifies holders for these positions. A typical job title would be:

  • Detectives and criminal investigators
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Deputy United States Marshal
  • FBI Investigator
  • Homicide Detective
  • Narcotics Detective
  • Narcotics Investigator
  • Police Detective

Master's Degrees in Criminal Justice in Florida

#1 Master’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Florida

University of Central Florida

  • Orlando, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Orlando, the University of Central Florida hosts a top-ranked master's in criminal justice program. The program draws on a rigorous curriculum that prepares graduates for leadership responsibilities. Earning a master's degree can also help candidates pursue new career opportunities.

The master's curriculum blends theory and practice to provide an advanced understanding of criminal justice. Learners individualize the course of study by selecting electives and concentrations. The master's program builds on prior experience gained during a bachelor's program.

Online enrollees add to their resume by pursuing internship opportunities at approved locations in their area. Those who attend class on campus can enjoy the common amenities and facilities available at most institutions, such as the library and gym. Graduate students also participate in networking events to expand their professional connections.

University of Central Florida at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 45%

Total Online Master's Programs: 26

Program Name: Criminal justice (MS)

Graduate Tuition In State: $6,916

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $25,759

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,478
Out-of-state
$19,810
Retention Rate
92%
Admission Rate
45%
Students Enrolled
71,881
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Master’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Florida

Florida State University

  • Tallahassee, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master's degree in criminal justice at Florida State University, located in Tallahassee, offers high academic quality. The program helps graduates increase their salary potential and take on more professional responsibilities. After completing a master's degree, candidates pursue career advancement in their current field or a new one.

The master's curriculum emphasizes the best practices in criminal justice. Learners prepare for the job market by choosing a specialty through electives. The master's program recommends a background in criminal justice before applying.

Online enrollees work with the program to arrange professional internships at approved locations in their area. Campus students have access to the library and gymnasium, as well as other equipment and facilities available at most institutions. Graduate students expand their professional connections by attending virtual networking events.

Florida State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 32%

Total Online Master's Programs: 18

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,684

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $24,116

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,640
Out-of-state
$19,084
Retention Rate
95%
Admission Rate
32%
Students Enrolled
43,569
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Master’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Florida

University of South Florida

  • Tampa, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Tampa, the University of South Florida offers an online master's in criminal justice. The MA in criminal justice builds specialized skills for advanced practice, preparing graduates for leadership positions with increased salary potential. A master's degree also helps candidates pursue new career paths.

The master's curriculum examines theoretical and practical perspectives on criminal justice. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused career paths. Applicants who majored in criminal justice or a related field typically meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees coordinate with the program to complete internships at approved sites in their local area. On-campus students benefit from the library and gym facilities provided by many institutions. The program encourages professional development activities, including networking events, so graduate students can expand their professional connections.

University of South Florida at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 49%

Total Online Master's Programs: 29

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,350

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,048

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,559
Out-of-state
$15,473
Retention Rate
92%
Admission Rate
49%
Students Enrolled
50,626
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
90% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Master’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Florida

The University of West Florida

  • Pensacola, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Pensacola, The University of West Florida offers an online master's in criminal justice. The MS program emphasizes advanced practice skills, training graduates for leadership roles and an increased earning potential. A master's degree allows candidates to move up the career ladder or pursue a new career path.

The master's curriculum emphasizes the best practices in criminal justice. Learners focus their training by choosing electives based on their interests and career goals. Applicants without a background in criminal justice may need to complete prerequisite courses before enrolling in the master's program.

Online enrollees work with the program to find internship opportunities in their local area. Common facilities and services offered at most universities, like the library and gymnasium, are accessible to students living on campus. Graduate students also build professional connections by attending networking events.

The University of West Florida at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 58%

Total Online Master's Programs: 17

Program Name: Criminal justice, MS

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,088

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $22,166

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,735
Out-of-state
$16,004
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
13,061
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Master’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Florida

Florida Atlantic University

  • Boca Raton, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Boca Raton, Florida Atlantic University hosts a top-ranked master's in criminal justice program. The criminal justice program draws on a rigorous curriculum that prepares graduates for leadership responsibilities. A master's degree can also lead candidates to new career paths.

The master's curriculum examines theoretical and practical perspectives on criminal justice. Learners specialize the program by choosing from a variety of electives. Applicants who majored in criminal justice or a related field typically meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees participate in internship programs at approved locations in their area. Those who attend the program on campus can enjoy the common amenities and facilities available at most institutions, such as the library and gym. Graduate students also build professional connections by attending networking events.

Florida Atlantic University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 75%

Total Online Master's Programs: 8

Program Name: Master of science in criminology and criminal justice

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,467

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $16,695

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,522
Out-of-state
$14,374
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
75%
Students Enrolled
30,805
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Financing a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice

You can find financial aid to assist with the cost of attending college. The awards may be in the form of scholarships, grants, fellowships, or work-study opportunities. Some students qualify to receive federal and private student loans to pay for college. It is a good idea to do research ahead of time and find out what kinds of financial aid can be offered to students.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Florida

In Florida, tuition and other costs will vary based on which institution you attend. Private institutions and public institutions share some similarities. In order to determine whether attending a public institution is right for you, please review the information below.

Public 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Florida vs. National Average

Key

Florida
National Average

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The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
End of interactive chart.

How about attending a private college or university instead of a public one? You can expect higher costs at private schools in general. Here is a graph that provides information about attending private colleges in Florida.

Private 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Florida vs. National Average

Key

Florida
National Average

Chart

Bar chart with 5 bars.
The chart has 1 X axis displaying salary types.
The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
End of interactive chart.

Federal Student Loan Information

Have you ever considered applying for student loans to pay for your education? Prior to committing to a loan, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

The following data will assist you in determining how much students typically borrow.

Undergraduate Federal Loans
Demographic Percent who borrowed Amount borrowed
Total 66.6% $27,400
Female 69.6% $28,100
Male 62.5% $26,500
White, not Hispanic or Latino 66.1% $26,700
Black, not Hispanic or Latino 85.7% $34,800
Hispanic or Latino/a, of any race 67.7% $25,700
Asian, not Hispanic or Latino 43% $22,700
Other or Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino 70.4% $28,300
Source: NCES

Online vs. On-Campus

Pros and Cons: Online Degrees

Pros

  • Cheaper tuition
  • Flexible, asynchronous classwork
  • No on-campus fees for parking, tech, etc.

Cons

  • Less structure
  • Minimal peer-to-peer interaction
  • Less facetime with professor
  • No access to on-campus amenities

Pros and Cons: On-Campus Degrees

Pros

  • Gym, library, etc. access
  • Smaller class options
  • Face time with peers and professors

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Transportation or housing costs
  • Rigid scheduling
The main differences between an online degree and a degree completed on campus are the cost and class sizes. Online programs offer flexible, affordable, and convenient degrees. On-campus degrees are typically more expensive; this is because student fees are optional for distance students. The benefits of in-person classes are numerous though, and they may not be available elsewhere.

Top Criminal Justice Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Florida Associate, Bachelors, Doctorate
Georgia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Illinois Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
New York Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
North Carolina Associate, Bachelors, Masters
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

Public and private colleges differ in several ways. In general, private schools charge more in tuition than public schools. The government determines tuition costs for public institutions, and grants and scholarships are used to cover these costs. A private school often offers merit scholarships to students with high academic performance.

Private colleges tend to have smaller classes, allowing students to connect with professors one-on-one. There are several pros and cons to attending a private institution over a public institution.

Pros and Cons

Private

  • Unique program offerings
  • Cultural or religious options
  • Local prestige
  • Higher costs
  • Less regulatory oversight

Public

  • Government-issued tuition costs
  • Government funding, benefits, and regulation
  • Oftentimes large classrooms

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the salary for detectives and criminal investigators in Florida?

In-state detectives and criminal investigators make a mean annual salary of $81,850 per year.

In today's environment, are graduates with a criminal justice degree in demand?

The total number of detectives and criminal investigators is projected to increase by 2.5% from 2020 to 2030.

Can you earn a master's degree in criminal justice online? How?

There are many options for earning an online master's degree in criminal justice. The majority of schools in today's environment offer at least some online courses.

How long does it take to complete a master's degree?

Typically, a master's degree takes two years for a full-time student. Part-time learners take longer to complete their studies, and completion times vary.

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