Master's Degrees in Criminal Justice in Georgia

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Updated January 19, 2023

Looking for a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice in Georgia? 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 Georgia

Earning a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice in Georgia

There is no doubt that the best degrees in Georgia for criminal justice can provide you with a broad base of knowledge and insight into the real world. A master’s degree is a great way to prepare for the workforce and pursue diverse careers. Master's degrees can lead to advanced roles.

Master's degree-holders typically earn about $1,574 per week. This translates to about $6,296 a month and $81,848 annually. With a master's degree, unemployment is 2.6%, while with a high school diploma it is 6.2%.

Criminal Justice Master's Programs for You

Working and Living in Georgia in the Criminal Justice Profession

A criminal justice program can cover many different topics depending on the school you attend and the specific program you choose. However, there are some common courses that are likely to be included. These can include topics like criminal law, criminology, victimology, corrections, and juvenile justice. With a criminal justice degree, there are several different job options available. Some graduates choose to go into law enforcement, working as police officers, detectives, or federal agents. Others may go into the court system, working as prosecutors or public defenders. Still others may work in the corrections system as probation officers or prison guards. There are many different options available, so it really depends on what interests you.

The annual wage in Georgia is $38,340, or $18.43 per hour. This statistic affects every 4,378,430 employees in Georgia. The BLS reports that the lowest 10% of earners bring in $21,390 annually, while the highest 10% earn $99,700. The following shows the earnings for detectives and criminal investigators in Georgia.

Key

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

Salaries for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Georgia and Nationwide

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Among 51 states (including Washington, D.C.), Georgia ranks number five on the cost of living index, according to MERIC. An index measuring the cost of living in specific places within the United States is known as the cost of living index. According to the U.S. average, all locations are either above (more expensive) or below (less expensive) that average. Georgia's cost of living is 87.8, which is -12.2% lower than the national average. You can compare the cost of groceries, housing, utilities, and more in Georgia with that of the United States in the table below.

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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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Jobs for detectives and criminal investigators are projected to grow by 2.5% over the next decade. The BLS projects the occupation's total employment to change from 112,500 in 2020 to 115,300 in 2030. A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for entry-level positions in this field. There are many common job titles, including:

  • 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 Georgia

#1 Master’s Degrees in Criminal Justice in Georgia

Kennesaw State University

  • Kennesaw, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master of science in criminal justice degree at Kennesaw State University, located in Kennesaw, offers high academic quality. The master's program draws on a rigorous curriculum that prepares graduates for leadership responsibilities. A master's degree allows candidates to move up the career ladder or pursue a new career path.

The master's curriculum incorporates theoretical and applied approaches, and learners take electives and other specialized courses to gain career-specific training. The program recommends that applicants bring a background in criminal justice or a related field.

Online enrollees complete internship programs in their local area to gain hands-on experience. Many institutions also provide libraries and fitness centers for students living on campus. In addition, graduate students can participate in networking events to expand their professional connections.

Kennesaw State University at a Glance:

Type of school: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 83%

Total Online Master's Programs: 24

Program name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,328

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,188

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,450
Out-of-state
$15,704
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
41,181
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
94% 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 Georgia

Georgia State University

  • Atlanta, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Graduate students seeking an online degree can enroll in a master's program at Georgia State University, located in Atlanta. The criminal justice (master of science) program uses a rigorous curriculum to prepare graduates for advanced roles in the field. Earning a master's degree can also help candidates pursue new career opportunities.

The master's in criminal justice (MS) curriculum emphasizes both practical and theoretical approaches to criminal justice. Learners prepare for the job market by choosing a specialty through electives. The master's program builds on prior experience gained during a bachelor's program.

Online enrollees may complete any in-person requirements, such as internships, at approved sites in their local area. Campus students have access to the library and gymnasium, as well as other equipment and facilities available at most institutions. The program also hosts networking events and other professional development activities to help graduate students expand their professional connections.

Georgia State University at a Glance:

Type of school: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 82%

Total Online Master's Programs: Data not available

Program name: Criminal Justice, MS

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,164

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $22,662

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,158
Out-of-state
$22,389
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
36,360
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
92% 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 Georgia

University of North Georgia

  • Dahlonega, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master of science (MS) in criminal justice program at the University of North Georgia, located in Dahlonega, offers a flexible online format. The program encourages career training throughout its curriculum, preparing graduates for leadership positions. After completing a master's degree, candidates advance in their current field or pursue new opportunities.

The master's curriculum explores theoretical and practical perspectives in the field of criminal justice. Learners focus the program by choosing electives or a concentration. Applicants without a background in criminal justice may need to complete prerequisite courses before enrolling in the master's program.

Online enrollees complete internship programs in their local area to gain hands-on experience. Students who attend on campus can access the library and gym, as well as other amenities and facilities available at most institutions. Graduate students also participate in networking events to expand their professional connections.

University of North Georgia at a Glance:

Type of school: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 81%

Total Online Master's Programs: 9

Program name: Criminal Justice (MS)

Graduate Tuition In State: $4,140

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $16,488

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,969
Out-of-state
$14,123
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
19,793
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
71% 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 Georgia

Georgia Southern University

  • Statesboro, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Based in Statesboro, Georgia Southern University hosts a top-rated online master of science in criminal justice and criminology program. The program emphasizes advanced practice skills, training graduates for leadership roles with increased earning potential. A master's degree can also train candidates for roles in new industries.

The master's curriculum covers theoretical and practical approaches to criminal justice, and learners specialize in their course of study to prepare for the job market. The master's program recommends a background in criminal justice before applying to the program.

Online enrollees can meet any in-person requirements, such as internships, at approved sites in their local area. Those who attend on campus can enjoy the common amenities and facilities available at most institutions, such as the library or gym. Graduate students also build professional connections by attending networking events.

Georgia Southern University at a Glance:

Type of school: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 91%

Total Online Master's Programs: 18

Program name: Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology

Graduate Tuition In State: $4,986

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,890

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,371
Out-of-state
$15,425
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
26,949
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
78% 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 Georgia

Mercer University

  • Macon, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master's degree in criminal justice and public safety leadership at Mercer University, located in Macon, offers high academic quality. The program encourages career training throughout its curriculum, preparing graduates for leadership positions. With a master's degree, candidates also pursue new career opportunities.

The master's curriculum covers methodological and research perspectives, and learners can individualize the program to prepare for focused careers. 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. Students living on campus can also access common facilities and services offered at most universities, like the library or gymnasium. Graduate students grow their professional connections through internships and virtual networking events.

Mercer University at a Glance:

Type of school: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 78%

Total Online Master's Programs: 4

Program name: Master's in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership

Graduate Tuition In State: $14,964

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,964

Average Tuition
In-state
$28,695
Out-of-state
$28,695
Retention Rate
87%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
9,006
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
48% 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

In order to help pay for college, there are many opportunities for financial aid. Scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs help degree-seekers cover costs. There are some students who qualify to receive federal and private student loans to pay for college. There are several colleges that offer scholarships and financial aid to their students.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Georgia

The cost of attending Georgia colleges varies by school. The public and private sectors do, however, share some similarities. You can find out whether attending a public institution is right for you by reviewing the information below.

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

Key

Georgia
National Average

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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
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Could you consider attending a private college or university? As a general rule, private schools charge higher tuition fees. You can learn more about private colleges by reviewing the following graph:

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

Key

Georgia
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

In order to fund your education, have you ever considered borrowing student loans? You should take a few things into consideration before taking out a loan.

Find out what students typically borrow by reviewing the following data:

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
Online and on-campus programs differ mainly in cost and class size. The advantages of online programs are numerous, but they include flexibility, affordability, and convenience. On-campus programs usually cost more because of student fees, which are optional for distance students. Attending classes has its benefits.

Top Criminal Justice Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Florida Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Georgia Associate, Bachelors, 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

There are various differences between public and private colleges. A private institution is generally more expensive. A public school will often use grants and scholarships to lower the cost of education. There is a tendency for private colleges to provide merit scholarships based on their prior academic performance.

It is often the case that private universities feature smaller class sizes. This is beneficial for students who want more individual attention from professors. Listed below are some pros and cons of attending a private college as opposed to one that is public.

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 Georgia?

In-state detectives and criminal investigators make a mean annual wage of $73,720.

Are criminal justice graduates in high demand or not?

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

Can you study for a master's degree in criminal justice online?

It is possible to earn an online master's degree in criminal justice. At least some online offerings are available at most schools in today's environment.

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

Students who wish to complete a master's degree within two years are typically eligible to do so. Part-time students will take longer, and completion times will vary.

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