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Students in class collaborate on a project while pursuing a Curry College Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Degree

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education logoQuinn Bill Certified: Curry College Criminal Justice programs are Police Career Incentive Pay Program (PCIPP) certified by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. The PCIPP Program, also known as the Quinn Bill, was enacted by the Massachusetts Legislature to encourage police officers to earn degrees in law enforcement and criminal justice. It provides educational incentives for regular full-time officers in participating cities and towns through salary increases.

Read More about PCIPP

Go Beyond Street Smarts

Whether you are a law enforcement professional, or work in private security, corrections, juvenile justice or other community service work, you have had to learn to face the challenge of social problems on a daily basis. While the protocols of professional practice prepare you for many standard situations, and "street smarts" help you cope with the daily challenges of the job, the complexities of the work go beyond that training and those basic survival skills.

Curry College's 21-month Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Program begins with theory and integrates that with the knowledge of experience from the "street" to take your applied skills to a new level of excellence. By mixing theory with practice, you'll refine and advance your reflective thinking capabilities and become more adept at problem solving, mentoring, and management. A focus on reflective practice is the Curry College difference.

MACJ Program Information

The MACJ Director will present a comprehensive overview of the program and answer any questions you may have to get started this Fall:

Wednesday, July 15 at 5:00 p.m. - RSVP Today

The part time, 21 month, 31-credit Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program consists of ten courses. The curriculum sequence begins by developing a foundation of knowledge in the four program cornerstones: public administration, ethical leadership, problem solving, and innovation.

Students complete the entire program over ten, eight-week terms beginning with a course in Leadership in The 21st Century, followed by Criminology: Theory and Application, Methods of Inquiry in Criminal Justice, and Criminal Justice Data Analysis. These four MACJ courses provide the intellectual and practical foundation necessary to complete the subsequent coursework.

The Capstone

The MACJ program coursework culminates in a Capstone, a collaborative community based project requiring students to address a contemporary criminal justice issue through the application of an innovative, problem-solving approach.

Course number and Title


MCJ 6005: Leadership in the 21st Century


MCJ 6010: Social Policy and the Administration of Justice


MCJ 6015: Methods of Inquiry in Criminal Justice


MCJ 6020: Criminology: Theory and Application


MCJ 6025: Criminal Justice Data Analysis


MCJ 6036: Organizational Management: Change and Resource Allocation


MCJ 6040: Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice I


MCJ 6045: Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice II


MCJ 6080: Elective: Special Topics, Research Writing Intensive


MCJ 7000: Innovation in the Administration of Justice


Internship Option:

MCJ 6090: MCJ Graduate Internship


Thesis Option:

MCJ 7500: Master's Thesis I: Thesis Foundation and Prospectus


MCJ 7600: Master's Thesis II: Thesis and Defense


Optional Curriculum

Internship Option:  For students seeking career entry into a criminal justice agency, MCJ6090: MCJ Graduate Internship (3 credits) is available as an elective course in place of MCJ 6040: Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice or MCJ 6045: Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice: Analysis and Application, with the approval of the MACJ Director.

Thesis Option:  Students interested in pursuing an advanced graduate degree (Ph.D. or C.A.G.S.) beyond graduation will have the option of completing two independent courses over two traditional semesters. The student will develops an in-depth concept paper for review and approval by the MACJ Director and a professor with expertise in the selected topic. The thesis option is contingent on high academic performance in the program, the viability of the thesis proposal, and the ability to complete the thesis over two sequential semesters. Students work closely with a professor who serves as a mentor throughout the duration of the thesis. Thesis students complete all courses except MCJ 6045: Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice: Analysis and Application and MCJ 7000: Innovation in the Administration of Justice, which are replaced by MCJ 7500: Master's Thesis I: Thesis Foundation and Prospectus (3 credits) and MCJ 7600: Master's Thesis II: Thesis and Defense (4 credits).

What is Cohort Study?

As a student in the Curry College MACJ Program, you will be part of a cohort group. This means that the same students will be in all of your classes for the entire program, start to finish. Cohort group learning has proven to be very effective for adult learners because it creates a community of professionals who can study together, provide support, discuss common on-the-job problems, and offer networking opportunities.

Fall 2020 Schedule

New cohorts will begin at our Milton and Plymouth campuses in Fall 2020.

Course Descriptions

A PDF file of the course descriptions can be downloaded below:

Graduates of the Curry College Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program develop applied skills and gain an in-depth understanding in the four program cornerstones: Public Administration, Ethical Leadership, Problem-solving, and Innovation:

Public Administration

Students will define and integrate theoretical and practical issues related to organizational development and behavior, and build management skills in the areas of communication, collaboration supervision, planning, and evaluation.

Ethical Leadership

Students will develop the skills needed to be an ethical leader in a criminal justice organization, including personal assessment, reflective practice and critical thinking, conflict resolution, and understanding the community dynamics that are affected by the solutions implemented by the criminal justice system. Ethical leadership is aimed towards what works for the common good-framing justice with a social lens.

Problem solving

Students will develop the ability to address problems facing criminal justice organizations though the integration of criminological and social theory with research and evidence-based analysis to assess how data and other types of information can be translated into effective and ethical policies and programs.


Students will develop the ability to think critically and creatively using evidence-based analysis to address problems through novel and ethical solutions that can be evaluated through different frames of reference. In today's dynamic world of criminal justice, technology plays an increasingly important role in developing, implementing, and evaluating innovative solutions.

Curry College Master of Arts in Criminal Justice students pose for a picture as cohort collaborators

MACJ Students Tackle Race Relations and Crime Prevention

Graduate students in the Curry College Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ) program spent the better part of a year researching two particular issues confronting law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Read more about this MACJ Capstone Project

Take the next step

We're excited you're considering our flexible, convenient, and real-world focused Curry College Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Degree program and we look forward to helping you reach your career goals.