Skip Navigation Back to Top

100% Online MACJ

A Curry College Master of Arts in Criminal Justice degree student smiles at graduation

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

Why Choose a Curry MACJ?

A master’s degree in criminal justice can open doors and give you a real edge in your career. There are many reasons to choose Curry’s MACJ Program. Here are just a few:

Innovative and Relevant - The MACJ program focuses on innovative policies to address new and emerging challenges within the criminal justice system. The curriculum focuses on ethical leadership while examining restorative practices, mental health, and trauma, making the Curry program unique and innovative in the field. Throughout the program, you will work with our faculty and your classmates to examine, discuss, and propose new ways to address these challenges. This will culminate in a student Capstone proposal addressing an issue of interest.

Learning with the Experts - Undergraduate students in their senior year learn side by side with other graduate students who are experienced practitioners, as well as from faculty experts. This gives the 5th year students the unique opportunity to network with current professionals and learn from a rich diversity of experiences in the classroom.

Flexible Schedule - With its new fully online model, students will have a schedule with enhanced flexibility. The online coursework model allows students to maintain strong connections with faculty and fellow students without being tied down to a rigid schedule.

Save on Tuition – Employers in the criminal justice field are looking for people with a master’s degree to take on leadership positions. For students who are passionate about Criminal Justice, the 5th Year MACJ program is the perfect opportunity to earn a master’s degree just one year after finishing their bachelor’s. And, students who enroll take both undergraduate and graduate courses in their senior year, saving one full year of graduate tuition!

Follow Us @CurrySocCJ!

How does the 5th Year MACJ Program Work?

Curry students in any major can apply to the 5th Year MACJ Program. Ideally, sophomores and juniors will work with their academic advisor to plan their academic pathway to make room in their senior year for graduate studies. These courses will be offered fully online, allowing students to access classes to fit with other life commitments. Students can work in the field during their final year of the 5th Year MACJ Program.

Curry MACJ students take ten 8-week courses, 5th year students take four of these during their senior year. Courses are a blend of theory and practice, allowing students to refine and advance reflective thinking capabilities and become more adept at problem-solving, mentoring, and leadership. Graduates also develop applied skills and gain in-depth understanding in the four program cornerstones: Public Administration, Ethical Leadership, Problem-Solving, and Innovation.

Where can a Curry MACJ Take You?

Our alumni work in a variety of criminal justice agencies: local, state, and federal law enforcement, parole and probation, corrections, courts, and many other areas. Many of our alumni go on to leadership roles at both public and private agencies.

Current students with questions regarding the 5th Year MACJ Program should contact Professor Adam Stearn, MACJ Director at

Program Requirements and Information

Undergraduate students must complete the following course by the spring of their junior year at the College to qualify for the program:

  • CJ/SOC 2600: Methods in Social Research

Senior Year - Fall Semester
MCJ 6005: Innovative Leadership in the 21st Century
MCJ 6010: Innovative Justice Administration

Senior Year - Spring Semester
MCJ 6020: Criminology: Theory and Application
MCJ 6350: Trauma-Informed Work in the Justice System

Summer Post Graduation
MCJ 6___: Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System
MCJ 6___: Restorative Justice Principles and Practice

Fall 5th Year
MCJ 6015: Methods of Inquiry in Criminal Justice
MCJ 6025: Criminal Justice Data Analysis

Spring 5th Year
MCJ 6080: Research Writing Intensive: Ethical Leadership
MCJ 7000: Capstone

Eligibility for Prospective Curry Students

Students who are interested in the 5th Year MACJ program will formally apply for the program during their junior year of study. Prior to submitting a formal application to the program, advisors will meet with students to assist them in selecting appropriate courses to fulfill prerequisites and to prepare for their timely entry into the 5th Year MACJ program. Students will also be invited to attend on-campus events including guest speakers and MACJ capstone presentations.

Prospective students with questions regarding the program may contact the Admissions Office.

Eligibility and Application Process for Curry Students in their Junior Year

Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (or better) in order to begin taking MACJ courses in the fall semester of their senior. Students earn the bachelor's degree at the end of their senior year and complete their MACJ the following spring semester.

Students must submit the following:

  • 5th Year MACJ Application and supporting materials – writing sample and personal essay: (For the writing sample, please describe an ethical dilemma you have faced and how you handled it.)
  • One Recommendation from a Curry College faculty member
  • Interview with the MACJ Director during the first semester Junior Year

Apply Today

The priority application deadline for the 5th Year MACJ program is March 15 of a student's junior year of study.  Current students with questions regarding the   Year MACJ program can contact Professor Adam Stearn, MACJ Director, at

Save on Tuition

Students participating in the 5th Year MACJ program benefit from taking graduate level courses while they are undergraduate students and save $8,900 in tuition costs* by participating in this accelerated MACJ program rather than taking the standard MACJ after graduating with a bachelor's degree.

After a student graduates at the end of the spring semester, they qualify for a 20% alumni tuition discount off the MACJ tuition rate saving them an additional $2,820 in tuition*.  

The total savings through the 5th Year Program is $11,720, nearly a 50% tuition savings for the graduate degree.

During the fall and spring semester of their senior year, students will take 6 credits of MCJ courses during each semester at no additional charge to their undergraduate tuition cost. These credits are built into the degree map to be 6 of the students 18 credits (full-time tuition is between 12 and 18 credits).

If a student enrolls in more than 18 credits, the College's standard per-credit billing rates policies would apply for each credit beyond 18 at the undergraduate per-credit tuition rate.

Financial aid is awarded to students based on their undergraduate enrollment status only.

For the summer following senior year, and subsequent semesters, students may be eligible for graduate student loans.

*Savings based on the 2021-2022 tuition per credit rate for the MACJ program.