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The study of criminal justice within the business management discipline is a relatively new academic development. The best Criminal Justice MBA programs online and through traditional universities offer students an extensive business management background while preparing them to apply management principles in a criminal justice setting. Students will cover areas relevant to effective business administration, such as management theory, economics and organizational communication. They will complement this course work by studying areas such as the justice process and institutional organization.

What Does a Criminal Justice MBA Cover?

The majority of the course work required for an online MBA in criminal justice will cover business administration. Students will take concentration courses to gain insight into how business management theory can be applied to the highest ranking positions in the field of criminal justice.

Most of the business courses will be in the areas of organizational management and leadership. For example, students may take such courses as Organizational Communication and Interpersonal Development; Managerial Economics; Organizational Marketing; Accounting Issues; Issues in Financial Management; Global Issues; and Political, Social and Ethical Issues in Business. Students will hone their management skills by examining managerial concepts and examples of the effects of various leadership approaches. They will explore the financial aspects of business administration including budgeting and accounting records. They will study management in a modern and global society and seek to understand the legal and ethical issues confronted by those in leadership positions.

Students working toward a Criminal Justice MBA degree online will supplement their business management education with criminal justice specialization courses, such as Criminal Justice Processes and Institutions, Statistics and Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice Public Policy.  They will study how jails and other institutions function and will explore the inner workings of criminal investigation, trials and convictions. They will learn how lawmakers and public opinion affect the criminal justice process.

Students will most likely complete some form of independent or group project as part of this degree plan. Many online Criminal Justice MBA schools require a leadership project in which students apply management concepts in a real situation.

Getting Into a Criminal Justice MBA Program

To apply for an online Criminal Justice MBA program, students must submit proof of completion of an accredited bachelor’s degree. Most programs require a minimum GPA of 2.5, but some may request at least a 3.0. At least two letters of recommendation will most likely be required. Applicants should select former colleagues or professors who can attest to their ability to perform at the graduate level, and at least one letter should come from an immediate supervisor. Applicants must also submit a personal goal statement outlining their reasons for pursuing an MBA in criminal justice. The personal statement should reflect the applicant’s best writing skills and should demonstrate past experience and future goals. Students will also need to send their GMAT scores in to prospective schools to be considered. Students who score within the upper percentile on the GMAT will have the best chance of acceptance and scholarship opportunities.

Who Should Pursue an Online Criminal Justice MBA?

An online MBA in criminal justice is an excellent degree option for those who are already employed in the field of criminal justice and would like to reach new levels of management and leadership within their current organization. Professionals in fields such as law enforcement administration, correctional administration, forensic science and security management would benefit greatly from an online Criminal Justice MBA program.

Why Should I Get an AACSB Accredited Criminal Justice MBA?

Students will benefit if they choose an online Criminal Justice MBA program that has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The AACSB is a member organization that is dedicated to the promotion of quality business education on a global scale. It employs one of the most rigorous accreditation processes for business schools in the world.

What Jobs Can an Online Criminal Justice MBA Get Me?

  • First Line Supervisor of Police and Detectives: First line supervisors work within law enforcement agencies to manage police officers, detectives and other staffers. The first line supervisor acts as the administrator for police projects and investigations and makes sure that the agency is functioning well on a day-to-day basis. First line supervisors manage and coordinate investigations, maintain department logs and reports, train subordinates, monitor job performance, inform officers of changes and regulations, and authorize officers and detectives for promotions or transfers. First line supervisors help resolve personnel issues and facilitate communication. Candidates must have strong organizational and communication skills.
  • Prison Warden: Prison wardens manage correctional institutions. Wardens have the responsibility of making sure that everyone at the institution, including prisoners and staffers, stay safe, and the job can be stressful and dangerous if things get out of control. Wardens are involved in administration of funds, policy planning, staff leadership and building maintenance. They are responsible for hiring and firing employees and represent the final decision when it comes to prisoner handling and placement. Wardens also develop and oversee education and work programs for prisoners. Prison wardens act as the public representative for the correctional institution, speaking with media when necessary.
  • Court Administrator: Court administrators manage the daily operations of a courthouse and coordinate proceedings of attorneys and the public. Court administrators also oversee the budget and accounting functions of the courthouse and make sure it is operating within legal regulations. They manage administration procedures such as pretrial and jury services and assignments of attorneys. Court administrators must have at least a bachelor’s degree, but would be well equipped for promotions and pay raises with a degree at the master’s level. Budgets and revenues are a significant part of this position, so business management education is a great fit.

Top Earning Industries for Jobs

The following are examples of Criminal Justice MBA jobs and the average corresponding salary, according to Payscale.com:
  • Local Government: $52,933-$118,417
  • Education, College/University: $46,799-$71,241

Prison Warden:

  • Prison/Secure Correctional Facility: $52,359-$106,000

Court Administrator:

  • Local Government: $37,788-$83,191

How Do I Find Online Criminal Justice MBA Programs?

A great way to start a search is to check out the AACSB website. There you will find a search function and an extensive database of AACSB-accredited schools. Many schools offer MBA degree programs online. In fact, Bestbizschools.com, powered by AACSB International, offers a list of all online MBA programs that have been accredited by the organization. Once you have found a few online Criminal Justice MBA programs, it is helpful to compare their curriculum requirements to those at traditional, brick-and-mortar schools.

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