The statistics on criminal rehabilitation are unfortunately gloomy. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 77 percent of past criminals repeat their offense within three to five years. It’s hard to know what a good solution would look like.
That’s where you come in!
By earning an online Master’s in Corrections, you’ll be on the front lines of huge change in the criminal justice system.
What kind of Online Master’s in Corrections should you get?
Let’s clarify something right off the bat. You’re earning a degree that will make you a Correctional Treatment Specialist, not necessarily a Corrections Officer. You only need a high school diploma to become a Corrections Officer. A graduate degree in this field qualifies you for a higher-ranked position.
Because of this, most of these degrees give you a Master’s in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Corrections. This truly gives you the best of both worlds! You’ll learn the basics of the field while also specializing in your area of expertise.
The biggest distinction of these programs is that they are all delivered online. You’ll be able to keep your full-time or part-time job as you complete the program. If you’re looking for other related graduate programs, take a look at our ranking of the Best Online Graduate Colleges.
How much money do people make with an Online Master’s in Corrections?
Since you’re earning a graduate degree in this field, your salary will reflect your advanced degree. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Correctional Treatment Specialists make on average $51,410 per year. Depending on where you work and your ranking in the system, that figure could go up significantly.
You’ll be happy to know that jobs in this area continue to be in demand. In fact, employment rates are projected to increase by 6 percent by 2026. One other perk to keep in mind is that if you end up working at a federal prison, you’ll be able to enjoy the long-term benefits and coverage that come from working for the government.
What can you do with an Online Master’s in Corrections?
Your job requirements will vary depending on your situation. But at its core, your job is to be an advocate for the future success of inmates. This means you’ll meet one-on-one with inmates and create a course of rehabilitation. You might provide them with job training resources or educational opportunities. Part of your job will be drug-testing offenders and deciding if substance abuse counseling is needed in their case.
The majority of Corrections Specialists work at the local or state level. Working in this field is no joke. The hours are demanding, and the work can sometimes be stressful. But at the end of the day, you are playing a vital role in helping people get back on their feet as productive citizens.
What are the requirements for an Online Master’s in Corrections?
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, then you are well on your way to meeting the requirements for this program. A background in criminal justice, social work, or behavioral sciences can boost your chances of getting into a top program. Based on the nature of the work, you’ll likely have to pass a drug test and a background test.
Each program on this list follows a similar curriculum. In total, you’ll complete 30-40 credit-hours. Most program will last anywhere from 12 to 24 months. This will depend on whether you’re attending as a full- or part-time student.
What are the best Online Master’s in Corrections?
Here at College Choice, the data team has developed a fool-proof methodology that prioritizes the following: the net cost of each program, graduation rates, retention rates, and the early salaries of graduates.
The final list offers you the 5 Best Online Master’s in Corrections. Our facts and figures come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.
See our rankings methodology page.
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $31,539
If you’re looking for the best program for a job in corrections, look no further than Boston University. A touchstone of higher education in the state, BU is a premier research university. You’ll find not only a top-notch criminal justice program, but also a community of learners. BU houses the Nu Mu chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society.
The curriculum of this online Master’s in Criminal Justice has kept up with the changing realities of the field. This 40 credit-hour program will expose you to all sides of the profession, whether that’s technological, legal or sociological. Most students finish the degree in under two years. The concentration in Strategic Management (or Corrections) consists of:
- COO-Public Emergency Management
- Quantitative and Qualitative Decision-Making
- Criminal Justice Policy and Planning
- Criminal Justice Administration
The online Master’s in Criminal Justice has the distinction of being Boston University’s first online program. Launched in 2002, the program has over 15 years of history under its belt. No surprise, then, why it is ranked #2 among the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs by U.S. News & World Report.
College Choice Score: 95.93
Average Net Price: $29,998
Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university in Boston. It is a national leader in co-operative education. This means students can earn valuable work experience between school terms. The College of Criminal Justice was founded in 1967.
This online Master’s in Criminal Justice gives you the opportunity to concentrate 18 credit-hours in Corrections. That is just one of the six concentrations you can select. Northeastern University offers an interdisciplinary curriculum to prepare you for the many demands of the job. After completing your foundational classes, the Corrections track covers:
- Administration of the Adult and Juvenile Correction Systems
- Community Corrections
- Probation and Parole
- Correctional Rehabilitation
One stand-out feature of this program is the wide-ranging list of electives that all students can enjoy, regardless of their concentration. These electives allow you to master a fuller range of abilities within the field. Some electives include Domestic and International Terrorism, Intimate Partner Violence, Human Trafficking and Exploitation, and more.
College Choice Score: 94.60
Average Net Price: $27,757
A private university with roots in the Catholic Church, Xavier University maintains a small but vibrant student body. Around 6,600 students attend in total, 2,100 of which are graduate students. This Cincinnati-based school boasts a 98 percent success rate for graduates finding work after their degree program.
Delivered 100 percent online, Xavier offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. A total of 10 classes (or 30 credit-hours) are required. Each class is designed in 8-week increments to give you ultimate flexibility. Some of the highlight courses related to Corrections include:
- Correctional Counseling
- Sociology of Crime & Delinquency
- Law & Justice
- Perspectives in Law Enforcement
One perk of Xavier’s program is that of the faculty members are experts in the field of criminal justice. That means they have degrees from some of the top law schools in the nation. Some are even consultants to federal agencies. Current faculty at Xavier are conducting research on issues of comparative policing, women and crime, homeland security, and more.
University of Cincinnati
College Choice Score: 91.04
Average Net Price: $19,978
The city’s oldest academic institution, the University of Cincinnati was founded in 1819. Students choose from over 350 degree programs, at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. The school maintains the Institute of Crime Science and the Center for Criminal Justice Research, making it a stand-out for criminal justice students.
The online Master’s in Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati is divided into six 15-week sections. Your classes will cover everything from law enforcement to juvenile justice. You’ll also have the chance to specialize in the Corrections & Offender Rehabilitation track. This track accounts for three of your 11 total courses:
- Correctional Theory and Policy
- Seminar in Correctional Rehabilitation
- Seminar in Community Corrections
The University of Cincinnati is doing a lot of things right when it comes to criminal justice. Over the last 14 years, it has graduated over 2,000 online students. The faculty members are leaders in the field. In fact, they were named the #1 Most Published Faculty according to the Journal of Criminal Justice.
Florida State University
College Choice Score: 88.76
Average Net Price: $16,506
Florida State University is a large research institution based in Tallahassee, FL. It carries both a space-grant and sea-grant designation. The College of Criminology and Criminal Justice was established in 1974. Close to 2,000 students are pursuing degrees within this academic college.
Without putting a foot on campus, you’ll be able to complete the MS in Criminal Justice Studies at FSU. You’ll take a total of 36 credit-hours. Most students complete this program in two years, though you are free to take classes at your own pace. This program prepares you for a leadership role in corrections with classes like:
- Survey of Criminological Theories
- Race, Ethnicity, Crime, and Social Justice
- Prevention & Treatment of Crime & Delinquency
The online Criminal Justice program at FSU has been lauded by countless graduates over the years. Graduates have gone on to become police chiefs, top corrections officers, and more. It has received national praise too. In fact, U.S. News & World Report listed it as the #7 Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Degree Program.