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Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ)


Play the Jennifer Webster on the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Program VideoWhy a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice?


The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ) program at McKendree University is designed to provide students with a scholar-practitioner model that will help them in the practice of criminal justice in their present or future careers. In addition, this program will provide the necessary tools for any student who wishes to continue his or her education at the doctoral level. The Master’s program in Criminal Justice at McKendree covers a wide variety of topics. There are four required courses for this program, leaving students the opportunity to choose which area they would like to focus on or allowing them to gain a variety of experience in several areas. By the end of the program, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the nature of:

  • Crime

  • Patterns of criminal activity

  • Decision making in the criminal justice process

  • Research methods

  • Ethical decision-making

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McKendree University Entrway MonumentWhy McKendree University?

The MACJ program at McKendree University combines academic excellence with the high level of flexibility necessary for working adults to pursue an advanced degree. Our low faculty to student ratio, combined with a variety of student services, ensures that students receive the personal attention and support they need to succeed.




Curriculum Requirements


This 36 hour program requires five core classes and eight elective courses.

Core Courses






View a full list of core and elective courses with course descriptions.





This program is offered in a campus-based blended format or a fully-online format.  The campus-based blended classes meet one evening a week for 8 weeks, with face-to-face instruction supplemented by online learning.  Online classes are also eight weeks long.  The program can be completed in 18 months full time or in two years part time.





2019-20 Academic Year

Tuition for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program is $510 per credit hour.
All online courses have a $70 per credit hour fee. Financial aid is available.




Graduation Cap

Admission Requirements

McKendree University admits students who present evidence of their potential to complete graduate level work. Applicants are considered on an individual basis without regard to sex, race, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, or religion. The following documentation is required for consideration of admission to McKendree University graduate programs:


1. A completed graduate admission application (no fee).

2. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

3. Official transcripts from each college or university attended. Official transcripts are those sent from institution to institution.

4. A minimum 3.0 GPA on a four-point scale in undergraduate studies.

5. A current vita or resume.

6. Three professional references.

7. An essay describing the personal and professional goals that will be met by completion of the degree.





Career Opportunities


Graduates of Master of Arts in Criminal Justice find employment in:

  • Law enforcement

  • Correctional supervision

  • Intelligence analysis

  • Private security

  • Criminal justice administration

  • University instruction

  • Program/policy evaluation

  • Lobbying

  • Victim advocacy

  • Crime prevention specialist

  • Private consulting




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Interesting Courses

Since there are only four required courses in the program, students are given the opportunity to take a wide variety of elective courses, such as:

CRJ 612 - Terrorism, Security, and the Modern World - This course is designed to help students gain a better understanding terrorism at an international and domestic level. Students will learn what terrorism is and how to respond to it. This course also teaches students the interactions and intersections of the law and individual rights.

CRJ 621 - Issues in Policing - Students will learn about current topics in criminal justice. This course will cover pressing topics such as police corruption, police use of deadly force, how the media impacts criminal justice, and others.

CRJ 623 - Class, Race, and Gender in Criminal Justice - Research indicates that the justice system is not always as equal as we would like to believe. During this course, students will learn about three areas that structure different experiences within the criminal justice system. Students will explore class, race, and gender; looking at these groups as both victims and culprits.




Internship Opportunities

MACJ students have the option of completing field experiences and/or independent studies to earn hours in their area of interest.




Meet the Faculty


Photo of Jennifer WebsterDr. Jennifer Webster

Director of Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati

M.S. in Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati

B.A. in Criminal Justice, East Tennessee State University

Webster has published six book chapters and journal articles, made several conference presentations, and received five grants. One of Webster’s articles received the “Most Outstanding Article of the Year” award for 2013 by Emerald Publishing.


Photo of Stephen HaganDr. Stephen Hagan

Ph.D. in Sociology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

M.A. in Sociology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

B.A. in Sociology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Hagan is an active member of the Midwest Sociological Association, American Society of Criminology, and the ASC Division on Critical Criminology. He is a reviewer for Critical Criminology, Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, and Sociological Imagination.


Photo of Neil QuisenberryDr. Neil Quisenberry

Ph.D. in Criminology, University of Kentucky

M.A. in Sociology, University of South Florida

B.A. in Sociology Western Kentucky University

Quisenberry has published articles in journals such as Deviant Behavior, Sociological Quarterly, and Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. His most recent article focused on texting while driving and was published in The American Journal of Criminal Justice.


Photo of Dennis MiddendorffJudge Dennis Middendorff

J.D, DePaul University Law School

B.A. in History and Political Science, Loyola University of Chicago

After four years as an Assistant State's Attorney, Middendorff was elected State's Attorney of Clinton County, Illinois and served in that capacity for seven years.  Middendorff was then elected as an Associate Judge, and then Circuit judge.  During his tenure on the bench he was assigned by the Illinois Supreme Court to hear special assignments in fifteen counties, appointed to the Illinois Appellate Defender's Commission, and was selected to preside over death penalty cases.


Photo of Dave RothChief David Roth

Graduate of Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy

M.A. in Human Resources, Webster University

Graduate of Southern Police Institute, University of Louisville Command College

B.A. in Law Enforcement Management, Sterling College

A.A.S., Administration of Justice, Southwestern Illinois College

Roth is an accomplished law enforcement administrator offering extensive experience and a strong record of performance.  Roth is currently the Chief of Police in Lebanon, has served with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force and was Commander of the Major Case Squad in St. Louis, Mo.


Photo of Luke LackInvestigator Luke Lack

Doctor of Public Administration, University of Illinois Springfield (in progress)

Master of Public Administration, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

B.S. in Business Administration, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Lack currently works as an Investigator (sworn police officer) for the Illinois Secretary of State Police, Region 3 District 6 - Capitol. He is certified as a Bicycle patrol officer, and has taken several courses in cyber-crime at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. Lack is also a Certified Fraud Examiner with the ACFE and currently a doctoral student at the University of Illinois Springfield.




Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Student Services

Photo of Patty AubelPatty Aubel

Graduate Admission Counselor
(618) 537-6943
(800) BEARCAT, ext. 6943





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