Program Description

The MS in Criminal Justice is a 48-unit program which emphasizes behavioral health interventions to address the prevention, early intervention, treatment and rehabilitation needs of persons at risk for or who have already been incarcerated. Students pursuing this degree work learn to work with social services, law enforcement, courts, public defenders, probation and parole to support at risk, incarcerated and recently released inmates. Students learn the importance of an integrated approach to behavioral health that supports restorative justice and community reintegration.

Students exploring this degree are encouraged to consider a dual degree with the School of Behavioral Health's MSW program to maximize their career options.

Program Website  |  Catalog

Program Length

2 Years

Possible Careers

Forensic mental health therapist (combined with a licensable mental health degree), Family reunification advocate, Juvenile justice/criminal court social worker (combined with a BSW/MSW), Victim/witness advocate, Correctional Counselor, Juvenile or Criminal Rehabilitation Specialist, Administrator/program director.

Application Deadlines

Quarter Application Open Priority Deadline Final Deadline
Autumn of 2023 Aug 15, 2022 Nov 15, 2022 Jun 30, 2023

Admissions Requirements

  1. A four-year baccalaureate degree (or its equivalent) from an accredited college or university.
  2. Applicants must submit a completed application, including a personal statement; application fee; all college and/or university transcripts; and at least three letters of recommendation—preferably one of which is from an academic source and one from a work supervisor.
  3. Applicants must meet the minimum academic and professional compatibility criteria established by the program. These criteria include:
    • A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale). Applicants with lower grade point averages will be considered if the last 45-quarter credits (30 semester units) of non-field practica coursework shows significant improvement or if they have additional attributes that demonstrate preparedness and an appropriate fit for graduate education in the area of Criminal Justice. Work and volunteer experiences must be verified by employer/supervisor statements on official agency stationery. Further consideration will also be given to individuals who provide evidence of additional graduate coursework, certifications, and/or training that illustrate preliminary preparation for a career in Criminal Justice. Students who are admitted to the Criminal Justice Program with a cumulative G.P.A. below 3.0 may be required to participate in individualized academic assessment and a targeted learning assistance program.
    • Demonstration, through the application and interview processes, of compatibility with professional standards set by the program including the ability to develop and nurture interpersonal relationships, communication skills, self-awareness, professional comportment, critical thinking skills, fit with the mission and values of Loma Linda University and the Department of Social Work and Social Ecology, and the capacity to successfully complete the Master of Science in Criminal Justice curriculum.


The MS in Criminal Justice degree curriculum is built on a liberal arts perspective. Individual applicants whose undergraduate degree does not reflect this perspective may be asked to enroll in additional courses.

Please note: Any prerequisite requirements must be completed before admission to the MSW degree program.

State Accrediting Agency

Loma Linda University is regionally accredited by the WSCUC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges [WASC] Senior College and University Commission).
Integrating faith and health
Loma Linda University educates and encourages a balanced life by living our values of humility, compassion, justice, integrity, excellence, freedom and self- control. You will be surrounded by faculty who are committed to healthcare innovation and research while engaging your spirituality.

Expected Cost of Attendance

Academic Year 2023-2024

Year of Program: Year 1 Year 2
Tuition $18,964 $21,580
Fees $2,835 $3,975
Books & Supplies $1,042 $1,200
Misc (e.g., Boards, Licensing exam, Uniforms) $216 $216
Total $23,057 $26,971


Expected costs for the 2023-2024 academic year are based on full time attendance. From year to year, increases are anticipated consistent with inflation in the professional education sector.

Estimated Living Expenses

Academic Year 2023-2024, off campus, with a roommate

Year of Program: Year 1 Year 2
Months enrolled 9 9
Food and Housing
Transportation $2,880 $2,880
Miscellaneous Personal Costs $2,250 $2,070


  • Amounts are what a student can apply to borrow for the number of months shown in each academic year based on living off campus with a roommate and not with a relative.
  • International students need to calculate 12 months of living expenses based on the numbers listed here.
  • In general, to qualify for financial aid a student must be enrolled at least half time taking degree requirements. Half time is 6 units in a quarter for undergraduate programs and 4 units in a quarter for graduate programs.