Two Widener students seated, working on a laptop-based assignment together

Advantages of an Online Master's in Criminal Justice Degree

The flexibility of Widener's online master’s in criminal justice (MCJ) allows you to pursue your degree despite your already jam-packed schedule. 

Three Key Benefits of Widener University’s Online MCJ Program

student studies in cafe with coffee and notebook

You can complete coursework from anywhere.

Student working on laptop outside.

You have the flexibility to complete weekly coursework at any time.

A professor teaches her class online.

You will be exposed to a variety of learning styles and learning resources.

Where can I complete my criminal justice master's coursework? 

The biggest benefit to an online master's program is that you can complete your weekly coursework from anywhere. Not all students learn their best by sitting in a classroom on a college campus. Moving coursework online allows working professionals to work wherever they wish, whether that is in their own kitchen or home office, a deck at a vacation rental, a community library, or a coffee shop downtown. Gone are the days when you must decide between attending class and going on vacation with your family. 

Taking online classes also means you don’t have to relocate or worry about commuting to campus after work. You don’t need to live near Widener’s campus to experience the benefits of a Widener education. You could live across the country and still get your master’s from Widener. 

As long as you have internet access, there is nothing stopping you from engaging in the learning materials for each week. Just as students in an on-campus program enrich their learning by writing papers or reading assigned materials, students enrolled in an online criminal justice degree program also complete a variety of supplemental course materials. However, students aren’t restricted by the need to sit in a classroom to listen to a lecture or engage with classmates at inconvenient times. 

When you enroll in an online degree in criminal justice, activities that typically would be in the classroom—such as watching or listening to your professor’s lecture, watching or listening to classmates’ presentations, or interacting with your class colleagues—can now be completed beyond the confines of the classroom’s walls.  

When can I complete my criminal justice master's coursework? 

Since your classes are online, you can complete your weekly coursework at any time of the day or night. Many individuals working in criminal justice fields have unpredictable schedules. It may be challenging to complete a graduate degree in criminal justice on campus if you work evenings or if your schedule changes week-to-week. Similarly, if you have family or personal responsibilities that make it difficult to commit to one or more evenings a night of on-campus classes, with an online degree in criminal justice, this is no longer a concern.  

Unlike with a traditional program, with Widener’s online MCJ program, you don’t need to work on coursework at the same time as your classmates. You may choose to watch your professor’s recorded lecture at midnight, while your classmate watched the same lecture during lunch earlier that day. You decide when you want to learn. You can access the materials, engage with the professor and classmates, and complete the weekly required work at a time that works best for you. 

Will an online criminal justice program engage multiple learning styles?  

With on-campus graduate programs in criminal justice, you attend classes at set times in set locations, listen to lectures, and engage with classmates in a discussion. Recognizing that not every single person learns in the same way, the online MCJ program involves a variety of teaching methods and incorporates a wide range of learning resources. 

One week you may watch a recorded lecture taught by your professor, simulating what you would experience if you were sitting in a physical classroom. Another week you may be asked to engage in an online discussion board with your classmates after completing assigned readings. Such discussion boards could be professor-led (professor poses questions and students respond), or student-led (students raise their own questions or points to ponder based on readings, and classmates respond).  

The subsequent week you may be asked to watch a documentary or listen to a podcast. Widener University’s online program in criminal justice incorporates a broad variety of sources to enrich your learning, including numerous multimedia options (e.g., podcasts, documentaries, news clips, simulations).

What Are the Other Advantages of an Online MCJ Program?

Professional using laptop while at home on couch

Save on Commuting Costs 

You would be surprised at the money you can save by earning your MCJ degree online. As an online student, you don’t have to worry about commuting costs. Gas, parking passes, and general car maintenance can start to add up when you are traveling from home to class. Public transportation can also be costly and inconvenient. The longest commute will be from your desk to your kitchen when it’s time to grab a study snack!

A woman in a criminal justice career completes her work for the day.

Earn Your Degree Without Leaving Your Job

Additionally, with an online criminal justice graduate program, you don’t have to stop your career. A lot of students think that they need to drop everything to go back to school, which isn’t a financially stable option for everyone. While you work and earn your degree simultaneously, your chances for career advancement also increase once you graduate.