Online Graduate Program


The Department of Criminal Justice at New Mexico State University provides an online program for earning the Master of Criminal Justice degree (MCJ).

The online program option is offered through NMSU Global Campus, which serves students intending to earn their degree 100% online. For more information, please visit NMSU Global Campus or contact or 888.729.6678.

NMSU Global Campus advising email: 

The online program follows the same curriculum and uses the same faculty as the campus-based MCJ program. The courses offered each semester are delivered over the Internet and use the Canvas platform to deliver course content and assignments. Each course's content and assignments vary according to individual courses and professors. Assignments typically include some combination of the following: a variety of assigned readings, critical commentary on assigned readings, exams, quizzes, research papers, various learning exercises, discussion forums, and real-time chat sessions.



We are proud to share that New Mexico State University ranked a top school for online master’s in criminal justice for 2023.

NMSU Global Campus has ranked #17 in Top Online Criminal Justice Master's Degrees for 2023.

New Mexico State University has been recognized as one of the best schools for online learning at the master’s level by (OMD).

NMSU’s criminal justice programs earned top honors for overall quality, affordability, and commitment to student success.


New Mexico State University-Main Campus Recognized for Online Learning Excellence (ACO), a leader in higher education information, resources and rankings has recognized New Mexico State University-Main Campus for their excellence in online learning for having one of the best online criminal justice programs in the nation.

“We wanted to honor the colleges and universities setting the bar for online learning,” said Dan Schuessler, CEO and Founder of “These schools are going above and beyond the industry standard to help make online education programs an excellent option and more affordable.”

There are over one million jobs in the United States that revolve around keeping peace and order in society. Those who pursue a career in criminal justice help shape our country.
“It is necessary to celebrate the most cost effective and successful online criminal justice programs in the nation.” said Dan Schuessler, CEO and Founder of Affordable Colleges Online. “Without them, people who cannot operate under traditional college programs would be stripped of their ability to help protect and spread peace across our nation.”

For the online master’s program, we have a rolling admissions process; we accept students throughout the year without a fixed deadline.

However, they are preferred deadlines (November 1st and July 15th).  

Note: students should apply at least 6 weeks before the semester they want to begin to ensure the CJ graduate review committee can review their files for admission. 


 Application Process

The enrollment process for the MCJ is the same for both the campus-based and online options and is a three-step process:

1. a minimum overall undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA for your last 60 hours of earned credit;

2. after reading through our graduate handbook, provide a brief personal statement discussing your interest in the field and reasons for wanting to pursue the degree (1 – 2 pages). All applicants should submit at least the statement and CV/resume.

3.  if the student doesn’t meet the minimum GPA requirement, three letters of recommendation are welcomed to help supplement the application.

All materials should be submitted with the application.  


If you are an international applicant, please apply through the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.


Enrolling in Online Courses

Once the admission process is complete and you have been formally admitted into the program, you will be able to enroll/register for specific courses offered in a given semester. You may register online and following the instructions provided at that location. If you encounter difficulties in completing the course registration process you should contact the following places for assistance in order: the NMSU Graduate School or (575) 646-2736, the NMSU Global Campus or 888.729.6678.


Frequently Asked Questions for the Online MCJ Student

What is an Online course?
Online courses are comparable to courses taught in a traditional campus-based classroom. The method is adjusted to fit the parameters of the Canvas delivery platform. The content and assignments of each course varies in accordance with individual courses and professors. Assignments typically include some combination of the following: a variety of assigned readings, critical commentary on assigned readings, exams, quizzes, research papers, various learning exercises, discussion forums, and real time chat sessions.


Am I eligible for a Graduate Assistantship?

No, Graduate Assistantships in the Department of Criminal Justice are awarded to campus-based MCJ students only.


What type of computer and connection is needed for the online MCJ program?

If you can read this page, you probably have the necessary hardware and connection. Course material is offered through Canvas. Student support and a tutorial for Canvas is available here.


May I earn CJ 593 Internship credit?

You may register for CJ 593 Internship credit in consultation with the Director of the MCJ program. You will need to find an appropriate internship placement and complete the MCJ Internship Contract prior to receiving permission to register for CJ 593. Remember that the number of CJ 593 credit hours that apply to your MCJ degree requirements is limited.  You will also find more useful information about CJ 593 in the Internship FAQ document.


May I pursue the Thesis options?

No. The Thesis option is typically only available for campus-based students.


Testimonial from CJ graduate student, Mark Barrera, Spring 2023