Franciscan University Launches Online Criminal Justice Master’s Program

February 28, 2024

STEUBENVILLE, OH—Beginning fall 2024, Franciscan University of Steubenville will start an online Master of Science in Criminal Justice Program. With recent approval from the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commission, the graduate program will build upon Franciscan’s robust undergraduate Criminal Justice Program and continue to answer the urgent, growing need for well-formed justice practitioners.

“Franciscan University fully appreciates the necessary synthesis for a true criminal justice profession that blends occupational skill and best practices with a constant, unapologetic moral and ethical critique of criminal justice operations,” said Dr. Charles P. Nemeth, professor of criminal justice and director of the Center for Criminal Justice, Law, and Ethics at Franciscan University.

The graduate degree program will provide a solid foundation in the jurisprudence of natural law and the Judeo-Christian moral tradition. It also allows students to tailor their learning through courses in emerging criminal justice specialties including cybersecurity and cybercrime, community initiatives, forensic science, and investigative protocols. The courses will be taught by experienced faculty who blend theory with reality-based applications.

Thanks to the program’s highly flexible online format, students can earn their graduate degree and advance their careers while also maintaining their professional and personal responsibilities.

“Whether you work as a police officer or police chief, legal assistant or law clerk, deputy prison warden, child advocate or victim assistance counselor, every occupation in Franciscan’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice Program will consider the moral and spiritual dynamic inherent in these functions,” Nemeth said.

Society’s shifting political and cultural landscape calls for justice practitioners with strong moral compasses. Franciscan University’s master’s program will help prepare these leaders who can serve with integrity, protect human dignity, and uphold true justice.

“Our Master of Science in Criminal Justice Program will be unique,” said Dr. Stephen Hildebrand, vice president for Academic Affairs at Franciscan University. “We’ll use the wisdom of the Catholic intellectual tradition and the best of modern research and practice to help our graduates make a profound difference in our justice system.”

For more information on Franciscan University’s online Master of Science in Criminal Justice Program, visit, or contact the Admissions Office at 800-783-6220 or [email protected].

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