Scales of justice statuette

About the Criminal Justice Master of Science

The Criminal Justice Department offers students an academically rigorous and multidisciplinary program of study. Our curriculum is grounded in the social sciences, integrating theory, research, and practice. The master of science in criminal justice program prepares students for leadership positions in the criminal justice profession and/or for advanced graduate study.

An intellectual climate and critical thinking is fostered by the department to enhance student understanding of criminal justice issues. The wide range of specialties represented among the faculty provide our students, as well as the state and local criminal justice community, with the benefits of a diversity of expertise.

Criminal Justice, M.S.

Degree Information

A master of science degree in criminal justice opens the door to a variety of careers that are usually exciting and occasionally even dangerous. All make a difference to society. The job outlook is also bright.

Employment of police detectives is projected to grow 5 percent from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and those jobs report a median income of $63,380 per year. If you’re interested in becoming a corrections office or a paralegal, both positions are expected to increase 18 percent by 2028. 

Many of our graduates go on to law school or to PhD programs. However, there are numerous careers that can be pursued with a criminal justice degree—and a master’s degree gives you even more options:

  • Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms Agent
  • CIA Agent
  • Coast Guard Officer
  • Compliance Officer
  • Court Clerk/Reporter
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Criminologist
  • Customs Agent 


  • Drug Enforcement Agent
  • FBI Agent 
  • Homeland Security Agent 
  • Immigration and Naturalization Agent 
  • Law Enforcement Officer/Sheriff 
  • Private Investigator
  • Probation Officer
  • Social Services

Buffalo State is committed to providing program-related experiences that will enhance students’ personal and professional growth. Below are just a few clubs and opportunities available to criminal justice majors.

National Criminal Justice Honor Society: Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society, the national honor society for criminal justice majors, recognizes the academic excellence of undergraduate and graduate criminal justice students. 

University Police Student Assistant (UPSA) program: This program enables students to experience the work environment and learn about its expectations and responsibilities. Among other work assignments, student assistants on the Buffalo State campus provide escort services to campus community members or visitors, monitor traffic, oversee social, cultural, and sporting events, and operate the Safe Escort and Motorist Assistant Program vans. Buffalo State’s University Police Department hires more than 60 student assistants each semester. 

Long Legacy

Buffalo State’s criminal justice program is the oldest such program in Western New York and its reputation extends across the state.

Experienced Faculty

Our well-qualified, nationally known faculty members hold Ph.D.’s from some of the top doctorate granting universities in the discipline.

Real-World Experience

At the graduate level, criminal justice students have the option to complete a master’s project to gain real-world research experience.

Career Opportunities

Students pursue a master’s in criminal justice to further their career goals, seek further graduate study, or to pursue a training role in their field.

"Fresh out of graduate school, I was recruited to teach Criminal Justice courses. I've been teaching undergraduate and graduate classes at different colleges since then—28 years."

- Deneen Hernandez, '88

"The skills I acquired while attending at Buffalo State made me less apprehensive when I began law school. I developed confidence in my abilities that I could make it through law school based on the professors, my friends, my coach, and the staff I encountered there." 

- Mark Hosken, '78

"I now run a very large martial arts school, utilizing my criminal justice education in an unorthodox way, teaching self-defense, ethics, and family values to kids, youth, and adults: forging tomorrow's leaders and upstanding citizens one black belt at a time."

- David Kalish, '96
Clairissa D. Breen Associate Professor
Jill M. D'Angelo Associate Professor
Shashi M. Gayadeen Associate Professor
Carol H. Hill Administrative Assistant 1
Dae-Young Kim Associate Professor
Melissa A. Menasco Associate Professor
Ksenia Petlakh Assistant Professor
James J. Sobol Chair and Associate Professor
John H. Song Professor
JawJeong Wu Associate Professor