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Master's Degree in Criminal Justice - Behavioral Studies

Why choose a Criminal Justice degree with a Behavioral Studies specialization?

The College of Education & Social Services offers several competitive, quality graduate degree programs, and the online M.S. in Criminal Justice with a Behavioral Studies specialization is no exception.

In light of recent disasters and world events, it is increasingly important for criminal justice administrators, first responders, government officials, and organizations to understand behavioral studies and learn how to manage critical incidents, psychological aspects of disasters, hazard mitigation, and risk identification.

Saint Leo University's criminal justice program director, Dr. Robert J. Diemer, has nearly 30 years of varied investigative experience, and is known across Florida and, increasingly, among national law enforcement at local, state, and federal agency levels. Dr. Diemer has served as a Deputy Sheriff, State Coordinator for the Florida Sheriff’s Association Statewide Task Force, and Chief of Investigations for the Florida Department of Environmental Protections Division of Law Enforcement. Dr. Diemer was also responsible for managing and coordinating the operations of the Florida Department of Environmental Protections Environmental Terrorism Response Team.

One of the leading military colleges in the United States, Saint Leo University has been educating criminal justice professionals for more than three decades. In the Catholic spirit, we base our criminal justice model on a steadfast moral consciousness that recognizes the dignity, value, and gifts of all people.

Learning Experience:
Education Center Online
Est. Time to Complete:
2 years
Credit Hours:
36 hours

Criminal Justice Degree with a Behavioral Studies Specialization Program Details

The behavioral studies curriculum is designed for criminal justice administrators, first responders, government officials, and those individuals who have an interest in understanding the role behavioral studies has in the field of criminal justice. The area of behavioral studies plays an important role in the investigation of criminal offences. This course of study will focus on the way that criminal behavior and the criminal code interact together to solve some of the world’s most heinous, violent criminal acts, clinical aspects of behavioral disorders as they impact individuals and criminal behavior, the use of behavioral cues when conducting interviews, and the important function of how these cues work within the courts system. In order to earn the degree with the Behavioral Studies specialization, a student must successfully complete the five core courses, the four behavior studies courses, and two elective courses.

Learn Your Way: 
Online, On Campus, or Near You

  • Saint Leo students and instructor in classroom
  • What are the on-campus facilities like?

    Students who pursue their degrees at Saint Leo’s main campus near sunny Tampa Bay, Florida, join a community of enthusiastic learners just like them. 

    Criminal justice students enjoy plenty of engaging learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom, as well as exciting departmental events.

    Learn about the On-Campus Experience

  • What are the benefits of earning your criminal justice degree online?

    Saint Leo University’s online learning experience provides a well-rounded education with the flexibility to tailor your course of study to meet your individual needs. We know our students have lives outside school, and we seek to meet them where they are. Online students can count on receiving excellent academics as well as opportunities for hands-on learning.

    Learn about the Online Experience

    Visit Online Admissions

  • Taking online classes has afforded me the opportunity to learn while maintaining a job. They give me some flexibility to study at times that work more cohesively with my schedule and allow me to utilize resources such as the library 24 hours a day.

    Bentley Streat | Hayes, VA

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Are education centers near you offering criminal justice degree programs?

You may also choose to pursue your degree through one of our education centers, which merge a traditional in-person education with the flexibility to match your lifestyle. Education centers offer eight-week academic terms as well as evening and weekend classes.

Explore Education Centers

Career Outlook

No matter which learning experience you choose, you will receive plenty of professional development opportunities, industry knowledge from expert professors, and support from the Saint Leo community. All this together means that you will be ready for a successful career or continued studies upon graduation.

  • Saint Leo University students in Psychology classroom
  • What skills you will learn?

    • Computerized databases;
    • Ethical standards in the administration of justice;
    • Human resource management;
    • Fiscal resource management;
    • Personnel law, civil liability, and substantive and procedural laws;
    • Information resources and systems;
    • Policymaking;
    • Organizational leadership in criminal justice agencies

How will you gain real experience?

Hands-on learning

In a capstone course, you’ll address an important problem or launch a program initiative related to the administration of criminal justice.

Internships

Find an internship close to home or work, or with federal agencies such as the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Customs, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. District Court and Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

FBI National Academy Associates

Saint Leo is an approved educational partner by the FBI National Academy Associates.

Experienced faculty

Learn from the best. Saint Leo faculty have served as local and federal agents, chief deputies, detectives and FBI advisors, and are leading experts on all the skills you need to advance to the next stage of your career: interrogation, non-verbal communication, hostage negotiation, and international sex and organ trafficking.

What can you do with a master's in criminal justice degree?

Graduates are prepared for administrative positions in law enforcement, corrections, the courts, private security and security-related positions at the local, state or federal government levels.

What are the top criminal justice degree jobs?

Career Growth Salary
Law enforcement officer 7% (As fast as average) $67,290 per year
Forensic Science Technician 16% (Much faster than average) $60,590 per year

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020.

College of Education & Social Services

  • Saint Leo University - Kirk Hall
  • Saint Leo University’s College of Education and Social Services couples a transformative liberal arts tradition with highly specialized training in the education and social services fields. Through close faculty mentorships, practical field internships, and applied learning experiences, we prepare students for careers in education, social work, criminal justice, and human services. Our faculty remain active in their respective fields as researchers and practitioners, giving students close access to a wealth of real-world knowledge and experience.

    With the ever-changing needs of today's students, we provide flexible degree programs. These include programs at University Campus and education centers with evening and weekend options, as well as online offerings. These degree programs are grooming the next generation of educators and social service specialists—a new breed of professionals with the talent and resolve to make a difference in the world.

    Explore the College of Education & Social Services