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CMU Launches the Criminal Justice Leadership and Policy Master's Degree

Industry demand calls for new master's program

Do you relax by binging a true-crime documentary at the end of the night? Or maybe you're a mystery podcast fanatic. You’re not alone. Right now, there are more than 2,800 true-crime podcasts available for users to choose from. There’s also individuals who place a lot of value and respect in the institution of law. Whatever the reason, Colorado Mesa University's criminal justice program has been thriving for years, and now, students can advance their skills and hone in on leadership roles with the new master's degree in criminal justice leadership and policy (MACJLP). 

“Because of great success in our undergraduate criminal justice program, coupled with current student and external inquiry, the decision was made to conduct surveys of current students, program graduates and industry leaders to determine interest in a MACJLP program," said Professor of Criminal Justice and program lead John Reece. "Each group of stakeholders indicated an overwhelming desire for the program to be developed here at CMU." 

The Criminal Justice Leadership and Policy program is a post-baccalaureate academic program offered in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The MACJLP program is a six-semester (including summers) accelerated academic program with classes running in an 8-week mod format.  

“When I was a practitioner pursuing my graduate degrees, working different shifts and in various leadership roles, I found the flexibility of online offerings to be extremely beneficial to my academic success. My experience, as well as similar experiences of my faculty colleagues, in large part, was the impetus behind us ensuring one can complete our MACJLP fully online,” said Reece.  

The MACJLP at CMU enables students to pursue numerous career paths and promotional advancement within the criminal justice field. Graduates of the MACJLP program are well positioned to secure employment and promotional opportunities in policing, the courts system, corrections or continuing in their graduate studies. The program faculty collaborate with various entities within the criminal justice system to set a solid foundation for students' future success. 

"We're very encouraged by the prospects of the Colorado Mesa University criminal justice master's program," said Grand Junction Chief of Police Doug Shoemaker.  "We are an agency who really values higher education for our employees, and obviously CMU is a great pool of potential leaders. With this advanced degree, we're optimistic that our agency could see some exceptional candidates to serve alongside us. Colorado Mesa University is a great partner to us and we're pleased to see these kinds of options available in our hometown." 

The master’s program kicks off in just a few weeks. The Fall 2021 semester will make up the first cohort. Those interested in in the program can learn more and apply on the CMU criminal justice website 


Written by Kelsey Coleman