This course of study was designed to meet the needs of the nation’s federal, tribal, state, and local policing agencies as well as private sector security officials. The School expects this applied degree to be pursued by intelligence analysts, law enforcement and security professionals, and prospective analysts seeking scholarship and advanced training in the emerging field of intelligence analysis. The program is taught entirely online. MSU faculty oversee the curriculum; instruction is provided by MSU faculty as well as law enforcement professionals brought in as part-time instructors.
Applications for the Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis Online masters program are screened for summer, fall and spring semester entry. All application material must be received before February 1 for consideration for the following Summer or Fall semester and by September 1 for consideration for the following Spring semester. Applicants are typically notified of admission decisions within 6-8 weeks of the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
Arkansas and Maryland residents: The U.S. Department of Education requires an institution offering distance education programs to acquire authorization from the states in which it operates. Specific regulations vary from state to state. Michigan State University is not seeking authorization in Arkansas or Maryland. Students whose resident address is in Arkansas or Maryland at the time of application for admission to Michigan State University are not eligible to apply to MSU online programs.
Please send all application materials to the following address:
LEIA Masters Program
Michigan State University
655 Auditorium Road, Room 560
East Lansing, MI 48824
Application materials include:
- Application for Graduate Study at Michigan State University. May be requested from the Graduate School or submitted online. The major code for the Criminal Justice Online Masters program is 7673. A check or money order for the application fee, payable to Michigan State University, must accompany the application if the fee is not submitted online.
- ONE set of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (a transcript of work at MSU is not required). Please do not request .pdf or electronic versions of your transcripts, as they will not be accepted by the Office of Admissions if you are offered admission. Please have transcripts mailed to the address at the top of this page. Applicants must have or be near completion of their bachelors degree from an accredited institution. International students must submit official transcripts in both the original language and English translation of transcript and diploma.
Note for applicants submitting transcripts from Chinese institutions:
Certified copies (sealed and stamped by institutions) of all post-secondary transcripts, graduation certificates and degrees must be mailed to our department. MSU requires these documents in the original language (Chinese) as well as an official English translation.
Effective Spring 2015, Michigan State University will require all incoming ADMITTED students pursuing degrees or who have earned degrees from universities in China to submit a verification report (English version) through the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) for their final bachelor degree transcripts and bachelor degree. All verification reports need to be sent to the MSU Office of Admissions directly by CDGDC.
If you are admitted to the Criminal Justice program while completing your last semester of study, you will need to repeat the process and resubmit the materials once your degree has been conferred.
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general scores from an exam taken within the last five years. The GRE exam is waived for candidates with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher or for applicants with a completed graduate degree. Please note that your overall GPA will be determined by combining the credits and quality points earned throughout your undergraduate studies. Test preparation material and information about test dates can be found at www.ets.org/gre. Please note when scheduling your exam that it may take 4-6 weeks for your scores to be forwarded to the university and this department. The institution code for MSU is 1465. Admission requires scores at or above the 50th percentile.
- A personal statement of your academic and professional goals. This should include information about your motivation to study criminal justice, a description of relevant research and/or work experience, and any other information about yourself that you would like the admissions committee to know. The Application for Graduate Study has fields for an academic statement and a personal statement, and you may either submit your statements there or type "submitted to department" in the fields and mail or e-mail a single combined essay to the program office at the address above or email@example.com.
- Three letters of recommendation from people who can comment on your ability to perform graduate work. At least two letters must be from tenure-track faculty from your undergraduate or graduate institution, if you have graduated within the past five years. It is important for the Graduate Review Committee to obtain an outside evaluation and recommendation from a person who has an understanding of your time management skills, abilities, and work progression. The recommender must be familiar with the demands and rigor of graduate education, and must comment on the candidate's potential success in the program. Please use the Recommendation for Admission form found in the Application for Graduate Study at Michigan State University. The form should be included with all letters of recommendation.
- International students must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam scores. MSU's score requirement is a minimum average score of 80, with no subscores below 19 for Reading, Listening, and Speaking, and no subscore below 22 for Writing. Students from countries where the primary language is English may have the TOEFL requirement waived with the approval of the department, college, and Graduate School. Please contact the graduate secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org to determine whether the requirement may be waived. When sending TOEFL scores, please use institution code 1465.
Please note: While a criminal justice undergraduate major is not required for admission to the program, the applicant must have a background of education and occupational experience appropriate to the successful pursuit of graduate work. Applicants insufficiently prepared for graduate studies in criminal justice may be required to complete collateral coursework or pursue individualized study.
Applicants must have at least 12 credits of undergraduate coursework in political science, economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, social work, or any combination of such courses. At least six of these credits must be in sociology, psychology, social work or any combination of such courses.
A limited number of applicants who do not satisfy the school's regular admission requirements may be admitted on a provisional basis. The decision to grant provisional admission is based on the student's potential contributions to the field of criminal justice, and is offered at the discretion of the department. A student may be enrolled on a provisional basis for only two semesters and must be admitted on a regular basis to be considered a degree candidate.
If you have questions about applying, please contact Melissa Christle at email@example.com or 517-353-7133.
To obtain a Master of Science in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis, a student must complete a minimum of 30 credits of coursework as follows. Students enrolled prior to Spring 2014 may follow either the current curriculum requirements or those that were in place at the time of admission.
- CJ 802 - Proseminar in Law Enforcement Intelligence Operation 3 Credits
- CJ 811 - Design and Analysis in Criminal Justice Research 3 Credits
- CJ 887 - Quantitative Methods in Criminal Justice Research 3 Credits
- CJ 896 - Policy Analysis Under Conditions of Change 3 Credits
- Approved elective 3 Credits
Five courses from the following:
- CJ 801 - Crime Causation, Prevention, and Control 3 Credits
- CJ 803 - Foundations in Homeland Security 3 Credits
- CJ 810 - Proseminar in Criminal Justice 3 Credits
- CJ 822 - Comparative Criminal Justice 3 Credits
- CJ 823 - Globalization of Crime 3 Credits
- CJ 837 - Counterterrorism and Intelligence 3 Credits
- CJ 838 - Terrorism 3 Credits
- CJ 839 - Analytic Thinking and Intelligence 3 Credits
- CJ 856 - Advanced Topics in Policing 3 Credits
- GEO 802 - Geospatial Technologies 3 Credits
Description of Courses
CJ 801 – Crime Causation, Prevention, and Control
Theories of crime causation. Translation of theory to policy.
CJ 802 – Proseminar in Law Enforcement Intelligence Operations
Law enforcement intelligence as an analytic tool for case development and resource allocation. Historical, ethical, legal, and operational issues affecting current practice.
CJ 803 – Foundations in Homeland Security
Definition of terrorism and terrorist groups. Fundamental principles of emergency management and homeland security. Historical perspectives and modern threats. Public health and environmental protections. Private sector role and impacts. Security vs. civil liberties. Science, technology, and research issues.
CJ 810 – Proseminar in Criminal Justice
Survey of classical and recent literature in criminal justice. Trends and issues that transcend the components of the criminal justice system.
CJ 811 – Design and Analysis in Criminal Justice Research
Scientific methods in criminal justice research. Design, data collection and analysis, interpretation of findings, and ethical concerns. Computer use in data analysis.
This course has specific sections geared toward CJ, LEIA, and/or JA masters students.
CJ 823 – Globalization of Crime
International crimes and organized crime. Trafficking in women, children, and body parts. Related problems that transcend national boundaries, such as firearm violence, money laundering, and corruption.
CJ 837 – Counterterrorism and Intelligence
Meanings and concepts of terrorism. Nature of both domestic and international terrorist threats. Integration of intelligence and terrorism to understand counterterrorism concepts.
CJ 838 – Terrorism
Origins, history, and mutable definitions of terrorism. Ideologies, organizational features, and state responses. Influential contemporary and historical terrorist movements. Force multipliers and media.
CJ 839 – Analytic Thinking and Intelligence
Analytic processes, tools, applications, and contemporary issues as used in law enforcement intelligence processes.
***This course is taught over a one-week period in East Lansing.***
CJ 856 – Advanced Topics in Policing
Special topics in policing such as crime analysis; problem solving; police recruitment, retention and development; police behavior; and ethics.
CJ 887 – Quantitative Methods in Criminal Justice Research
Descriptive and inferential statistics and computer use in criminal justice research.
This course has specific sections geared toward CJ and LEIA masters students.
CJ 896 – Policy Analysis under Conditions of Change
Methods of policy analysis in criminal justice settings. Policy analysis for the formulation, adoption, and implementation of changes.
This course has specific sections geared toward CJ, LEIA, and/or JA masters students.
GEO 802 – Geospatial Technology
Comprehensive introduction to geotechnologies. Concepts and theories of remote sensing to include image interpretation and processing, Global Positioning Systems, spatial data structures, and geographic information systems.
Frequently Asked Questions
The tuition rate can be found here. Click on Resident or Non-Resident, then scroll to Online Programs in the Graduate Students section.
Online courses are very similar to the on-campus program except for the method of delivery. Students get a syllabus outlining course requirements, are assigned weekly readings and required to post their evaluation of the readings in discussion rooms. Classmates then comment on the input of other students. Case problems may be required and the class may be broken into small groups, with a team leader who is required to post each group’s solution to the case. Research papers may be required, with an executive summary posted for review by students and a complete paper submitted to the professor. If the topic appears of interest to other students, they may request a copy by contacting the author.
Some students express concern about the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and their scores, since they may have been out of college for a number of years. Remember this is only one area considered by the graduate review committee when making admissions decisions. Letters of reference, personal statement, prior grades, and success on the job are other factors considered. GRE practice exams, a list of testing centers, and other information may be found at www.ets.org/gre.
Volumes of written material on the Internet become difficult for students to manage. When supplemented with reading packs or books, students are able to do reading away from the computer. It is also important for students to acquire a professional library.
Library access, a writing center, financial aid, bookstore, and other university resources are available to virtual students. For example, students may order course books via e-mail from campus bookstores. Books and documents needed for course projects can be obtained from library via e-mail at no costs.
Since most students are working, they may not qualify for financial aid. Students are eligible for loans if they are taking at least six credits. Loans are also available for computer equipment required for the program. For more information, contact the financial aid office at 517-353-5941 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since this is a degree-granting program, veterans benefits may be applicable. Students eligible for veterans benefits must submit the required certificate to the VA Office on campus. Contact the Veterans Certification Office at 517-355-5032.
You may transfer up to nine graduate level credits from an accredited institution into the program. You must have received at least a 3.0 in each of the courses, and we will need to review course descriptions and syllabi to determine if the courses meet the requirements of this program. Transfer credits are most often applied toward elective requirements. The department chair or dean has final approval.