Claflin University Launches Master of Science in Criminal Justice Program

Feb 15, 2018

In its continuing effort to sustain and enhance its role as a leader in higher education, Claflin University will launch a Master of Science in Criminal Justice program in March 2018.  All classes will be offered online, and students will be able to complete degree requirements within 15 months.

The SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges) approved program will begin classes on March 12. The first cohort of students is expected to earn degrees in May 2019.  The criminal justice master’s program also addresses a national need for professionals with an advanced degree in the industry, according to Dr. Deborah Laufersweiler-Dwyer, Claflin's interim chair and associate professor in the Department of Social Sciences. 

"This program is another major step for the University as we now offer a high-demand program that allows professionals in the field an opportunity to earn a master's degree in criminal justice at an accelerated pace,” Dr. Laufersweiler-Dwyer said.   “Students from throughout the state of South Carolina and beyond can enroll in the program with the confidence they are receiving a high-quality education."

In 2016, Claflin gained approval by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) to promote and market its online programs in more than 40 states across the country. The Master of Science in Criminal Justice program joins the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (M.Ed.) and Master of Business of Administration (MBA) as fully online graduate programs.  Claflin’s fully online bachelor's degree programs consist of the Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management; Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice; Bachelor of Arts in Psychology; and the RN (Registered Nurse) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

"We have an impressive number of students who have been waiting eagerly for this program to begin," said Dr. Caroletta Ivey, assistant professor of criminal justice. 

"Many of these students and others who will enroll in the program are already working in criminal justice related positions.  However, they need a master's degree to be eligible for promotions and other opportunities.  Law enforcement, correctional agencies, and the court are seeking employees with advanced degrees who can apply critical thinking when solving problems or making decisions."

  "We are attracting students from Florida, Georgia and other states outside of South Carolina to our program," Ivey said.  "The flexibility of our program is significant. Students can maintain their employment and manage their family responsibilities while taking classes from anywhere and anytime.  “That is very important."

Prospective students interested in registering may contact the Department of Social Sciences ( or Mr. Mark Roberts,  associate executive director for the Center for Professional & Continuing Studies (  Contact Mrs. Tonya A. Sanders-Govan ( for financial aid information.

"The Master of Science in Criminal Justice program is consistent with Claflin's Strategic Plan “Claflin LEADS: A Shared Vision for the 21st Century” which has leadership development as a focus," said Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale.  “Our vision is that Claflin will be recognized as a leading 21st Century institution of higher education that develops a diverse and inclusive community of globally engaged visionary leaders. This program provides the University a tremendous opportunity to produce diverse and inclusive visionary leaders in the discipline of criminal justice.”



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