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Criminal Justice Policy & Leadership


Click here to visit the Criminal Justice Policy and Leadership Online page.

EKU’s online master’s degree program prepares high-thinking individuals for leadership roles that challenge injustice, value diversity, and support the equitable treatment and human rights of all people.

The criminal justice policy and leadership master’s program allows for in-depth specialization with concentrations available in law enforcement, corrections and juvenile justice. This program prepares you to be a leader in the criminal justice field with the knowledge and skillsets needed to be an effective change agent in your community, region and state.



Each semester is divided into two terms, Term A & Term B

  • Fall and Spring semesters consist of two 8-week terms
  • Summer semesters consist of two 6-week terms

Students can focus on one course in each term, but still meet the enrollment requirement of 6 hours per semester to be eligible for financial aid.

Using this scheduling method, most students can complete the course requirements in 5 semesters.

Each course is set up in a similar manner so students can easily adjust from one course to the next in any given term or semester.

Instructors utilize EKU’s Learning Management system, Blackboard, to develop and deliver courses.

Most courses include weekly video lessons from the instructor and utilize the discussion board feature to provide interaction among students.


Tuition for online courses in the Criminal Justice Policy & Leadership Program is $617 per credit hour


Please visit the EKU Financial Aid Office website,
for complete information.

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Graduate students enrolled for at least 6 hours each semester are eligible for financial aid


All students who apply to the online Justice, Policy, & Leadership Graduate Program must take the GRE if the overall undergraduate GPA is 3.0 or lower.  Students who have completed a prior master’s degree are also exempt from taking the GRE.

Visit for testing center locations, test dates, registration information, and preparation resources.

Achieve a combined verbal and quantitative score of at least 246 and an analytical writing score of at least 4.0.


  • $40 application fee
  • Submit official transcript of undergraduate degree
  • Submit email contact information for 2 persons qualified to provide an academic recommendation
  • Apply using web-based application for the Criminal Justice Policy & Leadership Graduate Program



FULL TERM: CPL 878, Capstone Applied Research Project
A TERM: CPL 810, Criminology Theory for Policy & Leadership and CPL 840, Adult Corrections
B TERM: CPL 835, Advanced Justice Administration & Leadership and CPL 812, Leading with Political, Ethical, and Emotional Intelligence (odd years) or CPL 830, Understanding Corrections/Juvenile Justice Institutions (even years)


FULL TERM: CPL 878, Capstone Applied Research Project
A TERM: CPL 818, Research Methods for Policy & Leadership and CPL 878, Mental Health/Substance Abuse Issues
B TERM: CPL 809, Program/Policy Evaluation & Analysis and CPL 814, Police & Society (odd years) or CPL 802, Violence Against Women (even years)


FULL TERM: CPL 878m Capstone Applied Research Project
A TERM: CPL 856, Law & Ethics
B TERM: CPL 862, Race, Identity, & Policing

There may be adjustments to the rotation schedule from time to time due to faculty availability.


12 hours (4 courses, 3 hours each) of core courses
15 hours (5 courses, 3 hours each) of electives
Capstone Applied Research Project (3 hours, 1 course)
in lieu of comprehensive exam or thesis


CPL 809    Program/Policy Evaluation & Analysis 
CPL 810    Criminological Theory for Policy and Leadership
CPL 818    Research Methods for Justice, Policy, & Leadership 
CPL 835    Advanced Justice Administration & Leadership 

ELECTIVES (15 hours)
CPL 802    Violence Against Women
CPL 812    Leading with Political, Ethical, and Emotional Intelligence
CPL 814    Explaining Police & Society
CPL 820    Trends/Issues in Juvenile Institutional/Community Corrections
CPL 823    Topical Seminar in Justice, Policy, & Leadership (varies by topic)
CPL 828    Mental Health/Substance Abuse Issues
CPL 830    Understanding Corrections/Juvenile Justice Institutions
CPL 839    Applied Learning in Criminal Justice Policy & Leadership
CPL 840    Trends/Issues in Adult/Institutional/Community Corrections
CPL 850    Corrections and Juvenile Justice Interventions
CPL 856    Law & Ethics in Dealing with Offenders
CPL 860    Advanced Organizational Theory
CPL 862    Race, Identity, & Policing 
CPL 875    Crime & Public Policy 
CPL 897    Independent Study

CPL 878    Capstone Applied Research Project


CPL 802 Violence Against Women. (3) A.  This course provides students with a human right framework and cross-cultural understanding of violence against women, and efforts across societies to translate international knowledge into local justice for gender-based violence and female victims.  Credit will not be awarded to students who have credit for CRJ 802.

CPL 809 Program/Policy Evaluation & Analysis. (3) A.  Formerly COR/JPL 809.  Qualitative/quantitative concepts and procedures to manage, understand, and effectively consume program evaluation and statistically based research.  Reading, understanding, accurately interpreting evaluation-based research journals and governmentally produced research emphasized.

CPL 810 Criminological Theory for Policy and Leadership. (3) A.  Formerly COR/JPL 810. Presents and critiques explanations of crime, delinquency, and criminalization processes, with emphasis on application of explanations to criminal/juvenile justice policy/leadership issues.

CPL 812 Leading with Political, Ethical and Emotional Intelligence (3) A.  Formerly JPL 812.  This course examines leadership within the justice field, focusing on three competencies essential for effective, just leadership: political, ethical, and emotional intelligence.  Understanding mindset/tactics associated with administrators that do/don’t lead with these competencies.   

CPL 814 Policing and Society. (3) A.  Theoretical, historical and comparative perspectives on policing.  Critical analysis of the function of police in modern society.  Credit will not be awarded to students who have credit for CRJ 814.  

CPL 818 Research Methods for Justice Policy & Leadership. (3) A. Formerly COR/JPL 818.  This course examines strategies/issues relevant to the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data for criminal justice research.  Special attention will be paid to the methodology most relevant to agency administration.  

CPL 820 Trends/Issues in Juvenile Institutional/Community Corrections. (3) A. Formerly COR/JPL 820.  This course examines trends and issues central to understanding contemporary juvenile corrections/crime; correctional trends; historical development; and the use/effectiveness of various interventions (prevention, pre/post adjudicatory responses to juvenile offenders).  

CPL 823 Topical Seminar in Criminal Justice Policy and Leadership. (1-3) A.  Formerly COR/JPL 823.  This is a variable topic seminar meant to provide in-depth, critical analyses of contemporary issues in adult corrections, juvenile justiceor police policy.  The course may be retaken to a maximum of 6 hours on different topics.  

CPL 828 Mental Health/Substance Abuse Issues. (3) A.  Formerly COR/JPL 828.  This course explores prevalence, diagnosis, best practices for treatment of mental illness/substance abuse disorders; pressing issues facing the criminal justice system in the correctional population.  

CPL 830 Understanding Corrections/Juvenile Justice Institutions. (3) A. Formerly COR/JPL 830.  This course situates issues facing correctional organizations in historical, political, economic, and cultural contexts.  Emphasizes applying theory and critical thinking to address problems, issues, and trends facing leaders in corrections and juvenile justice.

CPL 835 Advanced Justice Administration & Leadership. (3) A.  Formerly COR/JPL 835.  An examination of theoretical bases and contemporary approaches to justice organizations, administration and leadership.  Emphasis placed on the social, cultural, and political setting of justice administration and management.

CPL 839 Cooperative Study in Criminal Justice Policy Leadership. (1-3) A. Formerly COR/JPL 839. Prerequisite:  departmental approval and graduate GPA of at least 3.0.  Students work in an agency in corrections, juvenile justice, policing or related area.  Accompanying classroom and coursework components are designed to promote integration of work and academic experiences.  A minimum of 80 hours work is required for each hour of academic credit.

CPL 840 Trends/Issues in Adult/Institutional/Community Corrections. (3) A.  Formerly COR/JPL 840.  This course analyzes current and emerging trends and issues in adult community and institutional corrections.  The future of corrections is examined based on current and projected trends. 

CPL 850 Corrections and Juvenile Justice Interventions. (3) A. Formerly COR/JPL 850.  This course provides critical analyses of research and theories guiding effective rehabilitation programs in corrections and juvenile justice.  It examines how various factors contribute to criminal behavior and how assessment procedures can improve programs.  

CPL 856 Law and Ethics in Dealing with Offenders. (3) A. Formerly COR/JPL 856.  This course analyzes ethical and legal issues confronting leaders in adult and juvenile correctional agencies.  Evaluates statutory law, case decisions, and administrative promulgations from constitutional and socio-legal standpoints.

CPL 860 Advanced Organizational Theory. (3) A.  Formerly CRJ 860.  Analysis of theories/metaphors of organizations and management, including modernist, neo-modernist and post-modernist with respect to political, technological, environmental, historical contexts, with implications for organization design, structure, culture, leadership, strategy.

CPL 862 Race, Identity & Policing. (3) A.  Formerly CRJ 862. Examines why racial injustices exist in criminal justice and policing, using historical and contemporary studies of connections between race, poverty, and the criminal justice system/policing.  

CPL 875 Crime & Public Policy.  (3) A.  Provides an overview of factors shaping crime policy.  The concept of crime, the use of law to promote social control policies, policy responses related to crime control and the efficacy of those policies will be examined.  Addresses conceptualizations of the modern state and the use of state power.  Credit will not be awarded to students who have credit for CRJ 875.  

CPL 878 Capstone Applied Research Project.  (3) A.  Prerequisites:  Complete core courses; final semester registration.  Formerly JPL 878.  Culminating academic experience involving research of well-defined justice policy leadership topic.  Emphasizes grounding the project in relevant literature, appropriate topical methods of inquiry, integrating knowledge gained throughout program.

CPL 897 Independent Study. (1-6) A. Students engage in self-directed learning at the university or in a field setting under graduate faculty supervision.  Students must have completed a minimum of 6 hours of CPL coursework and have clear admission status to be eligible to register for this course.  Additionally, students must have the independent study proposal form approved by the faculty supervisor and the graduate director before enrolling.   


Amy Eades
Assistant Program Coordinator
Phone: (859) 622-5086

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