Graduate Catalog 2010-12

Criminology and Criminal Justice



Raymond Chip Tafrate (Chair, Vance 208-200), Kathleen Bantley, Stephen Costanza, Stephen Cox, Jennifer Hedlund, Amy Hyman Gregory, Damon Mitchell, Shamir Ratansi, Reginald Simmons (Dept. phone: 860-832-3005)

Department Overview

The Criminal Justice graduate program requires 30 credits of course work, including five core courses, three elective courses, and a capstone project. While all graduate students are required to complete core courses, students are allowed to select elective courses that match their individual academic and career interests.



Admission to the Master of Science degree program in Criminal Justice is made on a competitive basis two times per year. Applications for the fall semester must be completed and received by May 1. Applications for the spring semester must be completed and received by December 1. The number of students accepted in any semester is dependent on available openings in the program, which may fluctuate from semester to semester.

Applicants will be notified by May 30 (for fall admission) and December 30 (for spring admission) regarding acceptance decisions. Some applicants who are not accepted into the program may be put on a waiting list. Applicants on the waiting list may be admitted as additional openings in the program become available. Applicants accepted into the program will be contacted and asked to confirm their intentions to enter the program. Newly admitted applicants who do not register for courses by June 20 (for fall admission) and January 10 (for spring admission) risk losing a spot in courses because enrollment may be made available to students on the waiting list.

In addition to standard University graduate admission requirements, the department requires:

  1. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale

  2. One undergraduate social science research methods course with a grade of "C" or better

  3. One undergraduate elementary statistics course with a grade of "C" or better

  4. A formal application essay that focuses on (a) academic and work history, (b) reasons for pursuing graduate studies in criminal justice, and (c) future career goals

  5. Resume

Consideration in the admissions process is given to selecting applicants from diverse areas of the criminal justice field (e.g., law enforcement, corrections, alternative sanctions, treatment and rehabilitation, and analysis). Students who do not meet these requirements may request consideration for admission with special requirements. No students may register for graduate-level criminal justice courses without first being admitted to the program.



Master of Science in Criminal Justice


Program Rationale:

The master of science degree is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills required for leadership positions in the criminal justice system and continued study at the doctoral level. The criminal justice graduate program strongly emphasizes the application of theory and research in executive decision-making, policy development and analysis, and the treatment of offenders.


Program Learning Outcomes:

Our goal is that upon completion of this program students will have skills and abilities consistent with the following objectives:

  • collect and analyze data to evaluate criminal justice policies and programs;

  • present research proposals and findings to criminal justice professionals;

  • analyze functions and relations between diverse criminal justice systems; and

  • apply social and psychological models of crime and intervention to relevant offender populations.


Core courses are designed to help students:

  • understand the purpose and function of criminal justice agencies organized under the rubrics of police, courts, and corrections;

  • critically analyze the organizational effectiveness of criminal justice agencies;

  • understand how society comes to define certain behaviors as criminal and how these definitions can be effected by the race, gender, and socio-economic status of the lawmaker, as well as the lawbreaker;

  • assess the effectiveness of criminal justice policies and programs through the application of research methods, statistics, and criminological theory; and

  • understand the root causes of crime and the effects of social, economic, political, psychological, and biological factors on crime.


Course and Capstone Requirements

(30 credits):

Core Courses:

CJ 501 Proseminar on the Nature of Crime 4

CJ 510 Proseminar on Law and Social Control 3

CJ 520 Proseminar on the Administration of Justice 3

CJ 533 Research Methods in Criminal Justice 4

CJ 534 Quantitative Analysis in Criminal Justice Research 4


Elective Courses (choose three):

CRM 450 Drugs and Society 3

CRM 475 Controlling Anger and Aggression 3

CJ 525 Program Planning and Evaluation 3

CJ 530 Offender Profiles 3

CJ 535 Correctional Counseling 3

CJ 539 Delinquency and Control 3

CJ 560 Sexual Offending 3

CJ 573 Managing Criminal Justice Organizations 3

CJ 575 Developing Criminal Justice Organizations 3

CJ 577 Advanced Independent Reading and Research in Criminal Justice 1-3

CJ 578 Special Topics in Criminal Justice 3

CJ 580 Public Policy in the Criminal Justice System 3


Elective courses are designed to allow students to develop knowledge and skills in areas that specifically match their individual academic and career interests. Students desiring a concentration in behavioral sciences and the offender are encouraged to consider courses such as CRM 450, CRM 475, CJ 530, CJ 535, CJ 539, and CJ 560. Students desiring a concentration in organizational functioning are encouraged to consider courses such as CJ 525, CJ 573, CJ 575, and CJ 580.


Capstone Project (choose one):

CJ 597 Agency Collaborative Project 3

CJ 599 Thesis 3


The capstone project is an original piece of research conducted by the student and completed under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

Note: No more than nine credits at the 400 level, as approved by the graduate advisor, may be counted toward the graduate planned program of study.


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