Master of Science in Criminal Justice

About the Program

The Master of Science Degree provides students with the knowledge and skills required for career advancement, leadership positions, 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. All courses are instructed by full-time professors with terminal degrees in their areas of expertise.

Some students in our graduate program have recently completed their undergraduate degrees while others are returning to school while working in the field. Our course schedules offer evening classes to accommodate working professionals. If you have questions about the graduate program, please contact Graduate Program Director Reginald Simmons.

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

To receive an M.S. in Criminal Justice, students must finish eight courses in Criminal Justice, complete an Agency Collaborative Project or Thesis, and achieve a GPA of 3.0.

  1. Students complete each of the following core courses:
  • CJ 501 Nature of Crime
  • CJ 510 Law, Criminal Justice, and Issues of Inequality
  • CJ 520 Effective Practices in the Administration of Justice
  • CJ 533 Criminal Justice Research Methods
  • CJ 534 Data Analysis in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 594 Capstone Seminar
  • Students take three elective courses from the following:
  • CRM 450 Drugs and Society
  • CRM 475 Anger and Aggression
  • CJ 525 Evaluation Strategies for Criminal Justice Programs and Policies
  • CJ 530 Offender Profiles
  • CJ 535 Forensic Counseling
  • CJ 539 Delinquency: Causation and Intervention
  • CJ 560 Sexual Offending
  • CJ 573 Managing Criminal Justice Employees
  • CJ 575 Developing Criminal Justice Organizations
  • CJ 577 Advanced Independent Reading and Research in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 578 Special Topics in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 580 Criminal Justice Policy Implementation and Effectiveness
  • Students finish the program by completing either:
  • CJ 597 Agency Collaborative Project
  • CJ 599 Thesis

For a complete listing of all courses in the criminal justice graduate program, please click HERE.
For a sample course sequence of the M.S. in Criminal Justice, please click HERE.


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 June 1. Applications for the spring semester must be completed and received by November 1.
Applicants will be notified by June 30 (for fall admission) and December 30 (for spring admission) regarding acceptance decisions. Applicants accepted into the program will be contacted and asked to confirm their intentions to enter the program.
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 on criminal justice, and (c) future career goals
  5. Resume

No students may register for graduate-level criminal justice courses without first being admitted to the program.

The Application Process involves three steps:

  1. Visit the School of Graduate Studies page and apply online, then
  2. Submit your essay and resume by following the upload instructions within the online application.
  3. Request official transcripts to be sent directly to the Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Office from each college/university (except Central) where any university level courses have been taken.