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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