Criminal Justice Graduate

Admission Requirements

Candidates seeking admission to the Graduate Program of Criminal Justice must meet the general requirements of the University and of the School of Arts and Sciences. Students must have taken the Graduate Record Examination Aptitude Test and should have a broadly based background in the social and behavioral sciences. Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 in their area of specialization. The undergraduate major should include at least one course in criminal justice theory. At the discretion of the Departmental Graduate Committee, deficiencies in the above areas may be removed by other course work in the graduate program. Persons admitted into the Program without an undergraduate degree or experience in Criminal Justice will be required to take undergraduate prerequisites (6 to 9 semester hours) as deemed appropriate by the department.

Degree Requirements

The minimum requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice is thirty-six (36) semester hours with:

  • The satisfactory completion of the following core courses consisting of twenty-seven (27) hours -
    • CSCJ 520 Urban Society and Culture
    • CSCJ 501 Sociological Theories
    • CSCJ 502 Criminological Theories
    • CSCJ 503 Research Methods I
    • CSCJ 505 Statistics I
    • CSCJ 514 Law Enforcement Administration
    • CSCJ 516 Judiciary System: Court System
    • CSCJ 517 Correctional Systems
    • CSCJ 518 Delinquency and Juvenile Justice System
    • CSCJ 603 Statistics II
  • The satisfactory completion of six (6) semester hours from the following elective courses -
    • CSCJ 520 Urban Society and Culture
      CSCJ 526 Selected Topics Seminar in Sociology and Criminal Justice
    • CSCJ 571 International Criminality, National Security, and Terrorism
    • CSCJ 579 Cultural and Ethnic Relations
    • CSCJ 582 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
  • The satisfactory completion and defense of a thesis [CSCJ 805; three (3) semester hours]
  • The satisfactory completion of a practicum [CSCJ 519; three (3) semester hours] with an assigned criminal justice agency for a minimum total of 480 hours.
  • Passing a written comprehensive examination consisting of Criminal Justice Theory and Research Methods. A passing evaluation of this examination must be obtained within three (3) attempts. The student must have completed a minimum of twenty-seven (27) semester hours and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 before receiving eligibility to take the examination.

Note: The following courses consisting of fifteen (15) semester hours must be among the twenty-seven (27) completed hours for examination eligibility:

  • CSCJ 501 Sociological Theories
  • CSCJ 502 Criminological Theories
  • CSCJ 503 Research Methods I
  • CSCJ 505 Statistics I
  • CSCJ 518 Delinquency and Juvenile Justice System

Plan for Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

First Year
1st Semester (9 hours)

Completion of all conditional requirements (if applicable)
CSCJ 501 Sociological Theories 
CSCJ 503 Research Methods I
CSCJ 505 Statistics I

2nd Semester (9 hours)
CSCJ 502 Criminological Theories 
CSCJ 518 Delinquency and Juvenile System
CSCJ 603 Advanced Statistics

Second Year
3rd Semester (9 hours) 

CSCJ 514 Law Enforcement Administration 
CSCJ 516 Judiciary System 
CSCJ 517 Correctional System

4th Semester (9 hours)
CSCJ 519 Practicums
CSCJ (Elective*)
CSCJ (Elective*)

  • *Other utility courses include:
  • CSCJ 500 Administration of Criminal Justice 
  • CSCJ 613 Independent Study
  • CSCJ 801 Thesis Consultation
  • CSCJ 805 Thesis Research

Ideally, the student's first and third semesters are fall semesters. The second and fourth semesters are spring semesters. Given that certain courses are only taught during certain semesters, the suggested sequence of courses has been constructed with this in mind. If a student enters into the master's program in a semester other than the fall, he/she must be aware that some courses may have prerequisites. Therefore, the prerequisite must be completed (which may be the next year) before the course currently offered can be taken. Also, students with conditional admission may not be able to complete all course requirements in four semesters because of the contingency requirements (usually developmental courses).