||Master of Science
The Master of Science degree program in Criminal Justice is designed to build a student's individual, agency and community capacity to understand, prevent, intervene and respond innovatively to juvenile delinquency and crime, using evidence-based practices and policies, in ways that ensure justice. Through intensive study, students will be prepared for a wide range of positions requiring an advanced degree. Upon completion of our program you will be prepared to enter leadership positions as well as facilitate program development, implementation and analysis within various government, private-for-profit and non-profit agencies that comprise the complex justice system. The program also provides advanced theoretical knowledge and research skills and experience necessary for entering instructor-level positions in criminal justice within institutions of higher education or for entering a doctoral program.
In addition to the general admission requirements of the Graduate School, admission to the Master's program in the Criminal Justice requires:
- Successful completion of an undergraduate research methods course within a social science discipline (Criminal Justice, Sociology, Political Science, Psychology, or the equivalent). If admitted without this, students will be required to enroll in and complete CJUS 301 during their first semester of graduate study; although required, this course will not be applicable to the M.S. degree in Criminal Justice.
- Submission of a personal statement.
The M.S. program in Criminal Justice offers both thesis and non-thesis options. The thesis option requires completion of 33 hours of graduate level work and the non-thesis option requires completion of 36 hours of graduate level work.
Both the thesis and non-thesis options require completion of the following 5 graduate-level courses: CJUS 505 , CJUS 510 , CJUS 561 , CJUS 590 , and CJUS 591 .
The thesis option requires an additional 6 credit hours of CJUS 599 , 6 credit hours of graduate-level CJUS elective work, and 6 credit hours of elective coursework to be chosen from graduate-level courses in CJUS, POLS, PSYC, and/or SOCI.
The non-thesis option requires an additional 15 credit hours of graduate-level CJUS elective coursework, and 6 credit hours of elective coursework to be chosen from graduate-level courses in CJUS, POLS, PSYC, and/or SOCI. All elective courses should be chosen in consultation with you committee chair or the Graduate Coordinator.
Note for Students in all Tracks:
- No more than 6 graduate credit hours of 4XXG may be applied toward the M.S. degree in Criminal Justice.
- Students are encouraged to obtain permission from the instructor to enroll in 4XXG courses outside of CJUS for graduate credit prior to enrolling in the course.
- CJUS 501 is a rotating topics course that may be taken multiple times, but a specific CJUS 501 course topic may be applicable to the degree only once.
Upon admission into the Criminal Justice M.S. program, students will consult with the Graduate Coordinator regarding scheduling of courses. The Graduate Coordinator will assist students in developing a course plan based on the student's career goals. The Graduate Coordinator will assume the functions of comprehensive long-range planning and advise the student regarding each semester's registration. Students shall choose a committee chair and committee members no later than the end of the second semester of full-time study. The chair of the student's committee shall guide the thesis project and preparation for comprehensive exams. It is expected that full-time students will complete all requirements for the M.S. degree in two years.
Comprehensive Examinations and Defense of Thesis
Upon completion of all coursework, all students in the M.S. program in Criminal Justice are required to complete a comprehensive examination that includes written and oral components. This exam assesses student's theoretical and factual knowledge in the core areas with the M.S. program. The written section must be passed prior to taking the oral component of the exam. Students who have chosen to pursue the thesis option will be required to pass an oral defense of their thesis upon its completion. The thesis must be submitted to each committee member at least two weeks prior the oral defense of thesis.