Graduate Degree

Criminal Justice - Master of Science

Criminal Justice - Master of Science
Plan Code:
Program Level:
Award Type:
Master of Science
College of Social Science
School of Criminal Justice

Excerpt from the official Academic Programs Catalog:

Listed below are the approved requirements for the program from the official Academic Programs Catalog.
Students must consult their advisors to learn which specific requirements apply to their degree programs.

College of Social Science

School of Criminal Justice

Graduate Study
Criminal Justice - Master of Science

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.


While a criminal justice undergraduate major comparable to that offered by this school is not required for admission to the Master of Science degree program, the applicant must have a background of education and occupational experience appropriate to the successful pursuit of graduate work in the concentration elected. Applicants insufficiently prepared for graduate study in criminal justice may have to complete collateral course work or pursue individualized study to satisfy deficiencies. Occupational experience is highly desirable before undertaking graduate study in some fields of criminal justice.

All applicants must have at least 12 credits of undergraduate course work in political science, economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, social work, or any combination thereof. At least 6 of these credits must be in sociology, psychology, social work, or any combination of such courses.

Regular Status 

  1. A bachelor's degree from a recognized educational institution.
  2. An undergraduate grade–point average of 3.20 or higher.
  3. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test. The GRE exam is waived for candidates with a cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of 3.2 or higher from an accredited and recognized institution and for applicants with a completed graduate degree.
  4. Evidence of personal traits and characteristics considered important for scholarly performance.
  5. Occupational experience is given weight in the selection of master's degree candidates whenever such experience is important to the study of a specific concentration or is an important factor in obtaining appropriate employment after completion of the Master of Science degree.

Provisional Status

A limited number of applicants who do not satisfy the school's regular admission requirements may be accepted provisionally. These students will be judged on the basis of their potential contribution to the field of criminal justice. Students should not be enrolled on a provisional basis for more than one semester. The student must be admitted on a regular basis to be considered a degree candidate. To qualify for admission to regular status, the student must complete a minimum of 10 credits in criminal justice graduate course work with a grade–point average of 3.20 or higher.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice

The program is available under both Plan A (with thesis) and Plan B (without thesis).  The student must complete a total of 30 credits distributed as follows:

Requirements for Both Plan A and Plan B

1. Core Courses (15 credits)
CJ 801 Crime Causation, Prevention, and Control 3
CJ 810 Proseminar in Criminal Justice 3
CJ 811 Design and Analysis in Criminal Justice Research 3
CJ 812 Criminal Justice Management Seminar 3
CJ 887 Quantitative Methods in Criminal Justice Research 3
2. Plan A
1. Complete 6 credits of Criminal Justice 899 Master's Thesis Research with a grade of 3.0 or better.
2. Pass an oral examination in defense of the thesis.
3. Complete 3 credits of electives approved by the academic advisor.
Plan B
1. Complete Criminal Justice 896 Policy Analysis under Conditions of Change with a grade of 3.0 or better.
2. Pass an oral examination covering the policy analysis paper completed by successfully completing Criminal Justice 896.
3. Complete 6 credits of electives approved by the academic advisor.
3. Criminal Justice electives approved by an academic advisor 6