Master of Science in Criminal Justice Studies

Admission Requirements

In addition to the admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies, the following requirements must be met by all applicants:

  1. A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or allied field from an accredited college or university.
  2. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in all undergraduate coursework.
  3. Submit a resume.
  4. Submit a personal statement for evaluation describing academic and professional accomplishments; reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in Criminal Justice Studies; and any additional information the applicant would like the admissions committee to know.
  5. Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.

Outstanding applicants are evaluated on an individual basis and those with limited backgrounds in fields related to criminal justice but a distinguished record in another discipline, or a lower cumulative GPA but an otherwise strong application, may be accepted in a qualified or provisional status.

Degree Requirements

  1. Complete a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  2. At least one-half of the credits must be at or above the 500-level.
  3. A maximum of one-fourth of the credit hours may be transferred from another institution. 
  4. Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Required Core Courses (15 credits):

Foundations in Crime and Criminal Justice
Theories of Crime
Research Methods in Criminal Justice
Visualization and Interpretation of Criminal Justice Data
Administrative Decision Making in Criminal Justice

Thesis or Non-Thesis Option (15 credits):

Students successfully prepare and defend a Thesis (CJ 998 Thesis; 6 credits) and take 9 credits of electives.

Students successfully complete a Scholarly Project (CJ 995 Scholarly Project; 3 credits) and take 12 credits of electives.

Thesis students choose 9 credits from the following electives. Non-thesis students choose 12 credits from the following electives. CJ 540 and CJ 545 are repeatable to 9 credits when the course is differently subtitled. For example, topics related to policy will vary (e.g., with semesters focusing on Policing, Corrections, etc.).

Program Evaluation in Criminal Justice
Seminar in Criminal Justice Policy
Seminar in Rural Justice Issues
Seminar in Tribal Justice Systems

Students can substitute other graduate-level courses or 400-level courses approved for graduate credit if prerequisites are met or with permission from the instructor. Electives may include courses in other departments/programs, such as Psychology, Education Foundations and Research, Counseling, and Political Science and Public Administration, among others. They must be courses appropriate for the student's interests and program of study, chosen in consultation with the student's Advisory Committee/Graduate Director.