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M.A. Degree in Criminal Justice

The MA in Criminal Justice will be a general course of study of the various systems within the criminal justice system, the current theoretical models explaining crime and delinquency, their practical use in addressing crime and enforcement, and the use of scientific inquiry to research and address the theoretical and practical problems facing the criminal justice system currently and in the future.

The Criminal Justice discipline is relatively new, compared to psychology, sociology and political science. However, it is a discipline that is in constant change. The Masters of Arts is designed to ensure that students keep pace with this changing environment and are prepared to be productive contributors to the debate on policy and practice through instruction in the three major components of the system: police, courts, and corrections. Preparation to fulfill this challenge also requires students to learn to be good consumers of information as well as versed in research and data analysis.

Students will explore differing paradigms that link criminal justice practices to theoretical explanations of crime including social, psychological, and behavioral. These explanations will drive the process of crime and control and system approaches in the coming decades because of the ever expanding costs to taxpayers at the expense of other social institutions. The program is designed to ensure that students can become productive, engaged contributors to the changing field of criminal justice.


In addition to the University’s admissions requirements:
  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in criminal justice or a related field (including political science, sociology, psychology, and legal studies)
    • Students without an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice or a related field may be admitted to the program at the discretion of the Criminal Justice faculty
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (lower GPAs will be considered based on strength of overall application)
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam) – Minimum Analytical writing score of 3.5
    • Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher do not need to take the GRE's.
  • Sample of scholarly work from undergraduate studies. Students who do not have a sample from their undergraduate studies will be assigned a topic by the program coordinator and will need to submit a 1250 word sample
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the applicant’s professional and/or academic abilities and accomplishments
  • Professional Resume/CV
  • Personal statement
  • TOEFL (for applicants whose native language is not English)


  • 36 credits
  • 6 credit thesis OR
  • Comprehensive examination