Student Learning Outcomes - The graduate with a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice will use the knowledge and skills obtained in the program to:
- Critically assess major issues within the criminal justice system.
- Construct policy implications using multidisciplinary criminal justice theories.
- Access or conduct original, appropriate social science research to apply research findings to problems with crime or the criminal justice system.
- Generate or evaluate arguments regarding criminal justice issues through advanced academic writing.
This program is designed for those students who wish to enter and/or progress in the criminal justice fields of law enforcement, corrections, and juvenile justice; or who plan to seek positions in leadership, professional specialization, research, or instruction in criminal justice. The program includes two areas to ensure students receive the skills and experience necessary for their chosen career path.
Area 1: Theoretical Criminal Justice and Criminology is a criminal justice focused curriculum that includes criminological theory, quantitative analysis, and an applied research component. This area is ideal for those interested in a career in a research organization or continued education at the Ph.D. level.
Area 2: Criminal Justice Administration and Leadership is an interdisciplinary curriculum that includes ethical leadership, budgeting, and public administration, and a practical grant-writing capstone course. This area is ideal for working adults in the field who are seeking promotion into higher administrative ranks.
Admission - To be considered for admission into the program of study for the Criminal Justice M.S. degree, the applicant must have earned an undergraduate degree in criminal justice or a related field prior to enrollment in program coursework at UCM, submitted a complete graduate application, two (2) letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. The applicant must have earned a minimum grade point average of 3.00 on all undergraduate course work and 3.00 on all graduate coursework. A student without a criminal justice degree may be required to complete up to 15 hours of background courses in criminal justice prior to taking graduate level courses. The requirement to take background courses may be waived by the Criminal Justice Coordinator based on previous courses taken and/or relevant professional experience.
Students with a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 to below 3.00 may be considered for admission by the Criminal Justice Graduate Committee by completing the application materials described above, in addition to taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and submitting a minimal combined score on the General Test (Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning) of 300 points and a minimal score of 4.0 on the Analytic Writing Test. Any application deviating from these admissions criteria will be considered at the discretion of the Criminal Justice Graduate Committee.
Application due dates - To be considered for admission into the Criminal Justice M.S. degree program and to ensure available capacity, early submission of application materials is recommended. Priority consideration will be given to students who apply at the beginning of the semester prior to the anticipated enrollment term. To apply later will put students at a distinct disadvantage regarding course availability. The Criminal Justice Graduate Committee will meet monthly to review completed applications. All applicants will be notified of their admission status via email and/or the address provided on the application. Admission decisions will be based upon the merit of the application and the available space in the program for the student.
Prior to completion of the program, a student must select either the thesis or non-thesis option. The thesis option requires the student to complete three hours of thesis (CJ 6600) as part of the 30-hour degree program. Students in the non-thesis option must take three hours of CJ 5600 - Competencies in Criminal Justice (3) as part of their program of study/degree audit.
Consent to enroll in additional arranged courses must be obtained from the graduate program coordinator. These include CJ 5600, CJ 5602, CJ 6000 and/or CJ 6600.