Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MS)

Admission to the Master of Science program in Criminal Justice is competitive. The decision to admit applicants is based upon a number of factors. The undergraduate GPA, as well as writing skills in the personal statement and writing sample all play a significant role in evaluating each applicant’s ability to be successful in the Master’s program. Other factors that are considered include letters of recommendation, the resume and other graduate work where applicable. It is extremely important to ensure that the application packet contains the applicant’s best work. Failure to provide all of the required documents in the proper format or length will result in the automatic non-admission to the program.

All application materials for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice are due by the date prescribed by the Office of Graduate Studies & Research to be considered for admission. Students may apply and begin the graduate program in the Fall, Spring, or Summer if fully admitted into the program (to begin in summer, the application materials must be received by the due date for Spring). Students who are provisionally admitted, must begin the graduate program in the Fall or Spring. In addition, all provisionally admitted students must take two required courses prior to completing any other graduate course work and receive a B or better in both required courses in order to proceed to full admission.

In those cases where the undergraduate major and minor differs from criminal justice, the applicant may be required to take developmental undergraduate courses. These cases will be reviewed by the criminal justice faculty.

To be considered for admission to the Master of Science in Criminal Justice, you must meet the following requirements prior to the application deadline:

  • Submit an application for graduate studies by the due dates provided by the Graduate School. Deadlines can be found at:
  • Pay the application fee
  • Submit transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Submit a resume

Automatic Admission will be afforded to students who earned a bachelor’s degree (any major/field) with an overall GPA of 2.8 or above OR a 2.5 overall GPA with 3 or more years of work experience in Criminal Justice or related fields. Applicants with an overall GPA below 2.8 with no work experience in Criminal Justice or related fields will be reviewed by program Faculty.

Applicants with an overall GPA below 2.5 will also be required to submit a 200-word Personal Statement describing their academic/professional background characteristics that will assist them in successfully completing the online degree program and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Program Faculty.

The admissions committee may request a personal interview.

Declaration of Track

If admitted to the master’s in criminal justice program, students will be automatically enrolled as non-thesis track.

Students who wish to declare thesis track must:

  • Meet with a faculty member during the first semester of enrollment in the MSCJ program and obtain commitment from that faculty member to serve as thesis advisor. Only a thesis advisor will be eligible to approve the change of Track from Non-thesis to Thesis
  • Maintain a 3.5 GPA during the first full year of enrollment in the MSCJ program.
    • Students who do not maintain a 3.5 GPA during the first full year of enrollment may petition to remain on thesis track by writing a letter to the criminal justice faculty that includes:
      • Reasons for first year GPA
      • Name of thesis advisor and confirmed or potential thesis committee members
      • Research question to be answered by the thesis
      • Methodological plan to answer the research question
      • A statement from the thesis advisor supporting continued enrollment in thesis track
  • Enroll in CRIJ 5398 and CRIJ 5399 during the last two semesters of the program.

Major Curriculum - Criminal Justice

Required Courses
CRIJ 5300Found in Criminal Justice3
CRIJ 5301Adv Smnr in Crij System3
CRIJ 5320Advanced Methods of Social Res3
CRIJ 5327Adv Quantitative Mthds in CRIJ3
CRIJ 5330Seminar in Criminological Theo3
Select three 3hr 5000-level Criminal Justice courses.9
CRIJ 5398Thesis I3
CRIJ 5399Thesis II3
Total Semester Credit Hours30