Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice is designed to serve the growing number of individuals in the criminal justice system who desire postbaccalaureate education, as well as those in more traditional public and private employment who may wish to acquire further education in criminal justice.

The degree program offers two options for the culminating experience. 1) The thesis option is designed for students who intend to pursue graduate studies beyond the M.A. level and those students who have special research interests in the criminal justice system. 2) The comprehensive examination option is for those with administrative and management goals.

The program can serve a variety of student interests. It has been designed with a limited prerequisite requirement to enable students with baccalaureate degrees in related fields such as psychology, administration, anthropology, sociology or social sciences to enroll along with students with undergraduate degrees in criminal justice.

Admission to the Program

The Graduate Committee cannot act on applications until they have been reviewed by the Office of Graduate Admissions, and have met university admissions requirements. Check the Criminal Justice Department website for application deadlines. Applications will be evaluated on a competitive basis and enrollment is limited.

In addition to the general requirements of the university, specific requirements for admission to classified graduate status are:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university;
  2. Completion of an undergraduate major in criminal justice, criminology, sociology, or in an allied field such as psychology, administration, or another social science, or recommendation for admission to the program by the Graduate Admissions Committee. Competence in the following prerequisite areas: criminological theory, law enforcement, institutional and community corrections, research methods and statistics is expected;
  3. A minimum undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 overall and 3.0 ("B") in the major;
  4. Submission of any available GRE scores, in the event the applicant feels that such scores would enhance their chances of admission. Submission of such scores is not mandatory;
  5. Submission to the criminal justice program of three letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with the student's academic work and potential to complete the program successfully. Letters must come directly from the writer or be included in a placement file, and will be evaluated by criminal justice faculty members.
  6. A brief statement of purpose describing the applicant's preparation for graduate study & professional goals.

Advancement to Candidacy

To be advanced to candidacy, a student must have:

  1. Achieved classified standing;
  2. Completed all required course work except Thesis or Comprehensive Examination;
  3. Completed all course work taken before advancement to candidacy with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 ("B"). Completed all course work with no more than one course with a grade as low as "C." If a second such grade is earned, the student will be dismissed from the program, but may petition the graduate admission committee for readmission. After reviewing the petition, the committee may allow readmission under such conditions as it deems appropriate. A third grade of "C" or lower will result in permanent dismissal from the program with no recourse to petition;
  4. For the thesis culminating experience: made arrangements for three faculty members, in consultation with the Criminal Justice Graduate Coordinator, to serve as the student's graduate advisory committee, with one member designated to chair the committee;
  5. Completed a formal Program Plan of graduate studies with the Criminal Justice Graduate Coordinator.This should be done after the completion of 15 units of approved graduate level course work;
  6. Petitioned the graduate committee, during the quarter in which all course work is to be completed, for formal advancement.

The graduate committee will then consider the student's scholastic performance and other circumstances and either grant advancement to candidacy, specify necessary preparatory studies, or recommend other courses of action.

Requirements for Graduation

  1. A minimum of 34 units of acceptable graduate level work, with at least 24 semester units completed in residence at this university;
  2. Completion of course work and an acceptable thesis and final oral defense,
    Completion of course work and registration in and completion of the comprehensive examination with a grade of credit;
  3. Any additional general requirements not cited above and listed in Graduate Degree and Program Requirements;
  4. The graduation writing requirement is met upon successful completion of the thesis or comprehensive examination.

Degree Requirements (34 units)

(Program Code: CJUM)

CJUS 6604Advanced Techniques of Basic and Applied Research in Criminal Justice3
CJUS 6605Proseminar in Criminal Justice3
CJUS 6606Statistical Analysis in Criminal Justice3
CJUS 6607Applying Criminological Theory to Criminal Justice3
CJUS 6631Seminar in Corrections3
or CJUS 6632 Seminar in Policing
CJUS 6641Planning and Evaluation in Criminal Justice3
CJUS 6686Graduate Review in Criminal Justice1
Nine units of electives (with no more than 3 units at the 5000-level) to be chosen in consultation with an advisor from:9
Intelligence & Crime Analysis 2
Homeland Security
Transnational Organized Crime
Crime in Public Spaces
Juvenile Justice
Life Course Criminality
Crime, Criminals and Victims
Race, Class, & Gender in the Criminal Justice System
Legal Issues in Criminal Justice
Seminar in Corrections
Seminar in Policing
Justice Policy and Administration
Directed Area Studies in Criminal Justice
Other courses may be allowed with consent of department.
Culminating Experience (6)6
Note: Students selecting the Comprehensive Exam Culminating Experience must take six additional elective units with no more than three additional units at the 5000-level
Total Units34

Culminating Experience (6 units)

Thesis Option (6)

CJUS 6971Thesis I3
CJUS 6972Thesis II3
Total Units6

Comprehensive Exam Option (6 units)

Six units of electives (with no more than three additional units at the 5000-level) to be chosen in consultation with an advisor6
CJUS 6980Comprehensive Examination0
Total Units6