The Criminal Justice graduate program is designed to serve as a stepping stone to further graduate work, administrative research or management careers in the criminal justice system or the private sector.
The Criminal Justice graduate program has three primary concentrations: Law Enforcement, Corrections and Juvenile Justice. The program is responsive to the criminal justice needs in the public sector in specialized areas such as corrections, police administration, and Juvenile Justice.
The Graduate Program is designed to serve the following students:
- Those seeking intermediate level administrative or research positions.
- Those gainfully employed in the criminal justice system who wishes to broaden their perspective and advance in the system.
- Those pursuing a teaching career at the community college level.
- Those who plan to continue in a doctoral program, specifically in one of the cognate areas (criminology, criminal justice, corrections, and law enforcement).
The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice requires a total of 36 credit hours of graduate work.
Master’s with Thesis Option: The thesis option is recommended for those students wishing to conduct original research and those who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in the future. This option requires students to take at least 30 credit hours of approved graduate course work in addition to six thesis hours for a total of 36 credit hours for graduation. An oral defense of the thesis is required.
Master’s without Thesis Option: This option is intended for students and/or working professionals who elect additional hours of course work. Students who choose this option must take at least 36 credit hours of graduate course work, approved by his or her advisor, along with a Comprehensive Examination in the final semester before graduation. The comprehensive must be registered for but offers no credit.
Criminal Justice graduate students are encouraged to join professional associations, and to attend conferences and meetings. Student participation in research presentations and round table discussions during regional and national conferences is encouraged.