Apr 21, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2023-24 
    
Graduate Catalog 2023-24

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies (CJSM)


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The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies consists of an interdisciplinary curriculum designed to provide perspective on crime and (in)justice at the local, state, regional, national, and international levels. The program provides a well-rounded, theoretical, and practical education necessary for careers in criminal justice and social justice fields. The curriculum consists of a foundational core (18 hours), a choice of one of three tracks - career track with four specializations, social justice track with two specializations, or thesis track (12-14 hours), and a required application experience (4-6 hours). In addition, students may be able to complete a graduate certificate program – the Addiction Specialization or Clinical Addiction Certificate, the Climate Change Policy and Management Certificate, the Cybersecurity: Computer Information Systems Graduate Certificate, or the Geographic Information Sciences Certificate – as part of the M.A. in Criminal Justice Studies.

Program Goals

1. Understand criminological theories used to explain law making, criminal behavior and patterns of crime, and social control.

2. Develop a basic understanding of social science research methods of data collection and analysis.

3. Develop a foundational understanding of the criminal justice system, policy making, and current issues related to criminal/social justice.

4. Develop specialized skills and knowledge for pursuing professional careers in criminal/social justice, or for advanced doctoral work in criminology, sociology, or related fields.

5. Demonstrate proficiency in selected track/specialty area by successfully completing the required application experience.

Admission Requirements

1. Twenty-four semester hours in undergraduate social sciences, with at least fifteen semester hours in sociology, criminal justice, or criminology, including courses in theory and research methods (applicants without the requisite hours of undergraduate sociology, criminal justice, and/or criminology course may be permitted to make up deficiencies as a condition of matriculation).

2. Grade-point average of 3.0 or better in undergraduate sociology, criminal justice, and/or criminology courses.

3. Applicants must upload a biographical statement, sample of original academic writing, official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended, TOEFL or equivalent English language proficiency scores (international applicants only), and three letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional sources to the online admissions application. Additional information may be obtained from the departmental academic advisor.

Financial Assistance
A number of departmental, University, and governmental assistantships, fellowships, and associateships are available to qualified students. Educational opportunities and part-time employment may be available through the facilities of the Leonard C. Kercher Center for Social Research. Research through the Kercher Center includes studies of education, mental illness, marital roles, race relations, group dynamics, deviant behavior, comparative institutions, and numerous other topics. Graduate students frequently participate in these studies.

Program Requirements
Complete at least 36 graduate hours elected in consultation with the student’s master’s committee. Students must earn a “B” or better in all required courses, and a “C” or better in any other graduate courses. Grades of “D/C” and below are failing grades. A minimum grade-point average of 3.00 (A=4.0) must be maintained during every semester.

Foundational Core (18 hours)


All students are required to take the following six courses that comprise the foundational core of the program.

Tracks


Students select a track from among the following: Career Track with specializations in Criminal Justice Administration, Geographic Information Systems, Cybersecurity, or Addiction; Social Justice Track with specializations in Environmental Justice and Climate Change, or Race, Power, and Inequality; or Thesis Track.

Career Track (12 hours)


The career track is designed for working professionals in the fields of criminal justice or social justice who want to pursue a master’s degree to enhance their career advancement opportunities, or for those who have earned a bachelor’s degree and want to become career professionals in these fields, but do not want to pursue a doctoral degree. Students will select one specialization area and complete their choice of a required application experience. Students can focus on one area of specialization or take courses across different areas of specialization and complete their choice of a required application experience.

SPECIALIZATIONS:


Criminal Justice Administration Specialization


Geographic Information Systems Specialization


Completing all of the course options listed below meets the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems Specialization.

Cybersecurity Specialization


Completing all of the course options listed below meets the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Specialization.

Addiction Specialization


Completing all of the course options listed below meets the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Addiction Specialization. The Graduate Clinical Addiction Certificate requires six additional hours.

Required Application for Career Track (4-6 hours, or more are required to meet 36 credit hour minimum for this program)


  • Complete the Graduate Clinical Certificate Program in Addiction, the Graduate Certificate Program in Geographic Information Science, or the Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Management

(Note: Students must be admitted to the Graduate Certificate Program selected to pursue this option. See information on certificates above for the additional hours required and the Graduate Catalog for additional information about the admissions and other requirements for the Certificate Programs); or

  • Take additional courses in specialization to meet 36 credit hour minimum; or
  • Complete SOC 7100 – Independent Research requiring a project paper (credit hours to meet 36 credit hour minimum); or
  • SOC 7100 – Comprehensive Examination (credit hours to meet 36 credit hour minimum); or
  • SOC 7120 – Professional Field Experience requiring a field experience paper (credit hours to meet 36 credit hour minimum)

Social Justice Track (12 hours)


This track is designed for students who want to enhance their knowledge of social justice issues, but do not want to pursue a doctoral degree. Students select one area of specialization and an application experience of their choice. Students can focus on one area of specialization or take courses across different areas of specialization and complete their choice of a required application experience.

SPECIALIZATIONS:


Environmental Justice and Climate Change Specialization


Completing all course options listed below meet the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Climate Change Policy and Management.

Required Application for the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Specialization


  • Complete graduate certificate program in Climate Change Policy and Management (Note: Students must be admitted to the Graduate Certificate Program to pursue this option. See information on the certificate above for the additional hours required and the Graduate Catalog for additional information about the admissions and other requirements for the Certificate Program); or
  • Take additional courses in specialization (credit hours to meet 36 credit hour minimum); or
  • Complete SOC 7100 - Independent Research with required project paper (credit hours to meet 36 credit hour minimum); or
  • SOC 7100 – Comprehensive Examination (credit hours to meet 36 credit hour minimum); or
  • SOC 7120 – Professional Field Experience with required field experience paper (credit hours to meet 36 credit hour minimum)

Race, Power, and Inequality Specialization


Required Application for the Race, Power, and Inequality Specialization


  • Take additional courses in specialization (credit hours to meet 36 credit hour minimum); or
  • Complete SOC 7100 - Independent Research with required project paper (credit hours to meet 36 credit hour minimum); or
  • SOC 7100 – Comprehensive Examination (credit hours to meet 36 credit hour minimum); or
  • SOC 7120 – Professional Field Experience with required field experience paper (credit hours to meet 36 credit hour minimum)

Thesis Track (12 hours)


This track is designed for students wanting to pursue a doctoral degree in criminology, criminal justice, or sociology. The Thesis Track requires 12 hours of coursework.

Required Application for Thesis Track (6 hours)


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