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Master of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice

Degree Requirements

The program consists of a total of 33 credit hours: 9 required course credits; 6 restricted electives; 12 unrestricted electives; and 6 exit requirements (thesis or non-thesis options). Some courses are delivered on-site, others are completely on-line, and still others are a hybrid combination.

Core Requirements (9 credits):
Required:
CCJ 6902 Criminal Justice Research and Policy Foundations 3 credits
CCJ 6056 Understanding Criminal Behavior 3 credits
CCJ 6704 Research Methods and Data Analysis 3 credits
Restricted Electives (6 credits):
Students must choose two of the following five courses (the remaining three can be used as unrestricted electives):
CJC 6021 Corrections Research, Policy, and Practice 3 credits
CJJ 6046 Juvenile Justice Research, Policy, and Practice 3 credits
CJE 6426 Police Research, Policy, and Practice 3 credits
CCJ 6669 Class, Race, and Gender in Criminal Justice 3 credits
CCJ 6712 Advanced Research and Evaluation * 3 credits

* Thesis students must take this course as one of the two restricted electives.

Unrestricted Electives (12 credits):
Students can take any four of the following unrestricted electives, (provided they were not used to meet restricted elective requirements):
CJC 6021 Corrections Research, Policy, and Practice 3 credits
CJE 6426 Police Research, Policy, and Practice 3 credits
CJE 6688 Computer Crime Research and Policy 3 credits
CCJ 6063 Social Disorganization and Crime Prevention 3 credits
CCJ 6079 Crime Analysis in Policing 3 credits
CCJ 6142 Restorative Justice Research, Policy, and Practice 3 credits
CCJ 6295 Courts, Sentencing, and the Judicial Process 3 credits
CCJ 6335 Prisoner Re-entry Policy and Practice 3 credits
CCJ 6475 Leadership and Organizational Culture in Criminal Justice Agencies 3 credits
CCJ 6485 Applying Criminal Justice Theory, Policy, and Research 3 credits
CCJ 6619 Crime and Everyday Life 3 credits
CCJ 6624 Violence Research and Policy 3 credits
CCJ 6669 Class, Race, and Gender in Criminal Justice 3 credits
CCJ 6699 Sex Offender Research and Policy 3 credits
CCJ 6675 Victims and the Justice Process 3 credits
CCJ 6712 Advanced Research and Evaluation 3 credits
CJJ 6046 Juvenile Justice Research, Policy, and Practice 3 credits
CCJ 6905 Directed Independent Study 1-3 credits
CCJ 6934 Special Topics 3 credits

With approval of the program coordinator, students may take one to three graduate courses (3-9 credits) from outside the MSCCJ program that are relevant to their study concentration and/or career plans. To apply toward graduation, any outside courses must be approved by the program coordinator before registration.

Exit Requirements (6 credits): Two Options

Non-Thesis Option

This option is for students who do not wish to continue with their graduate education or research-related employment. In addition to fulfilling core, restricted elective, and elective requirements (27 credits), students in the non-thesis option are required to take CCJ 6485 Applying Criminal Justice Theory, Policy, and Research (3 credits) and one additional unrestricted elective (3 credits). CCJ 6485 guides students through a project that comprehensively applies the theoretical concepts learned throughout the program. This course will be taken in either the last or next to last semester before graduation, provided that all required core courses and restricted electives have been completed.

Thesis Option

This option is for students who anticipate continuing on to doctoral-level studies and/or who seek research positions within the criminal justice system. Thesis students will take the three core courses (9 credits); CCJ 6727 Advanced Research and Evaluation and another restricted elective of their choice (6 credits); four electives of their choice (12 credits); and CCJ 6971 Master’s Thesis (6 credits) to complete a thesis according to policies of the university’s Graduate School and School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Thesis credits will be taken in either the last or next to last semester before graduation, provided that all other required core courses and restricted electives courses have been completed. NOTE: Students opting to complete a thesis may take CCJ 6485 Applying Criminal Justice, Theory, Policy, and Research as one of their unrestricted electives.

Areas of Concentration

To obtain a concentration a CCJ student will take at least three courses related to the concentration area and then select a topic related to that concentration for their exit option. The following are the three concentrations available and the courses that can satisfy each:

Policing

  1. CJE 6426 Policing Research, Policy, and Practice
  2. CCJ 6475 Organizational Culture and Leadership in Criminal Justice Agencies
  3. CCJ 6076 Crime Analysis in Policing
  4. CCJ 6619 Crime and Everyday Life
  5. CCJ 6063 Social Disorganization and Crime Prevention
  6. Any other police related special topics (CCJ 6934)course offered by the school, approved by the graduate coordinator
  7. Students may also take up to one related directed independent study (CCJ 6905) to satisfy this requirement, approved by the graduate coordinator

Crime and Criminal Behavior

  1. CCJ 6056 Understanding Criminal Behavior
  2. CCJ 6697 Sex Offender Research and Policy
  3. CCJ 6078 Computer Crime Research and Policy
  4. CCJ 6619 Crime and Everyday Life
  5. CCJ 6624 Violence Research and Policy
  6. CCJ 6063 Social Disorganization and Crime Prevention
  7. Any other crime and criminal behavior related special topics (CCJ 6934)course offered by the school, approved by the graduate coordinator
  8. Students may also take up to one related directed independent study (CCJ 6905) to satisfy this requirement, approved by the graduate coordinator

Corrections

  1. CJC 6021 Corrections Research, Policy, and Practice
  2. CCJ 6475 Organizational Culture and Leadership in Criminal Justice Agencies
  3. CCJ 6142 Restorative Justice Research, Policy, and Practice
  4. CCJ 6335 Prisoner Re-entry Research, Policy, and Practice
  5. Any other corrections related special topics (CCJ 6934)course offered by the school, approved by the graduate coordinator
  6. Students may also take up to one directed independent study (CCJ 6905) to satisfy this requirement, approved by the graduate coordinator

Criminal Justice Specialization

Interested degree-seeking students who are majoring in other disciplines can complete a 15-credit specialization in Criminology and Criminal Justice, which includes:

  • CCJ 6056 Understanding Criminal Behavior
  • CCJ 6902 Criminal Justice Research and Policy Foundations
  • Electives - 9 credits (any three graduate-level CCJ electives or restricted electives).

Academic Standing

Continuation in the program requires satisfactory progress toward degree completion. Evidence of such progress includes maintenance of an overall 3.0 cumulative GPA. Additionally, for each course, no grade lower than “C ”is acceptable to fulfill program requirements. (Thus, a “C-”would not be acceptable). Students who do not maintain the required 3.0 cumulative GPA are placed on academic probation during the semester immediately following the one in which their cumulative GPA dropped below 3.0. Failure to regain a 3.0 cumulative GPA within two successive semesters thereafter results in dismissal from the program. Students may also be dismissed at any time that they are not making satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree, or for serious violations of academic integrity.

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