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Master of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice

A Word to Students

Whether your goal is to become more marketable in a highly competitive workplace or to advance your existing career in the criminal justice system, the Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice (MSCCJ) at Florida Atlantic University can provide you with the tools to achieve your ambitions. This comprehensive program focuses on the two critical dimensions of the criminal justice system — understanding and responding to crime, from both theoretical and operational perspectives. Students progress through a solid foundation of applied theory and research courses that are focused on analyzing the causes and prevalence of crime, along with evaluating evidence-based approaches for preventing and responding to criminal behavior. As a graduate of this program, you will be well suited for a wide range of professional opportunities in the criminal justice field that seek to:

  • Analyze, implement, and evaluate crime-related public policy;
  • Apply best practices to prevent crime and redirect convicted offenders;
  • Manage and lead police as well as correctional organizations;
  • Integrate research findings into initiatives designed to improve the criminal justice system.

You will also obtain the solid educational foundation needed if interested in continuing on toward advanced doctoral-level studies.

Goals and Purpose

This degree program provides students with the tools to conduct and critique the applied research and operational practices necessary to more effectively prevent crime and address criminal behavior. Focused on analyzing, understanding, and responding to crime-related problems and public policy issues, students are exposed to theoretical concepts as well as evidence-based police and correctional practices. Ultimately, the goal is to prepare well-rounded, analytical graduates who will advance the criminal justice system as visionary leaders, policy makers, program evaluators, and research analysts.

About the Program

Students will acquire a foundation of theoretical knowledge, evidence-based practices, implementation strategies, and professional values necessary to succeed in the criminal justice field, either as practitioners, policy-makers, or researchers. Coursework focuses on understanding theoretical explanations of crime, applying theory to real-life crime problems, as well as evaluating criminal justice policies and practices. In addition to a substantive focus on policing, the correctional system, and juvenile justice, coursework addresses such critical contemporary issues as progressive leadership, organizational culture, examination of ethical considerations, and the role of gender, race/ethnicity, and class in the criminal justice system. The purpose of the program is to prepare well-informed and highly-qualified graduates who can effectively:

  • Apply their knowledge of theory, evaluation research, evidence-based practices, and implementation strategies to promote both their personal ambitions and the progressive advancement of the criminal justice system.
  • Serve as practitioners, future leaders, administrators, managers, policy–makers, evaluators, and research analysts in the criminal justice field.
  • Contribute to the development of research, the implementation of policies, and the evaluation of programs designed to advance knowledge and practice in the criminal justice system;
  • Be academically equipped for advanced studies in the field of criminology and criminal justice.

Graduate and Online Teaching Assistantships

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers both graduate assistantships (GA) and online teaching assistantships (TA) to graduate students accepted into the program. There are a limited number of assistantships each year/semester, so the process for obtaining one is competitive, but many students attending the program full-time will receive an assistantship at some time in their program if they are interested.

The two types of assistantships are:

  • Graduate Assistantship (GA): Student is assigned to a specific full-time tenure track professor and assists that professor in research and/or teaching as the professor decides. The assignment is for 10 hours per week for each semester. The student receives a cash stipend plus reimbursement for 50% of tuition (matriculation fee; does not include local fees). Tuition and local fees can be found at: http://www.fau.edu/graduate/resources/tuition.php. Once a GA is offered and accepted, if the student does acceptable work, the assistantship can be renewed up to four semesters (i.e., the length of time it takes to graduate from the program attending full time).
  • Online Teaching Assistantship (TA): Student is assigned to a professor, instructor, or adjunct instructor and assists with teaching one large online undergraduate course. The assignment is for 10 hours per week in the Fall and Spring or 25 hours per week (for six weeks) in the Summer. The student receives a cash stipend only. The TA positions are assigned only one semester at a time; however, once a student works with a professor in a particular class, if they do well, the likelihood is strong that the student will be a TA for the same course the next semester.

Note that a student can potentially be assigned two assistantships each semester, but cannot work any more than 20 hours per week total for FAU in any capacity (i.e., includes other FAU employment). To receive either type of assistantship, students must be enrolled full-time (9 credits, fall and spring). Assistantships are assigned several weeks before classes start and new students must be accepted to the program before they qualify for an assistantship. For any questions about the assistantships, contact the program coordinator, Dr. Rachel Santos, at rboba@fau.edu.

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An Equal Opportunity/Equal Access Institution© Copyright 2015. Florida Atlantic University.

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