Degree Requirements

Man in Prison

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
Electives (18 credits):
Students can take any six of the following:
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 coordinatorbefore 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 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 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 have been completed. Students must complete CCJ 6902, CCJ 6056, and CCJ 6704 before enrolling in CCJ 6485.

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); 18 hours of electives; and CCJ 6971 Master’s Thesis (6 credits) to complete a thesis according to policies of the university’s Graduate 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 required core 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 electives.

Graduate Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines

For more information on Graduate Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines, click here.

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).

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.

Plan of Study (POS)

The College for Design and Social Inquiry requires all graduate students in the college to have an approved Plan of Study (POS) on file by the end of the second semester in the graduate program. This deadline is different than the Graduate College’s recommendation of submission by mid-program, but no later than the semester before graduation. Individual academic colleges reserve the right to enforce stricter deadlines for this university-wide graduate student requirement.


For any questions regarding the Master of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice degree program, please contact Ms. Sigal Rubin (Assistant Graduate Coordinator) at 561-297-4936.

For questions about advising, please contact the College Advising Center at 561-297-2316.