The Master of Science program in Criminal Justice is designed to provide broad knowledge and understanding of the field of criminal justice, law enforcement, legal processes, and rehabilitation of offenders. It also provides an extensive academic foundation for a growing variety of professional opportunities and facilitates professional development in preparation for positions of increasing responsibility. Curriculum objectives are based on the philosophy that the function of the professional criminal justice practitioner and educator is to aid the orderly development of society, to contribute significantly to the improvement of the quality of services, and to advance the criminal justice system. Students who anticipate pursuing graduate studies should prepare themselves for work on this level by selecting undergraduate courses which provide competence in the following areas: statistical analysis, behavioral science methodology, independent library research, and the writing of research papers.
The University's location in the state capital provides direct access to many local, federal, and state agencies through internship and fieldwork opportunities. All graduate students should consult the Criminal Justice Graduate Coordinator when planning their program of courses for each upcoming semester.
Admission as a classified graduate student in Criminal Justice requires:
- a baccalaureate degree;
- a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 units attempted and a 3.0 GPA in the major field;
- a score of 4 or more in the Analytical Writing Section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test;
- a letter outlining in some detail the applicant's interests, goals, and expectations in pursuing the MS in Criminal Justice; and
- three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant's potential for graduate study (format for letters is available in the Criminal Justice Office).