Mar 02, 2021
Emphasis areas include: Law Enforcement Administration and Corrections Administration.
The Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) is designed primarily for practitioners in the field of criminal justice interested in developing and/or enhancing administrative skills. The program is also designed to meet the analytical and theoretical needs of students who will continue with doctoral or law studies. The degree emphasizes four foundational areas: trends in criminal justice, policy development and analysis, research design and ethics in criminal justice. Understanding derived from these courses provides graduate students a solid foundation for dealing with the many critical issues confronting the contemporary criminal justice administrator. Courses are structured in a hands-on format, encouraging maximum student interaction while at the same time encouraging the development of useful action skills.
The degree requirements include 12 hours of foundation courses; 15 hours of core courses and 9 hours of elective courses totaling 36 semester hours.
Required Criminal Justice Foundation Courses (12 sem. hrs)
Required Core Courses (15 sem. hrs)
Criminal Justice Electives (9 sem. hrs)
Management Emphasis Areas in Criminal Justice Administration
Students majoring in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program desiring a greater focus in management skills may choose an emphasis in Law Enforcement Administration (LEA) or an emphasis in Corrections Administration (CA) as part of their degree completion plan. The management emphasis areas will appear on the student’s academic transcript and provide evidence that the student has satisfied academic requirements for departmentally recognized courses in the area.
Both the Law Enforcement Administration and the Corrections Administration emphasis areas consist of successful completion of three of the four designated graduate courses associated with that area (9 semester hours total). To qualify for the awarding of the emphasis, each course comprising the specialty area must be completed with a minimum grade of “B”. Management emphasis areas include:
Law Enforcement Administration Emphasis
Required Emphasis Courses
Students choose 9 hours (3 courses) from the following (taken in lieu of MSCJ electives):
Correction Administration Emphasis
Required Emphasis Courses
Students choose 9 hours (3 courses) of the following (taken in lieu of MSCJ electives):
Partners in Corrections Equivalency Program
Criminal Justice graduate faculty have developed an equivalency program for MSCJ students that can receive up to nine (9) graduate hours of college credit for management training received through the National Institute of Corrections.
Graduate students accepted into the MSCJ Program who select the MSCJ Corrections Administration emphasis and can demonstrate that they have successfully completed the National Institute of Corrections “Management Development for the Future” series 70- hour course will receive 9 hours of course equivalency toward the completion of their MSCJ degree. The specific courses for which equivalency credit will be given are (1) MSCJ 587 - Corrections Administration 3 hours , (2) MSCJ 589 - Community Corrections 3 hours and (3) MSCJ 550 - Readings in Criminal Justice Administration 3 hours .
Once all other coursework for the MSCJ degree has been successfully completed, these nine (9) hours will be awarded to enable the student to graduate with the Master of Science in Criminal Justice with an academic emphasis in Corrections Administration.
Focused Academic Sequence: Baccalaureate or Graduate
A Focused Academic Sequence (FAS) is a sequence of study (minimum of two courses) for which there is no academic degree major, minor or certificate. The FAS may be developed and implemented to quickly and effectively respond to a student’s specific needs. Any student may request an FAS to meet any baccalaureate or graduate academic need for which there is no present academic degree, major, minor, concentration, emphasis, or endorsement.
In a formal business memorandum, addressed to the academic department chair(s) and jointly signed by the student and the faculty member working with the student, a FAS must be requested. A FAS request, taking the form of a specific educational objective, or objectives, and specification of the completed coursework necessary for meeting the objective, or objectives, must be approved by the chair(s) of the department(s) in which coursework is to be completed. The chair of the academic department in which the student is pursuing an academic major is responsible for monitoring the student’s FAS progress, and for notifying the Executive Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs (EVPDAA) when the FAS has been completed and a letter of completion is justified. The EVPDAA issues the “Letter of Completion” and authorizes the Office of the Registrar Office to enter notice of the letter in the student’s academic transcript.
The Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) is designed primarily for practitioners in the field of criminal justice interested in developing and/or enhancing administrative and leadership skills. The program is also capable of accommodating the analytical and theoretical needs of students who will continue with doctoral or law studies. The program’s curriculum was designed with feedback provided by a nine member curricular advisory board.
The degree emphasizes four foundational areas: trends in criminal justice, research design, ethics and legal considerations in criminal justice management. Understanding derived from these courses provides graduate students a solid foundation for dealing with the many critical issues confronting the contemporary criminal justice administrator. Courses are structured in a hands-on format, encouraging maximum student interaction while at the same time encouraging the development of useful action skills. During each course, students are requested to evaluate the quality of instruction received in each class. Data from student evaluations is used to improve curriculum and pedagogy.
The Department has developed the following program learning goals for graduates of the Master of Science in Criminal Justice program:
- To acquire increased skills in writing in a criminal justice context.
- To acquire increased and improved skills in public speaking.
- To enhance decision-making, organizational, and leadership skills.
- To obtain real world critical thinking/problem solving skills as they relate to criminal justice and public policy.
- To study recent developments and trends in criminal justice.
- To apply experience and research to the development of public policy and acceptable criminal procedure.
- To gain knowledge of comparative criminal justice policy and procedures and possible applications in an American criminal justice setting.
The Department’s Capstone Course, MSCJ 595 , is the primary site for gathering of program assessment information. Product and process components that form key outcomes or performance tasks relevant to the degree must be completed successfully as part of this culminating experience. Course work in MSCJ 595 requires submission of multiple case studies and other work which applies course concepts from all of the Master’s degree course work to leadership-based scenarios.
Students in MSCJ 595 will also be given a Program Assessment Instrument, which requests the students to submit answers to questions designed to assess the quality of the MSCJ program. Information and data obtained through these and other assessment activities is used to improve curriculum and pedagogy.