Apr 11, 2021  
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog 

Criminal Justice Traditional M.A.

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The Traditional Master of Arts degree program is designed to improve a student’s understanding of the nature, causes, and consequences of crime and crime control. Based on the tradition of the liberal arts, the program emphasizes the symbiotic relationship between crime and the structure of society and the interplay between criminal justice theory and practice. These relationships are explored through course work in criminological theory, law and social control, the administration of justice, and crime and public policy. By completing the requirements for this program, students will be prepared for teaching at the community college level and doctoral study in crime and criminal justice.

Admission Requirements

  1. An undergraduate degree in criminal justice or related social or behavioral science with a minimum GPA of 2.75 for all undergraduate work and a 3.00 for the last two years of undergraduate work is required for admission to the program. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for admission.
  2. A Criminal Justice Graduate Program Application Cover Page must be completed.
  3. A statement of purpose for pursuing the Master of Arts Degree, addressing the student’s particular interests in the field of criminal justice and his or her future academic and/or professional goals, must be provided at the time of application.
  4. Two letters of recommendation are required. It is preferred that both letters be from professors from whom the applicant took the classes. If the applicant completed the undergraduate degree work within the past five years, it is required that at least one letter be from a professor, unless the applicant can document the reasons why a letter from a former professor is difficult to obtain. If the applicant completed the undergraduate degree work more than five years ago and is currently working in a criminal justice-related field, two letters may be obtained from the applicant’s direct supervisor or co-workers. References from other sources will not be reviewed.
  5. Application forms, fees, official transcripts, test results and assistantship applications are submitted to the Graduate College. Submit an additional copy of official transcripts, the two letters of recommendation, and the statement of purpose, along with the Application Cover Page, directly to the department.
  6. International Students. Applicants who are citizens of a country where English is not the native language must show competency in the English language. As part of the entrance requirements, they must take the “Test of English as a Foreign Language” (TOEFL) and receive a minimum score of 550 (written) or 213 (computerized). International applicants must also submit a completed financial statement before their application can be reviewed and should check with the Graduate College regarding application procedures.

Degree Requirements

Completion of 36 credits of graduate study at the 600 and 700 levels.

Required Courses


An additional six credits in elective, graduate-level criminal justice courses are required.
A maximum of nine credits of 600-level course is allowed.

Graduate Study

Students may elect up to six credits of approved graduate study in other social or behavioral sciences or in graduate programs formally approved by the Department of Criminal Justice.


All students enrolled in the Traditional Master of Arts Degree Program in Criminal Justice are required to write a thesis. The thesis will be written under the direction of a committee of three graduate faculty and chaired by a member of the faculty in Criminal Justice. One member of the thesis committee is a graduate faculty member from outside the Department of Criminal Justice. Six credits of graduate work (797) will be awarded upon successful completion of the thesis.

Course Work and Thesis

Upon completion of the course work and thesis, an oral examination related to the general field and thesis is required of all students. The examination will be administered by the student’s thesis committee and a representative from outside the department chosen by the Graduate College. The oral examination will assess 1) the student’s competency in defending the substantive, theoretical, and methodological topics covered by the thesis and 2) his or her general knowledge, including the ability to integrate topics covered by core and elective criminal justice classes and to apply core fundamentals to important issues.

Consistent Progress

Toward the degree and maintenance of a cumulative 3.00 grade point average are required for continuation in and completion of the program.

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