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 criminology and criminal justice.


  • Completion of 36 hours of graduate study at the 600 and 700 levels. A maximum of nine credits of 600-level course work is allowed.
  • Completion of CRJ 700, CRJ 701, 702, 703, 704, and 705. At least nine additional credit hours from selected criminal justice courses numbers.
  • Students may elect up to six hours of approved graduate study in other social or behavioral sciences or in graduate programs formally approved by the department.
  • Students are required to write a thesis, to 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. Six hours of graduate credit will be awarded upon successful completion of the 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 oral examination assesses the student's competency in defending the substantive, theoretical, and methodological topics covered by the thesis and 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 3.0 GPA are required for continuation in and completion of the program.