Master of Arts - Criminal Justice

About

The Criminal Justice Master of Arts degree is a broad-based graduate program. The program addresses issues of crime and criminal justice within an analytical framework and emphasizes theory and research and their implications for social policy. The curriculum is grounded in the social and behavioral sciences and in legal approaches to crime and social control. It draws from contemporary research and theoretical developments across a spectrum of academic disciplines. There are two M.A. degree options. The traditional master’s degree is designed to prepare students for doctoral studies in the field and in related areas of the social and behavioral sciences. Those who obtain this degree may also assume teaching positions at the community college level. The professional master’s degree is designed to serve the needs of professionals currently working in justice-related agencies by providing the knowledge and skills to enhance their performance in current positions and/or prepare them for career advancement.

Available Options

  • Traditional Track

    The Traditional Master of Arts degree program is designed to improve students' 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 criminology and criminal justice.

  • Professional Track

    The Professional Master of Arts degree is designed to serve the needs of professionals currently working in justice-related agencies by providing the knowledge and skills to enhance their performance in current positions and/or prepare them for career advancement. The curriculum provides students with advanced knowledge of the nature of the crime; criminal justice institutions and processes; current criminal justice policy; and training in research methods, statistics, and program evaluation.

Accreditation

For information regarding accreditation at UNLV, please head over to Academic Program Accreditations.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Traditional Master's Degree Program, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate advanced theoretical knowledge of the nature of crime, and understanding regarding patterns of criminal activity.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the law and the legal system, as well as decision-making in the criminal justice process, the social and political context of the legal system, important constitutional issues, and how criminal law differs from other forms of law.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of criminal justice institutions and processes, and current criminal justice policy.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of research methods, statistics and program evaluation.
  • Demonstrate the basic theoretical, empirical, and substantive knowledge and skills required for graduate education at the doctoral level, teaching at the community college level, or for research and social policy positions in criminal justice related fields.

By the end of the Professional Master’s Degree Program, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the nature of crime.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of criminal justice institutions and processes, and current criminal justice policy.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of research methods, statistics and program evaluation techniques.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills necessary to effectively conduct and/or evaluate social policy research in criminal justice related organizations.
  • Demonstrate enhanced knowledge, skills, and performance among practitioners already employed in federal, state, and local criminal justice organizations.

Additional Outcomes

In addition to the major outcomes, there are additional outcomes for the following:

Traditional Track

By the end of the Traditional Master's Degree Program, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate advanced theoretical knowledge of the nature of crime, and understanding regarding patterns of criminal activity.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the law and the legal system, as well as decision-making in the criminal justice process, the social and political context of the legal system, important constitutional issues, and how criminal law differs from other forms of law.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of criminal justice institutions and processes, and current criminal justice policy.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of research methods, statistics and program evaluation.
  • Demonstrate the basic theoretical, empirical, and substantive knowledge and skills required for graduate education at the doctoral level, teaching at the community college level, or for research and social policy positions in criminal justice related fields.
Professional Track

By the end of the Professional Master’s Degree Program, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the nature of crime.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of criminal justice institutions and processes, and current criminal justice policy.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of research methods, statistics and program evaluation techniques.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills necessary to effectively conduct and/or evaluate social policy research in criminal justice related organizations.
  • Demonstrate enhanced knowledge, skills, and performance among practitioners already employed in federal, state, and local criminal justice organizations.

Career Possibilities

Requirements

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Documents/Downloads

Master of Arts - Criminal Justice

Traditional Track

Professional Track

Contacts

Graduate Coordinator

Tamara D. Herold

Associate Professor & Graduate Coordinator

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GUA - 5136

Department of Criminal Justice

The Department of Criminal Justice provides undergraduate and graduate degree programs designed to give students comprehensive understanding of the nature and causes of crime, criminal justice processes, criminal justice organizations and agency practices, and the law and legal system.

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Greenspun College of Urban Affairs

The Greenspun College of Urban Affairs is committed to creating contemporary solutions for resilient communities. Its academic programs focus on effective public policymaking, creating support structures to meet behavioral and mental health challenges, ensuring cities are safe and prepared to meet emergency situations, effective and ethical journalism, and interpersonal and public communication strategies.

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