Program Goals and Objectives

The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice is designed to prepare graduate students in conducting research and actively participating in the development of knowledge in the areas of criminological theory, crime control, and correctional and police administration. The curriculum has the breadth and depth to fulfill these various interests. Students who are planning careers in law enforcement, corrections or rehabilitation, or who wish to pursue a deeper understanding of crime and the criminal justice system should confer with the Graduate Program Advisor to develop a combination of elective courses which will support their particular career interests. 

Writing Intensive Nature of the Degree

Due to the nature of criminology and criminal justice, all courses and degree requirements are designed to be writing intensive. As such, almost all course assignments and discussions will require writing at the scholar-practitioner level, and the utilization of APA 6th edition (the only exception is for legal writing, which requires Blue Book style). It is expected that, upon successful completion of this degree, a learner will be able to write at a level sufficient for refereed publication in the fields of criminology and/or criminal justice. Specifically, the following courses are noted as especially writing intensive (including all core courses):

  • CRJU 5313---Critical Analysis of Justice Administration
  • CRJU 5323---Perspectives in Criminology
  • CRJU 5393---Legal Aspects of the Criminal Justice System
  • CRJU 5383---Survey of Research Methodology
  • CRJU 5353---Global Terrorism
  • CRJU 5413---Legal Research
  • CRJU 6353---Police in Society
  • CRJU 6433---The Ethics of Criminal Justice
  • CRJU 6313---Comparative and International Criminal Justice
  • CRJU 6333---Research Methods and Quantitative Analysis in Criminal Justice.

Throughout the course of the learner’s studies in the program, it is expected that the learner will complete no less than eight (8) major research papers and literature reviews.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Arts program is based on the Criminal Justice Department Admissions Committee's assessment of the applicant's undergraduate academic record and letters of recommendation from undergraduate professors. In some instances a personal interview will also be requested. Admission considerations include the following: (1) that the applicant has, or will soon have, an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution in an allied field; (2) official transcripts of all academic work previously undertaken; (3) a personal essay of the applicant’s career goals and aspirations; and (4) international students are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (internet-based) is required.

A holistic review of each student's application will be completed on a competitive basis.

Direct Path Admission

Students graduating from Midwestern State University with an undergraduate degree in one of the following areas, and having an undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or greater, shall be automatically admitted into the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Program (upon application to the University and the Department):

Criminal Justice, Bachelor’s of Applied Arts and Sciences, Social Work, Sociology, Political Science, Psychology

Application for Re-Admittance

The department does recognize that in rare cases, situations may arise which result in course grades that may cause a student to be administratively dismissed from the program. In those cases, a student may apply to the department’s academic review committee for re-admission after he or she has been officially dismissed from the program. The student must submit a letter requesting readmission with supporting documentation of ability to perform satisfactory academic work. Approval of the request will be based upon the student's written essay in his or her original application, the trend of undergraduate and graduate grades, professional work experience, letter of request, , and consideration of letters of recommendation. Approval of a re-admission request moves the student to conditional status with attendant requirements, which shall be evaluated based on a time schedule established by the department’s academic review committee.

Requirements for Academic Good Standing

Any student who receives two grades of C or D, or a combination of C and D, or receives one grade of F will be administratively removed from the program. MACJ courses in which the student earns a grade of C or lower, may be repeated one time for a higher grade, with the approval of the Chair of the Department, in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator. A 3.0 overall grade point average is required for graduation, and students must have a grade of B or better in all courses in the major.

Course Requirements

Core Curriculum (MACJ Degree) 24 Hours

CRJU 5313

Critical Analysis of Justice Administration

CRJU 5323

Perspectives in Criminology

CRJU 5393

Legal Aspects of the Criminal Justice System

CRJU 5383

Survey of Research Methodology

CRJU 5353

Global Terrorism

CRJU 6353

Police in Society

CRJU 6433

The Ethics of Criminal Justice

CRJU 6313   

Comparative and International Criminal Justice

Electives  (12 Hours)


Choose four courses from any 5000/6000 level graduate courses in CRJU



Admission to Candidacy

Admission to Candidacy occurs when the student completes all course requirements.

Courses in Criminology and Criminal Justice

CRJU 5313> Critical Analysis of Justice Administration. An analysis of the criminal justice system in the United States; role of justice agencies as part of societal response to crime; the knowledge base of criminal justice; issues, problems, trends.

CRJU 5323> Perspectives in Criminology. Survey of the field of criminology emphasizing perspectives regarding the making of law, breaking of law and societal reactions to the breaking of law.

CRJU 5333> Courts as Organizations. Critical evaluation of the dispensing of justice in America, using the systems theory approach, as well as current court policy.

CRJU 5343> Security and the Future. Course will focus on meeting the changing demands of security in a global environment. Discussion emphasizing the understanding of how to design, implement, and integrate the security function in an every-changing world and the impact of major economic, demographic, and technological trends on developing strategies for security innovation and growth.

CRJU 5353> Global Terrorism. Course will focus on philosophies, tactics, and targets of terrorist groups; discussion of emerging terrorism trends and the roles of the private sector and U.S. Government in responding to and preventing terrorism. Students will also gain insight on how terrorism influences U.S. Foreign Policy.

CRJU 5363> The Juvenile Offender. Theoretical perspectives regarding the creation of childhood as a social construct and the etiology of juvenile offending. Particular attention is paid to the role of family, peers and school.

CRJU 5373> Community Based Corrections. Techniques and procedures utilized in the supervision of adult and juvenile probationers and parolees, and other residents of community-based corrections facilities. Preparation of social history, pre-hearing, and pre-sentence investigation reports. Emphasis on practical problems confronting the probation and parole and other community-based corrections officer.

CRJU 5383> Survey of Research Methods. The theory and application of social science research techniques and designs, with a focus on the interpretation and use of research findings. Students who have not completed an introductory course in research methods within the past five years must take CRJU 3213 as a prerequisite.

CRJU 5393> Legal Aspects of the Criminal Justice System. Aspects of law which are relevant to and essential for a better understanding of the criminal justice system and its related processes.

CRJU 5413> Legal Research. Methods and techniques of research in the legal system. Designed to prepare students to locate, interpret and disseminate relevant statutory and case law as well as scholarly legal works.

CRJU 6313> Comparative and International Criminal Justice

The study of criminology and criminal justice in societies other than the United States. Emphasis is on the uncommon roots of criminal justice globally, comparative criminology, and international criminal justice trends.

CRJU 6323> Seminar in Organization and Administration. The study of bureaucracy and complex organizations with strong emphasis on the concepts and practices of the organization and management of public agencies in the United States. Special consideration is given to the various philosophies, typologies, and models of administrative systems in criminal justice.

CRJU 6333> Research Methods and Quantitative Analysis in Criminal Justice. Methods and techniques of research and research design; conducting and assessing research in the criminal justice agency management environment; translation of research findings to policy; informational resources readily available to the agency manager. Designed to prepare students to gather decision-relevant information.

CRJU 6343> Seminar in Leadership and Management. Problems and alternative solutions in criminal justice management. The case study method and current readings provide an admixture of practical and educational experiences intended to foster and disseminate new ideas for management strategies, especially as this is impacted by leadership styles, human resources, and the environment.

CRJU 6353> Police in Society. An examination of the evolution of police in modern society with a special emphasis given to the role of the police play in contemporary society. Current research examining the function of the police will be examined.

CRJU 6363> Seminar in Deviant Behavior. Analysis of behavior which violates expectations that are shared and recognized as legitimate. Special attention is focused on societal reactions to such behavior.

CRJU 6373> Community Theory and the Administration of Justice. This course examines the nature of criminal justice organizations as components of the political, social and economic inter-organizational networks that comprise communities. Topics such as the intersection of criminal justice, mental health, juvenile justice and educational systems are examined. The impact of criminal victimization and attributes of communities that foster crime are examined in detail. The processes that motivate and implement change in community based organizations are also addressed.

CRJU 6383> Seminar on Drugs, Society and Policy Issues. This course will focus on issues and problems surrounding the problem of illicit drugs in society. Particular emphasis will be placed on policy related issues.

CRJU 6393> Internship in Criminal Justice. A minimum of three months in an approved criminal justice setting. Designed to provide the graduate student with an opportunity to synthesize theory and practice. Prerequisite: consent of the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs, College of Criminal Justice. Credit to be arranged.

CRJU 6413> Seminar in Criminology and Corrections. Theory and problems in Criminology and Corrections. One or more term papers evidencing qualities of scholarship will be required.

CRJU 6423> Statistics for Criminal Justice Research. Review of descriptive and graphical techniques; probability and sampling theory; the normal curve and statistical inference; Central Limit Theo­rem; Chi-square, T and F distributions; analysis of variance and linear regression.

CRJU 6433> The Ethics of Criminal Justice. Ethics and moral philosophy in criminal justice including the role of natural law, constitutional law, code of ethics and philosophical principles. Strong emphasis will be put on examining the role of justice in a free society and the practical implications of justice to practitioners of police, courts and corrections.

CRJU 6443> Emergent Issues in Criminal Justice Leadership. This serves as a capstone course for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Leadership program, providing an opportunity for the integration of information offered in the program and its relationship to emergent issues. Addresses the effect of emergent perspectives in organization theory on public administration in general, and more specifically upon criminal justice management and leadership. Examines the impact of emergent technology upon criminal justice operations. Studies the integration of organization theory, principles of public administration, and community expectations of criminal justice leaders.

CRJU 6453> Program Evaluation for Criminal Justice Management. Principles and techniques of program evaluation including models and case studies.

CRJU 6463> Legal Aspects of Criminal Justice Management. An overview of the legal issues commonly facing managers in criminal justice agencies. Particular emphasis is placed on public employment law including the hiring, promoting, disciplining and discharging of employees, fair employment practices, and agency and administrator civil liability. Both state and federal statutory and case law are examined.