Graduation Requirements

The Master of Criminal Justice degree requires the completion of 36 semester hours.  You must take four core courses totaling 12 semester hours, receiving a grade of “B-“ or better in each course.  Any core course in which you receive a grade lower than a “B-“ must be retaken. 

A minimum GPA of 3.0 for all courses is required for graduation.

For a copy of the MCJ Advising Sheet, please click here.

The required core courses are:

  • MCJ 6000 Criminal Justice Statistics (3)
  • MCJ 6100 Contemporary Criminal Justice (3)
  • MCJ 6120 Theories of Crime and Delinquency (3)
  • MCJ 6110 Research Methods in Criminal Justice (3)

The remaining 24 semester hours will be selected from elective courses of interest to you.  You are allowed to receive one “C” grade in any of your elective courses.  All remaining elective courses must be completed with a grade of “B-“ or better.  Also, students are limited to a combined total of 6 semester hours for all trip, workshop, or conference related courses and 3 semester hours for directed readings.  Any courses taken beyond the 6 semester hour or 3 semester hour limits will not count towards graduation.


In addition, each student must either elect to complete a master's thesis or take additional course work in lieu of the thesis. Those preferring the thesis option must meet with the Graduate Director prior to the end of their second semester before being admitted into the thesis track.  The requirements for each option are identified below. Regardless of the option selected, every student must complete all degree requirements within four years of acceptance into the program.  Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program and should the student wish to return, he/she must reapply for admittance and retake any completed coursework.

Thesis Option
1. Complete 12 core credits.
2. Complete 21 elective credits.
3. Complete a minimum of three thesis credits (MCJ 6270) - additional thesis credit can be taken, up to nine credits, and will reduce the required number of elective credits (for example, if you take nine thesis credits, you're only required to take 15 elective credits)

Non-Thesis Option
1. Complete 12 core credit hours.
2. Complete 24 elective credit hours.