Course Requirements

The Master of Criminal Justice degree requires the completion of 36 semester hours. A minimum GPA of 3.0 for all courses is required for graduation.

Required Core Courses (12 credit hours)

You must receive a grade of "B-" or better in each core course. Any core course in which you receive a grade lower than a "B-" must be retaken. Students are encouraged to take MCJ 6100 and 6110 during the first semester, and MCJ 6000 and 6120 during the second semester.

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

Elective Courses (24 credit hours)

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.

  • MCJ 6130 – Law and Social Control (3)
  • MCJ 6140 – Technology and Innovation in Criminal Justice (3)
  • MCJ 6150 – Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice (3)
  • MCJ 6160 – Criminal Justice Policy Analysis (3)
  • MCJ 6170 – Juvenile Justice & Delinquency (3)
  • MCJ 6180 – Contemporary Legal Issues (3)
  • MCJ 6190 – Legal Foundations of Criminal Justice (3)
  • MCJ 6200 – Advanced Victimology (3)
  • MCJ 6210 – The American Criminal Court (3)
  • MCJ 6220 – Contemporary Law Enforcement (3)
  • MCJ 6230 – Contemporary Corrections (3)
  • MCJ 6250 – Topics in Criminal Justice (1-3)
  • MCJ 6255 – Great Thoughts in Criminal Justice (3)
  • MCJ 6260 – Graduate Readings (3)
  • MCJ 6810 – Experimental Course (1-3)

Course Descriptions

MCJ 6000. Criminal Justice Statistics (3)

Criminal Justice Statistics is a focus on the role of data collection and analysis in formal, empirical research projects.  The course begins with a review of statistical applications including measures of central tendency, dispersion, and hypothesis testing.  The course concludes with an examination of more complex analytical tools such as MANOVA, Factor Analysis, Path Analysis, and Logistical Regression.  Students will review various styles of multivariate analysis in peer-reviewed scholarly literature as well as use computing resources to conduct their own multivariate analysis of a criminal justice dataset.

MCJ 6100. Contemporary Criminal Justice (3)

Course provides an analysis of the policies and practices of agencies of the criminal justice system including the police, prosecution, courts and corrections. Additionally, the latest technology and developments in the field of criminal justice will be addressed.

MCJ 6110. Research Methods in Criminal Justice (3)

Course teaches quantitative and qualitative research design, data collection and analysis techniques, and research presentation and dissemination methods. Descriptive and inferential statistics will be covered as well as basic computer applications in criminal justice.

MCJ 6120. Theories of Crime and Delinquency (3)

Course focuses on a review of classical and current theories of criminology and delinquency and the underlying assumptions of each. Advancements in profiling and classification as well as other applications of theoretical models will be studied.

MCJ 6130. Law and Social Control (3)

Course focuses on the nature of law and legal institutions and the relationships between law and social control. Concepts of law and justice from the perspectives of its effects on the American criminal justice system will be investigated as well as the public policy concerns of laws and their relationship to our society.

MCJ 6140. Technology and Innovation in Criminal Justice (3)

Course explores the latest developments in technology and innovations in criminal justice. Included will be current developments in forensic science, i.e. DNA and the use of computer applications in criminal justice. Specific topics will be adjusted as new technologies arrive. Emphasis will be on impact and management rather than the strict science of the protocols.

MCJ 6150. Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice (3)

Course will sensitize and educate criminal justice professionals to issues of diversity. It explores the cross-cultural contact that criminal justice professionals have with citizens, victims, suspects, and co-workers, and the influence of culture, race and gender in the criminal justice field.

MCJ 6160. Criminal Justice Policy Analysis (3)

Course focuses on crime as a political issue and examines how conflicting political philosophies influence criminal justice policy. Emphasis will be placed on how decisions in politics affect criminal justice organizations and how these decisions can be influenced by executive managers.

MCJ 6170. Juvenile Justice & Delinquency (3)

Course examines the origins and development of the juvenile justice system with particular emphasis on the current policies and practices of the agencies which process young offenders through the juvenile system. Course examines a variety of political initiatives designed to reduce the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, enhance the due process rights of juveniles, and create a more punitive approach in the juvenile justice system.

MCJ 6180. Contemporary Legal Issues (3)

This course exposes students to current law impacting criminal justice professionals. Topics will change depending upon current legal developments, but will include the general areas of corrections, law enforcement, employment, civil liability and criminal procedure.

MCJ 6190. Legal Foundations of Criminal Justice (3)

Broad survey of foundational legal topics relevant to criminal justice, including: criminal law, search and seizure, bail, right to counsel, self-incrimination, lineups, responsibilities of courtroom legal actors, speedy trial, impartial jury, plea bargaining, double jeopardy, sentencing law, inmate rights, juvenile law, death penalty law, and basic rules of evidence.

MCJ 6200. Advanced Victimology (3)

Course provides an overview of key research areas in victimology. Particular emphasis will be placed on theory, measurement, and empirical results related to different types, consequences, and prevention of victimization .

MCJ 6210. Judicial Administration (3)

Course exposes students to the dynamics of the American criminal courthouse. Students will examine how defense attorneys, defendants, prosecutors, judges, juries and others interact and contribute to America's version of criminal case disposition. Course also examines the mechanics of criminal case processing, as well as how the court system is supposed to work, how it really does work, and the implications for American democracy.

MCJ 6220. Contemporary Law Enforcement (3)

From the response and investigation of crimes committed, to the theory and practice involved in crime prevention, this course studies the development, theory, history and contemporary organizational structure of America's law enforcement organizations.

MCJ 6230. Contemporary Corrections (3)

Course provides an analysis of critical problems confronting contemporary adult corrections agencies. Course examines the problems of institutions, the affect of judicial intervention in corrections, alternatives to incarceration, and the political milieu in which this occurs.

MCJ 6250. Topics in Criminal Justice (1-3) Variable Title

Course focuses on a special issue or topic in criminal justice. A new topic/issue will be selected each time the course is offered.

MCJ 6255. Great Thoughts in Criminal Justice (3)

This course explores the broader context of criminal justice studies and concepts through the writings of significant authors and thinkers. Readings will focus on subjects such as justice, punishment, law and social control. Students will be expected to read extensively and participate in analysis and discussion.

MCJ 6260. Graduate Readings (3)

Course allows the student to examine the scholarly literature on a subject of special interest under the supervision of faculty. Reading list and accompanying assignments must be approved by the supervising faculty member. Periodic progress meetings will be scheduled throughout the semester. 

MCJ 6810. Experimental Course (1-3)