The Criminal Justice MA curriculum contains a core (required) sequence of classes comprising 16 credit hours covering a broad range of topics. This provides the leadership, analysis, and management foundation upon which students will build the remainder of their graduate studies. The curriculum provides for 15 elective credits, permitting students to specialize in particular areas of criminal or juvenile justice. Students complete the curriculum with a 6-credit graduation project – a two-course sequence involving a master’s graduate research course and thesis, directed reading examinations in two subject areas, or a problem-solving practicum (implementation of a problem-solving initiative in the justice arena) covering two terms.
Students must meet all university requirements for a master’s degree.
I. Required Courses (16 hours)
CJUS 6010 MA Seminar (1)
CJUS 7020 Leadership Theory (1)
CJUS 7030 Assessing Leadership (1)
CJUS 7040 Building Leadership (1)
CJUS 8100 Theories of Crime and Deviance (3)
CJUS 8200 Research Applications (3)
CJUS 8300 Criminal Justice System Organization Finances and Admin. (3)
CJUS 8400 Justice and the Community (3)
II. Electives (15 hours)
Students must also complete 15 hours of electives in any of the following areas. Students may also take courses in the different areas with program coordinators’ approval.
Understanding Crime and Deviance
CJUS 6130 Gangs, Guns, and Drugs (3)
CJUS 6150 Juvenile Delinquency (3)
CJUS 7110 Inductive Theory Building (3)
CJUS 7220 Theory and Crime Prevention (3)
CJUS 8170 Social Location and Prejudice in the Justice System (3)
Policy and Crime
CJUS 7210 Evaluation Research and Policy Analysis (3)
CJUS 7230 Special Topics in Crime Policy (1-3)
CJUS 7430 Terrorism and the Justice System (3
CJUS 8210 Justice System Reform and Change (3)
CJUS 8280 Independent Research (1-3)
CJUS 8700 Graduate Research (3)
Administration, Planning, and System Change Management
CJUS 6510 Contemporary Issues in Criminal Law (3)
CJUS 7240 Crime Problem-Solving Approaches (3)
CJUS 8220 Community and Restorative Justice (3)
CJUS 8370 Special Topics in Organization Management (3)
CJUS 8800 Justice System Internship:... (1-3)
Digital Forensics and Computer Security
CJUS 5300 Digital Forensics (3)
CJUS 5530 Advanced Technological Applications in Criminal Justice (3)
CJUS 5540 Contemporary Issues in Digital Forensics (3)
CPSC 6580 Information Security (3)
CPSC 6584 Special Topics in Information Security:... (3)
Additional courses from other disciplines may be substituted for the selective courses with approval of the Program Coordinator.
III. Thesis/Directed Readings/Practicum (6 hours)
Select one of the following options:
A. Master’s Thesis Option (3 Hours): The Master’s Thesis requires the student to develop an original research idea resulting in a research project entailing a description of the topic, issue, or problem, a literature review, development of a research hypothesis and questions, data collection and analysis, findings, conclusions, and limitations.
The thesis must be approved by three faculty members, one of which is the thesis director.
CJUS 8990 Master’s Thesis (3)
B. Directed Readings Option (6 Hours) The directed readings option requires the student to take the directed readings course twice (each directed readings includes a 3-credit course), covering two distinct areas of study. Readings are selected from the following areas: Understanding Crime and Deviance; Policy and Crime; Administration, Planning, and Systems Change Management; and Digital Forensics and Computer Security (one different area may be selected with approval from the student’s graduate committee). A Criminal Justice faculty member must serve as the director of each directed readings project, and each directed readings project must be reviewed and graded by a committee of three faculty members (one may be from a program other than Criminal Justice). Students must successfully pass two 72-hour take home examinations covering the two areas selected.
CJUS 8891 Directed Readings In:... (6, two 3-credit directed readings courses)
C. Problem-Solving Practicum (6 hours) Working with a committee of three faculty members (thepracticum director must be a Criminal Justice faculty member, and one member may be from another faculty), the student selects an issue or problem in the community or workplace, develops a plan to resolve or reduce the problem, and prepares a practicum report explaining the development, implementation, and outcomes of the project.
CJUS 8880 Problem-Solving Practicum (6)
IV. Total With Thesis/Project (37)
Admission to Candidacy
Criminal Justice MA students must apply for candidacy upon completion of 18 credit hours (9 of these credit hours must be in the required courses). Students applying for candidacy to graduate with the MA in Criminal Justice must meet the following requirements:
1. Complete a minimum of 9 hours in the required courses, except for the thesis, directed readings, or problem-solving practicum, with a grade of “B” or better in each course;
2. Complete a minimum of 9 hours of elective course work with a grade average of “B” or better;
3. Successfully demonstrate the skills and abilities outlined under “Statement of Expectations” above (students working on a remediation plan will not be admitted to candidacy); and
4. Establish a Graduate Committee. The Graduate Committee must include a project advisor (must be a member of the Criminal Justice Faculty) and two other graduate faculty members (one of which must be another Criminal Justice faculty member, a faculty member from a graduate program in a related discipline, or a faculty member from another graduate program at Governors State University). A Graduate Committee may contain one outside member, who must be a tenured or tenure-track professor from a graduate program at an accredited university. Students apply for candidacy by completing a “Criminal Justice MA Program Application for Candidacy” form, including a list of the student’s courses and grades to date, intended graduation project option (thesis, directed readings, or practicum), and a statement from the student’s advisor regarding the student’s prospects for completion within 4 years. The Criminal Justice MA Program Coordinator will review the application and indicate whether the student is admitted to candidacy, if additional coursework is required, or if the student will not be admitted to candidacy. Students denied admission to candidacy may appeal this decision to the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office.
Criminal Justice MA students must complete their approved graduate project (with a “Pass” grade) during the term they intend to graduate. They must demonstrate the expected behavioral qualities outlined under “Statement of Expectations” above, and they must not have an active remediation plan at the time of graduation. Students may opt for one of the three possible graduate projects:
1. Master’s Thesis – a traditional master’s thesis including thesis statement, theory and hypotheses, literature review, research design, data collection and analysis, findings, conclusions, limitations, and bibliography; or
2. Directed Readings – selection of two specific areas of interest (each completed in a separate 3-credit course), development of readings lists in each, a semester-long dialogue with the lead professor, and a 72-hour take-home examination based on the readings; students must complete two independent directed readings projects, with two different lead professors; or
3. Problem-Solving Practicum – the student selects an issue or problem in the community or workplace, organizes individuals and stakeholders, conducts a needs assessment, develops and implements solutions to the problem, measures the early outcomes of the problem-solving initiative, and prepares a practicum report explaining the development, implementation, and outcomes of the project.
In addition to the requirements for candidacy outlined above, Criminal Justice MA students must complete the following requirement in order to attain the Master’s degree:
1. the remaining required courses, with a “B” or better;
2. the remaining elective courses such that the grade average for all elective courses is a “B” or better; and
3. their graduate project with a Pass (“P”) grade, which is determined by a vote of the three-member graduate project committee.