Program Admission Requirements
In addition to the university admissions requirements, students applying to the Criminal Justice MA program must:
• have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 (out of a possible 4.0);
• submit a letter of application explaining a statement of personal interest in pursuing a master’s degree in criminal justice;
• submit three professional or academic letters of reference; and
• Completed applications must be submitted by May 15 for a fall, September 15 for spring, and January 15 for summer session admission.
Students seeking admission to the GSU Criminal Justice MA Program with a GPA lower than 2.75 may petition to the graduate program admissions committee for admission.
As criminal justice is an interdisciplinary field of study, students may apply for the MA in Criminal Justice at Governors State University with a baccalaureate degree in any field from an accredited university. We recommend undergraduate courses in the following areas: criminal or juvenile justice, general social science or criminal justice research methods, introductory statistical analysis, survey courses in the criminal justice system, juvenile justice, policing, court and judicial systems, race and gender studies, policy issues, and policy analysis. Strongly recommended undergraduate courses include: theories of deviance and criminal or delinquent behavior, international criminal justice systems, restorative justice, community-based justice, research methods, criminology, the criminal justice system, and constitutional issues pertaining to the justice system. The Criminal Justice MA program will admit students conditionally if they do not meet the undergraduate prerequisites for the graduate core courses pending successful completion of 12 Criminal Justice MA program credits.
Providing that university policies regarding transfer of graduate credits are met, transfer credit will only be allowed for courses taken in graduate criminal justice or related graduate programs at accredited institutions. A limit of nine hours of transferable credits can be awarded for the Criminal Justice master’s degree program.
The Criminal Justice MA seeks to develop students who are well prepared to work effectively and ethically in diverse professional settings. In order to fulfill this responsibility, program faculty must evaluate students based on their academic, professional, and personal/behavioral qualities. A student’s progress in the program may be interrupted for failure to comply with academic standards, or if a student’s interpersonal or emotional behavior interferes and/or demonstrates an inability to work humanely, effectively, and ethically in a variety of work settings, including one-on-one and group interactions. For example, in order to demonstrate sound behavioral qualities, a criminal justice graduate student must abide by relevant ethical codes, demonstrate professional and technical knowledge, and demonstrate positive, pro-social interpersonal skills, professional attitudes, and professional character. Criminal Justice program faculty evaluate these factors based on a student’s academic performance and ability to convey warmth, respect, honesty, and empathy in interactions with the public, classmates, staff, and faculty. Student should demonstrate the ability to accept and integrate critical feedback, be aware of their impact on others, accept personal responsibility, and be able to express feelings effectively and appropriately.
Those students who do not continuously meet professional ethics and academic honesty standards, academic requirements and/or variables outlined in the statement of expectations may be required to have a remediation plan. In order to graduate, such a student must complete the remediation plan in a timely manner. Failure to successfully complete a remediation plan may result in suspension or expulsion from the MA Criminal Justice program.