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Graduate Handbook | Criminal Justice | liberal arts college


Degree requirements

Academic requirements of the doctoral school

All graduating students must maintain a GPA of 3.0. If their GPA falls below 3.0, they are either placed on probation or fired (undergraduate courses will not count towards graduate GPA). The Masters in Criminal Justice program has high standards for its graduate students. As such, each graduate course must be completed with a grade of “B” or better for credit to be acceptable towards their graduate degree. The master’s program, however, understands that students may face challenges in their coursework and/or outside of the classroom. To accommodate these challenges, the master’s program will accept a letter grade ranging from “C” to “B-” toward their graduate degree.

Probation: Students whose cumulative graduate GPA is 0.1 to 0.6 points lower than that needed for a 3.0 GPA are placed on one-semester probation. If they fail to increase their cumulative GPA to 3.0 at the end of a semester, they are expelled from their graduate program. Thesis, dissertation, S/U rated credits, and transfer credits have no impact on a student’s GPA.

Dismissal: Students whose cumulative graduate GPA is 0.7 or more below that required for a 3.0 GPA are rejected. Expelled students are no longer in a graduate program, but may take graduate-level courses as special graduates. Students wishing to complete their studies must obtain approval to take graduate-level courses, increase their graduate GPA to at least 3.0, and then reapply to a graduate program. All courses taken to increase their GPA will be included in the graduate special/transfer credit limitation (9 credits for master’s degrees).

Students who engage in academic dishonesty may receive academic and disciplinary sanctions for cheating, plagiarism, or other attempts to obtain or earn grades under false pretences. Depending on the type and level of academic dishonesty, academic sanctions for graduate students may include: dropping a final grade of “F”, reducing the student’s final course grade by one or two points complete; give a reduced grade or zero on the course; or require the student to retake or resubmit the course. Academic sanction should be determined based on the extent of the dishonesty, in accordance with the table in 6502 Subsection C: Academic Standards. Students who engage in egregious acts of academic dishonesty or “C-level academic dishonesty” will receive a final grade of “F” in the corresponding course, which is not eligible for grade replacement or appeal policies. of note. If the student engages in such academic dishonesty in a core course, the student will be removed from the master’s program as the student no longer meets the academic requirements outlined in this section.


For courses with and without thesis, 33 credits are required. For thesis students, this includes six credits of CRJ 797 (Thesis). Non-thesis students must also complete two credits of CRJ 795 (comprehensive exam) in addition to the 33 credits. Students take compulsory and optional courses. At least one three-credit elective course must be an in-person course (i.e., not independent study) with a CRJ or SRJS prefix. For more information on the courses, please consult the course catalog.

Compulsory courses

Research methods

Typically, this will be SRJS 725, which is a research methods course designed specifically for students in the School of Social Research and Legal Studies (eg, criminal justice, sociology, communications). However, advisors may allow substitution of research methods depending on the student’s interests, abilities, and career goals.


Depending on the student’s interests, abilities, and career goals, a statistics course will be selected by the student and his or her advisor. The graduate level statistics course currently offered at the College of Liberal Arts is SOC 706.

CRJ 740: Crime and Criminal Justice

CRJ 740 serves the dual purpose of enhancing the understanding and knowledge of those already familiar with criminal justice as an academic discipline, while familiarizing those not in the field with the structure, operations, and nuances of the system. judicial. As one of six core classes in the program, CRJ 740 students are exposed to a combination of classic and current readings, they discuss many of the most provocative and disturbing aspects of the system, and they perform writing assignments designed to show deeper understanding. problems encountered by the judicial system.

CRJ 750: Anticipated Change in Criminal Justice

CRJ 750 examines the internal and external forces that influence complex criminal justice organizations, including management and motivation, bureaucracy, laws and statutes, administrative and organizational policies, finances, procedures and justice personnel criminal.

CRJ 785: Criminal Justice Policy Analysis

Through class discussions, weekly summaries, and a comprehensive analytical paper, students will gain a rich understanding of the state of empirical research and the ideological and political sources of American crime-fighting policy.

CRJ 788: Ethics, Law and Justice Policy

The formulation of laws and policies is an inherently moral activity that requires ethical introspection in order to “do” justice. Those who create, influence or implement laws or policies must be able to examine information, processes and decisions from various epistemological traditions, because what is legal is not necessarily ethical and justice is a often misused word. The multiple ethical systems and the strengths and weaknesses of each as foundations for law and policy will be discussed. Various historical and contemporary criminal justice policies, practices and issues will also be discussed in relation to these ethical systems.


There are six required courses and the rest of the credits are taken as electives or thesis. Student choices must be approved by the student advisor. The student advisor will help choose courses that are relevant and appropriate for the student’s preparation and trajectory in the master’s program. All students must take at least one 3-credit CRJ or SRJS 600- or 700-level elective course in person.


Internships are available throughout the program. Both CRJ 791 and SRJS 792 are internship courses and the student’s advisor or program director can advise which internship class to enroll in. Typically, agencies want students to complete certain courses before doing an internship so that students are prepared to contribute to the agency. The advisor will be responsible for enrolling the student, providing a curriculum, monitoring progress and grading. The student’s advisor or other professors may have information about particular internships, but students can also research agencies or organizations that will accept internships.


It is essential that students follow the timetable (which is listed under “Calendar for Graduation”) to ensure timely graduation. First, a faculty member must agree to advise a student and act as chair of the thesis committee. Writing a thesis requires a significant amount of work on the part of the advising/supervising faculty member, and therefore he/she may not have the time. Because the dissertation is usually an extension of the supervisor’s work, the supervisor/chair and the student will develop general ideas about topics and methodologies. The student will develop a research proposal and will often need to complete several drafts to produce a methodologically sound and refined proposal. Once the chair approves the proposal, the student will send the proposal to the committee. It is essential that the committee be allowed to contribute its expertise to the proposal as soon as possible.

The student will then complete the thesis research with guidance from the chair faculty member. The student may be required to revise the thesis several times until the chair deems it complete. The complete thesis must be sent to the committee at least two weeks before the scheduled defense. The student’s defense includes a brief oral presentation of the thesis to demonstrate that they can orally discuss what they have done and what the results mean. The committee will ask the student questions and challenge the student to defend the thesis research.

After the defence, the committee discusses recommendations and modifications that can be made to the thesis before it is considered a “success”. Once the required modifications have been made, the supervisor grants the thesis credit. Finally, the president and the student will generally publish the results and/or present them at a conference.


Students who choose not to do a thesis take a comprehensive exam designed to test their criminal justice skills. The non-thesis track involves a 2-credit “comprehensive review” course after completing and passing (with a grade of at least a C) all required courses. The comprehensive exam course does not count towards the 33 credits of the program, but is compulsory for students without thesis. Students in the comprehensive review course will work on skills such as professional writing, citation, organization, time management, and studying. Students will also develop a “study guide” which will be the only outside material allowed in the room during the comprehensive exam. The exam consists of three questions. One question is about research methods and statistics and is answered by each student. The remaining three questions are from the basic CRJ courses and each student answers two of the three questions. The exam is typed and requires 3-6 pages per question. It is graded by the faculty of these core classes. Each question is rated Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. To pass, all three questions must be rated Satisfactory. Students who do not pass must retake the comprehensive exam the following semester. The student must be continuously enrolled in at least 3 credits during that semester. If the exam is not taken again the following semester, the student will have to re-register and pay for the comprehensive exam course and take the course again. Students who fail the retake exam will be expelled from the program and the university.