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MSCJ Curriculum

Students are required to complete 36 total hours to complete the MSCJ program. Below is a list of courses offered in the program. Not all courses are offered every semester.

The following courses are required for the master's degree in Criminal Justice.

  • 5310: Administration of Justice
  • 5315: Advanced Research Methods
  • 5321: Current Legal Issues in Criminal Justice
  • 5325: Statistics
  • 5330: Management Principles in CJ
  • 5335: Advanced Criminological Theory
  • 5370: Professional Paper OR
    5399A & 5399B: Thesis, Part I & II

**Students who write a thesis will need 12 hours of electives
**Students who write a professional paper will need 15 hours of electives

5101 Graduate Assistant Supervision. (1-0) Prepares graduate student teaching and instructional assistants to perform effectively in diverse instructional settings and in their assigned instructional support roles. The course provides for regular and planned opportunities for continuing evaluation of instructional and assistive responsibilities. This course does not earn graduate degree credit. Repeatable with different emphasis. Graded on a credit (CR), no-credit (F) basis.

5300 Foundation Studies in Criminal Justice. (3-0) This course is designed for students who do not have a sufficient background in the foundations of criminal justice studies. Coursework will vary depending on the student’s prior academic history. This course does not earn graduate degree credit. Repeatable with different emphasis.

5310 Administration of Justice. (3-0) Introduction to the study of crime; explanations of criminal behavior; typologies of criminal behavior; the criminal justice system; and social reaction to crime and the criminal justice system.
 
5311 Administrative Law in Criminal Justice. (3-0) Legal principles and doctrines applicable to state and federal criminal justice agencies delegated quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial authority by legislatures are studied and evaluated in this course.
 
5315 Advanced Research Methods in Criminal Justice. (3-0) The study of scientific research methods as used in the criminal justice system to include a review and critique of research on crime causation, law enforcement, courts, and corrections.
 
5320 History and Philosophy of Justice. (3-0) An exploration of historical approaches to social control of nonconforming behavior. The principal contributions of architects and theorists of systems of social justice are examined with emphasis on major Western European schools of thought. Special emphasis given to the development of the scientific method and its role in the contemporary system of justice.
 
5321 Current Legal Issues in Criminal Justice. (3-0) Case law and legislation, both state and federal, which have contemporary impact on practices and policies of criminal justice agencies will be examined in this course. Topics may vary to include such matters as civil rights liability, substance abuse and the law, juvenile crime, organized crime, tactics of enforcement, unionization, and other legal issues.
 
5322 Police in Society. (3-0) This course provides an in-depth assessment of policing and the various types of community crime control. Core topics included the history of police, organizational and individual police discretion, police culture, use of force, minorities and the police, community oriented policing, and police problem-solving.
 
5323 Special Operation Units. (3-0) A course designed to acquaint students with basic principles of Special Operation Units (SOUs) within law enforcement, including the necessity for such units in the changing nature of policing communities. The principles of crisis management, the development of SOUs, selection/training/operationalizing of personnel and other strategic planning issues are emphasized.
 
5324 Investigations.  (3-0) This course explores issues related to investigations. Topics covered include the history and state of investigations, investigative theory, interviewing, interrogation, polygraph, geographic profiling, serial crimes, and investigative failures.
 
5325 Statistics for Criminal Justice. (3-0) The study of basic and advanced descriptive and inferential statistics, with an emphasis on applications in the criminal justice system will be taught. Focus will be given to various multivariate statistical procedures.
 
5330 Management Principles in Criminal Justice. (3-0) The study of behavior in complex bureaucratic or administrative organizations with an emphasis on organizational behavior, group processes, and the managerial function. Concepts and practices of managing criminal justice agencies within the United States will be stressed.
 
5335 Advanced Crime Theory. (3-0) This course will develop and apply analytical skills surrounding a wide range of theoretical concepts, assumptions, propositions, and variables aimed at explaining crime-related outcomes. In the process, students will learn how social scientists empirically (i.e., quantitatively and qualitatively) access theory and how theory influences public policy.
 
5340 Personnel Practices in Criminal Justice. (3-0) The study of personnel decision-making within the criminal justice agency. Topics emphasized will include recruitment and selection, promotion, training, performance evaluation, and human resource allocation.
 
5350 Current Issues in Criminal Justice. (3-0) An in-depth presentation and discussion of vital contemporary issues in criminal justice, including research, process, procedure, and substance. General issues addressed remain constant and specific emphasis will vary depending on changes in contemporary issues.
 
5355 Intelligence Gathering and Operational Issues As Applied to Terrorism and Counterterrorism Operations. (3-0) This course provides an overview of the importance of intelligence gathering in the global and domestic war of terrorism, and critically examines issues involved with the gathering of intelligence, techniques for the gathering of intelligence, methods of collecting, collating, analyzing and disseminating intelligence, and a review of current terrorist threats.
 
5360 Independent Studies in Criminal Justice. (3-0) Student will work directly with a faculty member and develop in-depth knowledge in a specific topic area of Criminal Justice. Repeatable for credit.
 
5370 Professional Paper. (3-0) Students in the non-thesis option will complete their professional paper while enrolled in this course.
 
5380 Special Topics. (3-0) This course is one of several rotating graduate “topic” courses. Repeatable for credit.
 
5380A Ethics and the Criminal Justice System. (3-0) This special topics course will explore ethical issues that are faced by criminal justice professionals, basic ethical systems, and applications to dilemmas of criminal justice professionals.
 
5380C Drugs in Society. (3-0) This special topics course will explore issues related to the “War on Drugs.” Topics covered include theories of addiction, legal and philosophical issues of government response to drug use, and treatment strategies.
 
5380F Police Problem-Solving Practicum. (3-0) This course applies contemporary police problem-solving tools and techniques (including SARA, COMPSTAT, crime mapping, intelligence led policing and computer enhanced problem solving) to real world problems with practicum problems derived from situations commonly facing practitioners such as common law enforcement “problems” such as noise abatement, property offenses and traffic violations.
 
5380H Police Problem Solving Methodologies. (3-0) This course addresses police problem solving methodologies. The course covers the history, state, and theory of police problem solving. Emphasis is placed on using problem solving methodologies to address real issues facing the community.
 
5380I Race, Class, and Crime. (3-0) This course addresses issues related to racial/ethnic minorities, socioeconomic status, crime trends, perceptions of crime and criminal behaviors. The social/historical constructions of race and class are covered as well as their intersectionality within the criminal justice system. Topics include racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in offending, victimization, law enforcement and sentencing.
 
5380J Sex Offender and the Criminal Justice System. (3-0) This course explores sex offenders and the criminal justice system and the issues faced by criminal justice professionals. Recent trends in assessment tools, treatment approaches, and legal responses to sex offenders are emphasized.
 
5380L Geospatial Intelligence and Geographic Profiling. (3-0) This course addresses the use of geospatial intelligence and geographic profiling in the military and intelligence environments. The course covers the theory, concepts, methods, and analysis of human geographic information. Emphasis is placed on understanding how geospatial knowledge can inform decision making and action plans.
 
5380M Crime Analysis.  (3-0) This course teaches students step by step how to evaluate and synthesize local crime data and present it to others. It helps students identify local crime trends and cycles, develop usable crime maps, and to think of practical local police responses.
 
5380N Applied Research Practicum. (3-0) This course provides structured assistance to students who are preparing for significant independent research projects (i.e. Thesis, Professional Paper) by exposing them to the organizational tools, processes, and techniques used by productive scholars. Ideally, students should expect to complete a viable research prospectus by the end of the semester.
 
5380P Quantitative Data Analysis. (3-0) This course provides an introduction to quantitative data analysis. For the purposes of research and exploratory data analysis, topics include data construction and cleaning, variable coding, descriptive and inferential statistics, summary measures, and visual presentations of data. This course makes extensive use of statistical software.
 
5399A Thesis. (3-0) This course represents a student’s initial thesis enrollment. Credit is not awarded until student has completed the thesis in Criminal Justice 5399B. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis.
 
5199B Thesis.  (1-0) This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis.
 
5299B Thesis. (2-0) This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis.
 
5399B Thesis. (3-0) This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis.
 
5599B Thesis. (5-0) This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis.
 
5999B Thesis. (9-0) This course represents a student's continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progres (PR), no credit (F) basis.