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MSCJ Non-thesis Option Program

The MSCJ Non-thesis Option (MSCJ-NT) program requires 36 credit hours of graduate-level coursework. The curriculum for this program provides a broad overview of criminal justice research and practice, allowing students to develop further knowledge and skills at the graduate level. This program is suitable for those seeking additional training in criminal justice to prepare them for an array of careers within the field. 

Program requirements

MSCJ-NT students do not complete a research thesis or a professional paper. Instead, all 36 credit hours come from coursework, and these are split into five core courses (15 credit hours) and seven elective courses (21 credit hours). During their last semester on the program, MSCJ-NT students must pass a written comprehensive exam. 

The five core courses in the MSCJ-NT program are: 

  • CJ 5310 Administration of Justice 
  • CJ 5315 Advanced Research Methods 
  • CJ 5325 Statistics 
  • CJ 5330 Management Principles in CJ 
  • CJ 5335 Advanced Criminological Theory 

The seven electives may be chosen according to availability and students’ interests. Descriptions of all courses may be found in the relevant sections of the Graduate Catalog. Please note two to three elective courses are usually offered per semester, and that some elective courses may not be offered during your time at Texas State University. For more information about elective course programming and other aspects of the program, please see the MSCJ Non-thesis Option Student Handbook.


The admission criteria for the MSCJ-NT program are: 

  • a baccalaureate degree in criminal justice or related field from a regionally accredited university; 
  • a minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework (plus any completed graduate courses); 
  • competitive GRE scores; and 
  • suitable career aspirations (communicated via a statement of purpose). 

Detailed instructions and information about the application process can be found within relevant pages of the Graduate College website


MSCJ-NT applicants may apply for available scholarships if they meet the priority admissions deadline for Fall entry (February 1). Suitable scholarships for MSCJ-NC applicants include: 

The Graduate College also offers a Test Fee Scholarship to cover the costs of the GRE. Please note this scholarship is only available to currently enrolled Texas State University students. 

Graduate assistant positions

MSCJ-NT applicants may also apply for one of the School of Criminal Justice’s graduate assistant positions if they meet the priority admissions deadline for Fall entry (February 1). Applications are due on February 1. For more information, please visit

Find out more

For more information about the MSCJ-NT program, please complete an information request form