Skip to Content

MSCJ Research Concentration Thesis Option

Back to MSCJ Homepage

The MSCJ Research Concentration (MSCJ-RES) program requires 30 credit hours of graduate-level coursework. This program is specifically designed for students seeking employment as an analyst in a criminal justice agency or to enter a doctoral program in criminal justice in preparation for a variety of academic and research careers. 

Program Requirements

The curriculum for the MSCJ-RES program provides for the development of theoretical, methodological, and analytical skills needed to evaluate and conduct scientific inquiry into criminological and criminal justice issues. Emphasis is made on the development of skills in criminal justice program planning, implementation, and evaluation to ensure a meaningful contribution to this important area of community and human services. 

All MSCJ-RES students are required to complete a research thesis, which involves a minimum of six credit hours. The remaining 24 credit hours come from coursework, and these are split into five core courses (15 credit hours) and three elective courses (nine credit hours). During their thesis defense, MSCJ-RES students must pass an oral comprehensive exam. 

The five course courses in the MSCJ-RES program are:

  • CJ 5310 Administration of Justice
  • CJ 5315 Advanced Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 5325 Statistics for Criminal Justice
  • CJ 5335 Advanced Crime Theory
  • CJ 5380P Quantitative Data Analysis

The three 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 Research Concentration Thesis Option Programs Student Handbook. 

Admission Requirements

The admission criteria for the MSCJ-RES 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 - please note this will be increased to 3.25 GPA for Fall 2020 entry)
  • highly competitive GRE scores; and
  • suitable career aspirations and research interests (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-RES applications may apply for available scholarships if they meet the priority admissions deadline for Fall entry (February 1). Suitable scholarships for MSCJ-RES applications 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-RES 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-RES program, please complete an information request form