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Department of Criminal Justice

Humphreys Building 300
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4950





 

Criminal Justice Graduate Program

Master of Science Degree

Dr. Randa Matusiak, Graduate Program Coordinator
E-mail: matusiak@ucmo.edu

Department of Criminal Justice

Humphreys 300

Warrensburg, MO 64093

660-543-4950

 

MISSION STATEMENT

It is the mission of the Department of Criminal Justice to ensure that all our graduates master a comprehensive curriculum in criminal justice which is dynamic, rigorous, and that prepares them to excel and become leaders in their profession and contribute to the betterment of society.

EXPECTED STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

The graduate with a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice will use the knowledge and skill obtained in the program to:

  • Articulate knowledge of the major issues facing the criminal justice system in the nation and world.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the multidisciplinary CJ theories and their implications for policy.
  • Understand how to access research, conduct original research, and apply research findings to problems with crime or the criminal justice system.
  • Communicate in a knowledgeable and professional manner for a variety of academic and criminal justice settings.
  • Demonstrate an advanced writing capacity with the ability to use and reference literature properly.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM

This program is designed for those students who wish to enter and/or progress in the criminal justice fields of law enforcement, corrections, and juvenile justice; or who plan to seek positions in leadership.

The program consists of 36 hours total required and the student may choose either a thesis or non-thesis track. There are eight* core classes as shown below:

  1. CJ5000 Criminal Justice Philosophy and Policy
  2. CJ5003 Causes of Crime
  3. CJ5102 Administration in Criminal Justice
  4. CJ5610 Statistics for Criminal Justice
  5. CJ5006 Comparative and International Criminal Justice Systems
  6. CJ5301 Legal Aspects of Criminal Justice
  7. CJ5620 Research Methods
  8. CJ5625 Crime Analysis*

All students must complete the eight* core classes in order to graduate. It is strongly recommended that students take CJ 5000 within the first 9 - 12 credit hours.

In addition, students wanting to do the thesis track must take CJ6600 Thesis class plus two elective classes. Any other CJ4000 level or above course will serve as an elective course. Students wishing to do the non-thesis track must also take CJ5600 Individual Research plus three elective courses. (See the table below for this information in table form along with what semesters these courses are offered in the classroom and online.)

Consent to enroll in additional arranged courses must be obtained from the department graduate coordinator. These include CJ4602, CJ5600, or CJ5602.

* CJ 5625 is no longer a required course for those students entering the M.S. program under the 2013-2014 Graduate Catalog and beyond. The course continues to be offered on a regular schedule in order to accommodate those students for whom CJ 5625 is a required course. It will count as elective credit for those students under the 2013-2014 or future Graduate Catalogs.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

To be considered for admission into the program of studies for the Criminal Justice M.S. degree, the applicant must have earned an undergraduate degree in criminal justice or a related field prior to enrollment at UCM in the coursework for the program, submitted a complete graduate program application, and earned a minimum grade point average of 3.00 on all undergraduate course work and 3.0 on all graduate course work. A student without a criminal justice degree may be required to complete up to 15 hours of background courses in criminal justice prior to taking graduate level courses. The requirement to take background courses may be waived by the Criminal Justice Graduate Coordinator based on previous courses taken and/or relevant professional experience.

Students with a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 to below 3.00 may be considered for admission by the Criminal Justice Graduate Committee upon taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and submitting a minimal combined score on the General Test (Quantitative & Verbal Reasoning) of 300 points, and a minimal score of 4.0 on the Analytic Writing Test. Any application deviating from these admission criteria will be considered at the discretion of the Criminal Justice Graduate Committee.

APPLICATION DUE DATES

To be considered for admission into the Criminal Justice M.S. degree program and to ensure available capacity, early submission of application materials is recommended. Priority consideration for summer or fall semester admission will be given to completed applications submitted by March 1. Priority consideration for spring semester admission will be given to completed application submitted by October 1. Beyond the priority consideration dates the Criminal Justice Graduate Committee will meet monthly to review completed applications. All applicants will be notified of their admission status via an email and official letter. Admission decisions will be based upon the merit of the application and the available space in the program for the student.

STUDENT EXPECTATIONS

Graduate students in the M.S. in Criminal Justice program are expected to familiarize themselves with the policies of the Graduate School and abide by them. Please note, for those students that have earned a bachelor’s degree from UCM, there are some differences between graduate and undergraduate policies. For clarification of any graduate policy, please contact the Department of Criminal Justice graduate coordinator. Students can find the graduate school policies in the UCM Graduate Catalog.

Check out what our students have to say about our Master in Criminal Justice Program with this video!

ONLINE FORMS

The following forms used to update your contact information, submit your Program of Study, and to formally apply for your thesis project, if you are on the thesis track. Please be aware of each of these forms and use them when they apply to you at the appropriate times as explained.

1. Update Personal Information Form

Use this form to update/change your personal information. It is critical that we have your current address, telephone number, and e-mail information. Please be sure to update if any of these pieces of information change. Otherwise, you may miss out on important information that is provided periodically. Click the link below to access this online form.

Update Personal Information Form

2. Program of Study Form

Use this form to file your Program of Study. If you have any questions about which track to take or have other questions before submitting your Program of Study, feel free to discuss with your Faculty Advisor or Graduate Program Coordinator. Click the link below to access the Program of Study Form.

Program of Study Form

3. Application for Thesis Committee Form

Use this form to apply for your thesis committee. You should do this early on in your program. You must choose a faculty Chair of Committee and two faculty Thesis Committee members. You should also have a working title for your thesis project.

Thesis Committee Form


THESIS & NON-THESIS TRACKS

Prior to completion of the program, a student must select either the thesis or non-thesis option. It is highly recommended that this selection take place in the first semester of graduate work by completing the Program of Study form. The thesis option requires the student to complete six hours of thesis (CJ6600) as part of the 36-hour degree program. Students in the non-thesis option must take three hours of (CJ5600) Individual Research as part of their program of study, and successfully complete a Final Comprehensive Analysis Project (FCAP). The following documents will assist you in knowing what is required for the thesis and non-thesis tracks. If you have any questions after reading this material, don't hesitate to contact your Graduate Advisor or the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Thesis Track Information

Graduate School Office Thesis Manual
CJ Department Thesis Manual

Non-Thesis Track Information
CJ 5600: Individual Research Sample Syllabus

 

MASTER OF SCIENCE CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEGREE PROGRAM

 

Criminal Justice Graduate Program and Courses

Criminal Justice Master of Science Requirements

Course Number

Course Name

Credit Hours

On-Campus

Online

CJ 5000 Criminal Justice Philosophy and Policy
3
Fall Spring
CJ 5003 Causes of Crime
3
Fall Summer
CJ 5006 Comparative and International Criminal Justice Systems
3
Spring Fall
CJ 5102 Administration in Criminal Justice
3
Fall Spring
CJ 5301 Legal Aspects of the Criminal Justice System
3
Spring Fall
CJ 5610 Statistics for Criminal Justice
3
Fall Spring
CJ 5620 Methods of Criminal Justice Research
3
Spring Summer
CJ 5625*** Crime Analysis
3
Spring Fall

Also requires one of the following...

CJ 5600** Individual Research
3
Fall & Spring
CJ 6600* Thesis
6
All semesters
*Requires 6 credit hours of approved electives if thesis option is chosen.
**Requires 9 credit hours of approved electives if non-thesis option is chosen.

***Only required for students under catalogs prior to 2013-2014.

A total of 36 hours is required for the program for both the thesis and non-thesis tracks.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS FOR CJ CORE COURSES

CJ 5000 Criminal Justice Philosophy and Policy

Historical development and present structure and function of the American criminal justice system.

CJ 5003 Causes of Crime

The dynamics of interpersonal, group, and societal relationships as they impinge on the criminal justice mission.

CJ 5006 Comparative and International Criminal Justice Systems

Criminal justice systems worldwide and means of establishing cooperation toward mutual goals despite structural, historical and ideological differences.

CJ 5102 Administration in Criminal Justice

An intensive, in-depth analysis of criminal justice agencies (law enforcement, corrections, and court administration), organizational structures, and management techniques.

CJ 5301 Legal Aspects of the Criminal Justice System

Current legal issues affecting the various areas of criminal justice.

CJ 5600 Individual Research

Individual study and research of pertinent criminal justice administration issues. Completion of this course and analytic paper fulfills the non-thesis option in the program. Prerequisites: Instructor consent (contact Graduate Program Coordinator for assistance in obtaining consent for course). Consent will only be given if the student has completed 12 hours of graduate credits in the program AND has completed the following core courses: CJ5000, CJ5003, CJ5102, CJ5301, CJ5610, and CJ5620. The only exception that may be made for this is if a student is concurrently taking one of these required courses and wishes to take CJ5600 at the same time in the same semester. Then, consent may be given.

CJ 5610 Statistics for Criminal Justice

Graduate introduction to statistical techniques in criminal justice. The course provides an understanding of the relationship between statistical analysis and research methodology. It is basic a basic graduate course in statistics and presumes minimal mathematical or statistical background. Stress is placed on the assumptions, restrictions and uses of various statistical techniques rather than on mathematical derivation of formulas or detailed examination of theoretical systems.

CJ 5620 Methods in Criminal Justice Research

A comprehensive examination of the basic concepts of research, causal order of variables, sampling techniques, research designs, techniques of data collection and analysis that will enable the student to critically evaluate crime and delinquency research as well as design and implement his/her own research.

CJ 5625 Crime Analysis

The patterns of crime, the analysis of such patterns and applications of crime analysis. Focus is on temporal and spatial distributions of crime, crime analysis charting and visual investigative analysis. Prerequisite: Admission to  the M. S. in Criminal Justice program.

CJ 6600 Thesis

Special investigation into a specific areas of criminal justice administration. It is recommended that the student should have completed the major courses in his/her program before enrolling in this course. Prerequisite: CJ5620.

Please see the current UCM Course Catalog for information on other Criminal Justice courses.