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Admission Requirements and Program Information

Criminal Justice Master's Degree

The criminal justice and criminology program offers two areas to ensure you are getting the skills and knowledge you need to reach your goals. Choose to focus in Area 1: Theoretical Criminal Justice and Criminology, or Area 2: Criminal Justice Administration and Leadership. Visit the Criminal Justice and Criminology, MS page to learn more about each area.

Regardless of the area you choose, this program is designed for those who wish to enter and/or progress in a criminal justice agency, seek a position of leadership, research, or teaching in criminal justice. As a graduate of our program, you will be able to:

  • Articulate knowledge of the major issues facing the criminal justice system in the nation and world.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the multidisciplinary criminal justice 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.

Application Dates & Deadlines

For best consideration, submit your application by July 1 to begin in the fall semester and December 1 for spring semester.  This provides ample time to complete paperwork, request transcripts, and ensure enrollment in the classes you want. The Criminal Justice & Criminology Graduate Committee will meet monthly to review completed applications. All applicants will be notified of their admission status via email and/or the address provided on the application. Admission decisions will be based upon the merit of the application and the available space in the program for the student.

Chart your path with the Schedule of Courses.  This link shows required as well as elective options, so you'll know when classes are offered.



Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission into the program of study for the Criminal Justice & Criminology M.S. degree, the applicant must have earned an undergraduate degree in criminal justice or a related field prior to enrollment in program coursework at UCM.

Applicants who have earned a minimum grade point average of 3.00 on all undergraduate course work and 3.00 on all graduate coursework must submit a complete graduate application, two (2) letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. 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 Coordinator based on previous courses taken and/or relevant professional experience.

Students with a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.99 or below are considered for admission by the Criminal Justice Graduate Committee by completing an extended application. The extended application includes the personal statement and letters of recommendation mentioned above, as well as:

All applicants must complete an application through the Office of Graduate Studies online.


Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of competitive Graduate Student Worker positions are available, for both teaching and research positions.

These positions provide opportunities for professional development in addition to ta stipend to help cover the costs of your graduate education.


GAs in Criminal Justice get a backstage pass to all activities, trips, conferences, and visitors hosted and attended by faculty in the department.  These opportunities help you network with professional organizations and meet influential people while building your resume.


Research GA:  The main duty of a research GA is to assist CJ faculty with their research.  GAs are the first students to be introduced to opportunities to get involved in current CJ networking and outreach projects.  Working with your professors can open doors for your career and make you competitive in the job market.


Apply for a position as a Graduate Student Worker on the UCM Jobs website:

Students are eligible to serve as a GA in any area, not only Criminal Justice & Criminology.


Thesis Information

Thesis Manuals and Forms

Use the following forms to apply for your thesis committee and declare your prospectus and final defenses. Please be advised that a thesis typically takes two semesters to complete.

UCM Graduate School Thesis Manual

Criminal Justice & Criminology Thesis Manual

Determination of Research Form

Thesis Committee Form

Thesis/Prospectus Defense Declaration Form

Application for External Thesis Committee Member

Thesis Publication Agreement

Thesis Transmittal Form

UCM Thesis and Writing Resources



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