Mar 28, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Criminal Justice MS

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The School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security offers the Master of Science in Criminal Justice in fully online format.   

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice is designed to prepare students for diverse careers in the modern justice system, for doctoral study or law school. Graduates are equipped to apply theoretical and applied knowledge to issues within the justice and public policy contexts thus allowing advanced examination and analysis of issues within modern justice and legal systems.  

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the standards set forth in the Academic Requirements and Procedures , applicants must have the following:   

  1. A competitive score

    Regular Admission: 

    1.     A competitive score on all sections of the GRE, GMAT, MAT or LSAT. To be considered for admission, test scores must be within the previous ten years.  Applicants may seek a waiver of this requirement pursuant to the policy set forth below.  

  2. A GPA of 3.0 or greater on the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work; or a 3.0 or greater on prior graduate work.
  3. An undergraduate degree in criminal justice, criminology, forensic science or closely-related discipline from an accredited institution of higher learning. 
  4. Three current letters of recommendation that refer to and assess the applicant’s academic ability and aptitude for success in a graduate program.  Two of these must be written by individuals possessing at least a master’s degree.
  5. Personal Statement: A typed statement of 750 to 1,000 words summarizing the individual’s motivation for applying to the program as well as the professional contributions s/he intends to make assuming successful completion of the degree.
  6. Resumé or Curriculum Vita.

Regular admission generally requires no coursework above the semester-hour minimum for the master’s degree.  

Conditional Admission: Conditional admission is granted when an applicant’s credentials suggest aptitude for successful graduate study but are deficient in one or more of the areas outlined immediately above.  Conditional admission may require a variable amount of coursework above the minimal semester-hour requirement for the master’s degree. 

Waiver of Standardized Test Admissions Requirement 

Applicants to the graduate program may apply for a waiver of the requirement to submit standardized test scores.  Waivers pursuant to this section are selective and granted on a case by case basis.  Applicants seeking a waiver should seek guidance from the Graduate Coordinator regarding application for the waiver.

A request to waive standardized test scores may be granted in the following cases:     

  1. If the applicant can demonstrate five or more years of relevant and progressive work experience within the ten years prior to application;  or
  2. The applicant was admitted to the master’s program pursuant to the  Accelerated Master’s Option for USM undergraduate students; or
  3. The applicant completed a previous master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning; or law degree from an ABA-accredited law school;
  4. The applicant completed an Honor’s College program at an accredited institution of higher learning in conjunction with an undergraduate degree program. 

Program Requirements and Academic Policies

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice requires a minimum of thirty (30) hours of criminal justice coursework (with 18 hours at the 600 level or above) plus successful completion of a comprehensive examination. In addition, students select a thesis or non-thesis option (capstone project) within the degree program. 

See General Degree Requirements  and General Academic Information  for other requirements and policies.

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