Criminology and Criminal Justice

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Graduate programs

Master of Science, Criminology and Criminal Justice

Aida Hass, Graduate Director
Strong Hall, Room 227; Phone 417-836-4890
AidaHass@MissouriState.edu

Program description

This program provides the opportunity for advanced knowledge and understanding of issues involving criminal behavior, the operation of the criminal justice system, crime control policy initiatives, and using theory and research methods for criminal justice program evaluation, within the framework of the university mission in public affairs. The program develops credentials for moving into management positions in criminal justice agencies, provides skills for critically analyzing the impact of criminal justice policy and practice, and serves as a springboard to Ph.D. programs at other universities.

Accelerated Master's Degree option

Eligible Missouri State undergraduate majors in criminology may apply for preliminary acceptance into the Master of Science program in Criminology after admission requirements for the accelerated master's option have been satisfied. This option allows a student to take up to 12 hours of graduate credit counting toward both the requirements for the bachelor's and master's degrees in criminology. However, only six of these hours may count as electives in the criminology undergraduate program, with the remaining six hours counting as free electives toward the 125 credit hours required for the undergraduate degree.

If accepted, it is possible for a student to earn the Master of Science in Criminology by taking an additional two semesters and one summer beyond the completion of the Bachelor's degree, accumulating 143 total credits as opposed to the 155 required for students not in the accelerated program, assuming the student selects the thesis option. If the student elects the non-thesis option, they must complete at least 149 total hours as opposed to the 161 required for students not in the accelerated program.

Before enrolling in a course to be counted as both undergraduate and graduate credit, an undergraduate student must be accepted into the accelerated program and receive prior approval from the graduate program advisor, department head, and Graduate College. Acceptance into the program and all approvals must be completed prior to the end of the Change of Schedule Period for the course(s). Contact the Graduate College for further information.

Admission requirements for the Accelerated Master's option

  1. Junior standing and an overall GPA of 3.25 or better.
  2. Completion of CRM 210, CRM 320, CRM 340 and six additional hours of CRM with a GPA of 3.40 or better.
  3. Submit a written statement of purpose explaining why the student wants to pursue the accelerated master's program along with the prospective plans following graduation.
  4. Submit two reference letters from faculty familiar with their academic performance.
  5. Be formally admitted to the accelerated master's option by the Criminology Graduate Admissions Committee.

Entrance requirements for regular MS, Criminology Program

  1. A bachelor's degree in sociology, criminology, or criminal justice; AND a minimum overall GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale; OR at least a 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for the last 60 hours of academic course work; OR have a combined score of 290 (875 under the old scoring system before August 1, 2011) on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination.
  2. Students without a bachelor’s degree in sociology, criminology or criminal justice may be required to take up to fifteen hours of undergraduate course work at the discretion of the Graduate Director. The requirement for course work may be waived by the Graduate Director based on equivalent course work, professional education, and/or work experience in the criminal justice system.
  3. Students who do not meet the minimum entrance requirements stated in Item #1 may be admitted conditionally to the program at the discretion of the program admission committee and the approval of the Graduate Dean. Conditional admission might be based on factors such as work experience or other indications of academic potential found in the application materials. On a case-by-case basis, the committee will set terms for full admission to the program.
  4. Applicants must submit the following materials:
    • The Graduate Admission Application.
    • The application fee.
    • One official copy of transcripts showing course work for the bachelor’s degree.
    • GRE scores (if applicable).
    • Statement of intent describing reasons for applying to the MS in Criminology along with post-graduation plans.
    • Three reference letters that speak to the applicant’s academic potential.

Applicants must formally be admitted to the program by the Criminology Graduate Admissions Committee.

Degree requirements

Thesis option (A minimum of 30 hours)

  1. Core Requirements - 21 hrs

    Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
    CRM 701 Criminal Justice Policy 3 hrs
    CRM 705 Applied Research in Criminal Justice 3 hrs
    CRM 715 Leadership and Management in Criminal Justice 3 hrs
    CRM 720 Crime Theory and Policy  3 hrs
    CRM 798 Thesis I 3 hrs
    CRM 799 Thesis II 3 hrs

    Students must take one of the following:

    Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
    CRM 730 Juvenile Justice 3 hrs
    CRM 750 Law Enforcement and Community 3 hrs
    CRM 765 Legal Issues in Criminal Justice 3 hrs
    CRM 770 Correctional Theory and Practice 3 hrs
  2. Electives. Nine hours including a minimum of three hours taken from remaining CRM graduate-level courses. Courses outside CRM must be approved by the student's advisor.

Non-Thesis option (a minimum of 36 hours)

  1. Core Requirements - 15 hrs

    Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
    CRM 701 Criminal Justice Policy 3 hrs
    CRM 705 Applied Research in Criminal Justice 3 hrs
    CRM 715 Leadership and Management in Criminal Justice 3 hrs
    CRM 720 Crime Theory and Policy  3 hrs
    CRM 797 Policy Analysis Capstone 3 hrs

    Students must take one of the following:

    Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
    CRM 730 Juvenile Justice 3 hrs
    CRM 750 Law Enforcement and Community 3 hrs
    CRM 765 Legal Issues in Criminal Justice 3 hrs
    CRM 770 Correctional Theory and Practice 3 hrs
  2. Electives.  Eighteen hours including a minimum of twelve hours taken from remaining CRM graduate-level courses.  Courses outside CRM must be approved by the student's advisor.