Masters in Criminal Justice Degree Requirements
Masters in Criminal Justice DegreeRequirements
Some of the more career oriented graduate programsin criminal justice have a number of degrees or degree concentrations fromwhich to choose. In some schools the Masters in Criminal Justice provides thestepping stone to a PhD program as with many graduate degrees. However incriminal justice there is a substantial number of students who are mid-careerlaw enforcement professionals who are back to school for an advanced degreepreparatory to pursuing a senior management position. For that reason there areprofessional variations of the degree that provide a concentration in lawenforcement or in forensics. In some cases there are separate masters programs for these fields.
Traditional Masters in Criminal JusticeRequirements
Universities differentiate in a variety of waysbetween the traditional, academically oriented Masters in Criminal Justice andthe career-oriented graduate program in criminal justice designed for lawenforcement personnel. Virginia Commonwealth University offers an extensive,fifteen credit graduate certificate program for mid career law enforcementpersonnel. The full scale Master of Criminal Justice degree requires 36 credithours of classroom work and a comprehensive exam at the completion of thecoursework. Courses include Comparative Criminal JusticeSystems, Research Basis of Criminal Justice, Criminology, and a Seminar inLegal Processes.
Masters in Criminal Justice/Law EnforcementManagement Requirements
In the late 1960s the federal government introduceda funding program designed to promote the development of formal educationprograms for law enforcement personnel. Out of this effort and several piecesof legislation came the Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) which providedstudent loans for officers willing to attend or return to college; if aftercompletion of the degree they rendered five years of law enforcement servicethe loan was forgiven. In response to this coordinated federal effort publicuniversities developed undergraduate and graduate programs in criminal justicethat were designed for the law enforcement professional.
The program at California State University inSacramento is an example. This Master of Science in Criminal Justice requires abaccalaureate, preferably but not necessarily in criminal justice.There are a few academic prerequisites including a course in statistics. Thecurriculum for the program is based on the philosophy that, "...The functionsof the professional criminal justice practitioner and educator are to aid theorderly development of society, to contribute significantly to the improvementof the quality of criminal justice services, and to advance the criminaljustice system..." The 30 credit curriculum includes Contemporary Issues inPolicing, Management of Complex Justice Organizations, and a Graduate Seminarin Corrections.
Masters in Forensic ScienceRequirements
This degree option is not readily found as astand-alone degree; in the schools that do offer it however the science behindthis branch of law enforcement becomes a paramount academic concern. MichiganState University offers this degree with concentrations in ForensicChemistry, Forensic Biology and Forensic Anthropology. Each of theseoptions has a thesis requirement, and each has its own set of academicprerequisites. In this program 32 credits are allowed for required courseworkand 6 credits applied to thesis research, writing and defense. There are fewcore courses; between 17 and 25 credits are devoted to the area ofconcentration. With the exception of one introductory course, the balance ofthe classroom work is put to electives.Find more relatedinformation: