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Mission Statement

The general purpose of the Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice is to prepare graduates for leadership, education, and research roles in the field of criminal justice. We are committed to coursework that is grounded in theory, research, and community engagement. We are committed to preparing students to become ethically informed, culturally sensitive, engaged scholars and practitioners. This goal is achieved by an inclusive curriculum that includes common core areas of study, while allowing for flexibility in electives so that students can tailor their degree in ways that are most reflective of their career and academic goals. Graduates from this program will emerge with a thorough knowledge of the major substantive areas of the criminal justice system with refined analytic, critical, evaluative and empirical skills. The degree prepares graduates for leadership in management positions in criminal justice and social service agencies, or entry into doctoral study. The program facilitates collaboration with faculty in terms of research, involvement in community service projects, and teaching. It is designed to empower students as critical thinkers, ethical actors, and competent communicators concerning matters of crime and justice.

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyze the major historical and contemporary issues facing the criminal justice system in order to evaluate the nature, extent, causation, and prevention of crime.
  • Apply and critique the major theories relevant to crime and identify how they affect policy decisions. 
  • Explain the inter-dependent operations of the major components of the criminal justice system (i.e., police, courts, correctional agencies) and the political, legal, ethical, and socioeconomic environments in which they operate, as well as the implications of these relationships for victims, offenders, justice professionals, and society.
  • Illustrate how gender, race, ethnicity, age, social class, and sexual orientation function at both the macro and micro level in the criminal justice system. 
  • Apply the skills and methods in criminal justice research, including how to acquire, analyze, interpret, and disseminate both quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, and demonstrate basic knowledge of information technology as applied to criminal justice research and practice.