Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Major: JA MS
Degree Awarded: MS
Unit: GA
Program Webpage: http://louisville.edu/justice

Program Information

The goals of the Department of Criminal Justice are for students to achieve a sound liberal arts education and a specialized understanding of the criminal justice system, criminal behavior, legal processes and the relationship of these phenomena to society.

Graduate studies in the Department of Criminal Justice provide students with advanced social and behavioral science skills as well as a detailed and thorough understanding of crime, criminal justice and related processes. Graduates of this program are prepared to continue advanced studies in criminal justice or other social sciences and to assume mid and upper-level leadership positions within criminal justice programs and agencies.

The interdisciplinary nature of the program maintains the dynamic posture that allowed this crime-related discipline to emerge and to mature quickly and successfully. Graduate students are given latitude in choosing elective courses in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice. Elective courses related to the student's program of study are selected from the resources of the entire University. Courses in social work, public administration, law, business, and the various departments of the College of Arts and Sciences are possible electives that the student and his or her advisor may consider. With proper selection, the electives can complement the core criminal justice courses and produce a balanced, interdisciplinary program which is tailored to meet specific professional and career goals.

The combination of the degree programs and the Southern Police Institute makes the program in Criminal Justice a unique blend of theory and practice. The Southern Police Institute is one of the oldest, most respected, police administration educational programs in the United States.

Our programs are offered in two formats:

  • evening courses on campus, and
  • on-line via the internet

Admissions

Anyone seeking admission to the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program must submit an application to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies that includes the following:

  • Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work completed. The minimum requirement for admission is the Baccalaureate degree or its equivalent.
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to the applicant's academic or professional capabilities.
  • Scores on the General Test Section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • An original essay identifying the applicant's background, professional interests and goals. The essay should be 300-500 words and should allow the faculty to better understand the applicant's motivation and potential for graduate work.
  • Completed application to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Graduate Admissions, University of Louisville at http://louisville.edu/graduate/apply/.
  • $60.00 application fee, check or money order made payable to the University of Louisville.
  • Those applicants whose native language is not English and who do not hold a degree from a university where the language of instruction is English must also submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), with a minimum score of 80 on the Internet-based test (iBT) or 213 paper based test (PBT) or 550 (old test).

The Department of Criminal Justice is committed to providing an opportunity to a diverse range of students. The holistic review of applications allows our faculty to select the best students who fit the research areas offered within the department. Application information that highly influences the decision to offer admission includes the previous institution attended, research interests, grade point average, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, personal statements and resumes, and the experience, background or qualities that make the applicant eligible for admission.

General Requirements

The general requirements for the Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice are the completion of at least 36 graduate credit hours. The completion of these credit hours may include either thesis or non-thesis option. The thesis option requires the completion of 30 credit hours of graduate level courses and a thesis for a total of 36 credit hours. The non-thesis professional paper option requires the completion of 33 credit hours of graduate courses plus a professional paper for a total of 36 credit hours. A cumulative 3.0 grade point average must be maintained for all graduate coursework. Only six hours of coursework in which a grade of "C+, C, or C-" is received may count toward the completion of degree requirements, grades of "D" must be repeated.

Students are advised to complete the Criminal Justice core courses prior to electives. Core or specific courses required for graduation total 15 credit hours with the remaining courses being electives. A minimum of three (3) hours of elective credit must be completed at the 600 level. The composition of the list of elective courses will vary from student to student depending on the student's undergraduate major, aspirations and background. Electives outside of our department must have approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

The degree is offered in two formats, our traditional on campus classes and also via the internet, see department web-page for more information at:

http://louisville.edu/justice/graduate-degree-programs

Students may choose either format or a combination of both methods of delivery.

Curriculum

Core Courses

Credit Hours Thesis Option

Credit Hours Professional Paper Option

JA 621 The Criminal Justice System

3

3

JA 625 Legal Aspects of Criminal Justice Management

3

3

JA 643 Theories of Crime and Delinquency

3

3

JA 649 Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice

3

3

JA 650 Research Methods in Criminal Justice

3

3

Electives (to be approved by Director of Graduate Studies)

15

18

Thesis

6

 

Professional Paper

 

3

Minimum Total Credit Hours

36

36

Faculty

Gennaro F. Vito
Professor

Chair

George E. Higgins
Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

Deborah G. Keeling
Professor

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences

Richard A. Tewksbury

Professor

Viviana Andreescu

Associate Professor

Cherie Dawson-Edwards

Associate Professor

Elizabeth L. Grossi

Associate Professor

Thomas W. Hughes

Associate Professor

Bradley A. Campbell

Assistant Professor

Benjamin Fisher

Assistant Professor

Michael Losavio

Assistant Professor

Kristin M. Swartz

Assistant Professor

Angela Thielo

Assistant Professor

Theresa C. Hayden

Adjunct Faculty

John C. Reed

Lecturer

Cynthia Shain

Lecturer

B. Edward Campbell

Emeritus

J. Price Foster

Emeritus

Ronald M. Holmes

Emeritus

William F. Walsh

Emeritus