Master of Science in Justice Administration / Criminal Justice

Program Information Major : JA / CJ Degree : MS Unit: GA

Graduate studies in the Department of Justice Administration / Criminal Justice provides students with advanced social and behavioral science skills as well as a detailed and thorough understanding of crime, criminal justice systems 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 Justice Administration / Criminal Justice degree.  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 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.

  • 36 hour curriculum.
  • Students may transfer in 6 credit hours of graduate work from other accredited universities. An additional 6 transfer hours may be considered upon request and approval of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.
  • Students may be admitted provisionally pending receipt of all application materials.
  • Classes offered year round.
  • Degree may be completed in three intensive enrollment semesters.
  • Professional student advisors available to assist in degree planning
  • Graduates of the Southern Police Institute Administrative Officers Course Graduate track have completed 12 hours (1/3) of this graduate degree and will have the GRE requirement waived.

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

The degree is offered in two formats, our traditional on campus classes and also via the internet.  Students may choose either format or a combination of both methods of delivery.


Anyone seeking admission to the School of Interdisciplinary & Graduate Studies, University of Louisville, for purposes of pursuing the Master of Science in the Justice Administration / Criminal Justice must provide 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 interest and goals and the applicant's motivation and potential for graduate work.
  • Complete application for admission to the  School of Interdisciplinary & Graduate Studies, University of Louisville
  • $60.00 application fee, check or money order made payable to the University of Louisville.

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be admitted in good standing to the program:

  • 3.0 (GPA) on a 4-point scale.
  • Combined quantitative and verbal scores of 900 (former GRE) or 282 (new GRE) on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

Note: 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, with a minimum score of 80 on the internet-based test and a minimum of 500 on the quantitative portion of the GRE.

For individuals who cannot meet these conditions, conditional admission is an option.  Conditional admission allows students to take graduate classes and, if they attain a 3.0 or higher grade point average in the first semester of their graduate course work, be admitted to the program.  All courses taken by students while they are in conditional admission status “count” toward completion of the Master of Science Degree.  Conditional status is determined on a case-by-case basis.  Generally, the following factors are taken into consideration:

  • Grade point average in the applicant’s major and/or final 60 hours of undergraduate work.
  • Amount of time that has transpired between the applicant’s undergraduate degree completion and application to the graduate program in Justice Administration / Criminal Justice.
  • Applicant’s work experience and accomplishments in their profession.
  • Grade point average in graduate work at other accredited academic institutions.
  • A less than 3.0 grade point average that is “offset” by a combined GRE score greater than 900 (former GRE) or 282 (new GRE); OR a combined GRE score less than 900 (former GRE) or 282 (new GRE) that is “offset” by a greater than 3.0 grade point average.

For applicants whose cumulative undergraduate GPA is less than 2.5, Non-degree status may be an option.

Non-degree status is also an option for individuals who are interested in “testing the waters” or simply taking a graduate course.  Contact us if you would like more details.

The requirements for the MS JA/CJ are completion of 36 graduate credit hours. This includes 15 credit hours of JA /CJ core courses, 18 credit hours of JA / CJ electives and a professional paper (3 credit hours).  The core curriculum includes an overview of the criminal justice system, theories of crime and delinquency, legal issues in criminal justice and advanced statistics and research methods. Elective courses address specialized topics within criminal justice such as capital punishment, violent crime, domestic violence, criminal justice in the media, international terrorism, substance abuse and justice policy, issues in policing and ethics in criminal justice practice.

A cumulative 3.0 grade point average must be maintained for all graduate coursework, grades of "D" must be repeated.  Students are advised to complete JA /CJ core courses prior to electives. Students are free to select electives specific to their area of interest within the Department of Justice Administration / Criminal Justice.  Electives outside of our department must have approval of the Graduate Program Director or Department Chair.

Students may only apply six (6) hours of experiential credit; i.e. internship, service learning, co-op, practicum, etc. toward their degree.

For more information, contact

Student Services
Room 205
Brigman Hall
Phone:  502.852.2686

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Core Courses

Semester Hours

Thesis Option

Semester Hours

Professional Paper Option

JA /CJ 621, The Criminal Justice System 3 3
JA /CJ 625, Legal Aspects of Criminal Justice Management 3 3
JA /CJ 643, Theories of Crime and Delinquency 3 3
JA /CJ 649, Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice 3 3
JA /CJ 650, Research Methods in Criminal Justice 3 3
Electives (to be approved by Advisor) 15 18
Thesis 6 -
Professional Paper - 3
Minimum Total 36 36

Departmental Faculty

Name Position Name Position
Deborah G. Keeling


Dept Chair

Theresa C. Hayden Assistant Professor
Gennaro F. Vito



Eric McCord Assistant Professor
J. Price Foster Faculty Emeritus
Kristin Swartz Assistant Professor
Richard A. Tewksbury Professor J. Sterling Grant Assistant Professor
George E. Higgins Professor Michael Losavio Assistant Professor
Viviana Andreescu Associate Professor B. Edward Campbell Faculty Emeritus
Cherie Dawson-Edwards Associate Professor William F. Walsh Emeritus
Elizabeth L. Grossi Associate Professor Ron M. Holmes Emeritus
Thomas W. Hughes

Associate Professor

Director SPI

Interim Dept Chair

Cindy Shain

Interim Dir SPI

John Reed Jr Adjunct Professor Jennifer Cruze Adjunct Professor

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Financial  Aid

Tuition & Fees

Course Schedule

Graduate Handbook