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  • Graduate Criminal Justice

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

The Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice program (36 credit hours) prepares graduates to formulate justice system policy and serve effectively as administrators to United States justice system agencies. The master’s program permits students to explore the fields of Criminology, examining the nature and causes of crime, and Justice System Management, which focuses on modern administrative theory, legal issues in personnel administration, and the management of criminal justice agencies. Students must complete a series of core courses, which provide a solid foundation in modern justice system theory and practice. By the time students have completed the core requirements, they must choose one of two tracks: Thesis or Non- Thesis. This choice will impact the number of electives they take and whether they enroll to take the Comprehensive Examination or Thesis hours. Students may enroll either on a full-time or part-time basis in these degree programs.

Applying to the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Program

To be considered for admission to the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program, applicants must hold an earned Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university. To apply, submit the following:

  1. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  2. Personal statement (two double-spaced pages maximum) describing your interest in Criminal Justice, relevant past experiences and career goals.
  3. Two letters of recommendation attesting to your potential to succeed in graduate school.
  4. If your first language is not English, an official report of TOEFL or IELTS results.
  5. Completed application form accompanied by the $50 application fee.

Note: Applicants with an overall GPA below 3.00 (B) are strongly encouraged to take either the GRE or MAT; applicants for the Joint M.S./J.D. must apply separately to the School of Law, and must submit an LSAT score.

Course Requirements for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice

(All courses are three credits unless otherwise indicated)

Thesis Option:

CJS 501 Criminal Justice System Overview  
CJS 503 Survey of Research Methods  
CJS 505 Legal Issues in the U.S. Justice System  
CJS 509 Crime and Public Policy  
CJS 511 Criminological Theory  
CJS 513 Analysis of Criminal Justice Data  
CJS 605 Thesis (Up to 6 credits)

CJS electives (4-6 courses)

Non-Thesis Option:

CJS 501 Criminal Justice System Overview  
CJS 503 Survey of Research Methods  
CJS 505 Legal Issues in the U.S. Justice System  
CJS 509 Crime and Public Policy  
CJS 511 Criminological Theory  
CJS 513 Analysis of Criminal Justice Data  

CJS Electives (6 courses)
Comprehensive Exam (no credit given)

Joint Master of Science/Juris Doctor Offered with the RWU School of Law. Full-time enrollment required.

Drawing on the strengths of the Roger Williams University School of Law as well as the School of Justice Studies, RWU offers a concentrated joint degree program for students interested in criminal justice. The dual degree program allows matriculated students to complete the Juris Doctor (JD) and the Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) in an accelerated period of study. To earn the degree students must complete 78 credits at the School of Law and 24 credits in the School of Justice Studies. The School of Law and the School of Justice Studies will each accept 12 transfer credits from the other. The effect of these credit transfers between the School of Law and the School of Justice Studies would be to reduce the overall time needed to complete both degrees from four and a half years to three and a half years, assuming full-time study.

Note: Applicants applying for the Joint M.S./J.D. degree must apply to and earn acceptance into the Graduate School of Justice Studies and the School of Law separately. Applicants who intend to pursue the joint degree must so indicate on the application for admission. Applications should be submitted sufficiently in advance of the application deadline to assure adequate processing time at both Schools. Ordinarily, applications to each school would be filed simultaneously, even if the student will not be taking courses at both schools during the first year of study. However, a student matriculated in either the M.S. or J.D. program could apply to the other school in order to pursue the joint degree prior to the end of the first year of study.

Transferable Course Requirements for the Joint M.S./J.D. Degree Program:

The four Justice Studies courses that are transferable to the School of Law are:

  1. CJS 503 Survey of Research Methods
  2. CJS 509 Crime and Public Policy
  3. CJS 511 Criminological Theory
  4. CJS 513 Analysis of Criminal Justice Data

The four School of Law courses that are transferable to Justice Studies are:

  1. LAW 623 Criminal Law
  2. LAW 627 Criminal Procedure - Investigation
  3. LAW 682 Criminal Procedure - Adjudication
  4. A LAW elective from one of the following: LAW 631 Administrative Law, LAW 681 Advanced Evidence, LAW 860 Criminal Defense Clinic, LSM 890 Seminar in Domestic Violence