Jun 13, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [OFFICIAL CATALOG]

Criminal Justice, M.S.

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The Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) is designed to develop the essential knowledge and skills needed to become an effective practitioner or supervisor within the criminal justice system. The MSCJ program is designed for, but not limited to, people currently working in the criminal justice system or closely related fields. The MSCJ program is delivered entirely online.

The MSCJ provides students with advanced academic training, special expertise in advanced issues within the criminal justice system, supervisory and administrative proficiency, and the methodological and statistical skills necessary to understand research and new developments in criminal justice. The program increases abilities in critical thinking, problem solving, oral and written communication, and understanding of the criminal justice system in the U.S. It presents an integrated program of study that is academically rigorous and practically oriented. It is appropriate for students who:

  • are currently working in the criminal justice system and seeking to move into higher supervisory roles
  • are currently working in the criminal justice system and seeking to broaden their skills by obtaining job-related knowledge and expertise
  • are seeking to broaden their skills and knowledge in order to secure employment in the criminal justice system

Students will be guided through an intense, supervised course of study of the history and current issues in criminal justice, criminal justice policies and practices, and ways to improve those practices. This program also requires work in qualitative and quantitative methodologies, statistical analysis, and research design sufficient to make graduates proficient in consuming and understanding research that may be needed in management positions. All course work builds toward a policy thesis, which demonstrates an understanding of a criminal justice issue and the policy implications of that issue. Graduates of this program will be expected to continue their work in the criminal justice field, be prepared to handle increasing responsibilities in their jobs, and gain promotions to the highest levels of their organizations. The program is offered fully online and is built around eight week courses each term throughout the year.

For more information, visit the program’s website.

Admission Requirements

Application requirements for admission to the MSCJ program are as follows. (Students should submit all undergraduate transcripts and other materials to the UALR Graduate School. Do not send materials to the Department of Criminal Justice):

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 (4.0 scale)
  • Applicants are required to score at least 145 on the verbal portion, 140 on the quantitative portion, and 3.0 on the writing portion of the GRE; or score at least 400 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).

Conditional Admission

Conditional admissions are possible for low test scores but not low GPAs. Conditional admissions will be determined by the MSCJ graduate coordinator in consultation with the Graduate School.

Students not meeting the standardized test score requirements may be admitted conditionally at the discretion of the program coordinator. Students admitted conditionally must earn grades of at least B in the first 12 hours and may not receive a grade of (I) incomplete within the first 12 hours of the program.

MSCJ Admissions Process

  • Complete online application and submit other Graduate School requirements. An application fee of $40 will be required.
  • Mail official transcripts from undergraduate institution(s) and copies of MAT or GRE score.

University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Graduate School
2801 S. University Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72204-1099

International Students

International students may apply for the MSCJ program. They should follow the steps at the international prospects webpage.

Program Requirements

To graduate, students must complete a capstone. Required courses establish the foundation of knowledge in criminal justice and include information all students should possess when they graduate. Students can expect to take a maximum of three hours in each eight week term. The program will typically take two years to complete if the student attends each of the six terms during the year. The MSCJ program is delivered entirely online. Lectures may take the form of material presented by the professor (text, Power Point, etc.), guided lectures with voice-over visual material, or video presentations students download and watch. Students will be required to participate in courses through presentations and discussions on the class discussion list. Students will also be required to complete writing assignments associated with the course, ranging from short concept papers to more extensive term papers.

The capstone project requires a comprehensive literature review, critique of the literature, and direction for future study and policy on the topic.

Electives may be taken from criminal justice or from education, gerontology, history, applied communication studies, journalism, psychology, public administration, social work, and professional and technical writing.

Courses with grades of B or greater may not be repeated; grades below C are not accepted towards graduation and courses cannot be dropped from the study plan because of low grades. Conditional students must earn grades of at least B in the first 12 hours and may not receive a grade of incomplete (I).

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