Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology

Program Description | Admissions | Degree RequirementsCourses

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology degree is designed to prepare graduate students to conduct research and actively participate in the development of knowledge in the areas of criminological theory and criminal justice issues. Students who are planning careers in law enforcement, corrections or rehabilitation, or who wish a deeper understanding of crime and the criminal justice system should confer with the Graduate Program Advisor to develop a combination of elective courses that will support their particular career interests. Students seeking this degree are frequently candidates to pursue the Ph.D. in Criminal Justice.


Admission to the Master of Arts program is based on the Admissions Committee's assessment of the applicant's scores on the Graduate Record Examination, the undergraduate academic record, the applicant’s personal statement, and letters of recommendation from undergraduate professors. In some instances a personal interview will also be requested. Please submit all documents to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Admission considerations include the following:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. Application Fee
  3. Official transcripts of all academic work previously undertaken, including the undergraduate degree granted from an accredited institution in an allied field
  4. GPA of 3.0 or higher
  5. Test scores from the Graduate Record Examination
  6. Three letters of recommendation from undergraduate professors
  7. A personal essay of the applicant’s career goals and aspirations
  8. International students ONLY: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)—a minimum score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (internet-based) is required.                              

A holistic review of each student's application will be completed on a competitive basis.

The deadline for submitting applications to the Master of Arts program is February 1 for the fall semester and September 1 for the spring semester.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology is a 36-hour degree which includes a thesis. No minor is required.

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Criminal Justice and Criminology (Thesis)

1 No more than three hours of CRIJ 6093 Independent Studies in Criminal Justice may be used as elective course work.
2 Once enrolled in CRIJ 6099, students must enroll in this course in every semester until graduation.*
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Criminal Justice and Criminology (Thesis)
Course Name Hours
Required Courses (15 credit hours)
CRIJ 5330 Critical Analysis of Justice Administration 3
CRIJ 5332 Perspectives in Criminology 3
CRIJ 5393 Legal Aspects of the Criminal Justice System 3
CRIJ 5392 Survey of Research Methods 3
CRIJ 6385 Statistics for Criminal Justice Research 3
Electives (15 credit hours)
Choose five from:
5000/6000 level graduate courses in CRIJ1 15
Thesis (6 credit hours)
Choose all from:
CRIJ 6398 Thesis Practicum 3
CRIJ 6399 Thesis2  3
Total Credit Hours 36


*Effective Summer 2012, graduate students will take dissertation/thesis classes for 3 credit hours until they have completed the degree requirements (12 hours for dissertation; 6 hours for thesis). Students may then sign up for 1 credit hour for continuous enrollment. Students do not have to sign up for thesis/dissertation classes during the summer if they are not working on their thesis/dissertation or if they are not graduating or working on their portfolio. If students do not stay continuously enrolled, they will be back enrolled in 1 semester hour and will be charged for the course. 


Criminal Justice (CRIJ)


Sam Houston State Logo

Sam Houston State University | Huntsville, Texas 77341 | (936) 294-1111 | (866)BEARKAT Member TSUS
© Copyright Sam Houston State University | All rights reserved. | Contact Web Editor