Master of Arts in Criminal Justice {23-24}

Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice
Graduate Program Coordinator: Lee Vigilant, PhD, MA, BA
Lommen Hall 212J, (218) 477-2034

The first cohort will begin Spring of 2023

M.A. Degree in Criminal Justice

The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice serves a community of criminal justice professionals and scholars who are ready to achieve proficiency in criminal justice research, policy, and assessment. The program mission is to deliver an individualized and customized education that sharpens skills and provides new insights into the criminal justice professions. The program will foster ideals of equity and inclusion, promote creative and independent thinking, and equip post-graduates for success in a dynamic criminal justice system. Instruction is delivered through online plus, allowing students the opportunities to complete the degree entirely through online learning or to choose classes with a face-to-face experience. Coursework explores criminal justice leadership, systems, professions, ethics, and theory, and encourages learning plans with student-initiated research and investigations. The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice is an appropriate course of study for students interested in rehabilitation corrections, law enforcement, restorative justice, and preparation for doctoral work in criminal justice and related fields.

Admission Requirements

Information on admission requirements can be found on the Graduate Studies webpage.

Because of varying grading practices in colleges and universities, and because GPA is not the sole predictor of success in graduate school, students may appeal these requirements to the Chair of the department or the Dean of Graduate Studies.  Successful applicants to the Master of Arts program in Criminal Justice will have earned a bachelor's degree before enrolling in the first semester of classes.  Students with bachelor's degrees in Criminal Justice, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, Social Work, and related fields will be considered for admission.  Students who have completed majors in fields other than criminal justice may be required to complete foundational classes in addition to the required graduate coursework. In some cases, seniors enrolled at MSUM will be eligible to enroll in graduate level classes.

A minimum GPA of 3.0, or a minimum GPA of 3.25 in the student's major or last two years of undergraduate work is required for admission.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Master of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice will:

  • Acquire an advanced knowledge of criminal justice theory and research sufficient to pursue the PhD in criminal justice or related fields (aligned with University Wide Student Learning Outcomes 1; Demonstrate intellectual preparedness for success in professional life, bolstered by integrative experiences and technological competence 2; Demonstrate effective written and oral communication 3; Apply critical thinking skills in deliberative decision-making and problem-solving and 6; Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and self-awareness to sustain the life of ongoing, independent learning).
  • Know the special statuses of marginalized and vulnerable populations in the US system of criminal justice (aligned with University Wide Student Learning Outcome 5; Develop ethical relationships with people who have different backgrounds, life experiences, cultures, beliefs, and values).
  • Demonstrate understanding of criminal justice agencies, how they function, and their roles in both preserving and limiting individual and civil rights (aligned with University Wide Student Learning Outcome 4; Demonstrate community and civic engagement, both locally and globally).
  • Acquire and develop skills for professional criminal justice settings (aligned with University Wide Student Learning Outcomes 3 and 6) through rigorous coursework and individualized opportunities to design and implement research, analysis, and assessment.

Program Delivery Mode
Online Plus: offered entirely online with face-to-face options available for some/all sections

Core Requirements ( 15-20 credits )

CJ 602 Advanced Criminology (4)
CJ 667 Restorative Justice: Theory & Practice (4)
CJ 696 Project/Action Research (1-6)
SOC 551 Quantitative Methods OR SOC 552 Qualitative Methods (3)
SOC 661 Historical Trauma and Resilience (3)

Program Requirements

Students will complete a project in CJ 696, Project/Action Research that will include an oral defense of the final project to three professors on the graduate faculty.

Restricted Electives ( 10-15 credits )

Students will complete 10-15 credits selected from the following:

CJ 500 Seminar in Criminal Justice (3-4) *may be repeated for credit as seminar topics change
CJ 544 Sociology for Law Enforcement (3)
CJ 545 Drug Abuse Control Policy (3)
CJ 615 Criminal Justice Agencies and Professional Leadership (3)
CJ 688 Research & Planning (3-8)

Recommended Electives

Students are encouraged to complete credits in CJ 688 Research and Planning to best align course projects with their professional interests.