VCU Bulletins

Criminal Justice, Master of Science (M.S.)

Gordon, Dr. Jill A.
Program Chair
(804) 827-0901

Admission requirements summary

Criminal Justice, Master of Science (M.S.)

of entry:



Apr 1* (Mar 1 for financial aid)

Oct 1*


*These deadlines are designed to allow sufficient time for application review and admission processing. Applications may be submitted after the deadline; however, we cannot guarantee sufficient time for processing. Any application submitted too late for current semester processing will be considered for the following semester. Please contact the program chair with specific application questions.

The graduate program in criminal justice is designed to provide advanced educational preparation for students and criminal justice professionals pursuing careers in the field of criminal justice. Such preparation includes understanding the range of theory, research and policy in criminal justice. The curriculum is directed especially toward assisting students in developing the advanced knowledge, skills and abilities required by criminal justice professionals.

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice requires 36 semester hours of course work, with an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or above. Students who do not have at least one year of professional-level experience are encouraged to take a three-credit internship as part of their 36 semester hours.

A maximum of nine semester hours of graduate credit from an accredited institution may be applied toward the master’s degree with the approval of the graduate program coordinator. However, these hours will not have been credited toward another degree.

Student learning outcomes


Core requirements (18 credits)

CRJS 501 Principles of Criminal Justice
CRJS 550 Professional Ethics and Liability
CRJS 616 Justice Policy and Administration
CRJS 620 Seminar in Criminology
CRJS/GVPA 623 Research Methods for Government and Public Affairs
CRJS 641 Jurisprudence

Six elective courses (18 credits), to be selected from:

CRJS 591 Topic Seminar
CRJS 612 Criminal Justice Politics and Planning
CRJS 622 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
CRJS 631 Criminal Justice Management and Leadership
CRJS/FRSC 680 Forensic Psychiatry
CRJS 693 Internship (see Wilder School web page for listing)
FRSC 670 Forensic Evidence and Criminal Procedure
HSEP 501 Institutional Challenges of Security Preparedness
HSEP 502 Survey of Terrorism
HSEP 603 Risk Assessment
PADM/GVPA 601 Principles of Public Administration
PADM/GVPA 625 Public Policy Analysis
SOCY 510 Domestic and Sexual Violence in Social Context
SOCY 631 Battered Women in the Criminal Justice System
SOCY 656 Social Network Analysis

Other course(s) may be selected with permission of the criminal justice graduate director.

To complete the M.S. curriculum, students must submit a portfolio of their work before they graduate. Contact the program director for format and submission details.

Admission requirements

Beyond the general Graduate School standards listed in Graduate Studies at VCU section of this bulletin, admission to the Master of Science in Criminal Justice also will be based on:

Professional experience in criminal justice (where applicable).



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Last update: 9/6/2013

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