VCU Bulletins

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

Graduate program director
Jill A. Gordon, Ph.D.
Program chair, Criminal Justice
jagordon@vcu.edu
(804) 827-0901

Additional contact
Richard F. Huff, Ph.D.
Director of graduate studies, Wilder School
rrhuff@vcu.edu
(804) 828-6837

Program website: wilder.vcu.edu/academic/criminal

Refer to the program search feature of the online VCU Bulletins for a complete listing of all programs, concentrations and related curricular options.

Criminal Justice, Certificate in (Post-baccalaureate graduate certificate)

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

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

M.S.
Semester(s)
of entry:

Fall


Spring
Deadline
dates:

Apr 1 (Mar 1 for financial aid)

Oct 1
Test
requirements:

GRE, LSAT or GMAT
Special requirements:
These deadlines are designed to allow sufficient time for application review and admission processing. Applications may be submitted after the deadline; however, there is no guarantee of 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.

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, admission to the Master of Science in Criminal Justice also will be based on:

  1. An undergraduate GPA that exceeds 2.7 overall
  2. A satisfactory score on the graduate standardized test (GRE, LSAT or GMAT)
  3. Previous evidence of ability to perform graduate-level work (where applicable)
  4. Professional experience in criminal justice (where applicable)

The courses in the post-baccalaureate graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice program are the same as the master’s courses. With grades B or better and, upon acceptance into the master’s degree program, courses from the certificate program are fully transferable to the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university.  These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

General academic regulations for
all graduate students in all graduate programs at VCU

Program goal

The M.S. degree program in criminal justice assists in broadening and refining the understanding of criminal justice and criminological issues to facilitate career success and advancement. The goal of the program is to develop critical-thinking skills among the students through the use of current criminal justice and criminological topics, reports and research findings.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students will identify concepts and issues that are relevant and/or appropriate for the research or content area.
  2. Students will demonstrate logical connections in concepts, facts and information identified in the literature.
  3. Students will be able to solve a problem, write a research paper or make a line of argument on a particular criminal justice topic.
  4. Students will be able to exemplify the trivium of learning.

Degree requirements

In addition to the general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, the Master of Science in Criminal Justice requires a minimum of 36 graduate credit hours of course work, with a minimum overall grade-point average of 3.0. Students who do not have at least one year of professional-level experience are encouraged to take a three-credit-hour internship as part of the 36 semester hours.

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.

A maximum of nine semester hours of graduate credit from an accredited institution may be transferred and applied toward the master’s degree. All transfer requests require the approval of the graduate program coordinator and the Graduate School and may not have been counted toward another degree.

Curriculum requirements

Courses Credit hours
   
Required courses 18
CRJS 501 Principles of Criminal Justice 3
CRJS 550 Professional Ethics and Liability 3
CRJS 616 Justice Policy and Administration 3
CRJS 620 Seminar in Criminology 3
CRJS/GVPA/PADM/URSP 623 Research Methods for Government and Public Affairs 3
CRJS 641 Jurisprudence 3
   
Electives 18
Select six courses from the following:  
   
CRJS 591 Topic Seminar 3
CRJS 612 Criminal Justice Politics and Planning 3
CRJS 622 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems 3
CRJS 631 Criminal Justice Management and Leadership 3
CRJS/FRSC 680 Forensic Psychiatry 3
CRJS 693 Internship (3 credits maximum; see Wilder School website for listing) 3
FRSC 670 Forensic Evidence and Criminal Procedure 3
HSEP 501 Institutional Challenges of Security Preparedness 3
HSEP 502 Survey of Terrorism 3
HSEP 603 Risk Assessment 3
PADM/GVPA 601 Principles of Public Administration 3
PADM/GVPA 625 Public Policy Analysis 3
SOCY 510 Domestic and Sexual Violence in Social Context 3
SOCY 631 Battered Women in the Criminal Justice System 3
SOCY 656 Social Network Analysis 3
 
Other course(s) may be selected with permission of the criminal justice graduate director.
   
Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 36

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Degree candidacy requirements

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Graduation requirements

 

 

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Richmond, Virginia
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Last update: 12/2/2014

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