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Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (120 semester credit hours) consists of courses in the core areas of criminal justice system such as in policing, courts and criminal procedure, and correctional systems and practices. The degree also provides students with a basic understanding of criminological theories and with essential tools to understand research in social sciences. Students may also take classes in juvenile justice, media and crime, as well as in other contemporary issues in crime and justice.

Students will take courses in other disciplines in order to provide a well-rounded liberal arts education. Additionally, the undergraduate degree requires students to complete hours in a minor course of study.  

  • Criminal Justice majors should discuss options within the Core Curriculum with their academic advisor.

  • All CRIJ majors ( non-transfer and transfer students) must satisfy CRIJ 1301, CRIJ 2329, CRIJ 2328, CRIJ 1306 and CRIJ 2313 or their equivalent at the lower-level. The lower-level courses are listed in the degree plan sequence in which they should be taken.

  • PSCI 4326, The Judicial Process, is interchangeable with CRIJ 1306, Courts and Criminal Procedures, with permission of the CRIJ faculty advisor.

  • For more information, please refer to the University catalog

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) is a comprehensive program designed to prepare graduate students to actively participate in the development of knowledge in the areas of criminological theory, the administration of justice, ethics and legal studies. It is also designed to prepare students to conduct research in the field of study.

The degree is especially beneficial for students already working in criminal justice system who seek to enhance their professional knowledge and skills as well as those who have full-time jobs as courses are scheduled primarily online. Also graduate students are given alternative options to complete the degree which include a non-thesis or thesis plan.

Both the non-thesis and thesis plan require the completion of 36 total hours of coursework, 9 hours of which are devoted to the student's minor curriculum. Students may choose to minor in Sociology, Political Science, English, Public Administration, History or Spanish. The completion of the degree also requires students to successfully demonstrate their knowledge of course content in criminal justice and in their minor coursework. Students must therefore successfully pass a comprehensive exam administered during the last semester of coursework.

Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Thesis Plan

Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Non-Thesis Plan

General Admissions Requirements and Procedures

All students (including transfer students) seeking admission to a graduate degree program in the college of Arts and Sciences, including MSCJ students, must first file an application with the University's Office of Admissions (KL 155) (the application can also be found at Application Form ). Once admitted to the university, this application would be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. All supporting material indicated in the application must be submitted by the stated deadline (See below).

Application Deadlines For Admission Process

For Summer or Fall:      April 30th                
For Spring:                      November 30th

Outline of MSCJ Program Admissions Process

  • Students apply to the Office of Admissions for entry into the University.
  • Once admitted to the university, the application will be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research (KL 326).
  • The Dean of Graduate Studies and Research welcomes students who meet the University's requirements and initiates these students' applications for admission to the college of Arts and Sciences.

    As a part of application, students applying for the MSCJ Program, need to submit:

    • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. If previous degree was completed within 5 years of applying  to the MSCJ program,students must have earned a 2.5 GPA. If previous degree was completed after 5 or more years of applying to the MSCJ program, a 2.0 GPA is required. (Degree must be posted on the transcript. The degree must be from a college or a university of recognized standing degrees from institutions outside the U.S. will be evaluated for equivalency to U.S. degrees).

    • Typed personal narrative briefly describing career goals, aspirations, and timetable for completion of proposed graduate studies.

    • Two letters of recommendation (academic or professional; not from TAMIU Criminal Justice Faculty)

    • GRE scores (Official scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service [ETS] and be dated within five years of enrollment)

    • Writing sample (5-10 pages in length) that demonstrates student's writing ability (no legal case briefs allowed). The writing sample may be an academic or a research paper submitted as a coursework for previous degree

  • The Dean of Graduate Studies and Research submits the students' application to the Director of the MSCJ Program.

  • The Director of the MSCJ Program calls a meeting to review applications received by the appropriate deadlines. All relevant information will be considered, including a presentation by any student who wishes to give one.

  • The Director of the MSCJ program sends a memo to the Department Chair and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research documenting the recommendations of the MSCJ Program Admissions Committee.

  • The Dean considers the recommendations and makes a final decision, which is then communicated to the student, the Department Chair, the Director of the MSCJ program , and the Office of Admissions.

Each student's application will be carefully reviewed (in compliance with HB 1641), and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis but the above factors such as GPA and letters of recommendation will be taken into consideration. The Dean of Graduate Studies and Research will notify students in writing about the status of their applications.

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