“My students and I encourage and challenge each other to critically think about our social realities and to evolve as individuals.”

Jessica Hodge, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Graduate program degree requirements

Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology

Degree requirements:

The MS-CJC degree requires successful completion of 30 credit hours of graduate work. Within these 30 hours, students may elect to complete a thesis or pursue the non-thesis option. A core of six courses is required of all students. For detailed CJC graduate course descriptions, click here.

Required courses

CJC 5511 Sociological Methods II (Quantitative Methods); 3 hours
CJC 5515
Qualitative Research Methods in Criminal Justice; 3 hours
CJC 5580 Policy and Decision Making in Criminal Justice; 3 hours
CJC 5516 Intermediate Statistics; 3 hours
CJC 5518 Advanced Theoretical Criminology; 3 hours


One of the following:
CJC 5551 Seminar in Policing; 3 hours
CJC 5570 Contemporary Corrections and Correctional Policy; 3 hours
CJC 5575 Correctional Rehabilitation and Treatment; 3 hours


The required graduate courses in statistics, research methods and theory demand completion of prerequisite courses in these are from the student’s undergraduate work. Those who have not had such courses may be required to take the prerequisite course(s) prior to enrolling in the graduate course. Beyond the required courses, students must complete an additional 15 hours of academic work. This work may include thesis hours, courses in independent directed studies, classes from the CJC curriculum, or courses from other disciplines. The content of those 15 hours of study will reflect the student’s choice after consultation with their faculty adviser, with respect to thesis or non-thesis options.


Those electing to write a thesis as part of their graduate work can receive up to six hours credit, CJC 5599, for preparation of the thesis. In addition to writing the thesis students must successfully complete an oral defense of that thesis before their supervisory committee. The research topic of the thesis will address some issue of specific interest to the student. Through courses, literature review, and analyses conducted in developing the thesis, students are expected to become proficient in their specific thesis topic area.


Those electing the non-thesis option will take additional coursework in lieu of the 6.0 credit hours allotted for the thesis option outlined above.

Demonstration Project

During their final semester, students pursuing the non-thesis option must successfully complete a demonstration project. The demonstration project will require the student to write an independent research paper that outlines solutions to a given scenario. After completion and submission of the paper, the student will meet with a panel of three faculty members where an assessment of the paper will be given (“Pass”, “Revise and Resubmit”, “Fail”). See the Principal Graduate Adviser for more information regarding the demonstration project option.