Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Department of Criminal Justice & Sociology | Southeast Missouri State University

 The purpose of the Master of Science in Criminal Justice is to provide a high-quality graduate program that prepares competent individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the criminal justice needs of the region, including such aspects of criminal justice as law enforcement, courts, corrections, and crime prevention.  The goals of the program are to prepare graduates who are able to:

      •     assess and understand criminal justice problems and issues.

      conduct basic and applied research in criminal justice, particularly evaluation research.

     use computer technology to locate information and use statistics and software to analyze problems, particularly with respect to criminal justice agencies.

     understand legal issues which affect criminal justice professionals.

     integrate the findings concerning the psychological, sociological, economic and cultural roots of crime


      Every graduate student is required to fill out an Initial Study Plan (ISP) with his/her advisor prior to or during the first semester of graduate study.  An Application for Candidacy should be completed after 8  hours of graduate work, and before completion of the last 16 hours.

       Total Credits required for graduation: 36

 Major requirements

Core Courses: 15 hours

CJ 600 Overview of the Criminal Justice System

CJ 526 Statistical Analysis in Criminal Justice

CJ 601 Research Methodology in Criminal Justice 

CJ 615 Criminal Justice Theory

CJ 535 Civil Law and Liability  

Free elective credits

 Electives in Criminal Justice: 6 hours to be chosen from the following: 

CJ 510 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems

CJ 525 Crime and Criminal Justice Policy

CJ 610 Seminar in Law Enforcement

CJ 625 Adult Correctional Organization and Administration

CJ 630 Contemporary Juvenile Justice

CJ 693 Independent Study in Criminal Justice

 Cognate Area

 Nine hours may be taken either within or outside of criminal justice, with at least 3 hours at the 600-level. The requirement is 12 hours if the student selects the option of internship.

Frequently selected courses in the cognate area:

SC560 Organization Communication

PY 650 Organizations as Open Systems

PS 602 Fundamentals of Public Administration

GR 525 Accounting and Reporting Considerations of Governmental Not-for-Profit Agencies

EC 525 Public Policy Economics

GR 526 Management for Not-for-Profit Entities

 Requirements for thesis, internship or other capstone experience:

Requirements for theses, internship or other capstone experience: Students will have the option of either an internship or thesis. The internship will consist of a three-week field placement and a paper describing the objectives and outcomes of the experience (3 hours). Students selecting the internship option will be required to take a comprehensive essay examination over their coursework. Or, for those students who want to pursue a research interest, the thesis (6 hours) may be selected.

Thesis Option:

CJ 694 and 695 Thesis in Criminal Justice (6 hours)

Non-Thesis Option: (6 hours)

      CJ 699 Criminal Justice Internship (3)

GR 699 Comprehensive Examination in Criminal Justice (0)

Three more hours at the graduate level (3)

Further information can be located at the following sites:

Guidelines for a thesis proposal for the Department of Criminal Justice

Guidelines and procedures for a thesis in Criminal Justice

Guidelines and procedures for an internship paper in Criminal Justice

Human subjects form

CJ 600, The Criminal Justice System:  An Overview

The Graduate School at Southeast Missouri State University

Orientation to Graduate School (PowerPoint presentation)


Dr. John Wade, Chairperson (573-651-2541)

The Department offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice.  The M.S. has a 15-hour core and 15 hours of electives, with six of those electives taken within the department and nine either inside or outside of the department, depending on the student's interest.   The student selects either the thesis option (6 hours), or the internship option (3 hours internship, 3 hours of electives, and non-credit comprehensive examination).

510. Comparative Criminal Justice Systems.  Study of the criminal justice systems of four major countries, including Great Britain, Japan and Sweden.  Each country’s differing philosophical and practical approaches to criminal justice are analyzed and compared. (3)

526. Statistical Analysis in Criminal Justice.  The use of statistical methods and computer applications for research and program analysis in criminal justice.

 535. Civil Law and Liability. Study of the civil justice system, theories of civil liability and  methods for  managing civil liability in the law enforcement and corrections context. (3)

 538.   Crime and Criminal Justice Public Policy.  Research overview and examination of major issues in criminal justice and the policy-making process at Federal and State level. (3)

600. The Criminal Justice System: An Overview.  Exploration of the origins and significance of key ideas influencing the rise and development of the criminal justice system.  Selected issues in law enforcement, courts and corrections are examined in relationship to current criminal justice police and practices. (3)

601. Research Methodology in Criminal Justice.  Study of the design and execution of criminal justice research; critical examination of current research in criminal justice  (3).

610. Seminar in Law Enforcement.  An analysis of contemporary issues in law enforcement as they are translated into agency policy, programs, services, and relationships with public and private agencies, institutions and the community. (3)

615. Criminal Justice Theory.  Overview of research on the correlates and causes of criminal behavior.  Focus on the significance of current knowledge for crime and control prevention. (3)

625. Adult Correctional Organization and Administration.  Study of adult correctional institutional organization and administration in the United States.  Four levels of organization and administration are explored in detail: federal, state, county and private institutions. (3)

630. Contemporary Juvenile Justice.  Exploration of contemporary issues in juvenile justice, including relationships among the various components of the juvenile justice system.  Survey of current research literature in the field, and analysis of current philosophy, policy, law and practice in juvenile justice. (3)

691.    Independent Study in Criminal Justice. (1)

692.    Independent Study in Criminal Justice. (2)

693.    Independent Study in Criminal Justice.  Independent work in a specialized area not covered by course offerings.  Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor. (3)

694. Thesis. (3)

695. Thesis Second Semester. (3)

698.Master’s Final Comprehensive Examination.  A four-hour examination over the degree program, required of all students who select the internship option. (0)

699. Criminal Justice Internship.  Provides graduate students with a practical learning experience in a criminal justice agency.  Students will gain experience in the operation and management of a criminal justice agency.  For those presently employed in a criminal justice agency, internships must involve another agency or employment situation. (3)