Criminology & Criminal Justice - Graduate Program

Overview

The program leading to the MA degree in criminology and criminal justice offers a comprehensive examination of the criminal justice system, an exploration of criminal and delinquent behaviors, a foundation in research and statistics, and an opportunity to explore other relevant topics of interest to the student.

It is designed for:

  1. Pre-professional students who wish to pursue a career in some aspect of criminal justice, or in a related field, and to develop the perspectives and knowledge appropriate to doing so;
  2. In-service professionals who wish to enhance and broaden their knowledge in this and related areas of study;
  3. Students pre-professional or in-service who wish to pursue further relevant post-graduate studies, whether academic or professional.

To meet these objectives, and to develop a broadly educated student, the program offers both thesis and non-thesis options.  Both options require the student to complete 18 hours of core courses within the department.

The coursework (non-thesis) option is generally recommended for students who do not intend to pursue doctoral-level studies. It does not require applicants to have prior criminal justice employment and is designed to provide a base of knowledge and skills necessary to enter and/or administer criminal justice related programs.

The non-thesis option requires students to research, analyze, and present recommendations on a criminal justice related policy. Students must be enrolled in the semester in which they complete and present their policy research and recommendations. Student presentations to the faculty are scheduled once each long semester, typically in mid November and again in mid April.  

The thesis option is generally recommended for students wishing to pursue further education in professional schools or doctoral level studies. It is designed to prepare students to conduct research in criminology and criminal justice and actively participate in the development of knowledge. Students choosing the thesis option are required to take a six-hour thesis course during the semester in which the thesis is defended. Non-thesis students take two additional courses constituting six credit hours. Students are required to defend their thesis proposal at least one semester prior to defending their final thesis and before submission of materials to IRB.

With the approval of the Graduate Advisor, students may also use their elective hours to concentrate on a particular field of study, such as sociology, political science, corrections, policing, or a multidisciplinary approach to a particular focus, such as administration-or research. Thesis students take 12 hours of elective courses and non-thesis students take 18 hours.

Admission Requirements

The criminology and criminal justice graduate program adheres to the following admission criteria.

UNCONDITIONAL ADMISSION

In addition to having satisfied the basic graduate admission requirements of UT Arlington outlined in this Catalog  in the Admissions section under University Requirements & Procedures, applicants seeking unconditional admission to the CRCJ graduate program are required to meet the following four criteria:

  1. Must have successfully completed a baccalaureate degree in criminology/criminal justice or related discipline.
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work as calculated by the Graduate School.
  3. A minimum of 149 on both verbal and quantitative subtests of the GRE (minimum of 440 on both verbal and quantitative subsets under old scoring system). The GRE is not required of an applicant who satisfies all of the following requirements:
    • Has three or more years of professional experience with increasing responsibility in a criminal justice (or closely related) occupation and provides a detailed work history documenting this experience.
    • Submits an acceptable sample of professional writing authored solely by the applicant. This will be evaluated to assess writing and analytical skills.
    • Successfully completes a personal interview with the graduate advisor, where credentials, goals and objectives of graduate studies, and views related to the study and profession of Criminology/Criminal Justice will be discussed.
  4. Must submit three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant's potential for success in the graduate program from persons knowledgeable of the applicant's abilities.

Applicants meeting all four of the criteria will be granted unconditional admission into the CRCJ Graduate Program. Applicants who lack one of the above criteria may be considered for probationary admission.

PROBATIONARY ADMISSION

Applicants who fail to meet the four criteria for unconditional admission may be considered for probationary admission. Applicants who fail to meet the GPA or GRE requirements for unconditional admission may be granted probationary admission if any of the following three conditions is met:

  1. the GPA falls between 2.5 and 3.0 and the remainder of the application package is satisfactory;
  2. the GPA falls between 2.25 and 2.49, the remainder of the application package is satisfactory, and the applicant has five years of professional experience in a criminal justice (or closely related) occupation and a detailed work history documenting this experience; or
  3. the GPA fall between 2.00 and 2.24, the remainder of the application package is satisfactory, and the applicant has 10 or more years of professional experience in a managerial or administrative position within a criminal justice (or closely related) occupation and a detailed work history documenting that experience.

In addition to providing a work history, applicants using their work history for admission must also provide a writing sample and complete a personal interview. Applicants admitted on probation will remain in that status until completing 12 hours of graduate coursework with no grade lower than a B.

DEFERRED ADMISSION

In the event an applicant does not meet the minimum criteria established for unconditional or probationary admission, yet nonetheless is judged by the graduate advisor, in consultation with the CRCJ Graduate Studies Committee, to show promise, the admission decision may be deferred, with instructions provided to the student indicating the course of action to be taken prior to subsequent review. Admission decisions may also be deferred if the application package is incomplete.

PROVISIONAL ADMISSION

An applicant unable to supply all required documentation prior to the admission deadline, but who otherwise appears to meet admission requirements may be granted provisional admission.

DENIAL

Applicants who do not satisfy all of the criteria for any of the above categories will be denied admission.

FELLOWSHIPS

Fellowships, when available, will be awarded on a competitive basis. Nominees for the Graduate School Master's Fellowship in the criminology/criminal justice graduate program will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Candidates must be new students entering in the fall semester, with a minimum of 6 hours of enrollment in both long semesters to retain their fellowships.
  • The minimum undergraduate GPA requirement is 3.00, as calculated by the Graduate School, plus a GPA of 3.0 for any graduate credit hours.
  • Transcript of a completed bachelor's degree in criminology/criminal justice (or appropriate related field) from an accredited institution.
  • Three letters of recommendation (may use the same letters submitted for consideration into the criminology/criminal justice graduate program).
  • A written statement explaining the applicant's reasons for graduate study in criminology/criminal justice.

MA Degree Requirements

The MA degree in criminology and criminal justice requires a minimum of 36 semester hours, regardless of the option selected, and includes 18 semester hours of required core coursework.

Core
CRCJ 5301PROSEMINAR IN CRIMINOLOGY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE3
CRCJ 5309RESEARCH METHODS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE3
CRCJ 5310STATISTICS & RESEARCH PRACTICES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE3
CRCJ 5327CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM3
CRCJ 5342ETHICS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE3
CRCJ 5350THEORETICAL CRIMINOLOGY3
Electives
The number of semester hours available for electives ranges from a minimum of 12 to 18, depending on the option selected (thesis or non-thesis). Ordinarily, elective hours are taken in areas of particular interest to the student, with the advice and approval of the Graduate Advisor.12-18
Thesis
CRCJ 5698THESIS6
Students opting for the Thesis track must take 6 hours of thesis credits the semester they plan to defend their thesis and graduate.6

 All candidates for the graduate degree must pass a final comprehensive examination, written, oral, or both written and oral. The scope, content, and form of this examination will be determined by the student's supervising committee.

Dual Degree Requirements

The M.A. degree in criminology and criminal justice requires 36 semester hours and includes 18 semester hours of required core coursework.  Up to 9 hours of courses outside of CRCJ may be allocated as electives for the CRCJ degree, with the prior approval of the graduate advisor.

Core
CRCJ 5301PROSEMINAR IN CRIMINOLOGY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE3
CRCJ 5309RESEARCH METHODS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE3
CRCJ 5310STATISTICS & RESEARCH PRACTICES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE3
CRCJ 5327CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM3
CRCJ 5342ETHICS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE3
CRCJ 5350THEORETICAL CRIMINOLOGY3
Electives
The number of semester hours available for electives is 12 hours in the Thesis track and 18 hours in the non-thesis track. Upon approval of the graduate advisor, up to 9 hours of electives may be taken outside of CRCJ.12-18
Thesis
CRCJ 5698THESIS6
Students opting for the thesis track within CRCJ must take 6 hours of thesis credits the semester they plan to defend their thesis and graduate.