2024-2025 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog

Criminal Justice M.S.

Program Rationale:

The master of science degree is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills required for leadership positions in the criminal justice system and continued study at the doctoral level. The criminal justice graduate program strongly emphasizes the application of theory and research in executive decision-making, policy development and analysis, and the treatment of offenders.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this program students will be able to: 

  • Analyze and evaluate data relevant to criminal justice policies and programs;
  • Discuss and explain research findings in a manner that is consistent with standards expected at professional conferences and meetings;
  • Describe the functions of the different components of the criminal justice system and how they interact with, and influence, each other; and
  • Critique theories of crime and the intervention models developed to address criminal behavior


Admissions Requirements:

Admission to the Master of Science degree program in Criminal Justice is made on a competitive basis two times per year. Applications for fall semester must be completed and received by June 1. Applications for spring semester must be completed and received by November 1. The number of students accepted in any semester is dependent on available openings in the program, which may fluctuate from semester to semester. 

Applicants may be notified by June 30 (fall admission) and November 30 (spring admission) regarding acceptance decisions. Applicants accepted into the program will be contacted and asked to confirm their intentions to enter program.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning.  In addition to the standard University graduate admission requirements, the department requires:

1. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.  Applicants may also be considered conditionally with a 2.70 to 2.99 GPA.

2. One undergraduate social science research methods course with a grade of “C” or better

3. One undergraduate elementary statistics course with a grade of “C” or better

4. A formal application essay that focuses on (a) academic and work history, (b) reasons for pursuing graduate studies in criminal justice, and (c) future career goals

5. Resume

Consideration in the admission process is given to selecting applicants from diverse areas of criminal justice field (e.g., law enforcement, corrections, alternative sanctions, treatment and rehabilitation, and analysis). Students who do not meet these requirements may request consideration for admission with special requirements. No students may register for graduate-level criminal justice courses without first being admitted to the program.

The admissions application (apply online), application fee, and official transcripts from each college/university (except CCSU) where any course has been taken must be sent directly to the Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Office.

Instructions for uploading the essay and resume will be found within the online graduate application.

Contact: 860-832-3005                                                 



Course and Capstone Requirements

Core Courses:

CJ 501Nature of Crime


CJ 510Law, Criminal Justice, and Issues of Inequality


CJ 520Effective Practices in the Administration of Justice


CJ 533Criminal Justice Research Methods


CJ 534Data Analysis in Criminal Justice


CJ 594Capstone Seminar


Elective Courses (choose three):

CJ 525Evaluation Strategies for Criminal Justice Programs and Policies


CJ 530Offender Profiles


CJ 535Forensic Counseling


CJ 539Delinquency: Causation and Intervention


CJ 560Sexual Offending


CJ 573Managing Criminal Justice Employees


CJ 575Developing Criminal Justice Organizations


CJ 577Advanced Independent Reading and Research in Criminal Justice

1- 3

CJ 578Special Topics in Criminal Justice


CJ 580Criminal Justice Policy Implementation and Effectiveness


CJ 550Drugs and Society


CJ 555Controlling Anger and Aggression


CRM 480Death Investigations


CJ 581Sexual Assault Investigation


CJ 582Police Involved Shootings & Crime Scene Investigations


CJ 583Interview & Interrogation


CJ 584Expectation of Privacy


CJ 585Financial Crime Investigation


Elective courses are designed to allow students to develop knowledge and skills in areas that specifically match their individual academic and career interests. Students desiring a concentration in behavioral sciences and the offender are encouraged to consider courses such as CJ 530, CJ 535, CJ 539, CJ 550, CJ 555, and CJ 560. Students desiring a concentration in organizational functioning are encouraged to consider courses such as CJ 525, CJ 573, CJ 575, and CJ 580.

Capstone Project (choose one):

CJ 597Agency Collaborative Project



CJ 599Thesis


The capstone project is an original piece of research conducted by the student and completed under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

Note: No more than nine credits at the 400 level, as approved by the graduate advisor, may be counted toward the graduate planned program of study.