Criminal Justice M.S.

The purpose of this degree is to provide students with an opportunity for graduate-level education and a specialized degree in criminal justice. This degree will meet the educational needs of several types of students: (1) existing and prospective criminal justice agency personnel wishing to advance their knowledge and credentials in criminal justice, (2) students wishing to prepare for doctoral level work, (3) students wishing to prepare for community college teaching, and (4) students seeking more knowledge of crime and criminal justice.

Master of Science in Criminal Justice--Total Semester Hours=36

Admission Requirements

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4 point scale on the last 60 hours of upper division coursework leading to the baccalaureate degree.
  3. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 on at least 15 hours of undergraduate coursework in the social sciences.
  4. A minimum grade of “C” in an upper division social science research methods course.
  5. Three years of full-time employment in the social services or criminal justice sectors. A curriculum vita should be submitted to document employment. A satisfactory score on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) may be substituted for the employment requirement. The employment requirement may be waived if the applicant earned a minimum 3.25 overall undergraduate GPA or has previously earned a graduate degree from a regionally accredited university. An applicant who does not either meet the employment requirement or satisfy the waiver option may submit scores on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for consideration.
  6. Consideration is also given to one or more of the following: the applicant’s demonstrated commitment to his or her chosen field of study, socioeconomic background, first generation college graduate, multilingual proficiency, geographic region of residence, and level of responsibility in other matters including extracurricular activities, employment, community service, and family responsibilities.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice is a 36-hour degree. Students may choose the thesis or non-thesis option that includes comprehensive exams. The thesis option is recommended for those students who seek research experience or wish to pursue a doctorate.

Leveling Requirement (hours do not apply to degree requirements)

CRIJ 5300Survey of Criminal Justice

required for those students lacking a criminal justice background

Required courses—21 hours


CRIJ 5336Administrative Ethics


CRIJ 5309Seminar in Criminal Justice Administration


CRIJ 5313Contemporary Issues in Corrections

Criminological Theory:

CRIJ 5303Contemporary Criminological Theory

Law Adjudication:

CRIJ 5302Judicial Policy and Social Process

Law Enforcement:

CRIJ 5332Law Enforcement: Environment and Practice

Research and Analysis:

CRIJ 5396Research Methods

Area of Concentration

Criminal Justice Generalist - Nine Hours Minimum

CRIJ 5301Concepts of Law and Justice

CRIJ 5307Criminal Justice Policy

CRIJ 5340Violence and Society

CRIJ 5310Topics in Criminal Justice

Approved Elective/Thesis

Management - Nine Hours Minimum

PADM 5330Survey of Public Administration

PADM 5331Information Systems in Public Administration

PADM 5332Public Budgeting and Finance

PADM 5350Seminar in Human Resources Management (Same as MANA 5350)

Approved Elective/Thesis

Research - Nine Hours Minimum

CRIJ 5397Advanced Social Science Analysis

CRIJ 5338Program Evaluation

PADM 5335Topics in Policy Analysis

Approved Elective/Thesis

Thesis Option

Six semester hours from:

CRIJ 5394 and CRIJ 5395


CRIJ 5199 - CRIJ 5699 Independent Study - may be taken for one to six credit hours with permission of advisor and department chair

Other electives may be selected from:

Public Administration





Graduate level internships (CRIJ 5370 and CRIJ 5371) are available but may not be counted toward the 36-hour degree requirement.

Graduation Requirements

  1. All students must achieve a cumulative 3.0 GPA on all work applied to the degree.
  2. Thesis students must submit a standard master’s quality thesis acceptable to a committee comprised of three UT Tyler faculty members, two of whom (including the thesis chair) must be criminal justice faculty. Thesis students will also give an oral defense of their thesis to faculty and students.
  3. Non-thesis students must pass a final written comprehensive examination covering all core course work applied to the degree.