Graduate Program

Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology is designed to provide students with competency in research, policy planning, evaluation, agency management, and preparation for continued graduate study in criminal justice and criminology. The program assists students to develop and apply research expertise toward the resolution of contemporary practice and policy issues.

Click HERE to access the MSCJC Student Handbook

Program Admission Requirements

To qualify for unconditional admission, applicants must:

  • satisfy University-wide graduate admission requirements
  • possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or equivalent training at a foreign institution
  • have a grade point average of 3.0 or better in the last 60 semester credit hours of undergraduate work as well as all previous graduate work
  • have 18 hours in criminal justice, criminology, or a closely-related discipline, or professional experience in the justice system
  • be in good standing at the last institution attended
  • have the recommendation of the Criminal Justice and Criminology Graduate Program Committee

Students who do not meet these criteria may be admitted conditionally or on probation as degree-seeking depending on the nature of the deficiency. Admission as a special student may be considered by the Graduate Program Committee upon request of the applicant.

Applicants must submit the following:

  • all transcripts
  • two letters of recommendation
  • a resume
  • a personal statement

GRE scores are optional; applicants can strengthen their application for admission by submitting their GRE test scores.

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Degree Requirements

The minimum number of semester credit hours required for the degree, exclusive of other study to remove deficiencies, is 36. Degree candidates must complete the following three requirements:

A. Core Courses Required for All Students (15 SCH)

CRJ 5073  Research Methods

CRJ 5083 Quantitative Analysis

CRJ 5123 Justice Policy Formation and Implementation

CRJ 5133 Management of Justice Organizations

CRJ 6373 Crime Theory and Justice Policy

Students are expected to complete the majority of core courses prior to enrolling in elective courses. Normally, students should enroll in CRJ 5073, CRJ 5123 and CRJ 6373 in their first semester and CRJ 5083 and CRJ 5133 in their second semester.

B. Electives (15 SCH)

At least 9 semester credit hours of prescribed electives from the list below; and up to 6 semester credit hours of free electives may be taken outside of the discipline in related UTSA graduate programs with approval of the Graduate Advisor of Record (GAR).

CRJ 5323 Criminal Justice Program Evaluation

CRJ 6103 Seminar on Topics in Theory of Crime and Justice

CRJ 6123 Seminar on Topics in Research Methods

CRJ 6203 Seminar on Topics in Corrections Policy

CRJ 6213 Gender Issues in the Criminal Justice System

CRJ 6233 Minorities in the Criminal Justice System

CRJ 6303 Seminar on Topics in Policing and Crime Control

CRJ 6343 Study Abroad: International Criminal Justice

CRJ 6363 Paradigms of Justice Policy

CRJ 6383 Capstone Course

CRJ 6403 Seminar on Topics in Law, Society and Justice Policy

CRJ 6951,3 Independent Study (1 or 3 SCH)

CRJ 6961 Comprehensive Examination (1 SCH)

C. 6 SCH from the following options:

1) Nonthesis Option: Students who select the nonthesis option are required to take the written comprehensive examination and complete two additional electives (6 hours). It is required that one of these additional electives be CRJ 6383 Capstone Course. It is graded as Credit/Non-Credit. This course provides a review of the five core courses from which all exam questions will be drawn. CRJ 6383 Capstone Course will operate as a stand-alone course. A student must complete this course to satisfy the requirements of the degree, but can also receive credit for this course without successfully completing the comprehensive exam. In the event that a student does not pass all five sections, the student must re-take the comprehensive exam in a subsequent semester. Students may only re-take the comprehensive exam twice after the initial attempt; students have one calendar year (two semesters) from their initial attempt to successfully pass the comprehensive exam. Students do not need to re-enroll in CRJ 6383 to re-take the comprehensive exam. Students not enrolled in any other courses would be required to enroll in 1 credit hour of CRJ 6961 Comprehensive Examination in the subsequent long semester in which the student wishes to re-take the comprehensive exam.

2) Thesis Option: This option is available only with permission from an instructor and the Graduate Advisor of Record. Students electing the thesis option are required to enroll in CRJ 6993 or CRJ 6996 Master’s Thesis for a total of 6 credit hours, which includes completion of an oral comprehensive exam (i.e., successful proposal defense). Students failing to complete all requirements of the thesis option within the 6 credit hours would be required to enroll for 1 credit hour of CRJ 6991 Master’s Thesis if no other courses are being taken that term. The Master’s thesis requires compliance with UTSA thesis requirements and a successful final thesis defense.


For more information, contact:
Department of Criminal Justice
Durango Bldg. (Downtown Campus) DB 4.112

Marie Tillyer, PhD
phone 210-458-2682