Criminal Justice, M.S.

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

The Master of Science program in criminal justice is a practitioner-oriented and theoretically grounded course of advanced study that prepares students for professional advancement and/or advanced graduate work. It is intended for personnel working in the criminal justice system and related fields, as well as for students preparing for such careers.  To accommodate students with varying work schedules, all graduate coursework is offered on the main campus on a dual-track basis, whereby students have the option to attend each class at either 8:30 a.m. or 7:00 p.m. on the same day. Our courses are also available during our Summer sessions.

Distinguished faculty and students are deeply involved in all aspects of criminal justice, and work and conduct research in the areas of policing, corrections, the courts, law, international criminal justice, white collar crime, community justice, restorative justice, victimology, and constitutional and human rights. We are all fully committed to deepening our understanding of crime, criminal justice policy, and social justice and are actively involved in a full range of community outreach activities as well. Our program emphasizes inter-disciplinary and multi-method inquiries that make a very real difference to day-to-day and long-term policy and practice. Our faculty and students pursue research and engage in practices that explore a wide variety of critical issues in the New Jersey, the NJ-NY metropolitan area, and across the United States in the context of global criminal justice developments and issues.


It is the policy of the Graduate Program in Criminal Justice to admit those students who demonstrate promise of succeeding in our curriculum. Primary consideration is given to the applicant’s academic record. Admissions requirements include: Cumulative minimum GPA of 2.75; a 250-500 word essay discussing your goals and objectives for pursuing admission to the degree program to which you are applying; official transcripts from all previous U.S. colleges attended or official NACES course-by-course evaluation of any foreign transcripts*; two (2) letters of recommendation; official copy of GRE/MAT scores or waiver; official documentation of English Language Proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS) or waiver if applicable; non-refundable application fee. Please refer to the Criminal Justice (M.S.) admission site.   

NOTE: Those students admitted to the master’s program that have had neither undergraduate course work in criminal justice, nor relevant work experience in criminal justice, may be required to take preparatory academic work. This may include a sequence of readings or the undergraduate course, Introduction to Criminal Justice.

Program Requirements

The program requires 33 graduate credits distributed among a core of criminal justice courses, elective work and the completion of a Master’s Project.  Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in the graduate program, or be subject to academic probation or dismissal.

Master’s Project Requirement

Upon completion of 24 credits (including CJ 605), all students are required to enroll in CJ 671. Students will choose an area of specialized study for their project with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator. When the project is approved, and all requirements met, the student may qualify for graduation.

Required Core Courses15
Criminal Justice Research
Theory and Practice Police Administration
Contemporary Corrections
The Judicial System
The Nature of Crime
Elective Courses: Select 5 courses15
The Criminal Justice System and Urban Communities
Grant Proposal Writing
Crime in the Global Context
Restorative Justice
The Criminal Justice Professional
Graduate Seminar in Criminal Justice
Elite Deviance
Operational Strategy in Police Administration
Seminar on Community Corrections
The Juvenile Justice System
Legal Issues in Criminal Justice
Community Crime Prevention
Qualitative Research Methods for Program and Policy Analysis
Critical Issues in Policing
Criminal Justice Management
Planning in the Criminal Justice System
Workshop in Criminal Justice Administration and Decision-Making
Independent Study
Master’s Project3
Master's Project
Total Credits33

Criminal Justice graduate students are required take five core courses (15 credits) and five courses in the electives area (15 credits), in addition to the Master's Project (3 credit) for a total of 33 credits. 

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Semester 1Credits
CJ 605 Criminal Justice Research 3
CJ 615 Theory and Practice Police Administration 3
CJ Elective Course 3
Semester 2
CJ 625 Contemporary Corrections 3
CJ 630 The Judicial System 3
CJ Elective Course 3
Second Year
Semester 1
CJ 645 The Nature of Crime 3
CJ Elective Course 3
CJ Elective Course 3
Semester 2
CJ 671 Master's Project 3
CJ Elective Course 3
 Total Credits33