Graduate Catalog 2013-2014

Criminal Justice M.S.

Sara Doude, Coordinator



The mission of the masters of criminal justice program is to create opportunities for critical thinking for future and current practitioners and academic researchers in the field of criminal justice/ criminology.  Moreover, the program encourages and creates environments conducive to learning the body of knowledge generally defined within the field of criminal justice/ criminology which includes the meaning of laws, the creation of laws, the breaking of laws, social reactions to deviant and criminal behavior, and how individuals are processed over time.

The liberal arts mission is at the center of the program by placing emphasis on classroom discussion and experiential learning by a diverse group of faculty and professionals in the field.  Individual relationships between faculty and students create unique opportunities through internships and independent research within the vast field of criminal justice. 

More specifically the program is structured to focus on the areas of criminal justice policy, policing, corrections, criminological theory, legal issues, research design and statistics, and ethics.  After the completion of the program, graduates will be able to critically analyze criminal justice policy and practices in relation to functioning in a democratic society.  The goal of the program is to prepare graduates to assume roles as ethical, responsible citizens and professionals in the field.

Regular Admission Requirements

Prospective students seeking admission to the MSCJ program must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and show promise of high quality work at the graduate level. There is no specific undergraduate course of study required for admission. However, students demonstrating marginal achievement may be advised to take preparatory course work. Students may begin their programs during any academic term. The program can be completed in two years. Students are strongly encouraged not to take more than 9 credit hours per semester. Nine hours is considered full-time and students will find it difficult to schedule their classes if they are trying to complete the program more quickly by taking more than 9 credit hours per semester.

All applications must be filed with the Graduate Admissions Office. These materials consist of the following: (1) the application forms; (2) official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts; (3) three letters of recommendation; and (4) official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Applicants need only submit scores from the GRE general test, or the Miller's Analogies test (MAT), not from a subject test.

To be granted regular admission status, the applicant who has taken the GRE must have a score of at least 580 on the MSCJ admissions formula. The formula is: GRE verbal + GRE quantitative + (100 X undergraduate grade point average). For example, if an applicant had 141 on the GRE verbal, 141 on the GRE quantitative, and a 3.00 undergraduate GPA, the score would be 141 + 141 + (100 X 3.00) = 582. The applicant who has taken the MAT must have a score of at least 670 on the MSCJ admissions formula. The score is calculated by taking the MAT score + (100 X the undergraduate GPA. For example, an MAT score of 370 and an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 would generate a score of 370 + (100 X 3.0) - 670.

Provisional Admission

Applicants who score under 580 on the GRE admissions formula or 670 on the MAT admissions formula may be granted provisional status, which would allow them to take some courses on a trial basis. If one’s score on the under 535 on the GRE admissions formula or 620 on the MAT formula, the coordinator may require the applicant to re-take the GRE, or may deny admission. While holding provisional status, students may take no more than 12 semester hours and earn no final course grades below B to qualify for regular status. A final grade of C or below will result in the student on provisional status being dismissed from the program. Provisional students who prefer to take lighter course loads will need two or more semesters of coursework at a grade of B or above, (not to exceed a total of 12 semester hours) to become eligible for regular status. Courses taken under provisional status with satisfactory grades (B or better) will be counted as part of the regular MSCJ degree program. The MSCJ coordinator must approve all courses taken in provisional status.


Once you have been placed into regular status, you will receive a Program of Study form, which will outline the courses needed for the degree. Signing and returning the form will complete the process known as admission to candidacy. This means that you are now in fact a regular student in the MSCJ program and if you take the courses in the program of study and earn good graduate grades (a 3.00 graduate GPA) then you can expect to graduate upon completion of those courses with an MSCJ degree. It is imperative that students return the signed form to be able to continue their programs. 

Program Grade Requirements

Students are required to maintain a B average in order to remain in the program. Regular status students who receive a final grade of C must have an A to offset the C grade. Regular students whose grade average falls below B will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation must bring their average up to B during the semester they are on academic probation. If a student does not bring his/her average up during the probation period, he/she will be dismissed from the program. A student will not get program credit for a D grade and has one opportunity to retake the course (with graduate coordinator’s approval).

Summary Dismissal

A student may be summarily dismissed from the program if one or more of these conditions exist:

Student fails to resolve an incomplete by the end of the following semester and the grade automatically is changed to an F. Receives an F in any course. Receives a grade of C or below in more than one course. The student is found guilty of academic dishonesty in accordance with GCSU academic honesty policy (

Career Information

Most students in the MSCJ program are already employed in the public sector and are interested in the MSCJ program for reasons of career development and mobility. In-service students come from practically every possible public sector setting and every level of government. Pre-service students will have available to them the information and assistance of the GCSU Career Services Office. Faculty will work with students in exploring career options. Many students have found their classmates to be valuable sources of networking information. Students should understand, however, that the purpose of graduate education in criminal justice is to prepare one to be a better manager of a criminal justice agency or to pursue further education. No graduate degree is a guarantee of employment.

Georgia College Locations

The MSCJ program is offered primarily at the Milledgeville campus, although, the program does offer a minimum of one course per semester at the Macon campus.  Most courses are offered at night between 5:30-8:15. The Basic and Advanced Curricula courses are offered at both locations. Some of the courses are more readily available at the Milledgeville rather than Macon campus. Students may take all of their course work at any of the two locations or may choose to travel among the locations. Students willing to travel will have more course selection options.  The MSCJ program has the same faculty at all of its locations. MSCJ courses are substantively the same at all locations.


Program of Study

The curriculum is divided into required courses and elective courses. Students are strongly encouraged to take CRJU 6100 and CRJU 6605 in their first or second terms in the MSCJ program. CRJU 6100 serves as an overview to criminal justice and to this particular MSCJ program. At the culmination of the curriculum, students are required to take and pass CRJU 6700 the comprehensive exam. Students must take this exam during their last semester of course work. The comprehensive exam covers core curriculum classes, which include CRJU 6100, 6200, 6300, 6400, 6500, 6515, 6605 and 6610.  Students are given two days to complete 7 general questions from each section.  Students are given two questions from each subject area and choose one question to respond to.  Any subjects that are failed on the comprehensive exam must be tested on a second time. If the student still fails the exam, the student will be required to take that course over, and go through the testing process again. If a comprehensive exam subject is failed twice, that student is dismissed from the program.

I. Required Courses (24 semester hours)

Required of all students:

CRJU 6100The Criminal Justice System


CRJU 6200Police in Society


CRJU 6300Seminar in Corrections


CRJU 6400Criminological Theory


CRJU 6500Legal Issues in Crim Justice


CRJU 6515Criminal Justice Ethics


CRJU 6605Crim Justice Research Design


CRJU 6610Criminal Justice Statistics


CRJU 6700Comprehensive Exam


II. Electives (12 semester hours)

Select from the following:

CRJU 6120Current Issues in Crim Justice


CRJU 6140Organizational Theory & Mgmt


CRJU 6160History of Crim Justice&Crime


CRJU 6180Comparable Crim Just Systems


CRJU 6340Correctional Counseling/Treatm


CRJU 6405Victimology


CRJU 6410Critic Crim(Radical Theorists)


CRJU 6420Criminal Behaviors


CRJU 6460International Terrorism


CRJU 6940Independent Study

1 - 3

CRJU 6950Special Topics


With approval of the graduate coordinator, students may substitute current CRJU 5000 level courses for ay of the above electives, or substitute up to 6 hours of the following toward the electives:  PUAD 5401, POLS 5401, PUAD 6538, PUAD 6558, PUAD 6578, PUAD 6625.

III. Optional

CRJU 6960Internship and/or Cooperative


CRJU 6970Capstone Research Project


Total Credit Hours: 36

Further Information

Prospective students desiring further information may contact the Graduate Coordinator, Department of Government and Sociology, Georgia College, Campus Box 18, Milledgeville, GA 31061. You may contact the department at, (478) 445-4562, by e-mail at, or view their Web site.