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Graduate Programs

The Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice will expand and increase individual competency, develop and mature thought processes, aid in gaining insights into professional leadership and knowledge, permit an exchange between students and faculty, and further the spirit of research and scholarship to enhance professional and personal development. The curriculum is designed to offer a balance of theory and practical application that will prove to be challenging to students and useful in the field.

The M.S. provides the requisite knowledge and opportunity for individuals:

  •  to be competitive for administrative positions in the courts, corrections, law enforcement, security, probation and parole;
  •  to fill research positions in criminal justice agencies;
  •  to pursue advanced degrees (J.D. or Ph.D.);
  •  and to fill community college teaching positions in criminal justice.

The School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency Management offers the M.S. in two formats:

  1. A full-time traditional program on CSULB's campus that is designed to be completed in two-year academic years (i.e., this program is not designed for students with full-time jobs); and 

  2. A part-time, online accelerated program for Justice Professionals

Regardless of whether a student pursues the traditional, on-campus master's degree program as a full-time student or pursues the accelerated M.S., the degree requirements are the same. The M.S. in Criminology and Criminal Justice requires 36-semester units of course work. The program consists of six core courses and a series of electives.

 

Please note transferring from the M.S. Online program to the Traditional M.S. program and vice versa AND enrollment in the M.S. Online program and taking classes in the Traditional M.S . program and vice versa are NOT permitted.

 

Program Learning Outcomes

The master’s degree program offered by the School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency Management is designed to empower students as critical thinkers, ethical actors, and competent communicators concerning matters of crime and justice at the local, state, national, and international levels, to include, at degree-appropriate levels, the abilities to:

 

  1. Explain, connect, differentiate, apply, and critique theories of crime, criminal behavior, law, justice, and social control within social-cultural-political-racial contexts;
  2. Critically analyze and critique criminal justice policy, the operation of the criminal justice system, and their effects on individuals, communities, and societies, with particular attention to Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other People of Color;
  3. Apply the scientific method and analytic tools to interpret research and data related to crime and the criminal justice system to assess effectiveness of theories and policies;
  4. Use jurisprudential and ethical theories to analyze the role of diversity, culture, power, white supremacy, and racism on national and global criminological and criminal justice issues;
  5. Integrate theories, methods, and statistics to construct research questions, examine literature and data, and deduce/extrapolate implications for theory, policy, and research; and
  6. Demonstrate the ability to effectively develop and communicate ideas and arguments through written work and oral presentations.

Degree Requirements

The master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice requires 36 semester units of course work, a qualifying exam, and a capstone experience. 

 

Required Core Courses

All graduate students must complete the following core courses with a grade of A or B.   Graduate students earning a C or below in a core course will be required to retake the course for a passing grade.  The core courses are:

  • CRJU 501: Proseminar and Professional Writing (3 units)
  • CRJU 504: Criminological Theory (3 units)
  • CRJU 520: Advanced Criminal Justice Research Methods (3 units)
  • CRJU 525: Advanced Statistics for Criminal Justice (3 units)
  • CRJU 530: Criminal Justice Ethics, Values, & Diversity (3 units); may be waived if completed similar course at undergraduate level.
  • CRJU 535: Justice Policy (3 units)
  • CRJU 555: Law and Social Control (3 units)

Successful Completion of the Qualifying Examination

Regardless of whether a student plans to write a thesis or take the comprehensive examination as his/her/their capstone experience, all students must take and pass the qualifying examination (also known as the “qualifier”) to advance to candidacy.  

The qualifier is comprised of between 120 and 150 multiple-choice questions.  It tests three subjects: criminological theory (CRJU 504), criminal justice research methods (CRJU 520), and applied statistics in criminal justice (CRJU 525). The qualifying exam is administered over the course of three hours.  

Details about the Qualifying Exam are contained in Part 5 of the Handbook.

Elective Courses

A. Approved Graduate-Level Electives:

  • CRJU 540: Substantive Criminal Law (3 units)
  • CRJU 550: Constitutional Criminal Procedure (3 units)
  • CRJU 601: Victimology (3 units)
  • CRJU 604: Terrorism, Homeland Security, & Criminal Justice (3 units)
  • CRJU 605: Crime Analysis (4 units)
  • CRJU 606: Delinquency and the Juvenile Justice System (3 units)
  • CRJU 608: Serial Killers & Psychopaths: The Psychology of the Criminal Mind (3 units)
  • CRJU 609: Drugs and the Drug War (3 units)
  • CRJU 621: Administration & Management of CJ Organizations (3 units)
  • CRJU 623: Correctional Environments (3 units)
  • CRJU 624: Successful Reentry: Theory and Practice (3 units)
  • CRJU 631: Legal Issues in Criminal Justice (3 units)
  • CRJU 640: Criminalistics:  Forensic Science in the Crime Laboratory (3 units)
  • CRJU 641: Investigating High-Tech Crimes (3 units)
  • CRJU 642: Forensic Psychology & the Criminal Justice System (3 units)
  • CRJU 643: Forensic Pathology & the Medical-Legal Investigation of Death (3 units)
  • CRJU 660: Introduction to Crime Analysis (3 Units)
  • CRJU 661: Crime Analysis Technique 1: Social Network Analysis (4 units)
  • CRJU 662: Crime Analysis Technique 2: Crime Mapping (3 units)
  • CRJU 663: Crime Analysis Technique 3: Intelligence Analysis (3 units)
  • CRJU 670: Qualitative Approaches to Criminal Justice Research (3 units)
  • CRJU 690: Advanced Special Topics in Criminology & Criminal Justice (3 units)
  • CRJU 691: Instructional Strategies for Criminal Justice Professionals (3 units)
  • CRJU 692: Internship (6 units)
  • CRJU 693: Internship (3 units)
  • CRJU 695: Directed Readings/Independent Study in Criminal Justice (3 units)
  • CRJU 697: Directed Research in Criminology & Criminal Justice (3 units)

With the consent of the Graduate Advisor, graduate-level courses in related disciplines (e.g., psychology, public policy, social work, sociology, political science, law) may also be used to satisfy the elective requirements for the master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice.

B. Undergraduate-Level Electives:

With the consent of the Graduate Advisor, a maximum of two (2) undergraduate courses, which require additional writing and research requirements for graduate students, may be used to satisfy the elective requirements for the master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice.

  • CRJU 402: Crime and Inequality (3 units)
  • CRJU 403: Comparative Criminal Justice and Transnational Crimes (3 units)
  • CRJU 407: White Collar Crime (3 units)
  • CRJU 410: Police Administration (3 units)
  • CRJU 412: Criminal Investigation (3 units)
  • CRJU 420: Legal Aspects of Corrections (3 units)
  • CRJU 421: Probation, Parole, and Community Corrections (3 units)
  • CRJU 422: Correctional Counseling (3 units)
  • CRJU 430: Criminal Evidence and Trials [Mock Trial] (3 units)
  • CRJU 450: Domestic Violence and the Criminal Justice System (3 units)
  • GEOG 471: GIS for Justice (3 Units)

With the consent of the Graduate Advisor, 400-level courses in related disciplines (e.g., psychology, public policy, social work, sociology, political science, law), which require additional writing and research requirements for graduate students, may also be used to satisfy the elective requirements for the master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice.

Capstone Experience

Graduate students in the traditional master’s program have three options to complete the master’s in criminology & criminal justice. 

  1.  Thesis Option – Graduate students may elect to take three (3) elective courses totaling at least nine (9) credit units and take both CRJU 694: Thesis I (3 units), and CRJU 698: Thesis II (3 units). Students who struggle with writing, conceptualizing, and paper organizing (i.e., earn less than an A in CRJU 501) may want to consider the Comprehensive Exam. Students who are on academic probation should not complete a thesis.

  2.  Comprehensive Examination Option – Graduate students taking the comprehensive exam must take four (4) elective courses, totaling at least 12 credit units, enroll in CRJU 695 the semester they are taking the exam, and pass the comprehensive examination.

  3. Project Option –  This option is solely available to those graduate students concentrating their studies in Crime and Intelligence Analysis.  Those in this concentration must complete the five (5) elective courses required, totaling 16 units, and enroll in CRJU 697 to complete their Crime and Intelligence Analysis portfolio.

Concentration in Crime and Intelligence Analysis

The Crime and Intelligence Analysis concentration produces graduate-level trained crime and intelligence analysts. To concentrate in Crime & Intelligence Analysis, students must complete the 21 units of required core courses and the following six electives (19 units):

  • CRJU 660: Introduction to Crime Analysis (3 Units)
  • GEOG 471: GIS for Justice (3 Units)
  • CRJU 661: Crime Analysis Technique 1: Social Network Analysis (4 units)
  • CRJU 662: Crime Analysis Technique 2: Crime Mapping (3 units)
  • CRJU 663: Crime Analysis Technique 3: Intelligence Analysis (3 units)
  • CRJU 697: Directed Research in Criminology & Criminal Justice (2 units)

In CRJU 697, students complete an Analyst Portfolio as their Capstone Experience that could be used to secure positions in the local, state, and federal law enforcement as well as the private sector.