Master of Science in Criminal Justice

The M.S. in Criminal Justice program is a 33 credit graduate program designed to enable students who have completed an appropriate undergraduate degree to engage in advanced study in Criminal Justice. The program offers two unique concentrations: correctional studies and juvenile justice.

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice is offered in multiple formats:

  1. Online - Take one to two classes every eight weeks from the comfort of your own home. All weekly assignments are offered asynchronously, meaning you have the ability to work on them at your own time and pace.
  2. Blended - Take one to two classes every eight weeks through a combination of in-class sessions and online assignments. (Classes are held at our beautiful New Haven campus.) Our blended classes are arranged so you go to school one night per week; all other assignments are done from the comfort of home. Students who choose this option often enjoy the best of "both worlds" as they benefit from in-class discussion with their classmates and professors while maintaining the convenience of working on projects and assignments from home.

FLEX - Choose to take classes in either a blended or online format. Some students are not sure of their schedules. They may want to take blended classes during one eight-week session but then sign up for online classes during another eight-week session. With our FLEX format, you can choose how you wish to take your classes every time you register for a new course!

Program Overview

The State of Connecticut, and the United States more generally, faces many daunting challenges concerning the administration both of adult and of youth criminal justice systems. The development of more holistic approaches to addressing these challenges requires the expertise of criminal justice professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand and implement effective strategies.

The M.S. in Criminal Justice at Albertus Magnus College will prepare students to assume the growing number of professional and leadership positions within the criminal justice system, such as correctional system supervisor and juvenile justice correction unit supervisor. Courses will prepare students to do the following:

  • Assess and analyze the issues and problems involved in controlling crime and deviance in society
  • Examine the current issues facing the American criminal justice system
  • Learn how to employ various methods of research and data analysis to their case studies
  • Discuss constitutional and ethical issues as they affect the operation of the criminal justice system
  • Examine the issues faced by correctional administrators seeking to punish and rehabilitate offenders
  • Understand the legal issues involved in supervising officers and inmates in the correctional setting
  • Examine issues facing correctional officers (inmate mental health issues, use of force, sexual conduct, rape, narcotic abuse, inmate violence, and gangs)
  • Examine rising incarceration rates and discuss alternative solutions to incarceration
  • Learn the history of the juvenile justice system and the current court process to which juveniles are now subject
  • Analyze pop culture and examine reasons for juveniles committing crimes today
  • Discuss the victims' rights movement and examine the relationship between criminals and their victims
  • Gain internship experience in a criminal justice agency
  • Write a thesis exploring an applicable topic in correctional studies or juvenile justice.

Admission Requirements and Application Process

  • A completed application and a $50 non-refundable application fee
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 in Criminal Justice and a 2.8 G.P.A. in all other coursework on a 4.0 system*
  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended
  • For non-native English speakers, a minimum TOEFL score of 575 paper-based, 80 internet-based, or 213 computer-based
  • Proof of immunization in accordance with Connecticut State requirements
  • For online degrees, a Connecticut Driver’s License or DMV Photo ID
  • For applicants who intend to use Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Educational Benefits
    • Military, university and college transcripts
    • Certification of Eligibility letter or, for reservists, Notice of Basic Eligibility
    • Veteran’s Intent to Register Form
  • Completion of at least 18 undergraduate credits in criminal justice
  • Two letters of recommendation from former professors or professional associates
  • A written essay of 500–600 words, double spaced, detailing the applicant’s professional interests, reasons for applying to the program, and educational expectations.

*Students who do not meet the above G.P.A. requirement may be admitted on a provisional basis. Provisionally admitted students may be required to complete prerequisite courses or to earn a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in 12 credits before being fully admitted to the program.

Program of Study (33 Credits)

Core Requirements

CJ 510 Criminology

CJ 512 Contemporary Issues in the Criminal Justice System

CJ 514 Research Methods and Statistics

CJ 516 Criminal Justice Ethics

CJ 661 Thesis Project

Correction Concentration Courses (12 credits)

CJ 521 Probation, Parole, and Community-based Corrections

CJ 530 Issues in Correctional Supervision

CJ 535 The History of Corrections in America

CJ 537 The Future of American Corrections

Juvenile Justice Concentration Courses (12 credits)

CJ 538 Youth, Culture, and Crime

CJ 539 History of Juvenile Justice in America

CJ 541 The Juvenile Justice Process

CJ 543 Issues of Juvenile Probation and Incarceration

Electives (6 credits)

CJ 660 Criminal Justice Internship

CJ 545 Victimiology