The Master degree in Criminal Justice, founded in 1972, is a rigorous academic program. It helps students develop their critical thinking skills and provide them with an interdisciplinary perspective on criminology and the criminal justice system. It focuses on law enforcement, the judiciary, correctional systems, juvenile justice, and the formulation of laws and codes. A special benefit of the program is that it prepares students not only to administer the current system, but also to become a pioneer in evaluating and changing it so that it is more responsive to the needs of the community. Students enrolled in the MCJ Program have the option of declaring a concentration.
Upon completion of the program, students will have mastery of the concepts and theories associated with the various components of criminology and the criminal justice system; have an in-depth knowledge of the theories of crime causation; and develop skills necessary to utilize research methods in conducting and evaluating criminology and criminal justice issues. Students will also have the skills needed to:
- Develop an understanding of criminology and the components of the criminal justice system including law enforcement, courts, and corrections.
- Demonstrate knowledge of key theoretical concepts and application to public policy questions and organizational management.
- Make use of the broad base of knowledge and research in criminology and criminal justice programming and policy-making.
- Communicate knowledge effectively in written and oral formats.
- Utilize critical problem solving skills and critical analysis in criminology and criminal justice agency settings.
Besides the classic criminology and criminal justice curriculum, students learn about the most pressing current issues through special interest seminars. Topics of these seminars have included gangs, social class, victimization and hate crimes. Research efforts provide another channel for students to become familiar with criminology and criminal justice issues. Another plus for students is that each degree is tailored to their individual needs and interests.
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