Master of Science in Criminal Justice
701-858-3303 / 1-800-777-0750 ext.3303
The Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice (MCJ) prepares its graduates:
- For leadership positions, supervisory and management opportunities in criminal justice agencies, departments and institutions;
- For entry level college teaching and CJ agency/institutional training positions;
- For advanced graduate study in criminal justice/criminology;
- To become better informed consumers of criminal justice and policy analysis research;
- To cultivate individual student interests in the many substantive areas of criminal justice research and practice.
The program helps students to expand their knowledge about criminal justice organizational and policy issues. Coursework provides students with advanced knowledge and skill sets expected of master level CJ graduates, while providing students the flexibility of pursuing personal goals and interests. Graduate level internships afford students the chance of observing and participating in organizational management and administration. Research assistantships allow students to work closely with faculty and staff researchers, often in connection with the Rural Crime and Justice Center. Teaching and training opportunities are sometimes available.
Department Admission Standards
- Completion of bachelorís degree or minor in Criminal Justice or closely related discipline. A "related discipline" is determined by the CJ faculty.
- Completion of all admission requirements of the Graduate School at Minot State University.
- Applicants to the MCJ degree must have an acceptable Overall GPA of 2.75 (or 3.0 on last 60 hours of coursework) on a 4.0 scale.
- Applicant must have an acceptable GRE Score (Verbal + Quantitative) as determined by the Criminal Justice faculty.
Note: For School Year 2012-13 the GRE requirement has been waived for students meeting standards 1, 2, and 3.
- All applicants are required to submit a statement outlining the goals and objectives for graduate work in Criminal Justice, along with a vita.
- It is recommended that all applicants for the MCJ Program have completed CJ 480, or an equivalent research methods course, and a statistics course prior to enrollment in the program.
- Complete application to the Graduate School by July 15 for fall term and November 15 for spring term.
Students who do not possess an undergraduate major or minor in Criminal Justice or a closely related field can be admitted. Practical experience in Criminal Justice may also be considered in evaluating applicants for admission. However, students may be required to take specific undergraduate courses, special seminars, and/or qualifying examinations prior to/or concurrent with enrollment in graduate level courses.
MCJ Curriculum Options
The Master of Science in Criminal Justice has two tracks: The Thesis Option and the CJ Project Option.
The THESIS Option (30 SH), consists of 24 SH of coursework, the successful passing of a Comprehensive Exam, and the successful defense of 6 SH of Master Thesis. This tract prepares students for future admission and success into a later Ph.D. program. Students who are considering a Ph.D. in the future should follow this option.
The CJ PROJECT Option (33 SH), consists of 30 SH of coursework and 3 SH of CJ Project. It is intended for the student who is career focused in the military or in a federal, state or local criminal justice agency or institution, and who does not plan to obtain a Ph.D. in the future.
Comprehensive Examination: Students pursuing the Thesis Option must pass a written comprehensive examination. Dates are set by the Graduate School once each semester. Students pursuing the CJ Project Option do not have to pass a written comprehensive exam, but are eligible to take it when offered.
Thesis and CJ Project Options
Thesis: Normally, a student who is completing the Thesis Option must successfully pass a Comprehensive Exam before starting work on a thesis. The Thesis is original research which is conducted under the supervision of the Chair and Members of a Thesis Committee. With the help of the Graduate Program Director, a student forms this thesis committee and enrolls in CJ 599 Thesis for 1 to 3 SH. The student should have their Thesis Proposal approved before registering for additional CJ 599 Thesis credits. The student works with the thesis chair and committee to write and defend the Master Thesis.
CJ Project: After completing all coursework, or with the approval of the Graduate Program Director, the student can register for 3 SH in CJ 598 Graduate Justice Project. With the help of the Graduate Program Director, the student forms a Justice Project Committee and Chair who will guide the student toward project completion. A CJ project may center on policy analysis, historical documentation of law, a comprehensive literature review and analysis, an agency specific research project, or other topic approved by the chair and committee.
The sequence of courses required in the respective Thesis and CJ Project Options are listed below. These are the courses in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Degree.
The Master of Science in Criminal Justice Course of Study: Thesis Option (30 SH)
Required 18 SH CJ 501 Research Methods 1 3 SH CJ 503 Research Methods 2 3 SH CJ 505 Criminology Theory 3 SH CJ 520 Criminal Justice Administration OR CJ 560 Management Issues in Criminal Justice 3 SH CJ 550 Law and Society OR CJ 580 Occupational/Organizational Crime 3 SH CJ 540 Criminal Justice Policy Evaluation 3 SH Electives 6 SH CJ 520 Criminal Justice Administration OR CJ 560 Management Issues in Criminal Justice 3 SH CJ 530 Women and Crime 3 SH CJ 550 Law and Society OR CJ 580 Occupational/Organizational Crime 3 SH CJ 570 Internship 3-6 SH CJ 590 Seminar 3 SH CJ 592 Special Topics 3 SH CJ 595 Independent Research 3 SH CJ 597 Independent Study 3 SH CJ 600 Level Classes OR Other Out of Department Grad Class with Permission of Dept. Chair 3-6 SH CJ Thesis 6 SH CJ 599 Thesis 1-6 SH Total Minimum Program Course Requirements 30 SH
The Master of Science in Criminal Justice Course of Study: CJ Project Option (33 SH)
Required 15 SH CJ 501 Research Methods 1 3 SH CJ 505 Criminology Theory 3 SH CJ 520 Criminal Justice Administration OR CJ 560 Management Issues in Criminal Justice 3 SH CJ 550 Law and Society OR CJ 580 Occupational/Organizational Crime 3 SH CJ 540 Criminal Justice Policy Evaluation 3 SH Electives 15 SH CJ 503 Research Methods 2 3 SH CJ 520 Criminal Justice Administration OR CJ 560 Management Issues in Criminal Justice 3 SH CJ 530 Women and Crime 3 SH CJ 550 Law and Society OR CJ 580 Occupational/Organizational Crime 3 SH CJ 570 Internship 3-6 SH CJ 590 Seminar 3 SH CJ 592 Special Topics 3 SH CJ 595 Independent Research 3 SH CJ 597 Independent Study 3 SH CJ 600 Level Classes OR Other Out of Department Grad Class with Permission of Dept. Chair 3-6 SH CJ Project 3 SH CJ 598 CJ Project 3 SH Total Minimum Program Course Requirements 33 SH
Departments of Criminal Justice at Minot State University and the University of North Dakota jointly offer a graduate program of study leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice. Drawing on a broad array of multi-disciplinary resources, the program is designed to prepare students for academic teaching and research, research in government and non-profit agencies, and higher-level administrative positions in criminal justice agencies. Students entering the program, with the exception of those admitted to the J.D./Ph.D. specialization, will be required to complete a minimum of 60 credit hours in the doctoral program.
The program retains a traditional core of theory, research methods/statistics, and study of national and international issues in the administration of criminal justice. The program places special emphasis on the operation and administration of criminal justice agencies and systems in rural and/or American Indian tribal jurisdictions. The program also offers a specialized program of study for individuals holding a Juris Doctorate and wishing to meet educational requirements for teaching and research positions in criminal justice higher education programs.
Students should apply for admission to the Ph.D. Program through established procedures of the UND Graduate School. Students will be able to receive application forms and guidance in completing the application on either campus.