Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology

The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology degree is designed to prepare graduate students to conduct research and actively participate in the development of knowledge in the areas of criminological theory and criminal justice issues. Students who are planning careers in law enforcement, corrections or rehabilitation, or who wish a deeper understanding of crime and the criminal justice system should confer with the Graduate Program Advisor to develop a combination of elective courses that will support their particular career interests. Students seeking this degree are frequently candidates to pursue the Ph.D. in Criminal Justice.

Additional information: Reference the Program Landing Page for additional information, such as cost, delivery format, contact information, or to schedule a visit.

Admission to the Master of Arts program is based on the Admissions Committee's assessment of the applicant's scores on the Graduate Record Examination, the undergraduate academic record, the applicant’s personal statement, and letters of recommendation preferably from undergraduate professors. Please submit all documents to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Admission considerations include the following:

  1. Graduate application
  2. Application fee
  3. Official transcripts of all academic work previously undertaken, including the undergraduate degree granted from an accredited institution in criminal justice or an allied field
  4. GPA of 3.0 or higher
  5. Test scores from the Graduate Record Examination
  6. Three letters of recommendation preferably from undergraduate professors
  7. A personal essay of the applicant’s career goals and aspirations
  8. International students ONLY: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)—a minimum score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (internet-based) is required.                              

A review of each student's application will be completed on a competitive basis.

The deadline for submitting applications to the Master of Arts program is February 1 for the fall semester.

The Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology is a 36-hour degree which includes a thesis. Students must follow the Master of Arts schedule and maintain a 3.0 GPA in all courses.

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology (Thesis)
Required Courses
CRIJ 5330Critical Analysis Of Justice Administration3
CRIJ 5332Perspectives In Criminology3
CRIJ 5392Survey Of Research Methods3
CRIJ 5393Legal Aspects of the Criminal Justice System3
CRIJ 6385Statistics For Criminal Justice Research3
CRIJ 6386Statistics For Criminal Justice Research II3
Prescribed Electives
Select four of the 5000/6000 level graduate courses in CRIJ 112
CRIJ 6398Thesis Practicum3
CRIJ 6099Thesis 13
Total Hours36

Once enrolled in CRIJ 6099, students must enroll in this course in every semester until graduation. (See note below).


Effective Summer 2012, graduate students will take thesis classes for 3 credit hours until they have completed the degree requirements (6 hours total for thesis).

Students may then sign up for 1 credit hour for continuous enrollment.

Students do not have to sign-up for thesis classes during the summer if they are not working on their thesis or if they are not graduating.

If students do not stay continuously enrolled, they will be retroactively enrolled in 1 semester hour and will be charged for the course.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state’s 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers.  Marketable skills are those skills valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The MA in Criminal Justice and Criminology is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Oral and written communication skills.
  • Quantitative and/or qualitative research skills.
  • Statistical skills with the ability to interpret results.
  • Knowledge of current criminal justice issues.
  • The ability to conduct original research and present findings via publications, reports, and/or presentations.