Criminal Justice (M.S.C.J.)

M.S.C.J. Criminal Justice (Master's)

Prepare to be a leader in the criminal justice system.
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Program Overview

The School of Criminal Justice and Criminology is a vibrant community, with approximately 1,300 baccalaureate students, and dozens of master's students and doctoral students. The School offers funding opportunities through scholarships and graduate assistantships. Graduate assistants aid our faculty in classroom instruction and research throughout the academic year.

Course Work

The School of Criminal Justice and Criminology offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice (M.S.C.J.) degree, with the choice of a Thesis Option (30 credit hours) and a Non-thesis Option (36 credit hours). The non-thesis option is a versatile program for those seeking to further their knowledge and skills in criminal justice. The thesis option is a rigorous program for those seeking research analyst positions or considering doctoral-level study.

All candidates on the Thesis track complete an oral defense of their thesis prior to graduation. Candidates on the Non-thesis track complete a comprehensive exam prior to graduation. Specific course and admission requirements vary by program. 

DegreeConcentrationHoursThesis OptionMinor Option
Degree
M.S.C.J.
Concentration
No concentration
Hours
36
Thesis Option
Non-Thesis
Minor Option
No minor
Degree
M.S.C.J.
Concentration
Executive
Hours
30
Thesis Option
Non-Thesis
Minor Option
No minor
Degree
M.S.C.J.
Concentration
Research
Hours
30
Thesis Option
Thesis
Minor Option
No minor

What Our Alumni Say

“I received the best education in criminal justice and criminology in Texas. The faculty are friendly and committed to expert research.ˮ

— Nicole Kinbarovsky, M.S.C.J. ’20

Program Details

Alumni are employed in various state and federal criminal justice agencies nationally and internationally. They currently serve in high-level positions such as chief officers, agents, faculty, trainers and directors.

Program Mission

The School of Criminal Justice and Criminology produces and disseminates knowledge through high-quality teaching, research, and service with a focus on empowering students and professionals to improve the criminal justice system. 

The School offers courses in areas of study, such as policing, criminal justice policy, management principles, and criminological theory. The School also offers a variety of specialized courses on topics such as crime analysis and quantitative data analysis, and is associated with several centers, such as the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center and the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC).

Career Options

The M.S.C.J. will help to advance leadership roles and research and evaluation in a range of career opportunities:

  • State and federal corrections
  • Local, state, and federal police agencies
  • Victim advocacy agencies
  • Homeland security
  • Asset protection
  • Security
  • Intelligence and crime analysis
  • Research, planning, and evaluation
  • Doctoral study

Program Faculty

The faculty in criminal justice are recognized nationally and internationally for their commitment to outstanding teaching, cutting-edge research, and unparalleled service to the field.

Their broad practical experiences and diverse academic backgrounds contribute to a curriculum that provides students the skills needed for criminal justice program planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more. If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following individuals.

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Sean Roche
sean.roche@txstate.edu
512.245.2174
Hill House (HILL), Room 110

Advisor Support
Bridgette Maddocks
maddocks@txstate.edu
716-866-5740
Hill House (HILL), Room 110

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Application Deadlines

Executive Concentration*

*The Executive Concentration is not accepting applications for the fall 2023 and fall 2024 semesters.

DeadlinesU.S. CitizenInternational
Deadlines
Fall - Priority
U.S. Citizen
February 1
International
February 1
Deadlines
Fall - Standard
U.S. Citizen
June 15 (*Flexible)
International
June 1

Research Concentration and Non-concentration Programs

DeadlinesU.S. CitizenInternational
Deadlines
Fall - Priority
U.S. Citizen
February 1
International
February 1
Deadlines
Fall - Standard
U.S. Citizen
June 15 (*Flexible)
International
June 1
Deadlines
Spring - Priority
U.S. Citizen
August 15
International
August 15
Deadlines
Spring - Standard
U.S. Citizen
October 15 (*Flexible)
International
October 1

*This program's deadline is flexible for those not requiring an F/J visa. Flexible means applications received after the posted deadline may be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, with no guarantees for admission consideration.

Funding Information
Applications must be complete by the priority deadlines to be considered for certain types of funding.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.

Admission Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.

  • Review important information about the online application.

    • $55 Nonrefundable application fee, OR
    • $90 Nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

    Review important information about application fees.

  • Executive and Non-concentration applicants:

    • baccalaureate degree in criminal justice or related field from a regionally accredited university
    • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
    • minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses) (Effective Fall 2024: a 3.0 overall GPA or a 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work, plus any completed graduate courses)

    Research concentration applicants:

    • baccalaureate degree in criminal justice or related field from a regionally accredited university
    • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
    • minimum 3.25 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses) (Effective Fall 2024: a 3.25 overall GPA or a 3.25 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work, plus any completed graduate courses)

    Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

  • All applicants:

    GRE

    • GRE not required

    Approved English Proficiency Exam Scores

    Applicants are required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score that meets the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

    • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
    • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
    • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
      • minimum individual module scores of 6.0
    • official Duolingo scores required with a 110 overall
    • official TOEFL Essentials scores required with an 8.5 overall

    This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

    Review important information about official test scores.

  • Non-concentration applicants:

    • statement of purpose indicating career aspirations and reasons for pursuing the M.S.C.J. program
    • two letters of recommendation from persons best able to assess your ability to succeed in graduate school
    • resume/CV

     Executive concentration applicants:

    • resume/CV
    • statement of purpose indicating career aspirations and reasons for pursuing the M.S.C.J. program

    Research concentration applicants:

    • statement of purpose indicating research interests and career aspirations
    • two letters of recommendation from persons best able to assess your ability to succeed in graduate school
    • resume/CV

    Review important information about documents.

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