Degree Requirements

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Degree Requirements
The course requirements for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice include the successful completion of 30–36 credits, depending on whether the thesis or the comprehensive examination track is selected.

Core Requirements


Please see the Graduate Bulletin for course descriptions.

Criminal Justice 710 Issues in Criminal Justice I: Theory and Courts
Criminal Justice 711 Issues in Criminal Justice II: Policing and Corrections
Criminal Justice 715 Research Design and Methods
Criminal Justice 716 Using Computers in Social Research
Comprehensive Exam*
Criminal Justice 730 Policy Analysis in Criminal Justice

* The Comprehensive Exam must be taken after completing the first four required core classes (CRJ 710, 711, 715 and 716) AND before completing 24 credits of coursework. ALL students must pass the comprehensive exam before entering the final required core class, CRJ 730.

Students must take three classes (9 credits) in one of five specialization areas listed. The specialization lists provided are not intended to be exhaustive. The program director has discretion to substitute other courses, including courses in the 800-level series, to satisfy the specialization requirement. Students should consult with the program director before taking a course for specialization credit when that course is not on the specialization list. Dual specializations are permissible if the student has fulfilled the requirements of both specializations, but the same electives may not be used for two specializations

Free Electives

Subtotal: 12-21 credits

Students must take four additional classes from any of the graduate courses offered at John Jay. Students may choose to take CRJ 793 Comprehensive Review as one of their electives to help prepare for the exam. Students choosing the thesis option DO NOT need to meet the electives requirement (see below).

Thesis Option
Students who complete CRJ 715 and 716 with an A- average or better may choose to write a thesis instead of taking four elective courses. Students choosing the thesis option must first take CRJ 717 Reading in Research and receive an A- or better. Students must obtain permission from the program director to pursue the thesis option after completing CRJ 717. If permission is granted, they must take CRJ 791 Thesis Prospectus as an Independent Study with their thesis advisor who must be a member of the graduate faculty. Finally, students must submit a thesis approved by their advisor and a second reader within no more than one year after completing CRJ 791. Students choosing the thesis option will complete a total of 30 credits for the master’s degree, six fewer credits than those students who take the comprehensive exam. However, writing a thesis is a substantial undertaking usually requiring more work than that required by two additional courses.

CRJ Specializations

Please see the Graduate Bulletin for course descriptions.

Criminology and Deviance
CRJ 701 The Sociology of Crime
CRJ 712 Sex Crimes
CRJ 713 White-Collar Crime
CRJ 714 Social Aspects of Alcohol and Drug Use
CRJ 727 Cybercriminology
CRJ 729 Drugs, Crime, and the Criminal Justice System
CRJ 738 Perspectives on Race and Crime in America
CRJ 761 Youth Crime and Delinquency Control
CRJ 765 Social Movements, Revolution and Terrorism
CRJ 766 Sociology of Delinquency
CRJ 767 Gangs and the Community
CRJ 769 Deviant Behavior
CRJ 770 Advanced Criminology
CRJ 771 Problems in Criminal Justice
CRJ 778 Victimology
CRJ 779 The Female Offender in Western Society
CRJ 783 Crime and the Media
CRJ 784 Organized and Transnational Crime
CRJ 796 History of Crime

Criminal Law and Procedure

CRJ 708 Law, Evidence and Ethics
CRJ 725 Capital Punishment
CRJ 732 United States Constitutional Law
CRJ 733 The Constitution and Criminal Justice
CRJ 734 Criminal Law
CRJ 735 Prosecuting Crime
CRJ 736 Seminar in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
CRJ 752 The Law and High Technology Crime
CRJ 768 Law and Society
CRJ 785 The American Jury
PAD 741 Administrative Law and Regulation
PAD 760 Court Administration

Police Administration 

CRJ 738 Perspectives on Race and Crime in America
CRJ 739 Crime Mapping
CRJ 742 Police Ethics
CRJ 745 Legal Aspects of Undercover Activity
CRJ 751 Crime Scene Investigation
CRJ 756 Problems in Police Administration
CRJ 757 The Police and the Community
CRJ 759 Comparative Police Administration
CRJ 760 History of Police Administration
CRJ 761 Youth Crime and Delinquency Control
CRJ 762 Investigating Violent Crime
CRJ 771 Problems in Criminal Justice
CRJ 783 Crime and the Media
CRJ 786 Problem-Oriented Policing
CRJ 787 Seminar in Crime Analysis and Crime Prevention

Correction Administration
CRJ 703 Advanced Penology
CRJ 704 Probation and Parole: Theory and Practice
CRJ 728 Problems in Contemporary Corrections
CRJ 749 Punishment and Responsibility
CRJ 758 Public Health Challenges in Criminal Justice: An Epidemiological Approach

Terrorism Studies
Criminal Justice 744 Terrorism and Politics
Criminal Justice 746 Terrorism and Apocalyptic Violence
Criminal Justice 748 Counter-Terrorism Policy for Law Enforcement
Criminal Justice 765 Social Movements, Revolution, and Terrorism
Criminal Justice 772 Proseminar in Terrorism Studies
Criminal Justice 797 Homeland Security and International Relations
Criminal Justice 798 Homeland Security and Terrorism

Total: 30–36 credits