ICJ FAQs

ICJ FAQs

Programs

How many credits do I need to complete the program?

The Master of Arts degree in International Crime and Justice requires completion of 36 credits. These credits include eight core courses (24 credits), two or more elective courses, and courses required to satisfy the requirements of the student’s culminating option. The number of electives varies with the culminating option selected by the student. Students may take additional courses if they wish; however, they may not accrue more than 60 credits.

How long do I have to complete my degree?

Students must complete all requirements for the degree within eight years of beginning graduate study.

What GPA do I need to remain in good standing?

Students in the comprehensive examination track must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 to remain in good standing in the program. Students in the thesis and internship tracks must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5.

Is foreign language proficiency a requirement for starting the program?

No. Foreign language proficiency is not a requirement for admission to the MA in IC&J program; however, students must demonstrate foreign language proficiency in a language of their choosing before graduating from the program. Students should plan accordingly.

How is language proficiency assessed and what languages satisfy the requirement?
  • Students may choose the foreign language in which they will demonstrate proficiency.
  • Students typically demonstrate foreign language proficiency by passing an on-campus test administered by Language Testing International (LTI), the testing arm of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).  The LTI test assesses oral and written proficiency in over 60 languages.  The cost of the test is not included in tuition.  The current cost varies by language and is between $100-$200. The proficiency test, which can be taken at any time during the course of graduate studies, must be proctored by MA IC&J Foreign Language Proficiency Coordinator Dr. Rosemary Barberet.  To arrange for testing, contact Dr. Barberet at rbarberet@jjay.cuny.edu.
  • Assessments by other language testing services such as EU language testing (B2 standard) may be accepted at the discretion of the program director.
Are all students required to take the language proficiency exam?

Students whose secondary or higher education was conducted in a foreign language and who can provide supporting documentation in the form of a diploma or transcript may be exempted from taking the proficiency exam. All exemptions are granted at the discretion of the program director.

For students who do not speak or who are not proficient in a foreign language, does the program offer foreign language courses as part of the curriculum? What alternatives exist for acquiring lanuage proficiency?
  • No. Advanced foreign language courses are not offered by the MA in International Crime and Justice Program. Graduate level justice-themed language courses or study-abroad courses may be counted toward the degree as program electives at the discretion of the program director. 
  • Students are allowed to utilize the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Foreign Language Lab, located in 7.64NB, to prepare for language testing.  Students can schedule appointments with a Language Lab tutor, participate in conversation tables, or use Rosetta Stone materials in the language of their choice on site.  Students also have access to Rosetta Stone Library Solutions through the library´s database holdings.
  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice and CUNY offer undergraduate language courses that students may take to prepare for the proficiency examination.  Students can also take language courses at a language institute (e.g., Alliance Française, Instituto Cervantes). These courses do not count towards the 36 credits required for graduation from the program.
Can I participate in a study abroad program while in the ICJ MA program?

Students are encouraged to consider studying abroad while pursuing their master’s degree in International Crime and Justice. John Jay College of Criminal Justice organizes a number of study abroad programs in the summer and winter, some of which offer graduate credit. For further information about study abroad opportunities, click here or contact Kenneth Yanes, Deputy Director of the Office of International Studies & Programs, at 212-484-1339 or kyanes@jjay.cuny.edu. A maximum of 12 graduate credits can be transferred from outside institutions.

Can I complete an advanced certificate while enrolled in the ICJ MA program? 

Yes, the Advanced Certificate in Transnational Organized Crime Studies (ACTOCS). We intend to offer the Advanced Certificate for the first time this Fall 2016. This is an interdisciplinary program that offers advanced instruction on the nature, dynamics, causes, and control of those crime phenomena that pose a challenge to more than one country and call for international cooperation. The focus is on illegal cross-border trade such as the trafficking in drugs, counterfeit medicine, and humans; transnational predatory crimes such as cross-border serial burglary; international environmental crimes; money laundering, corruption, and cybercrime; networks of offenders involved in these crimes and their terrestrial and virtual mobility; and factors that facilitate and shape transnational crime, including technology, international travel, trade, and migration. ICJ 706 (Transnational crime); and ICJ 804 (Environmental crime). Some count towards the ACTOCS certificate and some count towards the Terrorism studies certificate.

Is it possible to transfer the credits from a graduate course I successfully completed at another institution?

Matriculated graduate students can transfer up to 12 credits from courses completed at another institution with a minimum grade of B. Credits completed more than seven years preceding a student’s application for admission will not be accepted. To validate transfer credit, the student must complete the “Request for Transfer Credit” form (available from the Jay Express) and request approval of the program director.

Is an internship a requirement for completing the program?
  • No.  Internships are recommended, but they are not required.  Students who wish to pursue internships may do so by electing the internship culminating option, by developing a three-credit independent study course with a faculty supervisor, or by volunteering without credit.
  • The internship culminating option is a six-credit course that requires 280 hours of fieldwork at an approved placement together with additional, online coursework (ICJ 780).  Because the internship coursework is offered online, students may seek internship placements outside the tri-state area and abroad.
How do I find an internship that is relevant to my course of study?
  • Students should consult the program director and IC&J professors for suggestions regarding internship placements.
  • Students should also consult the Graduate Career Advisors at the Center for Career and Professional Development in L72.00NB.
Are students in the IC&J MA program allowed to pursue an independent study?

Yes. Students are allowed to take one independent study course, ICJ 794. Students are eligible for independent study after completing 12 credits with a minimum GPA of 3.2. In addition, the supervisor for the independent study course must be a full-time Graduate faculty member.

How does the Thesis Track work?

Students who choose the thesis culminating option register for a two-semester course sequence (ICJ 791 and ICJ 792) and work one-on-one with an advisor to complete the writing of their thesis. Students must produce a traditional thesis or a publishable manuscript for a journal article. Before selecting this option, students should read the graduate thesis guidelines.

Are all students required to take a Comprehensive Exam to graduate from the program?
  • No, students in the IC&J MA program choose one of three culminating options to graduate:
    • Thesis option:  Students complete 24 credits in the program’s core courses, 6 credits in elective courses, and an additional 6 credits in a two-semester course sequence that guides the writing of a thesis.  This option is available only to students who receive a grade of A or A- in Research Methods in International Crime and Justice (ICJ 715) and in Using Computers in Social Research (CRJ 716) and maintain a 3.5 GPA.  Election of the thesis option requires permission of the program director. 
    • Comprehensive examination option:  This option requires students to pass the comprehensive examination at the end of the program.  The Comprehensive Review Course is recommended but not required.  Students complete 24 credits in the program’s core courses and fulfill remaining credits with elective courses.  If the Comprehensive Review Course is taken for credit, 9 additional credits of electives are needed.  If the review course is not taken for credit, 12 credits of electives are needed. 
    •  Internship option:   Students complete 24 credits in the program’s core courses, 6 credits in elective courses, and an additional 6 credits for an internship course that comprises online instruction and fieldwork at an approved placement.  This option is available only to students who maintain a 3.5 GPA.  Election of the internship track requires permission of the program director.
Does John Jay College have special scholarships exclusively for IC&J MA students?
  • John Jay College has no special scholarships for IC&J MA students, but many general scholarships may be available. Click here, for a list of graduate student scholarships.
  • The City University of New York (CUNY) website lists many scholarships that are available to both domestic and international students. Click here for further information.
Are there scholarships available for international students?
  • Yes.  International students are eligible for and encouraged to apply for all scholarships for which they meet the stated criteria.
Is financial aid available for the IC&J MA program?

TAP and PELL funding are not available for students at the graduate level. Students should consult the financial aid office for information about financing their graduate study. Contact information can be found at http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/graduate-financial-aid.

Are there conferences that IC&J students can attend?

We highly recommend that students attend professional conferences such as the annual conference of the American Society of Criminology in November (www.asc41.com) or the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in March (www.acjs.org). These conferences offer reduced registration rates for students. Students who are members of the United Nations Students Association can attend the National Model United Nations Conference. The program director has additional information regarding academic and professional associations that may be of interest to students.

Are there any graduation awards given?

Yes. The Master of Arts Degree Program in International Crime and Justice gives an award annually to the graduating student with the highest GPA.

What are my career options with a Master of Arts in International Crime And Justice?
  • Graduates of the program are prepared for careers with may different organizations, including the following:
    • Federal agencies (FBI; CIA; DEA; Homeland Security; U.S. Department of State)
    • Europol; Interpol
    • United Nations; United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime
    • Justice Departments and Research Centers outside of the U.S.
    • Research institutions
    • Private sector intelligence analysis companies
Is it helpful for IC&J students seeking employment to be a citizen of more than one country?

Many intergovernmental organizations consider geographic diversity when hiring. Such organizations may be eager to hire applicants from underrepresented countries.

Do professors give midterms and finals or do they assign papers?

Course requirements vary and are determined by the course professor. Requirements may include midterm and final examinations, papers, presentations, and shorter assignments. Students may be assigned to work individually or on teams for specific assignments.

Are the professors accessible?

Professors keep weekly office hours and are eager to assist students. Many professors also offer virtual office hours on Blackboard. Faculty contact information is noted on course syllabi.