Criminal Justice M.S.

Professor and Chair, Keith Brown, Ph.D., Sociology
Graduate Director: Melissa A. Logue, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Sociology

The Master’s program in Criminal Justice is designed to meet the graduate education needs of practitioners and students pursuing careers in criminal justice in both the public and private sectors. While the 30-credit curriculum requires degree candidates to take four core courses, the student selects the remainder, dependent upon selected concentration. This arrangement allows individuals to create unique plans of graduate study that are compatible with their interests and career objectives in the field of criminal justice. The program is flexible enough to allow students to concentrate on the theoretical, methodological, and practical knowledge needed to become practitioners in criminal justice, pursue a degree beyond the Master’s, or enhance the management skills necessary to succeed as upper-level decision-makers.

Course offerings and schedules are conveniently arranged to accommodate the needs of both full-time and part-time students. Courses are offered online.


Goal 1: MS Criminal Justice students can demonstrate comprehension of the theoretical foundations of the criminal justice system

Outcome 1.1: Students can apply theoretical concepts to social policy in criminal justice and related fields

Goal 2: MS Criminal Justice students can understand how to integrate ethical principles into the criminal justice system

Outcome 2.1: Students can explain and apply ethical principles to the workplace

Goal 3: MS Criminal Justice students will illustrate graduate-level written and oral communication

Outcome 3.1: Students can effectively communicate and apply criminal justice concepts and methodologies through written and oral communication

Goal 4: MS Criminal Justice students will employ empirical methods in conducting and analyzing criminal justice research

Outcome 4.1: Students can identify empirical-based criminal justice research and reports

Outcome 4.2: Students can evaluate and describe findings from empirical research and reports 

Outcome 4.3: Students can apply research techniques to original research

Outcome 4.4: Students can effectively present empirical research findings

Goal 5: MS Criminal Justice students will analyze, critique, and propose criminal justice policies/programs

Outcome 5.1: Students can effectively describe and assess the effectiveness of criminal justice policies or programs 

Outcome 5.2: Students can develop empirically-based policies or programs to address criminal justice-related issues

A total of 30 credits for all concentrations is the minimum requirement for the degree The graduate director serves as the students' advisor in the program.  All students must satisfactorily complete the following core courses at Saint Joseph’s University:

Core Courses:
CRJ 550Research Methods and Analysis3
or CRJ 575 Adv Resrch Methds & Analysis
CRJ 560Criminological Theory3
CRJ 565Ethics and Criminal Justice3
CRJ 570Prof Writ for Criminal Justice3
Total Hours12

The remaining coursework should be chosen to facilitate the student’s individual professional growth and/or is dependent upon concentration.

General Concentration

This program provides students the opportunity to enhance their theoretical foundation of criminal justice; develop cognitive skills including application of ethics, written and oral communications, critical thinking, reasoning, understanding, and conducting research; and prepare for their professional future.

Select six electives chosen from any available Criminal Justice Graduate courses.18
Total Hours18

Concentration in Homeland Security

This program offers students the opportunity to examine strategies, develop communication skills, execute plans, and learn about contemporary issues of terrorism which affect the public and private sectors as well as law enforcement in society today. The curriculum can assist students in building partnerships and strategies to disrupt or prevent homeland security incidents. Identifying emerging threats and critical infrastructure protection needs is vital to securing the Homeland today.

Required Concentration Courses
CRJ 640Terrorism: Threats and Strateg3
CRJ 641Homeland Security3
CRJ 645Sociology of Disasters3
CRJ 646Risk Assessment3
Select two Criminal Justice courses.6
Total Hours18

Concentration in Intelligence and Crime Analysis

This program provides insights into the contemporary functions of law enforcement intelligence and crime analysis. The specialized courses develop the deliberative and cognitive activities and methodologies including crime mapping that produce intelligence information in support of decision-making at the strategic, tactical, and operational levels of law enforcement. Students will be prepared for the growing number of intelligence and criminal analyst positions at the federal, state, and local levels.

Required Concentration Courses
CRJ 642Law Enforc Intel Analysis3
CRJ 643L.E. Intelligence:Policy & Pro3
Specialized Area Courses
Select two courses from the following:6
White Collar Crime
Terrorism: Threats and Strateg
Homeland Security
Foundations of Cybersecurity
Select two Criminal Justice courses.6
Total Hours18

Concentration in Forensic Behavioral Health 

This is an excellent program for students and clinicians who want to learn about evidence-based and promising practices in the treatment of children, adolescents, and adults who become involved in the criminal justice system. This program focuses on the prevention, intervention, and treatment of offenders with behavioral health issues and the interface of the socio-legal and political climate that impacts these individuals. Social justice, rehabilitation, and the use of treatment modalities and interventions in correctional settings and in the community found to reduce recidivism, restore wellness and provide a holistic approach to restorative justice, will be explored in this program.  Those admitted into the concentration prior to the Fall 2021 semester will continue to have their concentration called Behavior Management and Justice. Students admitted for the Fall 2021 semester will have the concentration named Forensic Behavioral Health. Currently, only the name of the concentration has changed. 

Required Concentration Courses
Select four from the following:12
Youth Cultures and Deviance
Juvenile Justice & Delinquency
Mental Health & The Law
Therapeutic Strat Crim Justice
Fnds of Addiction:CRJ Profess
Evid Bas Prac Subt Ab/Beh Hlth
Select two Criminal Justice courses.6
Total Hours18

Concentration in Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB)

The Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB) Concentration focuses on cultivating an inclusive workplace culture where people feel valued and know that they belong. Having inclusive workplace cultures that embrace diversity and create a sense of belonging can also contribute to the development of inclusive policies and procedures for how to engage with those who criminal justice officials and related agencies serve. Doing so can improve citizens' perceptions of officials' legitimacy and relations between them. Students will learn to apply scholarly theories and practical tools to help foster and promote inclusion and belonging on teams and in organizational systems and align personal values and career aspirations. This concentration is particularly apt for, but not limited to, those in managerial positions in law enforcement who wish to become fluent in the languages of social identity, the impact of social context and group dynamics, and psychological and neuropsychological constructs that result in implicit bias, discrimination, marginalization, and scapegoating. Students will build on their ability to be ethical leaders and to collaborate in increasingly diverse work settings.

Required Concentration Courses
MGT 555Equity in Organizations3
MGT 610Social Identity Theories3
MGT 655Org Culture Beyond Diversity3
MGT 760Inclusive Convers: DEI3
Select two Criminal Justice courses.6
Total Hours18

Concentration in Federal Law Enforcement 

This program provides students with an in-depth look at the three components of the federal criminal justice system – law enforcement, the courts, and corrections.  The specialized courses develop the critical thinking and analytical reasoning necessary for a career in federal law enforcement.  Students will examine seminal cases in federal criminal law and what effect they have had on federal law enforcement.  Students who complete this program will be better prepared for a variety of jobs throughout the federal criminal justice system including positions as a criminal analyst, law enforcement officer, prosecution assistant, and probation officer.

Required Concentration Courses
CRJ 634Fed Criminal Law & Prosecution3
CRJ 636Federal Search and Seizure3
Choose two Specialization Courses6
White Collar Crime
Terrorism: Threats and Strateg
Homeland Security
Select two Criminal Justice courses.6
Total Hours18

Saint Joseph University's combined Bachelors (e.g., B.S., B.A.)/M.S. program in Criminal Justice offers students the opportunity to obtain their Bachelor's and Master's degrees in five years, which provides a competitive edge to students entering the job market. The program allows students the opportunity to engage with critical issues regarding theory and policy in criminal justice through courses taught by professionals who are highly respected in their fields and networking opportunities with current students and alumni. This program also provides opportunities for internships and a Master's Thesis.  Students may choose from any concentration or no concentration (general track). However, they are required to start with core courses in their fourth year (senior year). They will take one course in the fall semester (3-cr) and one course in the spring semester (3-cr). 

Students who apply for the 4+1 combined program will be evaluated for acceptance into the program following the completion of the first semester of the junior year. These undergraduate applicants will be asked to submit a current undergraduate transcript, two letters of recommendation from a supervisor or professor, and an essay describing their interests and goals for pursuing graduate education in criminal justice. The essay also serves as a writing sample. The minimum GPA requirement is 3.00.

Select one core course from the list for the Fall of Senior Year and one for the Spring of Senior Year.6
Research Methods and Analysis
Adv Resrch Methds & Analysis
Criminological Theory
Ethics and Criminal Justice
Prof Writ for Criminal Justice
Summer Post-Undergraduate Graduation:
Two CRJ Courses6
Fall Semester of +1 Year
Three (3) CRJ Courses *No more than two in one 8-week module of the semester9
Spring Semester of the +1 Year
Three (3) CRJ Courses *No more than two in one 8-week module of the semester9
Total Hours30