Criminal Justice M.S.

Kim Logio, Associate Professor and Chair, Sociology
Sylvia DeSantis, M.A.,
Graduate Director,
376 Merion Hall
610-660-1269

sdesanti@sju.edu

M.S. in Criminal Justice Program Description

The Master’s program in Criminal Justice is designed to meet the graduate educational 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. 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 and methodological knowledge needed to pursue a degree beyond the master’s or to focus on the management skills necessary to succeed as upper-level decision makers.

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

Admission Requirements and Procedures

Students applying for admission to the Criminal Justice program must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.8 to be considered for admission. Students must maintain a 3.0 average throughout their tenure in the program.

Applicants should submit the following documents for admission consideration:

  • a completed Saint Joseph’s University online graduate application, www.sju.edu/gradapplynow.
  • official sealed transcript(s) of undergraduate/graduate coursework. If you are a SJU graduate the Office of Graduate Operations will obtain your SJU transcripts for you.
  • a current resume
  • two letters of recommendation (professional)  from at least two faculty or employers appraising the candidate’s promise and capacity for graduate study, reflecting, from a professional’s point of view, the candidate’s ability to pursue a rigorous, independent course of study at the graduate level. 
  • a personal statement outlining the candidate’s professional goals and educational objectives for the program, including the applicant’s rationale for program choice and professional study. The personal statement additionally acts as a writing sample indicating an applicant’s ability to write and communicate on the graduate level.
  • $35 application fee – waived if attended an Open House or an SJU graduate.
  • International applicants (MS-Criminal Justice only) must submit documentation of English language proficiency. See www.sju.edu/gradstudies, International Students for more information.
  • For the Behavior Analysis Concentration, a year of work experience in the field is strongly recommended.

Admission is on a rolling basis and applications will be considered for summer, fall, and spring terms. There is a five year time limit on completion of degree programs based on date of enrollment in the first course.

A limited number of graduate assistantships are offered each academic year. Applicants who wish to be considered for a graduate assistantship must complete the above application process and submit a letter directly to the Sociology Program Chair by March 1 prior to the fall semester for which they are applying for admission. Please contact the Sociology Department for more information 610-660-1640.

Learning Goals and Objectives

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

Objective 1.1: Students can explain traditional and contemporary social policy

Objective 1.2: Students can apply theoretical concepts to their field

Objective 1.3: Students (Federal Law Enforcement and Intelligence specializations) can identify legal statutes and constitutional principles

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

Objective 2.1: Students can explain and apply historical and modern ethical principles to the workplace

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

Objective 3.1: Students can write clear, organized papers following APA format

Objective 3.2: Students can clearly and concisely articulate research or course materials through oral presentations

Goal 4: MS Criminal Justice students will conduct and employ empirically-sound criminal justice-related research

Objective 4.1: Students can identify empirical Criminal Justice research materials

Objective 4.2: Students can evaluate and incorporate scholarly research into literature reviews

Objective 4.3: Students can apply research techniques to original research

Goal 5: MS Criminal Justice students can implement and demonstrate intervention strategies

Objective 5.1: Students (Behavioral Analysis and Behavior Management specializations) can identify and chart behavioral issues and create behaviorally-specific interventions

Degree Requirements

A total of 30 credits is the minimum requirement for the degree regardless of concentration. Two courses (6 credits) per semester is the recommended course of study while three courses (9 credits) is considered a full-time graduate load; any courses beyond these credit hours must be approved by the Program Director and/or Chair at their discretion. If the Program Director and/or the Chair determine that an overloaded schedule does not represent the student’s best interest, then additional courses will be disallowed.

All students must satisfactorily complete the following core courses at Saint Joseph’s University:

CRJ 550Research Methods and Analysis3
or CRJ 575 Adv. Resrch Methds & Analysis
CRJ 560Criminological Theory3
CRJ 565Ethics and Criminal Justice3
CRJ 570Prof. Writ. for Law Enforcmnt3

Remaining coursework should be chosen to facilitate the student’s individual professional growth.

All Graduate Assistants and students, who intend to do a thesis, and those who have a recent and substantial undergraduate preparation in research methods, will be required to take CRJ 575 in lieu of CRJ 550.

Master of Science—Criminal Justice-General

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.

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 Law Enforcmnt3
Electives
Select six electives chosen from any available Criminal Justice graduate courses with the exception of Behavior Analysis courses which require program approval.18

Master of Science Criminal Justice—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 in our society today. The curriculum can assist students in building strategies to prevent, and partnerships to prepare for homeland security incidents. Focus is on identifying threats and the critical infrastructure protections needed in the United States today.

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 Law Enforcmnt3
Required Concentration Courses
CRJ 640Terrorism: Threats and Strateg3
CRJ 641Homeland Security3
CRJ 645Sociology of Disasters3
CRJ 646Risk Assessment3
Electives
Select two Criminal Justice courses6

Master of Science Criminal Justice—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.

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 Law Enforcmnt3
Required Concentration Courses
CRJ 642Law Enforc Intel Analysis3
CRJ 643L.E. Intelligence:Policy & Pro3
Specialized Area Courses
Select two courses from the following:6
Crime Analys Using GIS Mapping
Org Crime:Targets & Strat
White Collar Crime
Drugs: Threats, Laws & Stratg
Terrorism: Threats and Strateg
Homeland Security
Elec Intelligence Analysis
Forensic Financial Analysis
Electives
Select two Criminal Justice courses6

Master of Science Criminal Justice—Concentration in Behavior Management

This is an excellent program for clinicians who wish to learn more about evidenced-based practices in the treatment of children and adults. This program focuses on psychological treatment of offenders and prevention of offenders. Treatment approaches to children and adults are based on the principles of environmental arrangement, operant and respondent conditioning.

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 Law Enforcmnt3
Specialized Area Courses
Select four from the following:12
Therapeutic Strat Crim Justice
Mental Health and the Law
Youth Cultures and Deviance
Juvenile Justice & Delinquency
Evid Bas Prac Subt Ab/Beh Hlth
Fnds of Addiction:CRJ Profess

Master of Science Criminal Justice-Concentration in Behavior Analysis

This program prepares graduates to become skilled behavior management practitioners. Behavior Analysis is recognized as a “best practice” in the field of autism, behavioral health, addictions, business and corrections. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of settings including education, autism, criminal justice, public policy, addictions, mental health, business and other fields where the understanding and management of human behavior is desired. A minimum of one year of applied behavior analysis work experience is expected for candidates applying to and enrolled in this concentration.

six (6) courses required
ABA/CRJ 622Basic Prin. of Behavr Analysis3
ABA/CRJ 623Applied Behavior Analysis3
ABA/CRJ 624Behavior Analysis: Consult3
ABA/CRJ 625Behavioral Development3
ABA/CRJ 626Clinical Behavior Analysis3
ABA/CRJ 657Ethics in Behavior Analysis3

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) has approved courses CRJ 622 through CRJ 626 and CRJ 657 as meeting the coursework requirement for taking the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination. Applicants need to complete an experiential component to qualify.

Internship and Practicum Requirements

Students are not required to complete an internship or practicum for the awarding of a degree or post master’s certificate but for those who wish to pursue licensure or BACB Certification, skill experience/internship is required.

Behavior Analysis Certification vs. Behavior Specialist Licensure Certification

National certification is offered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). The BACB is responsible for certifying training programs and administering the certification examination. Saint Joseph’s University’s Behavior Analysis programs are approved by the BACB as meeting the coursework and practicum requirements for eligibility to take the certification examination. For more information, please visit www.bacb.com

Licensure

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has instituted a Behavior Specialist License for professionals who work with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and who seek compensation for their services via insurance and medical assistance. The Saint Joseph’s University Behavior Analysis program can verify content hours toward this license. The amount of content hours awarded will vary by student depending upon the coursework completed by the student.

Post-Master’s Certificate in Behavior Analysis

Students who earned a Master’s degree in criminal justice or a related discipline may update/expand their knowledge or expertise through this certificate program. The certificate requires successful completion of eighteen specific Behavior Analysis credits (six courses) all of which have been approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) as meeting the coursework requirement for taking the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination. Applicants need to complete an experiential component to qualify. Students who complete the Post-Master’s Certificate program may apply these credit hours towards an M.S. degree. Students must submit an updated application and meet all MS degree application requirements:

  • Submit an online graduate application www.sju.edu/gradapplynow.
  • Complete  six courses. Must be approved by the Program Director.