The University of Texas at Tyler
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Meet a University of Texas at Tyler Graduate

It’s Never Too Late to Learn

Dean Kinney

“I graduated from Stephen F. Austin University in 1974 and had no intention of returning for a master’s degree, until my employer changed my plans.

“From 1976 - 1982 I was employed as a police officer in the Longview Police Department. In 1982, I got a job teaching in the East Texas Police Academy, which is a part of Kilgore College. After a number of years, the college wanted me to teach criminal justice courses, but to do that, I needed to get a master’s degree. That’s how I found myself at age 48 and scared to death sitting in a classroom at The University of Texas at Tyler. I had been out of college for 26 years and everyone in class with me, along with some of the professors was much younger than me.

“I hadn’t been there very long before I realized what a wonderful resource UT Tyler is for the community and region. While at the university, I was exposed to some of the best professors and education I’ve ever experienced. The education is outstanding, but the professors are what I remember most. They helped me realize that education isn’t just what you learn from the content. It’s also about seeing, hearing, discussing and getting to know your professors. The professors at UT Tyler impacted the way I teach criminal justice classes at Kilgore College today. I want to have the positive impact on my students that they had on me.”

Dean Kinney, Kilgore, TX
MPA with Criminal Justice, 2003

Criminal Justice MS Degree

Deepen Your Expertise to Advance in a Dynamic, Growing Field

Admission Requirements

A master’s degree in criminal justice from The University of Texas at Tyler prepares you for valuable career options: Gain solid credentials for advancement and promotions; round out your professional knowledge; become a community college teacher in the discipline; or go on to earn your PhD.

  • Take classes weekday evenings in a program that’s designed to accommodate the schedules of working adult students.
  • Earn your degree from a graduate school with an excellent reputation and join other criminal justice graduates who are sought after by employers.

Graduates of the UT Tyler program often hold positions with the FBI, ATF, Secret Service, U.S. Customs, DEA, state troopers, law enforcement agencies, corrections facilities and other such leading employers as adult and juvenile probation, Child Protective Services, Border Patrol, etc.

Learn more from the UT Tyler Criminal Justice Program

Master’s in Criminal Justice : Research-oriented. Broad-based.

  • Do in-depth study and benefit from one-on-one interaction with professors in small classes that average 12 students.
  • Choose a specific concentration for your criminal justice studies: criminal justice generalist, management or research.
  • Select from 2 options to complete your degree:  Write a master’s thesis (important if you wish to enter a doctoral program) or take the non-thesis path, which requires comprehensive examinations in core subject areas.
  • Complete a master’s program modeled after curriculum recommendations from the well-respected Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the national association that promotes criminal justice education, research and policy analysis.

Criminal Justice Faculty: Academic Training. Field Experience.

  • Participate in faculty research projects, working side-by-side with your professors, many of whom are widely recognized experts in the criminal justice field.
  • Learn on-the-job insights from professors with field experience in such law enforcement areas as vice and police investigations, corrections and federally funded research.  Many faculty members also are knowledgeable about the impact of technology advances in this field.

Learn about UT Tyler social science faculty

Criminal Justice Courses:  In-depth. Research-Based.

Contemporary Criminological Theory – Examine the role of theory in criminology and review major theories of crime causation. The emphasis will be on applying these theories to contemporary criminal justice practices.

Research Methods – This course focuses on research design and methodology as  commonly implemented in administrative or agency settings. Included among topic areas are criteria for evaluating others’ research results, experimental design, sampling, hypothesis testing, quantitative data analysis, introduction to statistics and computerized analysis.

Seminar in Criminal Justice Administration – Using the case study as its principal methodology and moving from theoretical propositions to practical considerations, this course examines a range of concepts applied in the administration of criminal justice agencies. Examine issues involved in the administration of police departments, prosecutors’ and public defenders’ offices, jails and prisons, and probation and parole offices. Particular emphasis will be placed on leadership and workplace issues.

More about the UT Tyler master’s in criminal justice program of study  

Career Outlook for  Criminal Justice

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of detective and criminal investigator positions will increase by 17% through 2018. Investigative experience is an advantage for those seeking employment in federal agencies. For more information about opportunities, go to Occupational Outlook Handbook - Police and Detectives

Find Out More: 800 UT Tyler