UT Tyler

Graduate Program

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

The purpose of this degree is to provide students with an opportunity for graduate-level education and a specialized degree in criminal justice. This degree will meet the educational needs of several types of students: (1) existing and prospective criminal justice agency personnel wishing to advance their knowledge and credentials in criminal justice, (2) students wishing to prepare for doctoral level work, (3) students wishing to prepare for community college teaching, and (4) students seeking more knowledge of crime and criminal justice.

Admission Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4 point scale on the last 60 hours of upper division coursework leading to the baccalaureate degree.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.00 on at least 15 hours of undergraduate coursework in the social sciences.
  • A minimum grade of “C” in an upper division social science research methods course.
  • Three years of full-time employment in the social services or criminal justice sectors. A curriculum vita should be submitted to document employment. A satisfactory score on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) may be substituted for the employment requirement.
  • Consideration is also given to one or more of the following: the applicant’s demonstrated commitment to his or her chosen field of study, socioeconomic background, first generation college graduate, multilingual proficiency, geographic region of residence, and level of responsibility in other matters including extracurricular activities, employment, community service and family responsibilities.

Degree Requirements

The master of science in criminal justice is a 36-hour degree. Students may choose the thesis or non-thesis option that includes comprehensive exams. The thesis option is recommended for those students who seek research experience or wish to pursue a doctorate.

Leveling Requirement (Hours Do Not Apply to Degree Requirements)

  • CRIJ 5300: Survey of Criminal Justice

Required Courses - 21 Hours

  • CRIJ 5336: Administrative Ethics
  • CRIJ 5309: Seminar in Criminal Justice Administration
  • CRIJ 5313: Contemporary Issues in Corrections
  • CRIJ 5303: Contemporary Criminological Theory
  • CRIJ 5302: Judicial Policy and Social Process
  • CRIJ 5332: Law Enforcement: Environment and Practice
  • CRIJ 5396: Research Methods

Areas of Concentration

Criminal Justice Generalist - 9 Hours Minimum

  • CRIJ 5301: Concepts of Law and Justice
  • CRIJ 5307: Criminal Justice Policy
  • CRIJ 5340: Violence and Society
  • CRIJ 5310: Topics in Criminal Justice
  • Approved Elective/Thesis

Management - 9 Hours Minimum

  • PADM 5330: Survey of Public Administration
  • PADM 5331: Information Systems in Public Administration
  • PADM 5332: Public Budgeting and Finance
  • PADM 5337: Administrative Law
  • PADM 5350: Seminar in Human Resources Management (Same as MANA 5350)
  • Approved Elective/Thesis

Research - 9 Hours Minimum

  • CRIJ 5397: Advanced Social Science Analysis
  • CRIJ 5338: Program Evaluation
  • PADM 5335: Topics in Policy Analysis
  • Approved Elective/Thesis

Thesis Option

Six semester hours from CRIJ 5394 and CRIJ 5395.


CRIJ 5199 - CRIJ 5699 Independent Study - may be taken for one to six credit hours with permission of advisor and department chair.

Other electives may be selected from:

  • Public Administration
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology


Graduate level internships (CRIJ 5370 and CRIJ 5371) are available but may not be counted toward the 36 hour degree requirement.

Graduation Requirements

  • All students must achieve a cumulative 3.0 GPA on all work applied to the degree.
  • Thesis students must submit a standard master’s quality thesis acceptable to a committee comprised of three UT Tyler faculty members, two of whom (including the thesis chair) must be criminal justice faculty. Thesis students will also give an oral defense of their thesis to faculty and students.
  • Non-thesis students must pass a final written comprehensive examination covering all core course work applied to the degree.
UT Tyler