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The UHD Department of Criminal Justice currently offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree with a major in Criminal Justice. This degree will help UHD graduates provide leadership, critical thinking, and knowledge in the areas of:

  • Criminological theory
  • Program evaluation
  • Criminal justice administration

The M.S. in Criminal Justice curriculum provides for the development of skills in criminal justice planning, implementation, and evaluation to ensure that the management and administration of the criminal justice system is effective, efficient, and responsive to community needs.

Research methods and statistical analysis are central elements in the curriculum.

  • Students are expected to generate unique research questions to assist the criminal justice community in evaluating its effectiveness
  • Students are encouraged to bring ecologically valid research questions from the criminal justice agencies in the area and incorporate the question into their academic pursuits.

It is through these types of experiences that the Department forges cooperative relationships between the University and the criminal justice community. This relationship provides practitioners with an opportunity to evaluate management and programming decisions, and understand how these decisions benefit both the agency and community at large.

Program Description

Students graduating with an M.S. in Criminal Justice will demonstrate competency in the following knowledge content areas:

  • Criminological Theory
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Research Methodology
  • Policy Analysis

Additionally, students graduating with an M.S. in Criminal Justice will also demonstrate competency in the following thinking skills:

  • Analytical Skills
  • Research Skills
  • Computer Proficiency
  • Problem-Solving Strategies

Students will demonstrate knowledge of these content areas and skills through course work, Criminal Justice projects, and thesis (optional).

The M.S. degree requires:

  • A minimum of 36 semester hours
  • Students have a thesis or project option
  • All students must complete eighteen (18) hours of core classes
  • Project students complete a three (3) hour project capstone class and fifteen (15) hours of electives
  • Thesis students complete six (6) hours of thesis and twelve (12) hours of electives
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 for all course work
Core Classes (18 hours):  
Course ID Course Name
CJ 6310 Issues in Criminal Justice
CJ 6320 Research Design and Methods
CJ 6321 Quantitative Analysis in Criminal Justice
CJ 6330 Advanced Criminology
CJ 6340 Administration in Criminal Justice
CJ 6350 Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation
Project Course (3 hours):  
CJ 6301 Criminal Justice Project
Thesis Courses (6 hours):  
CJ 6390 Thesis I
CJ 6391 Thesis II
MSCJ Electives  
(15 hours for Project) Project students select any five additional classes at the 6000 level.
(12 hours for Thesis) Thesis students select any four additional classes at the 6000 level.


Applicants must complete and submit the following documentation to the Office of Admissions prior to the admissions. Click here to apply.

MSCJ Handbook

Click here to download the MSCJ Handbook.

Contact information

MSCJ Program Coordinator

Clete Snell, Ph.D.
Phone: 713-226-5271

UHD Graduate Admissions Office

Phone: 713-221-8093
Fax: 713-221-2718

Register today! We look forward to working with you to tailor your academic program to your career goals. If you have any questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the program advisor.

For more information in applying at UHD, visit the UHD Admission page.

Last updated or reviewed on 1/7/15

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