M.S. in Criminology and Criminal Justice

The Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice is a 36-credit hour program. Courses are offered face-to-face in the evenings, online, or a hybrid combination of online and face-to-face approaches.

The educational objectives of the MS-CCJ are to prepare individuals to identify problems and develop solutions through applying criminological theories and policies to social issues that contribute to crime, and how to implement these solutions within justice-related agencies.

Admission Requirements-

  1. Completed UTEP Graduate School Application
  2. Official transcripts from each institution attended showing a minimum of 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of upper division (junior and senior level) undergraduate classes
  3. A B.A. or B.S. degree in criminal justice, criminology, or a related field from an accredited institution or foreign equivalency institution.
  4.  Professional resume that includes any relevant internships and/or employment
  5. 3-4 page Statement of Purpose- A well written essay that details your background and your expectations and/or goals from a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. You may include an explanation of your transcript if needed.
  6. Two Professional and/or Academic Recommendation Letters from individuals who are qualified to assess applicant’s potential for academic success and are not related to the applicant. For applicants who have completed a baccalaureate degree in the last 2 years, at least one recommendation letter must come from applicant’s former academic institution.
  7. International Students must take the TOEFL Exam and score a minimum of 250 (or 600 on the paper-based exam).


    Applicants who lack the required GPA or who lack appropriate course preparation may be considered for conditional admission.

Transfer Credits Limited to 6 hours

No more than six hours of applicable graduate transfer credit will be accepted at the Master’s degree level. Transfer hours will be accepted only within the last 7 years and only from institutions that are accredited by a regional higher education accrediting body. No academic transfer credit for criminal justice courses will be awarded for workforce credits, life experience, military courses, police academy, correctional officer academy, or other continuing education professional training. Graduate courses for which a “C” or lower was earned cannot be transferred. Graduate courses used toward the completion of another degree will not be accepted.

Degree Requirements-

The MS in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree is a 36 credit program. All students in the program will be required to take 9 hours of core courses: Proseminar in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Advanced Criminological Theory, and Seminar in Criminal Justice Policy. Following the core, two tracks are available to appeal to students with different educational goals: a professional/non-thesis track and a thesis track.

Professional Non-Thesis Track Semester Credit Hours
Core Courses (required for all students in both tracks)9
Track Requirements9
Electives (at least 9 credits must be "CRIJ" designated)18
Total Hours36
Thesis Track Semester Credit Hours
Core Courses (required for all students in both track)9
Track Requirements12
Electives (at least 9 credits must be "CRIJ" designated)15
Total Hours36

The Professional/non-thesis track may appeal to the student who may already be working in a criminal justice agency or the student who desires the Master’s as a terminal degree and has yet to enter the criminal justice field. In addition to the 9 hours of core courses required for all students, the professional track will require 9 credits in Criminal Justice Organization and Management, Program Evaluation and Evidence-Based Practices, and Capstone in CCJ.

Students taking the capstone course will produce a major paper and demonstrate their mastery of knowledge through a comprehensive exam. Skills acquired in previous courses in the areas of critical thinking, problem solving, and professional writing will be demonstrated. The remaining 18 credit hours of courses will be taken as electives, of which 9 of those credits must be CRIJ-designated.

PROFESSIONAL/NON-THESIS TRACK

Required Courses:
CRIJ 5305Proseminar in Criminology/CJ3
crij 5310
crij 5315
CRIJ 5300Seminar-Crim Just Administrati3
crij 5350
crij 5390
Elective Courses 18
Select 18 hours from the list below (at least 9 hours must be CRIJ)
crij 5322
crij 5324
crij 5326
crij 5331
crij 5333
crij 5335
crij 5337
Race Ethnicity in CJ System
Seminar Selected Topics
crij 5341
crij 5343
crij 5360
Introduction to GIST
Sem in Intel & Nat'l Security
Legal Issues/Intel & Nat Sec
Pro-Seminar Homeland Security
Emergency Management
Admin Law and Regulation
Pol Anal & Decision Making
Philosophy of Law & Society
Special Topics in Psyc. & Law
Survey of Legal Psychology

The Thesis track will prepare students who later aspire to enter a Ph.D. program by enhancing their theoretical knowledge, research, and statistical skills. In addition to the 9 hours of core courses for all students, the thesis track will require 6 credits in Research methods and Statistics, and 6 credits for the completion of the Thesis. The thesis will be supervised by a faculty committee within the Department of Criminal Justice. The remaining 12 credit must be CRIJ-designated, and the remaining 3 credits may be CRIJ electives or specific courses outside the department, designated in the list below

THESIS TRACK

Required Courses:
CRIJ 5305Proseminar in Criminology/CJ3
crij 5310
crij 5315
crij 5397
crij 5399
One Research Methods Course from the following:3
Quantative Research Methods
Intro to Research Methods
Seminar in Research Methods
One Statistics Course from the following:3
Applied Stats for Public Admin
Advanced Statistics
Sem-Advanced Measure/Inference
crij 5397
crij 5399
Elective Courses:12
Select 12 hours from the list below (at least 9 must be CRIJ)
crij 5322
crij 5324
crij 5326
crij 5331
crij 5333
crij 5335
crij 5337
Race Ethnicity in CJ System
crij5340
crij 5341
crij 5343
crij 5360
Introduction to GIST
inss5302
Legal Issues/Intel & Nat Sec
Pro-Seminar Homeland Security
Emergency Management
Admin Law and Regulation
Pol Anal & Decision Making
Philosophy of Law & Society
Special Topics in Psyc. & Law
Survey of Legal Psychology