Graduate Program

The Criminal Justice & Forensic Investigation Department offers courses leading to the Master of Science with a major in criminal justice. The department also offers an area of concentration in criminal justice within the Master of Public Administration degree program.

Admission Requirements

Applicants who meet the general admission requirements of Graduate Studies (and criminal justice & forensic investigation department requirements) are eligible for admission to the Master of Science with a major in criminal justice program. A particular undergraduate major is not specified for admission to the program; however, additional courses for non-criminal justice majors may be required. Students accepted to the Master of Science with a major in criminal justice program must meet with the graduate advisor. An advisory committee will be selected to assist the student in developing a degree plan that satisfies University and department requirements.

Applicants for the MS with a major in criminal justice will be permitted to enroll for one semester of graduate coursework (only after degree posted transcripts have been received) while completing all other general application procedure requirements. Applicants for the MS with a major in criminal justice must submit the following documentation to Graduate Admissions, Jacksonville State University, 700 Pelham Road North, Jacksonville, Alabama 36265-1602, to be considered for admission:

1. Completed JSU Graduate application for admission.

2. Non-refundable $35.00 application processing fee.

3. Official transcripts from all colleges/universities with degrees posted.  (Students who have previously attended JSU do not need to request a transcript from the university.)

4. Three Graduate Reference Forms completed by individuals who can provide qualitative assessment of the applicant's potential for success in graduate coursework.  Reference forms will be submitted electronically.  Instructions for submission will be sent through email to the applicant upon submission of the online graduate application.

5. International student applicants must see the International Student Applicants section of the graduate catalog for other application and enrollment requirements. 

Minimum Requirements for the Degree

All students in the Master of Science with a major in Criminal Justice degree program are required to complete 30 hours, including 15 hours in CJ 500, 501, 502, 505, and 521.

Non-Thesis Option: Total of 30 semester hours. Fifteen hours of required criminal justice courses and 15 hours of electives, 12 of which may be taken in a related field approved by the Criminal Justice Graduate Director, or the Head of the Department of Criminal Justice & Forensic Investigation. Students must satisfactorily complete a comprehensive written examination, which may be taken after completion of the required 15 hours in criminal justice.

Thesis Option: Total of 30 semester hours. Fifteen hours of required criminal justice courses, nine hours of criminal justice electives, and six hours of Thesis (CJ 599). Prior to submission to Graduate Studies, the student must satisfactorily defend the thesis.

A minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0 is required in all criminal justice graduate work.

Criminal Justice Courses (CJ)

500. Contemporary Criminal Justice Issues (3). System-wide issues facing the criminal justice system and its various subsystems.

501. Applied Data Analysis for Criminal Justice (3). Emphasis on the analysis of original and secondary criminal justice data.

502. Research Methods in Criminal Justice (3). Social research methods and their application to administration of justice; the role of social research in the analysis, interpretation, and clarification of problems in the criminal justice system. (CJ 502 is cross listed with PSC 502, and only one course may be counted for credit.)

503. Law Enforcement (3). Trends in police procedures, problems, and practices; current issues in law enforcement.

504. Comparative Criminal Justice (3). Comparative study of the administration, organization, objectives, and principal functions of the U.S. criminal justice systems with those in selected foreign countries.

505. Criminal Justice Administration (3). Analysis of organizational features, functions, problems, and issues confronting criminal justice setting managers and administrators.

506. Juvenile Justice (3). Assessment of policies and practices of agencies involved in processing juvenile offenders through the juvenile justice system.

507. Legal Issues (3). In-depth study of contemporary legal issues faced by criminal justice professionals with emphasis on constitutional problems and the judicial review of administrative decisions made by criminal justice organizations.

508. Corrections (3). Theory and practice of contemporary correctional systems, and current issues in corrections.

509. Criminal Justice Planning and Evaluation (3). A study of planning and evaluation as
applied in criminal justice agencies for program development, and the preparation of grant proposals.

512. Directed Study in Criminal Justice (3) (3). (Grade of Pass or Fail only.) Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and approval of graduate coordinator or the department head. Preparation, completion, and submission of an acceptable individual project. May be taken for a total of six credit hours.

515. Applied Ethics (3). Application of ethical theories and systems to practical ethical problems and dilemmas encountered in criminal justice practices and professions.

516. Forensic Investigation (3). Provinces of the court and jury - burden of proof, probability and documentary and physical evidence; expert witness and preparation of scientific exhibits for court.

521. Criminological Theory (3). Analysis of historical and contemporary theories and analytical models of crime causation with emphasis on classical, positivist, social defense, and critical schools of thought.

523. Victimology (3). Comprehensive study of victimization including victim-precipitated crimes; analysis of contemporary victim compensation and victim restitution programs.

525. International Criminality and National Security (3). International and transnational crime and terrorism and the problems they pose for the criminal justice system; prevention and control of terrorist activities and transnational crime.

526. Special Topics in Criminal Justice (3) (3). An examination of contemporary issues in criminal and juvenile justice. Topics may vary. May be taken for a total of six credit hours.

527. Criminal Behavior and Personality (3). A study of the typologies of delinquent and criminal behavior from behavioral and psychological perspectives with particular focus on clinical behaviors frequently associated with delinquents and criminals.

528. Correctional Counseling (3). The study and practical application of effective correctional counseling and treatment methodologies for youthful and adult offenders.

598. Directed Reading (3) (3). (Grade of Pass or Fail only.) Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and approval of the graduate coordinator or department head. Selected topics appropriate to student's course of study as determined by faculty adviser. May be taken for a total of six credit hours.

599. Thesis (3) (3). (Grade of Pass or Fail only.) Prerequisite: Approval of Application for Thesis Option. See "Thesis Options and Procedures" in the Graduate Catalog.