M.A. in Criminal Justice

CRJU Graduate Handbook

Program Description

The Master of Arts in criminal justice program prepares graduates for positions of responsibility in the criminal justice system and related areas, facilitates the professional and intellectual development of in-service students, and provides foundation work for those planning careers in research or teaching.  The curriculum provides a distinctive melding of professionally structured knowledge and the ethical imperatives of criminal justice in a constitutional democracy.  Attention is centered on:

  • dissemination and analysis of behavioral science knowledge pertaining to criminal justice;
  • understanding of police, courts, corrections, prosecution agencies, and criminal-legal profession as integral components of criminal justice system;
  • leadership and managerial skills appropriate for service in higher echelons of the criminal justice structure;
  • philosophy of criminal justice, emphasizing the importance of individual rights and humane treatment within the structure of the U.S. legal tradition; and,
  • knowledge of research and research applications needed to understand and improve administration of justice.

For information regarding graduate study see the UALR Graduate School Page.

Requirements for Admission

  • baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 (4.0 scale)
  • score of at least 50 on the Miller Analogies Test or 900 on the Graduate Record Examination verbal and quantitative sections
  • Transfer Credit: Up to six hours of credit may be transferred into the program, with a limit of 12 hours under unusual circumstances.

General Requirements

The criminal justice degree requires 36 hours, including core hours and a written thesis or portfolio with oral defense. Before enrolling in graduate classes, students must consult with the program coordinator to develop a program of study.

The thesis, requires research and analysis of a topic in the field.  It must demonstrate advanced scholarship, appropriate design, and skills of written expression.  A total of six credit hours Criminal Justice 8303 Thesis and Criminal Justice 8301 Thesis Preparation must be completed.

Portfolio consists of a minimum of three pieces of written work. The pieces are selected in consultation with the chair of the student’s examining committee.

Electives may be taken from criminal justice or from education, gerontology, history, interpersonal and organizational communication, journalism, psychology, public administration, social work, and technical and expository writing.

Courses with grades B or better may not be repeated; grades below C are not accepted in the minimum hours requirement; and courses cannot be dropped from the study plan because of low grades.  Conditional students must earn grades of at least B in the first 12 hours and may not receive a grade of (I) incomplete.

Suggested Degree Plan

Fall First Year
CRJU 7301 Pro-seminar
CRJU 7309 Crim Theory
CRJU Elective

Spring First Year
CRJU 7391 Social Stat
CRJU 7340 Corrections
CRJU 7322 Foundations of Policing

Summer First Year
CRJU Criminal Law

Fall Second Year
CRJU 7370 Juvenile Delinquency Problems
CRJU 7392 Research Methods
CRJU Elective

Spring Second Year
CRJU Elective
CRJU 8301 Thesis Preparation
CRJU 8303 Thesis

Requirements for Graduation

  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on an approved program of study as outlined above
  • Successfully complete a written thesis or portfolio with oral defense
  • Students who do not attain a 3.0 GPA within the required hours may complete no more than six additional hours to achieve the GPA.

Graduate Assistantships
  A limited number of graduate assistantships are available. Contact the program coordinator for information.