MS in Criminal Justice Administration

Please Note: As of Fall 2016, we will no longer be accepting applications for the MS in Criminal Justice Administration program. We will continue to teach out the program for those students currently enrolled.

In response to modern-day criminal activity, the field of Criminal Justice is evolving. If you want to advance your career, you will need an education that keeps up. Develop the skills you need to become an effective leader and administrator in law enforcement, corrections, or the courts.

By taking a combination of criminal justice and business courses you will develop the leadership skills needed in today’s criminal justice organizations. Designed to be flexible for working professionals, courses are offered completely online or you can take a combination of online, face-to-face and hybrid format classes.

For current PSU undergraduate students there is a 5th year option that allows you to complete this master’s program in just one year. This option is also available to those currently working in the criminal justice field who wish to complete their master’s degree at an accelerated pace.

Curriculum Requirements

  • Criminal Justice Core Component – 18 credits
  • 3
    Criminological theory is used to describe and explain criminal as well as law abiding behavior. This course examines the role and utility of criminological theory as a foundation for criminal justice policy, programmatic decisions, and crime prevention strategies. Applications of criminological theory are discussed within the context of a historical understanding of the trajectory of the development and refinement of selected perspectives on crime.
  • 3
    Examines the forms and functions of correctional philosophies, institutions, and programs. Topics include the structure and functions of institutional corrections, community corrections, and intermediate sanctions. Special emphasis is placed on the process of offender reintegration to the community.
  • 3
    Examines moral dilemmas manifest in modern criminal justice. Theoretical models of ethical reasoning, to include but not limited to utilitarianism, deontology, virtue, and peacemaking, are used to analyze professional discretion and the administration of justice. Special attention is paid to the tension between crime control and due process.
  • 3
    This course provides a survey of the ways criminal justice practitioners use data and scientific methods to inform their practice. Emphasis is placed on practical applications used in policing, corrections and the courts. Topics include crime analysis, applied research, evaluation research, performance measurement and statistical reporting. Prerequisite: Undergraduate research methods and introductory statistics courses or demonstrated competency in social science research methods and statistics.
  • 3
    This course focuses on the management of police agencies, some of the topics will include (but not limited to) labor relations, community relations, personnel management, fiscal administration, and the integration of internal and external operations. While the primary focus is on law-enforcement these techniques can be utilized in various criminal justice agencies. More specifically the course examines the role of the successful professional manager in administration by covering selected topics in management theory; organizational culture; leadership styles; problem-solving; technology; recruitment, training and education. In addition, issues in ethics; diversity; stress, and deviance are examined within the context of these topics to insure a well rounded experience. The course will utilize a theoretical, philosophical and practical approach to policing in modern society. There is an emphasis on police personnel and relationships with a diverse community by examining the complexity of encounters between police officers and members of racial and ethnic minority groups; the history of police minority relations, with an ancillary look at difficulties and consequences of attracting and hiring minority and women police officers.
  • 3
    This course will focus on the role and structure of prosecution, public defense, and the courts in the U.S. system of jurisprudence. The course will provide an intensive review of landmark Supreme Court decisions that interpret the Constitutional guarantees and limit government actions. The course will also help develop a foundation for understanding basic courtroom advocacy for the lay practitioner.
  • Business Core Component – 9 credits
  • 3
    A review of theory and research findings in the field of organizational behavior, with emphasis on applications by practicing managers. Topics to be covered include perception, motivation, leadership, communication, group dynamics, conflict management and organization theory. Pedagogical techniques include case analysis, presentations, role plays and other experiential activities. Prerequisite: Common Professional Component (CPC) competencies in Business Ethics, Business Policies, and Legal Environment.
  • 3
    Budgetary accounting and cost accounting including profit planning and control systems, budget process, cost systems, and their managerial applications. Prerequisite: Common Professional Component (CPC) competency in Accounting.
  • 3
    This course provides the application of learning theories and instructional development to the education and training of employees. Topics include instructional design, strategy, technology and the implementation, evaluation and management of training in an organizational environment.
  • Capstone Experience
  • 6
    CJ 5950 Thesis (6 credits minimum)
    Students will develop and present a thesis research proposal, conduct research, write a thesis and defend the research before a faculty committee. Signature of the faculty supervisor and the Criminal Justice Administration Graduate Program Coordinator is required. Once completed candidates are expected to present their final products to their PSU faculty members and/or peers. Prerequisite: 15 graduate credits or more in Criminal Justice Administration and permission of instructor required. Pass/No Pass.
  • – OR –
  • Elective Component (choose 6 credits from the following)
  • 3
    Elective (approved by advisor)
  • 3
    Elective (approved by advisor)
  • 3
    Projects undertaken will be defined by students and subject to approval by supervising faculty member. Completion of an applied project allows students to apply knowledge learned in previous coursework to a real life situation, workplace or on-the-job situation. The total number of credits earned must be approved by the supervising faculty member and advisor. Once completed candidates are expected to present their final products to their adviser and/or PSU faculty members. Prerequisite: 15 graduate credits or more in Criminal Justice Administration and permission of instructor required.
  • Total for MS in Criminal Justice Administration – 33 credits

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