Master of Science in Criminal Justice

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice will expand and increase individual competency, develop and mature thought processes, aid in gaining insights into professional leadership and knowledge, permit an exchange between students and faculty, and further the spirit of research and scholarship to enhance professional and personal development. The curriculum is designed to offer a balance of theory and practical application that will prove to be challenging to students and useful in the field. The M.S. in Criminal Justice provides the requisite knowledge and opportunity for individuals: to be competitive for administrative positions in the courts, corrections, law enforcement, security, probation, and parole; and to fill research positions in criminal justice agencies. It also allows one to pursue an advanced degree (Ph.D.) and to fill community/technical college teaching positions within criminal justice.


The Master of Science in Criminal Justice program benefits professionals with bachelor's degrees in related fields. The program is in an asynchronous online format with a total of 36 credit hours.  Most online courses are eight weeks to complete.

Core Courses (12 Credits)

CRMJ 501 Criminal Justice Systems

CRMJ 502 Advanced Criminological Theory

HSSC 506 Statistical Analysis

CRMJ 508 Advanced Research Methods in Criminal Justice

Professional Courses (15 Credits)

CRMJ 510 Advanced Seminar in Juvenile Delinquency

CRMJ 517 Cybercrime

CRMJ 519 Managing Criminal Justice Organizations 

CRMJ 520 Issues in Contemporary Law Enforcement

CRMJ 521 Terrorism and Homeland Security

Electives: (3 Credits)

CRMJ 515 Communication and Media in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security

GEOG 520 Geographic Information Systems

Non-Thesis Track Option: (6 Credits)

CRMJ 609 Criminal Justice Policy

CRMJ 610 Public Policy Portfolio 

Comprehensive Exam:
Each student in the Non-Thesis track must complete a policy paper (which would include a separate executive summary) to satisfy the comprehensive requirement. Each student must complete the general M.S. comprehensive examination, which tests students’ general knowledge of major philosophical, scientific, theoretical, and policy issues related to criminal justice. Students selecting this option would be required to choose one of three available topics. The Non-Thesis comprehensive exam is given once during the fall semester and once during the spring semester and should be taken during the last semester of coursework. Students who fail the exam will be permitted to retake it one time.


Thesis Track Option: (6 Credits)

CRMJ 611/612 Master’s Thesis 

Comprehensive Exam: Each student in the Thesis track must successfully satisfy the comprehensive requirement by orally defending their thesis proposal typically the first three chapters before their thesis examination committee (2 faculty members).  Successful completion of the thesis will require an oral defense of the completed thesis before the student’s thesis examination committee (2 faculty members).


Earning your master's in criminal justice can help you develop leadership skills to manage teams and make decisions with your specialized knowledge. It will enable you to do the following: 

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the design, structure, and critical functions of the U.S. Criminal Justice system.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of historical and contemporary trends in crime in the United States.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of significant issues, both domestic and international, facing criminal justice systems.
  • Display a comparative understanding of major criminological theories and their strengths and weaknesses in explaining public policy.  
  • Collect research data, conduct original research and analysis, using criminal investigation technologies, and apply findings to existing crime-related problems; and communicate professionally, both orally and in writing, their ideas and disciplinary research work.             


Admissions Criteria

 Proof of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher in an undergraduate program.

  • All official transcripts from both undergraduate and graduate institutions. 
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, for international students whose native language is not English. 
  • A 300 – 500  personal statement describing accomplishments and career goals.
  • A current resume.
  • Two letters of recommendation from former professors/ instructors or professionals qualified to comment on the applicant’s graduate study potential. 



Mr. Mark Roberts
Center for Professional & Continuing Studies
Phone: 803-535-5573

Claflin Academic Catalog

Courses & Requirements

View the academic catalog to see all courses and requirements.

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