Degrees and Certificates

Master of Criminal Justice

Masters of Criminal Justice Graduate Program

Dr. Patricia Dahl, Graduate Program Director
Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Department
Benton Hall, Room 201 B
1700 SW College Ave
Topeka, KS 66621
(785) 670-2075
patricia.dahl@washburn.edu

In September 2007, Washburn University's MCJ Program became the first graduate program in the country to be certified under the new Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) National Certification Standards.

Mission Statement

The Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) Degree is designed to meet the needs of criminal justice professionals and pre-professionals who desire to enhance their knowledge, skills, and talents in the field of criminal justice administration. The MCJ degree emphasizes organizational operations and management principles and practices within criminal justice related agencies. Courses are offered on campus weekdays, evenings, and weekends as well as on-line.

Expected Student Learning Outcomes

Master of Criminal Justice students, upon graduation, are expected to have:

  • Formulated administrative principles and practices found in criminal justice agencies;
  • Analyzed theories relating to crime causation and criminality;
  • Summarized the interdisciplinary nature of the criminal justice system;
  • Interpreted contemporary technologies used to manage criminal justice information.
  • Acquired skills that enable the learner to conduct criminal justice related research;
  • Demonstrated advanced problem-solving skills that allow the learner to identify, analyze, and solve criminal justice operational problems that affect the delivery of criminal justice related services; and
  • Mastered advanced reading, writing, and verbal communications skills.

Master Of Criminal Justice Degree Program

 

Program Description 

The Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) Degree Program at Washburn University was established in the Fall semester of 1996, and is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This graduate degree program is designed to meet the needs of criminal justice professionals and pre-professionals who desire to enhance their knowledge, skills, and talents in the field of criminal justice. For the professional currently employed in the field, advanced knowledge and skills acquired in the program can enhance opportunities for career advancement. The degree program can prepare the pre-professional graduate for a variety of criminal justice positions. The MCJ degree program can also prepare students for teaching positions in community colleges and training academies, and for admission to doctoral programs in criminal justice related fields. Course work emphasizes the application of theory and research to contemporary practices in law enforcement, courts, and corrections administration. Washburn University is located in the state capital of Kansas, within minutes of several state, federal, and local criminal justice agencies. Course scheduling and delivery methods are flexible and designed to meet the scheduling needs of in-service and pre-service students. During the regular fall and spring semesters, courses are offered during daytime and evening hours, on-line, and on weekends. Some courses are offered during the summer semesters.

Applications

Applications for admission and accompanying formsbcan be obtained from the Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies at Washburn University or downloaded at www.washburn.edu/mcj.  Correspondence regarding admission should be addressed as follows:

Master of Criminal Justice Admissions

Department of Criminal Justice

Washburn University

1700 SW College Avenue

Topeka, Kansas 66621

((785) 670-1411

Application Fee

A $35 non-refundable fee must be submitted with the Application for Admission form. The check should be made out to Washburn University with the notation at the

bottom of the check for MCJ Application Fee.

General Requirements for Admission:

1. Complete the University Graduate Admission application.

2. Complete and submit the Graduate Admission application to the Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Department.

3. Submit official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work to the Registrar’s Office

4.  Applicants for unconditional admission must have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better in the last two years (60 hours) of college course work from accredited institutions.

5. Applicants who do not have a 3.0 GPA must submit evidence to the Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Department that they have achieved a cumulative score of 290 on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE).

6. Applicants must submit a personal statement explaining (a) personal philosophy of the criminal justice system and (b) reasons for entering the program.

7. Applicants must submit a completed Program of Courses form for the appropriate degree option indicating any transfer credit to be applied to the degree.

8.  Applicants must obtain the recommendation of the Graduate Program Director/Advisor and the Graduate Admissions and Retention Committee.

Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of Washburn University and the Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Department to assure equal educational and employment opportunity to qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, marital or parental status, or sexual orientation

Transfer of Academic Credits

Students who are admitted as a “full-standing” student may transfer a maximum of 6 semester hours of relevant graduate course work from another university or another Washburn department. These will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The applicant must have received a grade of “B” or better in the course(s) being considered for transfer.

Life Experience

Under no circumstances will academic credit be awarded for life experience.

Non-Degree Students

Non-degree seeking students wishing to enroll in graduate criminal justice courses may do so with permission of the Department Chair.

Academic Advising

Upon admission to the Master of Criminal Justice program, all students will participate in at least one (1) student orientation session. Likewise, all students will be advised by the graduate program coordinator, who will assist students with selecting and scheduling courses.

Students must see the graduate program coordinator for advising prior to enrollment.

Master of Criminal Justice Degree Requirements:

1. Complete all required coursework while maintaining no less than a “B” (3.0) average.

2. No more than two grades of "C" in the plan of study.

3. Maintain continuous enrollment each regular semester (fall and spring). A minimum of ONE (1) semester hour of graduate work will constitute continuous enrollments.

4. Complete all program requirements within seven (7) years of the date of entry into the MCJ degree program.

Thesis Option:

The completion of 36 hours of course work, which includes CJ 699 Thesis.

Non-Thesis Option:

The completion of 42 hours of course work, which includes CJ 692 Capstone.

Thesis  Option (36 hours)

Non-Thesis Option (42 hours)

Students pursuing the Thesis option must complete 21 hours in the core curriculum, 9 hours of elective courses, and 6 hours of thesis.

Students pursuing the Capstone option must complete 21 hours in the core curriculum (including CJ693 Capstone course), 21 hours of elective and courses.

All courses are 3 hours each except where noted.

All courses are 3 hours each except where noted.

Core   (21 hours)

Core   (18 hours)

CJ 600 Seminar in Criminal Justice Systems

CJ 600 Seminar in Criminal Justice Systems

CJ 601 Seminar to Masters of Criminal Justice Program

CJ 601 Seminar to Masters of Criminal Justice Program

CJ 602 Criminal Justice Research

CJ 602 Criminal Justice Research

CJ 603 Issues in Criminal Procedure

CJ 603  Issues in Criminal Procedure

CJ 610 Corrections in the United States OR CJ 620 The Role of Law Enforcement in the U.S.

CJ 610 Corrections in the United States OR CJ 620 The Role of Law Enforcement in the U.S.

CJ 625 Seminar in Criminological Theory

CJ 625 Seminar in Criminological Theory

CJ 692 Analytical Research and Statistics

Electives   (9 hours)  

Electives   (21 hours)

CJ 604 Seminar in CJ Organization & Mgmt

CJ 604 Seminar in CJ Organization & Mgmt

CJ 605 Ethics in Crimina l Justice Practice

CJ 605 Ethics in Criminal Justice Practice

CJ 630 Seminar in Correctional Admin.

CJ 630 Seminar in Correctional Admin.

CJ 635 Organized and White Collar Crime

CJ 635 Organized and White Collar Crime

CJ 640 Seminar in Legal Issues in L.E.

CJ 640 Seminar in Legal Issues in L.E.

CJ 645 Comparative Criminal Justice   

CJ 645 Comparative Criminal Justice   

CJ 650 Seminar in Community Corrections

CJ 650 Seminar in Community Corrections

CJ 655 Seminar in Juvenile  Justice & Delinquency

CJ 655 Seminar in Juvenile Justice & Delinquency

CJ 660 Seminar in Operational & Staff Planning

CJ 660 Seminar in Operational & Staff Planning

CJ 670 Seminar in Correctional Law

CJ 670 Seminar in Correctional Law

CJ 675 Problems and Practices in Judicial Admin

CJ 675 Problems and Practices in Judicial Admin

CJ 680 Seminar in Staff Development

CJ 680 Seminar in Staff Development

CJ 685 Special Topics in Criminal Justice

CJ 685 Special Topics in Criminal Justice

CJ 690 Directed Readings (1-3 hours)

CJ 690 Directed Readings (1-3 hours)

 

CJ 692 Analytical Research and Statistics

Thesis   (6 hours)             

Capstone   (3 hours)

CJ 699 Criminal Justice Thesis  

CJ 693 Capstone

GRADUATE COURSES

NOTE: Enrollment in all graduate courses requires graduate status or permission of Instructor, Program Director or Department Chair.

CJ 600 Seminar in Criminal Justice Systems (3)

Professional graduate seminar designed to engage the first-semester criminal justice graduate student in the analysis of the array of issues in the process of justice administration. Exploration of the origins and significance of key issues influencing the rise and development of the criminal justice administrative theory and practice within the criminal justice system.  Prerequisite:  Graduate status or permission of the instructor for senior level undergraduate.

CJ 601 Seminar to the Masters of Criminal Justice Program (3)

This course will expose students to graduate level study expectations prior to or in conjunction with their first year in the MCJ program at Washburn University. Students will be exposed to or gain a better understanding of appropriate graduate level writing, such as research paper composition, citing sources, and avoiding plagiarism. Various activities relating to data gathering, such as resources provided by the University library and other University sources of information, will be reviewed. Students will also be introduced to the Criminal Justice faculty in this class as well as being encouraged to consider career path possibilities after earning a MCJ degree from Washburn University.

CJ 602 Criminal Justice Research (3)

The student will be able to develop and implement basic research designs and interpret findings. Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be examined. Instruction and application will focus upon criminal justice issues and the impact of criminal justice research upon the profession.  Prerequisite:  Graduate status or permission of the instructor for senior level undergraduates.

CJ 603 Issues in Criminal Procedure (3)

Current significant issues in criminal procedure will be addressed. Emphasis will be placed upon significance of recent judicial decisions to both enforcement and corrections. Additionally, the relationship between the judiciary and the other segments of the criminal justice system will be examined. Methods for conducting legal research will be examined:  Prerequisite:  Graduate status or permission of the instructor for senior level undergraduates.

CJ 604 Seminar in Criminal Justice Organization and Management (3)

Application of organizational, administrative and management principles in law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Course will examine issues in organizational structure, administration, problem solving, planning, and budgeting.  Prerequisite:  Graduate status or permission of the instructor for senior level undergraduate.

CJ 605 Ethics in Criminal Justice (3)

Examination of issues of professionalism and ethical behavior within the criminal justice profession. Key issues examined will include professional behavior of theindividual and the agency. Current topics, such as sexual harassment, accreditation, and maintenance of standards, and community relations will be significant topics of focus.  Prerequisite:  Graduate Status or permission of the instructor for senior level undergraduate.

CJ 610 Corrections in the United States (3)

A study of the policies which affect modern correctional agencies in the United States. Corrections will be examined from a historical prospective to provide a benchmark for the analysis of current and future trends.

CJ 620 The Role of Law Enforcement in the United States (3)

A study of the policies and human issues affecting law enforcement agencies in the United States. Law enforcement will be examined from a historical prospective with analysis of current activities and expected future trends.  Prerequisite:  Graduate Status or permission of the instructor for senior level undergraduate.

CJ 625 Seminar in Criminological Theory (3)

Theories of criminal justice are traced from the 1700’s through modern times. Theories of crime causation and criminal behavior will be discussed.

CJ 630 Correctional Administration (3)

The course will develop students’ capacity to develop and evaluate policies and procedures in all parts of the correctional administration arena. Judicial decisions which impact the legal status of the operation of correctional institutions and offender confinement will be examined.

CJ 635 Organized and White Collar Crime (3)

Examination of organized crime, white collar crimes, and gang activity in the United States. Focus will be on the historical development of these criminal patterns with an examination of current activities as well as proposed intervention theories.

CJ 640 Seminar in Legal Issues in Enforcement (3)

Current significant issues in enforcement administration will be addressed. Emphasis will be placed upon significance to federal, state, and local enforcement administrators, their agencies, and their communities.  Prerequisite: Graduate status or permission of the instructor for senior level undergraduate.

CJ 645 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (3)

Study of the criminal justice systems of four major countries. Each country’s different philosophical and practical approaches to criminal justice will be studied and compared. Field study will be utilized when possible.

CJ 650 Community Corrections (3)

The course will examine the traditional practices of probation and parole, as well as newer community methods. The major focus will be on the organization and integration of community-based programs into the modern criminal justice system.

CJ 655 Juvenile Justice & Delinquency (3)

A study of delinquency prevention, investigation of juvenile crime, disposition of offenders and juvenile courts.  The Seminar will include an examination of the roles

and interaction of juvenile agencies’ operations and the administrative challenges to them as well as a review of the due process considerations mandated by courts.

CJ 660 Seminar in Operational and Staff Planning (3)

Examination of the principles and practical application of operational and staff planning as applied to law enforcement agencies. Emphasis will be placed on the development and implementation of organizational goals and objectives, strategic, and tactical planning and operational needs assessment.  Prerequisite:  Graduate Status or permission of the instructor for senior level undergraduate.

CJ 670 Correctional Law (3)

An examination of correctional law as related to probation and parole, juvenile and adult institutions, local jails, legal liabilities, and legal research.

CJ 675 Problems & Practices in Judicial Administration (3)

Examination of the problems that face judicial administration and how those problems affect other elements of the criminal justice system.

CJ 680 Staff Development in Criminal Justice (3)

A study of the role of staff development in the management of human resources in criminal justice, and effective staff development methods and techniques. Emphasis will be placed on training and human resources development in criminal justice, organizationally determined outcomes, training needs assessment, performance standards, and assessment.

CJ 685 Special Topics in Criminal Justice (3)

Topics will vary from semester to semester and will be announced in advance. May be taken more than one semester for variable credit.  Prerequisite:  Consent from instructor.

CJ 690 Directed Readings in Criminal Justice (1-3)

This course offers an opportunity for students to explore topics of contemporary interest that are not covered in the standard course offerings.

CJ 692 Analytical Research and Statistics (3)

Statistical methods and computer applications are covered as they relate to survey research, agency evaluation, and content analysis. Qualitative methods are also taught, and include field methods, historical research, and legal bibliograpy.  Prerequisite:  successful completion of CJ 520 Research Methods.

CJ 693 Capstone Experience (3)

The course is designed to integrate and synthesize all coursework in the criminal justice graduate program and related areas so the student has a broad conceptual and practical understanding of the criminal justice career field.

CJ 699 Thesis (6)

May be directed by any member of the criminal justice graduate faculty who accepts responsibility for supervising the thesis. The thesis topic must be pre-approved by the faculty advisor who serves as the student’s graduate committee chair. The student normally conducts original empirical research which involves the collection and analysis of new data, or re-analyzing existing data to arrive at certain conclusions. The written Thesis report is submitted to the student’s Thesis Committee. An oral defense of the Thesis is required for graduation.

MCJ Frequently Asked Questions 

Who should pursue a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice?

The graduate degree program is designed to meet the needs of criminal justice professionals and pre-professionals who desire to enhance their knowledge, skills, and talents in the field of criminal justice. For the professional currently employed in the field, advanced knowledge and skills acquired in the program can enhance opportunities for career advancement. The degree program can prepare the pre-professional graduate for a variety of criminal justice positions. The MCJ degree programs can also prepare students for teaching positions in community colleges and training academics, and for admission to doctoral programs in criminal justice and related fields.

How long will it take to complete my master’s degree in Criminal Justice?

Most students plan to complete their degrees within 2 years. Students are considered full-time if they enroll in nine or more semester hours of graduate credit and half-time if they enroll in six to eight semester hours of graduate credit. All credit applied toward a master’s degree must be earned within a seven year period beginning with the first course counting toward the degree.

How will I know which catalog I will be under?

The catalog in effect at the time of admission to candidacy is the controlling catalog.

Can I take courses in the evening or on-line?

Virtually all of our graduate courses are offered either in the evening, on-line, or by weekend workshops.

How much does it cost?

Current tuition rates can be found on the Admissions Office's website