Degrees and Certificates

Master of Criminal Justice

Graduate Program

Dr. Phyllis Berry, Graduate Program Director
Criminal Justice Department
Benton Hall, Room 201 B
1700 SW College Ave
Topeka, KS 66621
(785) 670-2057
phyllis.berry@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 StatementEducation for excellence in criminal justice practice is the guiding mission of the Department of Criminal Justice at Washburn University. The faculty who teach in the MCJ degree program are committed to providing high quality education that will prepare students to provide criminal justice services that are ethical, impartial, and effective in a rapidly changing and increasingly diverse society.

Expected Student Learning Outcomes

Upon Completion of the MCJ program, student learners should generally posses:

  • An advanced understanding of administrative principles and practices found in criminal justice agencies.
  • An advanced knowledge of theories relating to crime causation and criminality.
  • In-depth knowledge of interdisciplinary nature of the criminal justice system.
  • Knowledge of contemporary technologies used to manage criminal justice system.
  • Skills that enable the learner to conduct and evaluate criminal justice related research.
  • Advanced problem-solving skills that enable the learner to identify, analyze, and solve criminal justice operational problems that affect the delivery of criminal justice related services.
  • Advanced reading, writing, and verbal communication 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.

General Requirements For Admission

Applicants must submit an official transcript that shows they have earned a Bachelor Degree from an accredited four-year college or university. Washburn graduates are not required to submit transcripts of their Washburn undergraduate course work, but a Bachelor Degree must be posted on their transcript before they can be admitted to the MCJ program.

  • Applicants must complete and submit an Application for Formal Admission to Washburn University. In addition, the Application for Admission to the MCJ program must be completed and submitted to the Criminal Justice Office.
  • Applicants must have all official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work sent directly to the Washburn Admissions office from the institution(s) where the credit was earned, and the applicant must send copies of the official transcripts to the Master of Criminal Justice Program Coordinator in the Department of Criminal Justice Office. NOTE: If all the applicant’s undergraduate course work was completed at Washburn, he/she is not required to submit a transcript.
  • Applicants must have three persons, who are in position to attest to the applicant’s academic abilities and potential for graduate study, complete the three reference forms attached to the program application. References from former professors are preferred, but must not be from the MCJ coordinator, Criminal Justice Chairperson, or members of the Admissions Committee.
  • Applicants must submit a personal biographical statement explaining, (a) personal philosophy of the criminal justice system and (b) reasons for entering the program.
  • If applicable, applicant's scores from the GRE must be attached to the application or sent to the Graduate Program Coordinator.
  • A $35 non-fundable application fee is required at the time of application and should accompany the completed Application for Admission form. The check should be made out to Washburn University with the notation at the bottom of the check of MCJ Application Fee.
  • Obtain the recommendation of the Criminal Justice Graduate Admissions and Retention Committee and the Graduate Program Coordinator.

NOTE: All of the information/materials in 1 through 7 must be submitted to the Graduate Program Director before applicants can be considered for admission.

APPLICATION DEADLINES: Students who want to be admitted for the Fall Semester must have all application materials submitted by April 1st. For admission for the Spring Semester, all application materials must be submitted by November 1st.

Admission Level

Full-Standing

To be considered for "full-standing" admission, applicants must have achieved a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better in their bachelors degree course work from an accredited institution, and must have met all the other general requirements for admission.

Probationary

Applicants who have not achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in their undergraduate program, and do not earn the above minimum test scores on the GRE, may be considered for "probationary” admission.  Applicants admitted on a probationary basis will not be permitted to enroll in and complete more than a total of 12 semester hours of graduate course work, and must maintain a 3.0 GPA in that 12 hours to be considered for full-standing admission.  Probationary students who exceed this 12-hour limit will be administratively withdrawn. The program is not obligated to admit any applicants to probationary status, and is not obligated to admit any probationary students to full-standing status.

Special Student Status

Graduating seniors who are criminal justice majors in the last semester of their undergraduate program and have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0, may enroll in six semester hours of MCJ course work as a “special” student.  These hours must be in addition to the hours required for completion of the bachelor degree.  The six hours may be used toward completion of the MCJ degree if the student is admitted to the MCJ graduate degree program, and if the student earned at least a 3.0 GPA in the six hours of MCJ course work.

Notification 

When a decision has been made regarding your application for study in the Master of Criminal Justice Program, you will receive a letter from the Criminal Justice Graduate Program Coordinator which indicates your admission status. If admitted, you will be instructed to contact the department for advising purposes. NOTE: Notification from the Admissions office that all transcripts have been received and that you have admitted to Washburn does not necessarily mean that you have been admitted to the MCJ program.

Transfer Of Academic Credit  [SUBHEADING]

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 

The Washburn Master of Criminal Justice Program does not award college credit for life experience.

Program Curriculum  

Effective under the 2009-2010 University Catalog, students may select one of the two program options outlined below.

Degree Requirements

Complete all required course work with no less than a 3.0 (“B”) cumulative grade point average.

  1. Obtain no more than two “C” grades in the plan of study.
  2. Maintain continuous enrollment each regular semester (fall & spring). A minimum of one (1) semester hour of approved graduate work will constitute continuous enrollment.
  3. Complete all program requirements within seven (7) years of the date of entry into the MCJ degree program.

 

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 18  hours in the core curriculum, 21 hours of elective and courses, and 3 hours of capstone.

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 500 Seminar in Criminal Justice Systems

CJ 500 Seminar in Criminal Justice Systems

CJ 520 Criminal Justice Research

CJ 520 Criminal Justice Research

CJ 530 Issues in Criminal Procedure

CJ 530 Issues in Criminal Procedure

CJ 610 Corrections in the United States

CJ 610 Corrections in the United States

CJ 620 The Role of Law Enforcement in U.S.

CJ 620 The Role of Law Enforcement in 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 510 Seminar in CJ Organization & Mgmt

CJ 510 Seminar in CJ Organization & Mgmt

CJ 540 Ethics in Crimina l Justice Practice

CJ 540 Ethics in Criminal Justice Practice

CJ 585 Special Topics in Criminal Justice

CJ 585 Special Topics in Criminal Justice

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 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 680 Seminar in Staff Development

CJ 680 Seminar in Staff Development

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

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 510 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 520 Criminal Justice Research (3)

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. Those students who have chosen the Thesis option will find it valuable as will students choosing to enter the public policy analysis field. Prerequisite: Graduate status or permission of the instructor for senior level undergraduates.

CJ 530 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 540 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 the individual 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 585 Research in Special Topics in Criminal Justice (3)

This course offers an opportunity for students, with faculty direction, to explore in depth topics of contemporary interest that are not generally covered in the standard courses.

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 undergraduates.

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 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 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 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 bibliography. Prerequisites: 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 [INTERNAL LINK: 2.9 Tuition and Financial Aid].