Criminal Justice

Master of Science in Criminal Justice Online Program

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice program has been designed for working professionals or practitioners who desire to improve their current level of proficiency or develop enhanced capabilities to become more marketable in today's criminal justice workforce. Students completing the program will accomplish the following learner outcomes:

  • Demonstrate effective written skills through completion of written assignments and online interaction with peers and faculty.
  • Demonstrate proficiency and understanding of the technology and skills needed for effective collaboration in contemporary criminal justice systems.
  • Identify and discuss the essential theoretical and practical concepts used in the criminal justice system.
  • Interpret and analyze scholarly research related to the criminal justice field and apply it to real world issues and contemporary practice.
  • Understand and articulate the role of critical stakeholders in the criminal justice system and how these roles and interactions influence desired outcomes in criminal justice systems.
  • Discuss and describe the role and function of criminal justice managers in contemporary criminal justice agencies.
  • Demonstrate and articulate understanding of a range of special topics related to existing criminal justice systems and how they influence the effective administration of justice.
  • Discuss the importance of community collaboration and partnerships in achieving positive criminal justice system outcomes.
  • Demonstrate cognitive skills and capabilities when analyzing historical or current problems related to the criminal justice field.

Program Design

The program is designed to be completed using a synchronous online format. All of the coursework will be completed online using a learning management system.

The curriculum is tailored to provide a balance of theoretical, practical, and analytical instruction and experience which is intended to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities that confront leaders and decision makers in contemporary criminal justice organizations. The program is structured so that students will complete three four-credit hours courses each quarter for four consecutive quarters which would allow students to satisfy degree requirements in one year. Local criminal justice professionals provided input and constructive feedback on program curriculum which helped to shape the design, focus, and sequencing of courses.

The program requires successful completion of 48 quarter credit hours and is designed to be delivered in four consecutive quarters over a period of 1 year (12 months). For each quarter credit hour assigned to a course, students should expect 10 hours of classroom or direct faculty instruction, which will occur in an electronic environment, and a minimum of 20 hours of out-of-class student work on their own. Classroom instruction may include, but is not limited to, lectures, discussions, forums, chat sessions, blogs, presentations, projects, online group interaction, and other activities. Out-of-class work may include, but is not limited to, study and reflection, completion of assignments, reading and review of assigned materials, completion of necessary research, group meetings for study or project completion, and completion of tutorials or simulations.

In order to provide flexibility and to accommodate the schedules of working professionals, all of the coursework will be completed in a synchronous online format using a learning management system. Course materials and assignments will emphasize collaboration, critical thinking, and student accountability.

Admission Requirements

Applicants interested in this program are required to meet individually, either in person or on the telephone, with an admissions representative and program faculty to discuss the program and all requirements. Applicants must provide a completed South College application for admission and a programmatic application. Those selected for admission will meet the following criteria:

  • Evidence of successful completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education;
  • Evidence of a cumulative 2.5 undergraduate grade point average;
  • Evidence of completion of the GRE; and
  • Submission of the Personal Statement.

For applicants who are unable to meet the aforementioned requirements of admission, conditional admission is an option. Students who are admitted conditionally may take graduate Criminal Justice courses and, if they attain a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their first three (3) graduate Criminal Justice courses, be admitted to the program. Any courses successfully completed by a conditionally admitted student satisfy the course requirements for graduation, as if the student was initially admitted in good standing. The faculty of the School of Legal Studies reserves the right to evaluate each application for conditional admission on a case-by-case basis. The Admissions Committee takes many factors into consideration, including but not limited to:

  • Grade point average in the courses constituting the core of the applicant's undergraduate major;
  • Amount of time that has transpired between the applicant's undergraduate degree completion and application to South College;
  • Applicant's work experience and accomplishments in their profession;
  • Grade point average in graduate work at other accredited academic institutions;

Additional Requirements

South College provides computer and Internet access to staff, faculty, and students while on-campus. Online students are required to secure their own access in their personal environments. Developing computer skills is critical to the success of students in the program and in practice. Though not a requirement for admission, students are expected to possess computer skills prior to matriculation.

Computer Requirements

Operating System Microsoft Vista SP2 or Microsoft Windows 7
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo (or Better)
Display 15.4 inch (or Larger)
Ram 2.0 GB (or More)
Hard Drive 250 GB (or Larger)
CD/DVD Drive Combo Drive (DVD-ROM + CD_R/W)

Cable:  Integrated 10/100 Network Card
Wireless:  802.11 b/g/n

Carrying Case Quality case suggested for your protection
Warranty 3 Year Limited Warranty with Next Business Day On-Site Service is Suggested
Flash Drive 4GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive
Software: Microsoft Office 2007 or Microsoft Office 2010
Current Anti-Virus Software
Adobe Acrobat 9.0 Reader

Students are required to purchase a student version of SPSS (computer program used for statistical analysis) at the beginning of the program at a cost of approximately $90.00.



Consumer Information
* Amounts for tuition, fees, books, and supplies are subject to change. The information included here is estimated for a full-time student. *

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