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Criminal Justice MS

Program overview

The master of science degree in criminal justice emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to urban studies with a focus on public safety. The program stresses training in policy analysis and practice, particularly as it is relevant to community and urban issues.

The program builds on a foundation of locally relevant policy research by providing students with the critical skills to carry out such work and the experience to assure success in employment or in pursuit of further graduate studies. The program will provide students with a strong foundation in criminological, criminal justice theory, and social scientific research skills, thus enabling graduates to have successful careers in the policy analysis arena or to be prepared to pursue advanced study beyond the master's degree.


A minimum of 30 semester credit hours is required for completion of the MS in criminal justice.

Students applying to the program should have a strong undergraduate foundation in criminology and research methods. Students that do not possess these skills may be required to complete additional undergraduate course work (e.g., Criminology, Theories of Crime, and Research Methods) or demonstrate that they have equivalent skills for completion of the degree.

Criminal justice, MS degree, typical course sequence

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
CRIM-700 Professional Seminar In Criminal Justice Theory 3
CRIM-701 Statistics 3
CRIM-702 Professional Seminar in Research Methods 3
CRIM-703 Advanced Criminology 3
CRIM-704 Crime, Justice and Community 3
CRIM-705 Interventions and Change in Criminal Justice 3
  Electives 6
CRIM-800 Thesis in Criminal Justice 6
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in criminal justice, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university,
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Submit two writing samples, one of which is a personal statement,
  • Complete a personal interview,
  • Have completed a statistics course (students may be required to take a data analysis or a statistics course if not taken previously),
  • Submit two letters of recommendation (letters should be from faculty familiar with the applicant's academic work),
  • Submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE),
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), and
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum scores of 570 (paper-based) or 88 (Internet-based) are required.

Career Outcomes

Job Titles

Graduates of the program are most likely to hold positions such as crime analyst, policy analyst and policy researcher for government and law enforcement agencies on local, state, and national levels.

Recent Employers

City of Rochester, Kodak, Pinkerton Security, National Park Service, Monroe County Sheriff, US Immigration & Naturalization, Monroe County Sheriff, Rochester Police Department, District Attorney’s Office, US Customs and Border Patrol, US Secret Service

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