Degree Type: M.A.
CIP Code 43.0103
Major Code CRJ
Department Code CJP
Minimum Total Hours 33
Degree Website


The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Criminal Justice online program develops in qualified students the skills to apply principles, theories, and research in the field of criminal justice to “real world” issues.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the M.A. in Criminal Justice, the students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of classical and contemporary criminological theories.
  2. Critically assess current issues related to crime and criminal justice using sound research tools.
  3. Produce clear, concise, and convincing theoretically informed evidenced-based solutions to problems related to crime and the criminal justice system.
  4. Critically evaluate the extent and causes of crime.

Each of these learning outcomes will prepare graduates for careers within the criminal justice field and related industries.

Program Overview

The program consists of ten (10) graduate courses, 33 credits.

  • Five (5) core courses, which must be taken in sequence
  • Five (5) variable topics courses
  • For optimal progression through the program, students should take at least one course of the sequenced core each fall and spring; core courses may not be offered in the summer.


Courses cover major ideas, issues, theories, and research in the field of crime and criminal justice, intended to develop theoretical reasoning and research skills, as well as the application of theory to practice. Students will develop the competencies needed for successful careers in criminal justice-related fields and industries.


Required Core (all 5 courses, 18 credit hours)

Course Number Title Credit Hours Requisites (KEY) Notes (KEY)
CCJ 6932 Issues in Criminal Justice Administration 3 None
CCJ 6705 Research Methods in Criminology 4 CI
CCJ 6118 Introduction to Criminology Theory 4 CI
CCJ 6706 Quantitative Analysis in Criminology I 4 PR: CCJ 6705
CCJ 6935 Topics in Criminology and Criminal Justice 3 CI This course should be taken after completion of the following courses:  CCJ 6932, 6705, 6706, and 6118

Elective Courses

Any five (5) courses from this list (15 credit hours)

Course Number Title Credit Hours Requisites (KEY) Notes (KEY)
CCJ 6406 Theory, Practice, and Research in Law Enforcement 3 CI
CCJ 6930 Current Issues in Corrections 3 Repeatable with different subject matter
CCJ 6935 Topics in Criminology and Criminal Justice* 3 CI; Repeatable with different subject matter
CJE 6268 Minorities & Crime 3 None
DSC 6020 Terrorism & Homeland Security 3 None

*Special topics vary but typically include:  Crime Prevention, Interpersonal Violence, Juvenile Delinquency, Miscarriage of Justice, Race & Crime, White Collar Crime.


Eligibility Requirements

  • Students must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university.
  • Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 in upper-level courses of the undergraduate degree.
  • Students with an undergraduate GPA of below 3.00 in their upper-level course work may still be eligible if they take the GRE and achieve a combined verbal and quantitative score of 1000 or higher if taken before August 1, 2011, OR 300 or higher on new GRE taken after August 1, 2011. The GRE can be taken multiple times to achieve the required score.
  • If not admitted, students may take three (3) courses in the program as a non-degree seeking student.  If they receive a B or better in each course, they may be reconsidered for, but not guaranteed, admission into the program. (Note: Financial Aid does not apply for courses taken as a non-degree-seeking student.)

Graduate Application Procedure

  • Application review and acceptance is ongoing; students may enter the program at any time, but the best time to begin the program is fall semester.
  • The first step is to submit an electronic USFSM graduate application.
  • Then proceed to submit the other required documents
    • A sealed official undergraduate transcript(s);
    • Two letters of recommendation, addressing issues relating to past academic performance or work experience
    • A 1-2 page Statement of Purpose, indicating your reasons for seeking a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration and the particular areas of criminology or criminal justice that interest you.

Send the required documents to:

USF Sarasota-Manatee
Office of Admissions
8350 N. Tamiami Trail, C107
Sarasota, FL 34243