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Program Requirements

The criminal justice master's degree program requires completion of 36 hours of classes, including core courses, criminal justice electives, and Master of Arts/Master of Science requirements.

Graduate Criminal Justice Course Descriptions

Core Courses (18 hours)

All students are required to take the following core courses:

CRJU-600, Survey of Criminal Justice (3 credit hours)
CRJU-655, Constitutional Law and the Criminal Justice System (3 credit hours)
CRJU-670, Criminal Justice Research Methods (3 credit hours)
CRJU-671, Quantitative Methods in Criminal Justice Research (3 credit hours)
CRJU-675, Studies in Criminological Theory (3 credit hours)
CRJU-691, Public Policy and Criminal Justice (3 credit hours)

Criminal Justice Electives (12 hours)

Students should select twelve hours from the following elective courses:

CRJU-590, Seminar (3 credit hours)
CRJU-610, Historical Perspectives in Criminal Justice (3 credit hours)
CRJU-620, Judicial Behavior (3 credit hours)
CRJU-630, Organizational Theory (3 credit hours)
CRJU-635, Foundations of Law Enforcement (3 credit hours)
CRJU-638, Foundations of Corrections (3 credit hours)
CRJU-643, Social Awareness (3 credit hours)
CRJU-650, Criminal Justice Ethics (3 credit hours)
CRJU-660, Issues in Criminal Justice (3 credit hours)
CRJU-672, Crime Analysis (3 credit hours)
CRJU-673, Crime Mapping (3 credit hours)
CRJU-676, Environmental Criminology (3 credit hours)
CRJU-684, Criminal Justice Graduate Internship (3 credit hours)
CRJU-690, Topical Seminar (3 credit hours)
CRJU-698, Directed Study (3 credit hours)

Important Limitations

At least 80% of your credit hours must be from courses with a CRJU prefix.  Also, at least 80% of your credit hours must be in 600-level (or higher) courses; no 400-level courses may count for graduate credit.  This means that you are limited to two CRJU-590 courses (provided that the topics of each CRJU-590 differ).  There is no limit on CRJU-690 courses (provided that the topics of each CRJU-690 differ).

Students in the Master of Science program may complete up to six hours of CRJU-698 Directed Study; students in the Master of Arts program are limited to four hours of CRJU-698 Directed Study (provided it is not directly related to the topic of the student’s thesis).

Master of Arts and Master of Science Requirements (6 hours)

Students completing the Master of Arts degree must meet the following requirements:

Students completing the Master of Arts degree are required to complete a thesis. Students will enroll in CRJU-699 to earn six hours of credit for completion of the thesis. For more information and advice about thesis writing, read "Advice for Thesis Writers".  The student is also required to successfully complete the oral defense/oral examination as a requirement for graduation.

Students completing the Master of Science degree must meet the following requirements:

Students are required to complete six additional hours of coursework in order to meet the 36-hour degree requirement. Any approved graduate classes may be used for completion of the Master of Science degree, including those electives listed above.

Students completing the Master of Science degree must complete comprehensive written and oral examinations as a requirement for graduation. Students should present the "Report of Comprehensive Examination" to the committee at the time of the oral examination.

Criminal Justice Minor (12 hours)

A minor in criminal justice at the graduate level will consist of a minimum of 12 semester hours (four courses). A criminal justice graduate faculty member must, in consultation with other graduate faculty members, approve the four courses that will constitute the minor.

Transferring Courses

A maximum of six credit hours may be transferred into the program.  Courses may only be transferred with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator and the College of Graduate and Professional Studies.  In order to be considered for transfer credit, courses must be from a regionally accredited institution and must not have been previously applied toward another degree, and the student must have earned an A or B (B- does not transfer) in the course.  No graduate credit may be awarded for correspondence credits, life experience, or professional training.

Completion of Program Requirements

The criminal justice graduate program does not permit waivers of credit or course requirements. In order to receive the Master of Arts or Master of Science degree, students must successfully complete the requirements outlined in the Graduate Catalog.  The Graduate Catalog does make provision for an academic petition process: “On rare occasions, extraordinary circumstances may, however, justify minor departures from the catalog requirements. Graduate students who need to petition for an exception to academic policy must complete the Graduate Student Academic Petition form…” (p. 59).  However, students should not petition the following, which are program requirements expected of all students:

  • The program requires 36 credit hours, with no exceptions.
  • Students must complete all core courses; no core course may be waived; also, students should not expect to successfully petition to substitute another course for one of the required core courses.
  • Completion of written and oral comprehensive examinations (for Master of Science Students) or of the thesis and oral defense (for Master of Arts students) is required and may not be waived.
  • Completion of elective coursework must follow the criminal justice curriculum outlined in the Graduate Catalog.

Continuation in Program

To continue in graduate programs at Radford University, students must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0.  If the grade point average falls below 3.0, students may be placed on probation or dismissed from the program.  Please refer to the Graduate Catalog for details on academic probation and suspension.

Continuous Enrollment

All graduate students are required to be registered during the semester they receive their degree from Radford University. Registration is required of all graduate students when using University facilities and/or faculty time. The minimum number of hours for registration is one. Registration allows use of services such as library checkout, laboratories, and recreation facilities not open to the public.

Students who are not currently registered for any coursework, and who have completed all coursework but have other outstanding degree requirements (e.g., comprehensive examination, thesis, removal of an I or IP grade), are required to register for a continuous enrollment course (GRAD-799, 1 credit hour) each semester until they have met the outstanding requirement(s).

The GRAD-799 course carries no credit hour production and does not count towards graduation requirements. This course option is also available to those admitted students who are not enrolled in a given semester but who wish to use University facilities and services during that time.

Time Limit

Students must complete all requirements for their master’s degree within six years.  No courses more than six years old at the time of graduation may count as part of the hours for graduation.

Radford University Graduate Catalog

While the above information is provided for reference, the official statement of graduate policies and curricula are contained in the most current Graduate Catalog (available online).  Please review the catalog and become familiar with its provisions!