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Quick Facts

  • 445 - Bachelor's degrees in criminal justice awarded in 2015-16
  • Fall 2015 - Launch of new doctoral program in criminal justice
  • 4 - UCF campuses offering a bachelor's degree in criminal justice (Orlando, Cocoa, Daytona Beach, Valencia West)
  • 1 - Rank of online undergraduate program by bestcolleges.com

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

The benefits of an advanced graduate degree in criminal justice are self-evident and are being increasingly recognized by employers in Central Florida and throughout the United States. Federal, state and local criminal justice agencies benefit from an informed and innovative workforce that is aware of the complex issues and problems faced by the system regardless of geographic locale. Furthermore, graduates of the program are grounded in the latest theories and learn how these theories affect each individual or organization within the system.

Students in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice program will complete a core of seven courses (21 credit hours), two courses from restricted electives (6 credit hours) and three courses from the graduate-level general electives (9 credit hours). The 36-credit-hour program is designed to prepare future criminal justice organizational leaders to be consumers of research and to be able to summarize the present organizational information.

The official program of study is available in the UCF Graduate Catalog.

Curriculum

CORE REQUIREMENTS (21 credits)*:
CCJ 5015 The Nature of Crime
CCJ 5456 The Administration of Justice
CCJ 6704 Research Methods in Criminal Justice
CCJ 6106 Policy Analysis in Criminal Justice
CCJ 6118 Criminal Justice Organizations
CJE 6718 Proseminar in Criminal Justice (Capstone course to be taken in student's last semester)
CCJ 6719 Translational Criminal Justice

*Students must earn at least a B grade (3.0) in all core requirements

 

RESTRICTED ELECTIVES (6 credits) - choose two of the following:
CJC 5020 Foundations of Corrections
CJE 5021 Foundations of Law Enforcement
CJJ 6020 Juvenile Justice
CJL 6568 Law and Social Control
CJL 6520 American Criminal Courts

 

UNRESTRICTED ELECTIVES (9 credits):
Students should consult with the criminal justice advisor for approval of general electives outside the criminal justice program prior to enrolling. Criminal justice courses at the 5000 or 6000 level, not used towards core or restricted elective requirements, are preapproved general electives.

Application & Admission

The College of Graduate Studies requires all applicants to apply online.

In addition to completing the university's general admission requirements, applicants must provide the following:

  • Official transcripts of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university showing a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 attempted semester hours of credit earned for the bachelor's degree
  • Two letters of recommendation: Letters should be from professional references who can attest to the applicant's ability to succeed in graduate course work and his or her work ethic.
  • A statement of the student's career goals, indicating how earning the Master of Science in Criminal Justice will enhance the applicant's career goals and expectations of the graduate program
  • A professional resume (no longer than two pages)
  • A score of at least 220 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if an applicant is from a country where English is not the only official language, or when an applicant's degree is not from an accredited U.S. institution, or if an applicant did not earn a degree in a country where English is the only official language or a university where English is the only official language of instruction

Students should be aware that admission to any graduate program is granted on a competitive basis. There may be cases where students meeting minimum requirements are denied admission based on such factors as program capacity or academic discretion. Students with less than a 3.0 GPA may be considered for very limited "provisional" admission and are suggested to provide a competitive GRE score. However, only students with complete applications (final transcript, resume, letters of recommendations, statement of career goals) will be reviewed under this special admission category.

Students should be aware that UCF Department of Criminal Justice rules prohibit the counting of more than six credit hours of special courses in their program of study. This includes seminars (CCJ 5931 or CCJ 5934), Study Abroad (CCJ 5957), Criminal Justice Practicum (CCJ 6946), and Independent Study (CCJ 6908).

Students with questions about the program are encouraged to contact the department's Graduate Advising Office at 407-823-2603 or Elexis.Ritz@ucf.edu.

Funding

The Department of Criminal Justice makes every effort to support funding for graduate research assistants and graduate assistants. The department evaluates students for Fall Graduate Assistantships in early Spring of every year. Those students that have applied for the Spring, Summer and Fall of the upcoming academic year by January 15th will be considered for department Graduate Assistantship positions.

Applicants must submit the following documents to be considered: official transcripts reflecting minimum 3.0 GPA, GRE scores (even though not required for admission), statement of goals, resume, and letters of recommendation. These applications are evaluated by the Graduate Committee as part of this very competitive process, and offers are made in the Spring

One of the benefits of conducting international fieldwork is the opportunity to become engrossed in a different culture.
— William Moreto,  Assistant Professor
The people I worked with ... put me in every scenario possible and allowed me to experience it first hand.
— Max Thedy,  former student intern who worked with law enforcement rangers in Cape Town, South Africa
I cannot stress enough the importance of the basic research skills and knowledge, combined with an understanding of data analysis for those planning to be leaders in the field of criminal justice.
— Roberto Hugh Potter,  Criminal Justice Department Professor
I would not be in the position I have today if it weren’t for the Criminal Justice Program at UCF.
— Carl Metzger,  M.S. in Criminal Justice, '03; Deputy Chief, University of Central Florida
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