For both the thesis and non-thesis tracks, 33 credits are required. For thesis students, this includes 6 credits of CRJ 797 (Thesis). Non-thesis students also get 2 credits of CRJ 795 (Comprehensive Exam) in addition to the 33 credits. There are six required courses. One course is a statistics class and another is a research methods class. The specific class a student takes is determined by the student and his or her advisor, based on the student’s interests, abilities, and career goals. The other four required courses are:
CRJ 740 CRIME AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
3 credits (Taught by Professor Matthew Leone)
Students arrive into the Criminal Justice graduate program from a variety of majors and institutions. Because of this reality, the Department of Criminal Justice designed a course that can serve the dual purposes of enhancing the understanding and knowledge of those already acquainted with criminal justice as an academic discipline, while familiarizing those outside the field with the structure, operations, and nuances of the justice system. This is the role of CRJ 740 within the Criminal Justice MA Program. As one of the six core classes in the program, students are exposed to a combination of classic and current readings, they discuss several of the most provocative and troubling aspects of the system, and they complete writing assignments designed to show a deeper understanding of the problems faced by the justice system. Historically, this class has assisted the students in discovering a topic which interests them enough to eventually become a thesis or professional paper. Students are evaluated based on several position papers, class participation, and a final class presentation
CRJ 750 PLANNED CHANGE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE
3 credits (Taught by Professor Kenneth Peak)
Historically, change in criminal justice agencies was generally slow and incremental. Continuous change is now a constant rather than an exception, however, and the pace, magnitude, and frequency of change have also increased. If such change is unplanned, programs will often fail and result in negative consequences in the workplace. Remember, too, that major change occurring in one component of the justice system can have severe repercussions on the others if not anticipated and planned for. This course – which is highly interactive, writing-intensive, and case-study oriented - explores how change can be effectively planned and managed in CJ agencies.
CRJ 785 CRIMINAL JUSTICE POLICY ANALYSIS
3 credits (Taught by Professor Timothy Griffin)
Through class discussions, weekly summary papers, and a comprehensive analysis paper, students will acquire a rich understanding of the state of, empirical research on, and ideological and political sources of American crime control policy.
[Additional Chapters on Reserve by Ed Lott and Franklin Zimring.]
CRJ 788 ETHICS, LAW, AND JUSTICE POLICY
3 credits (Taught by Professor Robert Chaires)
The formulation of policy is an inherently moral activity which requires ethical introspection in order to 'do' justice. Because what is legal is not necessarily ethical and because justice is a much abused word, those who make, influence, or implement policy must be capable of examining their information, processes, and decisions from a variety of epistemological traditions. Classical, modern, and post-modern ethics grounded examination of positivistic, historical, and critical theory perspectives on policy formation, and some strengths and weaknesses of each as foundations for law and policy will be discussed. A major thread of this course is that law is policy not practice and will be approached both through a critical pedagogy methodology and the learning and application by students of several qualitative techniques, including Blackian Analysis and Hohfeld-Marsh Analysis. Another major thread throughout the course will be developing ethical insights into unintended consequences of justice policy and practice with particular reference to race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.