Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

The master's degree program in criminal justice offers students the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to examine and analyze the major areas of the field, focusing on the nature of crime, law and social control, as well as the process of planning change in a system as complex as the criminal justice system.

Program director

Weston Morrow
(775) 784-4681

Start an application

Apply by Mar. 1 for priority admission for fall semester. June 1 is final deadline for fall admission. For spring admission, application deadline is Dec. 1.

Program handbook

Review the program handbook to find out if the master's program is right for you.

Program overview

The program emphasizes the understanding of the ways in which theory, research and social policy interact, and the utilization of critical thinking skills to better understand this information. Students will be expected to acquire knowledge of the theories and research methods necessary for analysis of issues relevant to the criminal justice field. Within this general framework, students will have an opportunity to pursue special interests in criminal justice, the judicial system, courts and law enforcement, that are consistent with the philosophy of the program.

Have questions?

Want to know more? Complete our interest form to get connected with the graduate director today.

Research provides one of the best opportunities for students earning a criminal justice master's degree to gain in-depth knowledge in their chosen career path. Students can apply knowledge acquired in the classroom to real-life practical application. In addition to research opportunities in conducting or participating in research, students will work closely with mentors and professionals in criminal justice and related justice fields to author publications in journals and books.


This program is part of the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP), a tuition-savings program that makes out-of-state graduate studies more affordable for students. Through WRGP, you will receive a reduced tuition rate, giving you more educational options for your money.

Admissions and applying

Admissions is a competitive process. You are encouraged to contact the graduate director of the master's in criminal justice program as early as possible so that you can assess your readiness for graduate school. Some students might increase their chances of being accepted by taking extra classes (e.g., taking an additional statistics class if the student performed poorly in statistics in the past). The director can help you identify ways to prepare yourself for graduate studies and increase your chances of acceptance.

Apply to the M.A. in Criminal Justice