-Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Public concerns about crime, and the dramatic expansion of
the criminal justice system in recent decades, have spurred a proliferation of
courses in this field in colleges across the country. Jobs that did not
exist at all two decades ago -- such as victim advocates or police computer
mapping specialists -- continue to develop. There is a growing demand for
persons with graduate level education in all sectors of the system. The
Master of Science in Criminal Justice at UNF provides an opportunity for
advanced academic work in this expanding field of study.
As a discipline, criminal justice draws together all the
social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, mathematical and computer
sciences, history, law and jurisprudence to focus on the problem of crime in
society. The graduate program at UNF builds upon the unifying
interdisciplinary nature of the field it seeks to address.
Furthermore, the program at UNF is vitally concerned
with the interrelationship between theory, practice, and research, based on the
firm conviction that none of these can stand alone. Sound practice
requires a firm theoretical and research base, while advances in theory and
research arise from the realities of practice. The program emphasizes the
acquisition of professional skills that will enable students to keep abreast of
research and developments in the field long after they have completed their
The Master of Science in Criminal Justice program consists
of 33 graduate semester hours. There is a common core of 7 courses required of
all students, comprising 21 semester hours of study and 12 hours of MSCJ electives.
Grades of “B” or better are required in all graduate courses.
- Electives: 12
Major: Criminal Justice
Degree: Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Grades of "B" or better are required in all graduate courses.
Students must apply to graduate by the published deadline during their final semester.
isites (3 hrs)
Prerequisites must be completed within the first 9 hours of
graduate course work.
Core Requirements (18hrs)
Electives (12 hrs)
SELECT 4 FROM THE FOLLOWING:
Exit Requirement (6hrs)
SELECT THESIS (Option A) OR NON-THESIS (Option B)
A. Thesis Option (must take 6 hours)
B. Non-thesis Option
The thesis provides students with
the opportunity to engage in an independent but supervised research activity
and to make a contribution to the body of knowledge in the field of criminology
and criminal justice. The thesis is also one form of evidence that the MSCJ
student has mastered his/her discipline, both theoretically and
There are many other good reasons to
do a thesis. The thesis can be a way of developing and demonstrating a high
level of expertise on a specific topic. Such expertise may be of value in your
future employment options or doctoral-level education. All students should
discuss the appropriateness of selecting the thesis option with the MSCJ
Director at the time of admission. For those selecting the thesis at that time,
it may be advisable to discuss this choice again after completing the MSCJ core
courses. Difficulty in successfully completing the MSCJ core courses may
suggest that the student lacks important theoretical or methodological skills
which will be required in order to successfully complete a thesis.
Click here for Graduate School thesis requirements.
All core coursework must be successfully completed and the thesis proposal must
be successfully completed and orally defended before the student may officially
enroll in thesis hours. All thesis committees will be comprised of three
faculty members at the proposal stage, two of whom, including the chair, must
be graduate faculty from the CCJ Department. It is recommended that students
seek faculty members who can assist by virtue of their expertise in the general
subject area and/or their expertise in the methodological approach. Please note
that the faculty have an obligation to be responsive to graduate students;
however, no faculty member is required to serve on any particular student's
thesis committee. Students should be prepared to make a second--or even a
third--selection in soliciting faculty to serve. Also note that faculty may
require you to make one or more revisions of your proposal before they agree to
work with you.
Both the written thesis proposal and the oral defense must be prepared in
consultation with the department chair, receive final IRB clearance (see below)
and be approved by the full three-member committee before the next stage of the
process. The thesis proposal and its oral defense must address the following
At the point of the submission and/or defense of the thesis
proposal, a Proposal Filing Form must be submitted to the Graduate School.
(This form is available, as a PDF document from the Graduate School’s website).
The form should be downloaded, completed, signed by both the student and
her/his thesis director, and submitted to the Graduate School either electronically as
a PDF file or on a CD submitted to the Graduate School’s office. If
proposed research for any thesis is subject to the federal regulations
pertaining to research involving either human or animal subjects, review by the
UNF Institutional Review Board (IRB) and/or UNF Institutional Animal Care and
Use Committee (IACUC) must be obtained prior to beginning such research. The
measures taken to ensure the protection of human and/or animal subjects should
be explicitly addressed in the researcher's discussion of methodology when
A failed proposal defense may require the student to take alternative exit
options at the discretion of the thesis committee and MSCJ Director.
Subsequent to a successful proposal defense, the third committee member may
remain on the thesis committee at his or her discretion. Thesis committee
members expect students to initiate all appointments and submit all drafts of
thesis chapters in a timely fashion. Thesis committee members will advise,
provide feedback, read and thoroughly critique draft chapters, and try to help
solve problems which may emerge.
The MSCJ Thesis Enrollment Permission Form must be completed prior to registration
for thesis hours. Typically, students are expected to enroll in all six (6)
credit hours of CCJ 6974 at one time and will be given a grade of “Incomplete”
(“I”) if they do not finish the thesis in the semester for which they enroll in
these hours. The grade of “I” will remain until the completed thesis is
submitted, a public oral Thesis Defense is successfully completed, all
signatures have been received, and university and Graduate School requirements
have been met. At that time, it will be changed to a “P” (Pass).
The format for the thesis typically conforms to the
following (but ultimately depends on the nature of the study, i.e. qualitative
Please see the Graduate
School webpage that details Thesis Policies and Timelines. These
timelines must be closely followed to ensure graduation. In addition, the UNF
Library has requirements for formatting all theses that can be found on their website. It is wise to incorporate these elements
early in the writing process.
Some formatting items to keep in mind:
No later than one week after graduation, students should
submit the thesis document (and supporting materials) to the Graduate School.
The Thesis/Dissertation Submission Form must be submitted to the Graduate
School with the materials at that time.
Please note that during the time the student is working on the thesis proposal
and/or after the conclusion of the required 6 thesis hours while the actual
thesis document remains incomplete, a student must be registered for at least 3
credit hours. If the student has completed all 36 required hours for the MSCJ
degree prior to this semester or summer term, he or she must enroll in a
3-credit hour Directed Independent Study (DIS). The DIS requires the completion
of a permission form and signatures of both the Department Chair and the
Faculty Advisor. In these cases, the Faculty Advisor is the Chair of the
student’s Thesis Committee. The Thesis Committee Chair is responsible for
entering the DIS grade for the student. The student will receive an “A” if it
is deemed by the Thesis Chair the student completed an appropriate amount of
work towards the thesis during the semester in question. In all other cases,
the student will receive an “I” until the matter is resolved to the
satisfaction of the Thesis Chair, at which point the Thesis Chair will change
the grade to an “A.” If the student does not complete the thesis, any remaining
“I”s will revert to “F”s.
6705 Advanced Methods of Criminological Research 3hrs
- CJE 6026 Issues in Law and Justice Process 3hrs
- Electives: 3hrs
- CCJ 6706 Quant Research Methods 3hrs
- CJE 6329 Police Effectiveness 3hrs
- Electives: 3hrs
Semester Total: 9 credit
Semester Total: 9
- CCJ 5020 History and Philosophy of Corrections
- Electives: 6hrs
- CCJ 6059 Adv Criminological Theory 3hrs
- CCJ 6028 Issues in Social and Criminal Justice 3hrs
Semester Total: 6
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