Criminal Justice Graduate Program Student Handbook 1. Getting Started

1.1 Academic Advising

The Graduate Program Director is available to meet with MSCJ students who have questions about program requirements, courses, and/or their individual program of study.  For assistance with academic advising, please email the Graduate Program Director to schedule an appointment.

1.2 Registration

A full-time graduate course load is nine hours; a part-time graduate course load is fewer than nine hours. A fully admitted MSCJ graduate student is able to register for any course for which special permission is not required. Graduate courses are those at or above the 5000 level, and the Graduate Catalog provides individual course descriptions. Prior to each term, the class schedule is posted online.


Occasionally, a student may receive a registration error when they attempt to enroll and will be unable to complete the registration process. When this occurs, students should e-mail the MSCJ Director with their N number, the name and number of the course for which they are attempting to register, and the specific error message they are receiving. The MSCJ Director will ascertain the nature of the problem and take steps to ensure successful registration.


In addition to seminar-style courses, there are several electives that engage a graduate student in one-on-one work with a faculty member for which special permission is required. In order to participate, the student must consult with the MSCJ Program Director the semester prior to the one in which he/she hopes to enroll in the course. These courses require the completion of a form and the signatures of the student, collaborating faculty member, MSCJ Director and/or Department Chair. Forms can be acquired from the MSCJ Director or the CCJ Department Office Manager.


 Special permission MSCJ courses include the following:

  • CCJ 6906 - Directed Independent Study: Requires signature of collaborating faculty member and Department Chair along with a written proposal. This course is an independent study of a narrow issue in criminal justice directed by a faculty member specializing in that area or topic.
  • CCJ 5743 – Supervised Research in Criminal Justice: Requires signature of MSCJ Director and collaborating faculty member. Under the direction of a faculty member the graduate student will explore major elements of criminology and criminal justice research, including initial planning and preparation, literature review, data collection and analysis, interpretation of findings, and report writing. The student will also learn the procedures for developing scholarly research for publication.
  • CCJ 6944 - Supervised Teaching Experience in Criminal Justice: Requires signature of MSCJ Director and collaborating faculty member. This course provides graduate students with a structured exposure to all the elements of college teaching within the parameters of assisting with a criminology and criminal justice undergraduate course being taught by a full-time faculty member. The intent is to prepare qualified persons for college teaching in criminal justice. Under the direction of faculty, the student participates in the planning, research, preparation, presentation, and examination aspects of the course. This includes attendance at all class meetings and at least three stand-alone presentations/lectures of the course material.
  • CCJ6946: Graduate Practicum in Criminal Justice:   A planned program of experience in a criminal justice agency. The student functions under the direction of agency personnel in a role analogous to that of an agency employee. Periodic meetings with supervising faculty facilitate preparation of a written report demonstrating the student's synthesis of theory and practice. May be repeated twice for a maximum of 6 credits under different topics.

1.3 Graduate Student Responsibilities

  • Complete the MSCJ Program requirements
  • Maintain good academic standing in the MSCJ Program
  • Abide by the policies outlined in the MSCJ Program Handbook, UNF Graduate School Handbook, UNF Graduate Catalog, UNF Student Handbook, and UNF Student Code

1.4 Program Director Responsibilities

The Graduate Program Director is the first point of contact for MSCJ students who have questions about the curriculum, courses, and/or their individual program of study.  Additionally, the Graduate Program Director is responsible for overseeing the Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Research Assistants.  Finally, the Graduate Program Director is responsible for monitoring student progress in the program and enforcing departmental and university policies. 

1.5 Rules and Regulations

All Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) graduate students are responsible for the information included in the MSCJ Graduate Student Handbook and the UNF Graduate Catalog. Although the MSCJ Graduate Student Handbook elaborates on some aspects of your graduate school experience, the UNF Graduate Catalog is the official policy manual which governs your life as a UNF graduate student.

1.6 Class Size and Format

Graduate classes are typically smaller than undergraduate classes, which facilitates increased interaction between individual students and the faculty member teaching the course. Classes are often conducted on a seminar basis. This means that class sessions are devoted almost entirely to discussion of assigned readings or other materials, and it is expected that all students will come to class completely prepared and willing to participate in class discussion.

1.7 Graduate Workload

The workload in graduate courses is heavier than that of undergraduate courses. Required readings, class assignments, and written research projects are extensive and time consuming. Graduate students are expected to submit all assignments on time.  Nine credit hours is full time at the graduate level.  MSCJ students may not enroll in more than nine credit hours per semester without permission from the MSCJ Graduate Program Director.

1.8 Quality of Work

A high level of performance in all written assignments for graduate students is expected. The work should demonstrate sophisticated critical thinking with an emphasis on depth and breadth of knowledge. Assignments must be written in Standard English with proper grammar, correct spelling, appropriate in-text citations, and academic references.

1.9 Self-Direction/Self-Motivation

Graduate students should be self-directed and motivated in their studies. Some class assignments are specific while others will require you to develop and pursue individual research interests. Particularly in Supervised Research, Supervised Teaching, Directed Independent Study (DIS) and Exit Options, graduate students must be pro-active and self-directed in preparation and implementation.

1.10 Graduate Faculty in Criminal Justice



Dr. David Forde

Chair & Professor

Crime prevention, violence, victimology, epidemiology, social statistics, survey research
Cherbonneau Dr. Michael Cherbonneau
Assistant Professor
Criminology theory; criminal decision-making; crime prevention; street crime & violence; offender-based research

Dr.Michael Hallett

Professor of Criminal Justice; Director, Center for Criminal Justice Policy Research (Ph.D., Arizona State University)
Critical criminology, program evaluation, race and punishment, privatized penal systems, comparative Criminal Justice systems
Dr. Lopez Dr. Kristina Lopez
Assistant Professor

Immigration, ethnicity and crime, criminology, corrections, and program evaluation.

Miller     Dr. J. Mitchell Miller
Miller2 Dr. Holly V. Miller
Associate Professor
Immigration and crime, juvenile delinquency, program evaluation, correctional policy

Dr. Alicia Sitren

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice (Ph.D., University of Central Florida)

Punishment philosophies, deterrence theory, rural and urban jails, jail visitation polices, elite crime

Dr. Vose

Dr. Brenda Vose

Graduate Program Director; Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice (Ph.D., University of Cincinnati)
Research methods, community corrections: parole, probation, effective intervention, criminal justice policy, media influences

Dr. Jennifer Wesely

Professor of Criminal Justice (Ph.D., Arizona State University)
Domestic violence, gender, inequality and justice, women’s experiences of violence and homelessness