Criminal Justice M.S.

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The Master of Science in Criminal Justice offers students an in-depth exploration of the complex and changing world of criminal justice. The historical, political, economic and philosophical forces shaping crime and punishment in the U.S. are examined. Students also learn valuable qualitative and quantitative research and computer skills. The importance of advanced education in criminal justice beyond the bachelor’s degree is increasingly recognized by employers in Central Florida and throughout the U.S.

The School of Public Administration and Department of Criminal Justice also offer a new dual degree program in which students earn both a Master of Public Administration and Master of Science in Criminal Justice. For more information please visit the program page.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements established by the university, applicants must provide:

  • Official transcripts of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale overall or for the last 60 attempted semester hours of credit earned for the bachelor’s degree.
  • Statement of career goals, one or two pages indicating how the Criminal Justice MS degree will enhance the applicant’s career goals and expectations of the graduate program.
  • Resume (no longer than two pages).
  • Two letters of recommendation. Letters should be from professors or professional references who can attest to the applicant’s ability to succeed in graduate coursework and his or her work ethic.

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. Applicants not meeting the minimum 3.0 GPA standards may be considered as candidates for limited and competitive “provisional” admissions. However, only students with complete applications (final transcript, résumé, letters of recommendation and statement of career goals) will be reviewed under this special admission category.

Due to restrictive state regulations, UCF is not permitted to provide online courses or instruction to students in some states. More information is available here.

Program of Study
Total Credit Hours:  36

Criminal Justice is a highly interdisciplinary science, as reflected in the following program of study. Up to 9 hours of graduate credit for advanced courses can be taken in another program at UCF with the prior approval of the graduate program coordinator.

Core Courses:  18 Credit Hours

  • 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
  • CCJ 6719:  Professionalism in Criminal Justice

Capstone:  3 Credit Hours

  • CJE 6718:  Proseminar in Criminal Justice
    *Students must earn at least a B grade (3.0) in all core requirements and the capstone.

Restricted Electives:  6 Credit Hours

Select two from the following:

  • CJC 5020:  Foundations of Corrections
  • CJE 5021:  Foundations of Law Enforcement
  • CJL 6520:  American Criminal Courts
  • CJL 6568:  Law and Social Control
  • CJJ 6020:  Juvenile Justice

General Graduate Electives:  9 Credit Hours

Students need to consult an advisor for approval of electives prior to enrolling.

A final exit examination and survey are required of all students completing the Criminal Justice Master’s program. These requirements will be completed online in students’ last semester.

For additional information contact:

Dr. Eugene Paoline


Elexis Ritz
Graduate Advisor

Career Opportunities

  • ATF agent
  • attorney general investigator
  • CIA agent
  • compliance officer
  • computer forensic technician
  • correctional office supervisor
  • crime scene investigator
  • criminal profiler
  • criminologist
  • customs agent
  • DEA agent
  • district attorney
  • FBI agent
  • forensic examiner
  • forensic psychologist
  • forensic scientist
  • INS agent
  • law enforcement officer
  • police and detective supervisor
  • police detective
  • private investigator
  • probation officer
  • Secret Service agent
  • security manager
  • sheriff
  • U.S. Marshal

For More Information About UCF Online

Contact the UCF Online Connect Center to learn more about available online programs or for help finding an online degree that works for you.