The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Criminal Justice program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to capture both the academic liberal arts emphasis and the professional and policy knowledge required to educate criminal justice professionals. Students who complete this degree may seek employment in law enforcement, corrections, courts, and related areas. This employment can be within the public, nonprofit, or private sectors, providing multiple options for Criminal Justice graduates.
The Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) program provides an interdisciplinary perspective on the study of crime and the criminal justice system. It focuses on criminal offending and victimization, law enforcement, the judiciary, correctional systems, juvenile justice, and the formulation of laws and codes. Individual courses explore the dynamic of criminality and victimization, systems analysis, policy analysis, organizational theory and behavior, and program development within the criminal justice system. Students pursuing professional careers will gain an understanding of theory and its applications in practices. Students aspiring to research careers or doctoral work will acquire a strong foundation in criminology and criminal justice research.
The School of Public Affairs offers a unique Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) for highly qualified undergraduate criminal justice students to work concurrently toward the BA in Criminal Justice and the MCJ. AMP students may count up to 9 credit hours of eligible graduate-level criminal justice courses toward both their BA and MCJ degrees, allowing them to complete both degrees in an accelerated time frame.
- The BA in Criminal Justice program requires completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours, including:
- Criminal Justice major requirements (42 credit hours).
- The UCCS BA in Criminal Justice adaptation of the UCCS general education curriculum as outlined in the student’s degree audit.
- A minimum of 45 credit hours of upper-division coursework (3000 and above).
- The MCJ degree requires completion of a minimum of 36 credit hours.
- In order for credit to be double counted toward both the BA in Criminal Justice and MCJ degrees, the following conditions must be met:
- Dual credit courses must be approved by the BACJ Program Director prior to enrolling in the courses.
- Dual credit courses must be completed with a grade of B or better.
- Dual credit courses must be taken at the graduate level (for graduate credit).
- Students accepted into the AMP program may apply to the Master of Criminal Justice in the final year of their Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program.
Please refer to the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Master of Criminal Justice sections of this Catalog for specific course requirements.
AMP students will complete two of the following required core MCJ courses (6 credit hours), plus one MCJ elective (3 credit hours), which will count toward both the BA and MCJ degrees:
Both current UCCS and new transfer students are eligible to apply after meeting the following criteria:
- Currently enrolled in the School of Public Affairs as a Criminal Justice major.
- Junior year students (making the application for their senior year).
- Completed the following 10 credit hours of Criminal Justice major requirements. Grades of B or better in all of these courses are required. Transfer criminal justice courses must be approved and officially accepted toward the major.
- Have either successfully completed (grade of B or better) or are currently enrolled in CJ 3150 - Statistics for Criminal Justice , CJ 3170 - Crime Prevention and Analysis , or SOC 3170 - Social Statistics .
- Minimum 3.25 cumulative GPA.
Students can apply for the accelerated program during their junior year by submitting an Intent Application. Before declaring intent, students should first ensure they meet the above eligibility requirements and meet with their assigned undergraduate advisor and the MCJ Program Director. The submitted Intent Application is reviewed by the MCJ Program Director, and, if approved, will be placed on the student’s undergraduate record. This allows the university to know that the student intends to enter the master’s program with these dual counting courses. The approval of the intent application also allows the student to begin taking graduate level courses that will count toward both programs. In the senior year the student will apply to the Master of Criminal Justice program according to the SPA and UCCS Graduate School application deadlines for fall and spring admission. The following steps should help in the application process:
- Plan ahead when scheduling courses through the junior year. All four of the required undergraduate criminal justice/sociology courses and all of the student’s core education requirements must be completed by the end of the student’s junior year.
- At the beginning of the semester in which the student is applying to the MCJ program, the student should obtain contact information (name and email address only) for two professional references and begin working on their goal statement to include: 1) What are your career aspirations and how can your academic experience contribute to your career goals?, 2) What is relevant in your professional or academic background that contributes to your anticipated success in your masters’ experience?, and 3) Can you give us an example of how your personal characteristics helped you overcome a specific challenge?
- Students will apply and submit all required documentation according to the graduate school application deadlines.
Policies and Procedures
Refer to the School of Public Affairs’ General Information section of this academic catalog for the policies and procedures relevant to this program.
For further information, contact the MCJ Program Director.