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in Criminal Justice

Columbia College of Missouri
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Program Description
Course Descriptions

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Program Description

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) is designed primarily for practitioners in the field of criminal justice interested in developing and/or enhancing administrative skills. The program is also designed to meet the analytical and theoretical needs of students who will continue on with doctoral or law studies. The degree emphasizes four foundational areas: trends in criminal justice, policy development and analysis, research design, and ethics in criminal justice. An understanding of these courses gives the graduate student of criminal justice a solid foundation for dealing with the many critical issues confronting the contemporary criminal justice administrator. Courses are structured in a hands-on format encouraging maximum student interaction while at the same time encouraging the development of useful action skills.

Admission

Applicants who have successfully completed admission procedures will be evaluated by the faculty of the Criminal Justice Administration and Social Work Department for acceptance into the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program. To be considered, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in criminal justice.
  2. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale from a regionally accredited degree-granting institution.

Students possessing a baccalaureate degree in a field other than criminal justice and who do not meet the minimum two-year experience requirement may enroll as a Graduate Student at Large. Students in this category must complete CJAD 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice and CJAD 415 Criminal Procedures, earning a grade of B or higher in both courses. Subsequent to successful completion of these courses students may be considered for admission to the MSCJ program.

Program Requirements

The degree requirements include 12 hours of foundation courses and 24 hours of core courses for a minimum of 36 semester hours.

Required Graduate Foundation Courses (12 hours)
MSCJ 500 Research Design 3
MSCJ 501 Current Issues and Future 3
Directions in Criminal Justice
MSCJ 510 Legal and Ethical Issues in 3
Criminal Justice
MSCJ 524 Criminal Justice Policy 3
Development and Evaluation
Required Graduate Core Courses (24 hours)
MSCJ 522 Organizational Theory and 3
Practice
MSCJ 525 Comparative Criminal Justice 3
Systems
MSCJ 526 Human Resource Management 3
and Theory
MSCJ 533 Topics in Criminal Justice 3
MSCJ 550 Readings in Criminal Justice 3
Administration
MSCJ 561 Crisis Intervention 3
MSCJ 567 Seminar in Juvenile Justice 3
MSCJ 580 Capstone/lntensive Writing 3
Seminar
Minimum Total Sememster Hours

36

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Course Descriptions
MSCJ 500 Research Design

3 hours

The study of applied research designs. Data collection methods emphasized will be observation and psychometry. Both qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods will be studied, with strong emphasis on results interpretation. Must be taken as a foundational course for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice. Cross-listed as EDUC 500.

MSCJ 501 Current Issues and Future Directions in Criminal Justice

3 hours

An examination of the current critical issues in the justice system affecting law enforcement, criminal justice personnel, public policy, and recent social developments. Must be taken as a foundational course for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice.

MSCJ 510 Legal and Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice

3 hours

Examination of topics in the area of law, legal controls, and ethical issues in the criminal justice field. Areas such as corruption, misconduct, and related issues will be discussed.

MSCJ 522 Organizational Theory and Practice

3 hours

Examination of modern concepts of effective management. Discussions focus on foundations, theories, and literature for designing effective organizational relationships. The case approach is used extensively to develop a framework for analyzing the structural and contextual dimensions which impact organizational effectiveness. Cross-listed as BUSI 522.

MSCJ 524 Criminal Justice Policy Development and Evaluation

3 hours

Examination of the development, implementation, and analysis of public policy. Students identify and evaluate public policies as they relate to the criminal justice system.

MSCJ 525 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems

3 hours

Examination of Criminal Justice systems worldwide. Includes exploration of means establishing cooperation toward mutual goals despite structural, historical and ideological differences.

MSCJ 526 Human Resource Management and Theory

3 hours

Examination of the organizational human resource function and contemporary techniques for managing human resources. Discussions focus on work force diversity, managing change, staffing, training and development, compensation and benefits, EEO and other human resource and labor relations. Cross-listed as BUSI 526.

MSCJ 533 Topics in Criminal Justice

3 hours

Intensive study of specially chosen topical areas with special emphasis on the systems concept as it applies to problem solving in the management of criminal justice.

MSCJ 550 Readings in Criminal Justice Administration

3 hours

Selected readings that allow the student to pursue areas of particular interest or need not covered in established courses or programs. Pre-requisite: 12 semester hours of required graduate foundation courses.

MSCJ 561 Crisis Intervention

3 hours

Study of the theory and practice of crisis intervention with an emphasis on outreach intervention models. Demonstration of skills is required. Cross-listed as EDUC 561. Prerequisite: 12 semester hours of required graduate foundation courses.

MSCJ 567 Seminar in Juvenile Justice

3 hours

Analysis of all aspects of the juvenile justice system and process. Topics include history, movements toward diversion and deinstitutionalization, police interaction, court co-process, due process and community intervention. Included is an examination of the law as it relates to juvenile justice and future trends in the field.

MSCJ 580 Capstone/lntensive Writing Seminar

3 hours

This culminating experience requires students to refine their writing skills. Numerous assignments are given students with special attention to paper preparation in APA format, critical thinking content, identification of salient topics in the field, and presentation of findings. Prerequisites: 12 semester hours of required graduate foundation courses and an additional 18 semester hours of required graduate core courses.

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