MS in Criminal Justice

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Master of Science in Criminal Justice

The UNT Dallas department of criminal justice offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. The 36 hour MS degree is a focused graduate degree that combines theory, application and experiential learning. Criminal Justice studies the practices and institutions of governments directed at upholding social control, deterring and mitigating crime, and sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts. Delve into the social and behavioral sciences, as well as the relation of law and ethics to the phenomenon of crime. 

What marketable skills will I learn?

  • Apply theory and research to real world policy problems
  • Critically assess data on crime and justice
  • Plan for a new policy development and implementation
  • Employ effective leadership and management strategies
  • Communicate successfully with stakeholders


The tables below identify the required courses and prescribed electives of the program, as well as, an example schedule for a student in the program. As stated, the courses will be 8 weeks in length with a student allowed to take up to 6 hours per 8 week session; a total 12 hours per 16 week semester. Additionally, a student may choose to receive a concentration in Public Leadership by successfully completing 12 hours in PL of the allotted elective hours. 

Table 1: Example Schedule





CJUS 5301

CJUS 5306


CJUS 5600

CJUS 5700











Table 2: Master of Science, Criminal Justice at UNT Dallas

Requirements for the MS degree in Criminal Justice include:

  1. 12 Hours of Core Curriculum Required:
    • CJUS 5301- Criminal Justice Policy
    • CJUS 5600- Advanced Criminological Theory
    • CJUS 5303- Research Methods

    Choose One

    • CJUS 5306 - Legal Aspects of the Criminal Justice System
    • CJUS 5300 - Criminological Theory
  2. Elective Requirements
    1. Option 1: 24 Hours of Electives Requirements
    2. Option 2: 15 Hours of Electives Requirements plus:
      • CJUS 5304 - Data Analysis
      • CJUS 5601- Thesis
    3. Public Leadership Concentration for either Option 1 or 2: 12 hours of electives must be Public Leadership courses. 

    Note: Students must receive a B or better in the above curriculum classes.

  3. Other Requirements:
    • Students must have an overall UNT Dallas grade point average or transfer grade point average of 3.0.
    • 30 hour-residence requirement.

No prerequisite courses are required.


Students seeking admission into the UNT Dallas MS in Criminal Justice must have obtained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a closely related discipline from a four year accredited institution. Admission requirements include submission of undergraduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation and a self-reflection essay discussing the importance of pursing the Masters of Science degree in Criminal Justice at UNT Dallas. Note that the GRE is not required for admission into the program.

  1. Unconditional Admission: Applicants who meet all the following requirements will be considered for unconditional admission
    1. Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
    2. Outstanding letters of recommendation
    3. Strong, well-written personal essay
  2. Probationary Admission: Applicants who do not meet all requirements for unconditional admission will be considered for probationary admission on the basis of the strength of all the listed admission factors. Under probationary admission, special course requirements or other conditions may be imposed.
  3. Other types of admission decisions pertaining to applicants:
    1. Deferred: Applicants who are unable to supply required application materials, or who must complete additional preparatory work before their admissibility can be determined, may be deferred until records are complete.
    2. Provisional: Applicants who are unable to supply all required documentation prior to the admission deadline but who otherwise appear to meet admission requirements may be granted provisional admission pending submission of complete and satisfactory credentials before the end of the semester in which they have registered in a provisional status.
    3. Denied: Applicants who fail to meet more than one of the admission requirements and for whom there is insufficient basis to justify any other kind of admission will be denied admission. As the admission process is competitive, applicants meeting basic admission requirements who are less well qualified than other applicants may also be denied admission.