Criminal Justice

Degree:Master of Science (M.S.)
Major:Criminal Justice
Department:Criminology and Criminal Justice
Building 85, Room 160
(850) 474-2336
http://uwf.edu/justice
College:Education and Professional Studies
CIP Code:43.0104
Semester Hours Required For Degree: 33

The purpose of the program is to prepare students for careers in federal, state, county, and local criminal justice agencies, including management and administration; careers in public or private criminal justice research and analysis; teaching positions at community and state colleges; and/or continued education at the doctoral level.

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) has two options: an internship option (Option 1) and an area research paper option (Option 2). Each option requires a minimum of 33 credit hours, including 24 credit hours of criminal justice coursework. The internship option (Option 1) requires 15 credit hours of required coursework, a 3 credit hour internship, plus an additional 6 credit hours minimum of criminal justice electives and 9 credit hours of criminal justice or noncriminal justice electives. The area paper option (Option 2) requires 15 credit hours of required coursework, a 3 credit hour area paper, plus an additional 6 credit hours minimum of criminal justice electives and 9 credit hours of criminal justice or noncriminal justice electives.

The program also offers four optional concentrations from which students may choose: Social Work; Public Administration; Education; and Homeland Security. Social Work, Public Administration, and Education concentrations are completed using the nine hours of graduate-level unrestricted electives in the concentration field. The Homeland Security Concentration is completed using nine hours of unrestricted electives and/or criminal justice electives in designated graduate-level Homeland Security classes. The concentrations allow the students in the program to more specifically tailor the degree to their academic and career interests.

Tracks, options, and concentrations are an informal designation used by graduate programs to indicate areas of emphasis and research, but have no formal significance. They do not appear on the student transcript and diploma. 

An accelerated bachelor's to master's program is available for exceptionally well qualified students.  Please see the requirements for this program in the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the University graduate admission requirements described in the Admissions section of the catalog, the department bases decisions for regular admission on a holistic review of credentials in which the following criteria are used to assess the potential success of each applicant:

  • Submission of one of the following graduate admission tests:
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Verbal and Quantitative score
    • Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA
  • Academic preparation as demonstrated by quality and relevance of undergraduate degree major
  • Submission of a personal statement written by the applicant, which outlines his/her future career goals in criminal justice and how the degree will help them to achieve the goals. Additional contents of the statement include the applicant’s academic preparation, work history, volunteer experience, activities, and honors or awards received.
  • Submission of three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant’s ability to succeed in a graduate program. At least two of the letters should be from former professors.

Degree Requirements

A grade of ‘B’ or better is required for each core course.