Northern Michigan University

Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice

Curriculum Outline

 

Criminal Justice Core Requirement ……………………………………….................. 20 Credits

 

Course ID Title Of Course Credits
CJ 440 Discretionary Justice* 4
CJ 470 Liability Law in Criminal Justice* 4
CJ 504 Graduate Seminar in Criminal Justice 4
CJ 505 Advanced Criminology 4
CJ 507 Research Utilization in Criminal Justice 4

 

* Students who have previously taken CJ 440 Discretionary Justice and/or CJ 470 Liability Law in Criminal Justice will be required to take substitute courses to complete the core requirement. Selection of substitute courses will be subject to approval of the student's graduate committee.

Electives................................................................................................................12 Credits

Course ID Title of Course Credits
CJ 510 Planned Organizational Change in Criminal Justice Agencies 4
CJ 515 Contemporary Issues in Policing 4
CJ 520 Contemporary Issues in Corrections 4
CJ 525 Transnational Crimes 4
CJ 530 Principals of Criminal Justice Management 4
CJ 598 Directed Study 4

Thesis or Comprehensive Exam**/Research Paper Requirement...........................4 Credits

Course ID Title Of Course Credits
CJ 590 Policy Paper Research     4***
  OR  
CJ 599 Thesis Research 4

Total.......................................................................................................................36 Credits

 

**   The comprehensive exam will consist of four essay questions based on both the core curriculum and the student’s elective courses. The questions will be developed by the student’s graduate committee. Students will be informed of the general topic areas for the exam. The exam will be administered online in a take-home format with students having approximately three (3) days to complete the requirement. Grading is pass/fail with a passing score would be a grade of 80% of above. Students would be allowed three attempts to complete the exam. The exam questions would be altered for students taking the exam more than once.

 

After passing the exam, students would need to register for CJ 590 and complete a formal policy analysis research paper of at least 20 pages in length. The research paper must include three distinct sections: the analysis of the history, implementation and effectiveness of a criminal justice policy. For example, students may choose to examine Three Strikes Laws in a given state. They would be required to describe the passage of the laws via a legislative history; the current structure of the laws; the nature of their enforcement and their affect on crime rates. While not original research like a thesis, this paper will require in-depth study of a criminal justice policy and analysis of its impact on society. The paper would be graded by their committee. Similar to the thesis, the student will choose and work with a committee of three faculty members for the exam and the research paper. The grading rubric for the comprehensive exam and research paper will be developed by the graduate faculty of the department.

 

***Similar to CJ 599, CJ 590 can be taken in segments for students needing an additional semester to complete their research paper or thesis.