Admission Requirements

Admission into the Master of Science program is limited. An applicant must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. An undergraduate major in the social sciences is desirable, but students with strong undergraduate records in other fields are encouraged to apply.
 
It is the policy of the Criminology and Criminal Justice faculty to admit those students who demonstrate potential for successfully completing the master's degree program. Primary consideration is given to the applicant's scholastic record and test scores. 

Degree Requirements

The graduate program in Criminology & Criminal Justice includes a thesis or a non-thesis option. Under both options, the student has considerable latitude to design a program to fit particular needs. All entering students must specify one of the two options during the second semester of academic work. Both options have core courses, including criminological theory, research in the criminal justice process, and applications of statistics in criminal justice.

Up to 6 hours of approved coursework may be transferred from other universities. Up to 6 hours of approved coursework may be taken in other departments at The University of Alabama and may be applied to the degree when it is consistent with the student's degree plan and approved by the department. The department does not accept 400-level courses toward degree requirements for the Master of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice.

All requirements for the master's degree must be completed during the six years (18 fall, spring, and summer semesters) immediately preceding the date on which the degree is to be awarded. However, students generally can complete degree requirements in 18-24 months.  Additional information is in the Degree Requirements section of this catalog

MS in Criminology & Criminal Justice, Thesis Option

This option requires a total of 30 credit hours including 9 of core requirements, 6 for thesis research, and 15 for elective courses. CJ 599 Thesis Research should be taken after core requirements have been completed.

Students must pass public oral defense of the thesis. Thesis students must also pass a written and/or oral comprehensive examination (ordinarily done during the thesis defense).

Thesis Option Degree Requirements SummaryMore Information

Hours
Core Course Requirements
CJ 581Applic Statistics In CJ3
CJ 584Criminological Theory3
CJ 586Research In Cj Process3
CJ 599Thesis Research6
Comprehensive Exam
Electives15
Total Hours30

MS in Criminology & Criminal Justice, Nonthesis Option

This option requires a total of 33 credit hours including 9 of core requirements, and 24 for elective courses. Nonthesis students must also pass a written and/or oral comprehensive examination based on the content of the degree program (ordinarily done after the completion of 18 hours of coursework).

Nonthesis Option Degree Requirements SummaryMore Information

Hours
Core Course Requirements
CJ 581Applic Statistics In CJ3
CJ 584Criminological Theory3
CJ 586Research In Cj Process3
Comprehensive Exam
Electives24
Total Hours33

Each candidate for a master's degree must apply for graduation through the Office of the Graduate School no later than the registration period for the semester or the first session of the summer term in which requirements for the degree are to be completed. The candidacy form and graduation form both are available at the “Graduate School Forms” icon on the Graduate School’s homepage.