Jul 15, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Catalog

Criminal Justice, M.A. and Public Administration, M.P.A.


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The College of Arts and Sciences joint degree program was designed in response to students’ demand for a degree program that would broaden student’s skills and knowledge by combing the core of these two programs; thus allowing students to have a comparative advantage in the job market. Students who graduate with this joint degree will graduate with two master’s degrees (one in Public Administration and the other in Criminal Justice). The Public Administration program offers students the tools and technical skills for working in the public sector. This includes such courses as human resource administration, public planning, and public budgeting. The Criminal Justice program focuses more on the skills, knowledge, and abilities to work effectively in organizations and positions, to effectively develop, implement, and evaluate system and organization change and reform initiatives. By so doing, the program builds upon a criminal justice and public policy program with the addition of a social justice emphasis.

In developing this joint degree program the faculty studied the “best practices” of joint degree programs and developed a program that makes use of the complimentary nature of CJUS and PA in order to maintain the integrity of each program, while allowing the greatest use of each program to satisfy the electives. Students enrolled in this program will be able to complete both degrees with 23 courses (69 credit hours), 11 in the MPA program, 10 in the CJUS program, and two separate capstone courses (one in MPA, one in CJUS).

Program Expected Student Outcomes

After successfully completing the MA in Criminal Justice program, students are able to: 

1. Understanding of team-building techniques for justice-related projects; 

2. Familiarity with historical and current theoretical approaches to explaining criminal behavior and organizational theory pertaining to public organizations, particularly justice-related organizations;  

3. Apply planning, analysis, and problem-solving techniques to justice-related problems and challenges; 

4. Understanding of community-based, multi-agency approaches to solving crime problems; 

5. Utilize research-based, strategic approaches to solving crime problems; 

6. Utilization of leadership skills to develop consensus around crime- and justice-related issues; 

7. Demonstrate and apply research and statistical techniques for planning and forecasting in the justice arena; 

8. Integrate and demonstrate the skills to develop project and organizational budgets for planning and development purposes. 

Upon completion of the MA in Public Administration, students will be able to:

1. Lead and manage in public governance.

2. Participate in and contribute to the policy process.

3. Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions.

4. Articulate and apply a public service perspective.

5. Communicate and interact with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.

Special Admission Requirements

In addition to university admission requirements, applicants must submit the following documents as part of their application package:

  1. Applicants will be expected to have a 3.0 cumulative G.P.A. (on a 4.0 scale) in their last 60 credit hours;
  2. Two confidential letters of recommendation from professional references (e.g. current or former college faculty member, current or former work supervisor, or community leader);
  3. A two page, double-spaced statement of intent, which discusses personal short- and long-term career goals, reasons for pursuing the joint degrees, and how these degrees will help the student achieve those goals. The statement should encompass specific personal examples of leadership and provide other pertinent information to help the committee select candidates who can benefit from and contribute to the program. The statement of intent offers applicants the opportunity to demonstrate writing and communication skills to support their candidacy for the CJUS and MPA degree; and
  4. A current resume.

Program Requirements


The 23 course (69 credits) program consists of:

  • 11 required MPA courses (33 credits)
  • 10 required CJUS courses (30 credits)
  • 2 required capstone/project courses (6 credits)

Joint Degree Curriculum:


Master’s Final Project (6 hours):


Choose one (1) PADM and one (1) CJUS course your final semester from among those listed below. Students must earn a “B” or better grade for the final project in order to successfully complete each program.

Total Hours for CJUS/PADM Joint Degree (69 Hours)


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