Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration
The Bethune-Cookman University’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration (MSCJA) is a rigorous interdisciplinary degree requiring exceptional critical reflection, reading, and writing skills. MSCJA offers a choice between a thesis and non-thesis program option. Students enrolled in the thesis program must complete 24 credits in core courses and 9 credits in an elective course. Students enrolled in the non-thesis program must complete 21 credits in core courses and 12 credits in electives.
The instructional delivery method is online teaching consisting of four semesters, each of fifteen-week duration. This 33 credit hour master’s program will prepare students for careers in a variety of criminal justice settings such as law enforcement agencies, courts, and correctional agencies. All classes are taught using state of the art software technology.
The State of Florida has an increasing demand for criminal justice professionals, particularly in the Central and Coastal regions. As the only historical black college and university (HBCU) offering a master’s degree in criminal justice administration in the area, our graduates will support the demand for a professionally prepared and culturally diverse workforce.
Degree Options: There are two tracks, Non-Thesis (Track I) and Thesis (Track II), for the Master’s in Criminal Justice Administration degree program.
Track I is a 33 credit hour degree program with a Capstone Project Paper that addresses problems in practice through data-based problem solving. It specializes in the practical application of interdisciplinary theories across research, justice and leadership to inform administrative practices, and policy development in the criminal justice field. Students in the non-thesis option must pass a written comprehensive examination administered at BCU for completion of the MSCJA degree. Track I has 12 credits in electives that students can choose to support their particular career goal. It is designed for students interested in management or administrative careers in criminal justice.
Track II is a 33 credit hour degree program with a thesis that is based on a traditional or action research study focused on a real world, practical problem. It specializes in research grounded in practical problem solving. Students incorporate scholarly research and interdisciplinary theories related to criminal justice administration and apply it to their final thesis. Track II has 9 credits in electives that students can choose to support their research. It is designed for students who plan to pursue a PhD or research-oriented career. Students in Track II must successfully defend their thesis at for completion of the MSCJA degree. This course must be taken at BCU.
Transfer of Credits: Each 33 credit hour track requires that 24 credit hours, including Thesis Research, to be taken at Bethune-Cookman University. Only Six credits may be considered for transfer from another institution if approved by the Department Chair and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
Graduate students must successfully complete the following assessment requirements to earn the MSCJA:
1. Maintain a 3.0 GPA or better
2. Complete 33 semester hours of graduate work
3. Successfully complete an action Capstone project paper (Track 1) or thesis (Track 2)
4. Present and defend the action Capstone project paper (Track 1) or thesis (Track 2) to a panel of reviewers.
The MSCJA challenge students to critically examine the field of criminal justice. The curriculum is planned around three themes and four levels of development in becoming a professional in the field of criminal justice administration.
Theme 1: Evidence-based Problem-solving
Students develop the research competencies for examining criminology and criminal justice data, and effective data-driven decision making.
Theme 2: Innovative Justice
Students critically examine different understandings of justice such as retributive and restorative applications.
Theme 3: Ethical Leadership
Emphasis is placed on the ethical nature of the organizational and community aspects of leadership in the field of criminal justice. This section focuses on educational, business, and political leadership.
The four levels are as follows:
The first semester involves introduction to the literature related to the foundations in criminal justice practices and research methods used in the field of criminal justice.
The second semester introduces the student to the tools and methodology for assessment of criminal justice practices.
The third semester increases in breadth and complexity by including theoretical and applied coursework in organizational and community structures and processes for managing criminal justice professionals.
The final semester emphasizes the challenges of justice in the global community and provides an opportunity for the student to apply research to solving problems for innovative justice. The student normally completes and defends his/her thesis during this semester. If additional time is needed, the student may sign up for a single credit of thesis continuation coursework in the subsequent semester.