msl criminal justice concentration

Program Coordinator: Gail Belfert, J.D.

The focus of the MSL degree in criminal justice is to educate professionals in both the theory and the application of criminal justice, and in the administration and management of criminal justice agencies.

The MSL degree program objectives in criminal justice are to prepare students to:


  1. Apply criminological theories in explaining the criminal justice system;
  2. Evaluate how criminal justice relates to other social structures and institutions, and how those structures and institutions impact criminal justice; and
  3. Utilize critical thinking, social justice, and civic responsibility in their decision-making processes as they pursue their careers and encounter life situations; and
  4. Fiscally manage a criminal justice organization.

The MSL degree program in criminal justice is intended for individuals who have baccalaureate degrees in sociology, psychology, criminal justice, or who are currently working in an area of criminal justice.

The number of career opportunities in the field of criminal justice is unprecedented. The demand for university-educated personnel is a result of society’s rapidly evolving political and social changes, which reflect a renewed interest in and a need for effective administration of the nation’s criminal justice system. There are many areas of expertise within the broad scope of the criminal justice field. This graduate program concentration addresses not only the pedagogy of criminal justice, but also the fundamentals of managerial science as applied in a criminal justice setting. Students will learn to recognize and resolve policy decisions and management issues regarding law enforcement, courts, and corrections.

Students within the Criminal Justice Concentration have a number of unique characteristics. First, upon entering the program, the majority of the students have had extensive exposure and academic understanding of the criminal justice system. Second, students graduating with the MSL-Criminal Justice Concentration must be prepared to pursue a variety of careers, including further graduate school, law school, and a variety of management positions within the criminal justice system.

The purpose of the Criminal Justice Concentration program is to promote critical thinking, social justice, and civic responsibility through an academic curriculum designed to ensure that all students master the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of the criminal justice system through a multi-disciplinary lens.

Students who have completed graduate coursework in management may be able to transfer up to six (6) credits. The coursework must be from an accredited institution with grades of “B” (3.0) or better. The coursework may not be older than six (6) years at the time of planned graduation. Credit cannot be given for experiential work completed prior to enrollment in the program.

The following criminal justice courses are required for the concentration and are offered in series following the core curriculum.

Criminal Justice Course and Title Credits
MSL 508 Personnel Management and Administration 3
MSL 541 Criminal Justice System 3
MSL 542 Criminal Law and the Courts 3
MSL 543 Administration of Law Enforcement Agencies OR
MSL 545 Juvenile Justice System 3
MSL 547 Psychology of Criminal Behavior 3
Total Criminal Justice Concentration 15

The following criminal justice courses are electives for the concentration. Nine credits must be taken from the following.

Criminal Justice Elective Course and Title Credits
MSL 512 Grant Writing and Administration 3
MSL 544 Corrections: History, Management, Alternatives 3
MSL 546 At Risk Youth 3
MSC 550 Etiology of Human Addictions 3
MSC 554 Pharmacology of Addictions 3
MSC 526 Professional Ethics 3
MSC 606 Cultural Awareness for Professionals 3
Total Criminal Justice Electives 9


Course Rotation Guide

The course rotation information is currently under review and redesign due to the change in course length (8 week offerings), teach-out options for students, and program re-design. Please speak with your Advisor for information on course rotation.


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