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Criminology and Criminal Justice

Curriculum and Course Descriptions

The Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice is a 32-credit program.

Core Courses (16 credits)

  • CRM 5010G - Police, Courts, and Corrections
  • CRM 5020G - Public Policy, Crime, and Criminal Justice
  • CRM 7001G - Advanced Research Methods & Evaluation
  • CRM 8900G - Capstone Seminar: Theoretical Application and the Professional Practice

Electives (16 credits)

Students select from the following course electives.

  • CRM 5001G - Advanced Topics in Criminology
  • CRM 5002G - Forensic Behavioral Analysis
  • CRM 6001G - Applied Criminology
  • CRM 6010G - Prison, Incarceration, and the Treatment of Convicted Persons
  • CRM 6020G - Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the Era of Homeland Security
  • CRM 6030G - Privacy and Surveillance in the Information Sharing Environment (ISE)
  • CRM 7002G - Crime Ethnography
  • CRM 7003G - Race, Ethnicity, and Social Control
  • CRM 7004G - Juvenile Justice and the Legal Rights of Children
  • CRM 7005G - Applied Multivariate Data Analysis

 

Course Descriptions

CRM 5001G - Advanced Topics in Criminology
Criminology is the systematic study of the causation, patterns, and control of crime and criminal behavior in individuals, groups, organizations, cultures, and societies. Criminology fosters theoretical debates and ideas about lawmaking, law breaking, and the social consequences of both. Criminologists also offer suggestions for reducing crime and improving crime policies. In this class we focus on current issues within the field of criminology, including such topics as: interrogations and interviewing; investigations and evidence collection; ethics in policing; new social media and policing; the use of intelligence in post 9-11society; and careers in law enforcement. A goal of this class is to help students cultivate critical thinking and informed analysis about crime – its causes and the policies in place to deter or solve crime.

CRM 5002G - Forensic Behavioral Analysis
This course is designed to allow students to examine the development of individual criminality and criminal careers, the role of social group processes in criminal activity, varieties of criminal behavior including violent, sexual and predatory crime, mental disorders, psychopathy and crime, victims and victimization, offender profiling, and the broader topic of forensic criminal investigation. The course will also explore the contribution of psychology to our contemporary understanding of crime and the criminal justice processes through the application of psychological theory in the investigation of crime and the efficacy of the criminal justice system.

CRM 5010G - Police, Courts, and Corrections
This foundational course will consider the origins, the evolution, and the continuing evolution of the component segments (law enforcement, the courts, and the corrections system) of the criminal justice system in the United States. The organicity and dynamism of the system of criminal justice will be deconstructed in a framework of critical analysis that will examine the history and the legacy of the oppression of underclass populations by this system and the ways in which the manifestations and remnants of that history inform contemporary criminal justice practice. Students will investigate and interrogate discrimination, racism, and the brutality directed toward “otherized” populations in our corrections system, in law enforcement, and in the courts in order to consider and propose meaningful change strategies that will alleviate systemic inequality and injustice.

CRM 5020G - Public Policy, Crime, and Criminal Justice
This foundational course is an in-depth analysis of historically significant and recent crime and criminal justice policies. We will examine how crime, the public perception of crime influence public policy in the United States. We will place particular emphasis on the role of media and political forces that shape the social response to crime.

CRM 6001G - Applied Criminology
Applied Criminology allows students to put criminological theories and research methods into practice in real world settings. The course provides students with a background in the scholarly literature and data on the etiology of crime and encourages them to apply this knowledge to criminal justice policies designed to reduce crime. The class will also address the efficacy of criminal justice policies currently being used to reduce crime. Students will focus on how the criminology studied in academia is, or should be, used to solve real crime problems and criminal justice issues.

CRM 6010G - Prison, Incarceration, and the Treatment of Convicted Persons
Mass incarceration affects more people than ever, yet the realities of incarceration are unknown to most people. This course looks at prisons and jails in terms of daily life, operations, social hierarchies, and social interactions. We will study both historical and contemporary accounts of life in prisons and jails in an attempt to understand the experience of incarcerated individuals, but also the relationship between penal institutions and the larger culture. We will pay particular attention to the political debates surrounding incarceration and the treatment of inmates.

CRM 6020G - Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the Era of Homeland Security
This course will consider the implications of the increase in the use of surveillance and other information gathering technologies by agents of the government (local, state, and federal), in the evolving quest to ensure “homeland security.” Enhanced technologies that enable the widespread and unprecedented collection of information on individuals and groups that threaten the protections of the Constitution as they relate to civil rights and civil liberties will be examined. Also, the increased militarization of domestic law enforcement that is facilitated by federal government grant and military equipment redistribution programs will be explored and investigated.

CRM 6030G - Intelligence Analysis in the Information Sharing Environment (ISE)
This course will examine existing and emerging methods, strategies, techniques, and technologies employed by analysts in the collection of information and data on individuals and groups in the law enforcement and homeland security milieu. Also considered in the course will be the policies that govern the exchange of intelligence in the ISE, particularly as they relate to privacy and civil rights and civil liberties protections.

CRM 7001G - Advanced Research Methods & Evaluation
This course focuses on the research designs most often used in evaluating the effectiveness of criminal justice policies and programs. Emphasis will be placed on experimental and quasi-experimental designs, questionnaire and scale development, and data collection methods in applied settings. Applications to police, courts, corrections, and crime prevention programs will be examined. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to successfully design and execute evaluations in a variety of criminal justice agencies.

CRM 7002G - Crime Ethnography
This course will focus on how qualitative fieldwork and analysis are used in the study of crime. We will explore the varied ethnographic methods utilized by social scientists, with a primary focus on participant observation and intensive interviewing. Students will be guided in taking an applied approach as they conduct their own ethnographic investigations of some aspect of crime in the local community.

CRM 7003G - Race, Ethnicity, and Social Control
This course examines the historical and contemporary connections between race, ethnicity, and social control (both formal and informal). The politics and culture surrounding race and ethnicity are fundamental to the criminal justice system in the United States and elsewhere. In this course, we will explore how racial inequality is connected to the legislative process, patterns of punishment, and public attitudes toward crime control. In the age of mass incarceration, we will consider the ways that understandings of crime and criminal justice not only respond to inequality, but also help perpetuate it.

CRM 7004G - Juvenile Justice and the Legal Rights of Children
This course examines the historical development, philosophy, and evolution of the juvenile justice system in the U.S. Emphasis will be placed on police practices, intervention, diversion, adjudication, and the detention of juveniles. The nature and extent of delinquency and status offenses, as well as the legal rights of children within the justice system will be discussed. Theory, research, and key contemporary policy issues will be analyzed and recommendations for reform developed.

CRM 7005G - Applied Multivariate Data Analysis
This course introduces students to multivariate data analysis techniques in criminology and criminal justice. Students will learn to use SPSS software and apply statistical techniques to real data sets. Selecting data analysis techniques to appropriately answer research questions and interpretation of regression output will be emphasized. Students will develop skills in interpreting statistical results presented in government reports and scholarly research articles.

CRM 8900G - Capstone Seminar: Theoretical Application and the Professional Practice
This course will be the final course in the graduate course sequence for students who have engaged in fellowships or internships as part of their degree program. Students will conduct an in-depth examination of the various theories that they have studied throughout their first nine courses that pertain to policy, practice, criminology, and the system of criminal justice, specifically as they relate to their experiences in the field. Students in this course will be responsible for completing a major paper as well as a school-wide presentation.

Take it to the next level - the graduate level - at Merrimack.