Girard School of Business


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

There are two tracks students can take:

  • Law Enforcement in the 21st Century
  • Justice Advocacy and Reform 

Core Courses (16 credits)

CRM 5000 Criminological Theory - 4 credits

Criminology is the scientific study of lawmaking, law breaking, and society’s response to law breaking. This foundational course is a comprehensive examination of the major theories of crime causation, including biological psychological, economic, and sociological perspectives on the etiology of crime, as well as the criminal justice system’s response to crime. This course will not only cover the major criminological theories (e.g., differential association, social bonding, anomie/strain, social disorganization), but also requires students to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of theories based on empirical evidence and consider the effectiveness of the theories in addressing crime prevention and control.

CRM 5010 Police, Courts, and Corrections - 4 credits

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 6240 Advanced Research Methods and Evaluation - 4 credits

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 6810 Capstone Seminar: Theoretical Application and the Professional Practice - 4 credits

This capstone course will be the final course in the eight-course graduate curriculum sequence. This course offers students an opportunity to integrate knowledge of criminological theory and criminal justice policy with the research skills gained while working toward completion of the graduate degree. Students will undertake an original research project that will relate directly to their intended area of engagement in the professional practice. Students will investigate theoretical foundations and analyze their applications to a particular discipline in the criminal justice profession. Successful completion of this course requires students to submit a manuscript length paper and participate in the graduate research colloquium or another forum for public dissemination.

Electives (16 credits)

Students select from the following course electives.

CRM 5002 Forensic Behavioral Analysis - 4 credits

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. Faculty consent.

CRM 5030 Criminal Justice Administration and Management - 4 credits

This course will provide students with an overview of various criminal justice organizations from the perspective of management and leadership. Students will be tasked with understanding the makeup of organizations, and how the mission drives the organization. The topics discussed will focus on budget preparations, grant writing, human resources, and professional development in the workplace. The final assessment will require students to prepare to apply for a senior level management position, including completing a mock oral board.

CRM 6020 Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the Era of Homeland Security - 4 credits

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 6030 Privacy and Surveillance in Information Sharing Environment - 4 credits

From security legislation instituted after September 11, 2001 to increased sharing of information via social networking sites such as Facebook, contemporary understanding of privacy and security is changing, sometimes at an alarming rate (as evidenced by the NSA leaks and reform in the past few years alone). This course delves into the complicated relationship between surveillance, privacy, and freedom in the security context. Students will examine the current understanding of these evolving concepts, the tradeoffs society makes for security, and whether these tradeoffs result in increased security. Students will discuss philosophical perspectives, technological developments, and institutional changes that surround controversies about privacy and surveillance in contemporary society. The course also allows for an exploration of public and private institutions conducting surveillance, how they calculate and manage risk, and the legal constraints on surveillance activities.

CRM 5003 Victimology - 4 credits

Victimology is the scientific study of crime victims. As criminal justice professionals, it is essential to the administration of justice that we understand the causes and consequences of criminal victimization. This course provides a comprehensive examination of criminal victimization through a review of the history and current theories of victimology, as well as an in-depth analysis of research on crime victims and victimization trends. This course focuses on specific crimes types, the physical, psychological, and financial impact of crime on victims, the role victims play within the criminal justice system, and victim rights and services in the United States. We will discuss the practical applications of victim programs, including restitution, mediation, and compensation, as well as the influence of victimology on criminal justice policy.

CRM 6230 Juvenile Justice and the Legal Rights of Children - 4 credits

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 6010 Prison, Incarceration and the Treatment of Convicted Persons - 4 credits

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 6220 Race, Ethnicity and Social Control - 4 credits

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 6003 Girls, Women and Crime - 4 credits

This course explores research and literature from criminology and criminal justice, social history, sociology, feminist legal theory, and popular culture to address issues of girls, women, crime, and both informal and formal methods of social control. Girls’ and women’s experiences with crime and social control can be understood only within the context of cultural definitions of femininity. This course will also examine the intersections of gender, age, race, socioeconomic status, mental illness, disability, and sexuality and how these statuses interact within the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The theoretical perspective known as intersectionality recognizes that people are placed at interlocking disadvantages and advantages due to where they are located in the social structural hierarchy, all of which in turn affect experiences and outcomes in justice systems.

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