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Criminal Justice MS

College of Community Studies and Public Affairs
Graduate degree / Master of Science

Program note: The Master of Science in Criminal Justice is not accepting applications at this time.

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Program eligibility requirements

Students wishing to complete a full Focus Area of Study in Criminal Justice must be enrolled in either the Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) in Individualized Studies. Questions about those programs should be directed to the College of Individualized Studies' Graduate Program Co-directors, Richard Bohannon (richard.bohannon@metrostate.edu) or Gemma Punti (gemma.punti@metrostate.edu).

Elective classes in criminal justice are open to all graduate students at Metropolitan State University. To learn more about graduate education in the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, please contact Raj Sethuraju at raj.sethuraju@​metrostate.edu.

Before registering, please check with your own programs to ensure criminal justice courses will qualify as approved graduate elective credits.

Course requirements

While we presently do not offer our full Master of Science (MS) in Criminal Justice degree, the need to understand the criminal justice system, and how to transform it, has never been greater. The School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice now offers a 12 credit Focus Area of Study in Criminal Justice as part of the Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS) degrees in Individualized Studies. The focus area is taught by SLC resident faculty and comprises the following coursework: 1. CJS 625 Justice Transformation and Community Healing (4 credits). Offered fall semester. 2. CJS 615 Program and Policy Evaluation in the Criminal Justice System (2 credits) AND CJS 620 Reducing Crime: What Works, What Doesn’t, What’s Promising? (2 credits). Offered spring semester 3. CJS 645 Leadership and Innovation in Criminal Justice (4 credits). Offered summer semester. These courses, plus CJS 660I Student Designed Independent Study, can be taken in any order and are open to any Metro State graduate student as approved graduate elective credits. Students in Public and Nonprofit Leadership programs (e.g., MAPL, MNLM, MPA, MPNA) may be especially interested in these courses because they provide a unique opportunity to sample the criminal justice curriculum on their own terms and explore timely and topical issues related to public safety policy, such as whether communities can reduce violence and ensure the health and security of their residents without depending on police. Students will demonstrate and improve critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills as they learn what works to reduce crime and achieve justice.

CJS 625 Justice Transformation and Community Healing

4 credits

This course takes a systemic, collaborative, and people-centered approach to justice, combining evidence-based and community stakeholder-driven practices that foster inclusion and authentic community building. This course raises awareness around mass incarceration, unfair sentencing practices, police violence, and the disparate impact of current justice practices across different communities. With an emphasis on community action, healing, and accountability, this course empowers students to think differently about public safety and create system change.

Full course description for Justice Transformation and Community Healing

CJS 615 Program and Policy Evaluation in the Criminal Justice System

2 credits

Students learn to read, understand, and conduct the types of program and policy evaluations that are typically used in criminal justice agencies. At the end of the course, the student will know the vocabulary, concepts, theories, and techniques related to program and policy evaluation well enough to implement their own evaluation projects. The student will participate in both designing and conducting actual program evaluations.

Full course description for Program and Policy Evaluation in the Criminal Justice System

CJS 620 Reducing Crime: What Works, What Doesn't, What's Promising?

2 credits

This course examines different strategies to reduce crime used in communities, families, schools, labor markets, places, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system. These strategies are critically examined in relation to social science theory and what the scientific evidence suggests about the effectiveness of crime prevention and intervention efforts. A key focus is whether communities can reduce violence and ensure the health and security of their residents without depending on police.

Full course description for Reducing Crime: What Works, What Doesn't, What's Promising?

CJS 645 Leadership and Innovation in Criminal Justice

4 credits

The course explores past and future trends, challenges, and advancements in criminal justice/law enforcement leadership. Focusing on the stories and lessons learned by leaders throughout the private, nonprofit, and public sectors; while exploring issues of ethics, diversity, and changing demographics of leadership within the criminal justice/law enforcement profession.

Full course description for Leadership and Innovation in Criminal Justice

CJS 660I CJS 660I Student Designed Ind Study

1-5 credits

Student-designed independent studies give Metropolitan State students the opportunity to plan their own study. This type of independent learning strategy can be useful because it allows students: to study a subject in more depth, at a more advanced level; to pursue a unique project that requires specialized study; to draw together several knowledge areas or interests into a specialized study; to test independent learning capabilities and skills; or to use special learning resources in the community, taking advantage of community education opportunities which, in themselves, would not yield a full college competence. Students should contact their academic advisor for more information.

Full course description for CJS 660I Student Designed Ind Study

Requirements