Graduate-Criminal Justice

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice program is designed to prepare students for professions in criminal justice while enhancing the academic and professional knowledge of those who are already employed in the field. The curriculum engages students in the exploration of the relationship between theory and practice; the issues inherent in focusing on one over the other and the complexities of searching for answers to crime problems in an area so closely tied to social, political and economic factors. Students study both ethics and theory throughout the curriculum, integrating the two as they inform policy and decision-making.

Anna Maria College recognizes that criminal justice professionals face increasing challenges that demand knowledge and an appreciation of our diverse society. Over the years Anna Maria College's criminal justice programs have changed with the national scene, contributing to and living within some of the highest academic standards in the field. As the field of criminal justice has gown and evolved, so have our programs, which continue to stand as a model for academic change and excellence. Collaborations and partnerships have allowed the programs to provide education and leadership beyond the traditional classroom walls.

Emphasis on intellectual involvement, career preparation, social awareness, and dedication to peace and justice are cornerstones of our programs. The faculty bring a broad spectrum of educational achievements and professional experiences to the classroom. Faculty and students come together as a community of scholars and learners to acquire knowledge in an ever-changing field and to explore the boundaries of that knowledge through research and analytical thought. Anna Maria College educated criminal justice professionals have a commitment to professionalism and excellence, and are cognizant of their responsibilities to their community.

The criminal justice program at AMC is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education for participation in the Police Career Incentive Pay Program established by the Quinn Bill.

The program consists of twelve courses: a required four course sequence, seven electives, and successful completion of the Capstone Project or a written thesis.

Required Courses (4)
GRS 600 Ethical Theory (or equivalent)
CRJ 710 Research Design and Methodology
CRJ 711 Statistical Analysis
CRJ 816 Criminological Thought

Elective Courses
Seven elective criminal justice courses are required of the degree. Students may choose to take up to three courses (nine credit hours) in elective graduate coursework from related disciplines with program director approval.

Capstone/Thesis Requirement
CRJ 891 Policy and Strategy or CJ 892 Thesis

> Read the Criminal Justice Course Descriptions

Criminal Justice Course Descriptions

Required Course Descriptions

(All classes are three credits unless otherwise noted.)

CRJ 710 Research Design and Methodology
Designed to enhance students' awareness of the fundamentals of research and research design. Students are required to adopt an individually designed research project that demonstrates their ability to conceptualize ideas in criminal justice and apply methods for exploring those ideas.

CRJ 711 Statistical Analysis
Focuses on probability and statistics with an emphasis on data analysis, including univariate and multivariate techniques. Statistical problem solving is engaged using various data-sources.

CRJ 816 Criminological Thought
A presentation of major theories of crime and criminality. Theories are analyzed by common sense, logic, evidence, policy utility and compatibility with one another. Theories will be examined through a discussion of measures, correlates and popular beliefs regarding the prevalence, causes and continuance of criminal offending.

CRJ 891 Policy and Strategy (Capstone Project)
Serves as the final evaluation for Criminal Justice students. Requires case studies and other materials to demonstrate oral and written competence in the areas of research, professional responsibility, and management. Analyzes issues of law, policy, and society, allowing students to integrate knowledge and experience as they apply ethical principles in developing effective strategies to confront issues facing practitioners within the realm of human service and criminal justice. Culminates with a final project presented to a faculty panel. Prerequisite: CRJ 710, 711 and completion of 24 credit hours.

CRJ 892 Thesis (Optional)
Facilitates thesis writing within criminal justice. Specific guidelines are available from the Program Director. Prerequisite: CRJ 710 and CRJ 711. Registration requires completion of 24 credit hours. Six credits

Elective Course Descriptions

(All classes are three credits unless otherwise noted.)

CRJ 630 Directed Study
Examines specific topics in criminal justice under the direction of a faculty advisor.

CRJ 712 Technology and Crime
Provides an overview of the intersection between technology and crime. This includes the study of criminal acts committed with the use of technology and the role of technology in investigation and analyzing crime rates and patterns.

CRJ 713 Forensic Anthropology
Designed to introduce the graduate student to the realm of Forensic Anthropology as a Forensic Science and its place within the criminal justice system for criminal investigation, civil matters, and human rights issues. The techniques of skeletal biology as they relate to Forensic Anthropology will be presented and will provide a foundation for an understanding of how these techniques fit into a team approach in forensic inquiry. The ethical and moral underpinnings of casework are presented, as well as, issues derived from working with families of traumatic death and multiple fatality events. Human rights exhumations of political dissidents and government ethnic cleansing campaigns will be presented and the legal presentation of forensic evidence at tribunals will be discussed.

CRJ 768 Organized Crime
Provides an analysis of the history and development of the traditional model of organized crime in the United States and an introduction to the changing landscape of the field by surveying the prominence of selected transnational criminal organizations. The organized crime groups are studied from the perspective of their roles as economic and non-state political actors.

CRJ 779 White Collar Crime
Studies the causes, laws, policies and consequences associated with crimes organized by those whose economic, political and privileged positions provide opportunity for the commission of white collar crimes.

CRJ 798 Special Topics in Criminal Justice
Rotating topics in Criminal Justice.

CRJ 799 Justice Colloquium
A seminar designed to allow for focused analysis on selected justice issues.

CRJ 803 Juvenile Offender
Explores the philosophy and practice of the juvenile justice system from the Illinois Juvenile Justice Act of 1899 to present policies and process. Students are challenged to critically examine the juvenile justice system - its mandate, separateness, and effectiveness.

CRJ 805 Forensics
Studies the application of science to law. Introduces forensic science concepts, history, processes and issues including how forensic science is linked with other components of the criminal justice system.

CRJ 806 Ethics in Public Safety
Examines ethical principles as they apply to the many practical problems that confront criminal justice professionals in the performance of their duties and responsibilities. Uses case studies to illustrate ethical reasoning and examine issues of social justice.

CRJ 808 Contemporary Case Law
An examination and analysis of recent decisions and opinions of federal and state courts around current issues in the criminal justice system.

CRJ 817 Victim Studies
Considers the evolution of the study of victimology from a historical perspective. It will focus on the scientific study of the physical, emotional and financial harm people suffer as victims in our society. The course will also examine the public's political, social, cultural and economic reactions to victimization.

CRJ 819 Violent Crimes
This course provides an analysis of contemporary violent crime, factors contributing to violence, the profile and motivation of various offenders, the legal consequences of violence and its impact on society.

CRJ 820 Police and Community Initiatives
Provides students with an understanding of the relationship that exists between the police and the community, and an examination of the police role in society and the psychological, sociological, and ethnic factors which influence this relationship.

CRJ 822 Criminal Justice and Public Policy
Facilitates critical thinking about the approaches to the delivery of public safety services in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Rhode Island. Includes the study of actual behaviors and attitudes of individuals in various agencies in an attempt to understand and assess planning decisions. Develops concepts of interdependence, jurisdictional disputes and the goals of contemporary justice administration in a democratic society.

CRJ 823 Drugs and Human Behavior
Considers the effects of psychotropic substances on individual and societal human behavior. Students will study the history of drug use in the United States, and the development of regulatory and enforcement policies and practices. The behaviors studied will chronicle the effects of drug abuse upon individuals. Societal behaviors, domestic and international, that result from widespread use or trafficking of illegal drugs will also be examined.

CRJ 825 Policy Development in Community Corrections
Examines critically policy formation in probation, parole and community control through legislative initiatives and institutional philosophy in our state and federal systems.

CRJ 826 Social Issues in Criminal Justice
Examines those forces in a society that shape thinking and group attitudes. Gives special consideration to diverse issues related to the break down of the family structure, domestic violence, child abuse, problems of the economically deprived, race and ethnic relations, the homeless, the mentally ill, and alcoholism and drug abuse.

CRJ 827 Deviance in America
An analysis of various topics relevant to issues of deviance, their societal impact and solutions in both the individual and group setting.

CRJ 828 Women and Crime
Examines gender differences in criminal offending, criminological theory, and the experiences and treatment of women offenders, victims and professionals in the criminal justice system.

CRJ 829 The Supreme Court
Examines the role of the judiciary generally and the specifically in American government and American life. An analysis of recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court. Concentration will be on case analysis of major decisions as they impact upon the criminal justice system and its professionals.

CRJ 832 Penology
Examines the philosophy and practice of the penal system as it exists today. Students will critically examine the structure of the system, sentencing, alternative methods of punishment, and the effectiveness of capital punishment as a deterrent to crime.

CRJ 844 Principles of Security management
This course provides comprehensive coverage of principles and issues in security management. Students examine the historical growth and trends in security.

CRJ 850 The Analysis of Terrorism
Examines fundamental issues concerning terrorism, including the doctrine of systematic terrorism, current interpretations of terrorism, and its common patterns and motives. Probes the structure of organized terrorist groups, universally accepted military principles and doctrine, terrorist profiles and personalities, and the group dynamics of belonging to a terrorist organization. Examines prevention, societal impact, and federal, state, and local agency responses.

CRJ 852 Comparative Justice Systems
Studies criminal justice systems extent in various countries. The course will focus on the definition and organization of the nation state; its history and culture and how these shaped the legal system; its process; and the degree and role of democracy within the nation state.

CRJ 890 Internship
Provides advanced students with an opportunity to apply acquired skills at a specified agency. The internship is supervised by a faculty member and requires the student to submit a written proposal and final written report. Program Director approval required.

CRJ 912 Grantsmanship–Research, Writing and Relationships
Focuses on the various steps involved in researching, utilizing sources, developing goals and objectives and cultivating relationships for grant support.

Learning Outcomes for the Graduate  Criminal Justice Program (PDF)

For More Information
For more information, including course details and admission requirements, please contact:

Graduate Studies and Continuing Education Admissions
(508) 849-3423

Program Director
Patricia W. Gavin, M.S.
Director of Criminal Justice
(508) 849-3377