Master of Science in Applied Criminology

The MS in Applied Criminology will provide you with a professional program of study focused on the social and practical problems surrounding the creation and implementation of law and justice policy in local, national, and international environments. 

You’ll be provided with a strong, graduate-level understanding of theory and methods of social science as they apply to the creation, violation, and enforcement of laws.

With the master’s degree, you can specialize in one or more of the following areas:

  • transnational crime and justice
  • communities and justice
  • law, policy, and social change

In each area, you will:

  • examine the structure, operations, and limitations of the state and supra-state control systems used to resolve perceived social problems
  • take a broad view of what constitutes justice problems
  • participate in courses and faculty research ranging from interpersonal issues to large-scale corporate and international issues

You’ll work closely with faculty mentors to build a program of study tailored to your career goals.

Degree requirements


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The MS in Applied Criminology is a 36-hour program consisting of 30 units of class-based coursework and 6 units of a capstone project. To learn more about the specific degree requirements, visit the academic catalog page and click on the Details tab.

Admissions requirements 

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Entry into the department’s graduate program requires application to and acceptance by:

  • the Graduate College
  • the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Forms for application to the Graduate College and Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice are available at a single website at the Graduate College.

In addition to online completion of all university and departmental admissions forms, admission to the Graduate Program in Criminology & Criminal Justice requires submission of the following materials through the online application:

  1. A minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0 (or equivalent): as evidenced on official transcripts sent to the Graduate College.
  2. Three letters of recommendation: Preferably, these will be written by academic references. However, professional references will be accepted in special circumstances. All letters must be submitted through the online submission tool accessible via the online graduate application form. No specific format is required for these letters, but they should address skills, capabilities, and experiences relevant to success in graduate school.
  3. A personal statement: This should be a two- to four-page letter describing:
    • your interest in the program
    • your educational and career goals
    • information regarding your academic and professional preparation for entry into the master’s program
    • any special topic areas that you would like to pursue at the Master’s level 
  4. A professional writing sample in the English language: The following documents would be appropriate for the writing sample:
    • a professional paper
    • a research paper
    • a class paper (preferably with instructor's comments included.

ALL application materials described above must be submitted through the online application forms and received by the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department Office by the deadline date to be considered for admission.

Application deadline dates   

Fall admission - February 15

Financial assistance and graduate assistantships

Learn more about the several sources of financial support available to you if you’ve been formally admitted to the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice's Master's in Applied Criminology program.