Dec 06, 2023  
2020-21 NSU Graduate Catalog 
2020-21 NSU Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Criminal Justice, M.S.

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OSRHE Program Code: 085
CIP Code: 430103
Major Code: 9850


The Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice provides a foundation in five specific areas: criminal justice systems, crime theory, criminal justice administration, legal aspects, and research methods. Additional elective courses offer the student an opportunity to acquire some background in forensics and investigative techniques. The student who successfully completes this program should be adequately prepared to assume administrative, managerial, training, or research responsibilities in the applied criminal justice arena, or to pursue doctoral level education in Criminal Justice or a related discipline.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the criminal justice network.
  2. Develop and evaluate crime theory models
  3. Interpret, analyze, and develop empirical research
  4. Apply inductive and deductive reasoning to issues facing the criminal justice network
  5. Demonstrate, explain, and compare the administration of justice on a domestic and international level.
  6. Explain the reationship between constitutional law and justice administration and outcomes.

Admission, Retention, and Graduation

Admission. Beyond the admission requirements for the Graduate College, admission to the Criminal Justice, M.S. program requires:

  1. A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or related field. An applicant with an unrelated undergraduate degree can be admitted provisionally.

Advisement. The Graduate College assigns students an advisor upon admission to graduate studies. It is the candidate’s responsibility to make an appointment with the advisor prior to enrollment to discuss policies and procedures relevant to the degree program. Confering with the student, the advisor develops the plan of study, reviews the Statement of Understanding, assists in the selection of classes, and counsels the student.

Candidacy. Students should meet candidacy requirements after completing 9 hours of coursework prescribed by the plan of study. Students are eligible for admission to candidacy if they have met the following:

  • Admitted to the graduate program in Criminal Justice
  • Filed an approved degree plan and a signed Statement of Understanding with the Graduate College
  • Take the GRE or MAT
  • Complete undergraduate prerequisites (if applicable).
  • Maintain a “B” average in all graduate coursework completed prior to candidacy

Retention and Graduation. Candidates for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Continue to meet the Graduate College’s retention standards. See the Academic Information page for more information.
  2. Monitor degree progress using the degree audit system in the goNSU portal.
  3. Meet Graduate College policies detailed in Academic Information and Master’s Degree Requirements regarding GPA, minimum grades, coursework age, residency and institutional / state regulations governing degree conferral.
  4. Complete a thesis or pass a comprehensive examination as described below.
  • Thesis - Students who choose the thesis option complete 30 hours of coursework and remaining 6 hours will be used to complete the thesis. A criminal justice faculty member selected by the student will serve as the thesis committee chair. The committee will be comprised of at least three (3) criminal justice faculty (including the chair) and one outside faculty member selected by the student. The chair will be responsible for assisting the student with organization and research methodology and for ensuring that the thesis is ready for presentation. Thesis format guidelines are available on the Graduate College web page. The completed thesis will be presented and defended orally before the committee. Once approved, a copy must be submitted to the Dean of the Graduate College for approval at least one month prior to the end of the semester in which the student expects to complete degree requirements Four copies of the thesis will be provided and distributed to the NSU Library, the Dean of the Graduate College, the Criminology, Justice Studies, and Global Security departmental library at the Broken Arrow campus, and the thesis committee chair.
  • Comprehensive Examination - The comprehensive final examination will be administered on Monday, three weeks prior to finals week.

Criminal Justice, M.S. - 36 hours

The program sequence allows a student to complete all coursework within two years, provided the student take a full course load each fall, spring and summer session. Substitutions are discouraged and will only be made with consensus approval of three graduate faculty and subsequent approval by the Dean of the Graduate College. The thesis option requires 30 semester class hours and 6 thesis hours. The comprehensive final will be waived for any student who completes a thesis. The non-thesis option requires 36 semester class hours, and the student must take a comprehensive final exam at the end of the last semester.

Accelerated B.S. Criminal Justice to M.S. Criminal Justice Degree Pathway

Note:  Please refer to Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Degree Program  for complete information concerning Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Degree Programs.  Refer to the Undergraduate Catalog for bachelor’s degree requirements.


  • Students admitted to the Accelerated B.S. Criminal Justice to M.S. Criminal Justice degree program will complete up to 12 hours of graduate level credit to apply toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.
  • Students who do not follow the approved degree plan may become ineligible to continue in the accelerated degree program.
  • Prior to completing the undergraduate degree, if the undergraduate GPA, graduate GPA and/or overall GPA fall below a 3.00, the student becomes ineligible to continue in the ADP.
  • Students may withdraw from an approved accelerated degree pathway.  Graduate credit hours completed prior to the student withdrawing or becoming ineligible to continue in the ADP apply toward the undergraduate degree only.

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