Criminal Justice Graduate Programs
The Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) degree meets the needs of criminal justice professionals and pre-professionals who desire to enhance their knowledge, skills, and talents in the field of criminal justice. The degree program dedicates itself to informing professional best practices, advancing scholarship, and promoting responsible leadership through law enforcement, corrections, and security administration courses. The program provides students with the academic and administrative skills needed for designing policies, managing programs, directing scholarly research, preparing for teaching, and leading with integrity. MCJ Faculty foster an inclusive, collaborative community of students and faculty who share diverse practical experience and academic knowledge to advocate for justice and equality in local and global communities.
It is the policy of Washburn University and the Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Department to assure equal educational and employment opportunity to qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, marital or parental status, or sexual orientation.
Under no circumstances will academic credit be awarded for life experience.
Effective Fall 2016, students pursuing a graduate degree who have completed all degree requirements, and have enrolled in but not completed a capstone, practicum, or thesis, will be required to maintain continuous enrollment at Washburn University until graduation (unless a leave has been approved). Continuous enrollment means that candidates must be enrolled in at least one credit hour until degree requirements are met. If all other course work has been completed, students will be required to enroll in a one-credit-hour class CJ 777 Continuous Enrollment each semester until the program is completed. Credit hours completed through the CJ 777 Continuous Enrollment will not count toward the credit hours required for graduation and will be recorded as a credit on the transcript. This requirement also applies to the summer term for students whose degrees are being awarded at the end of the summer term. Interruption of continuous registration due to a failure to follow this requirement will result in a need for readmission to the program.
Upon admission to the Master of Criminal Justice program, all students will complete the online student orientation program.
Likewise, all MCJ students are required to consult with the MCJ Program Director every semester to decide a course schedule for the coming semester. Students are expected to inform Washburn University and the MCJ program of any changes of their permanent and current addresses and contact information.
General Admission Requirements
- Applicants for admission must have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better in the last two years (60 hours) of college course work from accredited institutions.
- Applicants who do not have a 3.0 GPA or better in the last two years (60 hours) of college coursework must submit evidence to the Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Department that they have achieved a cumulative score of 290 or better on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE).
- Applicants who have not achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in their undergraduate program, and do not earn the above minimum test scores on the GRE, may be considered for conditional admission.
- Applicants must obtain the recommendation of the MCJ Program Director/Advisor and the Graduate Admissions and Retention Committee.
- Complete the University Graduate Admission online application found at
- The application process requires the submission of the academic transcripts, letters of reference, personal statement, and collection of the $40.00 application fee.
- Applicants must submit a personal statement (2 page requirement) explaining:
- personal philosophy of the criminal justice system and
- reasons for entering the program.
- Applicants must submit a completed Program of Courses form for the appropriate degree option indicating any transfer credit to be applied to the degree.
Non-degree seeking students wishing to enroll in graduate criminal justice courses may do so with permission of the Department Chair.
Students admitted as “full-standing” status may transfer a maximum of 6 semester hours of relevant graduate course work from another university or another Washburn department. Students eligible for the dual degree program (see below) are allowed to transfer 12 hours of earned credit from the WU School of Law into the MCJ degree program. All transfer credit is considered on a case-by-case basis. The applicant must have received a grade of “B” or better in the course(s) being considered for transfer.
CJ 600 Seminar in Criminal Justice Systems (3)
This is a professional graduate seminar designed to engage the first-semester criminal justice graduate student in the analysis of the array of issues in the process of justice administration. Criminal Justice system operations are reviewed, and key issues impacting criminal justice theory and practice are explored. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 602 Criminal Justice Research (3)
The student will be able to develop and implement basic research designs and interpret findings. Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be examined. Instruction and application will focus upon criminal justice issues and the impact of criminal justice research upon the profession. Prerequisite: Admission to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 603 Issues in Criminal Procedure (3)
Current significant issues in criminal procedure will be addressed. Emphasis will be placed upon significance of recent judicial decisions to both enforcement and corrections. Additionally, the relationship between the judiciary and the other segments of the criminal justice system will be examined. Methods for conducting legal research will be examined. Prerequisites: Admission to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 604 Seminar in Criminal Justice Organization and Management (3)
This course will address the application of organizational, administrative and management principles in law enforcement, courts, and corrections. The course will examine issues in organizational structure, administration, problem solving, planning, and budgeting. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 605 Ethics in Criminal Justice (3)
The course will evaluate issues of professionalism and ethical behavior within the criminal justice profession. Key issues examined will include professional behavior of the individual and the agency. Current topics, such as sexual harassment, accreditation, and maintenance of standards, and community relations will be significant topics of focus. Prerequisite: Admission to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 610 Corrections in the United States (3)
This course will study the policies that affect modern correctional agencies in the United States. Corrections will be examined from a historical prospective to provide a benchmark for the analysis of current and future trends. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 620 Role of Law Enforcement in the United States (3)
Policies and human issues affecting law enforcement agencies in the United States will be addressed. Law enforcement will be examined from a historical prospective with analysis of current activities and expected future trends. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 625 Seminar In Criminological Theory (3)
Theories of crime causation and criminal behavior are discussed and researched. Theories are traced from the 1700's through modern times. Prerequisite: Admitted MCJ program.
CJ 630 Seminar in Correctional Administration (3)
The course will develop students' capacity to develop and evaluate policies and procedures in all parts of the correctional administration arena. Judicial decisions which impact the legal status of the operation of correctional institutions and offender confinement will be examined. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 635 Organized and White Collar Crime (3)
This course examines organized crime, white collar crimes, and gang activity in the United States. Focus will be on the historical development of these criminal patterns with an evaluation of current activities as well as proposed intervention theories. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 640 Seminar in Legal Issues in Law Enforcement (3)
Current significant issues in enforcement administration will be addressed. Emphasis will be placed upon significance to federal, state, and local enforcement administrators, their agencies, and their communities. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 645 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (3)
This course studies the criminal justice systems of four to six major countries. Each country's different philosophical and practical approaches to criminal justice will be evaluated and compared. Field study will be utilized when possible. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 650 Seminar in Community Corrections (3)
The course will examine the traditional practices of probation and parole, as well as newer community methods. The major focus will be on the organization and integration of community-based programs into the modern criminal justice system. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 655 Seminar in Juvenile Justice And Delinquency (3)
This course addresses delinquency prevention policies, investigation of juvenile crime, dispositions of offenders, and judicial waiver issues. The Seminar also examines the roles and interaction of juvenile agencies' operations and the administrative challenges to them as well as a review of the due process considerations mandated by courts. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 660 Seminar in Operational and Staff Planning (3)
This course will examine principles and practical applications of operational and staff planning as applied to law enforcement agencies. Emphasis will be placed on the development and implementation of organizational goals and objectives, strategic, and tactical planning and operational needs assessment. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 670 Seminar in Correctional Law (3)
This course studies correctional law as related to probation and parole, juvenile and adult institutions, local jails, legal liabilities, and legal research. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 675 Problems & Practices in Judicial Administration (3)
In this course, students will examine the problems that face judicial administration and how those problems affect other elements of the criminal justice system. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 680 Seminar in Staff Development (3)
This course examines the role of staff development in the management of human resources in criminal justice, and effective staff development methods and techniques. Emphasis will be placed on training and human resources development in criminal justice, organizationally determined outcomes, training needs assessment, performance standards, and assessment. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 685 Special Topics - Criminal Justice (1-3)
These courses offer an opportunity for students and faculty to explore topics of contemporary or historical interest that are not covered in regular course offerings. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 690 Directed Readings - Criminal Justice (1-3)
This course provides students with an opportunity to conduct an in-depth exploration of literature related to a particular criminal justice topic. Consent from the supervising professor is required. Directed readings courses must meet the Federal definition of a credit hour. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program and Instructor consent or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator and instructor permission.
CJ 692 Analytical Research and Statistics (3)
Statistical methods and computer applications are covered as they relate to survey research, agency evaluation, and content analysis. Qualitative methods are also taught and include field methods, historical research, and legal bibliography. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ Progrma and CJ 602 or permission of MCJ Program Coordinator.
CJ 693 Capstone Experience (3)
A Capstone course is a graduate course that typically serves as a comprehensive assessment of the knowledge and skills of a graduate student in the major field of study. It is usually completed at the end of the degree program. This Capstone course is a self-directed, integrated, learning opportunity. It is designed to integrate and synthesize all coursework in the criminal justice graduate program and related areas so the student has a broad conceptual and practical understanding of the criminal justice career field. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program, 24 hours of coursework completed (including all core coursework), and Instructor permission.
CJ 699 Thesis (1-6)
This course may be directed by any member of the criminal justice graduate faculty who accepts responsibility for supervising the thesis. The thesis topic must be pre-approved by the faculty advisor who serves as the student's graduate committee chair. The student normally conducts original empirical research which involves the collection and analysis of new data, or re-analyzing existing data to arrive at certain conclusions. The written Thesis report is submitted to the student's Thesis Committee for evaluation and approval. An oral defense of the Thesis is required for graduation. Prerequisite: Admitted to MCJ program, 24 hours of MCJ coursework (including all core coursework), and instructor permission.
CJ 777 Continuous Enrollment (1-3)
This course is to allow students additional time to complete Capstone, Thesis or Practicum requirements. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.