THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG
Table of Contents > College of Arts & Sciences

6.7 DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE (CJ)

Chairperson: Professor Lesley Reid, Office: 428 Farrah Hall

Graduate Director: Professor Adam Lankford, Office: 414 Farrah Hall

 

Mission Statement. The mission of the Department of Criminal Justice is to develop and disseminate knowledge about crime, criminal justice, deviance, and social organization through research, teaching, and service to the community. Grounded in the social sciences and governed by the College of Arts and Sciences of The University of Alabama, the department respects liberal values, encourages open-mindedness, and pursues in its programs both demographic and curricular diversity.

 

Concerning students at the master's level, the department's mission is development of research skills and the expansion of conceptual and practical knowledge critical to fulfillment of leadership roles in criminal justice or in the social services. Master's degree students planning to proceed to PhD programs can expect from the department thorough training in the theories, methodologies, and empirical findings that promote understanding of deviance, crime, criminal justice, and social organization.

 

 

Admission Requirements

Admission into the master of science program is limited. An applicant must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. An undergraduate major in the social sciences is desirable, but students with superior undergraduate records in other fields are encouraged to apply.

 

It is the policy of the criminal justice faculty to admit those students who demonstrate potential for successfully completing the master's degree program. Primary consideration is given to the applicant's scholastic record and test scores. Admission decisions for the master of science program are made in April for the fall semester and in November for the spring semester. Additional information is in the Admission Criteria section of this catalog.

 

 

Degree Requirements

The graduate program in Criminal Justice includes a thesis or a non-thesis option. Under both options, the student has considerable latitude to design a program to fit particular needs. All entering students must specify one of the two options during the second semester of academic work. Both options have core courses, including criminological theory, research in the criminal justice process, and applications of statistics in criminal justice.

Up to 6 hours of approved coursework may be transferred from other universities. Up to 6 hours of approved coursework may be taken in other departments at The University of Alabama and may be applied to the degree when it is consistent with the student's degree plan and approved by the department. The department does not accept 400-level courses toward degree requirements for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice.

All requirements for the master's degree must be com
pleted during the six years (18 fall, spring, and summer semesters) immediately preceding the date on which the degree is to be awarded. However, students generally can complete degree requirements in 18-24 months.  Additional information is in the Degree Requirements section of this catalog



MS in Criminal Justice, Thesis Option. This option requires a total of 30 credit hours including 9 of core requirements, 6 for thesis research, and 15 for elective courses. CJ 599 should be taken after core requirements have been completed.

Students must pass public oral defense of the thesis. Thesis students must also pass a written and/or oral comprehensive examination (ordinarily done during the thesis defense).

Thesis Option Degree Requirements Summary

Core Course Requirements Hours

CJ 581    Application of Statistics in Criminal Justice    3
CJ 584   Seminar in Criminological Theory   3
CJ 586   Research in the Criminal Justice Process   3
CJ 599   Thesis Research in Criminal Justice   6
    Comprehensive Exam   0
    Electives   15
    Total Hours   30

MS in Criminal Justice, Nonthesis Option. This option requires a total of 33 credit hours including 9 of core requirements, and 24 for elective courses. Nonthesis students must also pass a written and/or oral comprehensive examination based on the content of the degree program (ordinarily done after the completion of 18 hours of coursework).

Nonthesis Option Degree Requirements Summary

Core Course Requirements Hours

CJ 581    Application of Statistics in Criminal Justice    3
CJ 584   Seminar in Criminological Theory   3
CJ 586   Research in the Criminal Justice Process   3
    Comprehensive Exam   0
    Electives   24
    Total Hours   33

For both options, the application for admission to candidacy for the master's degree should be filed after 12 semester hours of graduate credit have been earned at The University of Alabama. It must be approved by the time of registration for the semester in which requirements for the degree are to be completed. Each candidate for a master's degree must apply for graduation through the Office of the Graduate School no later than the registration period for the semester or the first session of the summer term in which requirements for the degree are to be completed. The candidacy form and graduation form both are available at the “Graduate School Forms” icon on the Graduate School’s homepage.

 
Course Descriptions

CJ 503 Organized Crime. Three hours.
Focus on organized crime in the United States and examination of organized crime groups around the world.

CJ 504 Health and Crime. Three hours.
The health consequences of social deviance and the impact of criminalization for individual and societal wellbeing. Seminar discussions cover the criminalization of mental and physical illness and illnesses arising from criminal behavior and incarceration.

CJ 510 Seminar in Community Corrections. Three hours.
Development, organization, operation, and evaluation of community corrections systems as intermediate sanctions and alternatives to incarceration.

CJ 520 Seminar in Current Law Enforcement Problems. Three hours.
Analysis of selected areas of law enforcement. Emphasis is on currently developing trends.

CJ 530 Seminar in Criminal Justice Organization and Management. Three hours.
Application of organizational and administrative principles in law enforcement, court, and correctional settings. Assessment of trends and theories.

CJ 540 Seminar in Juvenile Delinquency. Three hours.
The nature and extent of delinquency; competing explanatory models and theories. Evaluation of control and treatment modalities.

CJ 550 Seminar in the Judicial Process and Social Policy. Three hours.
Examination of the American legal system from a political science and socio-legal perspective. Seminar covers the "rights revolution," the process of dispute settlement, judicial decision making, public opinion and the courts, and the United States Supreme Court.

CJ 570 Seminar in Correctional Policy. Three hours.
Examines the historical and contemporary policy trends in institutional and community corrections.

CJ 581 Application of Statistics in Criminal Justice. Three hours.
An evaluation of specific statistical methods for quantitative and nonquantitative analyses, concentrating on proper applications and interpretations in criminal justice settings.
 
CJ 584 Seminar in Criminological Theory. Three hours.
Examination of classical, neoclassical, positive, and social-defense theories of criminality and their interrelation with the broader problems of crime control. Offered spring semester.

CJ 586 Research in the Criminal Justice Process. Three hours.
Prepares the student to develop and to implement basic research designs. Offered fall semester.

CJ 590 Special Topics in Criminal Justice. Three hours.
Offers an opportunity for faculty and students to explore in depth topics of contemporary interest that are not generally covered in the standard courses. Course content will vary from section to section.

CJ 591 Practicum in Research and Program Evaluation. Three to six hours.
Allows students to develop and implement an evaluation of an innovative or existing program in criminal justice, with faculty guidance.

CJ 592 Independent Study. Three hours.
Research under faculty supervision in any area of interest to the student. Content may not relate to thesis or policy and practice project.

CJ 598 Criminal Justice Policy and Practice. One to six hours. Pass/fail.
Provides credit for a major written project completed under the supervision of two faculty members.
Research may be directed by any member of the faculty who accepts responsibility for supervising the thesis.

CJ 599 Thesis Research in Criminal Justice. One to six hours. Pass/fail.
Research may be directed by any member of the faculty who accepts responsibility for supervising the thesis.


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