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Applied Criminology MS

The Master of Science degree in Applied Criminology is an academically-based program that has an applied focus on two primary areas:

  1. management, and
  2. policy.

The program is designed to meet the needs of students wishing to pursue administrative careers or other promotional opportunities in the criminal justice field or for students who wish to increase their knowledge of the criminal justice system.

Master of Science in Applied Criminology - Option II Non-Thesis

36 semester hour program to be completed at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Required Courses
Core Required courses: All Tracks* 12 semester hours
CJ 501Sem in Police and Law Enf3
CJ 530Seminar in Criminology3
CJ 531Issues in Crim Law and Courts3
CJ 568Seminar in Corrections3
Research/Capstone Sequence: Required Courses All tracks * 9 semester hours (3 courses)
CJ 575Research Methods in CJ3
CJ 576Data Analysis and Interp3
CJ 595Research Lit and Tech ((3 semester hours required))3
Choose one of the following tracks:
Management Track: Required Courses-- 9 semester hours (3 courses)
CJ 520CJ Admin and Mgmt3
CJ 577CJ Planning and Eval3
CJ 583Criminal Justice Policy3
plus 6 semester hours from MSAC Electives list below (2 courses)
General Track: Required Courses-- 3 semester hours (1 course)
CJ 520CJ Admin and Mgmt ( or)3
CJ 577CJ Planning and Eval ( or)3
CJ 583Criminal Justice Policy3
plus 12 semester hours MSAC Electives list below (4 courses)
Homeland Security Track: Required Courses-12 semester hours (4 courses)
CJ 505Terrorism3
CJ 597Special Topics (Students must complete 3 Homeland Security Special Topics Courses)3
plus 3 semester hours from MSAC Electives list below (1 course)
Elective Options
MSAC Electives Courses (Select hours based on chosen track)
CJ 505Terrorism3
CJ 514Family Violence3
CJ 520CJ Admin and Mgmt3
CJ 532Juvenile Delinquency3
CJ 533Gender and Crime3
CJ 534Drugs and Society3
CJ 565Offender Reentry3
CJ 577CJ Planning and Eval3
CJ 583Criminal Justice Policy3
CJ 597Special Topics (May be taken more than once when topics vary.)1-4
Total Hours36

CJ 501 - Sem in Police and Law Enf
Hours: 3
Seminar in Policing and Law Enforcement This course is an advanced approach to policing and law enforcement. The focus of the class will be on the operations and functioning of policing and law enforcement departments at the local, state and federal levels. The course will examine related areas such as personnel, practices, procedures and issues in policing and law enforcement. This course will investigate additional areas such as use of technology in policing, police subculture and community policing.

CJ 505 - Terrorism
Hours: 3
Terrorism - Three semester hours This course will provide a theoretical and empirical explanation of terrorism. It will identify various forms and typologies of terrorist activities, their consequences and preventive measures, particularly those that are relevant to the criminal justice system in the United States.

CJ 514 - Family Violence
Hours: 3
Family Violence. Three semester hours. (Same as SOC 514) A thorough and critical examination of family violence from a sociological perspective. Topics include the meaning, nature, and types of family violence; biological, psychological, anthropological, and sociological theories which attempt to explain hostility, aggression, and violence among intimate people; the philosophy of non-violence; the consequences of violence; and preventive measures and strategies for dealing with violence in the family. Although the course focuses on the American family, illustrations of family violence from other cultures are provided.

CJ 517 - Teaching Soc/CJ
Hours: 3
Teaching Sociology and Criminal Justice - Three semester hours This course will assist students in developing and formulating ideas, gaining practice and critically assessing information concerning community college and university teaching. In addition to the coverage of teaching literature within the field of sociology and criminal justice, the course will emphasize the development of teaching pedagogy, syllabus and test construction, teaching philosophy, and allow the student to obtain "hands-on" experience in the college classroom.

CJ 518 - Thesis
Hours: 3-6
Thesis The student will work under the supervision of a faculty advisor on a thesis for candidates for the Master of Science Option I criminal justice degree. Major work will include the development of a proposal, collection, analysis and interpretation of data and the final writing of the thesis. Note: Course is repeated as two three-credit hour courses. Graded on a (S) satisfactory or (U) unsatisfactory basis.

CJ 520 - CJ Admin and Mgmt
Hours: 3
Criminal Justice Administration and Management This course will provide students with a conceptual and theoretical foundation upon which to study criminal justice administration and management through critical evaluation and application of the research literature to present-day criminal justice challenges and concerns.

CJ 530 - Seminar in Criminology
Hours: 3
Seminar in Criminology - Three semester hours This course examines crime and delinquency in America from several theoretical perspectives. The course provides an in-depth investigation into major criminological theories that explain the causation, occurrence and development of criminal behavior. A wide spectrum of criminological theories are introduced, applied and critiqued in this course.

CJ 531 - Issues in Crim Law and Courts
Hours: 3
Issues in Criminal Law and Courts - Three semester hours The course will focus on critical thinking related to issues concerning principles of criminal law and court procedures as well as selected practices particularly relevant to the United States. Issues will include: justice for all, freedom and privacy of the individual, cruel and unusual punishment, use of deadly force in law enforcement, trial by jury, election of judges and morality and the law.

CJ 532 - Juvenile Delinquency
Hours: 3
The class will consider the subject of juvenile delinquency from various perspectives including psychological, physiological and sociological. Particular attention will be paid to the role of family, the school, and the peer group in promoting delinquency. This course will provide students with the tools to analyze and evaluate juvenile justice policies and programs. The course will explore various topics such as the nature and extent of delinquency, theories of delinquency, research on the causes of delinquency,and strategies for controlling and preventing juvenile delinquency. Prerequisites: CJ 501, CJ 530, CJ 531 and CJ 568.

CJ 533 - Gender and Crime
Hours: 3
This course is designed to explore the important and under-studied intersection between gender/women and crime. We will explore the nature and extent of women as victims, offenders, and workers in the criminal justice system. This course will also allow students to become familiar with criminological theories as they relate to women.

CJ 534 - Drugs and Society
Hours: 3
Our focus in the course will be on the social reality of drug use and drug users within contemporary society. It will include a historical analysis of the social construction of drug use, drug users, abuse, and addiction. We will be investigating the complex relationships between individual and group behavior, and social structure. Central concepts such as social learning, labeling, power, and inequality, as well as socio-cultural definitions of drugs, behavior, and the people who use drugs will be the tools of our analysis. Special attention will be given to the complex legal history surrounding drug use, the link between drugs and crime, the impact of the medicalization of human behavior, and varying perspectives on "doing something about drugs." Prerequisites: CJ 501, CJ 568, CJ 530, and CJ 531.

CJ 565 - Offender Reentry
Hours: 3
Offender Reentry - Three semester hours Offender reentry is the process of transition of offenders from prisons/jail to the community. The class will provide students with an in-depth analysis of issues impacting offender reentry, including employment, access to various forms of treatment, family reunification, housing issues as well as barriers and impediments to offender reentry.

CJ 568 - Seminar in Corrections
Hours: 3
Seminar in Corrections. Three semester hours. A study of popular issues in community-based and institutional corrections with emphasis on organizational goal setting and achievement, program evaluation, client supervision, agency administration, and problem solving. An analysis of current research and its applicability to the criminal justice system and society will be performed.

CJ 575 - Research Methods in CJ
Hours: 3
Research Methods in Criminal Justice This course will provide students with the fundamentals of conducting and evaluating research in criminal justice. Topics include: defining research problems, ethics in criminal justice research, selecting and measuring variables, stating hypotheses, sampling, and developing experimental research design. Prerequisites : CJ 501, CJ 530, CJ 531, CJ 568, CJ 577, CJ 520 OR CJ 583, or equivalent, and completion of nine hours of electives

CJ 576 - Data Analysis and Interp
Hours: 3
Data Analysis and Interpretation - Three semester hours This course continues students’ exploration of research in criminal justice. In this course, students are exposed to different methods of data collection and the principles of data analysis. Emphasis will also be placed on teaching students how to interpret data as presented in published reports, articles, and books. Pre-requisites : CJ501, CJ530, CJ531, and CJ568, CJ577, CJ520 OR CJ583, completion of nine hours of electives, CJ 575, or equivalent

CJ 577 - CJ Planning and Eval
Hours: 3
Criminal Justice Planning and Evaluation - Three semester hours The class will acquaint students with scientific techniques used for analyzing criminal justice problems and developing solutions. This course will provide students with the tools to analyze and evaluate criminal justice policies and programs.

CJ 583 - Criminal Justice Policy
Hours: 3
Criminal Justice Policy - Three semester hours This course will evaluate various policy dimensions of crime and criminal justice. Students will learn the process through which policy is made, will critically evaluate current criminal justice policies and will study the impact of policy decisions on criminal justice practice.

CJ 589 - Independent Studies
Hours: 1-4
Independent Study - Hours: One to four Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisites Consent of department head. Note May be repeated when the topic varies.

CJ 595 - Research Lit and Tech
Hours: 3
Research Literature and Techniques Students will write a formal research paper designed to broaden students’ perspectives and to provide an opportunity for the integration of course concepts. Emphasis will be placed on methods of interpretation, writing, and critical thinking related to criminal justice topics/issues. Prerequisites include permission of Department Head/Director/Advisor of Masters Program.

CJ 597 - Special Topics
Hours: 1-4
Hours: One to four - Organized class Note May be graded on a satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) basis. May be repeated when topics vary