Sep 25, 2023  
2018-2019 South University Academic Catalog Version II 
2018-2019 South University Academic Catalog Version II [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Criminal Justice (MS)

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Offered at South University, Austin; South University, Columbia; South University, High Point; South University, Montgomery; South University, Novi; South University, Online Programs; South University, Richmond; South University, Savannah; South University, Tampa; South University, Virginia Beach; and South University, West Palm Beach.

The South University Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program is designed for individuals employed in the criminal justice system, as well as those in other careers, both public and private, who wish to acquire further education in criminal justice. Prerequisites are limited so that qualified students with bachelor’s degrees in related fields such as criminology, psychology, business or public administration, anthropology, political science, sociology or related social sciences may enroll along with students who have undergraduate degrees in criminal justice.

The program is primarily designed to foster a learning community of criminal justice professionals who will use their knowledge within law enforcement, correctional, political, and legal arenas. Program graduates will be prepared to seek admission to doctoral programs in criminal justice, criminology, and related fields, as well as to seek advancement within law enforcement, correctional, local and state government, and legal institutions.

The goals of the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program are to provide students with:

  1. Professional skills necessary to assume leadership positions in the administration of criminal justice agencies.
  2. Advanced knowledge and understanding of criminal justice institutions and processes, and current criminal justice policy.
  3. Advanced knowledge and understanding of research methods and program evaluation techniques to effectively conduct and/or evaluate social policy research.
Program Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate mastery of skills in the areas of theoretical and applied criminal justice as well as in managerial principles and practices to effectively solve a variety of real-life problems within a complex organization.  
  2. Understand the relationship between crime theory, crime policy, and professional practice.
  3. Demonstrate interactive skills and learn behavioral strategies for improving systemic communication within and between criminal justice agencies.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to effectively interpret and make use of research methodology by completing a final research project prospectus on a topic related to professional practice in an actual criminal justice agency.

Master of Science in Criminal Justice: 48 credits


The student will choose four courses (16 credits) from the remaining graduate level criminal justice curriculum listed below or from other graduate offerings with the guidance and approval of the Program Director in Criminal Justice or appropriate Program Chair and with the advice of the related Program Director if courses from other programs are desired. The student should plan to take at least 50% of this part of the degree program in criminal justice courses. Students may construct an area of emphasis with the guidance of the Program Director or Chair or pursue a more general set of elective course courses. Students may emphasize a traditional area of the field such as Corrections or Homeland Security, but elective choices may also reflect the particular professional goals and aspirations of the student. Thus, courses in areas such as Public Administration, Business, or Clinical Mental Health Counseling may be included as desired and approved and if the student completes the required prerequisites for such courses. Please note that Financial Aid may not cover prerequisite courses. Please see the Coursework Taken Outside a Student’s Degree Program Policy found in the Academic Affairs section of this catalog.

Capstone: 4 Credits


Acceptance into a South University Criminal Justice program or its completion does not imply or guarantee that a student will be able to obtain employment in law enforcement, corrections, probation/parole, or related fields. The student should contact the national, state, or local agency/institution in which he or she intends to gain employment for specific requirements and the application process.

South University, Online Program offerings may not be available to residents of all states.  Please contact an admissions representative for further information.

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