Degree requirements:

The MS-CJC degree requires successful completion of 30 credit hours of graduate work. Within these 30 hours, students may elect to complete a thesis or pursue the non-thesis option. A core of six courses is required of all students.

Required courses:

CJC 5511 Sociological Methods II (Quantitative Methods); 3 hours
CJC 5515 Qualitative Research Methods in Criminal Justice; 3 hours
CJC 5580 Policy and Decision Making in Criminal Justice; 3 hours
CJC 5516 Intermediate Statistics; 3 hours
CJC 5518 Advanced Theoretical Criminology; 3 hours

The required graduate courses in statistics, research methods and theory demand completion of prerequisite courses which may already be part of the student’s undergraduate work. Those MS students who have not had such courses may be required to take the prerequisite course(s) prior to enrolling in the graduate course (although the undergraduate prerequisite courses do not count toward the students 30 credit hour program of study). Beyond the required courses noted above (five core courses plus one selected elective of the three listed above), students must complete an additional 12 hours of academic work. This work may include additional graduate electives that are part of the CJC MS curriculum, thesis hours, courses in independent directed studies, or graduate-level courses from other disciplines. The content of those 12 hours of study will reflect the student’s choice after consultation with their faculty adviser, with respect to thesis or non-thesis options.

The 2014-2015 Catalog contains the official program description, requirements and course information.


Those electing to write a thesis as part of their graduate work can include up to six hours of CJC 5599 (Criminal Justice Master’s Thesis hours), for preparation of the thesis. In addition to writing the thesis students must successfully complete an oral defense of that thesis before their supervisory committee. The research topic of the thesis will address some issue of specific interest to the student, under the supervision of a faculty member. Through courses, literature review, and analyses conducted in developing the thesis, students are expected to become proficient in their specific thesis topic area.

Demonstration Project

Those electing the non-thesis option will take one additional course (a graduate-level CJC elective) and will also make 3.0 credit hours of CJC 5590 (CJC Directed Studies) part of their program of study. These 6.0 credit hours (total – 3.0 for the elective, and 3.0 for CJC 5590) are taken in lieu of the 6.0 credit hours that are allotted for the thesis option outlined above.

During their final semester, students pursuing the non-thesis option must successfully complete a demonstration project. The demonstration project will require the student to write an independent research paper that outlines solutions to a given scenario. The student’s submission will be reviewed by a faculty panel of two CJC professors, who ultimately will offer one of several ratings (“Accept as is”, “Revise and Resubmit”, “Rejection”). See the Principal Graduate Adviser for more information regarding the demonstration project option.

The CJC Graduate Handbook details the MS in CJC program at UMKC.

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“It is important that the classroom atmosphere be one in which students feel free to discuss the topics being covered and express their opinions — even when we are covering controversial issues such as race, ethnicity and crime.”

Toya Like, Ph.D. Associate Professor

The average class size at UMKC is just 27 students.

More than 11,000 students receive financial aid— a total of $150 million each year.

“Every opportunity, theoretical concepts that provide the foundation of Criminal Justice and Criminology are linked to real-world practice and application.”

Alex Holsinger, Ph.D. Professor

“The CJC Department helped me to develop a higher understanding of the legal system and how it operates which, in turn, helped prepare me for the LSAT examination and ultimately, law school.”

Audrey McCormick B.A., 2007

UMKC alumni include state politicians, CEOs of prominent national firms, a former FBI director and even a U.S. president.