Criminology and Criminal Justice
The Criminology and Criminal Justice program, which enjoys a national and international reputation for quality research and education, offers the Master of Arts degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The program focuses on analyzing criminal justice, social justice, and crime prevention problems and solutions. The program prepares its graduates with the analytic capabilities and problem-solving skills that enable them to succeed in professional careers in criminal justice and related agencies, in policy analysis and research, or in continued graduate or professional education in preparation for an academic career. The focus of the curriculum is theoretically driven, empirically-based criminal justice and crime prevention that takes a problem-solving approach.
Supplementing the academic program, there are opportunities for graduate students to work with faculty members who are conducting research. In addition, students may take Supervised Field Experience credit to blend practical experience with classroom education.
Admission to the Criminology and Criminal Justice Graduate Programs
The Criminology and Criminal Justice program and Graduate School applications form one combined application that should be submitted electronically. Students will be accepted for graduate study in Criminology and Criminal Justice only upon approval by the program as well as the Graduate School.
This program requires a nonrefundable $65 application fee that must be submitted with the application for Admissions to Graduate Study in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Applicants must pay this fee by credit card.
A more detailed description of the graduate program, as well as information about graduate assistantships and fellowships, may be obtained by contacting:
School of Justice and Public Safety, Criminology and Criminal Justice
Faner Hall – Mail Code 4504
1000 Faner Drive
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Carbondale, IL 62901
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Full admission to the graduate program requires a grade point average of at least 2.70 or better ( A = 4.00) on approximately the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework and acceptance by the faculty. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (aptitude portion only) are also required. International applicants should consult the Graduate School web page for additional requirements, including satisfying the English language requirement.
Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in criminology or criminal justice should have a minimum of 12 credit hours in sociology, psychology, political science, or other social sciences. In cases where these criteria are lacking, additional selected undergraduate courses may be required for acceptance in this program.
Required Core Courses
All candidates for the Master of Arts degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice are required to complete four core courses.
- CCJ 500: Foundations of Criminal Justice (3 CH)
- CCJ 504: Criminological Theory (3 CH)
- CCJ 510A: Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice: Methods and Concepts (3 CH)
- CCJ 510B: Data Analysis and Interpretation (3 CH)
A total of 30 credit hours is required for the thesis track of the M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice. A thesis is required. Students may take a total of six thesis credit hours (CCJ 599 [1-6 CH]); however, only three credit hours are counted towards the degree requirements. An oral defense of the student’s thesis is required. Students may take up to six credit hours of 400-level coursework for graduate credit in accordance with graduate school regulations.
A total of 33 credit hours is required for the Non-Thesis M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice. A research paper that exceeds the expectations in terms of rigor and quality of the graduate level term paper is required. Students may take up to six credit hours of 400-level coursework for graduate credit in accordance with graduate school regulations. Students may take up to three credit hours of non-thesis semester hours (CCJ 598 [1-3 CH]) to work on their research paper.
Accelerated Master's Program
The accelerated M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice program allows motivated and high achieving students to complete a program leading to an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts degree with a major in Criminology & Criminal Justice in five years. Students must have completed CCJ 316 and CCJ 317 prior to their senior year. Nine credit hours are double counted toward an undergraduate and a master’s degree. The option requires satisfactory completion of twelve credit hours in core criminology & criminal justice courses: CCJ 500, CCJ 504, CCJ 510A, and CCJ 510B. The thesis or the non-thesis project is required for degree completion. A student who chooses the thesis option must complete 18 elective credit hours and can take up to six thesis credit hours (CCJ 599 [1-6 CH]). However, only three credit hours are counted toward the degree requirements. With the thesis option, an oral defense of the student's thesis is required. A student who chooses to complete the non-thesis option must complete 21 elective credit hours and can take up to three non-thesis credit hours (CCJ 598 [1-3 CH]) to work on their research paper.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Admission to the doctoral program in Criminology and Criminal Justice requires a grade point average of at least 3.0 or better ( A = 4.00) in all prior graduate coursework and the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study. Applicants must submit scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students with an M.A. degree in criminal justice or a related social science at the time of matriculation must still submit GRE scores. International applicants should consult the Graduate School web page for additional requirements, including satisfying the English language requirement.
Students are expected to have completed a master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice, or students who do not have a master’s degree in CCJ should have a minimum of 12 graduate credit hours in sociology, psychology, political science, or other social science discipline.
Initial advisement will be given by the program’s Director of Graduate Studies. As soon as possible, the student, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, will request an appropriate member of the program’s graduate faculty to serve as the student’s academic adviser. It is the student’s responsibility to develop, in consultation with his/her advisor, a plan of study leading to timely completion of coursework, the comprehensive examination(s), and a dissertation. This plan of study will be filed in the student’s permanent file. Change of advisor should be filed with the program’s Director of Graduate Studies.
Program of Study
Students admitted to the Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice program are to have completed a master’s degree. Completion of the Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice program requires completion of seven required courses, plus four seminars. The Graduate School requires that a minimum of 24 credit hours be taken in residency at SIU (courses on campus at SIU and as a doctoral student) after admission to the program and prior to candidacy. Only six credit hours of dissertation may be counted toward the 24 credit hours in residence. Students may only take up to six dissertation hours prior to candidacy (other credit hours taken prior to candidacy will not count toward the degree). Students must take a total of 24 dissertation hours. Students who receive an M.A. from SIU’s CCJ program may have already satisfied the core and most of the toolkit seminar requirements; however, they must still meet the 24 credit hour residency requirement.
Doctoral students must complete three core courses that include:
- CCJ 500: Foundations of Criminal Justice (3 CH)
- CCJ 504: Criminological Theory (3 CH)
- CCJ 505: The Nature of Crime (3 CH)
Required Research Tools
The Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice is a research degree; students must learn the tools and methods of quantitative and/or qualitative research. Students must take four research tools courses that include:
- CCJ 510A -OR- POLS 500A -OR- SOC 512: Research Methods - student can petition to waive if already taken (3 CH)
- CCJ 510B -OR- SOC 526A: Data Analyses and Interpretation - Students with prior graduate statistical courses may test to try to opt out of this requirement (3 CH)
- CCJ 510C: Advanced Multivariate Statistics -OR- SOC 526B (3 CH)
- An additional research toolkit course approved by the student’s advisor (3 CH)
The guided electives should be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor to meet the career interests of the student. Students must take a minimum of four graduate seminars based on interests and preparation for the comprehensive examination(s). Only six credit hours at the 400-level will be accepted in the combined degree program of M.A. and Ph.D. Students also may take up to 12 directed study credit hours for individualized instruction from faculty members on content not available in substantive courses (e.g., a specialized technique of analysis). Students are encouraged to consider the wide array of course offerings at SIU.
Comprehensive exam(s) are required to advance to candidacy. The faculty will define the timing, scope, and format of the examination system. A final copy of all examinations must be deposited with the graduate secretary. In the event of a revision or retake, only one revision or retake is permitted per exam. An oral defense of the revision or retake may be required at the faculty’s discretion.
Dissertation (24 Credit Hours)
Each candidate for the Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree must write a dissertation showing high attainment in independent, original scholarship and creative effort. A total of 24 credit hours is required. A maximum of 6 credit hours of dissertation credit taken prior to passing comprehensive examination(s) will count. The student must successfully defend orally his or her prospectus, giving the faculty two weeks to review the written prospectus before an oral defense, which shall be open to the public. A student may not hold a dissertation prospectus meeting before successful completion of the comprehensive examination(s).
A dissertation must be written under the direction and approval of a five-member committee of faculty possessing doctorates, one of whom must be from outside the Criminology and Criminal Justice Program. The student must successfully defend orally his or her final draft of the dissertation, giving the faculty two weeks to review the dissertation before an oral defense, which shall be open to the public. The faculty are not required to meet for a prospectus or dissertation defense during holidays or summer months. The success of a final oral examination devoted primarily to a defense of the dissertation and open to the public will complete the requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree. A final copy of the dissertation must be filed with the program and Graduate School.
Residency Requirement (24 Credit Hours)
The residency requirement for the doctorate must be fulfilled after admission to the doctoral program and before formal admission to doctoral candidacy, which occurs with successful completion of the comprehensive examination(s). The residency requirement is satisfied by completion of 24 credit hours of graduate credit on campus as a doctoral student within a period not to exceed four calendar years.