Criminal Justice - Archived 2019-20 Graduate Catalog

Chair: Beth Sanders
Graduate Coordinator: Adam Watkins
Address: 223 Health & Human Services
Phone: 419-372-9540
Program Web Page:

Degrees Offered
Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ)

Programs Offered
The Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) program offers educational opportunities for individuals who seek a broader understanding of the criminal justice process and the link between research and policy. The MSCJ program also serves those seeking additional credentials for promotion and career enhancement, students interested in pursuing doctoral work in criminal justice, and those in related fields who are interested in criminal justice issues or careers. The MSCJ program has both on campus and online course offerings. The degree can be earned in either three semesters of full-time study on campus or part-time in six semesters in six semesters of part-time study online.

Two specializations are available in the on-campus program: Forensic Investigation and Victims and Offenders. Online students complete the courses offered in our highly-ranked eCampus program.

Program Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Master's degree, students are expected to be able to:

  • Integrate theory and research with criminal justice practice.
  • Develop effective programmatic or policy responses to emerging criminal justice issues.
  • Appraise the general quality of criminal justice research and propose methods for improving this research.
  • Write and effectively communicate at a level expected of someone in a criminal justice leadership position.

Prerequisites to Graduate Work
As a general rule, students admitted to the MSCJ program will hold an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, criminology, or other closely related field. Individuals who possess an undergraduate degree in other academic fields will be considered for admission if they have experience as employees in criminal justice, or demonstrate other qualifications and interests pertinent to the area of study.

Admission Procedure for MSCJ
Applicants seeking admission should follow the instructions outline on the Graduate Admissions web page

Specific admission criteria for all regular-status MSCJ students include: (1) a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale); (2) two letters of recommendation; (3) a written statement of interest and expectations (250 to 750 words); (4) a resume; and (5) official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)*. For students whose native language is not English, an additional requirement is official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores.

GPA: An applicant whose undergraduate GPA is below 2.75 may be considered for “conditional admission” status on the strength of other criteria. Students admitted conditionally must achieve an overall graduate GPA of 3.0 for their first 9 credit hours of graduate study. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program.

Letters of Recommendation: Letters should be from individuals who have knowledge of the applicant’s qualifications and ability to successfully complete graduate study. Typically, letters are written by the applicant’s undergraduate professors, or by supervisors or colleagues who hold graduate degrees themselves.

Written Statement: The written statement is a short piece of writing (250 to 750 words) that states the applicant’s reasons for wanting to study Criminal Justice at Bowling Green State University, future goals, and any relevant professional preparation, where applicable.

Resume: At minimum, the resume should indicate relevant education or professional experiences pertinent to criminal justice.

*GRE Scores are required, unless applicants meet ONE of the following criteria, in which case the GRE is not required:

  1. GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate study.
  2. Overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75.
  3. 2.5 GPA in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate study AND 5 years or more of work experience in criminal justice or related field.
  4. 3.0 GPA in 9 credit hours of graduate credit.

For applicants who do not meet any of the above criteria, a recommended GRE score of 150 on the Verbal and 141 on the Quantitative sections will need to be submitted for acceptance into the MSCJ program.

Degree Requirements for MSCJ
MSCJ candidates must complete a total of 33 hours of graduate course work, and may elect to complete the degree by writing a thesis (Plan I), passing a comprehensive exam (Plan II), or compiling an electronic portfolio (Plan II).

Plan I: The thesis option is a major project of original research, conducted under the supervision of the student’s major advisor. Students electing this option must register for no fewer than three, and no more than six, credit hours of thesis research as part of their degree program.

Plan II Comprehensive Exam: The comprehensive exam option is designed to allow full-time students to complete their degree within a 12-month school year, if attending full time, or within two years if attending part time.

Plan II Portfolio: Students compile an electronic portfolio consisting of papers completed for certain courses in the program and an original research paper.

Graduate Courses
Please access graduate courses online at Graduate courses offered by the MSCJ program use the prefix CRJU and FORI.

Updated: 08/14/2020 10:41AM