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Program Director

John M. Hazy
2090 Cushwa Hall
(330) 941-1789

Program Description

The Master of Science in criminal justice at YSU provides professional education for criminal justice students. Criminal Justice faculty members are currently involved in research in police management theory, applied police management, correctional organization and treatment, crime statistics, and criminological theory. Students are encouraged to participate in this ongoing re­search.

Students considering a career in the field of criminal justice should be aware that many em­ployers and agencies may require applicants to meet certain preemployment qualifications. These may include, but are not limited to,

  • lack of a criminal record,
  • satisfactory background checks,
  • physical standards and conditions, and
  • emotional stability.

Admission Requirements

While an undergraduate degree in this discipline is not required for admission, a substan­tial background in the social sciences is preferred. Students lacking such preparation will, at the discretion of the department, be required to make up deficiencies. Each student must have com­pleted:

  • the equivalent of CJFS 1500 Introduction to Criminal Justice,
  • a course in criminology and/or crime and delinquency,
  • an introductory course in statistics, and
  • a research methodology course.

Students admitted with deficiencies in any of these requirements must remove them by completion of the second semester of graduate coursework.

Regular Admission

To obtain regular admission, students must have a cumulative grade point average in undergraduate work of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) or a satisfactory standardized test score (30th percentile or higher on the GRE overall, or MAT group overall score) and undergraduate GPA of 2.7 or higher. If students meet these criteria but have undergraduate coursework deficiencies, they may be granted provisional admission.

Provisional Admission

A student with a cumulative GPA in undergraduate work below a 3.0 must have either of the following two criteria in order to obtain provisional admission:

  1. a satisfactory standardized test score (30th percentile or higher on the MAT, GRE, or GMAT)
  2. an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 30-40 hours of coursework. 

Upon admission to the criminal justice graduate program and selection of emphasis area, each student is guided by a committee of three faculty members. The student selects a graduate advisor in the area of concentration from the faculty of the Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences. This advisor serves as the chair of the student’s graduate committee. The student and advisor select the other two members of the committee, both of whom must be members of the graduate faculty and one of whom may come from a department other than Criminal Justice. This committee will assist the student as appropriate with the planning of the program, preparation and oral defense of the thesis, or the graduate paper and its defense in the case of the nonthesis option.

Academy Training and Life Experience

Opportunities are available through the Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences for students who do not have life experience or police academy training.

Christopher M. Bellas, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Criminology; criminal courts; jury decision-making; substantive and procedural law

Susan Ann Clutter, M.F.S., Associate Professor
Crime scene investigation; blood spatter interpretation; forensic toxicology; fingerprint development at fire scenes

John M. Hazy, Ph.D., Professor
Community health; life course issues; teaching effectiveness

Richard Lee Rogers, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Social problems and criminology; organizational and economic sociology; statistics and research methods; social history; Anglo-American religious movements; ecological analysis

The graduate program in criminal justice adheres to the position that the administration of criminal justice is a continuous, integrated process from prevention of crime through completion of all legal intervention. The program is designed to provide society with individuals who have both a substantial awareness of the overall system and the essential competencies required to perform professional roles within it. To achieve this objective, the program broadens the student’s knowledge of the total criminal justice process and provides professional education so that its graduates may assume positions of leadership within the criminal justice system. The program also prepares students for doctoral studies in criminal justice or criminology.

Students seeking the M.S. degree in criminal justice may elect either a thesis or nonthesis op­tion. The Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences will accept courses from other departments offering 5000- or 6000-level courses. Students should see their graduate advisor or graduate coordinator when selecting these courses.

Study in the general substantive areas of criminal justice, met by completing the graduate core of:
CJFS 6910Law and Criminal Justice3
CJFS 6920Criminal Justice Studies, Practices, and Theories3
CJFS 6925Administration and Management Theory3
CJFS 6942Research and Statistics in Health and Human Services3
CJFS 6970Applied Police Management3
Any departure from this requires prior approval of the student’s committee and graduate coordinator.
CJFS 6980Managing Correctional Operations3
Study in courses outside the core
Graudate Research Paper2
Oral Exam (defense)

Thesis Option

A minimum of 30 semester hours is required in this option, of which up to six hours may be thesis. No more than nine semester hours may be below the 6900 level.

Non-Thesis Option

A minimum of 35 semester hours is required of which no more than 12 semester hours may be below the 6900 level. The nonthesis option will require a major graduate research paper worth two credits and an oral exam (defense) upon its completion.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate the ability to review critically the literature pertaining to their research projects and connect the literature to their own research results.

Students will demonstrate the ability to administrate and provide leadership skills relative to key criminal justice issues.