Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’m interested in an M.S. in Criminology and Criminal Justice. What should I do next?

A: Read the Graduate Handbook and, if you have questions the Handbook does not answer, contact the Graduate Director.


Q: I see the graduate application requires a statement of purpose. What should this document include?

A: The statement of purpose is your opportunity to provide the Graduate Committee with a clear and specific description of how an M.S. in Criminology and Criminal Justice will help you to achieve your professional goals. It should cover four primary areas: (1) how your academic and professional accomplishments have prepared you for graduate school, (2) how graduate school will help you on your future career trajectory, (3) which CCJ graduate faculty member you would like to work with and why, and (4) specify why CCJ at The University of Alabama is the best choice for you.


Q: Does CCJ have an online M.S. program?

A: No.


Q: Is the GRE required with the application?
A: At this time, The University of Alabama Graduate School is still waiving the GRE requirement for students.


Q: What deadlines should I keep in mind?

A: Submit your application by November 15 for the Graduate Committee to consider it as a funding priority. Applications will not be considered after February 15.


Q: What is a graduate teaching assistantship and how much does it pay?

A: A graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) provides a partial or full tuition waiver and a stipend ranging from $7,000-$15,000 per academic year. The Graduate Committee awards GTAs on a competitive basis. GTAs work closely with their assigned faculty member in classroom teaching and research.


Q: What can I study at CCJ?

A: The CCJ M.S. is a research-focused program and interested students should plan to study with a professor within a particular area of specialization. CCJ cannot accommodate areas of research beyond our expertise (and link to areas of faculty expertise here).


Q: How do graduate students spend their time at UA CCJ?

A: It is uncommon for students to complete the M.S. in less than four semesters. We do not offer summer classes, although students are permitted to take two out of department courses in their graduate career.


Q: What do CCJ M.S. students do after graduating?

A: Graduates of our master’s program have gone on to become highly accomplished working professionals in many important positions, including the deputy director of the U.S. Secret Service; the counterterrorism chief for ATF; the chief of police for Birmingham, AL; a management and program analyst at the FBI; a cyber security systems analyst at Southern Company; a judge for the Birmingham municipal court; and many more! Learn about MS graduates by visiting our alumni profiles.