a CJ graduate student presenting her poster at a conferenceWhy get a master’s degree from the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice? Do you want to

  • increase your job opportunities and earning potential?
  • gain the credential you need to ascend to the top of federal agencies, state organizations, and private corporations?
  • learn from expert faculty members about how you can become the expert?
  • get the opportunity to publish articles in national and international journals?
  • build lasting relationships with other top students?

Graduates of our master’s program have gone on to become the deputy director of the U.S. Secret Service; the counterterrorism chief for ATF; the chief of police for Birmingham, AL; the senior VP for communications at the Business Council of Alabama; the editor-in-chief of LawOfficer.com; a cyber security systems analyst at Southern Company; an investigator for the public defender’s office; and highly accomplished working professionals in many other important positions.

In addition, our graduates who then sought their PhDs or JDs have been accepted to some of the highest ranking social science programs and law schools in the nation, including Harvard University and The University of Virginia.

Admission

The application process is simple:

  1. Visit The University of Alabama’s Graduate School website and click on the APPLY NOW button.
  1. Use the online system to complete the basic graduate application form and submit your application fee, along with a few other things that you’ll need:
  • A statement of purpose (Tell us about your interest in criminal justice and your exciting career plans — no more than one single-spaced page, please!)
  • Your undergraduate transcripts
  • Your exam score from the GRE
  • Contact information for the three people who have agreed to write letters of recommendation for you.

Application Deadlines

For students who would like to start in the fall semester:

  • Early admission: February 15 (students applying by this date will receive extra consideration for funding)
  • Regular admission: June 15

For students who would like to start in the spring semester:

  • Early admission: October 1 (students applying by this date will receive extra consideration for funding)
  • Regular admission: November 15

Funding

Assistantships come with a monthly paycheck that goes directly to the student, along with significant tuition and health insurance support.

They are awarded on a competitive basis, after the Graduate Program Committee’s discretionary assessment of the quality of each student’s (1) academic performance prior to admission, (2) academic performance after admission (when applicable), and (3) professional performance as a departmental employee (when applicable).

Graduate Courses

We have only three required courses in our entire program, which means that the vast majority of our students’ degrees are made up of courses they choose.

Past courses have covered the topics of cybercrime, cybersecurity, terrorism, hate crimes, organized crime, civil and criminal trials, danger and disorder issues, white collar crime, murder in America, gender and crime, social inequality and crime, law and society, juvenile delinquency, drugs and crime, judicial process, health and crime, corrections, law enforcement, and more.

In addition, our students have the option to build their expertise by counting up to 6 credits of relevant coursework from other departments at The University of Alabama toward their MS in criminal justice, including courses from political science, history, social work, gender and race studies, American studies, anthropology, and counseling.

Additional Information

The MS in CJ requires 33 credits for the non-thesis option, and 30 credits for the thesis option.

For more information, please visit the UA Graduate Catalog or contact the graduate director.

For more information about departmental policies, please visit our Graduate Student Handbook.