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Online MS in Criminal Justice: Curriculum

Curriculum Details

36 Total semester hours required

Develop a holistic view of the behavior, conditions, and circumstances that produce crime and criminality through 100% online courses taught by industry experts. Methodist University’s program emphasizes emerging criminal justice trends, such as digital forensics, cybercrime, probation, and juveniles. You’ll complete 36 semester hours, including two capstone courses, to graduate with your MS in Criminal Justice.

Year 1 – Fall

This course focuses on historical and contemporary perspectives of criminal behavior. Various social, psychological, and economic theories and correlates of criminal behavior will be examined and analyzed. Typologies of offenders will be studied.

This course will examine the development, implementation, and analysis of criminal justice policy and programs. Students will be required to critically analyze a range of issues related to the process of criminal justice policy making, policy analysis, and program planning. Emphasis will be placed on developing skill in using various concepts and techniques to analyze and evaluate policies and programs. Local, state, and federal processes that create and change criminal justice policies will be studied.

Year 1 – Spring

Courses will be offered, as needed, in areas of interest such as emergency and disaster planning, homeland security, racial profiling, labor relations, forensic science, new technologies, correctional rehabilitation, and community policing.

Strategies for the successful administration and management of correctional facilities and staff will be examined, both from a theoretical and practical vantage point. Emphasis will be given to special populations, including inmates who are mentally ill, mentally challenged, elderly, pregnant, and chronically ill.

Year 1 – Summer

This course provides an examination of the juvenile offender from intake, adjudication, commitment, and release. Diversion and various treatment options are explored, as well as contemporary and emerging issues.

Victimology
This class examines the historical and modern understanding and treatment of victims in the criminal justice system. The different ways in which victims are understood and recognized through the various lenses of: race, gender, age, sexual orientation, social economic factors, religious orientation, and occupation will be examined. Special emphasis will be placed on understanding programming and legislation designed to aid victims of crime.

OR

Digital Forensics
This course is designed to provide an examination of, and exposure to issues related to cybercrime and digital forensics. Both traditional crimes now taking place in a digital arena, as well as crime born in the digital arena will be examined. Ethical issues will be explored, and policy recommendations pursued.

Year 2 – Fall

This course will cover major legal issues facing the administration of the 21st century criminal justice system—from investigation through the corrections process. The course will be primarily taught through the Socratic Method as well as by lecture and discussion. Emphasis will be placed on advanced constitutional as well as North Carolina statutory concerns and on personnel management issues.

This course covers the scientific methods of conducting research in criminal justice and criminology. Additionally, this course will present students the techniques of conducting and assessing evaluative research (i.e., program evaluation). Where appropriate, methods of statistical analysis will be incorporated. Students will learn skills necessary for conducting their own research and for critically evaluating research done by others.

Year 2 – Spring

Seminar in Criminal Justice
Modern and emerging trends and issues in criminal justice will be examined from a theoretical and historical framework. Problems will be examined and policy solutions offered with the aim of uniting the theoretical and practical as well as the academic and practitioner.

OR

Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
This course examines current, relevant, and topical issues formed in the fields of law enforcement, corrections, adult and juvenile offenders, and all sub-areas of criminal justice. Course work will culminate with the submission of a research paper or policy analysis, tailored to the future practitioner or academic.

This course introduces the student to the basics of statistical techniques that justice administrators use to summarize numeric data obtained from surveys and experiments. The topics include frequency distribution, central tendency, variability, probability theory, and estimation. Students will also learn how to test hypotheses for group differences in means (z-test, t-test), for association between two variables (correlation, chi square tests), and the basics of regression analysis.

Year 2 – Summer

This course will provide the student with an opportunity to demonstrate, under faculty supervision, the ability to conduct a problem-solving management project as a demonstration of skill in administration techniques. It will be taught over two semesters and must be taken in sequence. In semester one, students will demonstrate their ability to present a program evaluation of a problem, issue, or dilemma in an organization by (1) organizing a research project that answers a particular question or set of questions specific to the needs of the organization; (2) preparing an analysis, using program evaluation criteria, that answers their specific research questions. The project will be completed in Capstone Two.

This course will provide the student with an opportunity to demonstrate, under faculty supervision, the ability to conduct a problem-solving management project as a demonstration of skill in administration techniques. It will be taught over two semesters. In semester two, students will demonstrate their ability by; (1) completing an analysis, using program evaluation criteria, that answers their specific research questions; and (2) presenting a defense of the research and findings to the faculty.

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