Master of Criminal Justice, MCJ

Criminal Justice

Master's Program (MCJ)

Program Delivery

On Campus, Online, Hybrid

Total Credits

36 Credits

About the Program

The Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) program is designed for students interested in comprehensive professional graduate education in the field of criminal justice. It is intended to develop in the student a fundamental understanding of the basic fields within criminal justice and of background material from supporting disciplines which would enable the student to adapt to many operational specializations.

Focus of Study

The MCJ program provides an interdisciplinary perspective on crime and the criminal justice system. It focuses on law enforcement, the judiciary, correctional systems, juvenile justice, and the formulation of laws and codes. Individual courses focus on personnel and financial administration, systems analysis, policy analysis, organizational theory and behavior, and program development within the criminal justice system.

Students pursuing professional careers will gain a deep understanding of theory and its applications. Students aspiring to research careers or doctoral work will acquire a strong foundation in criminology and criminal justice research.

Program Requirements for Admission


A bachelor's degree from a college or university of accredited standing, with grades sufficiently high to indicate the ability to pursue graduate work. Students should have a 2.75 (or better) undergraduate grade point average for admission into the MCJ program. The applicant may have majored in any field for the undergraduate degree.

Required Application Materials

  • Online Graduate School Application
  • A written statement that includes 500-word responses to the following three prompts:
    • What are your career aspirations, and how can your academic experience contribute to your career goals?
    • What is relevant in your professional or academic background that contributes to your anticipate success in your graduate experience?
    • Provide an example of how your characteristics helped you overcome a specific challenge.
  • $60 non-refundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all higher education institutions attended
  • Contact information (name and email address) for two recommendations from qualified references that establish the applicant’s qualifications for graduate work. Recommendations may be from professors, employers, and/or others who are acquainted with the prospective student's professional and/or academic work.  This requirement is currently being waived if an applicant's undergraduate cumulative GPA is 3.25 or higher.
  • Current resume

Application Deadlines

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Spring 2024 Dec. 1 (Priority), Jan. 9 (Final)
Summer 2024 May 1 (Priority), June 3 (Final)
Fall 2024 Aug. 1 (Priority), Aug. 19 (Final)

If you miss the deadline, please contact us.

Additional resources for Admissions:

Specialization Options

At the College of Public Service, you have the opportunity to complement your degree with certificate programs.

Certifications options include:

Research Focus Areas
The Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) program faculty's interest areas include:

  • Drug Policy
  • Corrections
  • Domestic Violence & Abuse
  • Use of force by criminal justice professionals
  • National Security/U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Gangs
  • Human Trafficking
  • Crime Prevention
  • Cybercrime
  • Constitutional law
  • Leadership 
  • Violence and victimization
  • Domestic and International Terrorism

Program Coursework

The MCJ requires 36 credit hours, including:

  • 12 credit hours of core courses
  • 3 credit hours of internship (waiver possible)
  • 15-21 credit hours of electives
  • 3-6 credit hours of capstone or thesis

Please visit the UCCS Academic Catalog for the most up-to-date list of program courses, course descriptions, and detailed program requirements.

US News & World Report Ranking

US News & World Report Rankings for UCCS MCJ