Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice


The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Program (M.A.C.J.) provides individuals who have a four-year degree from an accredited institution of higher education with an opportunity to obtain a graduate degree in criminal justice. For those individuals with an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, the M.A.C.J. will add to the foundation of their knowledge obtained at the undergraduate level. For those students with an undergraduate degree in some field other than criminal justice, the M.A.C.J. core, required courses will provide a sufficient foundation that will greatly enhance the ability to matriculate to graduation. Criminal justice field personnel with an undergraduate degree in any field of study will be particularly well served by the M.A.C.J. degree. Field experience should assist with more easily grasping the many concepts associated with the M.A.C.J. courses. The curriculum provides a theoretical foundation of the discipline, combined with a thorough understanding of the scientific method and the importance of ethics associated with the use of human subjects in the scholarly research enterprise. Students who graduate from the M.A.C.J. Program should be well prepared to advance in their chosen careers, or to continue graduate education in a doctoral program.

The degree may be earned by full-time or part-time study. Courses are offered in the evenings and online.

Program Goals

The M.A.C.J. Program seeks to:

Prepare students for the criminal justice or criminal justice-related field of work through graduate-level education with a focus on the enhancement of knowledge, communication and critical thinking skills, and ethical decision making.
Ensure that students are able to understand the role of the scientific enterprise and its importance to policy development in the field of criminal justice.

Graduate students with an understanding about the issues related to diversity within the field of criminal justice.
Prepare interested students for success in doctoral-level studies.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates will:

  • Understand the key concepts associated with the M.A.C.J. course content.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and the ability to problem solve.
  • Effectively communicate through written, verbal, and electronic communication.
  • Develop the ability to synthesize the social science scholarly literature.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of quantitative reasoning.
  • Apply ethical decision making to the field of criminal justice.
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of working in a diverse environment.


For those individuals who have completed a four-year degree from an accredited institution, there are no prerequisites. There are no restrictions related to the discipline associated with the completed undergraduate degree.

Admission to the Program

All applications for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Program are considered ready for review after the materials listed below have been received by the Adult and Graduate Studies office:

  • A completed application form with the application fee.
  • Official transcripts of all colleges and universities attended.
  • Graduation from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least one of which must be from a current or former university professor).
  • A brief essay (700-1000 words) addressing why the applicant is interested in the M.A.C.J. degree as well as his/her motivation for completion of same.
  • Minimum GPA of a 3.0. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), or Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) are required if the GPA is less than 3.0 or if the applicant is seeking any funding that might be available at MHU for graduate-level education.
    In exceptional cases, the program may also approve admission by reason of special backgrounds, abilities, and interests.

Admission Deadline

This program has rolling admission, that is, no specific deadline. Note that it may take 4-6 weeks to receive transcripts and process an application.