Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

4+1 program (M.A.C.J.)

Exceptional criminal justice or criminal justice-related majors at MHU are invited to apply to the M.A.C.J. Program at MHU in the second semester of their junior year. If admitted, they will begin graduate studies while simultaneously completing requirements for an undergraduate degree and may take up to 9 credits of graduate-level course work in their senior year (no more than two courses a semester).

Within the 4+1 program, students can gain admission to the Department of Criminal Justice’s Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (M.A.C.J.) Program that will accelerate their studies and allow them to increase their qualifications for a future career, while also saving them time and money. The 4+1 program puts students on track to complete both undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years (see Five-Year Schedule for Criminal Justice 4+1 Program), as opposed to the traditional completion of four-year undergraduate and 2-year graduate programs. Once admitted to the 4+1 Program, and assuming full-time study, students can expect to graduate with the M.A.C.J. at the end of their fifth year at MHU.

4+1 Program Eligibility

 4+1 students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to be considered for the accelerated UG/M.A.C.J. Program in Criminal Justice (4+1 Program) and must have at least three letters of reference, two of which must be from professors who have had them in their classes while at MHU. The third letter can be either a personal or professional reference. Undergraduate students wishing to apply to the M.A.C.J. Program at the end of their junior year must have completed or be in the process of completing the following core criminal justice undergraduate courses: CJ111, CJ112, CJ219, and CJ220. Students outside of the Criminal Justice program will have their courses reviewed on an individual basis, but at the minimum, should plan to take CJ 111 and CJ 112 during their undergraduate career, and have experience with research methods and statistics.

Program Requirements

 4+1 students will be expected to be within 30 semester credits of completing an undergraduate degree when beginning graduate-level course work. In alignment with M.A.C.J. Program policies, 4+1 students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

Undergraduate and Graduate Credits and Program Placement

Completion of the 9 credits hours can be used for either the undergraduate or graduate degrees in criminal justice, not both. The 9 M.A.C.J. hours earned during the undergraduate courses cannot count in both M.A.C.J. and the undergraduate 120-hour count. A student admitted to the 4+1 program will be considered an undergraduate student until they apply for graduation from the Criminal Justice Bachelor of Science degree, or a criminal-justice related degree program at MHU.

As part of the 4+1 program, undergraduate students will save their positions in the graduate program. Once they graduate with their respective undergraduate degree, they will transition seamlessly from an undergraduate to a graduate student.

Tuition Rates

Students in the 4+1 program will be billed for up to 9 graduate courses at the current undergraduate rate, which is a cost-saving benefit to them.


Dr. Kweilin Lucas
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
(828) 689-1500

Apply to M.A.C.J.

Photo of adult student with dark hair wearing glasses and a black and white shirt.

Click the image above to watch a video about
the MACJ program, in the words of our recent
graduate, Sonja Saunooke Chandler.

“I highly recommend the 4+1 program to any student who is pursuing graduate school. Not only does this program help you to complete your master’s degree faster than the average graduate student, but it also saves you money in the long-term. The 4+1 program has afforded me the opportunity to enter a master’s program seamlessly and has left me feeling well-prepared to enter the criminal justice job market upon graduation.”

— Dean Fox, Graduate Assistant, Criminal Justice Department