Programs by Campus


Criminal Justice

College of Arts and Sciences


Department’s Graduate Program Email: 

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(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Degrees Offered
  • Master of Science (Online)
  • Master of Arts (4+1 Pathway Program in Criminal Justice)
  • Master of Arts (In-residence)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (In-residence)

Program Information 

The department participates in a 100% online Master of Science program in Criminal Justice and Public Safety.

For more information, go to 

Master of Arts (4+1 Pathway Program and In-residence) and Doctor of Philosophy (In-residence)

Program Information

The department offers in-residence multidisciplinary graduate degrees in criminal justice that are designed for students coming from a variety of academic backgrounds. Students who complete our programs are prepared for academic positions, and research, administrative, and policy careers in the criminal and civil justice systems, and related private sector organizations.

Admission Requirements for Master of Arts (4+1 Pathway Program)

Applicants to the CJUS 4+1 program must submit the following: (1) all official postsecondary transcripts; (2) a 300- to 500- word statement of academic and professional goals; (3) evidence of potential for success in graduate work, as attested by list of three references familiar with the applicant’s academic performance (at least two of the applicant’s three references must be faculty members); (4) international TOEFL is required of all foreign students. Applicants are first admitted to the pathway and later admitted to the MA degree. Admissions are made on a rolling basis.

Admission Requirements for Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy (In-residence programs)

Admission decisions are influenced by past academic performance, academic and professional experiences, letters of recommendation, the statement of purpose for pursuing graduate study at Indiana University, and scores on the Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative, and analytic sections). No one criterion is dispositive in the admission decision. The committee considers the entirety of all materials submitted by the applicant or on their behalf when deciding whether they are a good fit for graduate study in the department.

Advisory Committees

After admission, but before entering the program, each master’s and doctoral student is surveyed about their preference for specific faculty members to serve on their Graduate Advisory Committee (GAC). For master’s students, this committee also guides students through the thesis process. For doctoral students, the GAC committee members supply information and guidance about the program during the student’s first two to three years in the program. Some doctoral students choose to keep the GAC members on their Qualifying Examination Committee (QEC), the committee which supports writing of the qualifying exam, and Dissertation Research Committee (DRC), the committee which guides doctoral students through the dissertation process. However, students may change committee composition when they believe it more closely matches their evolving scholarly and/or professional interests.

M.A. Course Requirements

The Master of Arts degree (4+1 Pathway Program and In-residence program) requires a total of 36 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Twelve of these hours must include P501 and P502 (Proseminars in Criminal Justice), P594 (Introduction to Research Methods) or equivalent course(s) approved by the department’s Committee on Graduate Studies, and an introduction to statistical methods course approved by the department’s Committee on Graduate Studies. A minimum of 9 additional credit hours of Group A courses (listed below) must be taken in the Department. At least 1 and no more than 6 additional credit hours must consist of P794 (M.A. Thesis) or P599 (Research Practicum), which are paired with the writing of a thesis or a substantial paper. All remaining credit hours may be completed either inside or outside the department. Students already enrolled in the department’s Ph.D. Program who choose to pursue a Master’s degree can petition their Qualifying Examination Committee to use their Qualifying Examination written paper as the Thesis or Substantial Paper. It is up to the Qualifying Examination Committee to decide whether the written work is of sufficient quality for either purpose. 

Ph.D. Course Requirements 

The Doctor of Philosophy degree requires 90 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. These 90 hours are organized into 5 groups of course requirements. Courses used in one group cannot be used to satisfy the requirements of any other group.

Group 1: 18 hours are required that include P501 and P502 (Proseminars in Criminal Justice), P594 (Introduction to Research Methods) or equivalent courses approved by the department’s Committee on Graduate Studies, an introduction to statistical methods’ course approved by the department’s Committee on Graduate Studies, an advanced statistical methods course or a qualitative methods course approved by the department’s Committee on Graduate Studies, and a 3-credit hour course approved by the student's Graduate Advisory Committee that serves as an additional research tool for the student’s chosen focus in the program

Group 2: 30 credit hours of courses are required. At least 9 of the 30 credit hours must come from the "Courses-Group A." In special cases, the Committee on Graduate Studies can approve equivalent course(s) within the department’s "Courses-Group B" listing. Up to 21 of the 30 credit hours can be from another department or transferred in from another graduate program with the approval of the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee.

Group 3: Students must have a Minor area from outside the department that meets the requirements of the Minor. Typically, that requirement entails an additional 12 – 15 hours of courses.

Group 4: A minimum of 18 dissertation credit hours are required but may not exceed 30 credit hours.

Group 5: Up to 12 hours of other electives courses from inside or outside the department are permitted to satisfy the minimum of 90 credit hours required for the Ph.D., subject to the approval of the student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee.

Qualifying Examination

All doctoral students are expected to demonstrate basic proficiency by passing a qualifying examination upon completion of coursework. The written portion of the examination may take a variety of forms (e.g., a Thesis or Substantial Paper) and must demonstrate the student's ability to successfully engage in dissertation research. An oral defense is required, with the written and oral components of the qualifying examination evaluated as a combined effort.

Dissertation Proposal

Dissertation proposals can be submitted only after the successful completion of the Qualifying Examination and the admission to Candidacy. An oral defense of the dissertation proposal is required.

Final Ph.D. Examination

Oral defense of the dissertation is required.

Ph.D. Minor in Criminal Justice

Students from other departments or schools who want to minor in Criminal Justice may consult with any tenured faculty member or the Director of Graduate Studies on the selection of a faculty advisor or advisors. At least 12 credit hours of department courses are required.

Academic Bulletins

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