Criminal Justice Leadership and Policy (MA)

Degree: Master of Art
Major: Criminal Justice Leadership and Policy
Program Code: 8701

About This Program . . .

The Criminal Justice Leadership and Policy program is a post-baccalaureate academic program offered in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, leading to a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Leadership and Policy (MACJLP) degree. 

Criminal Justice practitioners and scholars are highly qualified, multi-skilled public safety professionals who collaborate with other entities in the American criminal justice system as well as the general public to prevent and control crime, ensure due process, rehabilitate convicted offenders, and implement evidence-based practices.

The MACJLP program is a six semester (including summers) academic program. Admission into the program is competitive. The MACJLP program ensures the highest quality of education by offering collective learning experiences that emphasize leadership, policy, and administration, which enable students to pursue numerous career paths and promotional advancement within the criminal justice field. Graduates of the MACJLP program are well positioned to secure those employment and promotional opportunities in policing, the courts system, corrections, or continuing graduate studies.

Important information about this program:

  • MACJLP Program acceptance (see the catalog and program website for specific admissions requirements).
  • CRMJ 511 Foundational Seminar needs to be completed within a student’s first 15 credit hours.
  • Completion of a culminating graduate-level project required - Master's Culminating Experience

All CMU masters-level graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, information literacy, and ethical reasoning. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, a graduate of this program will be able to:

  1. Critique criminal justice policies and practices based upon advanced knowledge of criminological theory and recommend new practices or policies as needed. (Communication Fluency, Critical Thinking)
  2. Evaluate complex ethical issues in criminal justice and develop pragmatic resolutions/recommendations to address those issues. (Ethical Reasoning
  3. Recommend and implement advanced leadership theories and skills in Criminal Justice program and policy development and administration. (Specialized Knowledge, Communication Fluency)
  4. Design and conduct a capstone project using qualitative and/or quantitative research methods related to evidence-based practices, leadership, or administration of criminal justice practices and policies. (Quantitative Fluency, Critical Thinking, Information Literacy)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

All CMU master-level graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in critical thinking, communication fluency, quantitative reasoning, ethical reasoning, information literacy, and specialized knowledge/applied learning.

The following institutional requirements apply to all CMU graduate-level degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • Graduate certificates consist of a minimum of 5 credit hours.  Master’s degrees consist of a minimum of 30 credit hours. Doctoral degrees consist of a minimum of 60 credit hours.
  • All credits in a graduate program must be minimally at the 500-level.
  • At least fifty percent of the credit hours must be taken at CMU.
  • Students must achieve a 3.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • Students may not apply coursework with a grade lower than a “B” toward graduation requirements.  
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and certificate requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Graduate Degree Requirements” in this catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.
  • All policies for graduate degrees are outlined in the Graduate Policies and Procedures Manual, Capstone Guidelines Manual, and Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines Manual, all of which are provided on the Graduate Studies website

Specific to this degree:

  • 33 semester hours for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Leadership and Policy.
  • MACJLP Program acceptance (see the catalog and program website for specific admissions requirements).
  • CRMJ 511 Foundational Seminar to be completed within a student’s first 15 credit hours.
  • All courses and course sequencing are required and must be completed at CMU or through applicable transfer credit.
  • Complete a culminating graduate-level project (Master’s Culminating Experience).

Program Specific Requirements

Core Courses (18 Hours)
CRMJ 511Foundational Seminar3
CRMJ 512Public Policy Analysis3
CRMJ 513Ethics in Criminal Justice Leadership3
CRMJ 514Research Methods and Data Analysis3
CRMJ 515Advanced Criminological Theory3
CRMJ 516Leadership in Criminal Justice3
Elective Courses (12 Hours Total)
Two courses from the following: (6 Hours)6
Budgeting and Finance in Criminal Justice
Program Development and Evaluation
Strategic Planning for Criminal Justice Agencies
Two courses from the following: (6 Hours)6
Police Management and Administration
Legal Issues in Criminal Justice
Critical Issues in Corrections
Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
Master's Culminating Experience (3 Hours)
CRMJ 593Master’s Culminating Experience3
Other Requirements
Completion of Culminating Experience
Total Semester Credit Hours33
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
Mod 1 (3 Hours)  
CRMJ 511 Foundational Seminar 3
Mod 2 (3 Hours)  
CRMJ 512 Public Policy Analysis 3
 Semester Credit Hours6
Spring Semester
Mod 1 (3 Hours)  
CRMJ 515 Advanced Criminological Theory 3
Mod 2 (3 Hours)  
CRMJ 513 Ethics in Criminal Justice Leadership 3
 Semester Credit Hours6
Summer Semester
Mod 1 (3 Hours)  
CRMJ 516 Leadership in Criminal Justice 3
Mod 2 (3 Hours)  
CRMJ 5XX Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours6
Second Year
Fall Semester
Mod 1 (3 Hours)  
CRMJ 514 Research Methods and Data Analysis 3
Mod 2 (3 Hours)  
CRMJ 5XX Elective Course 3
 Semester Credit Hours6
Spring Semester
Mod 1 (3 Hours)  
CRMJ 5XX Elective Course 3
Mod 2 (3 Hours)  
CRMJ 5XX Elective Course 3
 Semester Credit Hours6
Summer Semester
Mod 1 (3 Hours)  
CRMJ 593 Master’s Culminating Experience 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
 Total Semester Credit Hours33

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and discussing the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree.

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a certificate and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If your petition for graduation is denied, it will be your responsibility to apply for graduation in a subsequent semester. Your “Intent to Graduate” does not automatically move to a later graduation date.