Legal Studies

School of Applied Sciences, University of Mississippi

Curriculum & Program Requirements

The Master of Criminal Justice degree requires successful completion of 36 semester hours of graduate coursework, including successful completion of one (1) of three (3) program completion options.

All students must take the four (4) core courses. Students may take their remaining courses from either of the two optional emphases or take a combination of classes from both to complete the 30 hours of course work and six (6) hours of the program completion option. The specific requirements are presented below:

Note: All students are required to take the above four (4) core courses.

Criminal Justice Emphasis

Homeland Security Emphasis



  • *May be taken 2 times with a different topic each time
  • **May be taken 4 times with a different topic each time
  • ***May be taken for a maximum of 9 hours with a different topic and with permission from Department Chair & Graduate Program Coordinator

Program Options

A student must choose one of the following program options:

    1. CJ 690: Criminal Justice Practicum (6 hours)
    2. CJ 697: Thesis (6 hours)
    3. Exam: Non-thesis/Non-Practicum (Requires a minimum of six (6) additional semester credit hours of class work)

Program completion Option 1 and Option 2 require successful completion of an oral comprehensive examination. Option 3 requires the successful completion of the Comprehensive Written Exit Examination and a minimum of additional six (6) semester credit hours of class work. 

Waivers of the four (4) core classes of CJ 600, CJ 625, CJ 635, and CJ 655 are not granted. Students are expected to take and pass these four (4) core classes with an acceptable grade of C or better. Please note that a grade point of less than 3.00 will result in being placed on academic probation, and a grade point average of at least 3.00 is required to graduate. The four (4) core classes must be completed in order to graduate with the Master of Criminal Justice degree. 

Elective courses in the student’s program are to be chosen after an advising session with an assigned Legal Studies graduate academic advisor to determine a plan best fitting the student’s educational and career goals. Up to six (6) semester hours of coursework outside the Departmental of Legal Studies can be taken as elective credit towards the Master of Criminal Justice degree with prior approval of the Legal Studies Graduate Program Coordinator and the Department Chair.