Program goal

The M.S. degree program in criminal justice assists in broadening and refining the understanding of criminal justice and criminological issues to facilitate career success and advancement. The goal of the program is to develop critical-thinking skills among the students through the use of current criminal justice and criminological topics, reports and research findings.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students will communicate effectively about criminal justice issues/policies using well-reasoned evidence from empirical studies to support their arguments and/or positions. 
  2. Students will demonstrate critical thinking and articulation of major issues related to the field in a diverse socio-cultural context while also understanding the diversity of lived experiences.
  3. Students will integrate their knowledge of existing theoretical and methodological frameworks to evaluate policy issues related to criminal justice and to be able to communicate to community stakeholders about the consequences of policy implementation.
  4. Students will make impactful contributions to their fields, surrounding community and public policy through ethically responsible active participation and leadership in their careers.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.