Applied Criminology, Master of Science

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

This graduate degree provides coursework for a professional program focused on the social and practical problems surrounding the creation and implementation of law and justice policy in local, national and international environments. This program allows graduate students to focus their studies in the areas of communities and justice, socio-legal policies and practices and transnational crime and justice. Students pursuing a graduate degree in Applied Criminology work closely with faculty mentors on research and projects that interest them. 

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Communities and Justice - Emphasis (ending Summer 2025)
  • Law, Policy and Social Change - Emphasis (ending Summer 2025)
  • Transnational Crime and Justice - Emphasis (ending Summer 2025)

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master's degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.

    Read the full policy here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 36
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Emphasis, Minor, or Certificate Required

An emphasis, minor, or certificate is required for this major.

Thesis Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Oral Defense Oral Defense may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

    • Three letters of recommendation
    • A writing sample
    • A personal statement or essay
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 36 units:

    Foundation Courses (9 units)

    Select one course from (3 units):
    • CCJ 610, CCJ 614, or other research tool approved by the Department Graduate Program Committee
  • Focus Area (9 units)
  • Capstone Project (6 units)
    Select one of the four following capstone projects:
    • Thesis - original qualitative or quantitative research in criminology
    • Internship - minimum one semester full-time field placement and the completion of a written analysis of the internship project
    • Comprehensive Exam - supervised examinations to demonstrate mastery of criminological theory and methods and one focus area of study
    • Justice Education Practicum - requires completion of CCJ 688 and CCHE 580 or CCHE 640 and, with the approval of the CCJ 688 instructor, one semester of supervised college-level teaching (or other justice-education project) and the completion of a written, critical analysis of the teaching experience
  • Elective Units
    • Students who complete one focus area must complete 12 units of additional elective coursework approved by the student's Graduate Committee.
    • Students who complete a second 9-unit focus area will take 3 additional units of approved elective coursework.
  • Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Program 

    This program is available as an Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan. Accelerated Programs provide the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates working on their bachelor’s degree to simultaneously begin work on a master’s degree, which may allow them to complete both degrees in an accelerated manner by applying 6 units toward both degrees. Students must apply to the accelerated program and the master’s program by the application deadline, and meet all requirements as listed on the Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Programs to be considered for admission. Admission to programs is competitive and qualified applicants may be denied because of limits on the number of students admitted each year. Be sure to speak with your advisor regarding your interest in Accelerated Programs.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.