College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2021-2022

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Applied Criminology, Master of Science

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement
 
The core of the educational mission of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice is to provide both undergraduate and graduate students with the theoretical, methodological, and analytical skills to think critically and systematically about the nature of crime, the meaning of justice, and the efficacy of crime control policies and practices.
 
The M.S. in Applied Criminology is an integrated program of study designed to provide graduate students with the theoretical perspectives, substantive knowledge and practical research skills needed to engage in independent, critical investigation of social justice and criminal justice issues, problems, and policies. The M.S. degree prepares students for professional employment in applied local, national, and international justice contexts or to pursue further education at the doctoral level.
 
The program’s core courses are designed to ensure that students acquire a graduate-level understanding of advanced theory and methods in criminology, justice system processes, and contemporary policy debates regarding crime and crime control. The graduate curriculum examines justice-related issues from a variety of criminological, social justice, and global perspectives and emphasizes three broad substantive areas of specialization:  transnational crime and justice, communities, health, and justice, and law, policy and social change.  Throughout the curriculum, students are expected to apply their core methodological and theoretical knowledge to analyze real-world justice challenges
 
The applied nature of the M.S. program is particularly emphasized in the diverse completion options available to students. Depending upon their career goals, our program facilitates experiential learning and the development of subject area expertise via a student designed project focused on research, teaching, or an internship in a justice agency. The opportunity to complete an independent project offers student-centered flexibility while also preparing students for their chosen professional career within the field of criminology. Applied Criminology graduates are critically informed citizens who value diversity and social justice and apply their methodological and theoretical knowledge to advance the cause of justice. 
 
Student Learning Outcomes 

The M.S. program in Applied Criminology provides students’ with the ability to apply graduate-level knowledge of criminological theory and advanced research skills to real-world problem solving in the areas of social and criminal justice.  Our program produces criminal justice practitioners, researchers, and human rights advocates who have a broad understanding of social justice-related issues and who have the advanced theoretical and methodological skills to work toward fostering healthy and sustainable communities that prioritize harm prevention.
 
Upon completion of the M.S. in Applied Criminology, all students will be able to:

1. [Theory] Critically engage, evaluate and apply social and criminological theories.  

  • Identify and understand the influence of social, historical, political, cultural, and economic contexts on the development of criminological paradigms and their associated theories.
  • Demonstrate advanced understanding of how criminological theories shape justice-related practices and policies.
  • Appropriately select and apply criminological theory in the completion of a capstone project. 
2. [Methods] Understand, critique and apply the common methodological strategies for analyzing justice-related questions.
  • Identify and explain key aspects of the research process, ranging from concept formation and measurement, to theory application and construction, to research design and data collection and analysis.
  • Develop and apply robust methodological approaches in a capstone project, such as hypothesis testing, describing social phenomenon, and developing grounded theory.  
  • Critically assess and evaluate existing (empirical) research and justice practices.  
3. [Critical Thinking] Read, reflect and discuss justice-related issues from a variety of social justice, global, and human perspectives.
  • Assess how dynamics of power, privilege, and inequality shape law making and the administration of justice locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Evaluate the impact of justice policies and practices for diverse groups.
  • Critically assess the ethical dilemmas associated with diverse perspectives on the meaning of justice. 
4. [Communication] Write and communicate orally at a professional and scholarly level.


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