Criminal Justice
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Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Institutions of social control change constantly due to the public’s demand for a quality system of justice. In this climate, government at all levels is insisting on a higher level of intellectual and educational preparation for those who participate in the operation and administration of its criminal justice systems.

Master of Science in Administration of Juvenile Justice

The program is competency-based; its intent is to develop in students a set of competencies jointly arrived at by the Shippensburg University Criminal Justice Department and the Commission. Education for excellence in criminal and juvenile justice practice is the guiding mission of the Department of Criminal Justice at Shippensburg University. The faculty who teach in the program are committed to providing high quality education that will prepare students to provide practitioner-based services that are ethical, impartial and effective in a rapidly changing and increasingly diverse society.

Why Study Criminal Justice at Ship?

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program at Shippensburg University is a good fit if you are contemplating a career in the criminal justice field, as well as further graduate study. The program also serves working professionals who wish to enhance their understanding of theory and conduct research related to their organizations.

The program's major strengths are its applied perspective and strong emphasis on theory, policy, research, and analysis. Philosophy, format, and implementation stress the practical application of a higher level of knowledge, skills, and strategies. The methodological and theory components are highly suitable as a preparation for entering advanced graduate studies and other professional programs.

You will study the criminal justice system with faculty who:

  • Hold the highest scholarly qualifications
  • Have experience in the field as practitioners
  • Serve as expert witnesses and consultants to criminal justice agencies
  • Conduct research
  • Publish articles and books
  • Present scholarly papers at local, regional and national conferences

Career Opportunities

A wide variety of career options are available to our graduates. Graduates successfully compete in the job market and are employed by private companies, city and county governments, state and federal departments. Graduates who are currently employed are often more marketable and upwardly mobile in their agency's career development programs. They are also qualified to move to other agencies in a new and higher level of participation, responsibility, and compensation. They can expect new management, policymaking, and expanded leadership and supervision opportunities as a result of their experiences and graduate degree.

The salary range for criminal justice jobs in Pennsylvania is $31,000 to $87,000.

Research Opportunities

Shippensburg University is located near major cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. State government in the capital city, Harrisburg, provides opportunities to study and do research with state and federal agencies.

You will have opportunities to work on research projects with departmental faculty. Computer resources and excellent library facilities are available.

Graduate assistantships may be available if you want to enhance your learning experience by assisting faculty with research, teaching and other tasks during the academic year.

Admissions Requirements for Masters in CJ

Shippensburg University Masters in Criminal Justice (CJ) is fully online with two tracks, part-time and full-time and will begin to enroll Fall 2018.  Questions regarding the new updated changes to the program and admissions requirements please email gradadmiss@ship.edu.

  • Online Graduate Application APPLY NOW
  • A baccalaureate degree in criminal justice, administration of justice, or related social science field from a regionally accredited college or university.  (If you are a Shippensburg University grad your transcripts will upload automatically)
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75. Applicants with less than a 2.75 GPA will be required to take the Graduate Requisite Examination (GRE) or the Millers Analogies Test (MAT) and provide a score sufficient of graduate education before they are eligible for admission.
  • In 500 words or less provide a Statement of Interest indicating your reasons for pursuing this program, your professional goals, and how this degree will help fulfill said goals.
  • You may submit your statement of interest and optional resume via email as a PDF or Word Document to GradAdmiss@ship.edu.

To qualify for the degree of Master of Science in Criminal Justice, you must complete 33 hours of graduate work. See the Graduate Catalog for a complete list of required courses.

Admissions Requirements for Administration of Juvenile Justice (JCJC)

NOTE: Students enrolled in the MS program affiliated with the Juvenile Court Judges Commission will complete 6 credits of Practicum as electives for the program.

  • Online Graduate Application APPLY NOW
  • A baccalaureate degree in criminal justice, administration of justice, or related social science field from a regionally accredited college or university.  (If you are a Shippensburg University grad your transcripts will upload automatically)
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75. Applicants with less than a 2.75 GPA will be required to take the Graduate Requisite Examination (GRE) or the Millers Analogies Test (MAT) and provide a score sufficient of graduate education before they are eligible for admission.
  • Resume which details your work history within the juvenile justice system for at least 2 years.
  • Recommendation PDF  from the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer in your county supporting the recommendation to the JCJC program with Shippensburg University.
  • Submit a letter of interest for Endorsement and Admission to the Administration of Juvenile Justice JCJC Graduate Education Program with Shippensburg University.  This letter should address the following issues:
    • Why you are a strong candidate for endorsement
    • Any reasons why you may still be a strong candidate despite having an undergraduate GPA below 2.75
    • Complete description of juvenile justice work experience
    • How you expect to use the graduate education experience to improve practices in the county from which application is made. 
  • You may submit your letter of interest, recommendation form (completed) and resume via email as a PDF or Word Document to GradAdmiss@ship.edu.  Transcripts need to be official and sent to Shippensburg University Graduate Admissions or electronic transcripts emailed also to gradadmiss@ship.edu.

Please note for JCJC applicants only: The above application and requirements are the first step to get the approval from the Department of Criminal Justice at Shippensburg University, this indicates you meet the minimum requirements to enter into a graduate program.  The deadline for this is January 31st 2018.  This is initial acceptance is provisional, pending an on-campus interview with the Center for Juvenile Justice Training and Research (CJJTR).  These interviews will be conducted between February and March 2018, and you will be contacted by CJJTR staff to scheduled your interview.  Last approval by the Juvenile Justice System will come May of 2018. 

Entrance into the Administration of Juvenile Justice program at Shippensburg University will begin Fall term 2018.

With approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Criminal Justice, a student may take up to three courses at the 500-level or higher offered by the following departments: Counseling/College Student Personnel, Educational Leadership and Policy/Special Education, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

Please note, students are only admitted for the fall semester.

Contact the Criminal Justice Department

Criminal Justice Department
Shippen Hall 321, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1558
crimjust@ship.edu
ship.edu/criminal_justice