Criminal Justice

Master of Science

Why study Criminal Justice?

The Master of Science (MS) program in Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati began in 1978 and had its first graduate in 1981. UC's School of Criminal Justice was ranked #3 in the most recent US News and World Report survey of graduate education in criminology and criminal justice.

Program Goals

The program’s coursework approaches the study of crime and criminal justice from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing insights from sociology, law, public administration, and criminal justice. The curriculum is designed to achieve several core objectives:

  • Provide students with the conceptual and research skills needed to undertake advanced analyses of crime and the criminal justice system.
  • Furnish law enforcement, corrections, and court practitioners with knowledge of justice administration, social science perspectives of human behavior, policy analysis, and criminal justice theory.
  • Train those who will become leaders in the criminal justice system by providing the skills needed to upgrade levels of professional practice, improve standards, initiate fresh perspectives, and act as agents of change.
  • Prepare social scientists to pursue careers in university and research settings.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students will complete the UC Graduate School application by the posted deadline. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required materials and support documents are successfully submitted. Incomplete applications will not be processed or reviewed.

Review of applications for Fall Admission begins February 1st. Full-time students are generally admitted only for Fall Semester.

Admission requirements include:

  • A baccalaureate degree (any major) from an accredited institution
  • A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
  • At least two (2) letters of reference
  • A personal statement describing relevant qualifications, goals, and program fit

Master's degree students in Criminal Justice will leave the program with a broad understanding of crime as well as the different parts of the justice system. Students will become adept at understanding research-based knowledge and how it applies to real-world situations. Although students follow a variety of career paths, the skills learned in the program will help them in information processing and problem solving regardless of their chosen career.

Graduate training is growing in significance in the field of criminal justice. Agencies are equating professionalism with higher educational attainment. For many careers, the Master’s in Criminal Justice is becoming the minimum qualification for employment. Former students have found the master's degree to be useful in obtaining a wide range of employment. Our alumni currently hold positions such as:

  • Lieutenant in the State Police
  • Police Officer
  • Chief of Police
  • Probation Officer
  • Counselor in a Halfway House
  • Research Analyst for a Federal Agency
  • Drug Enforcement Agent
  • Crime Reporter
  • College Professor

For advising questions, please contact Prof. Chris Sullivan at or by phone at (513) 556-3851.

Application Deadlines

The application deadline for Fall Semester admission to the on-campus master's program is July 1. Review of completed admission applications begins in February - for best consideration, please apply by February 1.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

Christopher Sullivan
School of Criminal Justice
Cincinnati, OH 45221
(513) 556-3851

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Program Code: 18MAS-CJ-MS