College of Arts and Sciences

Dept. of Criminal Justice and Criminology

M.A. in Criminal Justice and Criminology

The master of arts in criminal justice is designed to develop and enhance the student's knowledge of criminal justice; expand and develop a student's analytical and assessment skills; and further develop their facility with oral and written communication and with research.

The program is flexible and provides a superb basis for entry into graduate work at the doctoral level or applied work in criminal justice agencies. Approximately 70% of our M.A. graduates are employed in applied settings while the balance have pursued teaching and research careers.

The Program offers two tracks toward the completion of the Masterís Program: a conventional track, available on campus and through WSU Online; and a Masterís with a Certificate in Global Justice and Security. The MA with a Certificate track is not available online. Each track has different course requirements that are spelled out on this web site and in detail in the Graduate Handbook. Both tracks are non-thesis tracks, not requiring the writing of a Masterís thesis.

Students should read the descriptions of the two tracks outlined below carefully. The decision which track a student wants to pursue can be decided once a student arrives on campus during discussion with the graduate advisor.

Conventional Track

The Conventional Track requires the completion of 27 hours (9 courses) of graded course credit. Nine hours (three courses) of senior level undergraduate course work may be allowed, by approval of the studentís Committee, toward the completion of the 27 hours graded course work. In addition, students must sign up for at least 4 hours of Crm J 702 credits. Crm J 702 credits, which are evaluated as pass or fail only, represent efforts by students engaged in independent study and the preparation of the writing portfolio discussed briefly below and in detail on the Masterís Writing Portfolio page found in the left navigation bar. This makes for a minimum of 31 credit hours total.

Masterís Degree with a Certificate in Global Justice
and Security Track

This MA is designed as a cross-disciplinary degree combining Criminal Justice and Political Science courses which deal with the changing dynamics and configurations of security and crime patterns and issues across the world. Security threats and crime in the USA are increasingly affected by global developments and hence cannot be dealt with effectively by security and crime policies that focus solely on the USA.

This MA track requires a total of 34 semester hours, including 30 hours (ten courses) of graded course work and four hours of Crm J 702 credits, as well as the submission of a Masterís Writing Portfolio and an oral defense/exit interview.

As with the Conventional Track, nine hours (three courses) of senior level undergraduate course work may be allowed, by approval of the studentís Committee, toward the completion of the 30 hours of graded course work.

The Certificate Option is available only to students who have been admitted and have enrolled in our CRMJ MA program. In order to receive the Certificate, students will have to successfully complete ten courses in the CRMJ MA program.

To enroll in the Certificate Program, students in the CRMJ MA program have to notify the Graduate Studies Committee in the Department that they wish to pursue the Certificate option. The Graduate Studies Committee will decide whether to accept the student into the Certificate program or not and will notify the student of its decision. Being denied admission to the Certificate option does not prevent the student from receiving an MA upon successful conclusion of the required courses for the conventional MA track. Once admitted, the studentís program statement form will indicate admission to the Certificate option.

Master's Writing Portfolio

In addition to the course requirements, students are required to prepare a master’s writing portfolio acceptable to his/her advisory committee and the Graduate School. The major purpose of this requirement is to give the student directed experience in conducting research in the field of criminal justice.


While not required of master's students, there are opportunities to assist with teaching and research. Many graduate students find these experiences very valuable, both in deepening their own scholarship and in providing useful professional experience.

Contact Us

Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology
Washington State University
Johnson Tower 701
P.O. Box 644872
Pullman, WA 99164-4872
Ph: 509-335-8611
Fax: 509-335-4513

Dr. Craig Hemmens

Graduate Advisor:
Dr. Faith Lutze

Administrative Manager:
DeeDee Torgeson

Graduate Program Assistant:
Andrea Butcherite

Undergraduate Academic Advisors:
Kelli Laxson, Room 701b
(Students whose last name begins with letters: A — L; Criminal Justice is their 2nd major/2nd degree; Criminal Justice is their minor)
Sisouvanh (Sis) Keopanapay, room 726
(Students whose last name begins with letters: M — Z; Students who have questions about Internship Credits)

2014–2015 Handbook (pdf)





Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, PO Box 644872, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4872, 509-335-8611, Contact Us