Criminology and Criminal Justice

Advance your career with a Michigan graduate degree from University of Michigan-Dearborn in the rapidly growing criminal justice profession.

Faculty, who are experts in their field, developed the Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice to prepare students for research, management and policy positions or continuation into a Ph.D. program.

This flexible degree program is 30-31 credits and provides a thesis and non-thesis option, while offering traditional, evening and online courses.  Public safety professionals from partnering organizations may quality for a scholarship valued at 20 percent of tuition and fees through our community service personnel scholarship program. 

The program can be completed entirely on campus, entirely online, or through a combination of on-campus and online courses. The following courses are available online:

Required courses: CRJ 518, 553, 560, 565, 570, 580, 588, 599, 699.

Elective courses: CRJ 509, 517, 519, 569, 582, 587.

Admission Requirements

  • Completion of a Bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA
  • Completion of the following courses or equivalent:
    • CRJ 200 Introduction to Criminal Justice
    • CRJ 468 Criminology
    • CRJ 416 Criminal Law

Applicants who meet the GPA requirement but lack one or more required courses may be admitted conditionally with the permission of the Program Director. These course deficiencies may be completed concurrently with graduate courses in the program upon Program Director approval.

Community Service Personnel Scholarships

The University of Michigan-Dearborn provides a scholarship valued at 20% of tuition and fees for public safety employees at partnering organizations.  The scholarship is available for degree-seeking students and can be used for undergraduate and graduate programs.

Accelerated Program: 4+1

The 4+1 accelerated program option allows current UM-Dearborn undergraduate Criminology and Criminal Justice majors to complete both the Bachelor of Arts and the Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice in a format that offers substantial savings in both time and money. This is achieved by a double-counting allowance of up to 15 credits or 5 graduate level (500-level or above) courses. One additional year of graduate work (15-16 credits) would be needed to complete the Master's program enabling students to earn two degrees in a total of five years. 

Participation in the 4+1 program is limited to students who have completed at least 60 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Admission to the 4+1 program is at the discretion of the Program Director and requires an admission interview. The "regular" online graduate application should be completed with a "Yes" response to the 4+1 accelerated program question. The only supplemental application materials required for 4+1 applicants are a personal statement describing career goals and a resume.

Once admitted to the 4+1 program, the student must attain a grade of B- or better in each 500 level class elected.  Failure to do so may result in removal from the 4+1 program.  

For additional information, please see the Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice website or call 313-583-6404.

Specific Course Requirements

Core Courses
CRJ 518CJ Research Methods 1, 23
or PAPP 580 Stat Method for Decisionmaking
CRJ 553Sociology of Law 13
or CRJ 560 Law and Culture
or PAPP 505 Intro to Public Admin
CRJ 565Deviant Behavior/Soc Disorganz3
CRJ 570Current Issues in Crim Justice3
or CRJ 515 Restorative Justice
CRJ 588Criminal Procedure3
PAPP 561Organization Develop & Theory 13
or CRJ 580 Applied CJ Theory
Elective Courses
Select three courses from the following:9
Intel and Homeland Security
Civil Rights and Liberties
Restorative Justice
Crimmigration
LGBTQ+ Criminology
Gender Roles
Marriage and Family Problems
Sociology of Law
Law and Culture
Drugs, Alcohol, and Society
Juvenile Delinquency
Current Issues in Crim Justice
Correctional Systems
Applied CJ Theory
Legal Ethics
White Collar Crime
Forensic Science Evidence in Criminal Cases
Govt & Nonprofit Leadership
Administrative Law
Government & Nonprofit Finance 1
Strategic Mgt for Pub Admin
Policy Analysis & Development
Program Evaluation
Master's Essay or Master's Thesis
Select one of the following options:3-4
CRJ Master's Essay 3
CRJ Thesis 4
Total Credit Hours30-31

Learning Goals

  1. Strengthen the professional qualifications of those currently employed in the criminal justice field.
  2. Develop skills in research and in criminology and criminal justice program planning and evaluation.
  3. Develop skills in the organization and administration of public criminal justice systems.
  4. Prepare students for doctoral study in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

CRJ 502     Parole and Probation     3 Credit Hours

This course deals with corrections in the community with primary focus on the areas of probation and parole. It discusses the history and foundation of probation and parole, and how each functions within the larger system of criminal corrections. The practical daily activities of probation and parole officers are examined, including monitoring techniques, report-writing, offender and risk assessment evaluation, pre-sentence investigations, and court testimony. Students may not receive credit for both CRJ 402 and CRJ 502. (YR).

CRJ 504     Sentencing     3 Credit Hours

This course will familiarize students with the history, structure, and performance of America's sentencing system. Sentencing is the process by which criminal sanctions are imposed in individual cases following criminal convictions. The course examines the laws and policies that guide the determination of punishment in the court system. Topics include the theoretical underpinnings of sentencing, with an application focus on capital punishment; determinate and indeterminate sentencing systems; sentencing guidelines and departures from the guidelines; mandatory minimum sentences; and “3 strikes” and other habitual offender statutes. Students will engage in a graded practical exercise using sentencing guidelines to learn how to calculate sentences based on various facts. Students cannot receive credit for both CRJ 404 and CRJ 504. (YR).

CRJ 509     Intel and Homeland Security     3 Credit Hours

Full Title: Intelligence and Homeland Security This course will provide an in-depth examination of the principles that guide the collection, analysis, and sharing of intelligence in the United States and how these principles impact homeland security. Topics will include the US Intelligence Community (CIA, FBI, military intelligence), the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan, the National Intelligence Strategy, and the recent emphasis places on Intelligence-Led Policing. Emphasis will also be placed on the increased role that local and state law enforcement agencies as well as private sector entities play in contributing to the assessment of threats to homeland security. (F,W,S)

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Level is Graduate

CRJ 513     American Constitutional Law     3 Credit Hours

A major theme of this course is the development of the constitution, especially focusing on the themes of judicial review: judicial self-restraint and judicial activism; the expansion of executive and legislative powers; and the rise of "substantive due process of the law". Prerequisite or equivalent recommended. This course is distinguished from its 400 level counterpart by the requirement of additional readings and research. (AY).

Prerequisite(s): POL 101

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 514     Civil Rights and Liberties     3 Credit Hours

An analysis of the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment, with particular emphasis upon recent landmark or controversial Supreme Court decisions dealing with freedom of speech and religion, rights of criminal defendants; cruel and unusual punishment, right to privacy; civil rights and equal protection clause; and apportionment. Prerequisite or equivalent recommended. This course is distinguished from its 400 level counterpart by the requirement of additional readings and research. (YR).

Prerequisite(s): POL 101

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 515     Restorative Justice     3 Credit Hours

This graduate course explores the practice of restorative justice as it has been engaged in historical and contemporary criminal justice contexts. Topics addressed include the principles and philosophies underlying restorative justice, differences between retributive and restorative models, victim-offender dialogue, and offender reintegration. Students will be asked to think critically about restorative and retributive systems and to apply these concepts to develope their own approach to restorative justice.

CRJ 517     Crimmigration     3 Credit Hours

Full Title: Crimmigration: Intersections of Immigration and Criminal Justice This course explores the intersection(s) of the criminal justice and immigration systems with special attention to race, class, and gender. It covers the evolution of American immigration policy and its application, the criminalization of immigrants, immigrant offending and victimization, the policing of immigrant communities, and the immigrant experience in the United States.

Prerequisite(s): CRJ 200 or CRJ 468 or CRJ 473 or SOC 200 or SOC 201

CRJ 518     CJ Research Methods     4 Credit Hours

Full Title: Criminal Justice Research Methods This course provides an introduction to methods of data collection and analysis, as well as a discussion of research design and the philosophy of social science, within the context of the field of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Attention is given to quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies.

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Level is Graduate

CRJ 519     LGBTQ+ Criminology     3 Credit Hours

This course explores matters of crime, crime control, and the law through the lens of Queer Criminology, which draws attention to the stigmatization, criminalization, and rejection of LGBTQ+ populations. Special attention is paid to the intersections of identity (e.g. class, race, gender, sexual orientation) and offending, as well as identity and victimization, as well as the experiences of LGBTQ+ communities with police, courts, and corrections, in the United States and around the world. (YR).

CRJ 535     Urban Sociology     3 Credit Hours

A descriptive study of the form and development of the urban community with respect to demographic structure, spatial and temporal patterns, and functional organization. The relationship of city and hinterland. Social planning and its problems in the urban community. Additional reading assignments or projects will distinguish this course from its undergraduate version CRJ 435. Students cannot receive credit for both CRJ 435 and CRJ 535. (YR).

Prerequisite(s): SOC 200 or SOC 201

CRJ 543     Gender Roles     3 Credit Hours

This course will investigate the development of gender roles in childhood and adolescence due to either innate physiological differences or sociological patterning, the effect of gender roles upon male-female relationships within our society, and the possibility of transcending sociological gender roles in alternate modes of living. Additional reading assignments or projects will distinguish this course from its undergraduate version SOC 443. Students cannot receive credit for both SOC 443 and SOC 543. (YR).

Prerequisite(s): PSYC 170 or PSYC 171 or SOC 200 or SOC 201

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 546     Marriage and Family Problems     3 Credit Hours

Sociological analysis of problems encountered within the institution of marriage with particular reference to such issues as choosing a marriage partner, sexual adjustment, occupational involvement, conflict resolution, child rearing, divorce and readjustment. This course is distinguished from its 400 level counterpart by the requirement of additional readings and research. (YR).

Prerequisite(s): SOC 200 or SOC 201

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 547     Family Violence     3 Credit Hours

Sociological analyses of various forms of family violence which occur disproportionately in the lives of girls and women. Topics such as incest, sexual abuse, date rape, wife battering, and elder abuse will be situated within the social and cultural context of contemporary gender relationships. Social and political responses to the phenomena will be examined. Additional reading assignments or projects will distinguish this course from its undergraduate version SOC 447. Students cannot receive credit for both SOC 447 and SOC 547. (F).

Prerequisite(s): SOC 200 or SOC 201 or SOC 301 or SOC 443 or PSYC 405 or WST 405 or PSYC 505 or WST 505 or SOC 543

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 553     Sociology of Law     3 Credit Hours

Various aspects of the relationship between law and society are explored. After a look at processes of law making, attention is turned to the administration of law. This involves a study of the activities of legislatures, courts, police, and correctional agents. This course is distinguished from its 400 level counterpart by the requirement of additional readings and research. (YR).

Prerequisite(s): SOC 200 or SOC 201

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 555     Immigrant Cultures and Gender     3 Credit Hours

The history and culture of immigration since 1850, including: (1) formation and perseverance of immigrant communities and inter-ethnic boundaries; (2) relations between the homeland and the immigrant; and (3) impact of migration on family life and gender roles. This course is distinguished from its 400 level counterpart by the requirement of additional readings and research. (AY).

Prerequisite(s): ANTH 101 or WST 275 or WGST 275 or PSYC 275 or SOC 275 or ANTH 275 or HUM 275 or WGST 303 or PSYC 303 or SOC 303 or ANTH 303 or HUM 303

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 560     Law and Culture     3 Credit Hours

This course will explore the ways in which legal rules, norms, and processes are embedded in and shaped by the societies in which they are created and disseminated. We will address anthropological and sociological theories about the nature of law and disputes, examine related studies of legal structures in non-Western cultures, and consider the uses of sociology and anthropology in studying our own legal system. By examining individual legal institutions in the context of their particular cultural settings, we can begin to make cross-cultural comparisons and contrasts. In so doing, we confront the challenge of interpreting and understanding the legal rules and institutions of other cultures while assessing the impact of our own social norms and biases. (F,W)

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Level is Graduate

CRJ 565     Deviant Behavior/Soc Disorganz     3 Credit Hours

General analysis of the concepts of social deviance and social disorganizations: factors producing each condition, the effects of social control measures on the course of deviance and disorganization consequences for the social system, and the relationship between the two concepts. This course is distinguished from its 400 level counterpart by the requirement of additional readings and research. (YR).

Prerequisite(s): SOC 200 or SOC 201

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 566     Drugs, Alcohol, and Society     3 Credit Hours

Analyses of the sociology of substance use and abuse. Provide a sociological framework for understanding issues and evaluating our nation?s responses to the phenomenon of drug use. Drawing on sociocultural and social psychological perspectives, this course systematically examines the social structure, social problems, and social policy aspects of drugs in American Society. Additional assignments will distinguish this course from its undergraduate version.

Prerequisite(s): SOC 200 or SOC 201

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 568     Criminology     3 Credit Hours

Analysis of criminal behavior in relationship to the institutional framework of society. Emphasis upon the more routinized and persistent forms of criminality along with the joint roles played by victims, the criminal, the police, and all other relevant parties. This course is distinguished from its 400 level counterpart by the requirement of additional readings and research. (F, W).

Prerequisite(s): SOC 200 or SOC 201

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 569     Juvenile Delinquency     3 Credit Hours

The analysis of juvenile delinquent behavior in relationship to the institutional framework of society. Emphasis on the extent, causes, and methods of treatment of juvenile delinquency in the United States. This course is distinguished from its 400 level counterpart by the requirement of additional readings and research. (YR).

Prerequisite(s): SOC 200 or SOC 201

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 570     Current Issues in Crim Justice     3 Credit Hours

Current issues in the field of criminal justice and law enforcement in the US and other countries. Topics include an evaluation of police activities, problems of apprehensions and prosecution, the courts and the correctional system, and the efficacy of the legal structure in its social context. Prerequisite or permission of instructor. This course is distinguished from its 400 level counterpart by the requirement of additional readings and research. (F, W, S).

Prerequisite(s): CRJ 200

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 571     Int'l Criminal Justice Systems     3 Credit Hours

Description, analysis, and evaluation of selected criminal justice systems throughout the world. Course focuses on the various systems, theories, structures, methods, and functions, including common law systems and socialist law systems. This course is distinguished from its 400 level counterpart by the requirement of additional readings and research. (YR).

Prerequisite(s): SOC 200 or SOC 201

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 572     Correctional Systems     3 Credit Hours

Analysis of the legal, social and political issues affecting contemporary correctional theory and practice. Topics covered include the history of corrections; the nature of existing institutions; the functions and social structure of correctional institutions; and alternatives to institutional incarceration; probation and parole. This course is distinguished from its 400 level counterpart by the requirement of additional readings and research. (OC).

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 576     Inside Out Prison Exchange     4 Credit Hours

This community-based course, taught in a local correctional facility, brings university students and incarcerated students together to study as peers. Together students explore issues of crime and justice, drawing on one another to create a deeper understanding of how these issues affect our lives as individuals and as a society. The course creates a dynamic partnership between UMD and a correctional facility to allow students to question approaches to issues of crime and justice in order to build a safer and more just society for all. The course encourages outside (UMD) students to contextualize and to think deeply about what they have learned about crime and criminals and to help them pursue the work of creating a restorative criminal justice system; it challenges inside students to place their life experiences into larger social contexts and to rekindle their intellectual self-confidence and interest in further education. (YR).

CRJ 580     Applied CJ Theory     3 Credit Hours

Full Course Title: Applied Criminal Justice Theory Criminal Justice theories emphasize the study of formal and informal mechanisms of social control in specific places, such as bars and night clubs, city parks, schools, and shopping malls. This course will include a comprehensive assessment of Criminal Justice theories as well as key principles of human behavior that may be impacted by formal an informal mechanisms of social control. As an applied theory course, students will also be introduced to a process by which theories and principles can be translated into daily practical use in place where behavioral problems frequently occur. (YR)

Prerequisite(s): CRJ 200 and CRJ 468 and CRJ 473 and (SOC 200 or SOC 201)

CRJ 582     Legal Ethics     3 Credit Hours

This course will explore the many ethical dilemmas faced by professionals in the legal system. We will pay particular attention to the criminal justice system and to the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys. Some of the questions we may address are: How should an attorney consider his/her own ethical beliefs when deciding the appropriate course of action in a case? How should a judge consider his/her own ethical beliefs when making a juvenile justice decision? How should a police offer determine the ethical course of action when the law's instructions are ambiguous? (F,W)

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Level is Graduate

CRJ 584     White Collar Crime     3 Credit Hours

This course reviews the history, categories, and problems related to white-collar crime. The course covers these topics by incorporating both legal and empirical perspectives in the study of white collar crime. In this course, we will focus on the substantive and procedural white collar crime laws ('law on the books) and analyze real white collar crime cases. Simultaneously, we will pay special attention to the dynamic relationship between white color crime and the American regulatory framework. As a result, we will assess the relationship and differences between various types of white collar crime and the regulatory regimes that oversee the business sector ('law in action'). (OC)

CRJ 587     Forensic Science Evidence in Criminal Cases     3 Credit Hours

This class is a study of the increasing use of scientific evidence in criminal cases, gathered by crime scene investigators (CSI) and/or later developed in a crime laboratory. After a review of the history and development of forensic scientific evidence, the class will study the standards used by courts to prevent the admission of so-called "junk science" and the emergence of DNA as a new model for forensic science evidence. Several common forms of scientific evidence, beginning with DNA, will be studied, including fingerprints, handwriting, hair, bite marks, ballistics, fire and arson debris, and blood stains. The study also includes the forensic use of social sciences testimony, including the reliability of eyewitness testimony and several forms of abuse "syndrome" testimony. Each of these forms of evidence will be described and then compared to the "junk science" standards and to the most recent information about their reliability. The class will examine the impact of forensic science evidence on jurors and the so-called "CSI Effect". The reaction of courts, attorneys and police to juror expectations for scientific evidence will be reviewed. Finally, the class will review the impact of DNA exonerations and the National Academy of Sciences report on the reliability of forensic science evidence and how judges and appeals courts are responding to those challenges, particularly the current controversies concerning the validity of such evidence. Students cannot receive credit for both CRJ 487 and CRJ 587. (W).

CRJ 588     Criminal Procedure     3 Credit Hours

Full Title: Criminal Procedure and Constitutional Law This class is a study of Constitutional law regarding criminal procedure in the United States. Initially the class reviews the federal and state court structure relating to criminal prosecutions and the flow of cases through those systems. The focus in then on the nature of individual rights under the Constitution, the case law, and the concept of the "exclusionary rule." The class then examines specific issues and procedures relating to arrests, searches, confessions and identifications, and analyzes the constitutional requirements for each. (F,W,S)

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Level is Graduate

CRJ 590     Topics in Criminal Jusice     3 Credit Hours

Examination of problems and issues in selected areas of criminal justice. Title as listed in Schedule of Classes will change according to the content of the course. Course may be repeated for credit when specific topics differ. This course is distinguished from its 400 level counterpart by the requirement of additional readings and research.

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Graduate

CRJ 598     Directed Studies     1 to 6 Credit Hours

Directed individual study of any subject agreed upon by the student and the instructor. May not duplicate a formal course offering. (F, S, W).

CRJ 599     CRJ Master's Essay     3 Credit Hours

Full Title: Criminology & Criminal Justice Essay Criminology and Criminal Justice Master's degree non-thesis students must complete a major essay addressing the application of substantive or theoretical issues in criminology or criminal justice to current issues or practices in the field. The major paper may be based on papers completed in other graduate courses but must be of higher quality and depth than a usual term paper. The topic must be approved in advance, and approved upon completion, by the graduate faculty advisor.

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Level is Graduate
Can enroll if Major is Criminal Justice Studies, Criminology & Criminal Justice

CRJ 699     CRJ Thesis     4 Credit Hours

Full Title: Criminology & Criminal Justice Thesis Students electing the Thesis option in the last stage of the MS in Criminology & Criminal Justice program will work under the general supervison of a member of the graduate faculty in the Criminology & Criminal Justice Program but will plan and carry out the work independently. Students should obtain a copy of the thesis requirements from the CASL Office of Graduate Programs or the Program Director before registering for this course. The student will submit a report on the thesis and give an oral presentation to a panel of faculty members when the thesis is completed.

Prerequisite(s): CRJ 518

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Level is Graduate
Can enroll if Major is Criminal Justice Studies, Criminology & Criminal Justice