Criminal Justice M.S.

The Master of Criminal Justice (MSCJ) degree is the professional degree for those seeking a career in criminal justice. The Georgia College & State University MSCJ program develops the skills which prepare students to work in social services, judiciary and law, law enforcement, education and in private business. The 30-credit MSCJ program is offered in a convenient online format designed for the busy working professional. The program can be completed in four semesters of full-time study.


financial aid

Interested in pursuing a Master of Criminal Justice degree?  Wondering why it might be the right fit for you?  Read quotes below from some of our alumni who chose GCSU's MSCJ Program.

"After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, I chose to pursue a Master’s in Criminal Justice to expand my knowledge and interests in understanding social and criminal behavior, their influences on criminal justice policies, laws, and their impact on the criminal justice system. Having this knowledge has afforded me a take a foundational approach to understanding social problems, as I believe should serve as a prerequisite for any public servant, especially those seeking administrative roles within the criminal justice arena."
-Lieutenant Michael Baker, MSCJ, ’15, Lieutenant of Emergency Management, Georgia College

"The MSCJ Program at Georgia College gave me the tools and opportunity to advance not only my career in Law Enforcement, but also to succeed in a competitive Criminal Justice PhD program. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the amazing professors, research opportunities, and growth opportunities that the program provided. I am extremely thankful and blessed to be a MSCJ alum."
-Shelby Hatcher-Gosnell,  Emergency Management Lieutenant at Georgia Piedmont Technical College

“Attending the MSCJ Program at Georgia College was a pivotal decision for me. The program created an opportunity for me to further investigate the field more deeply than I was able to do during my undergraduate career. I have found that this comprehensive understanding of the field informed my experience as a practitioner and the rigorous curriculum has prepared me for pursuing a doctoral degree.”
- Dr. Amber Williams Wilson, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Program Mission

The mission of the Master’s of Criminal Justice (MSCJ) program is to create opportunities for critical thinking for future and current practitioners and academic researchers in the field of criminal justice and criminology. As a student in the program, you’ll experience an environment that is conducive to learning the body of knowledge generally defined within the field of criminal justice/criminology which includes the meaning of laws, the creation of laws, the breaking of laws, social reactions to deviant and criminal behavior and how individuals are processed over time.

The program is structured to focus on the areas of criminal justice policy, policing, corrections, criminological theory, legal issues, research design and statistics and ethics. After the completion of the program, graduates will be able to critically analyze criminal justice policy and practices in relation to functioning in a democratic society. The goal of the program is to prepare graduates to assume roles as ethical, responsible citizens and professionals in the field.

Some students in the MSCJ program are already employed in the public sector and are interested in the MSCJ program for reasons of career development and mobility. In-service students come from practically every possible public sector setting and every level of government. Pre-service students will have available to them the information and assistance of the Georgia College Career Services Office. Faculty will work with students in exploring career options. Many students have found their classmates to be valuable sources of networking information. Students should understand, however that the purpose of graduate education in criminal justice is to prepare one to be a better manager of a criminal justice agency or to pursue further education.


The 30-credit MSCJ program is offered in a convenient online format designed for the busy working professional. The program can be completed in four semesters of full-time study. The curriculum is divided into required courses and elective courses. Students are strongly encouraged to take CRJU 6100 in their first or second terms in the MSCJ program. CRJU 6100 serves as an overview to criminal justice and to this particular MSCJ program. At the culmination of the curriculum, students are required students are required to complete an Internship, Capstone, or Independent Study.

Admissions Requirements

For general information regarding Graduate Admissions, please see Graduate Admissions.

All Applicants

  1. Must have completed requirements for a Bachelor’s degree from a college accredited by the proper regional accrediting association.
  2. Submit a current resume detailing relevant work experience.

Regular Admission

  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale in undergraduate work.
  • Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 are not required to submit exam scores.
  • Applicants with an undergraduate GPA 2.75 - 2.99 must submit official scores on either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) scores.  Scores must be within the last five years.

The applicant must have:

GRE:    A combined score of 290 (verbal and quantitative) or
GMAT: 450 or
MAT:   395

Applicants may make a formal request to waive these requirement only when the applicant has completed another graduate degree program and an appropriate transcript is submitted in support of the request.

NOTE: Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 - If using a paper application, please indicate in the test score area that you are requesting a test waiver based on undergraduate GPA.  If applying online, please send an email to notifying Graduate Admissions that you are requesting a test waiver based on undergraduate GPA.

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission may be granted to applicants with at least a 2.75 GPA who have scored:

GRE:          280-289 or
GMAT:      400-449 or
MAT:         380-394

Provisional admission will be considered for applicants who do not meet the academic requirements if strong evidence of ability to perform well in graduate work is provided through reference to work experience or other means.

  • Provisional status may be granted for a maximum of one academic year. All students admitted under provisional status must maintain a 3.00 or higher GPA during the probationary period.
  • At the completion of the provisional period of time, a decision will be made as to accepting the student as a regular admission.
  • To gain regular admission, a provisionally admitted student must take in that status the equivalent of a semester’s full load (9 to 12 hours) of Criminal Justice courses and maintain a 3.00 GPA in all graduate coursework).

Transfer Credit

Up to 9 hours of graduate work from other accredited institutions may be transferred. To be transferred course work from other institutions must correspond to Georgia College’s Criminal Justice curriculum. Students will need to provide course descriptions and syllabi wherever possible, and the amount of credit granted will be determined by the program director. Such course work may be no more than five years old.

The test date must be within the past five years. You do not need to submit scores from a subject achievement test. The GRE is now only given electronically at Sylvan Learning Centers, located throughout the U.S., including a site in Macon. The MAT is administered in Milledgeville 478-445-5016.

Deadlines for Application

Fall:  July 1
Spring:  November 1
Summer:  April 1

Tuition and Fees
Criminal Justice Conferences
MSCJ Alumna Shelby Hatcher presenting at a conference

Shelby Hatcher, a MSCJ alumna, presenting at a conference.

For current students: If you are interested in presenting a paper, poster, etc. you must contact the professor you would like to work with. 

Keep in mind that the dates for submissions and conferences will generally be the same from year to year.  If there is a conference you missed this year, look at the submission dates for the next year.

Southern Criminal Justice Association:

Criminal Justice Association of Georgia:

The American Society of Criminology

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

Southern Sociological Society
Conference Funding:
GCSU funding through graduate admissions:

GCSU funding through SGA:

Careers in Criminal Justice

MSCJ program alumni are currently pursuing careers in a variety of criminal justice related fields, including working in corrections, providing victims' assistance, serving as parole officers, teaching, and working in law enforcement.

Alumni Profiles

Amanda Hornbeck, GCSU BA, CJ (2009) and MS, CJ (2011); United States Probation Officer, Northern District of GA, (August 2014- Current). 

As a student at GCSU, Amanda Hornbeck had many of the Criminal Justice professors as she pursued both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees.  She says that the faculty always made learning fun and helped her think outside of the box. They helped her open her mind to others viewpoints, which is important for someone in the criminal justice field. She continues to think like this in her line of work now, which, she believes, helps her be a better-rounded officer. Ms. Hornbeck benefited greatly from faculty encouraging students to engage in conversation and teaching students to hear others' input. This has helped her as an officer, because often times it is easy in her line of work to have the "us versus them" mentality. When she can be relatable and approachable with her offenders, it helps build their relationship and she is able to get information from them, which helps her better supervise the offender, and better serve our community. The Criminal Justice faculty have "truly impacted my life in a positive way, and has helped me to reach my goal as a federal law enforcement officer."

Important Information
Social Media
Student Organizations

The Criminal Justice Club is open to all students interested in criminal justice. Additionally, once eligible, members can apply for the criminal justice honor society, Alpha Phi Sigma. Alpha Phi Sigma recognizes academic excellence of undergraduate and graduate students of Criminal Justice, as well as Juris Doctor students. The goals of Alpha Phi Sigma are to honor and promote academic excellence, community service, educational leadership, and unity.

MSCJ Core Faculty

Meet the Team

Dr Carrie Cook

Carrie Cook, Ph.D

Professor of Criminal Justice, Masters of Criminal Justice Coordinator
2-11 Arts & Sciences Building
(478) 445-0941
  • Corrections
  • Victimization
  • Fear of Crime
  • Program Evaluation
Dr Sara Doude

Sara Buck Doude, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice
2-21 Arts & Sciences Building
(478) 445-4257
  • Radical Criminological Theory
  • Gender/Racial Biases with Criminal Justice
  • Interpersonal Violence within Marginalized Groups
Professor Adam Lamparello

Adam Lamparello, J.D.

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
2-19 Arts & Sciences Building
  • Constitutional Law
  • Constitutional Interpretation
  • Criminal Law & Procedure
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Legal writing & Pedagogy


Dr Alesa Liles

Alesa Liles, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Undergraduate Coordinator
2-13 Arts & Sciences Building
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Race, Gender & Crime
  • Criminal Justice Policy
  • Mental Health
Professor Matt Sanchez

Matheson Sanchez, ABD

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
2-17 Arts & Sciences Building
(478) 445-0940


Police Reform

Dr Charles Ubah

Charles Ubah, Ph.D.

Professor of Criminal Justice
2-23 Arts & Sciences Building
(478) 445-7392
  • Policy Studies with focus on Criminal Justice Policy and Program
  • Penology and Corrections
  • Organized Crime
  • Transnational Crime
  • International Criminal Court (ICC)


Program Contact Information

Ms. Kristy Hardin
Campus Box 18 | 2-03 Arts & Sciences
Georgia College
Milledgeville, GA 31061