Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year]

Criminology and Criminal Justice [M.A.]

Location(s): In-person/hybrid

The M. A. in Criminology & Criminal Justice program provides students with a multidisciplinary understanding of crime and justice within the framework of broader social processes. The program is designed to develop students’ research, program planning, and policy evaluation in criminology and criminal justice. These skills will strengthen the professional qualifications of people already employed in the industry. The curriculum will also prepare students for post-secondary education or doctoral study in behavioral or social science. The analytical skills stressed by this program enable students to identify and assess the often conflicting objectives of criminal justice and investigate basic issues and practical problems in criminology and the administration of criminal justice.


  • Attainment of advanced education for persons wishing to enter post-secondary education careers.
  • Development of skills in research in criminology and criminal justice.
  • Strengthening the professional qualifications of persons employed in criminal justice.
  • Preparation for doctoral study in behavioral or social science.

Program Admission

Admit Terms and Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; students may start the program in the Fall or Winter. See Application Deadlines.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

For full admission, applicants must have 1) Earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution, 2) a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program. Conditional admission may be available to applicants not meeting minimum admission requirements.

Program Requirements

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements. Requirements may be more stringent than the minimum graduate school requirements.

  • Submit a two-to-three-page personal statement highlighting how past academic, employment, volunteer, or other relevant personal experiences have shaped their interest in a master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice. Applicants should also discuss how this degree will enhance their future career plans.
  • Submit two letters of reference from either academic or employment sources.
  • Submit a complete résumé.
  • Have at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA.


Your application will be submitted using GradCAS, a Centralized Application Service (CAS) hosted by Liaison. After reviewing the admission requirements, please review the application instructions  and select the appropriate application.

Domestic Applicants Within the application, follow the instructions to submit an official transcript from all previously attended institutions.

International Applicants Before applying, applicants must review the international application/process deadlines at emich.edu/international as they may differ from general program requirements.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.


Department Information

Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology 712 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.0012

Julian Murchison, PhDDepartment Head

Advisor Information

Brian Sellers, PhD, 713B Pray-Harrold, 734.487.0012

Degree Requirements: 31 hours

The MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice requires the completion of 31 hours of coursework to be distributed among required courses, program area courses, elective courses and cognate courses as follows.

Restricted Elective Courses: 12 hours

Restricted elective courses must be selected in consultation with the graduate coordinator. In sociology, criminology, or anthropology, any graduate-level course is eligible for elective credit (except for those counted as required courses). Cognate courses (graduate courses taken outside of the department) may be considered as substitutes with the graduate coordinator’s permission.

Thesis/Non-Thesis: 6 hours


    Option I - Thesis: 6 hours

    In addition to the course work outlined above, thesis students must complete a thesis on a subject determined in consultation with their departmental thesis committee, as per Graduate School guidelines. The completed thesis must be approved by the student’s departmental thesis committee, as per departmental guidelines. To assist with the completion of the thesis, students must complete the following hours:

  • 3 hrs
  • 3 hrs

    Option II - Non-Thesis: 6 hours

    In addition to the course work outlined above, non-thesis students must complete two additional elective courses that deal with either methodological, substantive, or theoretical issues in criminology and criminal justice. These courses must be approved by the graduate coordinator. 

Critical Graduation Information

Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

Master’s degree requirements must be completed within six (6) years of first enrollment in the master’s degree program.

In the event a student does not complete the master’s degree requirements within six years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all master’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.

  • A master’s degree must require a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  • No more than six credits of independent study courses and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined may be applied to a graduate degree.  
  • Residency Requirement:
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 36 or fewer required hours, at least 24 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere). 
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 37 or more required hours, at least 30 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. Minimum degree hours must still be met for graduation. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
    • Residency and enrollment in multiple programs: Students enrolled in multiple master’s/specialist degree programs must have 24 unique credit hours in each degree program.
  • Only credits from one completed graduate certificate may be applied to a master’s or specialist degree in a relevant field of study, as determined by the Graduate School and with the approval of the degree-granting academic department, and be included in the residency hours above.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.
  • The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
  • Some master’s programs require a thesis; others require a special project or internship; others require students to pass a final exam. See the Graduate School website for Thesis and Dissertation Manuals, all forms, and information about research and human subject approval. Every completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to Digital Commons. Any form of graduate student work submitted to Digital Commons must first be approved by a faculty advisor and the Graduate School.