Degree Type: M.A.
CIP Code 43.0103
Major Code CJA
Department Code CJP
Minimum Total Hours 33
Degree Website


The master of Criminal Justice Administration develops in qualified students the skills to apply principles, theories, and research in the field of Criminal Justice to “real world” issues affecting the Criminal Justice System.

Learning Outcomes

The curriculum for the M.A. in Criminal Justice Administration develops the following competencies:

  1. The ability to apply research skills and reason critically in analysis of problems affecting criminal justice and in seeking solutions to these problems.
  2. The ability to produce clear, concise, correct, and convincing written arguments related to the professions of Criminal Justice.
  3. The ability to make professional, lucid oral presentations.

Program Overview

The program consists of 10 graduate courses, 33 credits.

  • 6 core courses, which must be taken in sequence
  • 4 electives

The program is designed for students to take 2 courses a term, over 5 terms.

  • It is best to begin the program in the fall semester. Fall entry allows students to take one core class and one elective for four of the terms.  One term students will take two core courses. 
  • Students can also begin in the spring semester.  Students who start in Spring will need to take QMB 6357 from the College of Business instead of CCJ 6706.
  • Students should avoid beginning the program in the summer. Students beginning in the summer will require 6 terms to complete the program. If they have financial aid, they will need to skip the fourth term. If financial aid is not involved, they may elect to take one elective in the fourth term and one core course in the fifth or sixth term.
  • Not following the correct pattern for the term of entry, or not passing a course with a B (3.0) can cause significant delay and problems with completion.

All courses are mostly, but not completely, online, with 1-4 traditional class sessions on campus.
Dates of the on-campus sessions, usually scheduled on Saturdays, are provided at least 2 months in advance.


  • Courses cover major ideas, issues, theories, and research in the field of Criminal Justice Administration, intended to develop theoretical reasoning and research skills, as well as the application of theory to practice.
  • A carefully constructed core of courses, leading students through the “real world” experience of creating and presenting a grant proposal, develops the competencies needed by those with administrative responsibility in public agencies.

Required Core (all 6 courses, 21 credit hours)

Course Number Title Credit Hours Requisites (KEY) Notes
CCJ 6118 Introduction to Criminology Theory 4 Consent of Instructor  None
CCJ 6459 Grant Writing for Criminal Justice Administration 3 None
CCJ 6705 Research Methods in Criminology 4 Consent of Instructor
CCJ 6706 Quantitative Analysis 4 CCJ 6705
CCJ 6932 Issues in Criminal Justice Administration 3 None
CCJ 6935 Capstone Course 3 Consent of Instructor This course should be taken after completion of the following courses:  CCJ 6932, 6705, 6706, 6459, and 6118

Approved Electives

any 4 courses from this list (12 credit hours)

Course Number Title Credit Hours Requisites (KEY) Notes
CCJ 6406 Theory, Practice, and Research in Law Enforcement 3 Consent of Instructor
PAD 6041 Ethics and Public Service 3 None
PAD 5807 Urban & Local Government Administration 3 Graduate student or Senior
CCJ 6935 Selected Topic 3 Consent of Instructor
CCJ 6935 Selected Topic 3 Consent of Instructor
CCJ 6935 Selected Topic 3 Consent of Instructor
CCJ 6935 Selected Topic 3 Consent of Instructor
CCJ 6930 Current Issues in Corrections 3 Consent of Instructor Repeatable with different subject matter.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Students must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university.
  • Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 in upper-level courses of the undergraduate degree.
  • Students with an undergraduate GPA of below 3.00 in their upper-level course work my still be eligible if they take the GRE and achieve a combined verbal and quantitative score of 1000 or higher. The GRE can be taken multiple times to achieve the required score.
  • If not admitted, students may take 3 courses in the program as a non-degree seeker; if they receive a B or better in each course, they may be permitted into the program. (Note: Financial Aid does not apply for courses taken as a non-degree-seeking student.)

Graduate Application Procedure

  • Application review and acceptance is ongoing; students may enter the program at any time, but the best time to begin the program is fall semester.
  • The first step is to submit an electronic USFSM graduate application.
  • Then proceed to submit the other required documents
    • A sealed official undergraduate transcript(s);
    • Two letters of recommendation, addressing issues relating to past academic performance or work experience
    • A 1-2 page Statement of Purpose, indicating your reasons for seeking a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration and the particular areas of criminology or criminal justice that interest you.

Send the required documents to:

USF Sarasota-Manatee
Office of Admissions
8350 N. Tamiami Trail, C107
Sarasota, FL 34243