Home > Departments > Sociology and Criminal Justice > Justice Studies, MA

Justice Studies, MA


This Master of Arts in Justice Studies program is designed to prepare students with a bachelor’s degree and no professional experience for positions in government and non-government organizations, think tanks, criminal and juvenile justice systems, nonprofits, public service and/or future doctoral programs.

The curriculum for the graduate program is split into two concentrations: 1) Justice and Equity, and 2) Crime and Justice.  These concentrations allow students in the program to focus on areas of the curriculum that both interest them and pertain to their career aspirations.  Please review some of the available materials on our website and do not hesitate to contact the Graduate Program Committee Chair, Dr. Raymond Tutu (rtutu [at] desu.edu) if you have any questions and/or want to learn a little more about the graduate program.


The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice has established the following student learning outcomes for the Master of Arts in Justice Studies:

  • SLO 1: Justice Studies Perspective – Students will be able to define, use, and/or develop a critical argument using justice studies theories to examine a social problem.
  • SLO 2: Studying Inequality and Crime – Students will be able to define, understand, explain, apply, examine, and critique methodological and principles associated with sound, ethical research that examines inequalities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems as it relates to the intersection of race, class, and gender.
  • SLO 3: Health Equity and Justice – Students will be able to understand, explain, examine, and critique inequalities associated with health in American society.
  • SLO 4: Global Perspectives in Justice Studies – Students will be able to identify, define, and examine global perspectives and issues as it related to justice studies.


Application Deadline:

  • Fall Only Enrollment – June 30

Admissions Requirements:

All applicants are required to submit evidence of the following for consideration of admission:

  • The earning of a baccalaureate degree at an accredited college or university (or its equivalent for foreign students) and the ability to engage in high-quality graduate work. A background in the social and behavioral sciences is preferred. No academic credit is given for life and/or professional experience.
  • Official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work. The applicant’s undergraduate transcript must reflect a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and a 3.25 average in their undergraduate major.
  • Personal Statement - the statement must be no more than two (2) typed pages, double spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Three letters of recommendation. These letters should be from individuals who can provide information about the student’s scholarly ability, moral character, and characteristics to succeed in a graduate program. Individuals like present or past teachers, advisors, supervisors, and colleagues are in positions to provide credible recommendations.
  • A writing sample from an upper-level course in the student’s major that is 5 – 8 pages long.

Degree Requirements:

The Master of Arts in Justice Studies requires the completion of 37 graduate credit hours, consisting of 16 credit hours of Core Courses, 15 credit hours of approved elective courses, and 6 credit hours of either a Master’s Thesis or Practicum courses.  Students choosing the Master’s Thesis option must successfully complete guided independent research and orally present and defend a Master’s Thesis paper.  Students choosing the Practicum option must successfully find and complete an internship, and orally present and defend a Practicum paper about their experience.