UTA home page The University of Texas at Arlington Graduate Catalog 2005-2006
Graduate Catalog 2005-2006
     Note: This Catalog was published in July 2005 and supersedes the 2004-2006 Catalog.      
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Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

department web page: www.uta.edu/criminology/
department contact: www.uta.edu/criminology/contact-us/
graduate web page: www2.uta.edu/crimgradprogram
graduate contact:


Alejandro del Carmen
362 University Hall

Admission and Degree Requirements | Dual Degree Program | Courses

Area of Study and Degree

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Master's Degree Plans

Thesis, Thesis Substitute and Non-Thesis

Graduate Advisor

Alejandro del Carmen
303 University Hall, 817.272.3318

Graduate Faculty

Associate Professors

Bing, del Carmen, Polk

Assistant Professors

Ahmad, Dobbs, Stickels

Professor Emeritus



The program leading to the MA degree in criminology and criminal justice offers a comprehensive examination of the criminal justice system, an exploration of deviant behavior, a foundation in research and statistics, and an opportunity to explore other relevant topics of interest to the student.

It is designed for:

  1. Pre-professional students who wish to pursue a career in some aspect of criminal justice, or in a related field, and to develop the perspectives and knowledge appropriate to doing so;
  2. In-service professionals who wish to enhance and broaden their knowledge in this and related areas of study;
  3. Students pre-professional or in-service who wish to pursue further relevant post-graduate studies, whether academic or professional.

To meet these objectives, and to develop a broadly-educated student, the program offers several options.

The coursework (non-thesis) option is generally recommended for students who do not intend to pursue doctoral-level studies. Pre-professional students may be expected to include the practicum in their course of study or, alternately, to select the thesis-substitute option. That option, too, requires an internship/practicum (professional or pre-professional work experience in an appropriate setting), but also requires a subsequent thesis-level internship report.

The thesis option is generally recommended for students wishing to pursue doctoral level studies. For those without professional experience in the field, however, the thesis-substitute may be a desirable alternative.

With the approval of the Graduate Advisor, students may also use their elective hours to concentrate on a particular field of study, such as sociology or political science, or on a multidisciplinary approach to a particular focus, such as administration or research.

Admission and Degree Requirements

The MA degree in criminology and criminal justice requires a minimum of 36 semester hours, regardless of the option selected, and includes 24 semester hours of required core coursework.

  1. Core: CRCJ 5301, CRCJ 5350, CRCJ 5309, CRCJ 5319, CRCJ 5327, CRCJ 5332, and CRCJ 5380, plus any one of the following: SOCI 5303 or SOCI 5304 or SOCW 5322 or URPA 5302 or URPA 5342.
  2. Electives: The number of semester hours available for electives ranges from a minimum of 6 to 12, depending on the option selected (thesis, thesis-substitute, coursework). Ordinarily, elective hours are taken in areas of particular interest to the student, with the advice and approval of the Graduate Advisor.

All candidates for the graduate degree must pass a final comprehensive examination, written, oral, or both written and oral. The scope, content, and form of this examination will be determined by the student's supervising committee.

The criminology and criminal justice graduate program adheres to the following admission criteria.

Unconditional Admission

In addition to having satisfied the requirements set forth by the UTA Graduate School, as outlined in the graduate catalog, applicants seeking unconditional admission to the CRCJ graduate program are required to meet the following four criteria:

  1. Must have successfully completed a baccalaureate degree in criminology/criminal justice or related discipline.
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work as calculated by the Graduate School.
  3. A minimum of 440 on both verbal and quantitative subtests of the GRE.
  4. Must submit three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant's potential for success in the graduate program from persons knowledgeable of the applicant's abilities.

Applicants meeting all four of the criteria will be granted unconditional admission into the CRCJ Graduate Program. Applicants who lack one of the above criteria may be considered for probationary admission.

Probationary Admission

Applicants who fail to meet the four criteria for unconditional admission may be considered for probationary admission. Applicants who fail to meet the GPA or GRE requirements for unconditional admission may be granted probationary admission if the GPA falls between 2.5 and 3.0 and the remainder of the application package is satisfactory. Applicants admitted on probation will remain in that status until completing 12 hours of graduate coursework with no grade lower than a B.

Deferred Admission

In the event an applicant does not meet the minimum criteria established for unconditional or probationary admission, yet nonetheless is judged by the graduate advisor, in consultation with the CRCJ Graduate Studies Committee, to show promise, the admission decision may be deferred, with instructions provided to the student indicating the course of action to be taken prior to subsequent review. Admission decisions may also be deferred if the application package is incomplete.

Provisional Admission

An applicant unable to supply all required documentation prior to the admission deadline, but who otherwise appears to meet admission requirements may be granted provisional admission.


Applicants who do not satisfy all of the criteria for any of the above categories will be denied admission.


Fellowships, when available, will be awarded on a competitive basis. Nominees for the Graduate School Master's Fellowship in the criminology/criminal justice graduate program will be selected based on the following criteria:

Dual Degree Program

Students in criminology and criminal justice may participate in one of three dual degree programs whereby they can earn a Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice and 1) a Master of Science in Social Work, 2) a Master of Arts in Political Science, or 3) a Master of Public Administration. By participating in a dual degree program, students can apply a number of semester hours jointly to meet the requirements of both degrees, thus reducing the total number of hours which would be required to earn both degrees separately. The number of hours which may be jointly applied ranges from nine to 18 hours, subject to the approval of Graduate Advisors from both programs.

To participate in the dual degree program, students must be admitted to each program and must submit a separate Program of Work for each degree. Those interested in a dual degree program should consult the appropriate Graduate Advisor(s) for further information on course requirements. See also the statement on Dual Degree Programs in the general information section of this catalog.

The grade of R (research in progress) is a permanent grade; completing course requirements in a later semester cannot change it. To receive credit for an R-graded course, the student must continue to enroll in the course until a passing grade is received.

An incomplete grade (the grade of X) cannot be given in a course that is graded R, nor can the grade of R be given in a course that is graded X. To receive credit for a course in which the student earned an X, the student must complete the course requirements. Enrolling again in the course in which an X was earned cannot change a grade of X. At the discretion of the instructor, a final grade can be assigned through a change of grade form.

Three-hour thesis courses and three- and six-hour dissertation courses are graded R/F/W only (except social work thesis courses). The grade of P (required for degree completion for students enrolled in thesis or dissertation programs) can be earned only in six- or nine-hour thesis courses and nine-hour dissertation courses. In the course listings below, R-graded courses are designated either "Graded P/F/R" or "Graded R." Occasionally, the valid grades for a course change. Students should consult the appropriate Graduate Advisor or instructor for valid grade information for particular courses. (See also the sections titled "R" Grade, Credit for Research, Internship, Thesis or Dissertation Courses and Incomplete Grade in this catalog.)

Courses in Criminology and Criminal Justice (CRCJ)

Examination of administrative practices and procedures in criminal justice agencies/institutions. Emphasis on the administrative structure of various components of criminal justice system and on functioning and interrelationships of these units within the total criminal justice process. Students expected to select one area of administration for special study. Formerly CRJU 5315; credit will not be granted for both 5301 and 5315.

Examination of construct of deviance from historical and contemporary frames of reference. Attention is given both to diverse theoretical formulations and to applied aspects, particularly in dynamics of contemporary societal responses to deviancies including crime and delinquency.

Examination of research methodology and statistical analysis. Special emphasis on methods and techniques for conducting research in criminal justice, including a review of problems encountered in sampling and survey research, field research, public policy implementation, and program evaluation.

Personnel administration and management in criminal justice agencies and institutions; analyzes functions of recruitment, selection, hiring, placement, evaluation, dismissal, benefits systems, minority recruitment, training, education, promotion, career development, and retirement.

Analyzes the problems, practices, and philosophies of law enforcement in contemporary society. Students expected to give special attention to particular areas such as personnel selection, police-community relations, crisis intervention, patrol innovations.

Examination of the structure, functions, and operations of the courts, with special attention to contemporary constitutional issues and their impact on the criminal justice process.

Examination of social, psychological, political, and historical bases of interventions in the control and disposition of offenders. Emphasis on contemporary policies, practices, and problems in institutional, semi-institutional, and community-based corrections.

Explores the etiology of crime, theory development and crime causation. Emphasis is on theoretical perspectives and policy implementation.

Correctional modes are discussed and applied to juvenile offenders. Theoretic approaches to causation, modification, and control of delinquent behaviors are presented, and policy implications and limitations are discussed. Historical and contemporary perspectives and approaches are presented in the context of evolving and emerging practices and procedures.

CRCJ 5370. PRACTICUM (3-0)
Professional or pre-professional experience in a criminal justice related agency or institution with the approval and direction of the student’s supervising professor; intended for non-thesis option students who do not have professional experience related to criminal justice.
Graded F,P,R

Synthesis course for advanced graduate students. Special emphasis on examination of constructs of crime/criminals, justice and systems. Requires individual research in area of particular concern to student.
Graded F,P

May be repeated for credit as the topic changes.

May be repeated for credit as the topic changes.

Reading and research in a specialized area of criminal justice under the direction of a member of the graduate faculty.
Graded F,P,R

CRCJ 5397. INTERNSHIP/INTERNSHIP REPORT Professional or pre-professional experience in relevant agency or institution with placement and work experiences approved and directed by student’s supervising professor; intended for thesis-substitute students without related professional experience. Course credit requires writing internship report meeting standards of scholarship expected of traditional research theses.
Graded F,P,R

Graded F,R

CRCJ 5697. INTERNSHIP/INTERNSHIP REPORT Professional or pre-professional experience in relevant agency or institution with placement and work experiences approved and directed by student’s supervising professor; intended for thesis-substitute students without related professional experience. Course credit requires writing internship report meeting standards of scholarship expected of traditional research theses.
Graded F,R

Graded F,P,R


2006 The University of Texas at Arlington