Jul 22, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice with Specialization in Investigative Criminology

Degree Requirements:

The MACJ with Specialization in Investigative Criminology curriculum consists of 55 Credits: Eighteen 3-credit courses and one 1-credit course. Students will take ten foundation courses (28 credits), four specialization area courses (12 credits) and five elective courses (15 credits):

Electives continued:


Students who have previously taken CRJS 5220 , CRJS 5230 , CRJS 5260 , CRJS 5500 , CRJS 5600 , CRJS 5650 , or CRJS 5810  at the undergraduate level as CRJS 4220, 4230, 4260, 4500, 4600, 4650, or 4810 may choose to apply the course(s) as MACJ electives (6 credits maximum–3 credits per course) but may not take additional joint courses OR may choose not to apply the course(s) and instead take up to 6 credits joint undergraduate/graduate courses not previously completed at the undergraduate level.

III. Comprehensive Exam

Students have the option of taking the comprehensive exam OR completing a Master’s Thesis. The comprehensive examination includes questions based on the MACJ foundation curriculum and comprehensive examination reading list. The comprehensive exam may be taken as soon as the foundation courses and comprehensive exam readings are completed and must be taken within 1 year of completing all foundation courses during the department designated (fall or spring) examination periods. Students must register to take the comprehensive examination during one of the two sessions offered during the year at least two weeks prior to the exam. The exam must be completed prior to the last quarter of the program.

Once a student is registered for the comprehensive exam, he/she must take the exam on the registered date. Students may cancel their registration no later than two weeks prior to the exam date. No additional cancellations after the time frame will be accepted unless documentation of an extreme circumstance is provided. If a student fails to sit for the comprehensive exam at the required time or does not cancel in the required timeframe, it will automatically count as a failed exam attempt. 

A student may retake the comprehensive exam once. Students retaking the exam will be required to answer questions only in areas not passed in the first exam. If the student fails a second attempt, the student can petition to the Graduate Director for a third chance. When a student petitions for a third, and final, attempt, the Graduate Director will assemble a committee to determine if a third attempt will be permitted. Factors that will contribute to the committee’s decision include, but are not limited to, GPA and the performance on previous exams. The committee decision is final. Students will not be allowed to apply for subsequent attempts or to switch over to the thesis tract. If the student fails a third attempt, the student will be dismissed from the program.

If a student has a documented disability, he/she may be able to receive additional time for taking the comprehensive exam. The student must make a formal written request to the Graduate Director requesting more time on the written comprehensive exam. Documentation from Seattle University Disabilities Services is required to be considered for this option. It is at the Graduate Director’s discretion as to the decision.

IV. Thesis Option

Students planning to go on to a PhD program or who are interested in completing an independent research project may select the thesis option in lieu of completing the comprehensive exam. Students wishing to pursue this option must apply to do so to the Graduate Director. The Graduate Director will assemble a thesis selection committee to determine whether the student will be granted permission to pursue the thesis. Students may apply for consideration of the thesis option after completing 12 credits of coursework in the MACJ program. In order to be eligible to apply for the thesis option, students must have completed a minimum of 12 credits in the MACJ program with a 3.70 GPA or higher and have demonstrated superior writing and analytical skills in their classes. Upon applying for the thesis option, the student will need to outline their topic, plan of research, and timeline for completion in a 5-6 page proposal for the committee. This proposal will also include the identification of their thesis chair and committee members. The thesis committee must include at least two criminal justice faculty members and one external member with expertise in an area relevant to the thesis topic. The proposal must include:

  • Importance of research to the field of criminal justice
  • Literature Review
  • Method

After receiving formal approval to pursue a thesis from the Graduate Thesis Committee, the student will need to produce the first three chapters for his/her Thesis Chair 6 months after the Graduate Director approval date. Failure to meet the timeline will result in being switched over to the comprehensive exam track. Additionally, failure to provide revised chapters to the Thesis Chair to his/her satisfaction within a three month period will result in the student being switched to the comprehensive exam track. After the prospectus defense, the student has 6 months to complete the thesis and defend or student will be switched to the comprehensive exam track.

Students completing the thesis must enroll in CRJS 5990  (1-3 credits per quarter for a total of 3 credits). Students may first reg­ister for thesis credit after completing the MACJ foundation courses and receiving departmental approval. A copy of the completed version of the thesis should be given to all members of the thesis committee. The thesis requires a formal defense which involves oral examination/response to questions by the thesis committee.

Minimum credits required for the degree: (55)