Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice at Mount Mercy is designed for professionals working in the criminal justice system and pre-professionals who desire advanced knowledge and skills in the area of crime and justice. This program is offered exclusively online. Graduates of the program will have the ability to serve in leadership roles and other essential positions within the criminal justice field by serving as evaluators of criminal justice practices and policies. Further, graduates will be a resource for evidence based practices within the criminal justice field. Graduates could also be prepared for admission to doctoral programs in criminal justice.

Degree Requirements - 30 semester hours

Core Courses

CJ 510Administration of Justice3
CJ 515Theories of Crime and Justice3
CJ 520Research and Statistics for Criminal Justice3
CJ 650CJ Graduate Capstone3
Total Hours12


Choose 6 of the following: 118
Graduate Field Experience in Criminal Justice
The Impact of Social Inequities &Hum Rights
Civil Liability in Criminal Justice
International Policing
Homeland Security
Ethical Issues in Crime and Justice
Special Topics in Crime and Justice
Legal Environment Of Management
Organizational Ethics
Organizational Effectiveness
Strategic Human Resource Management
Quantitative Modeling For Decision Making
Methods of Quality Management
Systems Theory & Organizational Analysis
Family Systems
Human Development and the Family
Systemic Sex Therapy
The Cross-Cultural Family
Neuroscience for Marriage and Family Therapy
Psychopathology and the Family
Spirituality and the Family
Therapeutic Techniques with Parents and Children
Total Hours18


CJ 510 Administration of Justice: 3 semester hours

This course will examine the criminal justice system and contemporary issues confronting the system. The course will focus on the decision making process involved in the pursuit of crime prevention, crime control, and justice, including models of criminal justice and evidence based policy. In addition, the effectiveness of the system in accomplishing prevention, control, and justice will be examined along with the role of drug and guns in crime.

CJ 515 Theories of Crime and Justice: 3 semester hours

This course will intensively examine major criminological theories from sociological, psychological, and biological historical and modern perspectives. This course will also include an intensive examination of current policy and practice implications of these theoretical perspectives. It also includes an advanced analysis of models of crime and justice. Prerequisite: CJ 510.

CJ 520 Research and Statistics for Criminal Justice: 3 semester hours

This course will expand on the foundations of basic undergraduate research methods and statistics. Students will be able to evaluate the quantitative and qualitative methods of research commonly used in criminal justice. The course will reinforce student knowledge of basic concepts in statistics that have a wide applicability to the criminal justice system. The evaluation of research methods and data analysis will focus on improved decision-making for criminal justice policy and practice. Prerequisite: CJ 510.

CJ 600 Graduate Field Experience in Criminal Justice: 3 semester hours

Students currently employed, or interested in securing employment, within criminal justice agencies may find a professional experience more beneficial to their career goals. The course is designed to give students practical experience in the field prior to graduation and may serve as a gateway to a career and/or career advancement in the criminal justice field. Field experience provides the student with the opportunity to integrate theory and practice, utilize knowledge, and confront contradictions between the conceptual and the real world. Prerequisites: CJ 510, 3.0 GPA, Bachelor's Degree.

CJ 610 The Impact of Social Inequities &Hum Rights: 3 semester hours

This course will primarily focus on Social Inequities & Human Rights Issues and their effect upon the person, the neighborhood, the greater community, and related issues. Students will examine the impact social inequities have on social justice, and community betterment issues that feed the criminal justice system. Additionally, students will explore the history and current status of the loss of human rights experienced by those formerly incarcerated and the subsequent effect on society. Students will explore how public policy has ignored social inequities and subsequently (by proxy) allowed policies to be shaped, and how this impacts social movements. Prerequisite: CJ 510.

CJ 615 Civil Liability in Criminal Justice: 3 semester hours

Besides understanding the criminal law, criminal justice practitioners face civil liability in the workplace. This graduate course explores important issues of civil liability that policing and corrections professionals may face in their careers. Students will study the sources of civil actions like tort law, federal 1983 claims, and wrongful death lawsuits. The course will emphasize best practices and prevention of litigation, as well as strategies for defending civil lawsuits and related claims. Prerequisite: CJ 510.

CJ 620 International Policing: 3 semester hours

This course will focus on the function role of law enforcement agencies in various government organizations on the international level. Explore ethical issues as they relate to liaison with counterparts and the development of criminal investigations. Examine the attempts at international police agencies; INTERPOL, EUROPOL and the relations they have with the US and other governments. Look at the role of law enforcement agencies in hostile environments, occupied territories or warzones, and the events leading to the activity. Prerequisite: CJ 510.

CJ 625 Homeland Security: 3 semester hours

This course will examine how the advent of homeland security; resources, methods and agency alignment has affected domestic policy, expenditures and public perception. Specifically it will focus on the structural, conceptual and intellectual foundation of the emerging discipline of homeland security. Agency methods of interacting with private security, jurisdictions agency, and public policy will be examined. Topics will include infrastructure, terrorist groups, suicide bombers, and natural disasters. In addition there will be an examination of the National Incident Management System, Homeland Security, Public/Private partnerships and the role of security professionals' post 9/11. Prerequisite: CJ 510.

CJ 635 Victimology: 3 semester hours

This course will primarily focus on criminal victimization, of the person, the neighbor, the greater community, and related issues. Students will examine the current state of Victimology and victims-related issues. Additionally, students will explore the history of the victims' rights movement how the victims' rights movement is shaped by, and also shapes social movements. Prerequisite: CJ 510.

CJ 642 Ethical Issues in Crime and Justice: 3 semester hours

This course will focus on ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice. This course will explore the formation of morality and ethics and how these relate to definitions of justice. This course will examine ethical issues and situations that occur in all areas of the criminal justice system including, law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Special attention will be paid to how criminal justice professionals respond to ethical dilemmas.

CJ 645 Special Topics in Crime and Justice: 3 semester hours

This course would consist of special topics within the issues of crime and justice. Topics may include: critical race theory, correctional education, criminal investigation, private security, emergency management, or other advanced studies in crime and justice. Students may complete more than one topics course for elective credit. Prerequisite: CJ 510.

CJ 650 CJ Graduate Capstone: 3 semester hours

In this course students will integrate knowledge and skills gained in the criminal justice core courses and selected electives in the completion of a comprehensive exam. The comprehensive exam is designed to measure a student's proficiency in core areas of the disciple. The exam will serve to assess the student's ability to integrate and synthesize core knowledge in the field and document expertise in one or more areas of criminal justice.

CJ 699 Independent Study: 3 semester hours

If a student wishes to independently study or research a particular topic, he/she may propose to work with an appropriate faculty member within their discipline. No more than 2 courses may be taken as independent study by any student.