Criminal Justice, MS

Graduate Admissions
Bridgewater State University
Maxwell Library, Room 019
10 Shaw Road
Bridgewater, MA 02325

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criminal justice student

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice educates students about the dynamics of crime, criminal behavior, the criminal justice system, and how these complex factors interact in recursive relationships with social institutions and public realities.  Students are prepared with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully compete in a variety of professional positions in criminal justice or in closely related fields.  This program also prepares students for doctoral programs.

Program Highlights

The Master of Science (MS) in Criminal Justice program at Bridgewater State University can provide you with the solid leadership and management skills required to excel in today’s criminal justice arena. This advanced degree program can instill or expand the professional competencies necessary to play a vital role in criminal justice research, administration and practice.

Taught by leading criminal justice faculty who have extensive experience as attorneys, law enforcement officers, corrections experts and investigators.  The MS in Criminal Justice program prepares you for continued study or the pursuit of a variety of careers, including leadership roles within the judicial system, law enforcement agencies, legal firms, correctional facilities and the field of criminal justice education.

The MS in Criminal Justice program offers you:
  • Diverse faculty with extensive experience in a variety of criminal justice settings
  • Development of critical thinking skills, as well as oral and written communication capabilities
  • Small classes facilitating a more personalized learning experience
  • Professional leadership skills and development
  • Affordable tuition, whether you live in state or out of state and beyond

 Graduate Program Coordinator: Dr. Jennifer Hartsfield

Admissions Requirements

  • Online application - A completed online application and $50 application fee
  • Résumé  - A résumé which demonstrates the applicant's potential for leadership and academic achievement as evidenced by activities during his or her professional career or undergraduate studies
  • Transcripts - Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work
  • GPA - A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • GRE Scores - Are required for applicants with a GPA below 3.5
  • Letters of Recommendation - Three appropriate letters of recommendation
  • Personal Statement - Prepare a careful statement of goals, purpose, and motivations regarding the reasons you want to pursue graduate work in this field.

Early Acceptance Option:
Bridgewater State University offers current students enrolled in the BS in Criminal Justice at BSU the opportunity to gain early acceptance into the MS in Criminal Justice program. By meeting certain criteria, early acceptance students can waive the GRE requirement. Early acceptance details

Application Deadlines
Fall Semester: April 1
Spring Semester: October 1
Summer Sessions: February 1

Late applications may be accepted on a space availability basis.

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The Criminal Justice program at Bridgewater State University offers two optional concentrations:

  • The Administration of Justice concentration focuses on the organizational structure of criminal justice agencies and their jurisdictional authority on the local, state and federal levels. It also examines issues relevant to administrators of criminal justice agencies, including organization and planning, leadership, conflict management, and problem-solving.
  • The Crime and Corrections concentration focuses on theoretical frameworks concerning crime and criminal behavior, the methods used to control and prevent crime, treatment, and punishment of the offender and the management of the offender in the community.


For the most up-to-date information on course descriptions, please visit our University Catalog.

Core Courses (18 credits)
CRJU 500 - Foundations of Scholarship
CRJU 504 - Seminar: Crime, Justice and Society
CRJU 505 - Applications of Crime Theory
CRJU 510 - Research Methods in Criminal Justice
CRJU 511 - Analyzing Criminal Justice Data
CRJU 512 - Ethics and Policy in Criminal Justice

Concentrations (9 credits - optional)

Administration of Justice
CRJU 515 - Criminal Justice Administration
*POLI 501 - Foundations of Public Institutions and Administration
*POLI 505 - Public Management Crime and Corrections

Crime and Corrections
CRJU 540 - Corrections, Crime and Society
CRJU 541 - Community-Based Corrections
CRJU 542 - Research Seminar in Corrections

Candidates must complete 15 elective credits (or an additional 6 credits for concentrators)

CRJU 502 - Thesis
CRJU 503 - Directed Study
CRJU 515 - Criminal Justice Administration
CRJU 517 - Studies in Crime Prevention: Understanding What Works
CRJU 518 - Hate Crimes and Hate Groups
CRJU 521 - Domestic Violence
CRJU 522 - Women and Criminal Justice
CRJU 530 - Introduction to Police Culture: An Intensive Review
CRJU 540 - Corrections, Crime and Society
CRJU 541 - Community-Based Corrections
CRJU 542 - Research Seminar in Corrections
CRJU 546 - Class, Race, Gender and Crime
CRJU 547 - Restorative and Transformative Justice
CRJU 550 - Juvenile Justice and Society
CRJU 551 - Law and Society
CRJU 555 - Information Technology for Criminal Justice
CRJU 561 - Seminar in White Collar Crime
CRJU 565 - Study Tour in Criminal Justice
CRJU 570 - Violent Victimization
CRJU 571 - Sexual Assault, Offenders and Policy
CRJU 597 - Research Seminar in Criminal Justice (rotating topics)
CRJU 598 - Internship in Criminal Justice
CRJU 599 - Special Topics in Criminal Justice
SOCI 514 - Theories of Social Deviance

Exit Requirement

Thesis Option
CRJU 502 - Research (6 credits)

Non-Thesis Option
A comprehensive examination

*Up to 2 of these courses may be taken with approval of the graduate coordinator

Additional Information

Incoming students lacking a background in criminal justice are encouraged to take CRJU 501- Structure and Process in Criminal Justice Systems as one of their electives.  This course is designed to provide students with a fundamental knowledge of the criminal justice system.  Prospective students can take up to 6 credits, including CRJU 500 before applying. For further advice and information contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Dr. Jennifer Hartsfield at

Total Minimum Credits: 33

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Funding Opportunities

The College of Graduate Studies provides various opportunities for graduate students to receive funding while working towards their degrees. Appointments are competitive and are determined by undergraduate and/or graduate grade point averages, pertinent experience, educational preparation and interviews.  For information on assistantships, fellowships and conference funding awards, please visit our Graduate Funding Opportunities page.

The MS in Criminal Justice is eligible for unsubsidized student loans and applicants are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For more specific questions, please visit the Financial Aid Office website or contact them directly at