Master of Science in Criminal Justice (M.S.C.J.), Major in Criminal Justice

Major Program

The School of Criminal Justice offers a master of science in criminal justice (M.S.C.J.) degree. The curriculum provides for the development of skills in criminal justice program planning, implementation, and evaluation to ensure a meaningful contribution to this important area of community and human services.

Admission Policy

For information regarding admission application requirements and deadlines, please visit The Graduate College website at http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/cjm.hmtl.

Degree Requirements

The M.S.C.J. degree provides a 36-hour program with thesis and non-thesis options. Candidates for the M.S.C.J. degree who choose the non-thesis option will be required to complete a professional quality paper as a component of the degree program. A committee composed of three graduate faculty members must approve this paper.

Course Work Requirements

Thesis Option

CJ 5310Administration of Justice3
CJ 5315Advanced Research Methods in Criminal Justice3
CJ 5321Current Legal Issues in Criminal Justice3
CJ 5325Statistics for Criminal Justice3
CJ 5330Management Principles in Criminal Justice3
CJ 5335Advanced Crime Theory3
Approved Electives 112
Thesis6
Choose a minimum of 6 hours
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Total Hours36

Non-thesis Option

CJ 5310Administration of Justice3
CJ 5315Advanced Research Methods in Criminal Justice3
CJ 5321Current Legal Issues in Criminal Justice3
CJ 5325Statistics for Criminal Justice3
CJ 5330Management Principles in Criminal Justice3
CJ 5335Advanced Crime Theory3
CJ 5370Professional Paper3
Approved Electives 115
Total Hours36

Thesis Option with Minor

CJ 5310Administration of Justice3
CJ 5315Advanced Research Methods in Criminal Justice3
CJ 5321Current Legal Issues in Criminal Justice3
CJ 5325Statistics for Criminal Justice3
CJ 5330Management Principles in Criminal Justice3
CJ 5335Advanced Crime Theory3
Approved Electives 16
Minor in Cognate 26
Thesis6
Choose a minimum of 6 hours
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Total Hours36

Non-thesis Option with Minor

CJ 5310Administration of Justice3
CJ 5315Advanced Research Methods in Criminal Justice3
CJ 5321Current Legal Issues in Criminal Justice3
CJ 5325Statistics for Criminal Justice3
CJ 5330Management Principles in Criminal Justice3
CJ 5335Advanced Crime Theory3
CJ 5370Professional Paper3
Approved Electives 19
Minor in Cognate 26
Total Hours36
1

 Electives to be chosen in consultation with the graduate advisor.

2

 As the requirements for minors vary among departments, specific requirements for completing the minor should be discussed with the appropriate graduate advisor.

Comprehensive Examination

All students must pass an oral comprehensive examination. The purpose of this examination is to provide a structured situation in which the candidate can demonstrate proficiency in various areas of study. A student must see the graduate advisor for a detailed description of the comprehensive examination procedures.

Additional Course Requirements

Any student accepted into the M.S.C.J. program may be required to take undergraduate course work in criminal justice as a prerequisite to graduate course work.

If a student elects to follow the thesis option for the degree, a committee to direct the written thesis will be established. The thesis must demonstrate the student’s capability for research and independent thought. Preparation of the thesis must be in conformity with the Graduate College Guide to Preparing and Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation. The thesis handbook may be accessed at http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/docs/Thesis_Diss_Guide.pdf.

Thesis Proposal

The student must submit an official Master's Thesis Proposal form and proposal to his or her thesis committee. Thesis proposals vary by department and discipline. Please see your department for proposal guidelines and requirements. The required thesis proposal form may be obtained from The Graduate College at http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/gcforms.html. After signing the form and obtaining committee members’ signatures, graduate advisor’s signature (if required by the program), and the department chair’s signature, the student must submit the thesis proposal form with one copy of the proposal attached to the dean of The Graduate College for approval before proceeding with research on the thesis. If the thesis research involves human subjects, the student must obtain exemption or approval from the Texas State Institutional Review Board prior to submitting the proposal form to The Graduate College. If the thesis research involves vertebrate animals, the proposal form must include the Texas State IACUC approval code. It is recommended the thesis proposal form be submitted to the dean of The Graduate College by the end of the student’s enrollment in 5399A.

Thesis Committee

The thesis committee must be composed of a minimum of three approved graduate faculty members.

Thesis Enrollment and Credit

The completion of a minimum of six hours of thesis enrollment is required. Enrollment for the thesis will be in course number 5399A for a student’s initial thesis enrollment and a thesis B course for each subsequent thesis enrollment in the field in which the subject matter of the thesis falls, e.g., PS 5399A and PS 5399B. Preliminary discussions regarding the selection of a topic and assignment to a research supervisor will not require enrollment for the thesis course.

A student will be required to enroll in and pay the fee for at least one hour of the thesis course during any term in which the student will receive thesis supervision or guidance and/or in which the student is using university resources. Failure to register for the thesis course during a term in which supervision is received may result in postponement of graduation. After initial enrollment in 5399A, the student will continue to enroll in a thesis B course as long as it takes to complete the thesis. In the rare case when a student has not previously enrolled in thesis and plans to work on and complete the thesis in one term, the student will enroll in both 5399A and 5399B. The only grades assigned for thesis courses are PR (progress), CR (credit), W (withdrew), and F (failing). If acceptable progress is not being made in a thesis course, the instructor may issue a grade of F. If the student is making acceptable progress, a grade of PR is assigned until the thesis is completed. The minimum number of hours of thesis credit (“CR”) will be awarded only after the thesis is filed in the Alkek Library and the librarian has electronically returned the thesis card to the office of The Graduate College.

A student who has selected the thesis option must be registered for the thesis course during the term or Summer I (during summer the thesis course runs ten weeks for both sessions) in which the degree will be conferred.

Fee Reduction

A master’s degree candidate for graduation may be eligible for a one-time fee reduction under V.T.C.A. Education Code, Section 54.054. Please refer to the section titled Fee Reduction in the Additional Fees and Expenses chapter of this catalog for more information.

Thesis Deadlines and Approval Process

Thesis deadlines are posted at the following web page: http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/Thes-Diss_Info/T-D_Deadlines.html. The completed thesis must be submitted to the chair of the thesis committee no later than 41 days before the date of the commencement at which the degree is to be conferred.

The following must be submitted to the office of The Graduate College no later than 24 days, not counting weekends or holidays, before the date of commencement at which the degree is to be conferred (see The Graduate College webpage for specific deadlines):

  1. The Thesis/Dissertation Committee Approval form bearing original signatures of the student and all committee members.
  2. One (1) copy of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, on standard paper (Hard-copy Submission Option) or PDF of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, uploaded in the on-line Vireo submission system (Vireo On-line Submission Option).

After the dean of The Graduate College approves the thesis, the process is as follows:

  1. For the Vireo On-line Submission Option:
    1. No copies are required to be submitted to the Alkek Library. However, Alkek will bind copies submitted that the student wants bound for personal use. Personal copies are not required to be printed on archival quality paper. The student will take the personal copies to the Alkek Library and pay the binding fee for personal copies.

Master's level courses in Criminal Justice: CJ

Courses Offered

CJ 5101. Graduate Assistant Supervision.

Prepares graduate student teaching and instructional assistants to perform effectively in diverse instructional settings and in their assigned instructional support roles. The course provides for regular and planned opportunities for continuing evaluation of instructional and assistive responsibilities. This course does not earn graduate degree credit. Repeatable with different emphasis. Graded on a credit (CR), no-credit (F) basis.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Graduate Assistantship|Exclude from Graduate GPA
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

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CJ 5199B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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CJ 5299B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis.
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2 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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CJ 5300. Foundation Studies in Criminal Justice.

This course is designed for students who do not have a sufficient background in the foundations of criminal justice studies. Coursework will vary depending on the student’s prior academic history. This course does not earn graduate degree credit. Repeatable with different emphasis.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from Graduate GPA|Leveling
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

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CJ 5310. Administration of Justice.

Introduction to the study of crime; explanations of criminal behavior; typologies of criminal behavior; the criminal justice system; and social reaction to crime and the criminal justice system.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5311. Administrative Law in Criminal Justice.

Legal principles and doctrines applicable to state and federal criminal justice agencies delegated quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial authority by legislatures are studied and evaluated in this course.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5315. Advanced Research Methods in Criminal Justice.

The study of scientific research methods as used in the criminal justice system to include a review and critique of research on crime causation, law enforcement, courts, and corrections.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5320. History and Philosophy of Justice.

An exploration of historical approaches to social control of nonconforming behavior. The principal contributions of architects and theorists of systems of social justice are examined with emphasis on major Western European schools of thought. Special emphasis given to the development of the scientific method and its role in the contemporary system of justice.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5321. Current Legal Issues in Criminal Justice.

Case law and legislation, both state and federal, which have contemporary impact on practices and policies of criminal justice agencies will be examined in this course. Topics may vary to include such matters as civil rights liability, substance abuse and the law, juvenile crime, organized crime, tactics of enforcement, unionization, and other legal issues.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5322. Police in Society.

This course provides an in-depth assessment of policing and the various types of community crime control. Core topics include the history of police, organizational and individual police discretion, police culture, use of force, minorities and the police, community oriented policing, and police problem-solving.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5323. Special Operation Units.

A course designed to acquaint students with basic principles of Special Operation Units (SOUs) within law enforcement, including the necessity for such units in the changing nature of policing communities. The principles of crisis management, the development of SOUs, selection/training/operationalizing of personnel and other strategic planning issues are emphasized.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5324. Investigations.

This course explores issues related to investigations. Topics covered include the history and state of investigations, investigative theory, interviewing, interrogation, polygraph, geographic profiling, serial crimes, and investigative failures.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5325. Statistics for Criminal Justice.

The study of basic and advanced descriptive and inferential statistics, with an emphasis on applications in the criminal justice system will be taught. Focus will be given to various multivariate statistical procedures.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5330. Management Principles in Criminal Justice.

The study of behavior in complex bureaucratic or administrative organizations with an emphasis on organizational behavior, group processes, and the managerial function. Concepts and practices of managing criminal justice agencies within the United States will be stressed.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5335. Advanced Crime Theory.

This course will develop and apply analytical skills surrounding a wide range of theoretical concepts, assumptions, propositions, and variables aimed at explaining crime-related outcomes. In the process, students will learn how social scientists empirically (i.e., quantitatively and qualitatively) access theory and how theory influences public policy.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5340. Personnel Practices in Criminal Justice.

The study of personnel decisionmaking within the criminal justice agency. Topics emphasized will include recruitment and selection, promotion, training, performance evaluation, and human resource allocation.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5350. Current Issues in Criminal Justice.

An in-depth presentation and discussion of vital contemporary issues in criminal justice, including research, process, procedure, and substance. General issues addressed remain constant and specific emphasis will vary depending on changes in contemporary issues.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5355. Intelligence Gathering and Operational Issues As Applied to Terrorism and Counterterrorism Operation.

This course provides an overview of the importance of intelligence gathering in the global and domestic war of terrorism, and critically examines issues involved with the gathering of intelligence, techniques for the gathering of intelligence, methods of collecting, collating, analyzing and disseminating intelligence, and a review of current terrorist threats.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5360. Independent Studies in Criminal Justice.

Student will work directly with a faculty member and develop in-depth knowledge in a specific topic area of Criminal Justice. Repeatable for credit.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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CJ 5370. Professional Paper.

Students in the non-thesis option will complete their professional paper while enrolled in this course.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5380A. Ethics and the Criminal Justice System.

This special topics course will explore ethical issues that are faced by criminal justice professionals, basic ethical systems, and applications to dilemmas of criminal justice professionals.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5380C. Drugs in Society.

This special topics course will explore issues related to the “War on Drugs.” Topics covered include theories of addiction, legal and philosophical issues of government response to drug use, and treatment strategies.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5380F. Police Problem-Solving Practicum.

This course applies contemporary police problem-solving tools and techniques (including SARA, COMPSTAT, crime mapping, intelligence led policing and computer enhanced problem solving) to real world problems with practicum problems derived from situations commonly facing police practitioners such as common law enforcement “problems” such as noise abatement, property offenses and traffic violations.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5380H. Police Problem Solving Methodologies.

This course addresses police problem solving methodologies. The course covers the history, state, and theory of police problem solving. Emphasis is placed on using problem solving methodologies to address real issues facing the community.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5380I. Race, Class, and Crime.

This course addresses issues related to racial/ethnic minorities, socioeconomic status, crime trends, perceptions of crime and criminal behaviors. The social/historical constructions of race and class are covered as well as their intersectionality within the criminal justice system. Topics include racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in offending, victimization, law enforcement and sentencing.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5380J. Sex Offender and the Criminal Justice System.

This course explores sex offenders and the criminal justice system and the issues faced by criminal justice professionals. Recent trends in assessment tools, treatment approaches, and legal responses to sex offenders are emphasized.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5380L. Geospatial Intelligence and Geographic Profiling.

This course addresses the use of geospatial intelligence and geographic profiling in the military and intelligence environments. The course covers the theory, concepts, methods, and analysis of human geographic information. Emphasis is placed on understanding how geospatial knowledge can inform decision making and action plans.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5380M. Crime Analysis.

This course teaches students step by step how to evaluate and synthesize local crime data and present it to others. It helps students identify local crime trends and cycles, develop usable crime maps, and to think of practical local police responses.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5380N. Applied Research Practicum.

This course provides structured assistance to students who are preparing for significant independent research projects (i.e. Thesis, Professional Paper) by exposing them to the organizational tools, processes and techniques used by productive scholars. Ideally, students should expect to complete a viable research prospectus by the end of the semester.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Topics
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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CJ 5380P. Quantitative Data Analysis.

This course provides an introduction to quantitative data analysis. For the purposes of research and exploratory data analysis, topics include data construction and cleaning, variable coding, descriptive and inferential statistics, summary measures, and visual presentations of data. This course makes extensive use of statistical software.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing|Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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CJ 5399A. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s initial thesis enrollment. Credit is not awarded until student has completed the thesis in Criminal Justice 5399B. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis.
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3 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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CJ 5399B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis.
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3 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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CJ 5599B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis.
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5 Credit Hours. 5 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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CJ 5999B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no credit (F) basis.
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9 Credit Hours. 9 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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