Criminal Justice Overview

DEPARTMENT CHAIR: William E. Thornton, Ph.D., Office: 559 Monroe Hall
PROFESSORS: Dee W. Harper, William E. Thornton
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR: Wendy L. Hicks
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR: Bethany L. Brown, David N. Khey, Patrick D. Walsh, Vincenzo A. Sainato, Rae Taylor, Brenda Vollman
EMERITUS PROFESSOR: Dee Wood Harper          
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT:  David M. Aplin Office: 122 Stallings Hall
WEB PAGE: www.css.loyno.edu/criminaljustice/

Mission Statement

The mission of the criminal justice program at Loyola University New Orleans is to prepare individuals, through a state-of-the-art curriculum, to assume positions in the public or private justice system and/or to pursue advanced educational/professional specialties. In all of its endeavors, the criminal justice program seeks to develop in students the ability to critically analyze complex issues and master bodies of knowledge, yet seek truth, wisdom, and social responsibility in the Ignatian tradition.

Criminal justice and private/corporate security are among the fastest growing fields in the new millennium. An advanced degree is fast becoming a necessity for most careers in criminal justice, both in the public and private sectors. The Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration (MSCJA) and Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) program are offered in response to the growing need for professionally trained public and private criminal justice administrators, planners, and researchers as well as professionals in the field of private/corporate security.

Students will receive theoretical and methodological training in criminal justice and private/corporate security along with applied studies in areas such as organizational management, budgeting and resource allocation, strategic planning, program evaluation, public relations, human resource management, and computer information systems. The graduate curriculum takes the student well beyond the content and instruction of their undergraduate education and fosters independent learning and application of knowledge enabling the individual to contribute to the profession. The emphasis on values and ethics and a solid liberal arts grounding, along with a strong criminal justice curriculum including theoretical as well as applied courses, has distinguished the Loyola program.

Degree Programs

The Department of Criminal Justice offers two graduate programs:

Outstanding Features of Loyola’s Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) Program

  • Accelerated course format
  • 30 semester hours
  • 16-month completion
  • Multi-disciplinary format
  • Solid foundation in theoretical and applied knowledge
  • Crime data and analysis skills
  • Administrative and management skills
  • Designed for professionals in criminal justice or private security and for those
    seeking to enter the criminal justice or private security fields
  • Prestigious faculty with real-world experience universities/colleges)
  • Assistantships
  • Career counseling services available

Admission Requirements

Prospective students must submit ALL required documentation before they can be considered for admission into the MCJ program. Students are admitted into the MCJ program based on a thorough review of all materials provided to the Department of Criminal Justice. Admission to the program requires:

  • A bachelor’s degree and a record of academic achievement from an accredited college or university;
  • A $20 application fee must accompany the completed application (the application fee is waived if the applicant completes the on-line application);
  • An official transcript from each institution attended sent directly to the appropriate
    admissions office. For transcripts other than English, please provide a certified English translation with an explanation of the grading system;
  • Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons knowledgeable about the applicant’s
    aptitude for graduate work, such as former professors or master’s prepared supervisors;
  • A résumé of professional work experience, if applicable;
  • A statement of educational goals that addresses the following points:
    1. How do you think the MCJ degree will enhance your professional development?
      and;
    2. What expectations do you hope to realize by earning the degree?
  • A formal interview with one or more graduate faculty members at Loyola may be required.

International Students

In addition to meeting the above requirements, all international applicants:

  • must submit results of the TOEFL, scoring 550 or higher (213 on CBT), unless their previous degree is from a college or university in which the language of instruction is English;
  • requiring F-1 or J-1 visas must submit an affidavit of support.

Types of Admission

The Department of Criminal Justice Admission Committee reviews all applications and makes admissions decisions. Applicants are notified of the decision by letter. Two types of admission can be recommended:

  • Unconditional Admission: Applicants are admitted unconditionally when they have submitted all required materials and met admission standards. Since admission into the MCJ program is limited, the committee reserves the right to determine which applicants are the best matches for Loyola’s graduate program.
  • Conditional/Probationary Admission: The decision to grant conditional/probationary admission is based on perceived academic promise and is granted to an applicant to provide an opportunity for the applicant to demonstrate his/her academic ability. The student with probationary admission remains on probation until he/she has completed a minimum of six graduate hours and has achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. If, after the completion of six graduate hours, the student’s cumulative GPA is less than 3.0, the student will not be eligible to return to the MCJ program.

Evaluation of Transfer Credits

Students who have earned graduate academic credit at an accredited university or college may be allowed to transfer a maximum of six credit hours. In all cases, coursework will be evaluated for equivalence to MCJ program requirements; therefore, students must provide course syllabi and other supporting materials to assist faculty in the evaluation process.

For a complete Transfer of Academic Credit policy, please view - http://2011bulletin.loyno.edu/graduate/graduate-academic-regulations#transfer_of_credit
 

Academic Probation and Student Progression

In order to remain in good standing and progress through the MCJ program, a student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. A student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. A student on academic probation has one semester (fall, spring, or summer semester) to remove the academic deficiency. If the deficiency is not removed in the allotted time, the student may not be eligible to continue in the MCJ program. The final decision to allow a probationary student to remain in the program will be made by the department chairperson.

Progression Through the Curriculum

The MCJ program is a cohort model meaning the student moves through the curriculum taking a prescribed set of courses each semester. If, for some reason, the student cannot adhere to the set schedule, graduation in the 16-month period may not be possible. The department will make every effort to accommodate the student by modifying his/her progression plan.

Length of Time to Complete MCJ Program

Students are required to complete the MCJ program within 5 years of enrolling in coursework.

Comprehensive Examination

By submitting the application to graduate, students are also declaring their candidacy in the Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) program. As part of the requirements for graduation, they are required to pass the comprehensive examination for the program. Students will not be allowed to sit for or complete the comprehensive exam until they have received satisfactory grades in all of their previous coursework.

Degree Candidacy

MCJ students must apply for candidacy after completion of 18 credit hours with an overall 3.0 average in the program.

Criminal Justice Graduate Courses: The Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) is a 30-credit-hour program. This program is designed to be flexible both with regard to course delivery as well as completion time.

Goals of the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration Program

The MSCJA degree, outlined below, is a creative and thoughtful program that builds-on the best that Loyola University New Orleans can offer to the professional practitioner community. Our program is guided by several goals:

  • To provide students with a baseline of critically needed skills and theoretical foundations that they can apply in their everyday practice.
  • To provide students an online educational experience that is perceived as having high value in the employer market (public and private).
  • To provide a holistic educational experience that is consistent with Jesuit ideals, broadly, and, more specifically, with the standards, rigor, and individualized quality students expect from their Loyola University New Orleans experience.
  • To provide students with the ability to apply correct ethical frameworks to their practice.
  • To orient students toward the needs of victims - in part - by mitigating their victimization and, when necessary, an awareness of how to advocate on their behalf.
  • To provide students with the ability to customize, within reasonable constraints, their courses so that they can target their education to their interests.

Core Curriculum

The MSCJA curriculum is broadly divided into two distinct areas, “Core” courses and “Specialization” courses. The core courses are designed to provide solid empirical, theoretical, conceptual, and practical foundations relevant to MSCJA students. Critical aspects of the courses are consistent with “standard” curriculum offerings at the master’s level in the social sciences; moreover, we have ‘shaped’ and chosen the courses to also appeal and be relevant for our students who are practitioners. Our core courses are chosen in light of all of these considerations in addition to key characteristics of the Jesuit tradition, which have been noted above. Each student must successfully complete the “core” courses in order to move-on to the specialization part of the curriculum.

Specializations

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration (MSCJA) offers two specializations: Justice Administration and Forensic Administration.

Degree Requirements

Each student will complete the core curriculum in a pre-specified order, listed below. This order has been purposely chosen to balance the more complex and technically challenging classes with those that provide comprehensive coverage and foundational content material of the fields of public and private justice administration. The MSCJA builds both breadth of knowledge and technical sophistication that prepares students for leadership positions in planning and administration.

Degree Requirements

 

Semester 1
• MSCJ 702 Media Relations
• MSCJ 701 Crime and Organizational Theory into Practice
 6 hrs.

Semester 2

• MSCJ 704 Assessing Organizational Performance
• MSCJ 703 Budget Analysis
 

6 hrs.
Semester 3
• MSCJ 705 Applied Data Analysis and Decision Making
• MSCJ 706 Ethics
 
6 hrs.
Semester 4
• Specialization Anchor
• Advanced Analytics Course
 
6 hrs.
Semester 5
• Specialization Course/Elective
• Specialization Course/Elective
 
6 hrs.
Semester 6
• Specialization Course/Elective
• Specialization Course/Elective
 
6 hrs.
Post-Semester 6
MCJSA Exam
 
 
TOTAL 36 hrs.

Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration Admission Policy

Admission into the MSCJA program is competitive. Students are admitted into the MSCJA program based on a review of all materials provided to the MSCJA faculty during the application process. Students may be admitted unconditionally or provisionally.

Admission Criteria

As a condition of the application process, all applicants must provide the following:

  • A completed Application for Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration
  • Official transcripts from each degree-granting college or university attended and A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited 4-year college.
  • Copy of any relevant and current professional license.
  • Three letters of recommendation (using the form provided by Loyola) from persons knowledgeable about the applicant’s aptitude for masters level study and professional experience relevant to the MSCJA program.
  • Two personal statements: 1) Reflection on how the applicants previous education and professional experiences has prepared them for graduate study, 2) What the applicant expects to gain from this program and how they expect to use the knowledge obtained.
  • Formal interview by phone or online.
  • Relevant work experience will be weighted positively: This may be in the private sector or public, including military experience. Weighting to applicants who have attained a management role or it’s equivalent will be given. For example, attaining the rank of E-5 or O-1 in the military or a sergeant in law enforcement. Special consideration will be given to candidates who have served and been deployed to combat tours.

Types of Admission

Faculty of the MSCJA review all applications and makes admission decisions. Applicants are notified of the faculty’s decision by letter. The faculty can recommend two types of admission:
Unconditional Admission: Applicants are admitted unconditionally when they have submitted all required materials and met admission standards. Since admission into the MSCJA program is competitive, the faculty reserves the right to determine which applicants are the best matches for Loyola’s MSCJA program.
Provisional Admission: If an applicant appears to meet admission standards but is unable to provide one or more documents required for admission by the time admission decisions are made, provisional admission may be granted. A provisionally admitted student has until the beginning of the first academic term to provide the required materials to the MSCJA program. The MSCJA program reserves the right to deny any provisionally admitted student the right to enroll in courses if needed documentation has not been provided by the beginning of the first academic term.

Transfer of Academic Credit

Students who have earned academic credit at another accredited college or university (including Loyola University New Orleans) may be allowed to transfer a maximum of six credit hours with a minimum grade of “B” and with the approval of the departmental chair and/or the dean of the college. Each degree program has certain restrictions concerning acceptance of courses completed at other institutions. Transfer of credits earned more than five years prior to enrollment will not ordinarily be considered.
Transfer students will be informed of the amount of credit which will transfer prior to their enrollment, if possible, but at the latest prior to the end of their first academic term in which they are enrolled.

Transfer of Academic Credit For Students Who Already Have Received a Graduate Degree

Students who transfer from a Loyola University New Orleans master’s degree into a different Loyola degree may be allowed to transfer a maximum of nine credit hours with a minimum grade of “B” and with the approval of the departmental chair and/or the dean of the college. Each degree program has certain restrictions concerning acceptance of courses completed at other institutions. Transfer of credits earned more than five years prior to enrollment will not ordinarily be considered.
Transfer students will be informed of the amount of credit which will transfer prior to their enrollment, if possible, but at the latest prior to the end of their first academic term in which they are enrolled.

MSCJA Qualifying Exam

In additional to conventional course-based assessment and grading, student learning is assessed though a qualifying examination. The qualifying examination is independently graded through a blind assessment process. The MSCJA Qualifying Examination is expected to be taken at the conclusion of the final quarter of course work. The material tested on the Qualifying Examination is taken from the Core and the Specialization Anchor courses. All students will simultaneously be provided access to the questions for the exam and will then be given 10 days to upload the responses to the Examination questions.