Criminal Justice

Degree Offered: M.S.C.J.
Director: Hayden Griffin, Ph.D.
Phone: (205) 934-2069
E-mail: hgriffin@uab.edu
Website: http://www.uab.edu/cas/criminaljustice/

To obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School, prospective students should visit this page: http://www.uab.edu/cas/criminaljustice/graduate/mscj

Program Information

The criminal justice graduate program requires study in the overall discipline, with intensive focus on the areas of criminal justice policy, criminal justice administration, research methods and statistics, and criminological theory. Beyond a core set of required courses, the program features a  Thesis Track (Plan I) designed for students interested in pursuing a doctorate in criminal justice or criminology, and a Non-Thesis Track (Plan II) designed for students interested in pursuing entry- or advanced-level positions in a criminal justice or related agency setting.  Students selecting the Plan I option are required to complete a Thesis project under a faculty adviser, while students selecting the Plan II track are required to complete a Demonstration Project and are strongly encouraged to complete a field placement (Internship).

Each year, students are admitted to the MSCJ program for the fall and spring terms. The application deadline for receipt of Fall admission materials by the Graduate School is July 1.  The application deadline for receipt of Spring admission materials by the Graduate School is November 1. Students may admitted to the MSCJ program "in good standing" provided they meet all minimum admission criteria established by the Graduate School and the program, which include having taken an introductory-level statistics course and an introductory-level research methods course in which a grade of "B" or better was earned.  Most students admitted to the program have earned a cumulative undergraduate grade point of average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.  Students who otherwise meet minimum admission criteria but who have not taken both the statistics and the research methods courses may be admitted to the MSCJ program on a "contingency" basis. Students so admitted will not be allowed to register for graduate coursework until the contingencies are removed. Students meeting the minimum requirements for admission including taking the statistics and research methods courses but who lack a substantive background in criminal justice may be admitted to the MSCJ program on a "contingency" basis, but will be required to take remedial coursework before they will be allowed to register for any graduate courses.

The recommended course sequence for the Plan I MSCJ degree is:

Semester 1 (Fall): CJ 600CJ 601CJ 606

Semester 2 (Spring): CJ 583CJ 605, Elective 1

Semester 3 (Fall): CJ 603CJ 604CJ 699

Semester 4 (Spring): CJ 699, Elective 2

The recommended course sequence for the Plan II MSCJ degree is:

Semester 1 (Fall): CJ 600CJ 601CJ 606

Semester 2 (Spring): CJ 583CJ 605, Elective 1

Semester 3 (Fall): CJ 603CJ 604, Elective 2

Semester 4 (Spring): CJ 697/CJ 698, Elective 3 (recommendedCJ 693/CJ 696), Elective 4

MSCJ Online

Students who wish to take courses online may complete all or part of the MSCJ completely on line. There is no "online degree," it is the same degree regardless of how the courses are taken. Students may take some courses in class and some online, or may complete the MSCJ completely online.

The Online MSCJ Degree is designed to mirror the in-class Non-Thesis Plan II degree. Students enrolled in the online degree are required to take the same courses as the Plan II degree — but the courses may be taken 100% online. The degree is structured so that students can graduate in 4 semesters (fall, spring, summer, fall) by taking 9 hours each semester.

Students are required to complete a Demonstration Project (CJ 697) to display their mastery of the core courses. Specifically, students will complete a research paper that shows they can synthesize a body of literature, create a research question, use appropriate research methods to evaluate the question, and discuss implications (both theory and policy) of the findings. Students are required to work with a faculty member to oversee the project. In their second semester, students will be required to write a brief proposal discussing their topic and potential sources of data. After completing this proposal, they will send it to the Program Director who will then assign a faculty chair based on best fit with the topic. Students can request to work with faculty members, but this does not guarantee they will be assigned to that faculty member. Once a chair is determined, the faculty chair and student will work together until the chair deems the project acceptable.

Under special circumstances, and with permission from the Program Director, students may be allowed to complete a Thesis through the online MSCJ program. In such cases, the student will take 6 hours of Thesis in place of one elective and the Demonstration Project.

The recommended course sequence for the on line MSCJ degree is:

Semester 1 (Fall): CJ 600CJ 601CJ 606

Semester 2 (Spring): CJ 583CJ 605, Elective 1

Semester 3 (Summer): CJ 603CJ 604, Elective 2

Semester 4 (Fall): CJ 697/CJ 698, Elective 3, Elective 4

Financial Aid

Students who are admitted to the M.S.C.J. program "in good standing" are eligible to receive department-based financial aid in the form of graduate assistantships or scholarships that are awarded on a competitive basis. Students are typically notified of such awards in early June of each year for the following fall.

Additional Information

Deadline for Entry Term(s): Fall and Spring
Deadline for All Application Materials to be in the Graduate School Office: July 1 for Fall and November 1 for Spring
Number of Evaluation Forms Required: Three
Entrance Tests TOEFL and TWE required for international applicants whose native language is not English.)

Contact Information

For detailed information contact Dr. Hayden Griffin, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1201 University Boulevard Office Building, Suite 210, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-4562.
Telephone: 205-934-2069
E-mail hgriffin@uab.edu
Web http://www.uab.edu/cas/criminaljustice/

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Plan 1 - 30 hours with Thesis1

RequirementsHours
CJ 583Patterns in Crime 3
CJ 600Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice 3
CJ 601Seminar in Criminological Theory3
CJ 604Seminar in Criminal Justice Policy 3
CJ 605Seminar in Research Design3
CJ 606Seminar in Data Analysis3
Thesis Research 26
Thesis Research
CJ Electives 36
Total Hours30

Plan II - 36 hours

RequirementsHours
CJ 583Patterns in Crime 3
CJ 600Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice 3
CJ 601Seminar in Criminological Theory3
CJ 603Seminar in Criminal Justice Administration 3
CJ 604Seminar in Criminal Justice Policy 3
CJ 605Seminar in Research Design3
CJ 606Seminar in Data Analysis3
Electives (CJ 500+ level courses) 215
Total Hours36

Requirements for a Dual Degree - Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Master of Public Administration

RequirementsHours
CJ 583Patterns in Crime 3
CJ 600Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice 3
CJ 601Seminar in Criminological Theory3
CJ 604Seminar in Criminal Justice Policy 3
CJ 605Seminar in Research Design3
CJ 606Seminar in Data Analysis3
Electives 212
Total Hours30

Courses

CJ 500. Drugs and Society. 3 Hours.

This course teaches students the pharmacological effects and different categories of drugs. Different theories of drug use are discussed as well as the historical development of drug laws including different methods of regulating drug use. Various harms associated with drug use are discussed as well as the consequences of drug prohibition.

CJ 502. Computer Forensics. 3 Hours.

Use of analytical and investigative techniques in criminal or civil litigation to identify, collect, examine and preserve evidence/information magnetically stored or encoded.

CJ 503. Restorative Justice. 3 Hours.

Introduction to, and analysis of, movement in criminal justice to institutionalize peaceful approaches to harm, problem-solving and violations of legal and human rights. Includes discussion of specific programs, critical evaluation of these programs, and analysis of future directions of the movement.

CJ 504. Serial Killers. 3 Hours.

Examination of the psychology and sociology of serial killers; case studies and agency responses to these offenders.

CJ 507. Special Topics in Criminal Justice. 3 Hours.

In-depth analysis of substantive topic in criminal justice or criminology including contemporary issues, ethics, historical review, or related topics. Varies by semester and by Instructor. May be repeated twice for credit.

CJ 508. Juvenile Delinquency. 3 Hours.

Introduction to the nature, scope, and causes of illegal behavior by juveniles, and societal responses to that behavior.

CJ 511. Juvenile Justice System. 3 Hours.

Introduction to the evolution and operation of specialized agencies and procedures to address juvenile law-breaking, including emerging problems and solutions.

CJ 512. Juvenile Law. 3 Hours.

Review and analysis of emerging statutory and case law in American juvenile justice.

CJ 519. Investigating Online Crimes. 3 Hours.

Study of cyber investigative techniques, involving focused analysis of email and websites; examination of legal process and preparing evidence in cyber crime cases.

CJ 524. Serial Killers in Cross-National Settings. 3 Hours.

Examines serial homicide in cross-national settings including offender disorders; crime scene analysis; significance of victims; and offender classification process.

CJ 530. Ethics and Computer Forensics. 3 Hours.

Overview of different systems of ethics; the role of ethics in computer forensics, cybercrime investigation, and information security; examination of ethical issues facing professionals involved in computer forensics, cybercrime investigation, and information security.

CJ 537. Digital Media Forensics. 3 Hours.

Digital media forensics addresses all stored digital evidence types faced by cyber security professionals and computer forensics examiners. Students will learn to analyze character encoding, file formats, and digital media, including hard drives, smartphones and other portable devices, and cloud-hosted evidence, as well as disk acquisition, duplication and evidence preservation techniques and how to apply these techniques in typical criminal investigation scenarios.

CJ 537L. Digital Media Forensics Lab. 0 Hours.

Laboratory to accompany CJ 537.

CJ 540. White Collar and Corporate Crime. 3 Hours.

Introduction to, and analysis of, illegal/deviant behavior occurring in organizational settings, including crimes committed by and against complex organizations.

CJ 542. Race, Crime, Gender and Social Policy. 3 Hours.

Examination of how the subordinate status of minority groups (African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Women) affects interaction with the justice system as offenders, victims, and professionals.

CJ 543. Women and the Criminal Justice System. 3 Hours.

Evaluation of the changing role of women in the justice system as victims, offenders and professionals.

CJ 544. Law and Society. 3 Hours.

Examination of how law is used to facilitate or regard social change, social control, and social conflict in society.

CJ 545. Juvenile Corrections. 3 Hours.

Examination of historical and contemporary efforts to reduce juvenile delinquency with particular attention to innovative programs and evaluation of their effectiveness.

CJ 550. Questioned Death Investigation. 3 Hours.

Examination of forensic pathology as used in local medical examiners’ offices.

CJ 554. Financial Crimes and Investigations. 3 Hours.

Survey of the field of financial crime and its investigation, including review of various financial crimes (fraud, money laundering, cybercrime, etc.), investigative techniques, resources specific to the investigation of these crimes, and the role of financial institutions in combating these crimes.

CJ 560. Violence: An American Tradition. 3 Hours.

The course examines violence as an American tradition. Although the class examines historical acts of violence as catalysts for social change, the emphasis will be on destructive or negative violence, -- criminal violence. The class examines many different acts of violence in society as well as policies and prevention strategies.

CJ 563. Urban Structures. 3 Hours.

One of the oldest explanations of criminal behavior is that crime is concentrated in particular areas of the city. This class examines the structure of cities, how they grow, and particularly how they decline. It addresses how this decline can produce high levels of crime. It also addresses how cities can be revitalized, and how the justice system can work to reduce crime in these areas.

CJ 564. Crime and Place. 3 Hours.

One of the oldest explanations of criminal behavior is that crime is concentrated in particular areas of the city. But why is that? Is it something about the people, the place, or both? This class will look at the structure of cities, how they grow, and particularly how they decline. We will talk about how this decline can produce high levels of crime. We will also talk about how cities can be revitalized, and how the justice system can work to reduce crime in these areas.

CJ 566. Spatial Analysis. 3 Hours.

This skills-based class will introduce students to the application of geographic information systems (GIS) to crime-related topics and issues.

CJ 583. Patterns in Crime. 3 Hours.

Examination of the major correlates of crime and criminality,including age, race, sex, and socio-economic status, examination of major sources of information from which data on crime correlates are gathered.

CJ 592. Study Away in Criminal Justice. 3 Hours.

Affords students the opportunity engage in academic study outside of the U.S. to examine substantive topics in crime and justice. Students spend time at a destination point, where they engage with students and faculty members in classroom and research settings at partner post-secondary institutions, experience immersion in foreign culture, and engage in comparative analysis of policies and programs relating to crime and justice.

CJ 600. Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice. 3 Hours.

Critical analysis of formal and informal processing of offenders by criminal justice agencies, including police, courts, and corrections; effectiveness and future directions.

CJ 601. Seminar in Criminological Theory. 3 Hours.

Classic and contemporary theoretical explanations of crime and criminality.

CJ 603. Seminar in Criminal Justice Administration. 3 Hours.

Theories of organizational structure, motivation, and management applied to criminal justice agencies.

CJ 604. Seminar in Criminal Justice Policy. 3 Hours.

Origins, formulation, implementation, and evaluation of criminal justice policy; classic and contemporary examples of policy innovations.

CJ 605. Seminar in Research Design. 3 Hours.

Quantitative methods of empirical research emphasizing criminal justice/criminological applications; current research methodologies relating to analysis of issues involving crime and criminal justice.

CJ 606. Seminar in Data Analysis. 3 Hours.

Bivariate and multivariate analyses and intepretation of results from substantive research.

CJ 675. Law Evidence and Procedure. 3 Hours.

Overview and examination of the legal aspects of physical evidence, including rules of evidence, procedural rules, and the role of expert witnesses.

CJ 688. Special Topics in Criminal Justice. 3 Hours.

Special Topics in Criminal Justice.

CJ 693. Graduate Practitioner Internship in Criminal Justice. 3 Hours.

Internship specifically arranged for pracitioners internship credit for the criminal justice major.

CJ 695. Graduate Independent Study (Non-Thesis). 3 Hours.

Independent study in a substantive area of interest under the direction of a faculty member.

CJ 696. Graduate Internship in Criminal Justice. 3 Hours.

Field experience in criminal justice agency setting. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours credit.

CJ 697. Graduate Plan II Research Project. 3 Hours.

Independent study in a student's substantive area of interest under the direction of a faculty member.

CJ 698. Directed Research (Non-Thesis). 3 Hours.

Independent study in a student's substantive area of interest under the direction of a faculty member.

CJ 699. Thesis Research. 1-6 Hour.

Admission to candidacy and successful defense of thesis proposal.
Prerequisites: GAC M

Faculty

Blakenship, Brandon, Teaching Assistant Professor,, 2001,, B.A. (UAB), J.D. (Thomas Goode Jones School of Law),, Legal Studies, Pre-Law, Criminal Law
Copes, J. Heith, Professor, 2001, B.S. (Southwestern Louisiana), M.A., Ph.D., (Tennessee), Qualitative Methods, Criminal Decision Making, Visual Criminology
Earwood, Martha, Teaching Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice & Internship Coordinator, 2003, B.S., M.S. (Georgia State), Corrections, Victimology, Restorative Justice, Experiential Learning.
Gardner, Elizabeth A., Associate Professor and Director, Master of Science in Forensic Science Program, 2007, B.S. (Penn State), Ph.D. (Michigan State), Drug Chemistry, Legal Highs, Gun Powder Residue, Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, Pharmaceutical Spam
Griffin, O. Hayden, Associate Professor and Director, Master of Science in Criminal Justice Program, 2013, J.D. (University of Richmond), Ph.D. (University of Florida), Corrections, Policy, Drugs and Society, Law and Society
Leban, Lindsay, Professor, 2018, B.A. (Florida Gulf Coast), M.A., Ph.D. (Florida), Drugs, Neighborhood Collective Efficacy, Gender
Lim, Hyeyoung, Associate Professor, 2013, Ph.D. (Sam Houston State), Police Use of Force, Police Decision Making, Quantitative Methods, Program and Policy Evaluation
Linville, Jason G., Teaching Assistant Professor, 2004, B.S. (Ohio), M.S., Ph.D. (UAB), Forensic Biology, Entomology, Forensic Science Education
McGrath, Shelly A., Associate Professor, 2008, B.S. (St. Mary’s), M.S. (Ball State), Ph.D. (Southern Illinois), Quantitative Methods, Crime Mapping, Violence
Morgan, Kathryn, Professor; Director of African American Studies, 1991, B.S., M.A. (Texas Woman’s), Ph.D. (Florida State), Corrections, Criminological Theory, Minorities, Violence
Todak, Natalie, Assistant Professor, 2017, B.A. (California-San Diego), M.S. (Bowling Green State), Ph.D. (Arizona State), Policing, Use of Force, De-escalation, Qualitative Methods
Walker, Jeffery, Professor and Chair, 2015, B.S. (Arkansas), M.A. (Arkansas - Little Rock), Ph.D. (Sam Houston), Social Structures of Neighborhoods, Crime Analysis/Mapping, Crime and Place
Warner, Gary, Instructor and Director of the Computer Forensics Research Lab, 2007, B.S. (UAB), Digital Forensics, Cybercrime and Security