Master of Science in Criminal Justice Curriculum

Criminal Behavior Concentration

Semester 1
Contemporary Criminal Justice: Issues and Trends
Statistical Applications in Criminal Justice
Intro to Forensic Psych
Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice
Semester 2
Research Design and Analysis
Legal and Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
Criminogenic Psychopathology
Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice
Semester 3
Mental Health Law in Criminal Behavior
Drug Abuse and Society
Advanced Psychological Assessment Theory
Cultural Competence in Professional Practice
Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice

JUS510 Contemporary Criminal Justice: Issues and Trends (3hrs)
Provides a contemporary overview of the criminal justice system with a focus on current trends, crime problems and statistics, crime control issues, the nature and causes of crime, justice agencies and personnel, key decision-making, and the changing features of the American legal system.

JUS515 Research Design and Analysis (3hrs)
Examines various research design models applied to crime, criminal justice, and agency administration issues. Includes discussion of the philosophy of science, sampling, and various research designs such as historical, legal, action, quasi-experimental, experimental, and program evaluation. Students will construct, implement, report, and analyze the results of a research project important to criminal justice practice.

JUS520 Statistical Applications in Criminal Justice (3hrs)
Explores and applies practical statistical methods to the relevant work of criminal justice agents, managers, and executives. The course will focus on statistical methods to prepare students to be intelligent consumers of reported research, to apply appropriate statistical analysis to various types of research designs, to report criminal justice agency performance results, and to identify and use various criminal justice statistical data sources in print and electronic form.

JUS525 Legal and Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice (3hrs)
This course provides an in-depth discussion of legal and ethical issues such as confidentiality, conflicts of interest, professional behavior, use of force, factual and legal guilt, discretion, corruption, codes of ethics, whistle-blowing, race and gender problems, appropriate punishment, law and rulemaking, ethical dilemmas in research settings, methods of resolving ethical dilemmas, and classic cases of ethical lapses and collapses in criminal justice agencies.

JUS630,631,632 Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice (1 hour)
The Pro-seminar in Criminal Justice is designed to provide graduate students in criminal justice the opportunity to hear, interact with, and critique the ideas of major executives, managers, leaders, and scholars in criminology, law, and criminal justice. Presentations of two featured speakers will be done primarily online or in-person at designated locations. Students are required to critique the ideas and commentary of leaders in criminology, law, criminal justice, and/or related fields.

PSY512 Introduction to Forensic Psychology (3hrs)
The class is designed to present students with a broad overview of the field of Forensic Psychology. The course will explore the various applications of theories and research in psychology to aspects of the criminal justice system.

PSY548 Mental Health Law in Criminal Behavior (3hrs)
This course will introduce students to the psych-legal issues in mental health law. The course will study the needs and rights of individuals with mental illness and mental retardation, the delivery of mental health services, the regulation of mental health professions, and the concerns of society for persons with mental disability.

PSY552 Criminogenic Psychopathology (3hrs)
The course explores the link between psychopathology and criminal behavior. Students in the class will review research on the relationship between psychological disorders and criminal violence. The class explores the various historical trends of forensic views on the role of mental illness on interpersonal and criminal violence.
Prerequisite: PSY512

PSY615 Drug Abuse and Society (3hrs)
This course examines the various types of drugs, their dynamics of use, abuse, addiction, and recovery. It examines the social, legal, economic, and psychological effect of drugs on individuals, and on the structure and function of society. A historical view of drug use, legal, and social responses is covered. Current trends in law enforcement, national and global, are covered. Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies are covered.

PSY626 Advanced Psychological Assessment Theory (3hrs)
This course will explore the various assessment instruments used in clinical and forensic psychology that assess individuals. It will address the psychological factors, clinical tools, interviews, projective tests such as TAT, AQ, NEO-PIR and other psychological tools. The course will review the gamut of approaches to assessment and treatment. Goal evaluation (of offender/victim/client) will be discussed. Goal plans (evaluation of the entire context/course of treatment) will be examined. Concepts such as the therapeutic alliance, transference, resistance, clarification and confrontation, interpretation, and termination will be covered. Students will learn about assessment and tools that are used in criminal justice/forensic settings.
Prerequisite: PSY552

PSY636 Cultural Competence in Professional Practice (3hrs)
Cultural Competence is designed to outline the current federal, state, and local mandates regarding culturally appropriate standards for agencies. The course will cover all CLAS standards that apply to agencies. An exploration of issues/needs for service & policies that are necessary in cultural competence programs is included. Empirical research on racial, ethnic, other minority groups is presented. A policy/procedure program will be constructed by the student that demonstrates application of materials presented in class.
Prerequisite: JUS525