Masters Program Details

UWG's MA in Criminology program is the only master's program of its kind in Georgia. It is committed to providing students with an educational experience that fits them to live, learn, and work in a culturally diverse and ever-changing world. Our mission is to prepare students for a variety of professional careers, advanced academic study, and lives of active citizenship.

Program Description

Coursework is grounded in the social, behavioral, and natural sciences, and incorporates diverse methodological and theoretical approaches. Our faculty are experienced professionals with varied backgrounds in working with the criminal justice system, dealing with offenders and victims, and conducting research on a wide range of issues. We encourage faculty-student collaboration and student research based on each individual's practical and academic interests. Plans of study include the Criminal Justice Administration and Crime & Social Justice tracks, and students choose either a thesis or comprehensive exam. Internships are also available.

Method of Delivery

We are primarily a face-to-face program. Most of our courses meet one night per week.

Accreditation

SACS

Credit & Transfer

Total semester hours required to earn a degree: 36
Maximum Hours Transferable into program: 6

Tuition & Fees

For the most up-to-date and accurate cost information, see the Bursar's Office website at http://www.westga.edu/bursar/.

Coursework

Most of our courses meet one night per week.

Women in the Criminal Justice System - CRIM-5231
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course will introduce students to the participation of women in the criminal justice system. Offenses committed by females, laws peculiar to females, and the treatment of females by the system will be explored. Women as professionals and their impact on the system will also be discussed.

Family Violence - CRIM-5232
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: Course will examine family violence form both a personal and social perspective. Research and theory in family violence will be discussed, along with types of relationships, incidence, prevalence, inter-personal dynamics, contributing factors, consequences, social response and services. Prevention strategies will be explored.

Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice - CRIM-5280
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course will focus on a particular issue being dealt with by the criminal justice system today. Students will critically examine the issue and related research and theories. The social context of the issue will be explored as well as possible actions to address the problem.

Directed Readings - CRIM-5981
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 1.0

Description: Title and description of the type of independent study to be offered will be specified on the variable credit form students must complete before being permitted to register for this class. May be repeated three times for credit.

Principles of Criminology - CRIM-6000
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course provides an introduction to the program and an overview of the basic scope, mission and methods of criminology. Topics addressed include the current state of theory and research on the nature of law, criminality, and social control. Note: Required of first-year graduates in Criminology.

Applied Statistics in Criminology - CRIM-6003
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course is designed to introduce the graduate student to the principal statistical analysis methods in criminology and criminal justice sciences. This course will cover inferential statistics and their interpretation. It will also include the application of statistical packages. This course assumes an elementary understanding of statistics at the undergraduate level thus it is desirable that students have taken prior coursework in statistics.

Theories of Crime and Justice - CRIM-6010
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course is an advanced study of criminology theory. A range of theoretical perspectives within three general paradigms - classical/neoclassical, positivist, and critical will be explored. Historical foundations and contemporary perspectives will also be examined with an emphasis on the effect of these perspectives on policy.

Social Research - CRIM-6013
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course will discuss the quantitative and qualitative methods of research that are commonly used in the social sciences. Students will learn about survey research, experiments, observational/field work, and interview studies. Topics to be covered include: methods of inquiry, causality, sampling, research instrument design, data collection, coding, ethics, and statistics (briefly).

Managing Data - CRIM-6015
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course teaches students to build and manage databases using SPSS. An emphasis is placed on working with large national data sets that are available through Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research database. Advanced data analysis techniques will also be examined.

Special Seminars - CRIM-6182
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: Title and description of the instruction to be offered will be specified on a variable credit form. The variable credit form must be completed before a student will be allowed to register for this course. Transcript entries carry different nomenclature to correspond with material taught. May be repeated on different content at least two times for credit.

Conflict Resolution - CRIM-6222
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: Conflict Resolution covers a broad range of activities aimed at resolving differences in effective but nonviolent ways. This class will include coverage of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration as ways of developing peaceful agreements. Special emphasis will be given to conflict resolution issues of the criminal justice system such as hostage negotiations.

Ethics and Criminal Justice - CRIM-6233
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course focuses on major moral theories and ethical decision making in the field of criminal justice. Conflicting loyalties, competing social demands, and sub-cultural strains specific to criminal justice will be explored.

Legal Theories - CRIM-6241
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: An interdisciplinary exploration of classical and contemporary texts in legal theory. The primary focus will be to discover those things for which legal theory must account as well as examining contemporary critiques of legal theory such as is entailed by the critical legal studies movement. As a research project, students are encouraged to either explore in-depth one of the theories covered in this course or to cover additional theories of theorists in legal studies.

Delinquency, Family, and the Community - CRIM-6255
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course will examine juvenile crime within a larger social context, exploring the positive and negative contributions of the individual, the family, peer, schools, and the larger community. Intervention strategies will be assessed, and a model will be presented for community action that can reduce/prevent juvenile crime.

Perspectives On Violence - CRIM-6266
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course looks at the problem of violence from an interdisciplinary perspective. It is designed to allow the student to become familiar with the social, psychological, biological, and public policy issues that surround this social problem. Particular attention will be paid to issues of domestic violence, gangs, and suicide.

Planning and Evaluation - CRIM-6275
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: Social science research methods applied to determine program/policy effectiveness. Students will learn skills in process and outcome evaluation, and how to utilize evaluation findings for future planning.

White Collar Crime - CRIM-6279
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This class provides an overview of white collar crime in the criminal justice system. Topics will include the basic principles and theories underlying white collar crime, including the principles that allow corporations and individuals relative freedom from prosecution. It addresses substantive areas of white collar crime, while exploring the variety of offenses that are included in this area.

Seminar in Social Justice - CRIM-6280
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course offers an opportunity to explore a number of areas, which may be defined within the broad heading of justice. It takes a realistic and critical look at the legal, social psychological, and political effects of the 'justice system' on people and their cities. Students will be asked to analyze these effects from the perspective of what is 'just' or 'unjust' - what can we do about it.

Internship - CRIM-6286
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 1.0

Description: Students will be placed in an agency compatible with their area of concentration to gain applied experience prior to graduation.

Advanced Criminological Theory - CRIM-6340
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: An examination of the major conceptual and propositional developments in criminological theory and the role paticular theorists played in those developments.

Constitutional and Judicial Principles - CRIM-6341
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course will review the development and implementation of the U.S. Constitution throughout American history. Attitudes for and against specific interpretations of the constitution, i.e. strict constructionist, will be explored.

Crisis Intervention - CRIM-6342
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course presents an overview of techniques and approaches to crisis intervention for crisis management professionals. It covers initial intervention, defusing and assessment, resolution and/or referral, with emphasis on empathy. Crisis theory will be examined and then applied to various types of crises including sexual assault/rape; natural disasters; personal loss; and suicide.

Homeland Security - CRIM-6345
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course focuses on the study of how the United States has dealt historically with internal security matters as well as the development of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after 9/11. This course is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills in order to become better evaluators of national security, and to help students prepare for careers in homeland security-related professions.

Terrorism - CRIM-6350
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course examines domestic and international terrorism. It looks at the theories concerning the causes of terrorism and the various ways that individuals and institutions respond to terrorism. The 'war on terrorism' is examined for its unintended consequences.

Law Enforcement Leadership - CRIM-6360
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: The course enhances each student's understanding of the importance of personal, interpersonal and organizational relationships, as well as the nature of police management. Concepts such as responsibility, courage, leadership, organizational values, integrity, and organizational design are presented in relation to problem solving.

Correctional Management - CRIM-6370
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course integrates policy and practical issues in correctional settings with management theory. Students will also learn about typical correctional clients, life in prison and issues related to the management of correctional programs.

Criminal Justice Administration - CRIM-6380
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course is designed to provide students with an in depth look into the theory and practice of criminal justice administration. Several theoretical approaches will be examined, followed by a critical evaluation of how they have been put into practice. Critical thinking and problem solving is emphasized throughout the course.

Crime and Social Inequality - CRIM-6623
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 3.0

Description: This course offers an examination of the relationships between social stratification, crime, and criminal justice. Explored will be the empirical and theoretical associations that race/ethnicity, sex/gender, social class, and other systems of inequality have with crime, victimization, and criminal justice system response.

Directed Study - CRIM-6982
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 1.0

Description: Varies by student and professor.

Continuing Registration - CRIM-6983
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 1.0

Description: Must be taken by those who are finishing course work to remove an incomplete while not enrolled for other courses or those who are not enrolled for thesis hours but are completing thesis or position papers.

Thesis - CRIM-6999
Complete: 8 - 15 Weeks | Credit hours: 1.0

Description:

Faculty

This describes the general information about faculty for this program.

Guidelines for Admittance

  • All graduate applicants must complete the online Grad Application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
  • Applicants should also review the Graduate Studies Website for individual program specific requirements and tasks that must be completed prior to admission. See Graduate Studies Application Process.
  • International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students.
  • Official transcripts from a regionally or nationally accredited institution are required and should be sent directly to the UWG Admissions Office.

Program-specific Admittance Guidelines

For admission to the program, a student is expected to have a bachelor’s degree in criminology, criminal justice, or another social or behavioral science. However, other complimentary degrees may be considered. Students can be admitted without the expected degree with the stipulation that selected undergraduate and/or graduate-level courses must be completed. Applicants for graduate study in criminology must meet the College of Social Sciences requirements and:

*Submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
*Obtain three strong letters of recommendation
*Submit a 750-word intellectual autobiography including reasons for seeking the degree
*Have a minimum overall 2.50 GPA

The Department of Criminology does not require a minimum GRE score and considers the quality of an application in its entirety.  However, the Department desires applicants with strong GRE scores to supplement strong GPAs, letters of recommendation, and intellectual biographies. All applicants will be admitted on a competitive basis and thus simply completing the application does not guarantee admission.

Application Deadlines

* Application, app fee, and document deadline; Dates may vary for Readmit, Transfer, and Transient students.

See The Scoop for more specific deadlines: http://www.westga.edu/registrar/766.php

Specific graduate deadlines are listed here: http://www.westga.edu/gradstudies/important-dates.php

Admission Process Checklist

The Graduate Studies Application Process checklist is available her: GraduateProgram Checklist for Criminology_2012.pdf

One exception: If you will not ever be traveling to a UWG campus or site, you may apply for an Immunization Exemption. Contact the Immunization Clerk with your request.

Contact

Dr. Christopher Bounds
Director of Graduate Studies, MA Criminology
cbounds@westga.edu
678-839-6438

Dates

Specific dates for Admissions (Undergraduate Only), Financial Aid, Fee Payment, Registration, Start/End of Term Dates, Final Exams, etc. are available in THE SCOOP at http://www.westga.edu/registrar/766.php

Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines: 

Learning Objectives

  • Acquire an understanding of the methods and statistical techniques of social science research, and to be able to apply these skills in the context of criminology.
  • Possess a broad range of knowledge about criminology and be able to apply this knowledge humanely and competently to the development, monitoring, and evaluation of policy and practice.
  • Possess a broad understanding of theories of crime and justice and be able to apply theoretical frameworks in conducting critical analyses