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.

For more information, please see the Academic Catalog.

  • Overview

    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.

    Program Location

    Carrollton Campus, Online

    Method of Delivery

    This program is available as face-to-face, and most of our courses meet one night per week.

    Students are able to be complete the program 100% online, if preferred. 


    The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    Credit and transfer

    Total semester hours required: 36
    Maximum Hours Transferable into program: 6
    A transfer credit evaluation will be completed by the UWG Transfer Team (transfer@westga.edu). Course application to a program is subject to review by the department.

  • Cost

    This program may be earned entirely online, entirely face-to-face, or anything in between.

    Save money.

    UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited university of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen. In addition, online courses and programs can mean a cost-savings in many non-evident ways: No more high gas charges. No childcare needed. The flexibility can allow one to maintain a job while attending school. Regardless of state residency, out-of-state non-resident students are not charged non-resident tuition for online course credit hours.


    • Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
    • The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
    • Face-to-Face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
    • Fully or entirely online course tuition rates and fees my vary depending on the program. Students enrolled in exclusively online courses do not pay non-Resident rates.
    • Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
    • One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, they will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
    • For the cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Student Accounts and Billing Services website

    There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website for more information.

  • Courses


    Most of our courses meet one night per week in the face-to-face option. This program is also available 100% online. 


    • CRIM-5231 - Women in the Criminal Justice System

      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.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • CRIM-5232 - Family Violence

      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.

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    • CRIM-5280 - Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice

      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.

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    • CRIM-5981 - Directed Readings

      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.

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    • CRIM-6000 - Principles of Criminology

      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.

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    • CRIM-6003 - Applied Statistics in Criminology

      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.

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    • CRIM-6010 - Theories of Crime and Justice

      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.

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    • CRIM-6013 - Social Research

      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).

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    • CRIM-6182 - Special Seminars

      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.

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    • CRIM-6222 - Conflict Resolution

      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.

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    • CRIM-6233 - Ethics and Criminal Justice

      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.

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    • CRIM-6241 - Legal Theories

      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.

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    • CRIM-6255 - Delinquency, Family, and the Community

      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.

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    • CRIM-6266 - Perspectives On Violence

      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.

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    • CRIM-6275 - Planning and Evaluation

      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.

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    • CRIM-6279 - White Collar Crime

      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.

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    • CRIM-6280 - Seminar in Social Justice

      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.

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    • CRIM-6333 - Victimology

      This course provides an advanced analysis of the nature, causes, and consequences of criminal victimization and will include international and human rights perspectives.

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    • CRIM-6340 - Advanced Criminological Theory

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

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    • CRIM-6341 - Constitutional and Judicial Principles

      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.

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    • CRIM-6342 - Crisis Intervention

      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.

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    • CRIM-6345 - Homeland Security

      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.

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    • CRIM-6350 - Terrorism

      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.

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    • CRIM-6360 - Law Enforcement Leadership

      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.

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    • CRIM-6370 - Correctional Management

      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.

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    • CRIM-6380 - Criminal Justice Administration

      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.

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    • CRIM-6623 - Crime and Social Inequality

      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.

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    • CRIM-6983 - Continuing Registration

      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.

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  • Faculty
  • Admissions

    Guidelines for Admittance

    • All graduate applicants must complete the online Graduate 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 all schools attended are required and should be sent directly to the UWG Graduate 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:

    • 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA on a 4.0 scale (If a student does not meet the GPA requirements for regular admission, s/he may be admitted provisionally);
    • Obtain three strong letters of recommendation from individuals knowledgeable of your academic and/or professional abilities.
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
    • Submit a 750-word intellectual autobiography highlighting your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree at UWG. Within this intellectual biography the candidate may want to comment upon:
      • When and where the candidate’s interest in Criminology developed
      • How the field of Criminology was incorporated into the candidate’s undergraduate coursework
      • How the field of Criminology has been incorporated into the candidate’s current professional work or will be incorporated into the candidate’s future career goals
      • Theoretical or methodological interests of the candidate
      • The candidate’s plans or ideas for original research
      • A faculty member that the candidate is interested in studying with

    The Department of Criminology does not require a GRE score; however one can be submitted to support an application for admission and funding.

    Application Deadlines

    Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines are available via the Graduate School

    Posted deadline includes Application, app fee, and all supplemental items/documents.

    See The Scoop for more specific deadlines.

    Admission Process Checklist

    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.


    Graduate School

    Dr. Brittani McNeal

  • 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.

    Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines are available via the Graduate School

  • Objectives

    Apply research methodology and systematic analysis within the context of criminology

    Apply a broad range of knowledge about criminology to ethically and competently evaluate the development, monitoring, and analysis of policy and practices in major areas of criminology

    Demonstrate a broad understanding of theories of crime and justice by critically evaluating theoretical frameworks in conducting analyses