Penn State's 30-credit online Master of Professional Studies in Criminal Justice Policy and Administration program emphasizes social science perspectives in the study of criminal justice. The degree consists of 18 credits of core courses and allows you to choose from a number of electives to customize your learning to your interests and career goals.You will finish your education with a capstone course, the opportunity to apply your newfound knowledge to a project selected by you and your faculty adviser.
Please refer to the Course List to find course information, including course descriptions and prerequisites.
Course List - Master of Professional Studies in Criminal Justice Policy and Administration
|Criminal Justice Institutions||CJPA 501||The course presents an overview of key issues in theory and research on each major sector of the criminal justice system — policing, prosecution, criminal defense, courts, and corrections.||3 credits|
|Theories of Crime||CJPA 502||This course provides a survey of social science theories of criminal behavior at the individual and group levels.||3 credits|
|Applied Research Methods for Criminal Justice||CJPA 803||This course provides a survey of social science research methods, applied to the study of criminal justice topics and the evaluation of criminal justice policies.||3 credits|
|Criminal Procedure||CJPA 820||procedure and related constitutional law.||3 credits|
|Criminal Justice Ethics in a Diverse Society||CJPA 865||This course provides a survey of ethical systems and theories.||3 credits|
|Advanced Statistics in Criminal Justice||CRIMJ 503||The purpose of this course is to teach the student the theory behind a particular statistical technique and its appropriate use.||3 credits|
To satisfy the degree requirement for this program, you must successfully complete 30 credits.
Electives (9 credits)
You will have the opportunity to tailor your program of study to your interests by choosing from a list of elective courses. The elective courses will be chosen in consultation with your adviser.
|American Correctional System||CRIM 430||Study of corrections from probation, intermediate punishment, adult and juvenile correctional institutions, to parole.||3 credits|
|Crime and the American Court System||CRIM 432/
CRIM J 432
|This course examines the American court system, including structure and the way courts process offenders with special focus on sentencing.||3 credits|
|Sentencing||CRIM 433||This course studies sentencing from prosecutorial charging decisions through revocation of probation, to the complex goals and responsibilities at sentencing.||3 credits|
|Law and Society||CRIM/SOC 467||
Studies the social origins of law and legal systems; occupational careers, and decision-making of legal officials.
|Seminar, Criminal Justice Agency Administration||CRIM 482||Relates organizational and public policy management approaches to police, courts, and correctional institutions.||3 credits|
|Police Administration||CRIMJ 408||Principles of administration as they relate to a police organization and policy development.||3 credits|
|Alternatives to Incarceration||CRIMJ 430||Control and treatment of offenders in the community, probation and parole organizations, diversion programs, innovative sentences, and supervision techniques.||3 credits|
|Public Policy and the Criminal Justice System||CRIMJ 502||This course studies the concepts and methods of political and legal activity within the criminal justice system and their impact on society.||3 credits|
|Criminal Justice Organization and Management||CRIMJ 504||The course will be a broad overview of the structure and management of criminal justice organizations.||3 credits|
Administrative and Legal Aspects of Corrections
|CRIMJ 564||This course addresses historical and contemporary correctional policy, accountability, and possible remedial alternatives.||3 credits|
|Public Organization and Management||
|Development of basic concepts and issues in public administration, administrative theory, and public policy processes.||3 credits|
|Introduction to Public Policy Analysis||PADM 507||Introduction to the analysis of public policy within its organizational and political contexts, including an emphasis on an economic perspective.||3 credits|
|Policy Analysis and Planning||PADM 535||The course will cover the theoretical issues in and basic methods of policy analysis and planning (prospective policy analysis).||3 credits|
|Policy and Program Evaluation||PADM 550||The course will cover the theoretical issues in and basic methods of policy and program evaluation (retrospective policy analysis).||3 credits|
|American Constitutional Law||PLSC 471||The origins of judicial review, landmark decisions of the Supreme Court, and their impact on the American form of government.||3 credits|
|The American Legal Process||PLSC 472||Analysis of the roles, procedures, and policies characterizing the American legal system.||3 credits|
|Policy Making and Evaluation||PLSC 490||Advanced analysis of public policy, emphasizing policy evaluation and the factors that determine policy success and failure.||3 credits|
|Psychological Foundations of Leadership||PSY 532||Students will examine the social and psychological processes underlying leadership in organizations.||3 credits|
Capstone Course (3 credits)
The culminating capstone experience provides you with an opportunity to apply your course knowledge to a project. You will work with your faculty adviser to mutually determine the choice of project topic and its exact form. For example, the capstone experience could be an academic research project, an evidence-based policy evaluation, or the development of a program.
You will be expected to utilize theories, literature, and methods acquired during other courses in the online criminal justice policy and administration degree program. The report will be formally presented to peers in the program and faculty members at the end of the semester (i.e., final presentation via videoconference). The capstone report must be approved by the faculty adviser to meet course requirements.