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CRIMJ student
Master of Professional Studies in
Criminal Justice Policy and Administration


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 

Required Courses (18 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
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 This course provides a survey of criminal 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.

Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Race, Crime, and Justice  CRIM 451 This course focuses on the significance of race, class, and ethnicity to criminal justice processing and criminal offending.  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.

3 credits
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
Global Policing CJPA 830 Students will study how police organizations from different countries communicate, cooperate, and collaborate with each other in order to respond to global threats. 3 credits
Transnational Crime CJPA 831 This course is about transnational crime activities happening around the world. 3 credits
Policing Terrorism CJPA 832 This course aims to understand the role of law enforcement in counterterrorism by analyzing the challenges, issues, and difficulties in policing terrorism. 3 credits
Courts and Sentencing CJPA 833 This course is an examination of theory, research, and policy involving courts and their sentencing decisions. 3 credits
Public Organization and Management

PADM 500

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
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
Culminating Experience (3 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Capstone Project in Criminal Justice and Policy Administration CJPA 808 During their final semester the student will work closely with a faculty adviser (selected to match the student on substantive and/or methodological expertise) on a self-selected criminal justice and policy administration-related project. 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. 

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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