The graduate program is designed specifically for individuals currently working in the field of criminal justice and its ancillary professions, although well qualified non-practitioners are welcome. The primary mission of the program is to provide students with an academic foundation for managerial and other advanced professional roles in the field of criminal justice.
A student in the CJ program can choose one of two formats for earning their degree: 1) completely online, or 2) as a mix of online and face-to-face coursework. All of the required Professional Core courses are only offered online. Students can choose to complete their elective courses online or on-campus. Students are also required to complete an exit project.
This program is designed to be completed in one year if students desires to take an intensive full-time course load. It is also possible to do coursework over a two year period while continuing full-time employment. To complete degree student must complete 45 credits.
Individuals entering the program will join a cohort of students that forms each September to begin classes fall term. Students may join the program “out-of-cycle” and work on selected courses before joining the next fall cohort. Through WOU’s online course management system, students will actively join other members of the cohort and the instructor in a coordinated learning experience.
Students will acquire two skill sets during the course of their study. First, they will learn how to conduct social science research. Second, they will learn how to apply these methods toward solving the actual problems encountered in the administration of justice. In other words, they will learn how to put theory to practice.