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Criminal Justice

CHAIR: William E. Thornton, Jr., Ph.D. OFFICE: 124 Stallings Hall


The mission of the criminal justice program at Loyola University New Orleans is to prepare individuals, through a state-of-the-art curriculum, to assume positions in the public or private justice system and/or to pursue advanced educational/professional specialties. In all of its endeavors, the criminal justice program seeks to develop in students the ability to critically analyze complex issues and master bodies of knowledge, yet seek truth, wisdom, and social responsibility in the Ignatian tradition.

Criminal justice and private security are among the fastest growing fields in the new millennium. An advanced degree is fast becoming a necessity for most careers in criminal justice, both in the public and private sectors. The M.C.J. is offered in response to the growing need for professionally trained public and private criminal justice administrators, planners, and researchers as well as professionals in the field of private security.

Students will receive theoretical and methodological training in criminal justice and private security along with applied studies in areas such as organizational management, budgeting and resource allocation, strategic planning, program evaluation, public relations, human resource management, and computer information systems. The graduate curriculum takes the student well beyond the content and instruction of their undergraduate education and fosters independent learning and application of knowledge enabling the individual to contribute to the profession. The emphasis on values and ethics and a solid liberal arts grounding, along with a strong criminal justice curriculum including theoretical as well as applied courses, has distinguished the Loyola program.

Outstanding Features of Loyola’s Master of Criminal Justice Program

  • Accelerated course format
  • 30 semester hours
  • 15-month completion
  • Multi-disciplinary format
  • Solid foundation in theoretical and applied knowledge
  • Crime data and analysis skills
  • Administrative and management skills
  • Designed for professionals in criminal justice or private security and for those
    seeking to enter the criminal justice or private security fields
  • Prestigious faculty with real-world experience universities/colleges)
  • Assistantships
  • Career counseling

Admission Requirements

Prospective students must submit ALL required documentation before they can be considered for admission into the M.C.J. program. Students are admitted into the M.C.J. program based on a thorough review of all materials provided to the Department of Criminal Justice. Admission to the program requires:

  • A bachelor’s degree and a record of academic achievement from an accredited college or university;
  • A $20 application fee must accompany the completed application;
  • An official transcript from each institution attended sent directly to the appropriate
    admissions office. For transcripts other than English, please provide a certified English translation with an explanation of the grading system;
  • Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT);
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons knowledgeable about the applicant’s
    aptitude for graduate work, such as former professors or master’s prepared supervisors;
  • A résumé of professional work experience, if applicable;
  • A statement of educational goals that addresses the following points:
    1. How do you think the M.C.J. degree will enhance your professional development?
    2. What expectations do you hope to realize by earning the degree?
  • A formal interview with one or more graduate faculty members at Loyola.

International Students

In addition to meeting the above requirements, all international applicants:

  • must submit results of the TOEFL, scoring 550 or higher (213 on CBT), unless their previous degree is from a college or university in which the language of instruction is English;
  • requiring F-1 or J-1 visas must submit an affidavit of support.

Types of Admission

The Department of Criminal Justice Admission Committee reviews all applications and makes admissions decisions. Applicants are notified of the decision by letter. Two types of admission can be recommended:

  • Unconditional Admission: Applicants are admitted unconditionally when they have submitted all required materials and met admission standards. Since admission into the M.C.J. program is limited, the committee reserves the right to determine which applicants are the best matches for Loyola’s graduate program.
  • Conditional/Probationary Admission: The decision to grant conditional/probationary admission is based on perceived academic promise and is granted to an applicant to provide an opportunity for the applicant to demonstrate his/her academic ability. The student with probationary admission remains on probation until he/she has completed a minimum of six graduate hours and has achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. If, after the completion of six graduate hours, the student’s cumulative GPA is less than 3.0, the student will not be eligible to return to the M.C.J. program.

Evaluation of Transfer Credits

Students who have earned graduate academic credit at an accredited university or college may be allowed to transfer a maximum of six credit hours. In all cases, coursework will be evaluated for equivalence to M.C.J. program requirements; therefore, students must provide course syllabi and other supporting materials to assist faculty in the evaluation process.

Academic Probation and Student Progression

In order to remain in good standing and progress through the M.C.J. program, a student must earn at least a C in any graduate course and must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. A student who earns below a C in an M.C.J. graduate course will be placed on academic probation and must repeat that course until a minimum grade of C has been achieved. A student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 will be place on academic probation. A student on academic probation has one semester (fall, spring, or summer semester) to remove the academic deficiency. If the deficiency is not removed in the allotted time, the student may not be eligible to continue in the M.C.J. program. The final decision to allow a probationary student to remain in the program will be made by the department chairperson.

Progression Through the Curriculum

The M.C.J. program is a cohort model meaning the student moves through the curriculum taking a prescribed set of courses each semester. If, for some reason, the student cannot adhere to the set schedule, graduation in the 15-month period may not be possible. The department will make every effort to accommodate the student by modifying his/her progression plan.

Length of Time to Complete M.J.C. Program

Students are required to complete the M.C.J. program within 5 years of enrolling in coursework.

Comprehensive Examination

By submitting the application to graduate, students are also declaring their candidacy in the Master of Criminal Justice (M.C.J.) program. As part of the requirements for graduation, they are required to pass the comprehensive examination for the program.

Degree Candidacy

M.C.J. students must apply for candidacy after completion of 18 credit hours with an overall 3.0 average in the program.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE GRADUATE COURSESThe Master of Criminal Justice (M.C.J.) is a 30-credit-hour program. This program is designed to be flexible both with regard to course delivery as well as completion time.

Updated August 23, 2005