Criminal Justice (MS)

Volume 1: 2019.2020

Effective 1 June 2019 through 31 May 2020

Please see the Temporary Adjustments to Policy on Grading for Graduate Courses for Spring 2020

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program is offered by the College of Arts & SciencesIt is available online and at select U.S. campuses, but it is not available at the St. Louis home campus. Please see the Campus Locations and Offerings section of this catalog for a list of campuses where this program is offered.

Program Description

The master of science in criminal justice provides students with a multidisciplinary approach to the wider criminal justice system, with particular emphasis on enhancing technical skills, critical thinking skills, decision-making processes, and increasing analytic capabilities to provide students with the ability to explain, predict, and prevent crime and victimization.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply theories of crime to the extent, causes, and prevention of crime, the processes of criminalization, and the practices and reforms of the criminal justice system, in the U.S. and globally.
  • Identify quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze crime and crime control systems.
  • Articulate ethical implications of decision making in the criminal justice system.
  • Explain the interdependence of institutions in the criminal justice system and broader social, legal and socioeconomic environments.
  • Articulate the ways issues of diversity affect the operation of criminal justice organizations and actors, including differences by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, sex, gender, age and so on.
  • Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills.

Program Curriculum

36 Credit Hours

Required Courses

  • CRIM 5000 Ethics and Decision Making in Criminal Justice (3 hours) 
  • CRIM 5100 Theories of Crime and Justice (3 hours)
  • LEGL 5480 Criminal Actions (3 hours)
  • CRIM 6000 Capstone (3 hours)


  • At least 18 elective hours from the lists below.
  • Up to 6 hours of any approved graduate-level elective courses.

Administration of Justice

  • CRIM 5050 Organization and Administration of Justice (3 hours)
  • CRIM 5060 Policing and Law Enforcement (3 hours)
  • CRIM 5070 Institutional and Community Corrections (3 hours)
  • LEGL 5450 American Constitutional Law (3 hours)

Note: To qualify for the certificate in administration of justice, students must take all four courses. To gain the certificate, students must pay a second graduation fee.

Fraud Investigation

  • CRIM 5300 White Collar Crime and Fraud (3 hours)
  • CRIM 5350 Computer Crime and Fraud (3 hours)
  • ACCT 5100 Investigation of Financial Fraud (3 hours)
  • ACCT 5150 Introduction to Cyber Forensics (3 hours)

Note: To qualify for the certificate in fraud investigation, students must take all four courses. To gain the certificate, students must pay a second graduation fee.

Cybersecurity - Threat Detection

  • CSSS 5000 Introduction to Cybersecurity (3 hours)
  • CSSS 5120 Cybersecurity Infrastructures (3 hours)
  • CSSS 5210 Cybersecurity Law & Policy (3 hours)
  • CSSS 5220 Cybersecurity Threat Detection (3 hours)

International and Regional Security

  • INTL 5590 International Security (3 hours)
  • INTL 5550 War and Diplomacy (3 hours)
  • INTL 5890 Terrorism in World Politics (3 hours)
  • INTL 5560 US Foreign Policy (3 hours)
    or INTL 5570 Comparative Foreign Policy (3 hours)
  • INTL 5535 International Disaster Law (3 hours)
  • INTL 5585 Food and Water Security (3 hours)
  • INTL 5595 Energy Security (3 hours)
  • INTL 5860 Issues in International Politics (with security focus) (3 hours)
  • INTL 5600 Area Studies* (3 hours)
  • INTL 5625 Middle East Area Studies* (3 hours)
  • INTL 5635 Western European Area Studies* (3 hours)
  • INTL 5645 Asian Area Studies* (3 hours)
  • INTL 5655 African Area Studies* (3 hours)
  • INTL 5665 South and Central Asia Area Studies* (3 hours)
  • INTL 5675 Central and Eastern Europe Area Studies* (3 hours)
  • INTL 5685 Latin American Area Studies* (3 hours)

Note: To qualify for the certificate in international and regional security, students must take INTL 5590 and three other courses listed in international and regional security. To gain the certificate, students must pay a second graduation fee.

*No more than two area studies courses can count toward the certificate.

Dual Degree Option: MA in National Security Studies/MS in Criminal Justice

This program is only available at select U.S. campuses.

48 Credit Hours

Upon completion of the 48 credits, two separate diplomas are issued at the same time. The two degrees cannot be awarded separately or sequentially under this arrangement.

Required Courses

  • CRIM 5000 Ethics and Decision Making in Criminal Justice (3 hours)
  • CRIM 5100 Theories of Crime and Justice (3 hours)
  • LEGL 5480 Criminal Actions (3 hours)
  • NTSC 5000 Introduction to National Security Studies (3 hours)
  • NTSC 5100 Research Methods in National Security Studies (3 hours)
  • LEGL 5601 Professional Ethics in National Security Law (3 hours)
  • CRIM 6000 Capstone (3 hours)
    or NTSC 6000 Capstone in National Security Studies (3 hours)
    or NTSC 6250 Thesis in National Security Studies* (6 hours) and INTL 6900 University Thesis Requirement* (0 hours)

*Students taking NTSC 6250 Thesis in National Security Studies (6 hours) must also register for INTL 6900 University Thesis Requirement (0 hours). INTL 6900 acknowledges successful completion of all thesis requirements including conforming to university and departmental guidelines, as well as depositing the thesis in the University library. The six credit hours for NTSC 6250 are drawn from the 3 hours reserved for the NTSC 6000 capstone and 3 elective credit hours in the program.


Sequential Degree in Criminal Justice

A student who holds an MA, MS or an equivalent graduate degree from Webster University or another regionally accredited college or university (or its international equivalent) may earn a sequential MS in criminal justice from Webster University. Transfer credit may not be applied toward the sequential MS.

The student must take a minimum of 27 credit hours to earn the sequential MS in criminal justice. This includes the 12-hour degree core, as well as 15 elective hours. The elective hours may come from the Administration of Justice; Fraud Investigation; Cybersecurity - Threat Detection; or International and Regional Security areas. 


Students who are interested in applying to this certificate program should see the Admission section of this catalog for general requirements.

Send all admissions materials to:

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Ave. 
St. Louis, MO 63119

Advancement to Candidacy

Students are admitted to their graduate program upon completion of all admission requirements. Students are advanced to candidacy status after successfully completing 12 credit hours of graduate credit, with grades of B- or better. In the MBA program and other specialized programs, courses required as prerequisites to the program do not count toward the 12 credit hours required for advancement.