Jun 22, 2024  
2021-2022 School of Graduate Studies Catalog 
2021-2022 School of Graduate Studies Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Criminal Justice, BS to MS

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The Criminal Justice Department offers an accelerated program which allows students to earn both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Criminal Justice in five years*  The Accelerated program advances the University’s mission to foster the intellectual and personal growth of students by providing an array of innovative learning opportunities. A Criminal Justice major (including students who transfer 45 or fewer credits) meetings the eligibility criteria may apply to the Accelerated program.

*Based upon completion of the recommended number of credits per semester. Contact Graduate Coordinator

Undergraduate Application to the BS/MS Program:


  1. Candidates must have completed at least 72 credit hours at Salem State University and have a minimum of 30 credit hours of undergraduate study remaining.
  2. Students transferring 45 or fewer credits must complete three semesters at Salem State University and have a minimum of 30 credit hours of undergraduate study remaining prior to applying.
  3. Candidates must have a GPA of at least 3.25.
  4. Undergraduate Criminal Justice Majors with a 3.75 GPA or better may be considered for streamlined admission to the Combined BS-MS program. Upon submission of a petition to the Graduate Admissions Committee of the Criminal Justice Department, students who demonstrate an extremely strong potential for success based on the body of undergraduate coursework and their letter of petition may, in some instances, have the following admission requirements.

Admission Requirements:

  1.  Applications for admission into the accelerated program will be reviewed in October and February. Students may apply only once to the program.
  2. Submit undergraduate transcript.
  3. Submit three letters of reference including at least two from Salem State University full time faculty (one being a full time member of the Criminal Justice department).
  4. Submit a personal statement of interest (500-1,000 words) providing reasons for wanting to pursue a graduate degree and career plans.
  5. Provide the best example of your writing, such as a research paper using appropriate references. It should be approximately five typed pages in length.
  6. The GRE requirement is waived for applicants to the accelerated Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Criminal Justice Program.
  7. Optional: Submit a resume highlighting relevant employment and life experiences.

Those admitted to the accelerated program will:

  1. Take 12 credit hours of graduate coursework that will count toward both the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science. Students will take a total of four graduate courses their senior year of undergraduate study, two in the Fall semester and two in the Spring semester. Students will earn their Master of Science degree after completing an additional 24 graduate credit hours.
  2. Be required to maintain a cumulative 3.25 GPA in their undergraduate courses.
  3. Be required to maintain a 3.0 GPA in their graduate courses.
  4. The undergraduate degree will be awarded when the completion of all undergraduate requirements is met and the Master’s degree will be awarded with the completion of the 24 credits required.

To review the undergraduate requirements of this program, please visit the undergraduate catalog here:


Thesis Option

The thesis option is an alternative to the comprehensive exam. Requirements are: 1) five required core courses, with at least a B in CRJ 800A , CRJ 801  and CRJ 802  and a B+ in CRJ 810  and CRJ 812 ; 2) approval of graduate coordinator; 3) six hours of thesis credit, CRJ 813A  and CRJ 813B ; 4) five elective courses; and 5) orally defend their thesis successfully.

Non-Thesis Option

The general plan of study for the non-thesis option is as follows: 1) five required core courses that must be passed with a grade of B or better; 2) seven elective courses; and 3) satisfactory completion of the comprehensive examination.

Total Credits for Bachelor of Science: 120

Total Additional Credits for Master of Science: 24

Total Credits for BS/MS: 144

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