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Criminal Justice

The graduate program in criminal justice allows students to prepare for management and other careers in criminal justice and related fields. The program is designed both to enhance students' existing capabilities and to develop unique competencies and skills for future academic and career goals. Choose between two degree options Master of Arts or Master of Science.

students in a courtroom

Degrees offered

  • Students completing the Master of Arts degree are required to complete a thesis. The student is also required to successfully complete the oral defense/oral examination as a requirement for graduation.
  • Students completing the Master of Science degree must complete a portfolio as a requirement for graduation.  Students are required to complete six additional hours of coursework in order to meet the 36-hour degree requirement.  

Why Study Criminal Justice at Radford?

  • You’ll be able to earn a master’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Crime Analysis certificate at the same time.
  • We offer a well-rounded education with our courses including policing and corrections, cybersecurity, gender and crime, and white-collar crime.
  • Our students can complete their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 5 years, as part of the accelerated program.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to engage in research with faculty and present papers at national conferences including the American Society of Criminology, the American Criminal Justice Association, and the Southern Criminal Justice Association meetings.
  • You may gain teaching and research-related experiences as a graduate assistant, graduate teaching assistant, or graduate teaching fellow.
  • Our classes have fewer than 10 students.

Careers and Internships

Our recent graduates are engaged in a range of careers, including positions at the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, drug treatment courts, child abuse investigators, probation and parole officers, correctional officers, law enforcement officers, and crime analysts.

You will be able to intern at criminal agencies including law enforcement, victim services, court services, and correctional agencies

We offer travel study programs and sponsors a variety of special events, including criminal justice agency visits, a government career fair, and guest speakers.

Opportunities for Criminal Justice students at Radford

You will be part of a small cohort of students who take classes together, build relationships with one another, and hang out with one another outside of classes.

You will be able to work out at an excellent gym: the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

There are opportunities for students to engage in activities on campus, as well as engage in activities off campus including hiking, biking, hanging out in Bissett Park and going to the Farmer’s Market in Radford.

We have Criminal Justice-specific clubs:

Admissions Requirements

Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.9, two letters of recommendation, and an original writing sample letter of interest/personal statement indicating your goals in obtaining a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Resume

The department offers an undergraduate major in criminal justice, undergraduate minors in criminal justice, forensic studies, crime analysis, and conservation law enforcement, a graduate program in criminal justice, and a graduate certificate in crime analysis.

student in a forensic field

“The most meaningful experience during my graduate program was the first time I taught a class as a graduate teaching assistant. Knowing I am capable of educating students serves as an accomplishment that has set the path for my future. With the help of my graduate mentors, Dr. Owen, and Dr. Elis, I have the confidence to share my knowledge of criminal justice.”

Cade FisherMaster of Sciences Student & Graduate Teaching Assistant 2024

We want to get to know you better and we are excited that you are ready to take your next step and learn more about us. We are here to help you and look forward to working with you during your college search process.