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Criminology and Criminal Justice

Geoffrey P. Alpert, Chair
Kathy R. Smiling, Director of Academic Programs

Geoffrey P. Alpert, Ph.D., Washington State University, 1975
Andrew J. Chishom, Ed.D., University of Georgia, 1975
William J. Mathias, Ed.D., University of Georgia, 1969
R. Eugene Stephens, Ph.D., Emory University, 1976

Associate Professors
Reid H. Montgomery Jr., Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1974
Joann B. Morton, D.P.A., University of Georgia, 1980

Assistant Professors
Robert Brame, Ph.D., University of Maryland, 1996
John D. Burrow, Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1998, J.D., University of Wisconsin, 2001
Angela R. Gover, Ph.D., University of Maryland, 2000
Barbara Koons-Witt, Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2000
John M. MacDonald, Ph.D., University of Maryland, 1996
J. Mitchell Miller, Ph.D.,University of Tennessee, 1996
William V. Pelfrey Jr., Ph.D., Temple University, 2001
Robert J. Stokes, Ph.D., Rutgers University, 2001


The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers a program leading to the degree of Master of Criminal Justice.


Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. An undergraduate major in criminal justice or one of the social sciences is desirable. In addition to meeting all admission requirements of the University's Graduate School, applicants must submit scores obtained on the Graduate Record Examination (general test only) or the Miller Analogies Test and a statement of approximately three single-spaced pages outlining professional objectives. Other factors considered will include undergraduate academic performance; letters of recommendation, indicating the applicant's academic potential for graduate work; and evidence of a commitment to a career in the field of criminal justice. A personal interview may be required at the discretion of the department chair. For additional information, access the department's homepage at www.sc.edu/crju.

Degree Requirements and Regulations

A minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate course credit is required as follows:

1. Fifteen hours of core courses, each of which must be completed with a grade of B or better: CRJU 701, 703, 704, 705, and 741. (No course may be repeated more than once.)
2. Eighteen hours in the major area of emphasis, including a 6-hour core and 12 hours of additional area course work, of which up to 6 may be taken in other colleges or departments. All courses in the major area of emphasis must be approved by the advisor. The major areas of emphasis include: law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, and criminal justice education.
3. Professional competence: 3 hours of CRJU 798 Master's Portfolio or CRJU 799 Thesis Research.
4. Each student will be required to make an oral presentation of a master's portfolio or thesis before the appropriate faculty committee.
5. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 must be earned for graduation. A student who accumulates 9 hours of graduate credit below B will not be permitted to continue in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Criminal justice courses may not be audited.

J.D./M.C.J. Joint Degree Program

The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, in cooperation with the University of South Carolina School of Law, offers a combined degree program which permits a student to obtain both the Juris Doctor and the Master of Criminal Justice degrees in approximately four years. Through the combined program, the total course load may be reduced by as many as 18 credit hours from that required if the two degrees were earned separately, since 9 hours of electives toward the M.C.J. degree may be taken in law courses and 9 hours of electives toward the J.D. may be earned in the M.C.J. program.

Prior to obtaining admission to the combined degree program, a student must be admitted to both the School of Law and the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Upon admission to the combined degree program, the student will be assigned courses to be elected in both programs.

Financial Assistance

Applicants requesting graduate assistantships, J.P. Strom Fellowships, and part-time employment in criminal justice agencies should contact the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Applicants requesting all other types of financial assistance should apply to the director of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208.

Course Descriptions (CRJU)

  • 524 -- Victimology. (3) The scientific study of crime victims and public policy responses to victims' plights.
  • 531 -- Alternatives to Incarceration. (3) A survey of the correctional alternatives to imprisonment, including probation, parole, and various community servie programs. The research evidence on the various alternatives and the role of the community and citizens in the correctional process.
  • 532 -- Violence in American Society. (3) Historical overview of violence in American society. An examination of the theoretical causes and preventive strategies for acts of violence. Both individual and collective violence are studied.
  • 542 -- Drugs and Crime. (3) A survey of the relationship between substance abuse and criminal offending. The historical and contemporary criminal justice system responses to illegal substances.
  • 543 -- Criminal Justice and Mental Health. (3) An overview of the interface between the mental health sciences and the criminal justice field.
  • 545 -- Crime Prevention and Private Security. (3) Crime prevention strategies and their relationship to private sectors of law enforcement.
  • 554 -- Women and Crime. {=WOST 554} (3) Impact of gender-based relations on crime and the criminal justice system.
  • 562 -- Citizen Involvement in Criminal Justice. (3) Citizen involvement programs including crime prevention, dispute-resolution centers, and use of volunteers.
  • 563 -- Race, Crime, and Criminal Justice. (3) An historical overview of the intersection between issues of race, crime, and justice. The impact of the criminal justice system on minority groups.
  • 582 -- Computer Applications in Criminal Justice. (3) Computing, database systems, and software applications in research and professional practice.
  • 585 -- Crime and Public Policy. (3) Public policy responses to crime, their formation, and their impact on both crime and criminal justice systems.
  • 591 -- Selected Topics in Criminal Justice. (3) A seminar for advanced students. Individual topics to be announced with suffix and title. May be repeated once with the consent of the advisor.
  • 701 -- Survey of Criminal Justice. (3) Classical and recent literature in criminal justice. Trends and issues that transcend criminal justice.
  • 702 -- Law and Justice. (3) The social construction of law and justice.
  • 703 -- Research Methods in Criminal Justice. (3) (Prereq: STAT 201) Scientific methods in criminal justice research to include methods of design, data collection, and interpretation of research findings.
  • 704 -- Organization and Management in Criminal Justice. {=GINT 756} (3) Management strategies and selected analytic tools for the administration of criminal justice agencies.
  • 705 -- Quantitative Methods in Criminal Justice. (3) (Prereq: CRJU 703) Descriptive and inferential statistics and the use of computers in criminal justice.
  • 711 -- Police Practices and Problems. (3) Historical and contemporary role of the police, societal expectations, resource allocation, police policies, and the effectiveness of various police strategies in controlling crime.
  • 712 -- Police Administration and Management. (3) Principles of leadership and management applied to law enforcement.
  • 731 -- Corrections. (3) Historical development of corrections, trends, and changes in the field of corrections and rehabilitation.
  • 732 -- Correctional Policy. (3) Policy development, implementation, and evaluation in corrections.
  • 741 -- Criminology. (3) The major theories of the etiology of criminal behavior, including biological, environmental, and other causative factors.
  • 743 -- Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Child Abuse and Neglect. {=EDCE 769, HPRE 769, NURS 726 SOWK 769} (3) Current knowledge about child abuse and neglect, including typologies, etiology, effects, and current practice interventions.
  • 751 -- Prevention and Treatment of Delinquency. (3) Theories and methodologies for the organization of delinquency prevention and control programs. Emphasis on the role of the program evaluation.
  • 752 -- Juvenile Justice. {=SOWK 763} (3) Historical evolution of the juvenile justice system.
  • 753 -- Seminar on Juvenile Justice Problems and Issues. (3) Research and discussion of current and emerging problems and issues in juvenile justice.
  • 761 -- Foundations of Criminal Justice Education. (3) An examination of the historic and philosophic origins of American criminal justice education. Provides a basis for understanding the diversity of programs in this field. Parallels with other professional programs in higher education which provide insight into current issues.
  • 762 -- Continuing Professional Development. (3) Examination of the role of lifelong learning in the professions with an emphasis on criminal justice.
  • 766 -- Law-Related Education. (3) Survey of philosophy, goals, methods, implementation, and future prospects for law-related education in grades K-12.
  • 767 -- Law-Related Education Curriculum Development. (3) (Prereq: CRJU 766) Detailed study of current curriculum materials and methods for developing new materials.
  • 791 -- Selected Topics in Criminal Justice. (3) Seminar for advanced students. Topics of current importance, such as drugs, judicial reform, or crime prevention. (May be repeated for credit up to 6 semester hours with consent of advisor.)
  • 792 -- Directed Study in Criminal Justice. (3) Independent study for advanced students, under faculty supervision. (May be repeated for credit up to 6 semester hours with consent of advisor.)
  • 794 -- Internship in Criminal Justice. (3) Placement in a criminal justice agency under faculty supervision.
  • 798 -- Master's Portfolio. (3) Development of projects and completion of project reports for inclusion in the master's portfolio. Restricted to criminal justice majors in the non-thesis track. May be repeated for credit; however, only 3 credits may be counted toward degree.
  • 799 -- Thesis Research: Thesis Preparation. (1-9)